Tuesday, 25 August 2015

London was too big for a small dog

Well it's been over a week, and I know I'm a very bad boy.

But it has been a very busy couple of weeks and I know I promised to tell you about Daisy's visit to London but we haven't had a minute to ourselves. Last week it was work, work, and even more work, plus there was family stuff to take care of.

But I'm back now and Daisy was so excited about London, and of course seeing Jessie. Daisy said it was  a good job I didn't go with her because London is so crowded I might have got stepped on and I didn't want that.

Jessie opened at 11 o'clock on the Saturday morning and Daisy was on the tube by 10 o'clock excitedly clutching her sewing bag. However the tube doesn't go all the way to Jessie's and so Daisy had to negotiate London buses which is not as easy as it sounds.

That being said she made it. Can you tell how happy she is?

Book signed and glass of Prosecco, what a way to start the day. Now if I didn't go and Daisy is in the picture, who do we have to thank? Well that would be Louise of Hope and Elvis, thank you for letting me use your pictures.

Daisy met some of her friends too. It was a very girlie day.

Jessie has restyled the shop and it's so beautiful and very Jessie too.

The picture is a little blurred but Daisy was so excited she was even trembling on the train going down to London, so you can imagine what she was like on the day.

She had calmed down a little by this time though. 

While Daisy was on the train can you guess what she was doing?

That's right. She was making hexies with beautiful pieces of vintage fabric. Have thread will travel is her moto, however, there was a moment of panic in the hotel when she discovered that she  hadn't got any red thread! If I'd been there I would have found some for her, but she left me at home. Wait a second while a brush away the tear and blow my nose.

There was a sewing workshop outside and Daisy was first in.   (What a surprise!)

It seems that sewing on the pavement is permitted in London, who knew? Daisy's dress was much admired, and I think a few people wanted one for themselves.

While Daisy was down in London she took some time to walk around the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery too. They were just around the corner from the hotel. 

On the Sunday she went to the Imperial War Museum and walked around the World War 1 exhibition and took a picture of the first poppy to be made.

A sad and moving sight.

There is a rumour that Jessie will be having another sewing day in November, hands up anyone who thinks that Daisy will be attending that one too.

Three, four, five, seven.... oh I can't count that high, but yes you're right she will be there.

If you're in London and want somewhere that is welcoming and lovely go and see Jessie she is one of the most amazing people, and she likes dogs.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Daisy's in London this weekend, but I'm still at home

This is just a quick post.

Shhhh, I can't type too loudly or Rosie will hear me, that's Daisy's youngest daughter. She's dog sitting this weekend because Daisy said London isn't a good place for Georges so I have to stay at home.

I'll mope around all day and sleep, I might even get a walk, so it's just like any other day really.

So why is Daisy in London you may well ask? Saturday is the reopening of Jessie Chorley's shop www.jessiechorley.com and that's something that Daisy isn't going to miss.

So if you're in London this weekend go to Columbia Road, the flower market is brilliant, and go to see Jessie, she's a lovely person (and she likes dogs!).

Now where did I put that teddy.

You'll never leave me will you teddy.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Daisy's back from the NEC but I didn't get a biscuit!

Sometimes it's hard to get out of bed in a morning. You know what I mean..

Now this post is about why Daisy, went to the NEC. It wasn't only to look at all the lovely fabrics and to see what people had made. No, Daisy, went to look at one quilt in particular. One that was entered by...

This quilt was made, with help from Daisy, in one of her classes. Well I say one, but there is a story attached to this quilt and one I'd like to tell you all about.

So get a cup of tea/coffee, or in my case a bowl of water, a biscuit and one for me of course, and settle down.

Quilting came out of the make do and mend spirit, old pieces of clothes that could no longer be worn were sewn into something useful. Because of this each quilt had story some of which are still handed down in some families. This quilt was made by Nina for her son.

This is Nina, hi Nina, with the finished quilt. Nina, will be the first to admit that there were times when she didn't think that she would be able to achieve something like this. Daisy, on the other hand loved the challenge.

Our story begins when Nina, came to class with an idea, one that was very personal to her. She wanted to make her son a quilt because he was leaving the Army after what seemed like a lifetime and beginning a new life as a civilian. To mark this she wanted to make a quilt that documented his life in the Army with pieces of his kit and badges showing where he had served.

There was a problem though. She didn't have a pattern or any idea where to start. Daisy, on the other hand saw a possibility of making something very special indeed. 

I say there was  A problem, but they didn't stop there. The quilt had to be a secret, so that makes problem number two. The kit only arrived in dribs and drabs as the quilt was being made, problem number three. 

Are you seeing a pattern here?

The badges had to be sewn on in the right order and the right way up with the correct ribbons, problems four and five. Poor Nina's fingers suffered as she tried to stitch them on by hand.  After much struggling they discovered they could use a leather needle on the sewing machine and it worked like a dream!. And the list goes on.

With a lot of help from Nina's, husband Roy, who could tell Nina which ribbons went where after years in the Army himself, the centre piece of the quilt began to take shape.

While Daisy, held the rather fluid design in her head, Nina, sat and sewed her heart into the quilt. Over the weeks bits of kit would arrive and Nina would bring them into the class and Daisy would see which piece would look best where and balance the whole thing out.

Sometimes weeks would go by and nothing would come through the post and Nina would have to work on something else. Her son was getting out of the Army in August this year and he was too busy sorting things out to send anything, it wasn't his fault that he was holding things up.

Everything in this quilt is from his Army kit, I know I've said that before but it's just mind boggling of a little dog.  The mixture of Khaki and teeshirts, with badges of where he's served where spread out of the floor each time a new delivery arrived and positions would be found for each piece.

Afghanistan and Iraq are bother on there, although those of you that know your Army insignia will already have spotted that. The quilt began to take on a life of it's own. It began to grow and become something organic. As you can see from the picture Nina, could hold it up in her out stretched arms. That wasn't going to happen again.

This is the finished quilt and it still holds a secret, but before I tell you that, just look at all the work that has gone into it. Nina can't even hold it on her own now. Daisy had the idea of leaving the pockets on some of the fabric so that Nina could sew his regimental tie onto it and make it look like it was hanging out of the pocket. She even sewed his Army Cadet tie onto the quilt, something they had saved and it also showed where his story began all those years ago. 

Now we come to problem number six, yes there was yet another problem, and that was how to back the quilt? By now it was so big and they didn't have enough bits left to sew together. Again Daisy, came to the rescue. Her idea was to take the inners from his old sleeping bags and sew them together to make the back. She even had the great idea of leaving the hood on one of them so the he could wrap himself up in the quilt and wear the hood.

Then came the question what would they store the quilt in? That again was solved by Daisy, who said a pair of his trousers rejigged would make a lovely bag.

Complete with his name on there.

After it was completed and Nina had given it to her son everyone in the class thought that it should be entered into this years Festival of Quilts. Nina, had to get her sons' permission because of all the badges on it but he said yes and it was duly entered.

It was well received by everyone who saw it, even making a couple of people cry. It didn't win a prize, they gave the reason as the lack of quilting, however it was quilted in the ditch which should be invisible!

But that wasn't the reason this quilt was designed and made. It done from a loving mother to her son, glad he had come home in one piece safe and sound, and to remind him of all the times, good and bad, and friends who had shared his life.

This is what quilting is all about at it's heart.

Just let me wipe a tear away. I'm sorry but I need a minute.

Well my bowl is empty and so is your cup so I'll leave you now with this thought.

If the ball was so precious, why do you keep throwing it away? 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Why the long face George?

You may well ask

Well it's the Festival Of Quilts tomorrow at the Birmingham NEC and apparently dogs aren't aloud to go! I mean who ever thought up such a rule? Was there a meeting I missed?

Anyway, Daisy is going which I suppose is what you really wanted to hear. As you can see she already has her name tag. If you get a chance do stop her and admire it, it really is a beautiful piece if sewing. I sometimes wish I had thumbs so that I could have a go.

 Over the past few months Daisy has been making hexagons, or hexies as she calls them. It's something she can take with her wherever she goes, which means she always has something to sew. Just the other week she had a day in London and on the train journey down there she made lots of them.

Sewing is easy, it's just putting two bits of fabric together with a thread. The art is putting the 'right' two bits of fabric together. She will sit in her chair at night and rearrange hexies until they look just right.

Most of the fabric are precious to her and so have to be just right.

Sometimes Daisy won't even know what the finish piece will look like, it's almost like the process of touching and sewing the old fabric takes on a life of it's own and communicates what needs to be done through her finger tips.

But then what do I know, I'm just a dog.

Although, I am Daisy's dog.

Now you may well ask where are you George? Well one thing that's happened this year is that Daisy was invited to host classes at Hope and Elvis.

Sometimes during the daytime classes I get to join her and of course I have my own quilt and as many strokes and fusses as I can take. Which is a serious amount.

If you would like to know more about the classes, there is a newsletter that goes out once a month via email. If you would like a copy to drop into your inbox then email Daisy at daisymoontextiles@yahoo.co.uk

Here's some more hexies waiting to be turned into something lovely. I wonder what it will be this time.

One thing that Daisy loves doing is sewing vintage fabrics onto old paper and letters, even envelopes, nothing is safe. Simple blues become a sea and before you know it the sea demands a sailing boat.

I have to say that this one is my favourite. Who would have thought to make a simple nine patch into a paper nine patch. Each heart is needle turned and the paper has to be pricked to make the hole for the needle to go through.

This piece took a lot of time  and so much care.

When it was finished the whole piece was only six inches by six inches.

Daisy does like to make little books out of old pieces of linen which she can then sew into, plus she has a thing for red shoes as you can see.

Another framed piece and this time I thought I'd show you the stitching on the back.

Wouldn't it just be the best thing in the world if you got a letter through you door that looked like this. It would make your day and make you smile for the rest of the day.

Another piece with a Christmas theme. You know sometimes they make me wear Elf hats at Christmas. There must be a picture somewhere. Although it might get chewed so no one will ever see it. Damn, the camera is digital!!

Does any fellow hound out there know how to delete pictures?

Framed hexies, it's there own fault they didn't have an alibi.

I adore the little buttons on these shoes.

So it's time to close the book on another Daisy post. Did you see what I did there? Using the picture to end the post.

Daisy says it's nearly my bedtime, so I'll leave you all now, but I'll write about Daisy and the Quilt show soon as she brings me some pictures.

And remember a lick from a dog is just because you taste nice. 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Daisy's Back

Well this blog has been silent for the last two years and I thought you’d like to know why and get an update on what Daisy Moon has been up to and what she is doing now. She’s still sewing, how could she stop? 

This year Daisy has taken the plunge and decided that it's time to become a textile artist and teacher full time.

Me? I’m not Daisy Moon, but I will be writing her blog from now on as she is too busy and although she’s great at putting fabrics together, she gets a nervous when it comes to writing. So let me introduce myself. My name is George and I have been Daisy’s constant companion for the last six years. I see myself as a Chris Hemsworth lookalike, see what you think.

 I know cute is the first thing that springs to mind.

Anyway back to Daisy. Her love of old fabric has just grown and grown over the last two years. It can be the most tattered and gossamer  thin piece and Daisy will see something in it that can be returned to the world as a beautiful piece of art. Just as a example we have this;


Believe it or not, this piece is only a couple of inches square and the fabric is hand turned and stitched onto paper. It was something that just cried out to her and she answered in the only way she could. Even the paper itself is older than me!

Daisy has been spending  time searching shops and the internet for more old fabric, however for the last two years she has been creating a series of works that are inspired by the First World War. 

Her father, who passed away a few years ago, collected Military badges and while this hasn’t made its way into her life she has been touched by the simple human stories that are told in letters written by soldiers in the trenches. Sometimes the simplest things can move you in ways that have to be made into art. 


A beautiful piece even if its in its raw state, however when you put it in a frame...

It becomes a must have.

I know I’m just a dog, albeit a very pretty one, but some things are just moving.

Daisy found a letter written 1st September 1918 by a young man who lost his life so close to the end of the war. The fabric is a simple Hussif, which is a soldiers sewing kit from the period, the words are someone’s who didn’t see the end of the conflict.

Both the letter and the Hussif were found on the internet from different sites and yet they were made for each other, all they needed was for someone to see that.

Excuse me. I just had to wipe a tear from my eye. I may be a dog but I’m not made of stone.

Even the stitching on the back is enchanting in its own way. Sometimes it’s good to see the back of the work, it just shows the care that has been taken. 

I think we’re all getting a little emotional, and being as this is my first attempt at writing a blog, I’ll stick to the old adage of leaving you wanting more. 

There is more, a lot more. We haven’t even touched of the sewing room, or room as it was called, or the dresses and shirts Daisy has been working on.

So it’s goodbye from me, George, and remember if you have a wet nose and a waggy tail life isn’t that bad.