Monday, 31 August 2009

Haul from the Lowell Quilt Show

We had to walk a fair distance from the Lowell train station to find the New England Quilt Museum, but it was definitely worth it in the end. Although I couldn't take photos there was a small exhibition upstairs at the museum and a bigger shop downstairs. We yomped over to the ice hockey arena to see the vendors before heading back to the museum to meet up with my friend Sue. We've quizzed online against each other for a few years, and she only lives 10 minutes drive from Lowell, so we arranged to meet for lunch. She was as easy to chat to in real life as she has been online and there were none of the awkward silences that you sometimes get when meeting someone for the first time. I forgot to take photos though. Silly me!

After lunch we strolled back to the hockey arena for a look around the quilts on show. There were some great pieces there, I especially liked the slice quilt where a group had each worked on a section then the quilt owner assembled the final piece.

There was also a few Baltimore style quilts, more than I would have expected in a similar sized show in England.

Mike insisted on us walking round in an organised way, which made me laugh, as normally I stroll round a bit haphazardly. This time, though, I was able to see all the quilts in a relatively short time...and have more time for spending ;-)

Some of this haul came from the show and some from Heartfelt Quilts on Cape Cod. The small pack with the baseball players on is a charm pack of 5" squares that I'm making into a cushion for Mike. I've snowballed them with red triangles (for the Red Sox naturally) and assembled the top so far. The Moda Pumpkin and Spice pack I've made into a table runner and used one of the autumnal FQs as triangle points at each end. I'm debating whether to add a 2" border all round it or not. The rest of the autumnal FQs I've got an idea for, but I'm not sure if it'll work out or not. I'd like to make a wall hanging with 3-D appliqued leaves, but I need to gather some more ideas first before I start on that.

Tha plaid came with a pattern, so I'll be making that up some time, the lobster fabric is going to be a lining for a grocery shopping bag and the rest of the fabric is for adding to my stash. The flower book is just because it was there!

Of this haul, the paper piecing paper was a replacement as I've used up most of my last pack. The bag pattern is an impulse buy at the Museum. I need to find some light fabric for it, but I think I'll use a brightly coloured lining. The bag of scraps was $5 and had pieces that are pretty close to a quarter yard as well as smaller pieces. The little ruler is for making triangle square quicker by drawing lines either side of the central channel, and the bundle of wools is to make a harvest candle holder.

We were lucky we didn't need to buy another suitcase to bring everything back home! I also bought 3 rolls of freezer paper as $2.50 each...quite a bit cheaper than the £5-6 I have to pay over here! If we had bought another bag, I'd have bought more freezer paper!!

Within a week of getting home, I was off to another quilt show, this time the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, and that's what's coming up next in the blog. nearly up to date!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Holiday to the US

Yes here's another post within minutes of the previous one. It's going to be a mini report on our Boston holiday. We'd printed an itinerary and knew lots of things we wanted to do, and managed to fit them all in, plus a couple of other things that we'd not planned at home. We left gaps in the schedule on purpose for this, so were really happy that we were able to fill our time without feeling rushed or that we were spending too much time just shopping (Is there really such as thing as too much time shopping? Discuss!)

So we had breakfast out every day:

Went to Plymouth:

Cape Cod:


Dinner Cruise:

Meals out:

Oh! And a quilt show:

More on the quilt show in my next post.

Working faster than I can keep up with...

The only thing with visiting a quilt show is this time I've come back with my bags stuffed with stash and my head stuffed with ideas. I got back a week ago, and have so far finished piecing the hexagon quilt, an autumn table runner and a charm pack cushion cover top. No photos as this is a quickie in between updates!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Next update...end of school term

The end of July brought the end of school term and the chance to give the baby quilts to Hannah's teachers. They were both delighted with them so I feel quite pleased that I had the chance to do something for both teachers.

I enjoyed doing the prairie points on them both, it adds a bit extra to an otherwise quite simple design. I used some pieces from the layer cake and jelly roll that I bought in Exeter for the right hand one, and have lots from both leftover to be able to make another couple at least.

Because I'd enjoyed the prairie points, I volunteered to teach some techniques to Plym at out "4 corners" meeting, which is an opportunity to see something new from some of the group. I demonstrated simple individual prairie points, how to do continuous ones, bi-coloured ones and then how to add them in construction seams as well as on borders. I had great fun showing what I'd tried out, even though some of the techniques weren't new, and not original, I hope the rest of the group that came to my table liked it as much as I did!

Now end of July only meant one thing this coming up :-D

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

First update, and scavenger hunt stash

So as promised here's the first of a few mass updates which I'm planning to post in the next week or so to get the blog up to date again. The only thing is, I'm now so busy with more quilting, I'm going to be either blogging, or sewing non-stop for the rest of the month.

In one of my online groups, we had a scavenger hunt swap. Basically, we had a list of items and a budget (whatever that words means!) and were allocated a swap partner. Here's my box of goodies when it arrived in July:

How exciting does it all look, nestled in the blue tissue paper? (yes, I kept the paper as well, for wrapping other gifts later). In here I had lots of quilty loveliness: needle grabbers, gold fabric, a bracelet and thimble charm, notelets, plastic guides for wrapping fat quarters round, bias bars (my old set got a bit melted, so good timing!), wrist pin cushion, needlecase and needles and a miniature quilt made with tiny yo-yos. When I say tiny, they measure about 1cm across and are all hand sewn together! My swap partner has far more patience than I have, that's for sure!

I've made good use of the wrist pincushion so far and keep getting the gold fabric out to stroke! It was a really fun swap, and a nice challenge to try and keep within a relatively small budget for everything. If I was going to join in another one, I'd definitely make more use of my own stash rather than going and buying so many new things. I just need to keep an eye out on the online group for notice of the next one.

Also round about this time, I was back up and down to hospital for another battery of tests for my thyroid issues. This time it was a couple of injections, a radioactive injection followed by a whole body scan and culminated with a blood test at the end of the week. All went well until i got to hospital for the radio injection to be told the courier company had lost the isotope! A bit worrying, but eventually I was given the go-ahead to have a slightly different injection and proceed with the scan. This all came back as clear, which was great news to hear!! The blood test on the Friday came back with a slight positive reading for one of the tumour markers, so I'm repeating the injections an bloods at the end of September. If it's still raised, there's a possibility I'll have to repeat the radio-iodine and 3 day isolation, but I'm having to wait and see until then.

More quilty gossip coming up with my next update: I think I have a BOM, some baby quilts and the Plym project to cover.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ooops! Long time with nothing to say

What can I say, I've done it again and gone 2 months without posting anything. My bad!!

Lots have been going on, as ever with us all, so againI'm going to break the next few posts down and back date them. With a bit of luck by the end of next week, I'll have updated everything that's happened to us all, posted lots of lovely photos and be back on schedule for regular blogging.

As a taster, I've been on holiday to the US, visited 2 quilt shows, one here and one there, bought vast amounts of stash, joined in a quilty scavanger swap, had another batch of tests for my thyroid cancer and been volunteered to organise a quilt show!