Saturday, 30 June 2012

South Hill Park

One of the days when my sister was here, we went for a walk around the grounds of South Hill Park. It is a mansion with a lake. The building has been used as an arts centre for the last few decades. Work has recently completed with new gravelled paths through the woods I used to go through with my son playing Robin Hood.

I showed her my favourite sculpture of the bull pushing through a brick wall.


the other side of the wall!

Funny I never really noticed the frog on his back before!

There was also a look at the Italian Gardens.

And then in the deepening dusk a walk round the lake trying to get photos in the dark.
She enjoyed the patterns on the bark of the chestnut as much as I do.

I love going over there, I should do it more often...take a book and just sit outside reading in nice weather!

Friday, 29 June 2012

York Minster

After Leeds, we went to York and visited my MIL before heading back. My husband dropped us off by the Quilt Museum, where we visited the CQ quilt, "Rule Britannia"...part of the Celebrating Diversity exhibition.

I took a photo, and then learned I shouldn't have. So, I won't post it here. But you can go to the newsagent and get a recent copy of Popular Patchwork. I need to get one myself! I had 6 pieces selected to go into the quilt. I think plans are afoot to make some of the pieces into cards...but we will see if it happens.

It was chucking down the rain all day, so no outside photos of York, but plenty of York Minster. Even though my camera battery ran out before we finished!

A few of the items of interest:


I have seen photos, in Costume history books, of the Tudor family on this memorial. Pretty awesome in person.

Much inspiration from various patterns.
The chapter house ceiling.


and even the chairs!
which were all put away directly after I guess, to make way for the Grass.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Royal Armoury

While we were in Leeds, we went to the Royal Armoury. We didn't have long because for some reason (!) I rather ran out of steam by that point so didn't get motivated til after lunch.

A fascinating place.
I did prefer the knights and tournament side more than the hunting and the 'g(l)ories' of the Empire. There were some interesting pieces in the Oriental Gallery, though. I hadn't worked out a good setting for my camera, so most of the photos are pretty blurry with lots of reflections from the glass. Here are a few that are better.

Child Armour - seems hard to understand, but then again - think of the cowboy costumes, the camouflage t-shirts/trousers, and fighting film heros modern kids dress in. These boys would have wanted gear 'just like dad's' to play in and it would get them used to moving in tin cans while they were young enough to not mind!

Stirrups - an example of some of the decorative gear for more than the men (I have photographed alot of the decorative armour before, so didn't this time.)

engravings in the skirt of armour worn by Henry VIII. I was able to get closer to this piece this time than when I went before. I used the design here as inspiration to develop for some of my City and Guilds work. Mainly the decoration on the coat 'Tudor Glows'.

I was fascinated by the work which went in to decorating weaponry and hunting weapons. Rather ironic in a way. and I can imagine hard to keep nice!
The display these crossbows were in gave me a bit of insight on how they eventually came to the concept and shape of guns from the original bows.
more decoration - the mother of pearl inlays must have costed a lot.

even the accessories for the weapons were decorated.

an amazing piece in the Oriental Gallery. I love the shape of the garment.
I hope to go back again sometime when I don't have to dash and get a closer look at some of the garments like that.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Catching up with a few more sights

Back a few weeks ago - ! a month - when we went up to Yorkshire with my sister, we visited my sister-in-law.
It was nice to have another look round the church where she is Vicar...and in the daylight! Usually going at Christmas means I haven't seen it before with the sun streaming in the stained glass. The church is in the Victorian Gothic style.
The rest were just as beautiful.

A few other bits and pieces I noticed this time.

A beautiful illustrated book.

curlycues on the 'inside' gate.

recently revealed tiles found under old carpeting.
more tile patterning.
And besides, we had a good restful visit!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sky Princess detail

I was asked to show a closer detail of the fastenings and the embellishment.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sky Princess processes

A few more detailed process photos.

I didn't like the way the collar flopped originally. I thought it would stand the way I made it, but instead, it hid all the beads and sequins and showed the plain inside.
So, I discovered an organza bag that had held chocolates. Made a new collar and attached it to the inside and beaded it well.
Now it stands nicely!
You can just see it round the ribbon and info card.

Here are some steps about the clouds.

I layered the silk metallic tissue over the indigo dyed habotai silk and then put a stabiliser on the back. I used a tear away foundation piecing paper because I had loads of it and don't really use it for anything. Because the back would be enclosed, I didn't have to worry about the bits of paper that remained in the stitching.

First I drew my cloud shapes with a dressmaking chalk pen.
Then I free machined the outlines and curves.
Then I free machine zigzagged over those lines.
Then I removed the paper.
Positioned the clouds.
And then free machined them to the coat following the outer edge of each cloud.
Fun! - or not so much. The inside isn't as nice as I would like because I had made the lining and the outer layer of metallic tissue in one - with french seams. So, by free machining the clouds through the layers, there were several issues with the loose lining billowing inside. But I did manage not to sew any puckers.

And there we are!

Sky Princess revisited

Sorry for leaving you staring at the back of a cement lorry!

I ran out of time for sorting and posting photos because I was right out straight finishing the Sky Princess for her outing to Sandown (National Quilt Championships). But I got all the extra clouds added by Saturday and delivered her on Tuesday.

In between, I was marking student work. I had about 7 modules to mark! They have all realised it is nearly the end of term.

any way.
Here she is!

and yes, that is a ribbon you see. - a Judge's merit. So big smiles happening round here. (Even though England lost in penalties - again.)

It is good to have her off the cupboard door at last. For a couple years now she waited for the rest of the clouds, and then for the last few months, this was all I had managed.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Whilst my sister was here, we took a few days off and headed to my husband's family in Yorkshire.

Interesting sight on the road

Everytime we go up north, I see this 'stately home/castle' on the hillside off the M1 in Derbyshire. Because this wasn't a dash up at Christmas, we decided to stop to discover it a bit more (we had looked it up first).
It was Bolsover Castle...which the audioguides insisted was pronounced "Boh-zer".
It was an interesting eclectic sort of place. Like a building caught on the cusp of the Middle Ages and the Georgian period! Some of it was intended to evoke the chivalrous past, so it was a bit difficult to place what you were looking at.
Some parts were ruined when the Roundheads attacked it. The owner was connected to The Stuarts. He taught Charles II how to ride. But I am not sure whether the ruined portions - a whole long building with upstairs/downstairs/great hall and so on - were parts which weren't restored later or for another reason, or what. It seems he had to flee to the continent when Charles I was beheaded, but came back after the Restoration.
Along side of this set of buildings, there was a mini castle which seemed to be used as a sort of folly and where all sorts of whims and fancies were catered to.
The Little Castle didn't seemed to be ruined at all, just disused. However, there were rooms where the ceiling paintings were still pretty vivid. Some, the audioguide said, had been renewed somewhat recently, but it was unclear if all of them had.
Anyway, now I know what the place on the hill is. The jury is out as to whether I would recommend visiting. Unless of course your period of historical interest is the Stuarts. For me, I think I prefer Middle Ages and Tudor. Or maybe it is because the places I have seen with similar interior decoration have been lived in Castles - like Windsor. Anyway, it is a bit of a mash-up of periods, but I am sure would be just right for one of those films where they are just trying to look like past history.

I did find a few things like interesting doorways and pane-less windows to add to my collection of photos in ruins. Someday there will be a series about portals I am sure!

But here are two surprising finds in the architecture.
a face on a corner

a cow on a stair step

Have you been to Bolsover? What did you think of it?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

offcuts - end of May

My sis got to come to the TV Offcuts sewing group meeting at the end of May. She had met my friend Gabrielle one of the times when I went to Houston. We found some headbands in a shop like some my niece has, so my sister decided to raid my quilt fabric stash to make some more.

We had fun both trying to use the same machine! Well, I could have taken my good one, but it wasn't too bad.

Some of the other projects:
Elaine's quilts

 Gabrielle - a new summer dressing gown
 Gill G - sewing away
 Juliette explaining something (I have forgotten what!)

Mavis sandwiching a quilt

Sheila getting to grips with her overlocker

Me working on more of those jeans bags. I never did get back to them after that! Perhaps after the current "needs to be delivered the 17th" deadline.

GillG - forget what she was sewing, but I loved her painted blouse.