Sunday, 28 March 2010

Quick trip to Olney

For me, a trip to Olney is a treat. A lovely market town about 20 mins drive from us, with a plethora of craft and gift shops, a traditional toy shop hidden away down a snicket. Shamefully, though I have never been to the local museum there! It is the world famous (?) Cowper and Newton Museum famous for lots of good things, too many to mention but you can check it out for yourself. There is also a great collection of local traditional bobbin lace there and as my daughter has been making lace at school for the last 3 years, I thought she might me interested but just never managed to steel her away - until this day!

The museum had asked me to take some of my work to potentially sell in their shop, I went on thursday and they duely loved my work and we negotiated a price for quite alot of stock - how exciting!!

I then decided to drag my lot over to see how things were going and have a look around the museum. The lovely ladies in the office were also interested in what my boys (6 and 8) would enjoy during the visit - so was I.

So here we are, famous for lace making and an annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake race!

Inside the museum garden, some boxing hares - the famous owner of the house kept three hares as pets, so there are alot of references around the museum. Lots of inspiration me thinks!

I didn't find out what or where this next piece had been, I saw a spinning wheel and some lace bobbins carved, but had no idea of the 'thing' in the middle, we hoped all would be revealed when we went inside. It was.

I was a bit blow away by the samples of lace, there were dozens and amazing to imagine that they were all made by hand. Evie did say that she thought that the swan she is making at school was tricky, but this!!
Hurray, there was some lovely applique. Cowper's bedspread - worked by Mrs King in 1781.

So there we have it, a quick guide to Cowper and Newton, the museum gardens were lovely and just about to burst into their spring blossoms. I will need another trip over to see for myself I think.
The boys? - well they were interested in fossils and rocks, the display of Slavery items (Newton was famous for working for the abolishment of Slavery in the late 1700's)

Surprisingly Noah, who is an adamant boy, enjoyed dressing up as a young lady complete with big pink dress and wig, I will find this photo and put it up soon!

So we had a great afternoon, the sun shone down and the children didn't scrap or sulk too much. I now have lots of inspiration for work and new projects.......

Thursday, 18 March 2010

New felt - the update!

This actually didn't take that long to do, it's just taken me a while to photograph it - hey ho.

Working in all one colour and only in blanked stitch, you can soon crack out the patches.

I think each little patch took about 20 mins 20x9 = 180 mins/ 3 hours - is that all?? and then the other bits took a bit longer of course, but not an age.

I then carefully machined them flatly together on a piece of fabric hanging around needing a a new mission in life.
And then played around with feather stitch and different colours for each side of the squares.

Now, my only problem is what to do with it? mmmmm, it makes sense to keep it as a sample to carry about, but is really calling out to be finished into 'something', but what?
bag - funny size and would get spoilt
cushion cover - too bulky
just a flat thing to put on the wall - could be!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A lovely evening spent

One week ago I set off on a journey to 'the other end of the county, over the border and beyond'! I was on my way to meet a group of quilters/stitchers who meet once a month in a village hall. I have never spoken to such a group before, I think I told them this, but just incase I didn't - don't tell. Sshhh.

I told them of my background, thinking this would give me credentials (ha) and the work I do now in the Children's Centers. I mentioned the Textiles C&G course I am co-tutoring on, I think this went down well.
Handing out patterns, templates and samples of my work, the ladies were soon inspired with my new range of lovely felt and bought a few colours to play with.

We chatted about the samples and I went round a few times to make sure that everyone was happy with their work and new what they were doing. I had some lovely conversations with people and felt very welcome.
It had been a birthday for one of the stitchers the previous week, so tea and cakes were served. I was informed that this was not the norm, perhaps a biscuit was there to keep strength up most months.
There was a great 'show and tell' time, where the ladies held up their finished work and spoke about what they had made and any points of interest that came up.

These are the pics I took, I have now come to the conclusion that I have to take my tripod everywhere I go. To capture natural colours and lovely detailed work, my shaky hand and small 'satsuma' of a camera is not enough. You will now see me with cute little tripod on tow too.

The evening finishes with a traditional 'raffle' I donated a brooch from my box of tricks.

As you can see there were some lovely colour combinations and great variations on the basic design. I had some lovely feedback from the group and they will be happy to have me back in the future. I look forward to it! :-)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

New felt, new projects

I have at last got my own supply of felt to sell to all my lovely stitchers, so armed with 35 lush colours in lovely rich felt I have started a new project to inspire :-)

I made a 'penny' quilt/pannel when I first stared the courses I do, but only made it in 4 colours. It looked great, but I was itching to make it in the full blown 9 square/9 colour version.

So here it is:
The recipe calls for 5 rich colours and four pale colours or visa versa of course.
You then cut one square and 3 circles of decreasing size from each of the 9 colours.

Then you arrange the colours, alternating bright with pale as much as you can, until you have a pleasing arrangement.

This is the range of my felt it all it's glory. Grouped into Yellows, Reds, Blues, Purples, Greens, Browns and Neutrals. I am really pleased with the set.
I have put an A5 set in my etsy shop, but have already started selling direct to the stitchers I work with. Thanks ladies!