Saturday, 22 November 2014

Book Review- Harris Tweed Appliqué

I know that, like me, most of you will be forever getting e-mails trying to get you to 
advertise or give away things on your blog and probably, again like me, you delete the e-mails
with out giving them a second glance.
Having said that just occasionally I do give one of them a second glance and thats
what I did with the one from Vivebooks.

The book they were asking me to review sparked my interest and  so I agreed.

I haven't done a lot of appliqué and, as Harris Tweed is fashionable at the moment
I thought I would give it a go.

The book is an e-book and is available either as a download or CD Rom for £17.00 from Vivebooks.
I will leave you to make your own decision on the price but this company
tends to publish specialised non-fiction titles  
which probably wouldn't get into print with main stream publishers.

E-books are totally new to me as I'm a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to my craft books ( of which I have quite a few) and usually prefer my 
books made of paper so I can browse when I want but I have to say 
I have been pleasantly surprised
at how easy this format has been to use . 
I  sat at my work table with my laptop open to the side and 
could keep checking what I was doing.

On the up side for me
The book takes you from start to finish with information on the fabric 
 and tools needed for the projects.
It also has tutorial videos embedded as well as links to additional videos on You Tube.
The writer is an experienced tutor in textiles  who is passionate about tweed
and this shows in both the videos and 
the instructions in the books. It has plenty of photos with some beautiful ones of the isle of Harris and all the templates are at the back ready to be printed off.

On the down side I found some of the projects and motifs uninspiring.
I also thought there were too many cushions included while a really nice little bag
which is pictured at the rear of the book I would liked to have seen included.

I decided to try a couple of samples with the tweed fabrics I already had in my stash as Harris Tweed can be a little expensive just for trail purposes.

Some of them  worked and look OK while others frayed too much and had to go in the bin.
Harris Tweed apparently doesn't fray so much 
so to do a full sized project I have bought some pieces of Harris Tweed from Etsy
in some fabulous colours. 
Watch this space.

I haven't been paid to write this review, I have done it for a bit of fun
although I did receive a free copy of the book.


Friday, 14 November 2014

Project Linus and Country Living

I have had a wonderful week with a bit of Mother /Daughter time
and spending a couple of days with some wonderful quilters
doing what we love best.

Until recently I had never heard of Project Linus and
for those of you who are also unaware of this organisation here is a short introduction.
It was originally started
in the US in 1995 to make and donate 'security blankets' to 
children with cancer in a local hospital.
It was named Linus after the peanuts character created by Charles Shultz
who gave his permission to use the name in such a good cause.
It was started up in the UK in 2000 and well over 211,000
quilts have been handed out so far. 
The Norfolk branch  will give quilts to  any child 
who is going through a really tough time whether it be 
in Hospital,  foster care, bereavement and premature baby units.
Hundreds of quilts a year.
Sew Creative at Wroxham barns where I go for my quilting group
decided to hold 4 days this week to coincide with Children in need
and create as many quilts as we could.

The fabric was manly given by the shop with 
some of the quilters bringing in their scraps which 
would be suitable to use on children's quilts.
There was about 10/12 ladies there everyday
and we had a little system going on with
a couple of ladies cutting fabrics into blocks
which the next lot stitch into strips ( the strippers)

It was then added to backing and wadding by
a quilt as you go method.

Some for boys and some for girls.

They need various sizes from 20 inch quilts
for the premature babies up to single bed size for teenagers.

With one day to go, when I left today 
they had nearly 25 quilts made
including these pretty little ones all made by one lady.

This was the first one completed.
If you want to find out more then have a look at the
UK website here .

The day in between my quilting days was spent in London
with my little one, her boyfriends Mum and her daughter.
A real girly bonding day and it was great fun.

Sorry if the photos are up to much but I had tried a couple of the
liquors in the food hall by the time I took these. lol

We all caught the train from Norwich and made our way
to the London Business design centre at the Angel Islington
where Country Living Magazine where holding their 
Christmas Fair.

There were a lot of people there as expected with 
stall sover 3 floors.  There appeared to be a lot selling cashmere and scarfs
but also a nice selection of crafts, vintage and christmas decorations.

I did managed to buy a couple of Christmas presents
and got a few ideas for others as well as 
ideas for things to do around the house.

I loved this horse not sure how I would have coped
on the tube with it though.

These boxes were another favourite.

Santa greeted you as you entered on a stall
chock a block with dried fruit and flowers.

Then a nice  italian meal for heading back to Liverpool Street
for our train home.

So a busy but very enjoyable week 
but I am looking forward to a fairly quite weekend.

Hope you all have a good weekend and 
speak again soon.


Monday, 10 November 2014

At Last I'm Back.


At last, I am up and running again.
 I won't go into details but I have a new computer and
have a faster (supposedly!) fibre optic broadband so I should now be super efficient.
Nice idea but don't hold your breath will you.

So many things have happened since I last spoke to you 
that this post would turn into a novel
if I went through them all now.

So here are just a few of the highlights.

A trip to the American Museum at Claverton ,Bath
to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition 

and have a 2 day workshop with the wonderful
Janet Bolton.  She is one of the nicest ladies
I have ever met and the workshop was a real dream,
So relaxed and was part of the Bath Summer School
programme of events.
I would love to show you
some of the photos I took of the workshop
 but a couple of the ladies
there weren't happy about being put on the internet
so instead just a couple of photos from the exhibition.

Including the sample wall which I think is a fabulous idea.
Kaffe knows that the first thing any needle person wants to do
is grab hold of the fabric so he had a collection of samples so 
you could have a good old nose at the back.
Makes you feel a to happier about your own work I can tell you.

Of course there has been
Plenty of time at Cromer watching the sunset and spending time with 
my children at the Surf life saving club.

We have had some wonderful sunsets this year.

Short breaks with my Brother in Bradford on Avon, 

My Son on the Gower peninsular in South Wales

and of course the fantastic poppies at the Tower.

I have bought one of these to remember my Great Uncle
Herbert and Guy's Great Grandfather both of whom 
where killed in the Great War (WW1).

We both found the experience very moving and were so very glad we 
made the trip down from Norfolk.

So with a week in Somerset and a holiday in Madeira 
and Rugby at Twickenham  last weekend
that about brings you up to date with my many and varied
 travels while I've had my time away from blogging.

Next time I will try show you some of the projects I have managed 
to complete over the last couple of months although I also am going on a trip 
to the country living fair with my daughter  this week so might tell you about that instead.

We really need a nice cup of tea and a good old natter don't we.
Hope you are all well and 
see you again soon.

It's good to be back.