Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas is a comin (and fast!)

I had just about given up on getting here before the Seasonal Holidays arrived but here I am, the weather is cold(ish) and very wet (again!) so today I decided was going to be MY DAY. 
So what have I been up to since I last posted? Well I've been knitting like crazy, trying to get a sweater ready for Little H, I've finished the back and started the front, this is a 3 colour version of the lemon one I made earlier and couldn't finish due to running out of the yarn (now discontinued, so I think I may now have to unpick it :-((). I've tried my hand at Redwork using a cute little free pattern that I got from the lovely Lena over at Stitching Cow blog.
 I made another fluffy scarf, Black this time to give to my neighbour next time I see her. I've made an advent calendar, a stocking and a soft toy for little H,
The calendar has cut out shapes to attach to the tree on corresponding printed shapes, I bond-a-webbed these to green felt with red ribbon hanging loops, added red/holly print tabs at the top and made a matching bag to store the shapes in which can be buttoned to the bottom then sewed on buttons and beads to hang the shapes with before machine embroidereing the stars with glittery thread.

The elephant is based on a character from one of H's favorite books and has machine embroidered 'sleepy' eyes. I made this stocking  for H the elder several years ago and little H's is very similar but with brighter fabrics.
About a week ago I realised with a start (you know one of those waking up in the night kinda starts!!!:-O) that due to the 8 week 'Bathroom' saga at Mum's closely followed by the 'Electrician' saga that I had done very little NOTHING towards my food/ present preparations for Christmas, so I determined to put that right, starting on Monday the electrician was at Mums all day, and it was WPQ's Christmas party in the evening. My show & Tell was of course the Calendar and a 'Fat Snowman' made with Anne at the November meeting, I already has a 'Fat Santa' made when Anne did the same project with SVQ, so I made 'Frosty' instead, here they both are getting acquainted. He was supposed to have a felt hat and scarf but I decided a knitted one would be warmer as they have to sit on the window sill in the lounge which is very draughty when the curtains are shut!! LOL.
 On Tuesday I made 4 Christmas Puddings, helped a bit by Little H who gave them a 'Stir & a Wish', something I remember doing with my Grandmother when I was very little. Then Wednesday I made 3 Christmas cakes and had them and the Puds in the oven (Yes! I cook my puds in the oven, always have - always will!!) and was ready to have my hair cut by 11am when the lovely Lisa arrived (Lisa is my hairdresser!!) after Lunch Mum had an appointment at the optician's and in the evening it was SVQ's turn to have a party. Can't remember what I did on Thursday - probably something at Mum's. Friday a.m. was grocery shopping, on our return we got the tree & trimmings out of the attic and put the tree up, then our nieghbour came round for a cuppa. The tree is an artificial one that really needs to stand overnight to 'drop' so it was Saturday morning before I put the lights on. At 12pm I had to 'deliver' Mum to the Pensioner's Christmas Lunch organized by the churches, I got invited to join them so enjoyed a very nice lunch and we were then ably entertained by the local Brownie pack. Getting home DH and I made another foray into the attic to find the unbreakable decorations for the tree, for some years I have been building up a selection of really nice Glass ornaments which I decided would be a real problem if we could not stop Little H touching the tree.
I got up at 6am on Sunday and decorated the tree, then marzipan'd the cakes before cooking lunch, after which DS and S arrived staying till 6.30pm.
Then it was Monday again! DH and I went Shopping in Yate, on getting home I got a message from Mum to say the washing machine had flooded the kitchen - twice, so off we went round there, turns out she had not set it right then opened the door before the spinner has done its job. That sorted I caught the 2.15pm bus to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway to do more present shopping getting home at 6.30pm. Luckily I had grabbed a bite to eat in the Mall so was able to fall into the chair and promptly fell asleep!! Zzzzzz
Getting up early again on Tuesday I managed to ice the 3 cakes before DD, Little H and the boys arrived for the day.
H greeted the sight of the tree with lots of excited OOOh's and after being told it was hot (she accidentally touched our Storage heater when she fell a few weeks ago and is now very cautious of hot things) she just went very close to look at the 'balls' (as she called them) and blew on the tinsel to make it sparkle, all the time using her latest word which is Wow! which made Ganma (her word for me) feel very happy, and this is the tree that made her so happy and my 'Christmas corner' in the lounge.
All that remains now is to get this little lot wrapped, labelled and delivered before the Big day.
I hope to get back up here again before the holidays as there was a lot of Show & Tell to share at SVQ last week but in case I don't make it back here I very much hope you all have a very good Christmas however you choose to spend it.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Note this is a different aaaah! to the ones you were getting 3 weeks ago, not you may guess because the Seminole is finished  (or any easier for that matter) but because once again my t'internet is up and running and I can come here to my own little corner and talk to all of you out there in Blogland.
The Seminole Workshop was a great success and we all had a good time, here are some of the girls at work including the lovely Lynne Quinn our Oh! so patient tutor (bottom picture centre).

This is Lynne's bag and is what ours are supposed to look like when finished! the little bag is a pin cushion.
I also took the oppotunity to photograph the SVQ Banner which is now complete, I took it along to show Lynne as it's based on the colour wash project we did with her a while ago (see post in June 2011) All the members made a block each then the committee assembled it, added the lettering and finished it off.
The workshop was held in the held in the hall of a local school, on the wall was this beautiful angel made by the children, she is called Petra and has a little brass plaque to tell everyone about her, isn't she lovely.
Well! I hear you say what else have you been up to? At this moment in time I am breathing a huge enormous sigh of relief that the 'wet room' project at my Mum's bungalow is complete, it's week 6 of a 5 day job!! plus I got a flu virus in the middle of the first 2 weeks so dealing with a constant stream of plumbers/plasterers etc was difficult to say the least :-((. Now we are into a round of electricians coming to quote for some minor jobs like adding a couple of sockets in the lounge so we don't have an extension cable going right round the room from one side to t'other.
I have not been idle on the needlecraft front throughout all this time, I have been knitting like there was no tomorrow (except during the flu thingy!) so far I have made 3 little sweaters that will be going children in the area near The Butterfly Project (See post 28th September)
I made 2 like this, the other is bright yellow and slate grey

I made a scarf to give a friends daughter on her birthday and a second one the same (because I could and because I had enough yarn!!)
 I've started a shawl style scarf in this very interesting yarn, which will be great when its done but is very tricky to knit with. It's worked on old size 000 needles which is a bit like knitting with telegraph poles and the yarn itself is very slippy!
 Plus Ive almost completed a sweater for Little H but annoyingly, although pattern asked for 4 balls of yarn I have run out, 2" short of finishing the 2nd sleeve. So if any one out there knows where I can get some Sirdar Snuggly Chatterbox yarn (now discontinued) in shade No 215 I would be a very happy lady indeed. 
Last Saturday saw CTQ assemble for our Christmas meeting, lunch was as ever delicious!! We were all delighted when Laura announced she is expecting another baby in May, then, lunch was rounded off with the exchange of our Secret Santa Gifts when I recieved this lovely box, handmade by Sue.
The pen is just to keep the lid open
Well I better sign off and get some sewing done, I'm working on an advent calendar for little H (yes I do know it's the 1st on Saturday and yes I'm in a bit of a rush, so byee for now. L   

Monday, 5 November 2012

Arrrgh! Seminole part 2

Well you may all be wondering how the Seminole is going. Well having got all the strip sets cut last week, today I started sewing them together, and and carefully pressing all the seams in the right direction.
 To make sure I was going in the 'right direction' I made a practise piece.
 Now for the 'real thing' I thought. I was really organised (or so I thought!) I sewed then pressed each set in turn it to make life easier (or so I thought!!) then starting again with set one, I carefully measured, cut and reversed the sections ready to sew
it was then I spotted the first mistake!!! I realised that during all the careful cutting last week (not so careful it turns out LOL) I had cut a strip 1.5" instead of 1.25" so instead of looking like this..
it looked like this................
you will notice I have changed the colours no great design choice, I simply did not have enough of the other fabrics left :-( However I sewed it together anyway to see what it would look like and I quite like it so will keep it for future use. Yesterday I was sorting through my bag of bits and found the only other piece of Seminole I ever attempted 
and it made a good reference for this 2nd set which just needs trimming.
Well  that's it for today, I'm off to Slimming World to see what damage I have done this week then its my turn to drive to WPQ tonight so I better get ready

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Cutting all done!

As those who popped by yesterday will know I'm making Seminole panels ( or %^$£$(&% panels as I call them! LOL). Well by close of play yesterday I got all the strips cut, I was helped in part by finding these in the usable scrap bag...
some 2 - 3"strips in nice 'autumy colours', not the fabrics usually found in Seminole I know, but I AM NOT buying any fabric (well not this week anyway :-)) Oh Damn I need 1/2 metre for the inner linings and I know I don't have anything that will go with these... Oh well! I pressed on and after about 2 hours I had managed to cut the 5 sets needed to make the panels and now I have these
all ready for a days sewing. 
DD & little H will be here tomorrow with 1 hairy monster.. are all Retrievers still moulting even when its getting cold?? and Ted of course, so won't get up here tomorrow, but I should have a clear day on Saturday so maybe ..... just maybe!
I'm off to SVQ tonight with my Chairman's hat on, plus Sheila and I are doing the talk with slides of our Hols in New England last year. Sheila's doing the technical bit with the laptop and projector and I will be doing the talking (no surprises there then chirps 'im indoors!) We gave a 20min. talk at WPQ in July and that was OK so we've added a bit more to stretch it out for tonight. Hope they like it.
Here's one of the pictures we'll be using so go on have a laugh.......

This coffee shop was in Rouses Point (New York State) and was straight out of 'Friends', I kept thinking Pheobe would pop in any minute! The coffee & Pastries were to die for and as you can see from my face I was definitely not counting calories Well better dash.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Arrrrrgh!!!! Seminole

Those who know me know I don't do little pieces, but and here's the rub, earlier this year we planned a workshop that did not run because not enough signed up to make it pay (it clashed with a couple of other things we had no control over!), those that did sign up were disappointed so we rescheduled and that's when the guilt set in. So I paid my money and signed on the proverbial dotted line. Trouble is it's a Seminole Workshop so lots zillions of little pieces, to make into panels as preparation and being me I only started  it today and the workshop is in 2 weeks, no excuses (well I did catch a 'fluey' type bug from DD and Little H) I simply did not make an effort to get them done, so today my workroom is resounding to the sound of me shouting A^**^^^* Seminole. What is it about guilt? I got involved in a Row Robin many years ago through a similar scenario, and my Row quilt is STILL not finished! but that's a whole different story!
On a better note I did tackle some projects on Saturday that came out OK. I was supposed to be going to Malvern with 3 friends and H the elder but the 'Fluey' thing kept me in bed for 36 hours (Weds/Thurs.) and I simply did not feel like passing it on or walking round the show, so decided to catch up on a few things up here. DH was not expecting me to be home so I told him to hold that thought and I spent the whole day sorting out and getting little sewing jobs done, so the sum total of the day resulted in 3 Dog or Cat Beds made from all the cotton rubbish from my bit bag stored in 4 carrier bags  (and some passed on by friends)
this little badge is for me to wear at Knit & Knatter, this was the first time I have used a font on my machine and also the first time I had used Satin stitch to edge anything so although its a bit wonkey, it's all good practise.
and lastly 2 sofa throws made from the covers of an old Futon were hemmed. A couple of months ago I had helped DD load a Broken futon into the car to go to the tip, she said she would come back for the mattress, so I suggested it would be a sin to throw out all that lovely fabric and should I take the covers off while she as gone, after a bit of 'discussion' she agreed and I'm sure Monty & Ted will be happy to sleep on the new throws, after all blue is a very restful colour for a Retriever or a Spaniel to snooze on don't you agree?
Oh well back to the cutting board and all those little pieces!!! LOL

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The postman knocked!

I  had just arrived home from a days sewing with Clock Tower Quilters when the bell door rang, expecting it to be my son I dicovered it was the postman ?? At 4.10pm on a Saturday - Hmmm strange!!!!!
He handed me a brown paper parcel which I noted was from Hilary, over at City Crafters, well I got sooo excited, eagerly ripping off the paper and tape to discover it was not just the book which I had won on her giveaway last week, but she had also included this gorgeous bag which I just love! and it's just what I need to carry my shopping in when I visit Malvern Show next Saturday.
So a HUGE thank you Hilary! I shall really enjoy using the bag and can't wait to get started on the book... in fact I think an early night calls so I can get a couple of chapters read tonight.. looks like the reading 'drought' could be over - Yaaaayyy!
As for CTQ we had a full contingent of members present plus a visitor, here are some of them 'hard at work'.
There was some lovely Show & Tell,  Mollie (centre back above) who is very productive had brought in her Quilt to share which she made for one of her Grandsons..
It's from a book by Sarah Wellfair of Goose Chase Quilting in Cheltenham. Next she showed us a length of 'bunting' on a Christmas theme...

  then before 'close of play' she produced some Halloween bunting as well...
 I spent some of my time working on the Alphabet Wallhanging which I am making for Little H, I only got one panel done and then found I had not left enough room to add the letter 'g' (which now stands for Grrrr!),
so I may have to do the block again or find a way round it, there were some suggestions from the girls so I will think about those!
After Lunch I made Start on a bag UFO which I had cut out the fabrics for earlier this year, the fabrics are part of a FQ bundle bought at Malvern last year and are quite different to colours I usually buy so it will be interesting for me to see how I like the bag when it's done.

Well tea time beckons so I'm off to the Kitchen, wonder what delicacy I shall end up with tonight, but before I go how about this little girl with a mischievous grin, at 15 months she's walking, so we really have to be ready for anything!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

What a Day!!!

I guess I should bring you up to date on my day at W.P.Q's party, See previous post, well as I said in the title What a day to remember. Leaving home at 9.15am I picked up Sheila on the way, I can't believe how much quilting stuff we got into my car! Arriving at the hotel we quickly parked and unloaded before heading inside, we were greeted with fresh coffee and cookies or Birthday cake (left from the September meeting and which had been cut by one of the group's early members who had travelled all the way from Suffolk to join the fun, and which I missed due to being on holiday:-(
   As the 'girls' began assembling in the room designated for our workshop. Helen (Keenan) was already there along with members of the committee. She started the day with an introduction to her work (lots of lovely quilts) and a run through of what we would be doing before settling us down to work. The workshop was an exercise in rotary cutting fabrics WITHOUT rulers ... very scary, then rejoining them into stripy blocks. At first I was nervous terrified but once the initial cut was made it was very liberating and I was away, after about 15 minutes 'practice' we assembled once more around Helen's table and she gave more instructions, this time we were to save time by cutting 3 or 4 layers of fabric at a time!!!! again it was quite easy and FUN as long as you stayed focused. I only made around 8 blocks but some of the others were well on the way to creating a wall hanging by lunchtime. Lunch was a delicious buffet served over a couple of hours which meant we could stop when we were ready. All too soon it was 4pm and time to stop, at this point there were many groans from some of the ladies who were steaming ahead. Sheila and I cleared up our machines etc and put the sewing things back in the car, then getting our swimmers out we headed off to the pool. The tables in the workroom had been very low for all that cutting and sewing and I was really suffering with my back, so getting changed and lowering myself into the warm water of the pool was bliss! :-))) 3 of us swam for about 45 minutes (I mostly floated like a whale which was very relaxing LOL) then out we got to change in time for dinner. 
   Once in our 'Glad Rags' we headed off to the Bar where we found several others from the group had gathered. It turned out that some of the ladies wanted to go on sewing so the hotel had found them a room they could use. Around 7 pm we were told they were ready to serve dinner. Helen was invited to propose a toast to the group, which she did commenting that she had enjoyed her day immensely and saying what a great bunch of quilters we were etc, then following the raising of glasses we enjoyed our meals amid much chatter and lots of laughter. The evening ended around 10 -10.30 and I drove Sheila home. I did attempt to take some pictures but unfortunately my camera decided that it was not going to work so I will post some pictures of my blocks as soon as I can. 
   Monday 8th was the october meeting of Westbury Park, for our AGM and the business was followed by a short workshop led by Anne making Jolly Santas or Snowmen. Mine's not quite finished so watch this space.
    Last Saturday (13th) saw me off again, this time to the Quilters Guild Region 5 Regional day in Thornbury. The speaker for the morning was Clare Kingslake who gave an amusing talk about her journey into quilting and applique and she shared lots of her work with us, by 'sharing' I mean she actually passed everything around for us to examine closely. I just loved her work especially her appliqued sheep. There were several traders for us to browse around during the lunch break before we re-assembled to hear the afternoon speaker, Dylis Fronks again a wonderful speaker with a good sense of humour, (her recounting of her time as a VSO was hysterically funny) this time we could look at her beautiful work but were not allowed to touch. Afternoon Tea and lovely cakes were served by members of Severn Valley Quilters and the raffle was drawn (and I won a prize!!) before we came home.
Talking of prizes I am delighted to tell you all I WON a 'Givaway' from Hilary over at CityKrafters blog so I will spend the next week or so eagerly awaiting the knock of the postman.
Well my friends as there are not any pictures of my 'adventures' to share with you this time I thought I could pop in one or two from earlier in my quilting life, so this post is not too boring.

This is Libby's Quilt 2009, made for the birth of our neighbour's 2nd daughter.

Sophie's Doll's quilt made for Libby's big sister using some of the leftover fabrics.

Antique Log Cabin - Date unknown, on loan from a friend who asked for advice on storage. She thinks it was made by her Grandmother who lived in South Wales and she remembers it on her bed during Family visits to Granny's. It is made entirely of wool fabrics and I think it must have been foundation pieced onto a heavy white cotton background, No wadding was evident, and it was showing lots of wear (see the white areas)
Close up of above, I  suggested Gill took this to St Fagan's (Museum of Welsh Life) for documenting.
Well that it folks
See you all next time.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Early One Morning?

As some of you know I get up early to knit! so the other morning around 7am while having quiet cup of tea in the conservatory, a small movement caught my eye outside the window.... wondering what it was, I got outta my chair to look! There in the large shrub outside the window was the prettiest spider I ever did see, so in Jim Jams and slippers I went out for a closer look - quite brave don't you think? not the going out in my jim jams bit but looking closely at a spider, 'cause I don't like spiders, I would not harm one you understand but I keep a very wide berth or scream for 'im indoors' if I see one. However this one was pretty, he/she had a very large web between the shrub and the nearby wall and had just caught his/her breakfast which I suppose is why I saw it move. I ran back inside for my camera but by the time I came back he had gone under a leaf.  I went back to my tea while keeping an eye out, and around 10 minutes later it reappeared. So camera in hand off I went again! this time I could see it but not clearly as a small branch was in the way so.... and this folks is the very BRAVE bit, I got the camera all set up for a close up shot and holding it (the camera) at arms length I gingerly lifted the twiggy bit out of the way with the other hand and pressed the shutter, this is what I got..
Damn!.... it was upside down so, I waited another little while and then (and this is the VERY BRAVEST BIT of all) I repeated the exercise and managed to get him when he was right side up and posing nicely on a leaf. 
Isn't he/she nice (as long as it stayed at arms length I mean) but of course it was early and it was obviously a very polite spider who knew I was quaking in my slippers, and was not offended by the sight of me in my jim jams.  Not the best pictures in the world but ones for the folder of wildlife pictures I guess, If anyone out there happens to know it's name (not Bert or Edna or some such of course!) but the species of spider it might be I would be very interested to find out..
Well Tomorrow its the BIG DAY, Westbury Park Quilters are celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a whole day of lovely treats Whoo hooo!!!!!
Celebrations are being held at a The Aztec Hotel & Spa and we start the day at 9.30am with coffee,  followed by an all day workshop with Helen Keenan. A Buffet lunch will be served between 12pm & 2pm so that we can stop when its convenient during our stitching, the workshop will end around 4pm when we can if we wish go and use the hotel swimming pool. This is to be followed at 7pm by a 3 course dinner when we will be joined by Helen, so I think a good time is to be had tomorrow. I will try to take lots of pictures and will let you know next week how we got on.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Just Sharing!

Its almost tea time in the Monkey Business household but before I jet crawl off to the kitchen I just thought I would share this with you.
A couple of years ago I managed to arrange for a school located in Bristol for Children of all ages who are deaf/blind and with life limiting illness's to receive 50 Project Linus quilts through the area Rep. Every family who  received a quilt was delighted and very touched. About 6 months ago Helen (my friend at the school) asked me if I could ask for some more quilts, as new parents at the school having seen other quilts wanted to know if they could get one for their own son/daughter, don't worry says I leave it with me (as you do!) However on making enquiries I discovered that this area no longer has a Linus rep, so I launched an appeal through Severn Valley Quilters & Westbury Park Quilter's newsletters that the school was in need of some more quilts. Some offers came in and 2 weeks ago I received the 1st quilt from the Gill at WPQ

Then last Wednesday at SVQ I was handed a bag containing what I thought was another one, much to my surprise when it was opened out came these beauties...

all of these have been made by a long standing member - Phyllis who is over 80 years old, to say I was dumbstruck is an understatement. Aren't they great?
Be back soon