This week I have been attempting a new item on my Fifty List - quilting. I love quilts and my sewing skills are legendary; unfortunately, not for the right reasons - in Junior School, I was the one who sewed the apron she was making to her skirt and was forced to stand at the front of the class as an example of how not to do it!
Matters haven't really improved over the years. I do possess a sewing machine (bought as an optimistic Christmas present one year) but if I tell you that for my quilting course I had to retrieve it from the loft and brush 5 years of cobwebs off it, you'll get the idea.
Anyway, I signed up for a beginner's sampler course held at a local farm. One Wednesday a month for 5 months, they teach you the basic techniques and, with HOMEWORK, at the end of the course we should end up with something that looks like this:
To be honest, I told the 2 ladies running the course that if mine is even remotely as good as this, they can use me as advertising - if this woman can do it anyone can! Even my youngest, when shown the above photo, said that it wasn't going to happen.
There are 2 other women doing the same course - both experienced sewers (I'm talking upholstery here!) and they seemed rather shocked when I couldn't name my make of sewing machine! I felt rather intimidated to start but everyone was really friendly and the lunch (served in the most beautiful farmhouse kitchen) was delicious so I'm quite looking forward to next month's class. This time we practised the embroidery - there are 10 examples on the quilt. I was very aware that I was by far the slowest but we get to finish them off for homework before the next session and I am gradually working my way through them. Here are some of the ones I've done so far:
I can't work out if he's playing with the ball or spraying the bush!
Here I am working on the next one - despite appearances, I haven't sewn it to my skirt!
I bought the fabric and thread for next month's class when we'll learn applique:
On Saturday, L and I attended another free Library Fest workshop. This time it was a 'Pictures in Stitch' workshop run by local artist Wendy Lloyd. Children's drawings could be transferred to fabric, just like the ones above. L decided to do one of 'The Little Prince':
It was really quite tricky - especially his hair and the different parts of his coat. She hasn't finished it yet but I'll take a photo when it's done. I decided to immortalize E's pet rabbit:
The one on the right is appliqued (good practice for next month!) and I might separate the 2 pictures and use one in my quilt. The workshop lasted for 3 hours, so we had a picnic by the canal when we came out. Veggie spring rolls - yum!
The girls did some baking - mega butterfly muffins!
And decorated our Easter Tree with eggs collected and made over the years:
On Sunday L went to visit J for a few days. We dropped her off at the station and then popped into a quilt exhibition at a local school. There were over 3 hundred quilts and I took a few pictures of my favourites:
I would have stayed longer but E was a bit restless and eventually played the 'I really want to do some GCSE revision' card! What mother could ignore that one?
The rest of Sunday was spent doing a spot of gardening and a sneaky bit of hooky by the river.
There were lots of these!