Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Round Robin; Round One!

For the first time in years I am part of a Crazy Patchwork Round Robin. The last Round Robin I was in was a disaster! Several of us lost our blocks, there was total confusion and I was left with a nasty feeling about the whole thing. I hope whoever stole my block has a bad conscience! It has meant that I will never, ever get involved with anything in the US again unless I know those involved! However this time it will go well because it is with a European group that I have done several RR's with before and we have always had a ball.

This isn't the most wonderful piece of Crazy Patchwork I have ever done I'm sorry to say but like most things in my life I left it to the last minute and need to post it off tomorrow. So it was done in a rush and instead of sewing the patches on by hand which gives one a lot more control I used the machine which makes it all a bit straight and in lines. However I'm sure the stitching will more than make up for its basic design faults. There are those in the group who are marvellous embroiderers. The theme is Lace and Roses and I have put some roses on the block and also done a seam finish of Sweetheart Roses. This is a silk ribbon technique which my friend Froggy taught me and I love it. I am seeing this as a wall hanging for the newly decorated spare room. Hopefully the room will be finished before the block! :-) I'm really looking forward to this as I know it will be fun.
On the home front the bathroom has no window at the moment, just a hole, while Martin paints it. We have all the paint and tomorrow I will paint the walls. I have taken the top bunk bed to the garage along with lots more tubs and boxes and all the shelves are off the walls. Undoing those screws was a mammoth task. Martin obviously put them on the wall so that I could put really heavy things on the shelves should I so desire. He knows me! I could even climb up them I reckon! So things are moving and I feel that we are getting somewhere.
The computer continues to do well. I've stopped holding my breath and think that everything is fine at last. I'm being much more tidy and organised and for the first time have an organised filing system. Will it last?
Dee if you're reading this I've lost the rotation list. Any chance you could forward me a copy? I'd be truly grateful.

Monday, August 27, 2007

These pictures are for Christine who wanted to know what a shower screen looked like. Unfortunately they don't contain Martin or Marvin! This is probably a good thing as this isn't a pornographic blog! :-) The picture on the left is of the screen folded in so that it is on line with the basin. It will fold right back to the wall if wanted. The picture on the right is of the screen open. We have spent this weekend gutting the bathroom so it doesn't look like this now. We are stuck with the avocado suite but I'm going to paint the walls pale pink, the woodwork white and the carpet forest green. We are also going to fit a new shower! At the moment the bathroom looks as if a bomb has hit it! And to add insult to injury I am at the same time stripping the spare room as I want to paint in there too and lay new carpet which at the moment is rolled up in my Mum's garage. Today I took all the hundred and one shelves off the walls that were left over from the days when this was my workroom. I never want to see another screw! I'm storing a lot of the stuff in our garage and also in my Mum's spare room. What would I do without her! She only lives four doors down the road but I drove my car up from her drive to collect all the stuff and then drove it back again. Is that lazy or what?
I have been very careful to keep my workroom serviceable so that I can continue to sew. What has become very apparent is that I still have far too much stuff and will have to be even more ruthless and get rid of some of it. Well most of it if I am to remain sane. This isn't the stuff in my workroom but the overflow which lives in the spare room. There are five working rooms in this house not counting the kitchen and bathroom and I have enough stuff to fill at least eight! Something very wrong there. Anyway the whole decorating thing is worse than moving and will probably drive me to drink before it's finished. I am on holiday this week and will have to be very organised. There is only one good thing to say and that is that my computer is working like a dream. All that phaffing about was worth it. Did I mention that I had to have a new mother-board after I'd got it up and running eventually? And then when the new mother-board was in I had to re-format AGAIN as some of the programs I'd installed were slowing me down. Bad vibes! But now all is hunky dory and working well. I haven't even tried to install my Bernina stuff. I'll wait to do that until I'm feeling stronger. When...If....

Monday, August 20, 2007


All singing, all dancing computer! Does everything...well almost!
It has taken a week but finally I am up and running again. A lot of the time has been taken up putting back the programs I use and the hardware - printer, scanner, etc - but something I put back on didn't go down well with the computer and it all went tits up so poor Martin had to re-format AGAIN! But this time I was exceedingly careful and so far, so good! Hopefully it will all hang together and I can get back to my quilting, sewing, reading, having fun.....
I have no email addresses because in all the cafuffle they disappeared so if anyone who likes to keep in touch with me or just wants to, sends me their email addy I'll be well chuffed! In fact I'll be delighted as otherwise it will take me ages to collect them all again. (email Into every life a little rain must fall but I feel as if I've had a deluge and I'm soaking! Why is it that of all things mechanical computers can affect one's quality of life so much. It was a bit like losing a hand for me. I use EQ5, Artista software and art packages such as Photoshop and without them I'm lost.
If anyone reading this is an EQ5 expert I need help. I've saved everything and got it back into the program successfully but although I have the fabrics I scanned in for my latest quilt in there they arn't showing up in the library. How can I save them into a library when I haven't got the original scans? Can I save them from the sketchbook? I really really don't want to have to scan the fabric in again as it took so long! Again, any help will be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Three cheers for Martin! Hip, hip Hooray!

Well my clever clogs husband has managed to retrieve all the files off the lost hard drive. The computer still doesn't recognise it and it is possible that it has bad sectors somewhere but what matters to me is that I have all my folders and files safely stored on another drive and as soon as Martin gets off my computer and lets me have it back I will sort them all out and save the ones that I want to keep on my ICY box. There is every chance that I will eventually have a computer that is superb and faster than a racing snake but at the moment Martin is enjoying tweaking it. I really do find typing on a laptop a trial but I am grateful I've got one!
Dee if you're reading this I tried emailing you using the address you gave me and it kept coming back! Can you email me direct so I can reply from that? Thanks!
I have found some old pictures on the laptop so I am going to delight any one reading this with a couple of blasts from the past! One is a Crazy Patchwork throw sashed with a gorgeous bright blue dupion. One is a quick collage that I did after being impressed by the sunset, and the other is a piece of work still in progress with appliqued leaves on a manipulated background. The collage has to be forty years old. The throw is only about seven and the leaves have been waiting for a year or even two to be finished! One day..... As to what I'm working on at the moment...I am still plodding on with my large sampler quilt and dyeing material for it as I run out. I always under estimate just how much fabric I'm going to need. And I have spent a considerable amount of time putting my files back into EQ5. And just generally phaffing about on the computer looking at stuff!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The End of the World.......

I am feeling extremely depressed! Martin has just re-formatted my computer. The computer that he built for me four years ago...was it really that long! And before he did this I put loads of my stuff onto an external hard drive (my IC box) and also some stuff onto the smallest of my three internal hard drives thinking that this one wasn't to be formatted so it would be OK. Bad thinking! The wretched machine now won't recognise this drive! It is having a hard job giving me all the Gb that I am owed on the two main drives. (each is around 120Gb while the little one is only 20Gb) I have left Martin at home is his day off...slaving over my machine in the hopes that somehow he will find this errant drive which has so many things on it that I now find I want! I am writing this from work as I can't do so at home not having an up and running computer. Well actually that is a lie as it is up and running just in bits while Martin sorts out this missing drive problem. The stupid drive is visible in Device manager but not in My Computer! I don't understand it but then I wouldn't as I'm not a geek.
The thought of all the things I have to re-install is making me tired especially having to set up my Artista software for my Bernina. Coping with the wretched dongle is a nightmare! And I've managed to lose my EQ5 stuff. I was sure I saved my scanned fabric for my latest quilt onto the IC box but I can't see it there. Of course there is so much stuff on it that I might not know what I'm looking for. I doubt if I called the file anything sensible! Tonight I am going to wade through all the files and try and sort them out. This screw up is making my life quite complicated as I can't think of anything but my missing files. No EQ5, no accounts, no address book, no new lesson plans, no....the list goes on!
Wait! There is hope! If everything fails and Martin can't make the computer see the missing drive all is not lost. I have just been given the telephone number of a guy who retrieves files off hard disks! Oh joy!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Quilt Exhibition

I went to the Falmouth Quilters Group's exhibition today with my friend Sue and it was a real treat. As well as smaller items there were several really large quilts, mostly in the traditional manner, but very impressive and beautifully made. The quilt above is a Baltimore Album and the applique work was exquisite. It isn't the best photo in the world but it was hard to get into position and get most of it in the picture. Unfortunately I don't know the maker's name.

This Fibonacci quilt was made by one of my ex students, Mary Miller, who had several quilts on show. The appliqued vine really made this quilt and it was quite striking. My photo doesn't do it justice.

Another Baltimore Album quilt which was started in one of my classes. The amount of work in this is enormous but well worth all that effort. Again I wasn't able to do it justice with the camera angle.

I don't know who made this quilt but again it was full size and lovely. Very delicate with lovely pastel colours.

This is a Leaf Wreath quilt by Jeanne Pettit which was started in one of my classes. The fabrics used were really gorgeous and made the quilt. The quilting was superb as it was done on long arm machine. Really spectacular.

An attractive use of Cathedral Window patchwork in a cushion. Maker unknown.

A piece of silk ribbon embroidery by Carole Monk which was started in one of my workshops. Beautifully done.

And last but not least of the photo's I took, a jacket, made by Barbara Johnson. I really love this pattern and would like to make it for myself. The little bag was made by Jan Woods.

All in all it was a great exhibition and I spent far too much money in the shop buying batik fabric and a couple of books which I couldn't resist. And the cakes in the cafe were to die for! I had a superb orange and poppy seed sponge which was light and moist and Sue had a really sinful chunk of gooey chocolate cake. Our friend Yvonne who joined us for coffee didn't have any cake at all. I don't know how she was able to resist! Her will power must be tremendous! So a good time was had by all.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


This is the sampler quilt that I want to make for this Autumn's classes.
I have been very naughty and bought more fabric! I just couldn't resist it but to make me feel better I then went and dyed up a load of toning colours to use with it and managed
to get a fantastic burgandy colour. Burgundy is one of those colours that isn't always easy to get being either too bright or too dull but this was just what I wanted to tone with this delicious print. And getting this small thing right really motivated me to get on with the sampler quilt and so today I made up one block. I actually find it quite relaxing doing traditional patchwork for a change. It could be because the guidelines are already there and all I have had to do are make colour choices. That is for me the fun part. This year I am being slightly different in format as the blocks are in several sizes and there are pieced borders and sashing.

Now that it is August the summer will gallop away and it will be back to class before I know it. I have a week's holiday at the end of the month and hopefully we will lay the carpet in the guest room and put up my computer cupboard so that I can move my computer etc from the living room. This would give me so much more space but I'm not actually holding my breath! I have been doing some constant dripping about the possibility that I may be holding classes at home and I think this might be the push needed to see some action with home improvements! Wouldn't it be nice if one could wave a wand and have everything done just like that! I am such an impatient person!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Feeling Positive!

Today was a good day...twice! Why? Well firstly because we are trying to bring our bathroom into the 21st century and to that end we bought a couple of bathroom cabinets,some shelving and a folding shower screen to go over the edge of the bath instead of a shower curtain. I hate shower curtains as they wrap around one when wet and it's a bit like taking a shower in seaweed! This one is neat and folds away when not in use. So what is good about all this? When we got home from the store Martin fitted the shower screen! And since then we have both been able to see how much nicer showering is! And when I showered there were no leaks at all! The same could not be said for Martin's shower but then he is a very active showerer! This is't to say that I'm not efficient, just that I don't wave my arms around and spray water everywhere! Now to wait for the cabinets to go up! I'm not holding my breath!
And secondly a package that I've been waiting for from the States arrived today! I seem to have been waiting for it for ages but it cleared customs yesterday evening and was delivered this morning! So they didn't hang about! I am thrilled as it was some quilty stuff which I'll now be able to play with. This is a belated present for my birthday so doubly enjoyable. A special cutting square and a book! Oh joy!

I've finished the Drunkard's Path quilt. I am very pleased with the way it worked out but not so pleased with the quilting. Once it all went pear-shaped in the middle I think I gave up the will to live with the rest of it and it isn't up to my best but having said that it isn't that bad! And I've learnt lots. The most important being that I should have over-dyed the Liberty lawn so that it blended with the hand-dyes better. Oh well one lives and learns. Now I'm starting a sampler quilt for the Autumn term lessons. I'm using all the quick techniques that I have picked up so that it will be a real learning curve. That is if I get any student's in the Autumn after the cuts in funding. Well I can always hold classes at home. I'm being positive! It's the best way to be and I have found the best way to have life work out in a way that is what one wants. Of course a lot of that works on the premise that one is happy with what one has rather than miserable about what one can't have! I shall stop now before I make everyone sick! :-)