Tuesday 29 July 2014

When I'm not quilting....


I've just been to my very first music festival!

This weekend extravaganza is in it's fourth year and was packed with comedy and music talent, both international and local, and they all did the town of Stockton-On-Tees proud.

My weekend in the glorious sunshine, yes, even up north (!) started with Hyde and Beast, a band I wasn't familiar with, but I loved their soulful sounds with a 70s vibe. Next up was probably my favourite of the weekend, Motown icon Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - she was absolutely amazing, and worked the crowd like a true professional. You can't get much better than dancing to a legend, beer in hand in the heat of the afternoon sun!

Tracy Hyman Photgraphy

Saturday night's headliners were The Happy Mondays, who were as mad as ever, and as Jus dances like Bez on a normal day, he was in his element.

Our second day started off with Smoove and Turrell, a funk and soul duo from Newcastle, again, not a band I'd heard of, but will definitely be looking out for their album. The next legend up was former New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook, who along with his band, that included his son, performed some old favourites. Now, I have to admit, this wasn't really my cup of tea. To me, he sounded like an angry old man... But I am reliably informed he fell out with his old band, so maybe he has reason to be so angsty! And he'd cut his finger... He son was also amazing on the bass guitar.

Another band I will be adding to my 'to buy' list is Reverand and the Makers, they were amazing, I loved their energy and the constant shout outs to Stockton and Teesside, awesome. The crowd's bouncing to Heavyweight Champion of the World must have been felt in the Boro!


Tracy Hyman Photography

And for the finale, and what absolutely made Jus's weekend, the one and only Public Enemy. Again, I wouldn't say hip hop is my favourite genre, even though Justin has tried to educate me over the years, but I have to say, I was well and truly impressed. Along with the multi-talented hype man of the band Flavor Flav, frontman Chuck D, DJ Lord, and the S1Ws were also joined by Khari Wynn, a truly awesome guitarist from Memphis. We were treated to lots of old tunes such as Don't Believe the Hype, Fight the Power and Bring the Noise, which they certainly did - the whole place was bouncing!

Tracy Hyman Photography


Saturday 19 July 2014

Life has become very busy!

There are many reasons why I haven't blogged in a while, honest! Having recovered from our 'camping expedition' and a lovely sunny weekend in Amsterdam, we are now back in the north-east staying with family while we look for our own place. Meanwhile, as I have my sewing machine, I have been sew happy, pun intended!

I made this reindeer cushion for a dear (sorry) friend's birthday, I obviously couldn't share it until I have given it to her, but she was very pleased with it. Inspired by my Icelandic adventures, I chain stitched these two reindeer onto a linen base, then used one of my treasured 1930s prints for the border, which I quilted. I also used the same fabric on the back with ties - quite pleased with these as this was my first attempt.

I've also been spending more time watching my backlog of Craftsy classes. As I've said before, I cannot recommend this site enough, the classes are so comprehensive, yet easy to follow, and the tutors are inspirational and a joy to listen to. This mini quilt starts with Carol Doak's 'Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing' - I was over the moon when I finally cracked this technique and look forward to creating my own designs.

Then I moved on Leah Day's 'Free Motion Quilting a Sampler' - Leah's class is amazing, full of so many quilting designs, and she encourages you to just have a go, practice, and enjoy! My most recent class has been Jacquie Gering's 'Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot'. Again, another inspirational class, Jacquie was one of the speakers on the series of lectures from the last Quilt Con in America - free to watch on Craftsy - and she was so emotional, she really touched my heart with her passion for modern quilting. These two classes helped me plot and quilt my first mini quilt.

My most recent quilt is this novelty nine-patch cot quilt. When I worked at Doughty's I developed a couple of fabric packs, including this charm pack from Nancy Halvorsen's Mischief and Curiosity's ranges and I've designed this quilt for the Festival of Quilts in August. The instructions will be available on my website soon.

This is such a quick peicing method, you start with nine-patches, which you then cut into four, and re-arrange. Magic! The quilting is my first attempt at Jaquie Gering's pencil quilting, the lines are half an inch apart, and are really affective.