Saturday, 4 August 2018

Tricycle adventures, good and bad... and Festival of Quilts

We have a problem.  My husband Glyn had a cycling accident last weekend on my 'new' vintage Pashley trike and has badly injured his knee.  He has detached the cruciate ligament in his right knee and damaged one of the other ligaments.  The upshot is that we’ve been back and forth to the hospital all this week, he’s got to have an MRI scan on later August and they are talking about surgery being necessary.  It’s a problem because he can’t walk properly but more importantly can’t drive, and won’t be able to even think about getting back to driving for at least 3 months, possibly longer.  For now he has been signed off from work for 6 weeks (but will be able to do some work from home). We will be going to Festival of Quilts as planned, but he won't be doing a lot of walking around.

First, the happier photos! The pictures at the top show the trike at Edinburgh Bike Station, where we spotted it a fortnight ago.  We brought it home in the car last weekend and put it back together (correctly!)

We gave it a 'new' secondhand gel saddle, hardly used, for more comfort.

Then we took it out for trial rides. It is fun!  It handles completely differently from a 2 wheeled bike, and the last time I rode a trike I was about 5 years old.

Slowing down for a turn is essential, but you can turn in a tiny space. You can't fall off easily (we thought)...

Glyn got in plenty of practice too. The trike has a tendency to pull into the kerb, which was worse on the corner of the lane, following the camber of the road, hence going very slowly there. There is quite a dip opposite our drive, which is where a huge puddle forms in the rain, causing us some flooding problems on the drive in the past.

The gears are 10 speed Suntour Cyclone 2, with a Stronglight 100 chainset. So it is a very smooth ride and a bit too easy to pick up speed. The gear change is on the handlebar stem, so you have to bend down to change gear, which is a bit awkward, as the trike riding position is much more upright than a racing bike. We already planned to change this.

Toasting our success! We really felt we had got to grips with the basics of trike riding. So when Glyn went to the Co op in Coupar Angus later that evening, he rode the trike. Unfortunately, just after turning at Kettins cross roads, he tried to change gear at the same time the bike hit a sudden change in the road camber (not visible on approach) and in a split second the trike had run up a dropped kerb and dumped him straight into the hedge! It does not handle at all like a bike. He had to ride home too because he couldn't walk and had forgotten to take his phone...

Monday morning we were at A&E, and they gave him the first of his splints, after X-rays to identify the injury.

He was fitted for a hinged splint on Thursday. Ouch! But he can hobble around on his crutches a lot better. Glyn just commeted 'I've got a yellow leg' - all the bruising is finally coming out. At least he can still smile.  The painkillers probably help with that.

I'm not too optimistic that this can really heal itself without surgery, as one of my cats, Fluff, did exactly the same injury (not involving a trike, needless to say) and had to have an op to reattach it.  At the moment, we don't know when that is going to be, but sometime after the scan.

We will be at Festival of Quilts on N10, but he's going to be doing a lot of sitting down. We are trying to turn that into an advantage for customers. My sales stand has already been redesigned to use 30cm deep IKEA Ivar shelving approx. 120cm high max, with lower sections to work as 'sales counters' so Glyn will be staffing one of those, sitting on a very comfy camping chair. I'm hoping by having all our fabrics on low level shelving, the stock will be a bit more accessible for show visitors in wheelchairs or on scooters, and also for everyone else. NEC say I can drive in close to the show entrance to drop him off and pick him up later, and we can borrow a wheelchair free to wheel him into the show in the morning and back out again in the evening.

The bad news is that I have had to cancel my Australia trip for this year, although I hope I can return in future. I can't go away and leave Glyn at home for three weeks with no means of transport to the hospital (or work, if he is back in the office by October).  We live 15 miles from Perth, where the hospital is quite close to his office.The specialist was talking about 6 months recovery. I really hate having to cancel the trip, but there's no other way - we live a long way from our families (not that they could do much, as both our mums are disabled themselves) and we don't have friends nearby who are free in the daytime to ferry Glyn around if I am not here.  I'm just glad I hadn't got as far as buying my airline tickets.

This really has thrown a spanner in the works! Ironically, the trike is absolutely undamaged!

Friday, 20 July 2018

Shimacho quilt from Canada

Linda Stephens, who I met when she came to Scotland last year as part of the Celtic Quilt Tours group, sent me a photo of her Shimacho quilt from 'Japanese Quilt Inspirations'. She wrote -

This was a great project to work on and to use some Japanese fabrics.

I love the fabrics in this quilt too.  The cool, turquoise blues, the greys and reds give is a very Mid Century Modern/contemporary look, which really works.  Lovely choice of long arm pantograph pattern on it too - all over leaves (click the photo to see more detail).

The group did the Sashiko on Tartan class with me at the Black Watch Museum and we had a fun time together.  Hope to see you at Festival of Quilts Linda!

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Press release for Festival of Quilts

I'm back - with more fantastic vintage Japanese fabrics than ever before!

During the last few years, I've increased my fabric range considerably and now stock a big selection of vintage and recycled Japanese kimono fabrics, including -
* sashiko fabrics and threads, including fine sashiko thread
* traditional tsumugi (slubbed weave) cotton striped fabrics
* indigo and white yukata cotton fabrics, from the 1960s to the present day, in small and large patterns, including geometrics and abstract designs
* colourful late C20th women's yukata fabrics with large scale prints, dyed with the chusen stencil technique (as seen in Patricia Belyea's book 'East Meets West Quilts')
* stunning kimono silks - great for projects like infinity scarves
* silk and wool blends, including tsumugi (slubbed weave), kasuri (woven ikat) and gauzy hemp blend summer fabrics (great for Korean Pojagi)
* recycled fabrics - unpicked from vintage and antique kimono, futon covers and work clothes, these are perfect for boro projects

These are all the traditional narrow width fabrics, approximately 14in wide. Ideal if you are looking for something a bit different for your project.  Whether sashiko, patchwork, quilting, dressmaking, embroidery, bags or home dec, you'll find something unusual at stand N10. Because the majority of my fabrics are vintage, they are unrepeatable, so if you see something you like, get it now. Fabrics from just £12 per metre and fine sashiko threads from £6 for 370m skeins.

See you at the Festival!


This is the press release I have attempted to upload to my entry on the Festival of Quilts website 'Exhibitor Zone'.  I suspect it did not upload.  I'm finding most of their online forms to be quite frustrating to complete!

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Festival of Quilts ticket giveaway

It is FREE TICKETS time once again!

I have managed to bag 20 complimentary tickets for this year's FoQ and I am giving them away.  I will draw the lucky winner's names on Friday 27th July.

To enter - comment here or on my Facebook artist page post about the ticket giveaway.

I will need to know how many tickets you would like (maximum of two per person) and I'll need a way to contact you after the draw (e mail address is fine, or I can contact by private message on Facebook).

Good Luck!

UPDATE - All the comments on my blog are moderated, so if you don't see your comment immediately, don't worry - I'll still see it.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Ai no Keshiki

I wish I could have seen this installation.  I did a piece of fabric for this.  The fade was done over several months on the back shelf of the old Rover 75 saloon, so it was driven all over the UK in that time as well.  It wasn't just kept in one place.  I used the circle cutout.  I wonder which piece was mine?

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Next Sashiko courses in Edinburgh and Stockton - now booking

Dates now finalised and I'm taking bookings - please e mail me via my website.  The sampler above was made by Jo Maguire on the Edinburgh course. All the info is below. There's something going wrong with the font on part of it - it was cut and pasted from my printed flyer and I can't seem to get the typeface back to the same as the main part of the blog (even in html).

Edinburgh - Saturdays and Sundays - 8 day course over 4 weekends 
10.30 a.m. - 4p.m. at Edinburgh Patchwork

22nd & 23rd September

24th & 25th November

1st & 2nd December

19th & 20th January  

£40 per day, payable per weekend in advance (course deposit £80 covers first weekend). 

Stockton-on-Tees - Saturdays - 8 day course
10.30 a.m. to 4p.m. at All Saint's Church, Hartburn, Stockton-on-Tees, TS19 5EB

22nd September

27th October

17th November

8th December

12th January

9th February

9th March

27th April

£40 per day, payable one session in advance (first session payment is your deposit). 

Please book your place by e mail via the contact page on my website.

Materials - as for the previous courses, I have the traditional dark indigo narrow width fabric for sale (£12 per metre - most students use 2 - 3 metres in total) and fine white sashiko thread (£6 per skein), as used by Yuza Sashiko Guild.  You will need to get your fabric in advance, cut it into 9in and 4 1/2in squares and edge it with a zigzag or overlock stitch to stop it fraying while you work but also to identify your squares in class so they don't get mixed up with your neighbour's work. You will need sashiko needles, a marker that works on dark fabric (I recommend the Clover White Marking Pen (fine)), ruler (an ordinary ruler is fine for most sessions), and an A4 and A3 cutting mat (for marking the pattern grids - cheap ones will do fine).

Course schedule - 

You will learn how to stitch numerous hitomezashi (one stitch) and larger sashiko patterns mostly from Yuza town and Shonai district of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan , which is noted for its special sashiko tradition.  Exploring different groups of patterns, you make a series of samples - 9in and 4 1/2in squares, plus some 9in and 41/2in strips - to be combined later into a patchwork sampler.  These patterns have been handed down through generations of stitchers.  This is the only longer course taught with the approval of Yuza Sashiko outside Japan. 

Session 1 - rice stitch variations and woven stitches - small samples – on 4 1/2in squares, with grids directly drawn on the fabrics.

Session 2 - persimmon flower stitch and variations - small samples and long sampler - variations include triple, igeta pattern, infinite - 4 1/2in squares.

Session 3 – hitomezashi patterns in circles, introducing fish scale stitch and diamonds, flower diamond and snowflake pattern - 4 1/2in squares.

Session 4 – marking and stitching corner fans and family crests – on 9in squares, using paper templates for the fans and chaco transfer paper for crests.

Session 5 – larger straight line patterns – raimon (lightning spiral), masuzashi (stacking boxes), asanoha (hemp leaf) and elongated asanoha – 9in squares.

Session 6– larger curved line patterns – shippou (seven treasures), fundou (balance weights), nowaki (grasses in clamshells), seigaiha (ocean wave) and ganzezashi (sea urchin stitch) – 9in squares.

Session 7 – butterflies, grasses and bamboo hitomezashi patterns – 4 1/2in squares.

Session 8 -– assembling your sampler, plus a brief look at some more hitomezashi - coin stitch, paving block, kasuri (ikat) check,ground stitch, cedar stitch, facing butterfly, arrow stitch, abacus stitch. Do this session with any combination of samples made in the previous sessions – 4 1/2in and 9in squares – using 1in sashing.

course content © Susan Briscoe 2013 & 2018

I think I've covered everything.  Any questions, please ask. You can see work done by previous course groups on my blog - click here for a selection of posts.