Friday, 25 September 2009

Friday Treat

My postman was fast today, and slipped this through the letter box without my noticing.  Bella has gone for a long walkies so no barking alerted me to the 'silent post'.  But I seem to have an instinctive knowledge when goodies are imminent...

So I won't tease you anymore, but will open it for you....

Its from contemporarystitches and is a pretty pincushion made from silk and hand embroidered by Karen Ruane.

This is the back....

Altogether far too pretty to stick pins in?  Much better than my old battered pincushion tomato which I have had since I was 9 years old.. This is a closer look at the front

It kind of reminds me that I still have not finished the Mountmellick work I started at the workshop we had last October with Rubina Porter.. I still have it in the frame for heaven's sake. I will have to finish it because I need the frame for the Crewelwork next month. Meanwhile, I am going to place this very pretty piece next door to my beloved Bernina and see what happens....

I have not had a good response to the Irish Chain Quilt competition because no one has answered, so I will shelve the idea of competitions for now, although I must admit I probably should have dangled a suitable carrot before your noses...Never mind, I will try again one day. Meanwhile, have a good weekend.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Virtual Quilt Patch in memory of my Mum Florence Edwards

Today is World Alzheimer's Day and I just wanted to remember my Mum today who suffered from this. I only have a few items of embroidery which were hers and one knitted shawl she made for my daughter when she was a baby. I will never part with it.  I keep it in a plastic bag in the bottom of my chest of drawers. Also I have a linen table cloth which she kept but I don't think she made, so I look after that in the same way.

If you want to know more about Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative then click on the purple patch I created for my Mum. They are trying to raise awareness of this disease, it seems to me that it needs this as many people suffer from it, many husbands, wives, partners and children suffer too because they become carers and all too often they are left to cope on their own. I just want to thank Diane Gaudynski for raising my own awareness of this day through her blog.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

IMPORTANT - Email address change

I have just found out that my old email address for this blog has been stopped and all my emails since about 2 weeks ago have not come through to me. Sorry about this but they want me to pay for what was a free service, so at the moment I am using another one I had as a spare. Let's hope they don't put the bite on me for that one too. If I have any more problems I will notify you. If you have emailed me and not received a reply please accept my apologies. This is nothing to do with Blogger by the way which I can highly recommend or Google, no its an old 'freeby' I have had for a few years now.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Outstanding non Women's Institute Entry - Wren Cup

An article designed and made by the exhibitor was the category I entered my Wainwright Wallhanging into and it came up trumps... So I was presented with this sweet little cup at our AGM on Thursday by Melanie who is Secretary of the Thornthwaite, Braithwaite, and Newlands Home and Garden Show. My name is also in the local papers.... I also gained a First for my Irish Chain Quilt, a Second for my filled Crewelwork cushion and a Second for my 4 Fruit Marmalade. Wow.. But that is not all that won as Melanie came First with her embroidery and Sally came First with her filled cushion. So the ladies of Keswick EG did very well and my congratulations go to all of them who took away a prize. Also we must thank Melanie for encouraging us to put something into the show.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Last of the Summer flowers

I found this piccie which sums up the last of the summer for you. My neighbour gave me these when he went on holiday last month as a thanks for my DH putting out his dustbin. They smelt divine and the kitchen was a scented heaven for about 3 days until they faded.

I came back from Torridon yesterday where the weather was simply magnificent and sublime to a fairly cool Keswick.  I had expected the weather here to have been very warm too and left my new greenhouse door just a titch open to help the autovents in the roof keep the temperature down only to discover a cat had taken advantage of the gap and squeezed through and left hairs all over my couch.  I was not pleased. So today it was do the washing which was 4 loads in the machine (instead of 3 coz of the cat napping) and all the lines full so that I ran out of pegs. I need to buy some more because Bella likes to chew them.......I often find half chewed and spat out clothes pegs on the lawn, silly dog.

It may seem bizarre, but tomorrow at the EG meeting we are supposed to be making Appliqué Christmas Angels.  I am not sure if I will be able to drum up the necessary enthusiasm for the enterprise, but you never know. If I do manage it and the Angels are worthy, I will post some piccies for you.  Meanwhile, I am more intrigued by what happened to my entries to the show last Saturday because I had a phone message left from Sally which amongst other matters congratulated me on winning a cup... But what for? Was it my marmalade, lemon curd or jam? Or could it have been my quilt or my crewel cushion or even my crewel bird embroidery? Hopefully, I will hear exciting. Only one last problem, who polishes the silver cup? Can't you guess.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Irish Chain Quilt- Give it a name Competition

I made this quilt well over a year ago for the single bed in the small spare bedroom and I have not labelled it or taken a photo of it. I know I am naughty but I was keen to make the bedroom look good after decorating it and pretty exhausted by the time the quilt ended up on the bed and it sort of stayed put. So I need to make it a little label. But what should I call it? I don't know and I am not very good at naming quilts either. So I am asking for ideas, if anyone would like to name the quilt please leave all suggestions as comments or email me them if you prefer. When I work out how to do the voting thingy on Blogger I will let you decide on the name and the winner will receive a prize. It will probably be one of my embroideries, but I will need to decide which one and post a piccie of it. I think I will leave this little competition running for a while as I am going away on Wednesday for a week to Scotland, but I think names need to be in by 21st September. So have a go, it's my first attempt at a competition so I hope you participate.
Here is another shot of the quilt using a colour adjustment system in Corel Paint, I am not sure if the maroon squares which show up the Irish chain are quite the right colour.

This next shot is a close up of the quilt and it has a cute stuffed pig in matching fabric.  Bella had a quick play one day (five months old) and one of the ears needs a few stitches putting back....that's terriers for you.

I made this pillow out of an offcut I found in 'Textiles' St John's St, Keswick and it is very classy stuff, only cost me about £1.50. I wish I could have found more as later that month I saw a similar cushion made of the same blue fabric in Young's Furnishers for about £25. It is surprising what you can find for very little cost when you have a good rummage around in store offcuts boxes. Linton Tweed I mentioned the other day is another case in point where you can sometimes pick up enough tweed to make a pencil skirt for about £5.
I made this cushion cover a few years ago as part of my City and Guilds Stage One Embroidery course. It is my first attempt at 'shadow appliqué' and I was into doves at the time. But it has a quilted heart in the middle so it goes with the hearts on the Irish Chain Quilt.

Lastly, there are a couple of Crewelwork cushions I made from kits supplied here. Phillipa is coming to do some more teaching in October, (see the programme list on the right) but places are limited, so you had better hurry up and book if you want to join in.  I had never done this type of embroidery before and found it all very relaxing, just the type of thing to do in those long cold winter months which seem to drag on forever in February.

Well that is my little spare room and I hope you have inspiration to 'name that quilt'. I may not be able to post again until I come back from Scotland, although I must admit I will miss doing so, I am beginning to really enjoy blogging especially about sewing, quilting and embroidery and of course terrible terriers!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Vicky's Boiled Cake Recipe

My friend Vicky was in Booth's yesterday and promised me a recipe, like a good sport she cycled round to the house today and popped it through the letter box.  I am having a day removing wallpaper from the ceiling, so to relieve the monotony (also the pain in the neck) I decided to make the cake as an experiment for you dear readers. 

So may I present the cake:-

This is Vicky's recipe

4oz margarine or butter  ( I used Rachel's organic unsalted)
4oz Soft brown sugar
12 oz Mixed fruit
1 Tblspoon water

Place in a saucepan and bring to the "boil" gently to melt the butter and plump up the fruit.
Remove from the heat and cool slightly, then add:-

2 eggs, lightly beaten
8oz SR flour (I sifted mine)  (plus cinnamon or mixed spices optional)
¼ pint water

Mix well, put into a lined 7 inch cake tin.
Bake Gas 3 for 1½ hours  (I placed mine in my Remoska and baked for 1 hour and 20 minutes.)
She notes that you need to cover with foil for the first 45 minutes then remove it if you have a fast/fan oven.
I covered mine with a tinfoil plate as the Remoska cooks from the top and can burn cakes easily.

You can also prick the cake all over when cool and add spoonfuls of your favourite tipple.
Vicky says she often freezes hers, I don't have a freezer, just a small compartment above the fridge, so I can't try that for you.  However the finished cake looks ok and I shall try it on DH later.......

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Addendum to Bulletin

Since sending the bulletin out I’ve had an email regarding the deadline for getting information into the next issue of Contact. The deadline for entries in the ‘What’s On and Guild Events’ section is the 25th September.

Submissions to remembering to include venue address with postcode, opening times if an exhibition and a contact’s information for further details.

Inclusion is dependent on space available

North West Region Bulletin just in from Kathryn Thompson

NW Region Bulletin September 2009

I hope that everyone has had a good Summer despite the weather and is looking forward to the next EG year.

Information from HC is that the Guild have asked for an extention of the lease until April 2011 which gives the working party that has been set up (all working in a voluntary capacity) time to assess the various potential new accommodation options. No details were forthcoming but apparently not all the sites are in the South of England, they are spread throughout the UK.

Anthea Godfrey, the Guild Chairman is attending and addressing our North West AGM at County Hall Preston on the 17th October – we’ll hope for more information then.

I have written a report on the Branch Officer Training days that we held in June. The report, and an electronic copy of the Branch Constitution will be attached to this Bulletin when it is sent to Branch Chairs – I will post hard copies to those without email. Please take time to read the report, both the days were well received and hopefully the topics we covered will help in the running of the Branches. If you were at one of the days and think that I’ve missed something important, let me know.

Booking information for the AGM has been sent to Branch Secretaries, obviously any member can attend the AGM without payment but we do need to have an idea of numbers. There is then an option to buy a ticket covering just hot drinks and a third option for hot drinks and lunch. Following comments last year, we have ordered the sandwiches to be served on both white and brown bread.

After lunch we are planning a follow on session from the training days with activities for both Branch Officers (and potential ones) and other members.

The NW Region and Altrincham Branch will be at Manchester Central this coming weekend – Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September. Altrincham will be exhibiting a selection of their work and the Region is showing the rainbow squares which certainly make an attractive display. We will be doing our best to promote all our Branches.

I took a selection of the squares to show the organizers at Styal Mill (Quarry Bank) where we are exhibiting on the weekend of 10th /11th October – they were astonished how effective the squares are (and that was only about 5% of them) and they are preparing a lot of publicity for us. It was very encouraging that several members of the public who were visiting the property that afternoon came over to have a closer look and wanted to know what they were all about.

Lyn Szygenda emailed to ask if NW Region can ‘man’ a portion of ‘The World’s Longest Embroidery’ at the Harris Museum, Preston for one day – Saturday 14th November. If anyone can offer an hour or two please let me know.

I have been sent a list of ladies who qualify for their 25 year badges from Bolton Branch but do need to know of any in other Branches who qualify before the AGM.

Lytham St. Annes Branch held a very successful exhibition at the Assembly Rooms in August. It was a very attractive display – not to mention the extremely tempting cakes that were being served!

Lytham St. Annes and Blackpool Branch are making headway with planning for Regional Day 2011 and Manchester Branch is very organized preparing for next year’s event. We still need a Branch, or neighbouring Branches, to come forward to host in 2012. Perhaps it could be an item on your AGM agenda to discuss the possibility?

Kathryn Thompson

NW Region Chair