Thursday, August 31, 2006

an iconI just found out about this from Caroline's blog and thought it looked interesting.

My blogs of note are:

  1. 43 Folders, a blog about putting "Getting Things Done" into practise, and the first blog I followed. I don't keep up with it these days, but it is a good read, and has lots of "add-ons", like a message board for fellow GTDers.

  2. The Girl from Auntie, a lawyer who also designed Rogue, the sweater pattern popular amongst knitters - although I like Eris more. Not updated often, but she covers copyright and similar issues on her blog.

  3. Hugo Schwyzer, a male lecturer on gender studies, who writes about feminism from a Christian perspective.

  4. Scrappy Happy Quilts by Starfishy. A blog about quilting.

  5. Whipup net, which is basically links to different craft ideas and blogs.

I picked these because I do read them all sometimes. Hopefully there is a good range of blogs there, so you can find something just a little different from your normal reading. None of them are obscure - had I got a bit more time, I'd have picked some other blogs, the ones that have fewer comments.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Some admin-type stuff

  • I'm planning to go to the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC in September. It would be fun to have another blogger meet, but I can't go at the weekend. I'll probably go on Friday 15th, and if so, I'll be at Subway at 2pm, along with my green stripey bag.

  • I'll be going to Alexander Palace as well.

  • I've added a photo to my profile - it's of my green stripey bag. Not because I need a bag over my head to look presentable :-). Mainly because one brown haired, brown eyed woman in glasses is much like another and hence if you did see me at any of these shows you might not realise it is me. OTOH, there Can Be Only One green stripey bag and hence you might recognise when it is out and about.

  • I've signed up for the one yard fabric swap organised by Iris.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Festival of Quilts (iv)

Imagine seeing the perfect pattern for material you love.

When it's been upladed, this'll be a picture of some nice material.
Currently its on still on the camera.

That happened to me at the Festival of Quilts.

sketch of quilt designI loved the material first. It had been a candidate for the Mystery Quilt, but I chose peas and cabbages instead. However, a month later, I went back to the shop with a picture of a floral quilt downloaded from the internet (the website is no more) and some rough sketches of a possible design and said "sell me enough material to make something like these". So they did.

I hadn't got round to thinking about the design. Too many other things to do first, like Charmed, and Autumn Leaves, and the Mystery Quilt. And finish knitting the Lichen jumper, and the Limbo jumper and the First Socks. And then there are the embroidery projects as yet unfinished.

But I saw the quilt to make with it on the Magic Patch magazine display. I asked, it is in the issue due out next (number 33, which will be available in early October). I'm planning to make it, mostly using the same material.

The design of the Magic Patch quilt is perfect for the material. When I saw it, my reaction was "oh wow, I must have do that". It wasn't a design that happened to use the material, it was designed for the material. Yes, there appear to be lots of material designs that are similar - like some of the Australiana ones from Aussie Dreams. And you could adapt the main idea for other fabrics, but this quilt was designed for this material.

Following a design so closely is really not like me. A while ago, I read a post on someone's blog about how to be more daring in one's quilting. It had things like "use different colours", and "make it a different size". Elsewhere I read a post by someone who felt really daring the first time she used a "light blue", instead of the "dark blue" the quilt designer specified. In both cases my reaction was closer to "do some people not automatically make changes to designs?" then "wow, how daring".

The material - from the Southwest range by Timeless Treasures - isn't actually an Australiana one. I thought it was, but it isn't. When I was looking for more material - the design has turquoise in it, I have no turqoise material - I came across the Lady Button Fabrics website, and their description of the fabric
told me the figure is actually Kokopelli, a figure in the Hopi legends of the Anasazi Indians.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Festival of Quilts (iii)

The Festival of Quilts is in a huge undercover hall. I can't guess how big the space is, acres in size. There were, according to the show guide, over 1000 quilts. With a mere day, there was no way I could see everything.

When I look at the photos other people have taken, I don't recognise the quilts at all. It is almost as if they went to a different exhibition.

My first action on arrival was to search for the Popular Patchwork stand to see if my quilt was on display. And it was! Not very prominent, near the floor, with the table on one side and a plug socket to the other. It was on the edge of the crowd, a bit shy but trying to join in with the other brasher quilts who had jostled to the centre of the display. They had so many entrants which meant quite a lot (ten or more) weren't displayed, but they hadn't ranked them. I saw Rosalind's fairy (it was one of the few I noticed, because it had a magical theme), a witch, a voodoo head. I saw a boat s on the sea, a seashore theme, hands clasped in marriage. One of my favourites had a number of small patchwork blocks, 2 or 3 inches across. I didn't take any photos here, so you'll just have to im a wall completely covered by small quilted pictures.

Next I looked for Ferret's works. I couldn't find her in the index: her name came after the 'Z' surnames. When I saw the Patchwork Corner stand, I asked Doug if he knew where her pieces were, but he didn't. I hope he saw them, they are good.

I looked at quilts and I looked at stalls until it was time to meet Ferret, who showed me some of her quilts and then we went for a late lunch. We'd agreed to meet at Subway, which was directly ouside the halls used for last year's exhibition. This year, the Festival had moved, so it was a long walk along the outside passage: I hope no other bloggers gave up looking for it. I left my stripy bag on the table, but we weren't hopeful of anyone turning up. Then we saw someone coming close, looking at the bag, and finally asking whether I was Penny. Hooray, we had another blogger, Caroline from Dolly Day Dream. We talked about lots of things: I can't remember all of it.

We went back into the hall together, and Ferret showed us her quilts. The nudes was very impressive: when you see the size of the squares that formed the blue one, you realise just what an undertaking it was. We started talking to another quilter, who took us to see the Egyptian picture she done. It looked like a hierograph, with some pictures in the middle as well.

Then we went to see my quilt, and on to Ferret's other ones. The Union Jack is very punk-era, a quilt for the Generation X. I don't know what the elderly quilters thought, but to me, it was iconic. The globe was good too. And so was the PCB quilt - I'm glad the batteries lasted out. Ferret and Caroline had to go, I wondered looking at my quilts. I'd left most of my shopping to the end, noting down stalls I definately wanted to go back to. As I walked to the entrance, I bought a copy of the first Elm's Creek book, and then checked out a few more quilts.

I've been to a few small quilt shows, but to only one other since I've got into making them. This was just so much larger then the church halls I'd been in before. There seemed to be more space around the quilts to view them, and it was also nice to be able to discuss them with people who were interested. However, as this post I also needed a chance to look and absorb them on my own.

I might put some more piccies up later, along with some more thoughts.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Festival of Quilts (ii)

full green stripey bagLast year, after the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally last year, I decided to start a blog. I'd been to the show and wanted to talk about it, but no-one I knew was really interested in what I'd seen. A general google search found loads of blogs talking about it and I thought "wow, I want to join in here!"

I stuck to my shopping list (and my budget!) reasonably well. I could have bought whole loads more, but like my last post says, I have enough right now.

rain cloud fabricThis one was entirely appropriate: torrential rain started just after 4pm, and drummed on the roof, making lots of people mutter to themselves, well I'll just have to stay a little bit longer. There was an enormous clap of thunder overhead at 4.30, which made everyone jump.


- quantities are in Fat Quarters.

  1. Pansies: 0. Only one stall seemed to have any, and I've got some from that range in my stash already.
  2. pile of material
  3. Landscape Pictures: 19. Hmmm, I think I have enough to make a choice of pictures now. Most of it was bought in the last half hour: Lady Sew and Sew (about G7) were doing a special deal of 5 FQs for £1 off, so obviously I had to get some.

  4. starry fabric
  5. Astronomical material: 2. I got one FQ similar to the Robert Kaufman Stargazers range: the only other suitable material I saw was the metallic range. OTOH, I didn't look at any hand dyed fabric.

  6. Six inch charm squares that cost less then 20p each: 0. I saw no 6" charm squares at any price, although there were lots of 5" charm squares. My project could use 5" squares but that would restrict my options later.

  7. Anything else I really, really like: 11, splits into:
    1. 3 Christmas related,
    2. 4 for aboriginal quilt. The Magic Patch quilt I saw had more variety then I think I have, so I got several similar fabrics to ensure a good colour match.
    3. 1 fairy (to make up the buy 5 offer at LS&S),
    4. 2 Nearly Landscape Pictures
    5. 1 tubes of paint

xmas materiallight brown materialfairy materialmore material

Other Shopping:

  1. Kits from Village Fabrics, to make a folding bag and a needle case

  2. Box for bobbin cases

  3. 9mm knitting needles: an unusual size

  4. Ball ended 30cm zip from EuroJapanLinks

  5. Pattern for a picture of fields

  6. Pieceful Scenes book by Angela Madden

  7. The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. I've started reading this: it stands as a well-written novel in its own right, as well as having good descriptions of quilts and quilting.

  8. Catalog of the quilts on show at the Irish Patchwork Society stand

  9. Coffee, coke and sandwiches

I wrote the original list from memory: and only the 3FQ marked in magenta, and the exact numbers of landscape FQ were missed off it. That marks me as Sensible Show Shopper of this Blog! In addition it all fits into my stripy bag (apart from the coffee :-) ), so I'm also marked as Reasonably Restrained Shopper of the Blog!

PS Sorry about the formatting: it has taken forever just to get it to this state. no wonder I don't normally bother with pictures!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Festival of Quilts

I've just got back from the Festival of Quilts, about ten minutes ago.

We had a three person bloggers meet - me, Ferret and Caroline. We chatted lots, looked at some quilts and generally had a good time.

I only took my mobile phone camera with me, which was a mistake. I never use it normally, so I hadn't realised quite how bad the pictures are. OTOH, it forced me to look closely at the quilts, because I couldn't rely on photos. I'll see what they are like, and put the best ones up later. I sketched out some ideas as well.

Really, there was more to see then you have time to see in one day, and even if you did look at all of them, the number is too many to absorb. You just have to focus on a few, and accept that you will miss some.

I came home having seen two I really like, enough to ask about patterns. One uses some of the aboriginal style fabric I bought a while ago (did I blog it? I remember typing about it) and will be featured in "Magic Patchwork" No 33, whilch will be out in early October. The other was a landscape displayed on the Lady Sew and Sew stand (at about G6), which was just stunning, but they didn't have a pattern.

I did spend a little money, but all my purchases fit easily into my stripy bag, so I can't have been too extravagent.

Pizza has arrived, time to stop.

PS Ferret is listed at the back of the program, after "Z".

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Shopping List for the Festival of Quilts

My stash overfloweth. I have more then enough in the way of material, wool, yarn and just general crafty stuff, to keep me making things for quite some time. I have material in the garage, and yarn in a kid's room. So, in terms of both time-to-complete and storage-capacity, I really don't need to do any random supply buying at the Festival of Quilts.

I do have some ideas of future projects that I'll want to do one day, possibly, maybe. My aim is to only buy material that will be appropriate for any such future plans.

  1. Pansies: I have the urge to do something pansy related, but I don't know what yet.
  2. Pictures: like the cloud material from the Makeower Maritime range, which I used in my Charmed quilt. Making pictures using picture fabric appeals to me.
  3. Astronomical material: for quilts showing star formation and the night sky, and I think I'd like to make some using fabric like this range.
  4. Six inch charm squares that cost less then 20p each: I have a source for them at that price, and I am actually using them up. If I'd got round to showing you my Project Spectrum efforts you could see them too. The project I am doing is not for Project Spectrum, so I'm not restricted colour-wise.
  5. Anything else I really, really like: I do have to allow for complete impulse. After all, you go to this kind of show to find new ideas. Aboriginal inspired prints and things that make me think "bricks" are permitted.
My shopping list does not cover patterns or gadgets, but I tend to be quite restrained over those anyway.

green stripey bagPS I'll be taking my green stripey bag when I go on Friday, so if you see it, please say "Hi". It'll probably be around "Subway" at about 2pm, so be sure to look for it there. Please don't be shy, even if I'm talking to anyone else.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Home again

I haven't posted, for the very simple reason I haven't had access to a computer: we've been on holiday to Ireland. Of course, in Ireland, there are computers, it was just that I didn't use one myself.

Two things stood out for me:- firstly the undertaking lanes on roads. Where the road was wide enough (and on most N roads it was), slower cars and lorries would move to the side so you could overtake.

The second thing was that "family tickets" covered two adults and four children. Most places I go in the UK, a family ticket is for two adults and only two chioldren.

Lastly, I didn't go into any fabric shops, but I did come home with some new yarn and wool. I gathered a small quantity of fleece on our walk in the hills overlooking Bantry Bay. Then in the town below, I bought some Tivoli Space in shades of red and pattern 2920. I also bought some aran tweed, a pure wool made by Kilcarra of Donegal. I got a mix of green and light grey. It was an old-fashioned wool shop, of the type where the shop-keeper expects you to know what you are planning to knit - a child's sweater, a woman's jacket - and then buy the pattern and yarn needed. New style yarn shops are laid out in the expectation that you will choose the yarn first, and then decide what you will make with it.

PS Pluto isn't about to be kicked out of the solar system, even if it is no longer catagorised as a planet.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Post and Run

Lots of things I could blog about, but right now my computer time is limited.

I'm still planning to go to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC on Friday 18th, so if any one wants to meet me there let me know. Well, Ferret and I will meet anyway, but we'd like to see you as well.

I ought to blog about what Project Spectrum stuff I've done recently: I bought a pack of 30 6 inch charm squares, which all had varying amounts of purple. I cut some of them up, ready to sew, on the 31st July, but they are still sitting on the dining room table. I haven't done anything with this month's colours of black, white and neutral.