Monday, March 31, 2014

Yes, I bought a few things...

 Oh, yes - I did manage to spend a bit of money at The Knitting and Stitching Show, but not too much I think... In a show devoted to knitting and stitching I had hoped for more of a selection of special wool for knitting and exciting threads for embroidery and machine quilting, but the selection was more of the garden variety. Having said that, there was plenty of fabric, wool and notions to choose from, though, so I'm not complaining! I found some lovely wool that I just couldn't leave behind. I have no plans for it yet, but I'll find something lovely on Ravelry, no doubt!
 I can't seem to leave good polka dot fabric behind, so a few dotties came home with me along with a special London fabric to remind me of the trip.
 At Fabrics Galore they had a lot of fabric with big patterns printed on home dec weight fabric. I have been searching for this stamp fabric online for a while, so when I came across it I couldn't leave it there, of course. A panel with a map of the world can always be useful...
 ... and a fabric with lots of windows is just perfect for a house-obsessed crafter, right? There are several different windows and they are quite large, so I imagine using these as the center of a design and "building" a house around them. That will be fun, I think!
I got a set of these interchangeable circular knitting needles at half price - there are four cables and eight different sizes of wooden needles, so you should always have the size you need at hand. I have been coveting these a while, but thought they were too expensive. Half price was still pricey, but I made a big saving on new blades for my rotary cutter so I'm pretending that makes up for it, ;-)!

All in all I came away with some nice things that I really can use, instead of hoarding all sort of stuff just because I could. The big stash waiting for me at home played a part, of course - I can't really claim that I NEED anything anymore - first word problems...

The most important thing I brought home with me, though, was lots of inspiration along with lovely memories of good times with old friends, and that's worth it's weight in gold!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Inspiration from The Knitting and Stitching Show

Lest you think it's all trouble and strife here, I had better show evidence of fun times as well ;-) I had a lovely visit to London two weekends ago, and among a flurry of restaurant visits and shopping in Regent Street (Liberty's and Anthropology - need I say more?) we found time to visit the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia as well. Well, actually that was one of the main purposes to the visit to be honest - we have our priorities in order after all...
I'm sorry I wasn't a very good photographer and failed to note the names of the artists, and the pics from my phone don't do them all enough justice, I suppose, but at least I can share a few glimpses of the inspiration I found. If anybody knows who has made any of these, or if you see yours and don't want it shared here, please let me know and I'll edit the post accordingly.
 This black and white quilt was quite a dizzying experience (the figure seemed to be stenciled on) but really intriguing to look at, I think.
 This cheerful quilt made my friend and me both exclaim "I want to make an orange quilt"! I really should use more orange and yellow in my works, they are such lovely sunshiney colours, don't you think?
 This one with lovely curved seams was really densely quilted. That kind of thing seems to draw me in more and more - there will be more quilting in some of my future quilts, I think.
This one gives me inspiration on putting together different experimental blocks into a quilt - yes, I'll definitely file this away for future reference.
 Maybe my pile of printed fabric pieces from a workshop years ago could be made into a quilt as well, and of course, the edges don't have to be even either! (The sides on this one are straight - it's the photo that is crooked!)
 A lot of the quilts were long and narrow. I didn't see any information - maybe they are from a challenge or competition? A lot of them seemed to be in sea/sand/sky colourways and lots of different techniques were used.

This was my favorite, and the only one where I got a picture of the details, so I can tell you that it is made by Ann Louise Williams and is called "New Horizons". She writes: "My quilt is a first for me. To work on such a large piece and for an exhibition, expanded my own horizons. Using photos of Whitby as my design source I began to sketch.
I lamnated torn coloured tissue onto scrim with pva and wallpaper paste, dyed and printed over the whole before stitching onto felt, adding a cotton backing, and quilting through all layers."
I loved all the detail in it, the group of houses you had to step up close to see, the boat and of course the colours.

This one had some amazing detail on the statue and the building - very nice work! And I love the perspective giving the feeling of a tall magnificent building towering over you.

The exhibition wasn't very big, but as you can see, there were some really interesting quilts there. I did manage to get a bit of shopping done as well. More about that tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Progress report

 Shelves have arrived,
 Lamps ditto
New curtains and the studio is being sorted out - yes, the sewing machine is in place and there is evidence of sewing going on...
I am getting ever closer to making this new flat into a home and might get my act together and get some sewing done soon. Look for more reports in the coming days - I WILL get back into the quilting and blogging groove, I really will!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Getting there

I unpacked the last box yesterday! Yay! Moving has been a lot of hard work, and a lot of stress with decisions to make, furniture to buy and assemble and an old flat to get ready for sale. I finally sold it on Wednesday, so that's another load off my mind. Now I feel I can concentrate on decorating my new home (once I get rid of the pile of flattened boxes...) The picture above is a bit blurred - snapped with my phone in afternoon light - but you get an impression of what I have to deal with in what will be my sewing room/ studio. I have ordered some metal shelving units from Ikea and once they arrive (sometime next week, they've promised...) I will get around to sorting things out and get my sewing machine out of hiding. I spent some happy hours there yesterday sorting through things and rediscovering all my treasures. Inspiration is building up and I can't wait to get back to sewing!

Monday, January 13, 2014

What I did in 2013

New year is usually the time for taking stock. What did we do last year, and what do we hope to do this year? Looking back through my IG feed (I'm still not quite back on track sorting photos on my computer) 2013 seems to have been the year of pouches and purses, and there were quite a few - 20 in fact! No wonder I didn't get around to finishing all those quilts... I did finish 8 UFOs, though, and I started 23 new projects. At the beginning of 2014 I have 7 quilts in the works. A couple of them are oldies that haven't been worked on for years, but some are definitely works in progress. The last quarter of 2013 was spent packing, moving and unpacking - I haven't sewn a single stitch since October in fact, and I have really no idea where my thread and needles are!

The good news is that I have finally finished unpacking the kitchen and living room so I'm ready to unpack the boxes in the sewing room, so I expect I'll locate the essentials and get reacquainted with my sewing machine later this week.
I don't really do new year resolutions, so I'll just make one: I promise to have fun sewing in 2014!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Back on track

This, or variations of this, has been my view for quite some weeks now. I bought a new flat in the end of October, got packing, moved at the end of November and started unpacking, trying to have everything ready by Christmas. Phew, what a job! I had invited my family for Christmas dinner, so I just had to keep at it. Friends and family were only too happy to help, so that made the job much easier, but I kid you not: this was hard work. I have been quite irritated (putting it mildly) by my internet provider not being able to get the new connection sorted until now, and I'm terribly behind in keeping up with blogland, but at least it hasn't distracted me from the job at hand!
Despite good weather forecast, the actual moving day was the most gray and drizzly day you could think of, and the last look at my famous view was anything but cheerful. Boy, was I glad I didn't have to do the actual moving myself.
Luckily the first snow didn't arrive until a few days later and I had a chance to enjoy my new view on a peaceful Sunday afternoon. Lovely, isn't it? What the photo doesn't tell you is that the road you can see there is the main road into town, so there is the constant sound of traffic, but you get used to it.
And this more than weighs up for it - yes, I finally get a sewing room, or shal we be so bold that we call it a studio? I daresay I'll be pursuing other crafts in there as well, so why not. The room has been painted aqua and is for now full of boxes, but I'm getting there - this has been my "carrot on a stick" while working on the rest of the place - as soon as the rest is in order, I'll get this room sorted. I can't wait!
Now I didn't get all my boxes unpacked before Christmas, but the living room and kitchen were tidy enough and there was plenty of room for my Christmas tree. We had a lovely family Christmas and my shoulders and arms got a well deserved rest for a week or so.
I didn't let the remaining boxes bug me either - as you can see from the picture below, I piled them all in a corner and covered them with Christmas quilts! Interesting decorating feature, wouldn't you say?
I even managed  to get a bit of baking done, some holiday brownies with ginger and cinnamon. With ice cream and fruit that was quite enough really. I can get back to "proper" holiday baking next time around.
Before I started packing I sorted out a pattern and a quilt kit for myself to have something to get me started. I know it's in one of those boxes and I have finally come to the stage where I can start sorting out the studio and get back to sewing again. Back to work!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Things going on...

 Life is pretty busy lately, but I managed to get a bit of sewing done last weekend - I used some scraps and made a medium sized open wide pouch. I had plans for a couple more (you might spot the scraps in the background), but it didn't happen.
It is a bright and colourful pouch, but I must admit I liked the smaller size better, so the next couple will be smaller. Nice Christmas presents anyway.
I have also cut fabric for another quilt.
Which will look something like this. All very well, the plans are there, but the fact is there will be very little sewing during the next couple of weeks. I packed my sewing machine away today. In fact, I have packed a lot of things away already and more will follow...

... because, after two years of searching, I'm happy to announce that I have bought a new flat and will be moving in less than a fortnight! Panic! I have lots and lots of stuff to pack! Will I manage in time? Panic some more! It will be all right in the end, I'm sure, but the sewing projects will have to wait as I pack, move and unpack, and paint my sewing room. Yes! I will be getting a sewing room - or shall we call it a studio? I can hardly wait!