Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Snakes in the grass

We spent the day yesterday through in the west of Scotland with friends. They took us to a little travelling quilt exhibition. The quilts were all on Celtic themes and were astonishingly varied and impressive. This one was my favourite. The colours aren't quite right on my little phone camera - they were brighter than they look here (not to say more in focus).

It was very simple in a way - just strips mainly of green, with beautifully realistic dandelions, poppies, daisies, forget-me-nots and purple clover appliquéd or embroidered on top. I really love it.  

When I say "simple" I mean that in relative terms. Not simple as in something that I could ever aspire to.

I did wonder what the brown things were and then I read the label. They're snakes, representing the snakes that St Columba is said to have driven out from the island of Iona. While I might have thought the hanging even prettier (or at least less snakey) without them, they do fulfil the Celtic requirement and also, I suppose, provide a design element (she said vaguely, not sure what she really means).

The lettering on this one was beautiful.

I can't remember what the swans had to do with anything but I'd be quite happy to have this one on my wall as well. The lady at the museum where they were displayed did say that they might be for sale if we "made an offer" but I think it would have to be a rather enormous offer.

And then we went to a café and ate cakes while looking out over the Clyde. 

Don't you think this photo looks a bit like a painting by some Impressionist whose name eludes me? Or maybe one of the Scottish colourists. Apart from the cars, of course. It's something about the blocky colours and the table and the flowers and the light. Facing the other way, I could have taken a picture of our almost-demolished cakes but this wouldn't have been so pretty.

(Sorry about the funny font sizes. It's all because the only way I know how to put acute accents in is to type "cafe" in a Word document - Word puts the accent in - and then copy and paste the e acute into the blog. Blogger doesn't like this. I shouldn't be such a pedant.)


  1. Those quilts are beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  2. You may be able to make an acute accent by pressing and holding down your alt key and at the same time 130 on the numeric keys at the right. é will appear - I just did it.
    I like the top 2 quilts.

  3. Just lovely! How clever those quilting artists are. You could almost pick the flowers.

    I can imagine a couple of Renoir figures in your caf¡#º
    ( that didn`t work did it LOL).
    Try again....¡#º That is NOT an acute accent!

  4. Beautiful quilts, especially the first one......

  5. Check out http://www.alt-codes.net/ for any symbols.....makes it all easier! Just hold down the alt key at the same time as you type in the appropriate number and you will amaze yourself with the result.

  6. Beautiful quilts but I love the view from the caff more.......tried to do the accent thingy on cafe and didn't work!

  7. My accénts work by holding thé alt kéy whilé typing e then typing e again without the alt kéy and it appéars underneath the é. Less faff than going to Word. I thought your café scene could also have had a Jack Vettriano figure in it. His retrospective is on in Glasgow until February 23rd.

  8. Lovely quilts. I think the swans are something to do with the children of Llyr (we benighted, unromantic sassenachs sometimes absorb a bit of Celtic stuff).

    For the accents, there's usually the character map should be available under start menu-all programmes-accessories, I think. Or if you use Chrome as your browser there's a neat extension thingy called 'accents plus' which you can keep activated which gives really quick keyboard codes for them, which you soon remember, I think this must be what Lucille's using. Trouble is it doesn't often work inside the main blogger post editor box, you have to do it in the title bit and drag and drop. Works fine in the comments box though. Ô là lâ!

    But for general pasting in of things from elsewhere in an inconsistent font, you need to highlight the bit you want to make the same as your normal text, and go to the post editor toolbar - the thing with the link and picture and everything icons - and change them with the 'F' (for font) and 'T' for size (yeah, I know, I always imagine it's for 'taille'). Select 'default' for the font, and 'normal' for the size, and your pasted text should appear just like the rest.

    The only thing I could never get sorted with this was the background colour, which always came out the same colour as the original from which I'd pasted it, usually white, which is why I now keep my blog white.

  9. Oooh, those quilts are quite pretty! I can easily see you doing the snakes in the grass quilt -- after you finish the baby quilt, of course. It's just mapping it all out on paper and adding seam allowances {sticking tongue in cheek}.

    And wow -- Lucille has informed you of the Jack Vettriano exhibit in Glasgow -- I need to come over NOW. I love his art!

  10. "through in the west" - I've never heard that expression before! (Not being rude here, I seem to remember you being interested in regional phrases.)

  11. Gosh , you're all briljant ... I'm just delighted when I can remember which words require an accent , never mind about which kind !
    The quilts are all very fine and I agree ; the first is the prettiest . Beautiful colours .

  12. In fact , never mind about accents , I don't seem to be too hot at spelling , either .

  13. Was just directed to this blog and enjoy your posts very much. Especially enjoyed this pics of quilts... I am working on one currently. My first choice here is the first, as well. But the others are lovely and thoughtful, too.