Friday, 24 July 2015

An American Abroad....

Where has the summer gone, we are nearing the end of July and it already feels like autumn.There is a jet stream hanging over Scotland and the North of England giving us cold cloudy and blustery weather along with heavy rainshowers. I wish someone could just pull those clouds out of the way, our temperatures are hanging around 15C whereas down in England just below Scotch Corner the temperatures dramatically change to around 25C, darn it!

The Guys are managing to get the summer work done, still a couple of weeks late thanks to the weather.....

We still have the Aga on here in my kitchen, ocassionally it get's a little warm but I find it much more fun to cook on my Aga than on my electric cooker.  Only trouble is when the Aga is on all of the time it doesn't get a thorough summer clean, but my hands and nails are thankful for that.

I've been neglecting my blog lately, it hasn't been at the forfront of my mind so I'll shortly try to show a few of the quilts that have been  missed.

Believe it or not this is the first time I have quilted a Baptist Fan either on a customer quilt or one of my own, I used the open design for fear of missing the alignment, maybe next time I'll use the closed design and see how that one goes.  Baptist Fan looks wonderful on Alana's Civil War Star quilt. Alana is the American abroad although probably a token Scott by now after 30 odd years of living here surely...

The stars are really showing well on this last photograph.

Just in time my entry for Festival of Quilts 2015 is finished. I love it when a competition quilt will fit on the back seat of my car, I can drop it off at the depot and don't have to hang around waiting for a courier with a huge van to pick up. And Yes, I know that is another blog post to write too!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Singing the Blues....

It seems like ages since this quilt went home when in actuality it's only been two or three weeks This quilt fabricated from love is destined for a wedding gift from Mother to Daughter. The blue and white fabrics are timeless and fresh. It's a block sampler from patterns in Lynne Edwards book. I quilted all of the blocks in a different quilting technique and used an 'egg and dart' design with a circle template in the sashings.

I machine stitched the binding so that all was needed was for Mother to hand sew it down to the back, doesn't it look lovely and fresh.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Beavering away....

Well, here in Scotland we've had our summer, it came on Wednesday last week, now we are back to chilly and wet, when I say wet I mean WET!
We've had some pretty scary thunder and lightening storms, the kind where you just know you had better pull all of those plugs to modems, computers and cherished machines. Luckily everything survived this time

I've been working pretty hard on customer quilts during the week.
I usually don't like to show photos of the quilting on my customers quilts until they have gone home and I know they have been well received, there are a few reveals waiting in the wings.

Half binding added as an extra service
It's is always a pleasure to receive an email after personally giving the quilt back to a customer, it's further proof that they are thrilled and happy with your services and also the price charged.  The customers budget is always a consideration, there have been times in the past when I have upgraded from light custom to full custom but these days I try to stay within budget and time constraints, the blue quilt went home with Jean to finish the binding, thank you Jean.

This is a beautiful folded patchwork design, from another Jean, it's called Garden Party by Blackbird Designs. I was asked to do some light quilting on this one, there was a lot of empty space in those borders, I would have liked to do a full custom job but I'm pleased with the finished design and so was Jean so it worked out well.

I've been working hard on the weekends to finish up my competition quilt for Festival of Quilts in August, it needs to be ready to ship off in a couple of weeks so I'm now feeling the pressure. I'm not one of those people who work well under pressure, it wasn't a good idea for me to enter a quilt that I hadn't even quilted yet...the size changed, my chosen name didn't seem to fit anymore so there had to be a couple of telephone calls to change a few things before the catalogue went to print. Now guess what, the labels are already here so better get moving and get it finished and blocked.

It would be a nice thought to get started on the next competition quilt and have one ready for the next show season without any pressure, I'm guessing that isn't going to happen!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Moving right along!

It's been busy!

What am I talking about, it's still busy, it's always busy here!

Boredom, what is that? I don't think I have ever been bored in my life, I always have something to do, I always have too much to do. Some stuff is exciting and I can't wait to get on with it, other stuff is like being stuck in a traffic jam, it causes a hold up and it feels like nothing gets done. My tactic to the 'traffic jam' stuff is to just do something that is not so exciting or more time consuming so that I can 'treat' myself by moving on to the exciting stuff! Try it, it works just push on through the more mundane, it may be office work, housework, ironing or a not so precisely pieced quilt top that is in your queue to quilt, just do something to clear the 'traffic jam'.

We had a busy few days over the past week or so with the culmination of the Hawick Common Riding 2015. The Friday was a glorious day with men only riders we set Kyle off with Willow and watched at various vantage points before the horses arrived at the Mare. It was a bit disappointing, not least for the rider who fell off and hurt himself right on the course which meant that more than 3/4 of the riders didn't get to gallop the racecourse. The cost of a hired horse for the day was £180 so not to get the thrill and cheers of the gallop must hurt a little in the wallet but it's also disappointing for horse owners too, it isn't cheap to keep a horse from one year to the next, a set of shoes cost £70, never mind tack and feed.

This quilt went home to my lovely customer Anna, it has a pieced backing and although I'm not really a fan of pieced backs, it did turn out well, my fear is that the different weaves of the various fabrics may stretch and warp and indeed the backing did sag in the middle but I don't think there were any puckers....

I used a curved ruler and freemotion feathers to pull in some of the fullness, it worked really well.

 My customer always loves the quilting so I wasn't worried.

Last Friday we made an early trip over to Selkirk for their Common Riding, we were up at 4.30am and had the horses and breakfast loaded up, we left and were ready for the ride to leave the town at 7am....Selkirk is not so civilised as Hawick whose rides are mostly in the afternoons...

Kyle and Fieron ready to muster with the other riders following the Standard Bearer....
Selkirk Standard Bearer, the ride follows hin to the top of that hill way off in the distance

Fi, Riding her first 'chase' up The Toll back into town...

Monday, 1 June 2015

Denholm - Hawick Common Riding 2015

Last Saturday's rideout headed to Denholm, this is the last of the Hawick Common Riding rideouts for 2015, before the big celebrations and processions next week. We took Willow and Beauty down in the trailer first, got them ready and watched all of the horses leave including Kyle and Millie...we counted 260 horses and riders, then we headed home again with Fieron to pick up Bess.

Kyle and Marie

Frazer, Millie and Catherine in front with Kyle behind on the left

Look who turned up for Denholm Rideout...waiting for the horses to show on the horizon...

Fieron and Bess, both calmly waiting to join in the ride.....

Fieron with Bess, Millie with Beauty and Catherine with Sam

And off they go!

Waiting in Denolm for the return ride.....

Always a relief to see everyone arrive back safe and sound....