Tuesday 13 October 2015

Nobody puts baby in a corner

I always travel with my own quilt and this is me doing my meet and greet in the bar of the Dragon Hotel. Who knew they all came just to see me.

Wales, who would have thought it was a land somewhere to the left of England? I always thought that they lived in the sea, how wrong could you be?

It turns out that it's a very very nice place. A lovely lady called Tina Gilmore invited me to come and see her shop and she said that Daisy could come along too and give a class.

The hotel was good enough to accept humans and so we ordered the  man servant to drive us there. We had a little detour to Ledbury to see an exhibition, Daisy loved it. The exhibition was called Daphne's Gloves and featured work by Tamsin Abbott, Claire A Baker, Sarah Burford, Ali Ferguson, Caren Garfen, Sharon Hall Shipp, Christine Kelly, Jeanette McCulloch, Kathleen Murphy, Mandy Pattullo, Karen Shapley & Mariette Voke. 

Daisy was so excited to see Mandy Pattullo's work close up. I, on the other hand had to stay outside with the man servant and talk to the locals. A rather demanding chocolate lab and a couple of spaniels. They were very nice to me.

After a little lunch we set off to Montgomery along the twisting roads of Wales. This didn't have the best effect on Daisy as her spinning world illness resurfaced. However being the trooper she is a little thing like this wasn't going to stop her.

We arrived at the hotel and I guarded the car while the man servant helped Daisy set up.

The room was light and cosy and Daisy set out some of her work so that people could see what she does.

I have to report some upsetting news now, and I know you'll all understand when I say .........no I can't bring myself to say it.

You know how they always tell you that you're the only one and they'll never love anyone else? Then you go through their phone and find pictures like this.

Man servants! Who can trust them. You know what I mean ladies. It just makes you feel soooooo

So who came to the class? Well I had the man servant take a picture because I knew that you all like to see them.

That's Tina, hi Tina, next to Daisy. The lady second from the left wasn't booked on the class, however she was in the hotel and needed something to do while her man servant was doing a photography class. She enjoyed herself so much, as did everyone. Tina always puts on a good spread for her classes.

Although I didn't get to try any I was told how good it was.

Now, a very rare thing is going to happen and that is that Daisy is now going to tell you how the class went because I had to look after the man servant and make sure he didn't get into trouble while Daisy was working.

Hi all!  I've managed to get a look in at last!  
After the brief talk I gave (well I hope it was brief enough) we moved into the supplies room. 
I had brought several suitcases full of goodies to use and Tina also had lots on offer to tempt all
the lovely ladies.  

There was all sorts of bits and bobs from watch hands to suffork puffs to use.

I think everyone had a go at the hexagons to start with.  The tiny ones are very fiddly but well worth
the effort.

It was a hive of activity!

It was great to see the fabrics come to life.

One of the reasons I love teaching these workshops is to see the stories coming alive.

Such beautiful colours.

Shoes!  I'm so happy there were spotty shoes!

The french envelopes went down very well.

This little owl is going to be part of a counting book.

More envelopes given a new lease of life.

A sewing book in the making with lots of yummy pockets 

I love the cover.

It had wish tokens stitched in too.

The beginnings of a childhood memory piece.

Heres a sewing book made with French General fabrics.

Pockets galore!

Lovely florals and more spotty shoes. 

With some beautifully stitched paper.

I would like to say a big thank you to Tina for the invite and also to
all  the lovely ladies that came to join me for a happy day of stitching.

 I shall now hand you back over to Georges very capable paws.
See you soon. xx

Isn't she lovely. If you have a sewing group or local shop and would like Daisy to come and give a class I'm sure I could get her to come along and show you how she does what she does.

There was so much more happening in Wales and the post has gone on for so long. Daisy has told me that I should leave you wanting more and so I'll say part two of our Wales trip will follow very shortly. I'll tell you how the man servant got a big surprise in a shop too.

Remember a walk isn't a walk unless you have a dog to enjoy it with. 

More from the wit and wisdom of George later.

Saturday 3 October 2015

Nurse George to the rescue

I know. I know. It's been a long time since my last blog, however there is a very good reason for it, and while I know a lot of people say that. At this juncture, do you like the use of that word there I had to use it because putting point in a sentence twice looks bad,  I would like to point out, damn hoist by my own petard, that I'm a dog and people rules don't apply to me.

So carrying on. The reason that I've been quiet is that I have been very busy looking after Daisy.

Yes, I know it's very tiring and sometimes you just have to take a minute and chill out.

You see Daisy hasn't been very well. A human thing called Labyrinthitis hit her very hard. For those of you that don't know what that is like imagine chasing your tail while on a cruise ship in a storm and drinking something called alcohol and you'll get a glimpse into how she felt.

One moment she was fine, teaching a class one evening last month, and the next morning wham. She couldn't stand up or focus!

Of course I looked at the servant, but he didn't have a clue what was happening as usual, I sometimes wonder why we keep him around. Anyway Daisy managed to get the vet out.


What do you mean he isn't called a vet when he comes out to you?

And he doesn't take your temperature by.........no, I can't bring myself to say it.

A doctor? He's called a D O C T O R. Vet's easier, it only has three letters.

Ok, well one of those came out and told Daisy bed rest for about a week, possibly two, and then nothing stressful for a month or so.

The man servant did his best with drinks and any food she could eat, while I did all the heavy lifting. You know, the lying on the bed beside her, hand hugging and nose nuzzling for a stroke. The eating of things that would just be too much for her to eat, Rich Tea Finger Biscuits in case you feel the need to send me any. And let's not forget the sleeping beside her all day as a comfort. 

Of course she had to do the thing that hurts her the most and that is to ring people on her classes and......I can't even bring myself to say the word.....cancel. People were very good and understood what was happening.

After a week and a half, and a car journey to see how she was, Daisy started her classes again. We, Daisy and myself, had the man servant drive us to work and basically run around the class as ordered, while we sat and watched. I do have to say that he didn't do too badly, but the best thing to come out of this is that I get to go to all of the classes now. So it's worth coming just to see me.

The good news is that Daisy is on the mend. She can walk in a straight line most of the time and the world is a more stable place, but if she does too much it does make her world spin. 

Now for some great news. Daisy is at this moment in Wales teaching a class at Indigo Moon in Montgomery and I would like to thank Tina, the owner, for inviting us along. Yes, I was allowed to come to. 

In fact just this lunchtime I popped in just to see how things were going and I must say the greeting and strokes I got were well worth the 45 second walk from the hotel.

So that will give you something to look forward to in my next blog, and Daisy lets me have some pictures.

In the meantime here's a picture of Daisy on the Thursday night before she took ill, teaching a little group some embroidery stitches.

While others did some hexie work.

Anyway, that's been the last month. Things are looking up and the man servant is making sure that Daisy doesn't over do it.

I would put a picture of him on, but that's another story for another time.

Now remember life isn't that bad as long as my dinner is ready at 7.45 every night no matter how you're feeling.

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?