December already? Are you sure???

Well I have opened the first door on my advent calendar (a rather nice mug of hot chocolate) and the drawers on Mark’s wooden advent train are filled with gifts and chocolates (48 going on 10), so I guess it really must be December… The house is overflowing with stock and my oldest friend (in terms of years we have been friends…35 years to be precise), Karen, is here for the weekend and helped Tamsin and me post WI Christmas Fair flyers through the doors of huge and lovely houses on Bathwick Hill, so all that is left is to add price labels and make up an album of past makes and a pile of custom order forms…oh and to dig out the Christmas lights. I am so looking forward to the Christmas fair on Wednesday evening; it’s no secret how big a fan I am of the Bath WI (it’s like a trifle with layers of creativity, intelligence and knowledge, topped with dollops of loveliness). If you are local, do come to the fair – there are going to be fantastic stalls, mulled wine and edibles.

I have also had some more sales – it is so comforting to now be selling to people I don’t know, so I can be sure it’s not just the sympathy purchases of kindly friends. My favourite Harry Potter bag is off to Paris (which makes me rather warm and happy inside as I have long had a love of all things French), one of the sewing kit jars went off to Oxford and the apron models worked their magic and one of my aprons is off to London in the morning.

Karen and I managed several pots of Christmas tea at the Bath Tea House Emporium as well as leafleting and spent Friday evening at the Theatre Royal watching Fiddler on the Roof – fab! Strange to think of the crush I had on Paul Michael Glaser as Starsky when I was 10 years old and now here he is in Bath as Tevye (and very good he is too!).

Yesterday we spent the day at the West Country Quilt Show, before coming home via Midsomer Quilting to an awesome dinner out at the Bathwick Boatman. Lovely day.

The quilt show was much quieter than I expected. Great for being able to browse the stands comfortably (and perfect for someone who hates crowds and tends to panic when surrounded by people), but I do hope it was still worthwhile for the businesses with stands.

but where are all the people?
but where are all the people?
plenty to tempt fabricoholics
plenty to tempt fabricoholics

Too many quilts to photograph them all, but here are some I particularly liked:

Tula Pink - love the colours and techniques
Tula Pink – love the colours and techniques
particularly like this Moda French General fabric (have added it to my fabric wishlist Pinterest board)
particularly like this Moda French General fabric (have added it to my fabric wishlist Pinterest board)
woof woof
woof woof
love the crispness of this stained glass window quilt
love the crispness of this stained glass window quilt

I gave myself a cash budget and stuck within it, checking out everything once before allowing myself to go back and buy a ‘few’ things…

additions to my stash...watch this space to see how I use them
additions to my stash…watch this space to see how I use them

I think my favourite, on grounds of cleverness/silliness, is the cat among the pigeons fabric!

set the cat among the pigeons
set the cat among the pigeons

Right then it is disgracefully late for my other half to be sleeping…will wake him up with a cup of coffee and drag him off to Dyrham Park!

quilting therapy

Is it just me, or do other people find a sense of calm from quilting? Perhaps it’s the warm cosiness of just having the layers of fabric and wadding resting on your knees as you sew, or knowing that people have been making quilts for hundreds of years, or the repetitive stitches – but I love quilts and quilting. I am still a relative beginner and usually tend towards some sort of quirky applique number, but I like to think my latest quilt is an homage to the simplicity of Scandinavian style. I fell in love with this Moda ‘Winter’s Lane’ fabric and will be sad to see it go…but it is in my shop now: tied patchwork quilt

I discovered a new (to me) online fabric shop specialising in extra wide fabric for quilt backs and upholstery; gorgeous stuff and half the price of most of the fabric I have found. So, if you are in the uk and need very reasonably priced extra wide fabric, I can recommend Quiltbacks UK.

Photos of the quilt on our sofa and on our rotary dryer in the garden just didn’t look right, so my lovely neighbour let me use her washing line (so it seems only right to include a photo with her in it too):

my next door neighbour helping control the quilt
my next door neighbour helping control the quilt
Deerey Me tied patchwork quilt
Deerey Me tied patchwork quilt
Moda's Winter's Lane
Moda’s Winter’s Lane
newly finished quilt blowing in the breeze

As you can see from the quilt photos, it has been a beautiful day today – good light to show off the gorgeous artist trading card I received from Marie at Stokes Croft Stitching. You can see how clever it is with the light behind it (mounting it on acetate was a genius idea); a very clever lady!

Stokes Croft Stitching ATC
Stokes Croft Stitching ATC
ATC from Marie
ATC from Marie
co-ordinated note and ATC

And finally…I love Pinterest! I have been making little snow scenes in bottles and jars and, as is so strangely often the case, mini trees in their natural bottle brush state are far more expensive than ones dyed green, but thanks to Pinterest I saw that it should (theoretically) be possible to bleach green trees. They are not pure white, but a rather nice vintage cream – now ready to be re-glittered!

bleached mini Christmas trees
bleached mini Christmas trees