Monday, 11 April 2016

Dear resolve to blog more often has dwindled. I keep meaning to do it but my pictures are on all sorts of different devices so it's taken me a while to get everything together.

Some time ago I was given some Shetland Wool by Jennie who I meet every year in Ireland.
I eventually used some of it to make a piece of embroidered felt and was able t take it to Ireland at the end of February to give it to Jennie. The cottage we were staying in had excellent lighting for photography.

It also had a nice table and we made felt together while our other halves were at their music classes.

Later in the week Jennie returned the favour and we all went to her cottage where we made little post it note books, using a variety of techniques, especially her lovely flower making techniques. 

She'd taken all the hard work out for us by preparing the shapes, and brought loads of lovely materials.
Jennie's blog is Live the dream where you can see many more of her beautiful paper projects.

On other days my friend and I walked and met some locals. A very wet Donkey. It did rain sometimes!

But its such a lovely village and the views across Galway Bay to Connemara were very clear some days.

We drove along the Wild Atlantic Way

Just beautiful.

and saw surfers at Lahinch.

And in the evenings there was The Craic. 
This was in the pub in Kinvarra , the Sunday night session. It was funny that we'd seen a TV programme about the woman playing the banjo earlier in the week.

During the week I met up with Esther Kiely and Breda McNelis , two of my lovely textile contacts.Breda and I had arranged to do a swap, she gave me two of her lovely pieces so I was very lucky. (Pictures to follow)

Breda captures the colours and textures of the Burren so well in her work. 

She offered ma a choice and I couldn't decide between these two so she gave me both. 

They are beautifully framed, and the piece I gave to her was lightly and rather wonkilly  mounted on card. 

 Now, Hetty had   a GREAT time while we were away.
But she put on a little weight!

She's now back to her slim self.

In Lancashire we have some amazing Textile Heritage and some of the mills are museums.
Sadly , cuts in funding have threatened them with closure so I decided to visit them before they close.
I had an afternoon at The Helmshore Textile Museum , and it was fascinating.
It ceased production in the 70s (?) but there are machines dating much further back. The staff did a couple of talks about the way cotton fabric was produced, and it was fascinating, and a real eye opener about the harsh conditions of the workers.
Below is the system they had for reducing the size of the cotton lengths prior to spinning.

The machines below we for rubbing up the nap of the woven fabric.

The Museums have been given a bit of a stay of execution but I fear they may eventually close.

I've made a bit of my own fabric too.

I'm quite pleased with this length of embroidery, the colours work well in real life.

Forgive the rubbish 'finger in the way' photo but how astonishing it was to open the curtains to snow a couple of weeks ago.
Very pretty on my walk.

On the way home, the cross in front of The Chapel next door proved just how late the snow was.

The lovely wood below is Formby Point,  where we went for an afternoon with my Mum.

It's owned by the National Trust and is a Red Squirrel reserve. The woods are really quiet and calm despite the huge number of visitors who were there. We saw a few Red squirrels and we walked down to the beach, over the sand dunes, Hetty had a good run off the lead on the beach and enjoyed herself.

I did a bit of household sewing recently ..amazing!
I fell in love with this fabric when I went to the shop across the road from the Textile Museum, and I splashed out on half a metre, which I then managed to eke out to three cushion covers

I added some leftover curtain fabric and did a bit of random applique .
I love the colours.

 Other sewing has been done too..I've discovered a lovely new colour combination.

My new favourite : rose pink and olive green

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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