Pizza and Custard

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One of my children asked what was for tea the other day… I replied, “Pizza and Custard!” Fenella said, “Oh good – I love pizza and custard!” which is when it occurred to me that I didn’t mean custard ON the pizza. It was just a nice and easy supper after another busy day in the workshop. A couple of boxes of ready made pizza and Birds custard powder (as a separate pudding) was a very quick and easy meal! I do love River Cottage Style home-grown, home-made food – except when I am quilting flat out.

I finished a very large French Braid quilt with a close, contour type of meander but I decided that I wasn’t all that happy with the tension combination of a batik back and Aurifil thread. It was pretty good when finished, though. I think that French Braids need something soft that doesn’t compete with their geometric design. I have seen them done in clamshells too, which sets them off in an understated way.

I also completed a quilted bedspread made from 12 antique embroidered chair panels, some very substantial linen, and a roughish unknown backing. Hobbs Polydown was used as wadding and a neutral Isalon thread and it quilted up beautifully with a bog-standard stipple all over. I added some antique heavy cotton lace to the edges which was proving to be fiddly around the corners until I realised that the original joins on it had just been cut as a mitre and sewn back together. It is destined to go to a simple holiday lodge in Norway to a non-quilter so they should be fairly pleased with its rustic look!

I almost titled this week’s blog “Why I will probably be immune to bird/swine flu…” but thought it could get Googled by The Department of Animal Health so decided against it. I had a sick chook so took it with me when I went to Mo’s for coffee. I knew she would diagnose and look after it more patiently than I would. I had thought it had gone broody and a bit pathetic but the next morning when I went to feed the hens I found it outside the run just sitting in a heavy thunderstorm, unable to move. It either ate a poisonous plant or caught a chill. Mo put it on a sofa in her yurt under a blanket with a hot water bottle (as I knew she would) and has been nursing it back to health with special mashes and concoctions.

The pigs helped themselves to a tasty snack this week that I won’t be mentioning on their paperwork for the abattoir… a pigeon or possibly a seagull landed in their run to see what pellets it could snatch. Ginger and Splodge obviously fancied a bit of sport and managed to catch it. When I went to fill up their water trough in the afternoon there was a great pile of light grey breast feathers and a pair of meatless wings. I must make sure that I don’t fall over in the pig-run and knock myself unconscious so that the only trace left of me is my wellies!

I decided to make my sister some Cath Kidston wedding bunting but then I spotted the Amy Butler fabrics which are far funkier so I got 10 lengths of 8”. I may add a few more fabrics depending on what length I can be bothered to make. I may decide enough is enough after about 50 feet – about how much I have around my yurt!

I thought that I had all the pieces and blocks made for my pink and orange Log Cabin Lonestar until I laid it out and found that I still lacked 2 blocks. I have now finally made them and decided to add another narrow border of the fab Kaffe Fassett pink and brown planets. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough left to make yet another narrow border further out so I may have to settle for gold lame. I could make some more gold lame piping but it does go weirdly wavy when the surrounding areas are quilted. I had to admit to myself that all that strong pink and orange may be a bit “much”. I have to decide on some amazingly wacky quilting as it is for the Longarm Gallery at FOQ so it’s a chance to show off. I intended to use a nice variegated Aurifil but last week the tension wasn’t quite right with it. I think it needs some extra thread guides. When I loosened the tension to stop the bobbin thread pulling the top thread was too sloppy. When I ran Isalon and Bottom Line on the next quilt it was all smooth again. With a big show quilt and a close deadline maybe I should stick to a thread that I know will work. The Challenge provided a YLI reel of pinky-mango cotton but it didn’t actually say that you HAD to use it so I am feeling tempted to use neon colours…

I ran a search for the Hungarian Quilt Exhibition winners and came across a blog entry by Tracey Pereira. She had longarmed the winning quilt and posted pictures of it. Her feathered quilting is absolutely stunning. I actually felt slightly despondent after looking at it, thinking that I could not have produced such a fabulous quilt. I began to question why I have been entering all of the shows and exhibitions that I have lately when they have not gained any awards or featured in magazines. Now, I know perfectly well that that is not the whole point of quilting but I feel the need to be recognised before I can confidently advertise a quilters’ retreat or think about writing a book. I sat for a while and wondered how much harder I would need to work in order to produce truly outstanding quilts. After a while I gave myself a kick up the backside and told myself to work on formulating my own style instead of trying so hard to do something like formal feathers. There are plenty of other people doing gorgeous classical quilts so I should just come up with something else that I can do well. I had an idea to take some of the Welsh quilting motifs but give them a freeform twist. These are all things that I can experiment with on the yurt panels. I think these can be really quite wild since the grant was awarded on the condition that I should produce “contemporary” work.

Here’s a link to the exhibition in Papa, Hungarywww.hunpatch.com

There are many super entries all using predominantly Kekfesto blue and white cotton. The morning that I looked it up, “Smashing Crockery” was the first to appear and it didn’t look too bad at all!

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