Sunday, 21 July 2013

12 x 12

My local quilting shop, Midsomer Quilting, has this weekend held an exhibition of an international group of quilt artists, the 12 x 12 exhibition. Each of the twelve artists has produced a 12" x 12" art quilt each month over twelve months. The theme this year was Colourplay. Each artist chose a colour or colour idea, one for each month. There were a mixture of quilts from very simple, to complex and obviously time consuming, from literal to abstract, with a range of different quilting styles. It was a similar exhibition two years ago that inspired Midsomer Quilting to hold their own challenge. The first was on a theme of Fruit, last year the theme was Books and this year the theme is to be Film. I haven't come up with my own idea for this year yet.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This free photo slideshow created with Smilebox

Blocks 22, 23 and 24 and the other ones

I'm not too sure what number I've got up to with the alternative colour way blocks, but I'm making them three at a time.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Yeo Valley

Our WI (Women's Institute) group had its summer outing last week. We went to Yeo Valley, a local organic farm and dairy. It was baking hot and there were a number of older members present, but the staff couldn't have been nicer and more considerate. The farm is family owned and run and makes milk, yoghurt, butter, cream, and fruit compotes. It is occasionally open to the public and has a beautiful tea room where you can have coffee, tea or lunch.

We arrived at about 10.15 and sat on their terrace having coffee.

The view from the terrace was stunning, English countryside at its best.

We were then given a tour of the gardens. They farm and garden organically, which is quite labour intensive and means regular inspections from the Soil Association. 

They have lots of wonderful sculptures dotted around the gardens.

We then went back to the tea room for a cookery demonstration. We were shown how to make butter in the food processor, basil ice cream, soda bread and trout gravadlax. The trout came from Blagdon Lake which you can just see through the gate in the photograph above.

Then it was time for lunch. There was spinach and ricotta cannelloni, or a frittata for those of us who cannot eat wheat, with soda bread (or GF bread), a green salad and a tomato salad. For dessert there was the basil ice cream, which was surprisingly delicious, with local strawberries and shortbread. They also kept us plentifully supplied with water throughout the day.

After lunch we had a talk from one of the gardeners about making compost. It doesn't sound all that fun but was surprisingly interesting. They make it in bulk of course, but I got some tips for making it at home.

Then there was more tea and cake for those who still had the room. I bought a copy of their newly published cookery book and also a 'goody bag', which turned out to be a cool bag filled with their Yeo Valley produce.

And finally, even their loos were beautifully done, with some amusing pictures and decor.

This was the sign on the door of the ladies' toilet.

These newspaper cuttings were on the ceilings.

This cartoon was on the wall by the sinks.

We had a wonderful day, and weren't we lucky that the weather was on our side for once.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Zakka bib

This is the next project for the Patchwork Please sew along, a bib. Cute?

City Sampler Blocks 19, 20 and 21 and blocks 4, 5 and 6

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A few finishes

I've been making several small articles over the last week or so. This divided basket pattern comes from Noodlehead. It's not a very glamorous use, but very useful none the less. I didn't bother with the handles or pocket for this one. I used Soft and Stable instead of ordinary wadding and it's worked really well. I'll certainly make this again, and probably tart it up a little next time.

This dinky little hat came from Patchwork Please and is going to a toddler who is about to have a baby sister.

I made loads of these little circular pouches for Christmas presents and my younger son has requested another one for his boss. I use mine to keep my earbuds in. The pattern can be found here if you want to make one.

And just because it's a cute picture, here are Ruby and Boris in the boot of the car when we were going out for a walk last Friday.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Fruit cage

Having taken the trouble to nurture my fruit bushes  and keep the ground weed free, I'd really like to enjoy the fruit. Sadly, over the last few years the birds have beaten me to it, so I ordered a fruit cage to protect them (the bushes that it, not the birds). This weekend Number Two Son and his partner were visiting, so the task of erecting the cage fell to them. They did a wonderful job and got it finished apart from the door, which they couldn't do as some of the parts were missing.

Fingers crossed now for some fruit.

City Sampler Blocks 16, 17 and 18 plus 1, 2 and 3

These are last week's blocks.

I've also decided to make the blocks again using a collection of green and blue fabrics that I was given. They look totally different.

I'll see as I go along which version I prefer.

Zakka placemat

This is the project for this week's Zakka 2.0 sewalong challenge, using Patchwork Please. I had intended to make four of these, but don't know whether I will now. For a start I didn't enlarge the foundation pattern for the paper piecing so this is a little smaller than it should be. I also found the paper piecing took some working out as it wasn't straightforward, and I had to join some pieces of fabric before I stitched them to the paper. This wasn't mentioned in the instructions. I followed the instructions too in not including any wadding and now I wish that I had put some in. It will do, though, for somewhere.