Sunday, 25 February 2018

It's quilting, I think!


If you have been around here long enough you will know that on the 25th of each month we celebrate our attempts at any new experiences we have had that month.


So, welcome to another New to Me link party!

A couple of weeks ago my EG branch held a workshop on quilting with paper so, naturally, I signed up.

This is the example of the technique we were shown, it is definitely not something that I have ever attempted before!

The paper used in the example was ordinary brown wrapping paper scrunched up and layered together, hence the quilting. The class tutor had also brought along some sheets of the paper that you often find filling the space in the large boxes that a well-known online retailer uses for the smallest of items.




I decided to use that instead of the brown wrapping paper and instead of being inspired by tree bark as in the example above, was inspired by some of the walls that I have photographed on my travels, such as these in the Lake District.



Here is where I have got to so far. You can see that as well as the three scrunched up layers of packing paper I have added a layer of tissue paper to the top before hand quilting.

I have a lot of stitching yet to do and will, at some stage probably add some FMQing to the piece too, but I am surprised to find that I am enjoying working with this paper. The more that you work with it the softer it gets and the more like fabric it begins to feel.

I probably should have started with a smaller piece, but that is a lesson for another time :)

My other New to Me this month is not sewing related and is the eventual take-up of a birthday present from last year.


Salmon Ceviche



Chilli chocolate pot with Churros

A day Mexican cookery class at the Cook School Scotland! The class was a mixture of demonstration and hands-on cooking and was a great way to spend a cold Friday in February. With chillies in nearly everything we cooked and ate, there was no shortage of heat in that kitchen :)

So, that's my New to Me's for this month now it is your turn to share your triumphs and disasters as you navigate the uncharted territory of brand-new experiences. As ever the link party will remain open until the end of the month, so if you need a nudge to try something new that has been lurking in your mind for a while consider yourself nudged!





Thursday, 22 February 2018

Time for Tea

This year my Embroiderers Guild branch celebrates 20 years since it was founded. To commemorate this event all of the members have been asked to create a pincushion in a teacup, which will be distributed during afternoon tea at our last meeting of the year in May.

To kick start the members' thinking on the commemoration a recent meeting saw all of the members present creating a cupcake pincushion. We were given the silicon cupcake holder and scraps of fabric to do with as we wanted.

So, here is my cupcake pincushion.

The dots suggested flower centres to me, so I surrounded them with daisy chain stitches to create rows of flowers. The pompom trim, which was lurking in my ribbon stash, was the ideal match for the bright blue cupcake holder.

Another colourful addition to my stitching supplies!

I have also been on the lookout for a vintage china cup and saucer for our anniversary project. I was loath to break up any of the tea sets that I own, so have been searching the local charity shops for a lone china teacup and saucer that would fit the bill. All of the cups and saucers that I found in the local shops were being sold in pairs and as I didn't want to end up with an odd cup and saucer afterwards I have resisted making a purchase.

On our recent visit to Gravesend I came across this in a vintage shop and knew that it would be ideal for our commemoration project. The cup and saucer were originally being sold as a pair according to the ticket price but there was no sign of the second cup and saucer, so the owner was happy to sell me this lone cup and saucer.

I have an idea in my head of creating a flower garden for the pincushion and have pinned lots of ideas but time will tell whether that works out!

In the meantime at least I have started the process with the purchase of a cup!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

An hour to spare in Kent

Recently we were staying overnight with our son and daughter-in-law on our way to France, and found ourselves with some time to spare whilst waiting for our son to come home from work.

He and his wife moved to a new house a few months ago so are now living in a part of the world that we have not yet explored, and this was the perfect opportunity to remedy that. A quick scan of the map and we headed off to explore Gravesend in Kent.

It made sense to start our explorations on the banks of the River Thames as it has played such an important part in the development of the town. The excavations above trace the extent of the Tudor Blockhouse which was constructed to defend against the threat of an invasion by the Spanish Armada, but there have been defences in the area since the Iron Age.

The Three Daws pub nearby also has an impressively long history, there having been a public house/inn on the site from as early as the 15th Century. The pub and a neighbouring building, now demolished, were reputed to have several staircases and underground tunnels between them to facilitate the speedy exit of patrons when the press gang or Customs men came to call :)

For centuries ships sailing up the Thames to London had to be searched at Gravesend where the duty to be paid on their cargo would be assessed. The first appointment to the role of "Searcher" in Gravesend was made in 1356 by Edward III, so those tunnels would have seen lots of usage over the years!

A more modern Maritime history was evident in the Light Ship LV21, which was moored not far from the Three Daws. This Light Ship, which is now an exhibition and concert venue was commissioned in 1963 and plied her trade off the Kent coast until she was decommissioned in 2008. Sadly the venue was closed when we were there as the ship features in the book Stitch Stories, personal places, spaces and traces in textile art by Cas Holmes, who created a piece for the ship reflecting its transformation from working Light Ship to Arts Venue. Still, it gives me an excuse to visit Gravesend again.



Our whistlestop tour of Gravesend ended at the St Andrews Mission House where General Gordon, of the Siege of Khartoum, taught for a while. Charles George Gordon is most definitely one of Gravesend's most famous sons, but there are many others of note related to the area. Charles Dickens, for example, has many connections to the town and perhaps, more surprisingly, Pocahontas is buried in the graveyard of St George's Church in Gravesend!

Definitely more to explore next time we have an hour to spare in Kent :)


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