Sunday, 27 April 2014

A new (to me) Exhibition

Yesterday Wendy took Tina and I across to Uttoxeter to the British Quilt & Stitch Village which is a show organised by Traplet publications.  I hadn't been before so was interested to see what it was all about.  The show is housed in various buildings at Uttoxeter racecourse and we were lucky that it was a dry day so we only got blown from venue to venue and not rained on. 

I think these two were smiling because they'd encouraged me to spend more than I intended, more of that later.

The first three quilts are from 'Buy a Plank', a fundraiser devised by Helen Conway to raise funds for a clinic in Musa in The Gambia.  Helen cut up her 'No.1 African Quilt Shop' quilt and people took a piece and incorporated it into a new quilt that will be sold by silent auction. 

 I liked Annette Morgan's quilt above because it combines barkcloth with the cut up 'plank' sections. 

A section of Magie Relph's quilt 'Strip Village' is shown above together with her description which I hope you can read.
You may not be surprised to learn that the quilt above is by Janice Gunner and I particularly likethe fabric she has added and the way it is stitched.  The yarn that she couched over the joins is effective and is not, as I imagined, fluffy in any way and serves its purpose well.  It is titled 'And the Rains Came' which refers back to the incessant rain earlier this year. 

You can view all the quilts here.

 The wonderful Tentmakers of Old Cairo were represented (my photo was taken while the talented artist was on a break).  The speed of their turned applique has to be seen to be believed.  This video by Bonnie McCaffery will give you an idea of what the tentmakers do and how they do it.  There is a very interesting piece towards the end where they show how the design is transferred to the fabric.


There were two main rooms of traders and both were steadily busy.

I think I may have seen this coat before at Festival of Quilts but either way it is a beautiful coat.

This fantastic circular quilt by Birgit Schueller was the overall winner.  The quilting is very detailed and Birgit has won awards for her longarm quilting.  The quilt is titled Dreamcatcher Caught A Dream.  A detail is below.  
You can read more about Birgit here if you are interested.

Part of the quilt exhibition commemorated the First World War and I was particularly taken with this quilt, for which the photos have loaded in reverse order. Grrr!

I really like the little envelopes made of embroidered silk handkerchiefs which I think hold messages.  I'm sure I've read about this quilt somewhere but can't bring it to mind.  The details incorporated into the quilting are particularly poignant.

I'm sorry I don't know the name of the maker.

This cheerful little blue tit was in the embroidery display and is the work of Karen Grenfell.  Karen has a  Facebook page, a blog and a Pinterest site
Hilary Beattie was as usual very busy demonstrating to a rapt group and we took the chance of a sit down to watch her for a while.  Her style is very enthusiastic and free and easy and I love that she continually reminds people that there is no such thing as wrong, just add more until you like what you have achieved.  Speaking of Hilary I should show you my shopping as I bought some stencils from Hilary.

I thought all three of these stencils would be versatile and I had hoped to trial them today but life had other plans (not unpleasantones).  Maybe tomorrow.  The balls are wound strips cut off wool weavings and I plan to use them with my peg loom, hopefully before I am so old that I can't use my hands anymore ;-)  The yarns came from Ingrid Wagner who reminded me of Hilary with her enthusiasm and verve. 

I wasn't going to buy any fabric but these beauties came from Images of Egypt who sadly don't have a website but their prices are very reasonable, so much so that you couldn't buy and dye for the amount they were charging.  I have a plan for the red and blue piece!

This miscellany includes a lovely soft fat quarter of wool from Bobbin Patch that I plan to use with other textures in a scarf come table runner, the beautiful dyed silk scarf cost only £1!  I didn't plan to buy buttons but those bagfuls were only just over £1 each so I couldn't resist.  I was blown away by all the beautiful things on Janet Humphrey's stall and had to have the gorgeous dyed lace.  The little bundles underneath came from a bit box somewhere and the Stef Francis threads were from Batiks N Beads.  The book is Indian Inspirations by Gisela Thwaites which I had thought was out of print but apparently not.  I see elephants in my future!

I can't go without giving a plug to David Jaggs, a guitarist who I've seen at several shows and who always  has time to chat about guitar music.  He's thinking about bringing out a CD of Rock Ballads so I'll be looking out for that.  I succumbed to a couple of his CDs which I'm looking forward to listening to.  Here's a little sample of his classical guitar playing:

The Beetroot Tree, Friends and a little shopping

The terrible twins and I along with 3 other friends have been out and about again, meeting up with two blogging friends from Nottingham.  On Thursday our main destination was The Beetroot Tree gallery at Draycott in Derbyshire.  The manager opened up for us especially as he had expected to be closed that day.  The reason for going was to view an exhibition by The Textile Study Group.  Work on display included pieces by our local teacher Mary Sleigh, Ann Wheeler, Dorothy Tucker, Ruth Issett, Shelley Rhodes, whose workshop I went to a year or two ago, Jean Draper, who needs no introduction Kay Greenlees and Sian Martin.  


This is a view of the gallery looking down on most of my friends in the midst of the exhibition.  They are Maggi, Graham who comes to Stitchcraft, Marge, Linda Vincent, Wendy and Annette. Tina is behind me on the stairs.

This piece is by Mary Sleigh and features real shells.  I apologise for not being able to supply any more details than that. 

 This is by Ann Wheeler and I like the combinations of different fabrics, together with the off set piece.  I will be exploring her work further if I can.

This piece above is by Sian Martin and features delicate organza eggs.

I love the piece above which is by Shelley Rhodes and which has so many different textures.  I love the inclusion of the found rusted items.

This colourful piece features in Ruth Issett's latest book, A Passion For Colour and I like the variety of fabrics in it combined with reverse applique and hand stitching.

There are many more pieces in the exhibition which continues until 31 May and if you live within reach it is worth the journey.  The Beetroot Tree has a small shopping area with mixed media and stitching supplies to tempt you, a cafe to refresh you and a lovely little garden to delight you.

From the Beetroot Tree we progressed to Cachepot (actually that was our first stop), Anderson's, Pear Tree Yard (which isn't in a yard) and Ikea!  Well if you're near enough to an Ikea you have to, don't you?  Anderson's is a very pleasant delicatessen with a hidden temptation upstairs!  Ethereal stock beautiful ladies clothing.  I have to confess to being tempted in Ethereal by a very pretty and feminine top on the sale rail.  I don't have a photo today but I'll get round to it.  It's a top by Out Of Xile and is an organza and jersey bolero top in a gorgeous deep purple.

I didn't go too mad with the shopping, did I?  I did get some storage boxes from Ikea too.  Yesterday Tina, Wendy and I had a trip to the British Quilt & Stitch Village Exhibition and I'll blog that in a separate post.

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Belton Horse Trials

Saturday saw us at our local National Trust property Belton House who were staging their annual Horse Trials.  Apparently this is the earliest yearly event in the three day eventing world and provides a lead in to future horse trials at Burghley and Badminton.  For the first time National Trust members, like us, were allowed in free which was very gratifying.  We are not particularly horsey but I do like seeing the show jumping and enjoy the atmosphere these events generate.

We were blessed with a mostly dry but blowy day and it was interesting to see Belton with a different scene from the usual Sunday cricket.

The paparazzi were being papped:

and the amateur paps were busy too!  The guy standing next to my DH had the biggest telephoto lens on his camera and was rapidly firing away as the horses came over the jumps but DH was happy to get his low angles.

There were some very famous riders and horses participating including Olympic gold medallist Sir Mark Todd and world number one William Fox Pitt who we saw set off and finish in the cross country course.

This very smart and poised young lady is Dani Evans, an intermediate rider who is representing Great Britain for the second year at the FEI Nations Cup.  Her beautiful horse is called Smart Time (I think).

There were lots of trade stalls at the Trials but I mostly resisted apart from buying some Oddsox!  My feet will no longer match!  I did fall in love though,

I could have stayed all day with these two beautiful spaniels who would have taken all the fussing I could have given them.  They belonged to one of the stalls selling riding and other boots.  I think they might have noticed if I'd made off with them ;-)  

Since the weekend I've been busy making a quick birthday present for a friend.  Fortunately she doesn't read my blog or facebook page so I can show you what I've made.

I've made these two mug rugs with thermal wadding.  I've decided they're his and hers and added some bling to 'hers'.  Who said I'd made a mistake and was covering it up?!!!  Lies, vicious lies! LOL

Wish us luck tomorrow, DH is having a biopsy, poor thing.  I'm off to watch the Great British Sewing Bee Final to take my mind off it.