Wednesday, April 29, 2009
One of the admin tasks is to keep up to date with current law. The Internet age means that we are bombarded with various e-newsletters and updates with links to web pages containing new statutory instruments, articles or case law. Not only do I need to read and digest but often I need to cut paste, redraft and combine into lecture notes. This is not fun. I survive by using Google Reader to intersperse your blogs! Now, on the basis that part of the point of blogging is to learn about other people's lives, I thought I would give you a little taster of mine today.....
.... running through the links I found this. Sheesh - and you thought textile stuff was supposed to be fun! (And this is the explanation not even the actual item!!)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
All was well. I went out for lunch. Ate a wonderful cheesecake. Came back. Machine had a hissy fit. Probably because I did not bring her any creme egg cheesecake. No way would the tension work on the bottom. (My machine is definitely a girl machine). I cleaned her. I oiled her. I played with the tension. I talked nicely to her.I swapped the bobin case. I changed her needle and promised her a whole cake to herself. I turned the quilt upside down and reversed the threads. More hissy fitting. I turned her off and sulked all the way home. I had not even planned to quilt ( as opposed to piece) whilst I was away but now I had started, the new plan was to finish the thing and she was not playing along. BAD machine. Clearly she needed to go to hospital.
I look in the local phone book. Bath Sewing Machine centre ( 'Two hours service: we collect') is five mins walk away albeit via some ridiculously steep streets. I ring at 8.30 the next am. Can he fix my Janome Memorycraft, NOW? Yes, he can do it if I bring in in straight away. Bring it? I thought he collected. No, not today because he is in the shop alone. I call a taxi. I get there. Shop closed. But hang on - didn't he answer the phone twenty mins ago? Apparently he has it on divert. I sit on a stone bench across the road and pretend I am an undercover cop on surveillance. The shop looks ominously shabby. The machines in the window are - well, antique. But then we use a magic cobbler at home who works out of a hovel and does great work. Means nothing.
The man eventually arrives. He tells me off for ringing so early. (Excuse me? Why have your hovel, sorry, shop phone diverted to home if you don't want customers to ring you?) He peers at the machine.
"Oooh." he says. "It be com-pew-'ur- ised. They're buggers them things when they go wrong, they are." (Anyone not familiar with a strong Somerset accent please think 'Pirates').
I put a protective hand on my machine. I am sure she shrinks towards me in a combination of contrition and fear that she might get left with this butcher.
"Do you know what you are doing with it?"
"Not really, no."
Right. He did lend me his phone book and I rang the Husqvarna centre which I had previously ignored despite knowing where it was since they are an entirely different brand. No problem, bring it in. I call another taxi. The driver's wife is a sewer of children's clothes and we talk overlockers and I pretend not to notice that he is driving the long way around under the pretext of not wanting me to have to cross the road when we get there. That's the road with the pedestrian crossing ten yards from the shop.
At the Husqvarna Studio Bath the nice man in this Photo spends quite some time fiddling with it. Fixes it, won't charge me and lets me leave it there for a few hours while I go shopping. Nice man - go and buy some fabric from him if you are in Bath.
Why I am I telling you this now? Because I have just finished the quilting and the machine is purring like a fluffy little lap cat. Good girl! Now, what happened to that dessert I could swear I left in the fridge?
Monday, April 27, 2009
The building in the foreground is the old boat shed from the days ( back when I were a kid) when you could hire rowing boats. On a Sunday morning an ice cream van parks there. There are many small children in this park at weekend, including a number of toddlers on reins and little tots on their first bikes with stabilisers, particularly as you can imagine, around the ice cream van.
So anyway, there we are strolling around the pond towards the van and we go to overtake a family whose dog is running in front of them. As we are about level the dog comes bounding back and causes me to stop dead to avoid tripping over it which I only just managed. The woman who owned the dog said,
"Sorry. He likes running around and tripping people up."
Because (a) the comment seemed to invite it (b) I am professionally used to expressing an opinion and sitting in judgement and (c) because I don't know when to keep my mouth shut, I said, as I passed her,
"That's why he should be on a leash."
I did not expect that this would cause a problem. But she started yelling "Excuse me? What did you just say?" (The question being rather redundant as she then repeated it to her husband who started shouting, "He's not doing any harm.").
Because of (a) (b) and especially (c) above I turned around, and said "I am sorry but there are a lot of very small children around here and I am worried that one of them may get hurt or bitten" Husband then starts glaring at me. He is big. All I want is an ice cream and Dennis is hissing "Stop picking a fight." So I shake my head ruefully and walk away. Fairly fast.
I am glad to see that by the time they catch us up at the van the dog is leashed. I am not saying the dog ( which was a kind of spaniel type thing) should not be in the park. By all means use one of those extending leashes so he can run and bound and be stopped in his tracks when he gets somewhere problematic. But to my mind, bounding spaniel + concrete path + toddling two year old can so easily = fall, broken bones and phobic child. Even if it is a dog which has no teeth whoatsover and therefore could not possible nip a child who panics and lashes out when this thing, which is not a huge dog but equals the size of a child, runs at them.
But then, I do not own a dog. Am I being unreasonable?
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The technique is not new or even hard and I know that some readers will be able to make it just by looking at the picture but just in case it is helpful for others, here are some instructions. The darker photos are more accurate when it comes to colour - I kept forgetting to put the flash on resulting in the lighter ones.
4. Change machine threads for variety and choose a decorative stitch on your machine. Stitch down between several of the gaps between the couched yarns. Change threads and stitch for variety and fill in all the other gaps.
6. Trim back to the felt base eliminating all straggle ends of thread.
10. Flip the piece over. Sew just along the inner edge of the zig zag edging stitches you created earlier on the short sides. This will result in the inner felt piece being secured in three places but loose elsewhere to allow you to put needles and pins in.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This time Dennis bought me this book in place of an Easter Egg - it is fabulous - a mix of textiles and travel and amazing photography. I recommend it. I still got my egg though albeit sneakily. We had the pleasure of taking De, Chris and Brigitta from Midsomer Quilting out to their local pub the Somerset Wagon where they served Creme Egg cheesecake - such a good idea!