Friday, 30 August 2013

My weekend part 2

Blimey, one blogpost down and I didn't even get to the end of The Stitch Gathering retreat day!  Told you I had rather a good, where did I get to?  Oh yeah.

Classes over we packed up and headed out to Avery Homestores, Jo's fab shop for some fizz and nibbles (no fizz for me..).  The Scottish Modern Quilting Exhibition at Jo's was just wonderful, so many beeeeeeeautiful quilts, pillows, bags and minis.  And such a thrill to see mine up on a wall too!  Thrills didn't stop there, as my Staind II came third in the favourite quilts vote!  I'm ashamed to say I can't tell you who was first or second, my mind was just blown that I got anything!

My prize winnings courtesy of Dee Roo Designs

And then we shopped.  I was exceptionally restrained, although that may have had a lot more to do with beany induced tiredness than anything else as there was soooooo much to chose from it was bliss.  

My modest haul...
A smaller gathering of us rounded the night off perfectly with a pizza dinner.  Perfect!  It was such a fantastic day.  Massive thanks and congratulations to Jo and hubby and team for giving us such a brilliant retreat.  Roll on the next one!

I may have missed Saturday with mum, but we still had one more day left.  The plan for our Monday together was to go and see my dream musical, Avenue Q.  Despite tiredness and my getting faint cos the bathroom got too hot we managed to make it to the Assembly Rooms just in time.  What a great pity that fannybaws here read the promo wrong and the show was at the Assembly Halls across town.  Bugger.  So, seeing that musical is going to have to remain a dream.   Oh well!

We had a very leisurely stroll and a really lovely lunch, and then spent a wonderful afternoon sitting in the gardens, blethering and toddler watching.  So much fun!  

Every toddler in the gardens couldnt resist trying to push this rock over...
It was really warm and sunny - first time in years that I've been out for more than a few minutes without a jacket and been hot!  I was a little disappointed that we didn't see a single squirrel.  Imagine, Princes Street Gardens, end of summer, weekend, and not a wee squirrel to be seen.  Unheard of.  However, I'm guessing the reason for the lack of squirrels might have been down to the influx (horrible horrible horrible beyond words) of SEAGULLS to the gardens.  I get angry and completely wound up that there were seagulls all over the gardens.  Evil creatures.  Vicious greedy horrible things.  Fine on the sea, but not anywhere else.  Bugs the hell out of me that they don't get culled.  Send their eggs to the Faroes...  

Another wee wander and a quick stop for some glorious Liquid Chocolate....

A lovely afternoon.  I was pretty knackered by then, so mum didn't mind us going back to the hotel so I could nap.  In the evening there didn't seem much at the cinema, so we took advantage of another city benefit....  TAKEAWAY!   I found the best Mexican takeaway, and we had such a fantastic meal.  Vegetarian Haggis Quesadillas anyone?  Seriously, they rocked.  

Sorry to have gone on quite so much, but I think you can gather that I've just had the best weekend in absolutely DONKEYS. (Can I also say it was about bloody time?!!) 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

My weekend part 1

When I said I was going to go to The Stitch Gathering "no matter what" that wasnt meant to be a  f***ing challenge.  Seriously.  The big man had to be having a laugh.  When I got to the airport on Saturday morning, the whole island was covered in the thickest fog I've seen.  And it did not want to shift.  So, my flight was cancelled, and they stuck me on a ferry.  Joy of joys.  Just what a puking pregnant bladder the size of a walnut narcoleptic wants to hear, "here's your cabin key, you're sharing with some other ladies.  We'll put you on a 2 1/2 hour no breaks bus journey to edinburgh when the ship gets in to aberdeen in the morning"...
But I made it.  I told you I would...

Yes it was a nightmare journey, but I was helped by some kind strangers keeping me on time, awake and in the right place, and reassured of more help from my lovely mate Katy when I reached planet mainland if I needed it.  Exhausting and stressful, but OMG so completely and utterly, totally worth every second.  I had the best time!

I tried to remember to take photos, but ultimately forgot a whole lot of the time (- check out the stitch gathering page for some beauties.) but here are a few of the hundreds of highlights!

My name tag from Dolores of Dee Roo Designs  Isnt this fantastic?  She made a CUPBOARD!!  I got to chat to her loads over dinner and believe me she is bloomin lovely.

First up was bib class with Julie - I dont have photos but I think she showed some.  It was such a great class, and here are the first of our endeavours!

Mine, Fiona's and Mums!
There was an amazing lunch spread with brilliant views all around my favourite city, loads of awesome people to talk to (or in my case wish I had talked to... I was a bit tired...) a show and tell, a lucky dip, and then the afternoon class with Katy.  She has better pics on her blog.  Including evidence that yes, I had a lovely nap whilst mum made her paper pieced teapot.  Well I had spent the night on a ferry and been up since 5.30am....  

Katy and mum discussing the finer points of foundation paper piecing

Fortunately I woke up just in time for Katys malteser cupcakes hmmmm and rather than start late I had a visit from my wee buddy Jack instead.

I offered to make Jack a cape whilst we waited for the teapot people to finish.  I think he approved.

Some SuperJack fun ensued.

Apparently not so much fun when I suggested the cape could also be a nice headscarf.

Other highlights to share, which you may have seen before but its sooooo good I'm making you see it again, The Stitch Gathering Goody Bag.

That's 11 fat quarters, 1 half yard, one box of threads, an aurifil, some other threads including embroidery floss, Frixion pen, Very Berry Handmades Liberty Scrap pack, a Hexie kit, buttons, needles, broach, Liberty bag, Highland Spring water (loads more were handed out free all day) Nairns biscuits, Thread cutter.....Really brilliant booty from the Stitch Gathering sponsors

Look out on Jo's blog as I hear she kept one to giveaway very soon......

Thursday, 15 August 2013

I'm so excited...

I may have moaned a little bit when I wasn't well enough to travel as intended to the Brit Bee meet up a few months ago.

I may have moaned a little bit more when I still wasn't up to travelling and I had to miss out on a week with Ceri and a trip to Fat Quarterly Retreat in London....

But you'll (hopefully) not hear me moaning this month...  (well not too much...)  Sunday 25th August is the other sewing retreat, the scottish one, The Stitch Gathering; what's more, it is in my favourite of favourite places, Edinburgh.
I may still be a bit pukey, (seem to be throwing up, a la the exorcist, every 2 or 3 days now) and I may still be nauseous 24/7, and I may still be rather bloody tired, but I'm damn well going to Edinburgh if I have to be wheeled off the plane with a bucket tied round my neck!   (No, really, I'm packing an emergency handbag kit of extra chewing gum, and a large ziplock plastic bag inside a paper bag...I forgot my chewing gum when I went out yesterday and almost threw up twice!)

The Stitch Gathering

The Stitch Gathering has been planned and arranged by Jo of My Bearpaw and it really looks like its going to be fantastic.  I'm going down to Edinburgh the day before to meet up with mum, and we're both rather fortuitously taking Julies Bib Making class in the morning!  How cool is that, we picked that before we knew about wee beany too.  We've got paper piecing with Katy in the afternoon, then its off to Jo's gorgeous fabric shop to blow our savings pick up a nice wee bitty of fabric, then Pizza for dinner.  Couldnt be better!

Jo sent us all a fabric ticket, for us to embellish and return, for her to make a retreat quilt.  She's awffy clever, eh.  This is how I mutilated decorated mine.

Ticket done, class supplies ready, haircut booked, just need to make a name tag now and I'm all set. This time I am making a nametag for someone I know.  For Fat Quarterly Retreat I made a paper pieced spool nametag for somebody I dont know, and the tag along with all the goodies I included may or may not have been lost in the post - I didnt even get confirmation of that.  However.  This time I know I am making for someone who'll be chuffed I tried no matter what I come up with, and I get to hand it over in person!  Only 10 days to go, better get making!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Peasoup doesn't make for nice pictures...

Thank you so much for all the really lovely comments I received in the last couple of posts - you are all so very kind and it cheered me up no end to hear from you all again.  16 weeks now and still puking...  well, I seem to get a day off or two in between now which I suppose is an improvement!  Mum went home a couple of weeks ago and I'm surviving anyway.  Got a bit miserable when BT took most of the week to fix the broadband...  bit disturbing just how miserable no internet made me!  Then again, if man was home I'd have been okay.  Well, not so bad anyway....

I do have a couple of finishes to show, the first is from mums first visit up, my take on the scrappy trip along with a Momo jelly roll.

Scrappy Momo

It was very much a combined effort - I drew up the pattern, pieced the blocks, joined some of the blocks.  Mum took over block joining when my energy gave out.
Lovely Emily did the basting and did a beautiful all over stipple quilting.  From now on all my quilts go to Emily for her fabulous basting service.  I've never had the room to do it, and now I cant bend over...
I made the binding, machined it onto the front, and mum took over the hand stitching to the back when it took me 3 goes to get 10" along....    I dont think the photo quite does it justice as it really is a bright and lively quilt.

To keep busy whilst I moped about on the sofa / in bed with a bucket, mum took a stack of charms I'd cut to make a siblings together quilt, and she came up with this one.
Honestly I think I picked a dodgy combination of fabrics here, we both struggled with it for a while, but when finished I think it looks fine and I hope it will give some wee brother a nice quilty cuddle.

The other finish is one that is currently with Jo in Edinburgh for the Modern Quilting Exhibition!  I sent this, Staind II and Dorothy.  The quilts by others that I know of that will also be there are proper beauties, so I hope mine dont let the show down too much!  I like them though, and they're mine, so they fulfill their purpose!
Mum was flicking through some of my many, many unmade quilt designs one day and chose this one.  Of course I already had the fabric bundle specifically for it sitting waiting, so she was happy to get stuck in!  I do that you know.  I draw up quilts, I get all the fabrics, I bundle it up, and it just sits there for years in a massive big queue.  Seriously, if I had normal energy levels and perfect health, there'd be quilts filling every cupboard in the house.  (Instead of just the one.  And two rooms of "bundles").
Another combined effort.  I did the design.  Mum did the piecing and basted it.  I did the quilting, and after 3 attempts, I managed to bind it.  Nope, no idea what the f*** went wrong with this one but it was my worst effort at binding ever the first time.  Still, third time lucky and I did manage to post it just in time!

Again, I wish the weather hadn't been so "peasoup" (we've had almost a month of mist or fog up here) so the light could have been better for this one.  The colours are just wonderful.  As I was quilting I was constantly dreaming up new quilts with the colour combinations created on each strip here.  They really are yummy.

There are a few more tops with Emily for basting, and another top I'm quite excited about is getting closer to completion.  I'm still having to fire up the old tank (old laptop) to blog, as my laptop has died and gone to hell.... and I'm useless at "typing" on the pad thingy - so I'm sorry I've not quite been back in commenting mode yet.  Hopefully Man will be home and get me a new laptop by the end of the month!!!  Not that thats the only reason I want him home of course.  There's hoovering needing done too...