Sunday, 26 August 2012

So far so good....

This is how far I got with the little art wall hanging yesterday and I am really pleased with the progress so far. I have even began to quilt parts of it.  I still need lots of practise at free motion quilting my stitches are very hit and miss.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Hand dyed fabric, Imagination and Create.....

You may remember the fabric I dyed not so long ago following a tutorial by Laura Kemshall, well it has sat in a drawer ever since just waiting to be used. The trouble was, what was I going to use it for? Over the last few days I have been in penguin mode in and out of my sewing room wanting to create something but lacking imagination. Then to day I pulled out my hand dyed fabric and opened each piece and study them for a few minutes. Then I began to visualize and image on one of the pieces of fabric. It reminded me of a kind of opening in a forest. I knew I had an image that would be perfect and so my creation began. First I sketched the design on to A3 paper as the image I have is very small, then I started to choice the fabrics that I was going to us to appliqué my image on to my hand dyed background.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Doodle bug......

A little while ago my friend Janet set us Liverbirds a challenge, to decorate a John Lewis canvas bag, which she kindly supplied. This bag has been sitting in my sewing room for weeks and I have been stumped as to what to do with it. I have just returned from the Festival of Quilts and whilst there I discovered a stall that sold fabric pens and books, all about doodling. The lady on the stall was using a Micron pen on paper and I was shocked because they are fabric pens but she said they worked far better on paper than they did on fabric. She recommended another fabric pen that had a roller ball nib that was better suited to writing and doodling on fabric. I bought one of these pens and today I doodled all over the challenge bag. I did what ever took my fancy. The pen was everything the lady said, smooth, easy to use and I had almost finished when sadly it ran out. I have to confess that the hare on the front of the bag is not my design I tried to copy Johanna Basfords hare, not very successfully I may add.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Blue Lagoon

I have almost finished the Blue Lagoon quilt I started a few weeks ago.  I just need to add the white boarders but I think that can wait because I have some small projects I want to get on with.  This quilt was a stash buster quilt but it didn't even make a dent in my fabric stash! Ooops :) I have decided that from now on I am only going to buy, cream on cream or white on white, tones of fabric as I never seam to have enough of either of these colours. Tomorrow I am off to the Festival of Quilts and I am soooo looking forward to it. Lots of fabulous quilts, amazing traders and great company oh I am such a lucky lady. :)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Its official...

Congratulations! Your place at University of Central Lancashire (C30) to study Textiles (WWF7) has been confirmed.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Where do the years go?

My little man will be three in October. Here he is with his Mum and Dad at a wedding last weekend. He was so adorable in his navy blue suit but he was a holy terror and refused to get his picture took. I had to use sneaky tactics to get these photos. Its not just about Cole growing up on Saturday 11th August my Auntie Mary and Uncle Billy celebrated 39 years of marriage and I was one of their 3 bridesmaids. I was five and my biggest memory of that day was Mary and I went to the hair dresses in James Holt and we both had our hair done. It was obviously a big treat for me I felt really special because their other bridesmaid Gillian (Uncle Billy's niece) who was 4 and had to sleep with her hair in rags all night. You can not see from the only photo I have but my hair was long, half up and half down in lovely ringlets. Obviously bonnets must have been the fashion in 1973 and my dress was white with pale blue flowers.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Bath Abbey.

The Life of Christ in thirty five panels by Sue Symons 2007.

The year 43 the Romans invaded Britain, in c60 they begin to develop bath as a spa and as a centre of Pagan worship around Baths hot springs. It would appear that ever since some form of place of worship has resided on the site that Bath Abbey now stands. I adore places of worship I always find them fascinating, the architecture, the history and they are always very peaceful and relaxing places to visit. Bath Abbey was beautiful and when we went inside I discovered there was an exhibition on by an artist called Sue Symons. In 2005 Sue began work on her first book, one man's journey to heaven and it is this that is on display at the Abbey. The original art work, known as Bath Abbey Diptychs relates the life of Christ from Annunciation to Ascension. In 2007 the Abbey purchased the complete works and it was on display when Paige and I visited the Abbey. It is amazing one panel consist of a illuminated paper manuscript whilst opposite is a textile    piece. It truly is amazing to see, such detail that has gone in to each piece I was in awe.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Old Curiosity Shop

The Museum of Bath at work was extremely interesting. It told the story of 2000 years of the City of Bath at work. One floor was completely dedicated to the Victorian entrepreneur J B Bowler who ran an engineering works and a mineral water factory. When the firm closed in 1969  Bath council decided to demolish the building and the premises were cleared of all the movable objects, almost one million of then.  One thousand photographs where taken of the original business and then used to reconstruct the interiors of the firm in the museum. Over 10,000 bottles were saved and a collection of half a million documents were also saved. It appears that J B Bowler threw nothing away. There are even letters that are unopened that date back to the turn of the 20th century. It really is like stepping back in time to an old curiosity shop in the Victorian area.

Friday, 10 August 2012

American Museum

We spent a lovely day at the American Museum it was to be the highlight of the trip for me, lots of beautiful quilts. You can image my dismay when the batteries of my camera ran out and I realised i'd left the new pack in the travel lodge. These are the only pictures I managed to take and there not the best as you where not allowed to have the flash on. I enjoyed the visit and all the lovely quilts on display. They where a true testament to the woman who made them and they where works of arts in their own right.  Whilst there I met a lovely woman named Jill who was with her husband and granddaughter. Yes you guessed it Jill is a quilter we chatted away endlessly over the box of fat quarters in the gift shop. Jill was from Wales but sadly I can not for the life of me remember where about in Wales she said she was from. On the bus journey back into Bath, I thought how quilting still brings woman together and whenever you go to a exhibition or an event that involves even the slightest mention of quilts, you always meet lovely people. So not only did I get to see great quilts made almost 300 years ago I met another lovely quilter.

Oh Mr Darcy.........

Jane Austen Centre

Women's dress during the regency period was inspired by Neo-Classical style.

Captain Francis Austen. Under dress Naval Uniform 1805. 

Our next port of call was the Jane Austen centre and boy where we in for a treat. I am a big fan of Jane Austen I love all her books and I think I have seen every single adaptation of her novels on the box. Like most, my favourite is Pride and Prejudiced, even more with Colin Firth  playing Mr Darcy. The centre is situated at 40 Gay Street but it is believed that Jane resided in 25 Gay Street for a few months following her fathers death, with her mother and sister Cassandra. Apparently the six years she lived in Bath was not a happy time for Jane and during this time her writing seemed to stop. However, Jane's first  recorded visit to Bath is in 1797 staying with her Aunt Leigh-Perrot.  Her experiences during this time resulted in the novel "Northanger Abbey" which was originally titled "Susan" (and what was wrong with Susan for the title I ask?). After a fascinating talk and tour of the centre, Paige and I took the weight of our feet but gained more weight by eating the most amazing Lady Catherine cream tea, delicious!!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Get the Victorian look.

The Fashion Museum.

Dame Helen Miren as Queen Margaret  in Henry VI  1977 Royal Shakespeare Company.

 Dame Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth 1 2005.

Juliet Aubrey as Elizabeth Bowes Lyons in Bertie and Elizabeth 2002. Wedding dress.

Lady Paige in her Victorian undies.
Paige and I crammed in as much as we possibly could in the four days we where in bath. We visited the Fashion Museum and thoroughly enjoyed it but sadly we where only allowed to take photographs of the current exhibition and not in any other parts of the museum. The current exhibition was Jubilee: Dressing the Monarchy on stage and screen and it was really good. Here are just a few pics of the many costumes on display. We had a good laugh in the dressing up room. I couldn't possibly show the two photographs Paige took of me trying on a very Jane Austin bonnet, there positively frightening.  However, Paige looks fab in her Victorian corset and underskirt. You would not believe how heavy the underskirt was and how tight they wore their corsets. When you see how dainty these woman where they look like tiny little dolls. Totally fascinating, I love history.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Bath Abbey

The Circus

The Royal Crescent

The water of life
I have just been on an amazing trip to the beautiful city of Bath. Some of you may or may not know that I won a travel Scholarship at the end of my foundation course and I chose to go to Bath for a few days.  I took my niece Paige with me and we had a great time.  There is so much to see and do and we covered quite a lot during our four day stay.  I took lots of photos and today I thought I would share just a few of them.