Tuesday, 30 September 2014

I am a moron.

I could go on about it but what is the point? I designed the final border for the machine appliqué quilt. I was pleased with it. I traced the required four copies onto freezer paper and onto the fabrics for placements. I pinned the first border to the quilt top (and thank heavens I didn't applique first) to find it is massively too short. Not a whole motif too short (that would be too easy to sort out) but just over a half of one. I will not shoot myself but haven't been able to face going back to it yet.
Grrrrr

On the upside I painted the front door, it was navy blue last week.

And we took a trip to the lovely Gower Peninsula in Wales.

To get there we drove along the south coast of Wales on the M4 motorway. I glimpsed a castle through the trees. I wasn't fast enough with my phone when travelling 70mph to get a photo but managed this on the way back.
Sorry about the quality of this. I forgot my camera and the speed combined with small gaps between the trees, all amounted to this. This may or may not be the newest castle in the UK. One day soon we shall have to visit it. Meanwhile you can find out about this little bit of total fabulousness here. Castell Coch was built on the much earlier remains of an earlier castle in 1870.

And on we went to the Gower Peninsular. Past Cardiff, the capital of Wales, past Port Talbot, somewhere which looked like the end of the universe from what could be seen from the M4, past Swansea and the over a cattle grid and onto the Gower (apparently it is wrong to call it The Gower, but everyone does so I will too).
This particular cow was a little worrying as she was missing an eye on her side closest to us.
She was following her calf who came within three foot of the car.

Then we drove for about half an hour, down narrow lanes (with some large vehicles) and saw the sea.

We drove on until we reached Rhossili. 
We weren't particularly looking for anything but Tripadvisor had recommended a bistro for lunch. We drove into this little hamlet and the only parking was in a private field/car park. It looked a pretty little place but at this point, nothing amazing.  Then we walked round the edge of the bistro and this was in front of us.
This was our view sitting on the terrace. That little white dot to the left of the house is quite a big house, just to give you an idea of scale. And what looks like a little smear in the sky above the house is a hang glider. We were so lucky to really just happen to have a warm day in late September. I imagine the whole place is crowded in the school holidays.
It was perfect conditions for hang gliding and there were up to eight of them above (and below) us at any one time.
Nothing was quite normal on the Gower. The sheep thought they were mountain goats. Those little black dots down on the beach above the sheep in the photo are people.
Rotating left from here is Worm Head, (not what we think of as worms, apparently it is Old English for dragon).
 And that is probably more than enough of this beautiful part of Wales for now.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Decision on the design.

Those bits of paper are the result of three and a half days of marking, rubbing out, remarking until I have a design I am happy with for the machine appliqué quilt. In the evenings I have been sewing the elipses for the Di Ford Mystery quilt. I have nearly finished the third side, so I am hopeful it will be all done in another week. I tend to do this in the evenings. It takes precedence over the hexagon quilt until each round is completed. That way I can stay up to date and it will not become another UFO.

On Sunday we went to the Abergavenny Food Festival. It is an event which takes over this country town. They close off the streets and food vendors are everywhere with some of the poshest ones in the market place where you have to pay a small admission charge to get in.

Outside the main event was this onion seller. The French onion sellers, famously used to go round London and the south of England on their bikes in their Breton striped tops and their berets.
I didn't get close to this stand but I don't believe they were really selling this!


I didn't get round to tasting the Welsh cakes.
We came home with this haul. The British Cassis was so very much better than the French. I doubt we will make Kir with anything else anymore. The Brownies were made in heaven, the smoked oil is lovely for dipping good bread into with a nice glass of red, the baklava was almost as good as my sister's Greek mother in law used to make from scratch. The homemade chutneys have made DH very happy. The only downside were the cupcakes which tasted nothing like as good as they looked.... You cannot win everything.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Designing and prepping

 Part Five of the Di Ford Mystery quilt has arrived. I have the first four ellipses stitched down. I am managing to get a little faster, now I think I have got it to 20-30 stitches per inch instead of the stupidly high number I was doing before.

 They are all prepped and ready to go. All 56 of the ellipse shape plus the four circles for the corners.


 Meanwhile I have started to design the final border for the machine appliqué quilt. I thought swags might be the way to go with the same flower from the rest of the quilt between the swags. But I want loads of room for fancy quilting..... The tools of my trade for designing these was a calculator to work out what width to go for and my acrylic rings. Except I needed a bigger ring. I could have got out my beam compass and drawn a larger circle but the point of the compass would have been way off the paper. I just wanted (needed) a bigger round thing. I had the lid of a frying pan but that was in use (feed us tonight or get the design finished?). I went round the house looking for large circles. Then I found the huge chocolate box lid. Perfect (I swear when I bought my husband those chocolates it was not to add another design tool to my kit.)
Perfect.
BUT after working it all out, I am thinking I might like to go round the inside and the outside of this border just with some sort of dogtooth triangle arrangement. Then I could do loads of big feathers with trapunto...... Procrastination rules.

 I am lucky I got anything done this week at all. I went to the dentist on Friday for the next stage in my dental treatments. Three more extractions and five (that's right FIVE) implants. I had not realised they have to drill into the bone to insert each implant. I had tried not to think about it but if pushed I would have thought something like a self tapping screw. It is odd the way my mind works in such times. I imagined my body being found on a beach and the police identifying me by the serial numbers of the implants. (note to self: stop reading crime thrillers on going to bed) There is more to come and the treatment will not end until shortly before Christmas. I am back this Friday to have the stitches out.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

I have been playing with the hexagon rosettes.

I have been playing with the little hexagon rosettes and wondering about possible layouts for them. I could go something like this with stars in the corners. I have also been wondering about having them in a circle round the central star....


When I see creams, beiges or snow white fabrics going cheaply I dive in and buy a bolt. I can always use them. The problem comes when you are doing three quilts at one time with three slightly different creams.
Believe it or not these four fabrics look identical in daylight and also in the photographic lights in my studio. I just took this photo so you could see how they all look the same. Now I know to take a flash photo with the camera (not the phone) and immediately the differences become apparent. Always happy when a solution just happens. Each of the creams has been labelled now.

The weather has been getting cooler, not a lot but you can feel autumn in the air. And the cats stay indoors more and ask for their supper on the dot of 5pm.

George on one of the kitchen sofas
And Rosie helping me with the machine appliqué quilt....

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

By the skin of my teeth.

Part Five of the mystery is coming any day now and I finished Part Four today, with the exception of the little hexagons to go into the corner blocks. I will do those after Part Five as I find it better to centre them afterwards.

It will only take another few minutes to have them ready to appliqué.

The flowers in the garden are having a last fling before the autumn is here completely. It hasn't been cold or wet, but it has been grey. And it is dark by 8pm.
On the up side cold nights are better for sleeping.....