Festival of Quilts 2010

We woke up relatively early today and trundled along to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, which we are very lucky to live just a short drive away from. I have never been to this festival before so I was just a little bit giddy about seeing one thousand quilts.. or so the chap who took our tickets told us so.

I headed for the shopping first, after saying farewell to hubby whilst he enjoyed coffee, (he will take me anywhere if there is good coffee) I don’t have any photographs of my purchases, its a little bit dark as I type this, but I did buy a rather nice flannel quilt kit, which is so soft and pretty and in colours I love.

A little while later I picked up hubby and we wandered around the quilts, so many, so much to choose from.

The winner from the traditional quilts was Pauline Ineson.

I will show you just one of her squares (not least because I don’t think its completely fair for others to copy)
and this one is spectacular.

the whole quilt was just stunning.

Personally I love traditional quilts, I am no artist but there were a few quilts in the artistic section that really caught my eye.

Not least because we had obviously left a window open this morning,

Winston, what are you doing here, fly home immediately.

Then there was a lovely jazz band to sooth our tired feet.

It was the colours and movement that caught me standing stock still, whilst gawping at this piece of work. Absolutely stunning.

Next this completely caught my eye. Such a simple but complicated piece, I am not an artist or artist reviewer but I think this piece should be in the Tate. I cannot even try to express the words how I feel about it, everything in harmony which managed to construct individual clothes pegs, it wasn’t muddy at all, extremely clear and all with delicate shades of material.. Stunning.

A close up, even in close up with a flash it still looks spectacular.

I came home via Mother as I’d bought her a couple of balls of yarn that she has recently taken a fancy to.

And lo, my twin nieces were visiting.

They had made this scarecrow in a recent visit, I’d like to be able to say her name but on three counts it was different. Those with an astute eye will notice the scarfs that the girls have knitted for their bears after having taken a lesson from me some months ago. They both say they like knitting – a quiet hurrah could be heard from the knitting elves.

Then son no.1 came and picked me up. I think he was mortified when I asked him to put his arms around the girls, although they giggled immensely.

And then Dad came to inspect the furor that was going on, so I took a quick snap of him.

Such a lovely day, so few and far between.

The boy did good.

Son no.2 had his A level results on Thursday, they were not as one had hoped but even so he has managed to secure a place for a foundation year in a University of his choice on Mechanical Engineering. We are very pleased, especially after the news last night where they told us that there are 150 thousand students who did not manage to get a University place this year. All I have ever wanted in my life is to bring up our boys as decent honest men along with that they are capable of finding a career which they will be happy in and are then able to support themselves and possibly a family.

To say we as a family were rather stressed in the build up is an understatement. And then the day before hubby had a car accident, he’s okay but its written off our beloved Mercedes, which was a lovely car. The chap was a ‘scrap metal dealer’ in a white truck who rather abruptly put his vehicle into reverse and rammed it into hubby’s car. We have since found out that the registration was for a Reliant Robin (if anyone remembers those) and the police are very interested in this.

So I am still waiting to go to the quilt show which I bought tickets for, son no.2 is pestering for me to finish his quilt.. which is a complete about turn because he did become just a little bit sniffy about it at one stage.

And me, well I have cast on something soothing.. I promise I will sew next week.

A Baby Shower for Baby Bear’s Mum.

I’ve had such a lovely afternoon, it was such a treat I will do my best to tell you all about it.

Many moons ago a certain person had me on tenterhooks at our monthly Saturday quilting class when she asked me what I had mumbled about (you see as a woman I had picked up the clues) in a last email to her. And I said, “well I can’t say can I?” and she gave me a smile that said I could and then there was a nudge and then a very broad grin at which point my eyes widened and almost popped out of my eyes and I then said.. “Well, are you?” and I think there might have been a little giggle and a snort from her, and I really can’t remember how she said she was with child. At that point I probably gave her the biggest hug she’s ever had from a female friend and tears literally spurted from my eyes. I was so happy for her, words cannot express the joy that I felt.

Well between you and me, (and the rest of the blogging world) I knew baby making was on the cards and some time earlier I had come across the most perfect of patterns and after much searching I had come across the perfect yarn in the most beautiful of colours for her. (we have knitted and sewn together for long enough to know the colours each of us are attracted to) When I picked up this pack of yarn months before this event whilst hubby was in tow, he had inquired as to why I was buying this and I explained it was for my friend and for what pattern and for why, he had exclaimed, ” but she’s not pregnant yet?” and I replied something along the lines, “my friend will have her baby”

So on this wonderful news I went home and cast on, giddy with excitement. Time went on as it does and slowly her tummy grew, as did my knitting. I was bursting to tell her what I was knitting, but I managed to keep myself to myself, it was tricky.

Then one day, a letter for me came through the post with a beautiful invitation in it, a personally printed card no less, like you have at weddings, and along with that when I opened the envelope there was a beautiful shower of butterflies cascading and dancing as they fell which was to invite me to her baby shower. I knit a little faster.

A baby shower, I’ve never been to a baby shower but I’ve always wanted to be invited to one. I carried on with baby knitting, it was wonderful to knit for a baby, I have really enjoyed it.

Today was the day, I met another knitter I know called Mary and we entered together. There was fun and laughter and games, and I thank Mary because without her knowledge of current people, (she is much younger than I and more knowledgeable) I was completely lost and gone on the game which was naming famous babies. She scored 8 which was a very respectable score, me, I would have scored 0. I laugh, I don’t mind, when my friends were interested in the current pop groups/film stars, I liked Cliff Richard, its probably why I married an older man.

Before that was the opening of presents, which was most entertaining especially when there was almost a full rendition of The Hungry Caterpillar, which I completely enjoyed as it was one of my boys favourite books, who knew that that book was forty years old, along with some beautiful bibs which quickly turned into how bibs often turn orange, mainly through carrot puree. (I may have started that conversation!) and then there was lots of other lovely, lovely presents.

And then I wish I’d taken my camera, because for Mary and I, (the only knitters in the group) we had chosen to knit the very same pattern for Baby Bear’s cardigan. Fortunately we had put our own little twist into the project, I loved how Mary had changed the thread to match the yarn for each button, fortunately we had not chosen the same yarn so Mary’s (whose colours I absolutely adored) was bigger than mine, I think mine might make the first week or so’s outfit of choice, Mary’s will be perfect come a few weeks later when Baby Bear needs a little warmth come the Autumn.

Unfortunately I didn’t take my camera so you only have a quick piccie of mine.

And then because I really wanted my friend to have a baby blanket, I made her this,

It is Apple Tree Baby blanket, made with Rowan RYC Cashsoft Baby DK in colourway Imp (which was such a wonderful name)

There was gorgeous food, home baked cakes and scones with gorgeous Devon clotted cream, it has been a long time since I’ve had that, savouries, wine, extremely nice conversation, it was lovely to meet both grandmothers to be, they seem tickled pink, more cake, we knew there would be cake, and.. which has tickled me the most, a going away present.

There was much laughter about being given a going away present, I said I would open mine in the car. And I did, but then was flummoxed! What on earth was the liquid… Was it gin, that couldn’t be possible it wasn’t that sort of party, was it a sugary syrup that we should drink, I am sure that would be almost illegal and they were mostly lawyers…. and then I opened it… and it was bubbles…

That was such a surprise it made me giggle like nothing on earth.

Thank you so much.

p.s I have had to hold onto the jelly babies, they were almost napped whilst writing this blog post, I shall share with hubby later. What good fun it has been.

Christmas Quilt Along.

Sue from Quilt Times

Blog Button“/>Is having a Christmas quilt along which starts today. The idea is to have one day a month, normally the second Saturday but feel free to choose a day that suits you on which you concentrate on your Christmas sewing. Hopefully, depending on who reads your blog you will be able to tell others about what you are making. It also will bring Christmas into focus, which for me is a good thing, as I often leave it on the sidelines until its much too late.

And it will be lovely to plan a day of sewing where meals are ready and have been prepared the day before, or it may be a day when most of the offspring or partner are out, or maybe the pizza delivery is on speed dial.

I’ve posted the linky so that you can see some of the other bloggers that are taking part and apparently Sue is giving out prizes as well.

Happy Sewing.

Boo Hiss

Boo Hiss to the weather.

I was up several times in the night, and it was cloudy, cloudy and cloudy.

And now at 7.30 in the morning it is bright blue with barely a cloud in the sky.

I shall try again this evening, you should still be able to see the shooting stars until Sunday.

Lie back and watch the show.

Perseids is in fine form this year not least as we have a new moon this week which will mean there will be no light pollution from the moon which often spoils the show.

The show will peak on Thursday night/Friday morning and up to 100 meteors an hour are predicted, with the highest numbers being seen in the early hours of Friday morning.

Personally I love this show, it makes me tingle, its just so pretty.

So you need a big blanket and cushions on the ground to lie on, with a flask of hot chocolate or a cool glass of fizz (depending on the temperature) and maybe just a little bit of chocolate to while away an hour or two before bed.

Knit Nation and not forgetting a boys 21st.

When son no.1 said that he would like to go to London for his 21st birthday, I pleaded with him to go this Friday so that I could go to Knit Nation, thankfully he agreed. We had a very low key celebration on the day consisting of pizza and cake before the boy raced out the door to celebrate with his pals. Mothers (and fathers) are quite superfluous to requirements at this age.

And so I waited, well actually I made lists of all the beautiful colourways that I love and counted my pennies whilst raiding my savings.

Eventually the morning dawned, I was awake at five, out of bed, breakfasted and in the shower shortly after five thirty. My excitement was palpable and I slowly woke the boys in turn for their showers. We were off just after seven and parking up at The Imperial College by nine. The boys headed off with hubby on adventures of their own and I made my way to Knit Nation. Two hours to kill was not a problem I found a wonderful group of women who I found out are as addicted to Wollmeise as myself and the time flew by.

And then the excitement really grew, those last few minutes before the doors opened were heady. I was about fifth in the queue. As you can see there was still room to move, apparently Thursday evening was very busy.

Photographs of my stash, it was very difficult to choose. Thankfully I have a reasonable stash of Wollmeise already so I had a fair idea of what I was looking for and I managed to buy most of the skeins that I desired. I could have bought more, but the boys insisted that I feed them this month.

Gratuitous shots of stash follow.

and last but by no means least.

A shot of the birthday boy with his 18 year old brother.

Where have all the years gone?