Monday 31 October 2016

Home again ...

... to be fair, I've been back home for almost a week, but this is the first time I've had the time to write. I had a fabulous holiday, thanks to Lovely Lynn and Mr Joe. I loved spending time with with them, Lynn's sister Gail and all her family. I was made to feel so welcome by everyone.

The day after I arrived I went to Lynn's class and met a lot of her Tuesday girls. I loved seeing what they were working on, and just generally chatting to them all. It was interesting to compare quilting in the UK with quilting in the US.

The next day, Lynn and I went shopping,

 and we also discovered a wonderful drink at Starbucks - a spiced pumpkin frappacino.

We went to the Pacific International Quilt show one day. That was just jaw-dropping. In fact, after about 30 minutes I wanted to go home, the quality of the quilts was so high I just felt totally inadequate. I have never seen so many wonderful quilts in one place, and the number of vendors was amazing to me. So much so that I hardly bought anything, apart from a quilt kit. Lynn's sister Gail and a co-worker of hers, Anne were with us and I reckon that if we all compared notes at the end of the day, we'd all have chosen different quilts to photograph. This was my favourite though, although I didn't get a photo of the notes that went with it, so if anyone knows who made it, please let me know so I can give them the credit.

One day we went to a winery, where we may have tasted one or two wines, and I had my first genuine American hotdog.

Then we were off to the cabin with me with my fingers crossed that I would not see any bears while we were there. On the way, we stopped at a roadside pie shop, where they had a really great pumpkin display outside.

The day before the retreat, it rained all day. We stayed in the cabin, all warm and cosy, and Lynn, Gail and I sewed all day to get in practice for the retreat. Well, I say we sewed, we must have done a lot of chatting, a lot of laughing and quite a bit of eating, cos we didn't have that much to show for our efforts at the end of the day.

The next day the retreat started. This was a wonderful experience and I met so many lovely people, who I hope will be friends forever now. Every day Lynn gave demonstrations or little talks on various topics which were very popular. Naughty Nancy also joined us for this event, and I was thrilled when she produced three quilts that she had made when she was pattern testing for me. The photo on the left shows two different versions of Red Sprinkles, and the one on the right is Nancy's take on Colour Boxes.

Dress was informal for the retreat, 

and the food was superb. We often needed to go for a walk round the lake at some point during the day, to walk off a few calories (although I don't think it worked for me!) I did take the bearbells with me though.

Hmm, I must have spent too much time chattering, cos this is all I achieved in three days

All too soon, it was the last day of the retreat, and time for a final group photo. If you look closely, you'll see I'm still clutching my bear bells.

The next day we went to Yosemite. What can I say about that place? Awesome. Here's some photos which say it all far better than I can

After that it was time to return to Lynn's home where we had a relaxing day before it was time to say goodbye again. I had a truly wonderful holiday, met great people and saw some awesome sights, thank you Lynn, Joe and everyone else who helped to make the trip so wonderful for me.

Disclosure: since I could not post photos on the blog, Facebook or Instagram while I was away, I hardly took any, so almost all of the pictures in this post have been stolen from Lynn's blog, without her permission, but I'm sure (I hope) that she won't mind.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

California Dreamin'

Well, here I am in California, having a wonderful time with Lovely Lynn and Mr Joe, BUT I am having trouble with Blogger,  so this is the first time I've been able to write and I can't post photos at all, so if you want to see what I've been up to, please go visit Lynn at Hmm, it won't let me link either. I also can't put photos on Instagram or Facebook.

I must say, there's been lots of fun, lots of laughter and lots of great food.

Sunday 25 September 2016

Where have I been ...

... and what have I been doing there?

Well, here's two pictures that'll give you a clue:

The photo on the left shows some of the blocks made at the last meeting of Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group.  Some time ago we decided it would be fun to have a block of the month programme, with a different volunteer member coming up with the block each time.  I volunteered to do the first block, which I have called Tipsy Asterisk. I know I've seen a block like this on the internet, but I can not credit anyone for it as I don't know who first came up with it. (If you know who originally designed it, please let me know so I can give them credit) However, the instructions are all my own work, and I can tell you, it's not easy to explain how to angle the inner part to cut it and end up with your asterisk on the slant! Anyway, this is just some of the blocks that were made on the day.

Then we have the photo on the right. It's not me who is moving, it's my father. This has all happened very quickly. About a month ago I asked him if he would consider going to a brand new care home for a couple of weeks in October while I am on holiday and, as he was happy with idea in theory, I went to have a look at it, and was very pleasantly surprised by it. I obviously did a good job of praising it to Dad, as, the next day, he said he'd like to have a look at it, and if he liked it, he thought he'd move in permanently. So, off we went, and he was so impressed that he made the decision there and then to move in. So, moving in day was set for 1 October. He decided to sell his house, so on the market it went. By the end of the first week of it being for sale he had two offers and a third couple who wanted it but had to sell theirs first. The offer Dad accepted is from a young guy who is a cash purchaser with nothing to sell. All this means that where I thought I'd be able to empty the house, sort out paperwork, work out what was going to various members of the family and what to charity, etc, after my holiday, I have had to do most of it before, as the solicitor thought it could all go through by the end of October.  I get home from my holiday on the 25th! Dad moves out on 1 October, and I'm off to stay with Lovely Lynn again on the 10th and I can hardly wait to see her and Mr Joe again, and at some point I'll be seeing Naughty Nancy too.

So, that's where I've been, and what I've been doing.

Monday 12 September 2016

Handy Household Hint ....

.... another in the occasional series of Sue's Whoopsies.  Don't put a silk tie in the washing machine!

Thursday 18 August 2016

We're in training ...

... Scrappy and I have decided to take a leaf out of the Olympic contestants' books, so we're now officially in training. It's going to require a lot of hard work, and great personal sacrifices while we aspire to become Ladies Who Lunch! We started today by going out for posh coffee instead of making our own. In a couple of weeks, we are off for some luxury spa treatments, plus lunch out. See, I told you it's going to be tough, but hey, we can cope.

After a slow start, we did also do some quilting. Scrappy finished piecing this quilt
and cut the backing and the wadding, and I finished off the binding on my YMQG Challenge quilt. Since this quilt is due to be displayed at our meeting in December, I can't help feeling a teeny bit smug about having finished, and I thought you might like a sneak-peek at it, so here it is.

Friday 5 August 2016


..... OK, that's not a very polite way to start a blog post is it, but I'm feeling very wound up.

I've just been reading this blog post from the Modern Quilt Guild and I'm afraid it's really made me annoyed.  It's about the rules for entering quilts in QuiltCon that can be considered "derivative" and then goes on to define what is derivative.

Reading through the post, it seems to me that they are saying that unless you live and have created a quilt working totally in a vacuum, it is likely to be a derivative of someone else's work. Does this mean that, just because I love the work of Jacqui Gering and have taken her online classes on Improv Piecing, and Quilting with a Walking Foot, and I have read and loved Christa Watson's books on quilting, and used techniques from them all of them in a couple of my quilts, that my quilts would be considered derivatives and therefore not eligible to be entered into QuiltCon's categories for awards? Not that I am considering entering any, but I just wonder?

Surely, almost everything we do in the modern quilt world derives from work done by pioneers such as the ladies of Gees Bend, Gwen Marston, et al., and isn't that, in fact the very essence of quilting, that we pass the knowledge, techniques, etc from one person to another?  If you do go and read the post, do look at the comments too as they make interesting reading, and no, not all of them agree with my point of view.  I would have liked to leave a comment myself, but I don't seem able to, maybe because I am not a member.

OK, I'll get off my soap box now shall I?

Thursday 4 August 2016

Advice needed ....

.... if there's anybody out there still reading my blog, I need some help please.  I would like to make some quilt labels using my printer at home.  Can I just attach ordinary fabric to freezer paper and run that through or does the fabric have to be special, pre-treated stuff?

09 10