Sunday, February 24, 2008

Flog it on Monday

A few months ago I participated in the BBC program Flog It! I just got word that it will be aired on Monday at 1545 on BBC 2. I am a bit nervous to say the least. More nervous than when we filmed...isn't that odd?! (Flog It is a bit like Antique Roadshow - they appraise an item but differs by bringing the item to auction. In my case it was a circa 1880 quilt that I have had for years.)

I haven't gotten as much sewing done the past few days as I would like. We have a house inspection on Tuesday. I hate these! The estate agent comes by every 3 months to do a walk through and even though we have "passed" them all and they say not to worry about them....well, I do. I spend hours wiping down baseboards behind the furniture, searching out cobwebs and battling lime-scale. I used to worry about my quilting room but now that they have seen it (and the agent's sister is a quilter) that at least is one room I don't go crazy over. One of the things I will look forward to when I move back to the states is not renting and being in my own home again!

Since I haven't done much in the sewing room I posted a photo of a silk tie quilt brought into a quilt documentation day a couple of years ago. The woman who made it (around 1900) ran a boarding house and it is thought that the silks may have been salesman samples. She also made one with a wide range of wools in a similar brick pattern. I had a cousin who worked for a major fabric manufacturer who used to send me and my sisters boxes of sample fabric. If they were large enough to make something out of my sisters generally got them (I am the youngest) but I did have a very well dressed Barbie doll!
Since I am in the file of photos from the documentation day...this is another style quilt we saw a lot ring. I really like how this one was done. Not too pastelly (is that a word?) and the four patches are perfect. The pieces making up the arches are tiny. This is one pattern that I have never made. I've gone as far as pulling fabrics and making the templates but then I bought one at an antique fair! Maybe someday....

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bonnie's House block

I made a house block for Bonnie using the pattern on here web site. I didn't square it up just in case... This was a really fun block to make. This may be a possibility for the box of 2 inch strips!

I also cut some Ugly fabric for her. Believe it or not this fabric looks better in the photo than it does in real life! "What were you thinking?" you ask. It was on the internet and was really inexpensive and as I said it looked OK on the internet and is a good name. I thought I would use it for a backing but now I am of the mind to cut it into really small pieces and see if I like it better. (very small chance of that!!!)

I am starting to feel a bit better. Seems my MS medicine and my cold medicine wasn't very compatible. Hopefully the pharmacist has me on the right track now.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

At the Hunt

This morning went to Fairford to do something very British - we saw Hunters on horseback. They were not actually hunting - it was a scented course. (Hunting fox is now outlawed in England.) I was really impressed by the horses and the hounds I saw - Beautiful! The photo above shows the horses and hounds coming into the park next to the Fairford Church (the tower in the background.)

The hunters stop here and are given a drink and some snacks by a local club. It also gives the hounds a chance to rest...though most of them seemed more interested in checking out the crowd and playing with the other dogs! I was really impressed with how nice the riders were about explaining what the hunt was about, talking about their mounts and the hounds. The hunt goes on all morning and covers about 20 miles. There were lots of young girls on ponies that seemed to be keeping up with the group well!
It was very cold out but it felt nice to be outside and in the sun for a bit. I am still struggling with the flu but I was feeling so housebound that we went to the hunt anyways! Afterwards we went over to the church. It has the only complete set of medieval stained glass windows in England. During the war the windows were removed and put into storage.
I had visited once before but you really need to have some sun to appreciate the windows and the beautiful carvings around the ceiling. Today was perfect for it.
So much for sightseeing. I went into a sneezing fit and fainted. Looks like it is back to bed for a few days!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

almost a top!

I haven't been able to do too much sewing the past week. The cold I had the end of January came back with a vengeance...I've been popping antibiotics and sucking down cough medicine with codeine in hopes of someday breathing through my nose and sleeping through the night again someday...

I did however get my bargello strips together for my Vale of Evesham Quilt. (Picture this - sew one strip then sleep for 20 minutes on the the strip then sleep for 10 minutes on the I lead an exciting life or what!!!) As you can see in the top photo, Goldie has laid claim to this does match her nicely. Cats always seem to know what they look good on!
The top is pretty large already but I think I may add a border. (This quilt reminds me of the chains we made at camp by folding gum wrappers!) I have a black-ish batik but I am concerned that may make it too dark. The quilt is already so busy that I don't think I could piece a border. I am determined not to buy fabric for this so I may have to get creative. Not exactly how I feel right now....

Some of my time on the couch has been spent flipping through magazines, ripping, filing and tossing. Knowing I am moving again in the autumn gives me a lot of incentive to be ruthless. There are a few magazine that have made several moves though and remain untouched. These include: every Christmas issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion; the past 6 years of Country Living's Halloween Issue; the Bon Appetite Ireland and Italy edition; several months of Country Living (some of which are -5 years old) that I go back to over and over again(one has a kitchen that I dream about!); and then a binder full of the McCall's Vintage quilt magazine. After the last move I just accepted that I would have some magazines "forever" and bought a couple of the magazine holder/binders so they can sit in the bookcase (save from DH's cleaning efforts!)

I promised a group of Americans that I would take them to an auction and just my luck it is today. Here's hoping the auctioneer doesn't take my sneezing for bids!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Signs of spring...maybe

Today it was so nice out that I took some time out from sewing to go hill-walking with some friends. The fields are starting to turn green. There were lots of snowdrops still and some daffodils were starting to come up in areas protected from the wind. It gives you hope that spring isn't too far away. I particularly liked all the sheep we strolled past. Not too long before the hills are covered with lambs! The walk was about 5 miles and took us through the village of Dumbleton where this impressive manor is located. Afterwards we all had a pub lunch. Afterwards I came home took a shower and slept for 3 hours! I am so out of shape!

So now I am set to finish the last strip on my Bargello! I'm hoping to have the top done in the morning. Photos soon!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Superbowl challenge

I hate to admit it but my super bowl challenge quilt became more of a super tuesday project...

When Bonnie said she was going to work on a scrappy bargello as her super bowl project and challenged others to do the same I jumped right in! Without thinking of course...first, the super bowl is on in the middle of the night here and second, New England was playing so most of Monday morning would taken up with my husband watching a tape of an already finished game....

I may have done Ok if I stuck with my original plan. (I hear internet chuckles at this point...) I had cut a basket of 2-1/2 inch strips when I cut the pieces for the Carolina Crossroads. When I raised my hand (digitally speaking) for the challenge I thought I was halfway there. Way too this point I was getting tired of pastels, 1930', and anything too cute.

So in the early hours of Sunday morning/Saturday evening I ransacked the batik cabinet. Some of these I have had longer than my husband! A lot longer! Anyway, I started cutting. It takes a long time to cut enough batik strips for the quilt. At this point I have worn out a rotary cutting blade, a sewing machine needle and my right arm.
So as of this morning I had three of the six long pieces done and the strips for the other three pieces sewn together but not cut and re-sewn (a process that fascinates my husband..."you're cutting stuff you've already sewn" he said with a really worried look on his face. Like I was so engrossed in the early returns from the voting that I wouldn't notice the yards of fabric I am struggling to keep on the cutting table! I may be spacey but please!)

Anyway, it will be done soon. I am amazed at how much fabric it has used...almost an entire shelf. I think this is destined for one of the nephews...though it is starting to grow on me. I am naming it Vale of Evesham because the colors remind me of driving around the orchards in that area last fall. The bits of black and white batik are for the black and white Tudor cottages there.