Filed under: in my studio | Tags: applique, embroidery, old table lines, patches, quilting, Wedding quilt
Can you remember these quilt patches from some time ago? The ones with the small birds and flowers. (see Post Tweedle Dee Dee) Well they have now been incorporated into a quilt…or at the very least, the start of one.
The patches were intended for my Dad, to be part of an 80th birthday quilt, but he is now 82 and announced last month that he and his partner Lois were going to get married. After some discussion among sisters we decided that the intended birthday quilt would be adapted to become a wedding quilt which could be pieced and layered here and quilted by their friends in Canada where they spend half the year.
Each patch was cut from old table linens found in a number of charity shops. Incidentally this turned out to be apt given that Lois adores a good charity shop and has familiarised herself with just about every “Help the Aged” this side of Hadrian’s wall.
I had already introduced the Scottish connection with embroideries of local flora and fauna but I needed to introduce Canada in some way: Maple leaves was bonded to some patches and they would later be quilted at a Bee in Canada.
the third verse of words of Kahlil Gibran’s wise wise words on Marriage were embroidered around the central square:
“Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the Oak tree and the Cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Strips of scrap fabrics in stoney hues were pieced around the text. In my mind they, to a certain extent, represent the stone pillars of the temple.
The top layer is not quite finished. I still want to add a border with the tunes that my sister wrote for Lois’s mum and Dad – Jean and Sherman Yelland.
So a wee bit more work and then layering up. We’ll probably have a quilting or two here before the quilt crosses to the other side of the world for the attention and stitching of friends further afield.
So this has all got me thinking about setting up a series of quilting workshops here on the island, perhaps with a bit of song thrown in. What do you reckon to that idea?
Filed under: 1 | Tags: electricity connection, Electricity pole, Hydro electric, Scottish and Southern
No pictures today because I forgot to carry my camera to the croft both before and after lunch. However, the day most definitely warrants a post as it was an unusual one. It was the day when our barn was scheduled to receive its first pulse of grid generated electricity and consequently more than half the island had to do without between 10am and 2pm. The cafe and museum were closed as a result but the shop stayed open. However, it was difficult to distinguish between a parsnip and a carrot due to the dim light. I felt a glimmer of guilt in the same way as one might, having infected a school with chickenpox, however the guilt was overshadowed by the anticipation and excitement of finally lighting up the croft and hoovering the barn floor.
I spent the morning watching the electrician scale freshly creosoted larch poles as I wandered up and down the hilltop field zapping thistles with Grazon 90. At lunchtime I wandered back to the farmhouse with my neighbour Stephen, and we marvelled at the handsome, newly erected pole on our croft. After lunch we ambled back and it gradually dawned on us both that the handsome pole was no longer there. For a short while I wondered whether it had ever really existed. Had it perhaps just been wishful thinking after months, nae years of speculation? but as we approached it became clear that the huge beast had entirely fallen down…splat! It had crashed through the march fence bringing half of it down with it and warping the gate to boot. The event had also resulted in broken fuses and a badly bumped transformer. Ohhhh dear.
Mr Scottish and Southern and crew tried to appear cheery as they attempted to attend to the damage and figure out why and what to do about it. Something was mumbled about dry, stable ground becoming wet, jelly like ground and nothing was said about stays (or the lack of one). However, Mr S and S assures me it will all be fine in the end, whilst muttering ” Nightmare, nightmare”.
Tomorrow, our slightly less handsome pole will be re erected and the island will, once again have to abstain from cups of tea, computers, television and, in some case, income for the sake of our bright and buzzy barn.
Filed under: home, life on lismore | Tags: going with the flow, Pulling thisles, tweed notebook
Today the sum total of my textile production has been 6 half completed notebook covers, bound eventually for “Sheila Fleet” in Kirkwall. This is a pathetic amount of produce and don’t I know it.
My day was delightfully filled with providing electricians with cups of tea, cleaning and clearing work surfaces, hoovering my studio, ordering replacement bonnet for the mainland car, fixing email glitches and showing wedding photos and newly built barn to visiting rellies as well as writing a hall newsletter and making lunch, tea and a black currant pie for the croft workers and the boys accompanied by occasional pangs of guilt for not managing to clean the village hall once this month and I’m on “July”duty.
Today was about attending to the here and now and not side lining life for the sake of a tick list. It felt good. OK…off to pull thistles in the evening sun.
Filed under: latest news | Tags: Aviemore, Cairngorms national park, Speybank, Speyside
It’s always a little disconcerting to voyage away from the one place I like to think of as the best in the world, because I then risk an encounter with a place that might actually be a little better, which will then make me feel less smug and I like to feel smug.
The last eight days spent under the eaves of the Cairngorms have been a little unsettling in this respect. So darn beautiful, so varied and so well set up for visitors. There’s a bumper number of activities to enjoy and terrains to explore. We paddled in kayaks and tried not to disturb the nesting Osprey overhead, swam in rivers, scaled Cairngorm, painted pottery and watched wolves and a polar bear at the wildlife park. In the mornings I jogged in the pine scented paths of the larch woods and spied red squirrel and deer en route.
Lismore doesn’t have woods of any considerable size. This morning I tried to take a new running route and after the sixth farm gate, dew soaked trainers, a cow plat splat on my knee and a U-turn encounter with a very ugly bull I admitted that the East and its little red riding hood woods and inexhaustible activities has a certain competitive edge.
I know there’s more to be said on this topic but after all that Eastern exertion I’m just too darn shattered to think.
I recently discovered that not everyone familiar with the English language is as familiar with the term “bagsey” (spelling could be way off).
It is one of these Scottish colloquialisms relating to coveting which we (my family) used daily to ensure that our seat, sweet, slice of cake was reserved solely for muggins, an example being “Bagsey ma seat” meaning don’t let anyone sit here while I’m gone. This particular spot demands a certain amount of elbow since it really is a stunner and left unclaimed could be wasted on a drum practice hut or teenage den. No, this spot needs to be bagseyd for an altogether higher purpose, a meditation hut.
I have spent the last few days building and rebuilding it in my mind in a range of shapes and materials. I’m thinking humble stone roundhouse with perhaps a dash of thatch and a lot more light than a lowly Pictish dwelling usually affords.
I’m also intrigued and drawn to the cord wood building approach and spend hours of evening drooling over images of Midge and Minty’s Colorado dream hut .
However, the likelihood is that my dream hut will look a little more like this:
for the short period prior to the wind blowing as Yorick is going to need some serious recovery time after having just about completed building THIS:
Filed under: in my studio | Tags: art blinds, bespoke blinds, commissions, cross stitch, cross stitcher, made to measure blinds, photographing blinds
Is that they are a bummer to photograph.
You either need a spare bright and empty house with a stylist and photographer in the wings or you bribe every client to photograph theirs once installed (with no guarantee of quality!).
Today I pursued a third option in which there may be some mileage. Big white wall, install blind upon it and click.
However it is hardly the context shot that potential clients crave and could be improved so by the addition of a vase of flowers a bedside table and a WINDOW for gods sake – but I just couldn’t be bothered lugging accessories up to the newly built barn. Also, Yorick is overworked and exhausted enough with basic barn building, I don’t imagine he would relish being asked to install a window for the sole purpose of photographing a blind. Perhaps I need to explore Photoshop potential. Can I cut and paste windows, chairs, divans? Can I style from the comfort of my office? Oooh I’m getting excited now, perhaps I could apply a slice of Buckingham palace gardens to the window under a half cocked Mogwaii blind. Now there’s a thought.
What a giggle I had today when I received an email asking whether I would like to be featured in Cross stitcher magazine. Of course I said yes and have questions to answer as a result but the irony is I have never cross stitched in my life! I have just been approached to incorporate cross stitch in a commission and had to pass it on to my friend Tina.
I did come clean of course but they don’t seem to mind. Oh well…look out for a fresh approach to cross stitch (ie straight stitch) in their up and coming magazine: