Saturday, 29 January 2011

S. E. X.

So, now I've grabbed your attention, confession time. I'm supposed to be stash busting, recession, credit crunch, call it what you will, I've got far too much fabric, too many patterns to make, and NO EXCUSE AT ALL TO BUY MORE.

Sorry for shouting, but I need to make this clear.

So why was it that this afternoon between 12:45 and 1:45, I was frantically scooping up armfulls of fabric and taking them to the cutting table with total abandon of all my stash busting pledges?
Stash Enhancement eXpedition is my only answer! The new quilt group is going from strength to strength, and today we were at a local market town for a talk by Caroline Hall, who specialises in producing the most beautiful devore fabrics from her own designs. She produces the original sketch and the silk screen for printing onto white silk velvet, then works the devore magic, and finally dyes the resulting design. These fabrics are made into scarves, jackets etc and are simply stunning. Can't find a link to her website right now, but she's based at Totnes, Devon, and if her talk is anything to judge by, her studio would be well worth visiting. She was also selling bags of scraps left from her own work. I bought this one for a very reasonable price and am planning to make a crazy patchwork bag (or two) out of it.

Prior to the talk, we'd all met at a cafe for lunch, then I went to Spin a Yarn for some knitting stash enhancement (4 balls of Noro Silk Garden and a pattern booklet), and then joined the other ladies at Serendipity for quilting stash enhancement. Sadly, the owners haven't been able to find a buyer for the business, and they're being forced to close on March 31st. Currently, the majority of their stock is £5 a yard (not metre!), with reductions off patterns, thread and other accessories.

So pictured here, I bought:

1 yard each of some turquoise and neutral. Lap quilt in the making I think.

1 yard each of green tone on tone, cream shirting and brown tone on tone. Purely for the stash. Nothing planned for these, but I liked them!

4 yards of mushroomy small print, for possible border use in a HST quilt that's in progress.

2 yards of brick red small print. Stash enhancement.

2 half yards of pink and green bright print, ear marked for a spring handbag.

3/4 yard blue batik. Stash replenishment, not enough blue in there!

Scrappy quilt pattern. Just because I liked it.

A FQ of owl fabric. I'm planning to whip this up into a knitting project bag this weekend. Rounded square base, rest of fabric as the side wall, lined, and with a drawstring fastener.

2 charm packs from Strawberry Fayre. There's something planned for these, but, for a change, I don't know what. How mysterious!!

The new group, Sound Stitchers was the voted-for name, is a very much "hands on" group. We've had three meetings so far. Inaugural one with a bit of meet and greet, and some show and tell, but mainly discussing what direction we want to go in.

Meeting 2 was our Christmas party and have a go at machine quilting evening, 2 new members joined and more importantly, joined in.

Meeting 3 saw us starting our own Crazy Patchwork block, and another new member. Most of us had been at a talk by Ani Catt in summer, but didn't get a chance to have a go ourselves. This was our opportunity. We've got until March to finish our base block, then we'll bring them back, and start embellishing them before swapping within the group and working in a Round Robin style on everyone's block.

February we'll be watching a demo of how to make a project roll, with worksheets and those who want will no doubt be making their own for future meetings. There's also going to be a bit of New Group account, and committee officers etc. We hope to move to a different night if at all possible as there's a couple more ladies would be able to join if we didn't meet on Friday.

In April, we're going to be making our charm pack quilts, led by Helen, who is working on her City and Guilds Patchwork Certificate. I'm looking forward to this a lot...hands up if you've been seduced by the call of a charm pack, but lost inspiration when it comes to using them? This meeting is going to be all about how to use these little beauties to best effect.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Making marmalade

No quilting at all over the weekend, it was work's Christmas party

Me and my son at the party.

So instead I made marmalade!

8 jars now put up for during the year, and hopefully, for giving as Christmas presents as part of a home made food hamper. I'm planning ahead for home made loveliness for my friends and family...marmalade, jam, chutney, shortbread and biscotti, and probably a fabric shopping bag as well. I'll be keeping my eyes open for suitable baskets and jars. 

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year update

I'm a failed blogger! Just lost all enthusiasm for posting, lots happening in my life, but nothing worth writing about, so I lapsed.

My motto for right now is "What's the worst that could happen?" and regarding blogging, nothing worse than spending a few minutes a week typing and loading photos on no excuse for not blogging. I've also lapsed from doing much quilting and knitting, so to aid my motivation in that direction I've signed up for the latest Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt, which I''ve been making good progress on.

Of course thinking about that particular WIP turns my mind to other WIPs  and UFOs. This is going to be my first blogging task of the New Year: to hunt out and list all unfinished projects...I could be gone some time!