Tuesday, 22 June 2010

What day is it?

Where did the last week - and a bit -  go?  In a haze of frantic stitching mostly!   I was determined to get my Festival of Quilts entry finished if I possibly could so I set aside the best part of two days to get on with the quilting.  I appreciated Sandra's suggestion that I make printouts of the photo of the quilt top and try out some quilt patterns and thread colours on it but in the end I just made a couple of samples and trialled some threads before deciding which to use.  In the end I settled on a pale lemon and blue variegated thread and a wavy line design. 

The quilting took two days as it was very tiring with all the pushing and pulling through the throat of the machine.  The binding is one of the hand dyes I had used in the quilt. 

You may be able to see the colour change in the thread in  the photo above.  Some of my wavy line stitching got a bit erratic but I've chosen not to let that bother me.

I'm really pleased that the back of the quilt came out neatly, despite a slight drift in the vertical line.  (Note to self, don't use a clearly vertical pattern next time!)

I'm really pleased to have got the quilt made and I feel freed up to play now that it's finished.  I just have to remember to post it on time! 

When I haven't been working on the quilt I have been busy making a fabric postcard for Emma who lives on the Isle of Skye.  Emma is celebrating her 50th birthday this week and asked for 50 people to swap postcards with her.  As Emma has now received her card from me I can now show you it.

You will notice a bit of a similarity to my quilt.  I also decorated the envelope for Emma which you will see if you click through to her blog.  It's worth having a look at all the beautiful cards Emma has received so far, there is so much variety from so many very talented artists.

I had a lovely surprise a couple of weeks ago.  I received an email telling me that I had won a book in a prize draw.  My first reaction was that it was spam as I couldn't remember entering a prize draw but I suddenly spotted a name I recognised and followed the link to the original posting and the light dawned!  I had won! 

This was my prize.  This gorgeous and inspiring book is by Joanne B Kaar who lives in the far north of Scotland.  The book is beautiful in itself as well as being informative and has some beautiful images inspired by the sea and shore.  So it's definitely my kind of book.  Joanne has a blog which promotes a crofter's cottage museum in Caithness and she has recently staged a huge exhibition in conjunction with an artist in New Zealand inspired by the voyage of the 'Westland' from Tail o' the Bank Scotland to Port Chalmers in New Zealand..  The book covers paper making and book making and I fully intend to try some of the projects in it.  Meanwhile I shall enjoy the beautiful illustrations.

Now that I've finished the quilt project I thought I would join many others in becoming part of the Sketchbook Project.  For a fee you are sent a Moleskin Cahier notebook to work in according to a theme which you can choose yourself or have selected for you by the organisers.  The idea is to send the sketchbook back by a date in January next year (so no keeping the work you make) and the sketchbook will then form part of a permanent collection at The Brooklyn Art Library.  I have chosen the theme "This is not a Sketchbook" as I thought that would put the least amount of pressure on me and give me plenty of scope.  Apparently my sketchbook is in the post so the fun can begin!

I don't have a photo but my DH does so if you click here you can see our lovely baby blackbird that fledged about a week ago and is still hopping about the back garden.  His Mum brings him down to our pond to get a drink and it's lovely to watch them.  I don't often look at my DH's blog as I am so busy with all the other blog's I look at (shame on me!) but you might like to have a bit of a look around while you're there as he has some lovely birdie photos lately.

I hope you're enjoying a bit of summery weather wherever you are in the UK and if you are not in the UK I hope the extremes of the weather systems in certain parts of the world are not affecting you too badly.  I won't be blogging again for a few days so have a lovely weekend and I'll see you soon.  (It's pleasure not pain to explain my absence.  DH and I are going to Durham to visit the cathedral and Crook Hall for his birthday this week.  Tell you all about it next week when I get the photos organised.)


Jan said...

Oh it is really lovely ,and the back is equally nice ,you are very talented ,I bet you feel as though you have climbed a mountain and now you are home again ,I have been to visit your new family on Stuart's blog ,delightful ,enjoy Durham ...love Jan xx,

cornishmist - thats me ju x said...

Hi, your quilt is beautiful so glad for you you got if finished on time also love your postcard for emma beautiful Have a fun week ju x

Heather said...

Your quilt is absolutely gorgeous and you must be so thrilled with it. Congrats on winning the book and well done for joining the sketchbook project - I'm not brave enough for that. I love the baby blackbird. Have a great trip to Durham.

Elizabeth said...

Your quilt is glorious Julie!! Bravo to you for putting in all of the time to get it done!! I love that accomplished feeling, don't you?? Have a glorious tripand I will look forward to pictures!

Gail P said...

Gosh, where do I start? congrats on winning the book, the postcard for Emma is gorgeous, taking on a sketchbook project is awesome, the trip to Durham has me green with envy but it's your quilt that blew me away. Magnificent!

Julie said...

Jan, you are so right! Thank you so much :o)

Thank you Heather :o) I'm not brave enough for the sketchbook either really but I thought I would wing it and if all else fails.......collage! lol

Cameron said...

Julie, Recognizing that it is a woman's prerogative to change her mind, I really like your quilt the way that you arranged it. It looks great! The postcards are fantastic. You are so talented. I would also like to have you go over to my blog and meet my friends, very "old friends," if you have the time.
Hugs, Cameron

pam said...

Oh wow the quilt is super well worth all the work and effort loved the back. The baby blackbird was gorgeous such a sweetie.
Hope Stuart has a super birthday and you have a good break away look forward to seeing the piccies.

Angela said...

Well done Julie your quilt looks lovely I can't wait to see it.
Good luck with the sketch book project.

Anonymous said...

Your quilt looks great Julie and I look forward to seeing it in August. I'm just sewing on the hanging sleeve and label on mine and then I'm done. Great card to Emma, I saw it on her post. And another Stetchbook joinee too, looks like being fun

fiona d said...

well done, I can just imagine how exhausting that was but the end result is fantastic. I didn't know Joanne B Kaar had written a book - I love her work - congratulations on winning the book! Have a lovely weekend.

Sarah said...

That looks great now it is finished - well done. you must be thrilled!

Gina said...

Have a lovely time away Julie... happy birthday to DH. The quilt looks great.


Lovely lovely post as always Julie. So glad you joined us in the sketchbook project. I'm looking foward to starting that once my quilt is finished for FOQ (not much progress there but still plenty of time ... yes, keep telling myself that ... plenty of time!)

I saw your gorgeous card to Emma and that envelope is brilliant! I bet the postie had a lot of fun delivering all of Emma's envelopes!

Well, all for now, need to catch up with some emails

Lots of love

gilby said...

Hi Julie,
The quilt looks stunning, i have also signed up for the sketchbook project so maybe we could get together on the contents of our sketchbooks. Enjoy your few days away and happy birthday to DH.

Bea said...

That's really pretty and what a great book to win as a prize.
HI, I'm Bea and I sit next to you in Carole's journal workshop! It's nice to meet you. If you get a chance stop by my blog. I'm so excited to be in class. Now, I have a lot of catching up to do. :)Bea

silverpebble said...

Oh lucky you winning that book - it looks wonderful Julie. I'm excited to see what projects might come of it.

I am adoring your quilting and cards at the moment - so like the image of St Ives in your sidebar. Fabulous.

Wen Redmond said...

lovely piece- so nice to put ones energy into art