Saturday, 28 August 2010

Tomatoes anyone?

I have grown so many of these in my new Hartley Botanic Greenhouse that we are eating them for almost every meal! Yes and I have given my neighbours some too. I was given the seeds for the small yellow ones by one of my brother's for Christmas and they have been extremely prolific. Suffice it to say that we are making loads of salads and tomato soup and today DH made minestrone for lunch.

This next shot is the greenhouse table groaning with them sigh..... There are loads more on the plants.

I also received some cucumber seeds from the same brother and these have been very good  because they only grow small ones. They do go well with the tomatoes ahem...

I also have many of these too.
But DH does not like them so much....blast.......

And this next shot is the leeks which will keep until the winter he says...........

I have no idea why all of my seedlings have not been eaten by the voracious slugs and snails which are so happy to live in my garden. Or why the constant downpour of rain which has been our summer allocation in the Lake District has not put a stop to all attempts by the plants to raise their heads above the mud. Such is life and next year I must remember that with only two of us here it might be better if I own a freezer......Infact, I have been longing for one since the toms started turning red. If Karen is reading this I know she will smile....

Monday, 23 August 2010

Time to try these out

I bought these in my local gardening shop in May along with a heavy duty pair for the actual garden, these looked just right for quilting.  So it was about time I gave them a whirl... and do you know they are just right; they fit like a glove ...... sorry ha ha and they really do grip the fabric. I know you can buy pairs that are sold for quilting at much more than I paid for these which was about £2. I love the cute colour too.

I have finally managed to start on one of my quilt tops and I am using Mathilda's wadding which is great but fairly bulky to put through the machine, so I also taped some duck tape to the knobs on the Bernina 1260 because sometimes the quilts are so big they catch the knobs and turn them as I am manipulating the quilt. So I have improved that grey area too...hmmm.  I also taped some slidy plastic over the Horn cabinet plexiplastic once it was in position and I made a small hole for the needle to pass through, I had read up on a 'silicone slider' which was quite expensive and also I have no idea where you buy it in the UK, so I thought I would improvise.  It works too and the quilt slides through a lot smoother. This next photo shows the quilt stuffed into the machine. I work by a large window but it's raining today and very dark so I have one small light on the window sill behind the large one you can see which is also a magnifier. So I am buzzing along and it's going well. No, this is not a show quilt or anything like that, I am simply making a warmer one for the bed and wanted to try out the Mathilda's wool for that reason.

I am using the new thread I bought recently at the Quilt Museum in York.  I could not find Aurifil 50 but did find some Aurifil MAKO NE 40/2 and it seems fine. The lighter multi coloured pink one is for the bobbin and the orangey multi one is for the top of the quilt. I adjusted the tension for quite a long time as I did want the back of the quilt to look good. I am trying to make sure that each time I quilt I improve so I  tried each setting out before I started. Luckily because I use the Bernina 1260 for my machine embroidery I have two bobbin cases, a normal one and one for adjusting with the little screw. So I played with this one until I had the tension just so. Then I loosened off the top tension to 3.5 and that seems to be that. I am using a Schmetz quilting needle no 75/11 and it seems fine too. I did try a titanium coated Organ  no 11 at first but it was not as good. I will post some more when it progresses.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Period Costume

I love period costumes and have had a lot of fun over the years producing various efforts for the Kendal Torchlight Procession and other opportunities which came my way including making some costumes when I was at university so I was pleased to find a blog which has period costumes as its theme. Here it is I hope you enjoy it.

Meanwhile the dress in the photo is one I made whilst taking my post grad teaching certificate in Lancaster and its a replica of a dress from 1827 in grey taffeta. I was in my garden amongst the foxgloves and had just recovered from a serious operation so I had made the dress to help with my recovery. It took me a week of very intensive sewing to complete. I still have the dress and have been known to wear it to the odd party where I pretend to be Jane Austen!

The original dress is in The Wade Collection at Snowshill Manor near Broadway, Gloucestershire and is owned by the National Trust

I wish I could see it but I have never had the chance to go there so all my research was based on a Janet Arnold book called Patterns of Fashion volume 2. It is made from lighter grey silk tafetta than the copy and has oversleeves in pale rose gauze also it has eleven triangular shapes at the bottom of the hem where my copy has only seven and they are larger. Somehow I could not bring myself to completely copy the original so I changed it ever so slightly. The dress would have come to just above the ankle in those days and also had a padded hem, it should have been worn with neat pumps with cross over satin ties.