Saturday, June 21, 2014

I must be breathing.....

Well, I sort of collapsed in a heap after the Festival. We had a wonderful time and the quilts looked wonderful and classy as always, our quilters were terrific fun, and I got about 4 hours sleep every night, but it was worth it in the end.

All went relatively smoothly with just a small hiccup here and there, but if we didn't have them we wouldn't be learning or doing better next time. it's always a learning curve and will continue to be, the festival will keep evolving and has to in order to grow.

Once the Festival finished, I had one of our lovely teachers stay for the week and we had a very relaxed time, not doing too much, going up to Lake Huron - upon which, there was still ice at May 24 weekend apparently, - and down to Sarnia, (why? you may ask, well if you have never been to one of the great lakes and know that they are all connected, it's kind of fun to go to Point Edward and stand under the Bluewater Bridge with a clear view of the US in the background).

Since my lovely teacher went back to the UK, I have sort of collapsed in even more of a heap, but thought I would use the time to finish entries for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham and was so excited to think all I had to do was sew the pocket on the back and put a label on it, won't take long I thought and then it will be ready to send. It was quite a satisfying feeling. I also re-did my CQ challenge quilt in 3 days, I had made one but it turned into a disaster, so thought I can do this again. The second one turned out much better than the first to be honest, and I set about making the binding and stitching it on........ except I didn't like it at all and it didn't lie flat.

I am turning away more and more from conventional bindings on my work,  I find it restricting and it hems my work in, my style tends to be freer. So, I took the binding off and used a hand dyed cheesecloth and hand stitched it, it looked so much better and framed the work without restricting it, a more organic feel. Ah!! That's better, so I eventually find the entry form and find that the edge should be exhibition standard, whatever that is. So took a deep breath and decided that they probably wouldn't like what I had done so would probably dismiss it. If anybody can tell me what an exhibition standard edge is, I would like to know, I am assuming it means a conventional binding which just didn't suit my piece.

So, never mind, I'll just finish of the other one and send that instead, so I walked down into the basement, and saw my piece lying where I had left it on the pool table, (which is where I keep all my quilts), and right on the front is a small black lump......

The offending mark

I was not having a good day anyway, so this just about put the lid on it. I picked the quilt up and took it into the light where I could see it better, and saw that whatever it was had dried onto the fabric, - ice dyed silk/cotton mix, - and left a hard dry black mark.

After a good sob, I put it back and thought that's it, not sending that one either.

So, that's where I am right now. I have tried very gently cleaning it, but it makes no difference and now I have a watermark as well as the black mark. so, I thought it best to just put the two pieces away and start on something else.

We always have lots of help with the Festival, and always a really good spread for the Gala evening which is provided by Fine Restaurant in Grand Bend. Jan always likes to do something by way of a thank you, so this year I offered to do a wall hanging, I have had a lovely time working on it, found it very relaxing and there is no pressure to get it finished within a certain time, which also makes a difference. So here are a few shots of where I am so far...

The husband looked at it and was quite complimentary, said he liked the bit on the bottom right hand corner so have decided to let that hang although it is now stitched down, the cheesecloth bushes will be hand stitched on.

I had fun looking for the different materials to go into this piece. The background fabric is a piece of my own hand dye, (which reminds me, I really must do some more this weekend),  and I painted the tree trunks on white dupioni silk. I have also used dyed Mulberry bark, and silk roving.

That got me quite excited as it won't be long before I head to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, I think most of our, (Cathy is going to chance coming with me again on the understanding that she doesn't lose me in any holes...), time is pretty much taken up with meetings, still lots to do for next years Festival, and hopefully I will get the chance to do a little shopping at the Festival, certainly with a couple of my favourite suppliers of silk rovings, threads and other materials, so, just bear in mind that I will be on a mission and apologise now for knocking you out of the way.

Our hotel is booked, although Cathy wondered if we should have booked an apartment just to get a feel for the local area, I told her that as the NEC is pretty near the airport there were no apartments so no danger of me falling in a hole. I am sure we will have a story or two to tell when we get home, there is always an adventure to be had.

My friends daughter has asked if I can shop for dresses this year. Last year I was able to do my Christmas shopping, this year it's in and out, no time for shopping. Anyway, I bought you skirts last year, whats wrong with that? I don't like them, they're uncomfortable so lets try dresses. Really? The skirts came from Monsoon! Just give them a whirl, you might feel differently if you wear them more often. (Sorry, has to be said that trousers, jeans, shorts etc are the order of the day here, I tend to be an oddity in a skirt). So we'll see, not that I'm expecting to go shopping elsewhere, but if there is an M&S close by.....

But I'm digressing here, back to work! I have been tidying things up too, putting binders away, and other Festival related stuff, hope I can find it all again next year.

Anyway, I have some time to myself although there are things to be done before Birmingham, not least some fabric dying, but at least I have a little time to breathe.......

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