Archive for May, 2010

Express Delivery

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew old when you were a child? †We all have asked or have been asked that question. †I will always remember the answer of one of my friends: “I want to be a postman so I can deliver nice presents to people”. †Little did she know that the postman also delivers dreadful bills!

Well, the idea of delivering parcels for a living never crossed my mind, but I must be honest it is one of the parts of my job that I enjoy the most now, specially during this unusual warm weather here in the UK, when I can cycle to the post office and I don’t have to worry about carrying umbrellas, raincoats, saddle covers, etc.

I am really glad that I can cycle to do my chores. †I love the idea of stretching out my legs, getting a bit of fresh air in my lungs, it is kinder with the environment, and it also makes me feel less guilty when I have a big muffin in the afternoon ;) †Oxford is a bicycle-friendly city and as soon as we moved here I rushed to get a Pashley bike. †I love my bicycle, I might not be the fasted on the road, but I am sure I am the happiest when I am riding to the post office knowing that my parcels will put a smile on the faces of our customers!

Pashley Princess Sovereign

My Pashley bike on the way back from the Post Office

V&A Quilts 1700-2010 Exhibition

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Very few things in life are as comforting as a quilt. †Quilts for me are sort of a hug and a cup of hot chocolate in a rainy day all mixed together. †So when I found myself on my own during the wet Bank Holiday in early May, I knew where was the place to go to make me feel a bit better. †I took and early train to from Oxford to London and went straight to the V&A Quilts Exhibition. †It was like an instant fix to my blue day! †The museum was quite busy, and as much that I’d love having the galleries for my self, I think it is great that many people also want to admire all the treasures in the museum.

Liberty Jack Quilt, Janey Forgan. Patchowrk and quilting, Oxford, 2008. V&A Museum.

My first stop was at the Sackler Centre to sew a 12×12 inch patchwork block, that it later was sewn together with other blocks made by others and transformed into a quilt to be donated to the Project Linus. †I have never done a quilt in my life (although it is in my list of to-do-things), so I was quite impressed with little block. †Tutors were helping people like me and I was lucky to be guided by the lovely (and patience) Mrs Jo Poulton†(who also is part of Greenstede Quilters in East Grinstead). †I think events like this are great for getting people into crafts and also crafting for a good cause. †My day was getting so much better after that! †

Nine-patch squares at the V&A waiting to be created in lovely blankets for children with serious illness.

On my way to London, I had wondered how an exhibition of an every-day-thing such as a quilt can attract so many visitors. †I must say the curators had done a fantastic work; the quilts are stunning, both antique and contemporary. †You find yourself wondering †about the people who made them, or who owned them. †I am sure they never thought†that their coverlet was going to be displayed in a museum hundreds of years later admired by people from all over the world. †The contemporary quilts are fascinating. †It is an eye-opening to see how people from different paths of life do and enjoy making quilts with such rich techniques, and all of them use a quilt to express themselves.

Many of my customers are quilters or use patchwork in some of their projects, and their results are incredible beautiful and certainly they all are museum material. †I am not surprise that some of the designers fabric that we stock have already been in art galleries. †But could you imagine travel in time and see an Amy Butler quilt made by you, or a tablecloth made with Leanika fabric? †And I think we all can see Denyse Schmidt’s designs in museums!

Coverlet, Patchwork and quilting. Possibly Exter, England, 1690-1720. V&A Museum

A little gift to a friend

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Last week I was invited to a friendís house for a BBQ.† I was very happy that they invited me that I wanted to take something special with me to share, apart from a good bottle of wine of course!† After discarding the typical options of flowers, biscuits, chocolates, I remembered that I had seen this post and thought it would be a great way to use one of the most popular fabrics that we have at the shop and also the lavender that I grow in my garden.

from my own garden

I love the design in Scroll by Dena Designs, both in pink and ivory, and it’s also very easy to match with other fabrics too.† I didnít have pinking shears so the end result was a bit different from the original, but I was quite happy with it and the thought of keeping the sachet for me did cross my mind. †But I was glad I did give it to my friend. †The lavender filled the whole living room with a nice soft aroma and the fabric is so lovely that it doesn’t have to be hidden in a corner.

I think it is such a nice present or party favour, and I made it in no time. †I still have lots of lavender from last year so this weekend I am planning to make a few more.

Lavender sachet made with Scroll by Dena Designs