Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Handkerchief Corners Quilt

I realised that I've been keeping this blog for just over a year, so happy blogging birthday to me! I started last year with the quilt I made for Dominic and Carolyn's wedding. It was the first, and so far, only, full-sized quilt I've made (despite many good intentions!). I had, however, made a lap quilt beforehand. Thinking back, it came to me that I'd never photographed it so here we have, well over a year late, my Handkerchief Corners quilt.
It was initially going to be full-size but I thought I'd better learn how to bind and quilt somehow before embarking on the quilt for Dominic and Carolyn so I stopped at lap size in order to get it finished. It now measures 106cm square.
I took these pictures in the garden on a very bright day, just before I went to New York. In actuality the colours are a little richer than they appear here - a combination of the sun and my bog-standard camera conspired to bleach them. I love the backing fabric. I'm not sure what it's called - I bought it with lots of other retro 30s fabrics in Branson, Missouri two years ago.
As you can see, Emily appreciates the burrowing potential of a folded quilt! She deserves a special mention today for having been a brave kitty and making it through her neutering operation with minimum fuss. She is back home, and, having got past the wobbly stage, is now in fully-fledged-chemical-madness-stage which involves knocking over all food and water bowls and then marching repeatedly over your humans, purring all the time but never settling down. It doesn't help that she isn't allowed to go out for a while - the vet said to keep her in for EIGHT days. I don't think the carpets (or the cat, or the humans) will be able to stand that! At least the madness is packaged in such cuteness:Going back to the topic of weddings - I heard today that my wonderful bridesmaid Abby is getting married (about time too!). I'm so thrilled for her and Misha. I wonder if this means more commemorative quilting is called for...

Monday, 11 August 2008

Wonderful Town!

I made it back from New York in one rather sweaty piece and am subsequently delighted with the Typical British Summer we have been experiencing for the past week! Since most of my time in New York was spent at various libraries I didn't manage nearly as many cultural activities as I would have liked.
I do have a couple of good recommendations, though: on the museum front, the Merchant's House Museum is worth a visit. A preserved 19th century home with recreated interiors and an especially good kitchen - water pump, a full cooking range and a pie-safe (pictured below) - I love all that stuff!
Also the Folk Art Museum was excellent - very varied and interesting. This detail is from an incredible papercut, made by a prisoner in the 1830s.
If you can catch it before 14th September, the Asa Ames sculpture exhibition at the Folk Art is really remarkable too, displaying amazing wooden portrait sculptures (good pictures on their website to give you a feel). Also, if you're in New York, definitely stop at Blossom in Chelsea, an excellent gourmet vegetarian restaurant (or it's sister branch, Cafe Blossom uptown): I took my very carnivorous host and she was impressed!

I stocked up on lots of ideas for the next visit as well - Governor's Island, the Cloisters, Morris Jumel Mansion, the Rockefeller observation deck, Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, the Highline Park (once it's finished) etc etc... Oh, and obviously, many more trips to Moo Shoes (they have live-in cats!) and Purl (where, just as everyone would have you believe, you DO feel like you've died and gone to tasteful-craft heaven). Can't wait to get back with Miles for a proper holiday, maybe 'autumn in New York' next time to avoid the heat, though!