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

Thursday, 26 March 2015

I don't know what's goin on!!

but my internet connection has been going in and out as if it's life depends on it. On Saturday I posted very briefly to celebrate National Quilting day and somehow it got dated for Sunday, so goodness knows when or even if you'll get to see this post. I am actually in danger of finishing the alphabet panel I started for Little H. At Clock Tower Quilter's on Saturday and I managed to sew all day (in between frequent cups of tea and biscuits - well a gal's gotta keep her energy levels up eh?) I got the centre panel and bottom 2 rows put together, (I have already sewn the top 2 rows see post on 16th March) the next 2 panels look like this
 This centre panel will have her name on it, that's if I ever get the size of the letters right, I want to use the same style letters that are used in the Alphabet but just how to resize them I am not sure. They need to be around 4" high for the upper case letter and slightly smaller for the lower case. I am a bit of a technophobe when it comes to doing 'clever things' on the computer, I have tried scanning them in but can't figure out how to enlarge it. I guess I will have to make a trip to the copy shop and get it done there.
But all in all I am quite proud of how it is turning out.
Last Friday (21st) I spent the afternoon in the conservatory where it was actually almost too HOT! The sun  shone all day (tho sadly the Eclipse was a bit of a damp squib here, it just went overcast and misty for about 10 minutes around 9.30am and that was it!!) I did a bit more to the Jackalope embroidery,
I marked the lines using a fabric chalk marker set bought about 5/6 years ago, which work quite well. It's a nice chunky propelling pencil with  a selection of different coloured chalks and tho these are a little on the thick side they work very well if you keep the tip sharpened with the sharpener supplied.
 Also on the equipment front I used a much loved embroidery/quilting frame that I bought about 6 or 7 years ago from a friend Laura who designed them (her husband then made them for her to sell.) It's been well worth the £10 I paid for it.
It can be fitted with one of 2 sizes of hoop (supplied) and initially I used it for 'Candlewicking' projects after doing a workshop with Laura (which she designed them for) but I find it really comfortable for embroidery or small quilting projects. For embroidery it means I can work with both hands which is much quicker. The hoops  are easily changed by undoing a few screws. you can use it either on your lap (very comfortable!) or a low table top (very handy when we used to go caravaning  as it comes apart and travels flat!).
Well it's time I paid my Mum a visit so I'm off round there.
Bye for now

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Saturday is .....

Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Still Rollin!

Hello again, I can't believe this is my 3rd post in as many days, but I did promise to be back soon didn't I?
I have made progress on the 7 pocket bag and it is almost done.
 This is what it looks like, it needs a fastening and some style of handle.
 As it opens, the triangular flap at the top comes down to reveal the first pocket which is the largest.
In this next view I am trying to show all the pockets, I think you can just see them all if you look closely.
I am not sure if I will ever use it but I am pleased with the way it turned out.
On the knitting front things are NOT going so well! As I have mentioned I am making a pair of gloves for our neighbour, I have completed the first one and I'm happy with the way it looks - I had to select the yarn for her and she can be a bit particular so that was the first challenge but she liked my choice which as you can see it knits up quite different to my previous pair Did I show you my previous pair No?
Well they look like this!
and Barbara's are like this
However after casting on the 2nd glove I had managed to get 1/2 way up the increases for the Thumb gusset (around the purple section where it joins the hand) when I noticed a dropped stitch waaay down in the first 1" of the ribbing, It was so far back I had no way of picking it up and that's when I realized what I had done. When I increased at the wrist I counted up and was a stitch short, assuming I had miscounted I added a stitch and gaily carried on knitting Big Mistake, HUGE, if I had checked closely I would have noticed the dropped stitch and would not have had to take such drastic measures, now I had no way out sooo I took it all off the needles and carried out some 'frogging' all the way back down to the stitch (you can see how far that was by the yarn around the ball) and started out again!! So now the glove looks like this, Ah well! perhaps it'll teach me to check the stitch count more often.
At Severn Valley Quilter's meeting last night our speaker was great, Pat Train (one of my followers) who came along to tell us her 'Story So Far' she had many wonderful quilts to show us and lots of fantastic pieces from her City & Guilds Patchwork course, then she went on to tell us about training to be a quilt show judge through the Quilter's Guild. Everyone was spellbound and asked many interesting questions at the end, to conclude Pat urged us all to seriously consider entering Quilt Shows like Malvern and the Festival of Quilts, because if there are no entries there will be no shows.. Hmmm makes me think!

Well that's it again for now so see you all when there is more to report.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

On a Roll

First up may I welcome the lovely Lisa to my blog, she has been trying for ages to get signed up as a follower but was not having much luck, then today I saw she had made the connection YAYYY!!! Also while 'surfing' the other evening I left a message on the blog of Alejandra whom I found via Grow Your Blog (see button on the side bar.)  and she has replied that she has visited me too! Pop over and see her she has a great blog HERE
As for the title of this piece well  I'm making a start on some of the smaller UFO's that I have in my box and today it's the turn of the 7 pocket bag which was started at Severn Valley last year under the instructions of the lovely Joyce. No pictures yet as it's not going too well right now but that's what comes when you rush into these things (something I find myself doing from time to time.) Now! I can hear you all saying  'I thought you were working on the Alphabet wall hanging?' and yes I am but the problem is I started to put that together on the Basic Toyota machine I use to take to sewing days/workshops etc and the 1/4" foot differs somewhat - on the Toyota its a generous 1/4" while on the Husqvarna it's a scant 1/4" so you can see the problem.
As part of the spring Challenge  I saw a pattern for a 'Jackalope' embroidery on a shopping bag which I liked in  issue 49 of Mollie Makes magazine but I don't need another bag so I came up with this idea to play with the design to get an embroidery of a Hare and then surround it with an appropriate colour scheme for each season, well that didn't happen as I changed my mind, (no surprises there then!) anyway long story short is I decided to do the 'Jackalope' anyway, I am pleased so far with my progress, I copied the design at A4 instead of enlarging it and this is a far as I have got.
It's embroidered using 6 strands of embroidery floss and I am working it on Calico. 
Good heavens is that the time? I must fly! I have to go to Mum's and it's Severn Valley meeting tonight, we are having a talk by Pat Train (who by the way is one of my followers) and she is going to tell us all about being a Quilt judge.
I'll try to come back real soon with more progress on both projects.

Monday, 16 March 2015

A Finish ( and on time!)

Welcome back lovely readers,
The piece for the 4 Seasons Challenge at Westbury Park was finished and on time for last Monday's meeting I hasten to add - no last minute rushes this time for a change so what did I make, well nothing original I'm afraid as I kept changing my mind about what to make till I nearly ran out of time, but finally after spotting something on 'the net' I decided on reducing an idea for a cushion I  had seen on Kirsty's Home made Britain programme on Channel 4 some time ago. This is my attempt at re-creating her cushion project but at A4 size.
 I made a small 4 patch 2" squares (finished size) and surrounded it with some calico, once this was done I
added an applique Hare, some free hand embroidered greenery in stem stitch and straight stitch.
Then daffodils and crocus using Daisy stitch, french knots and buttons before addng a green border,
the finished piece looked like this. The daffodil (top right) is a  Macmillan Charity badge which I took apart and reassembled with a bead in the centre.
I thought I would use this post as a means of catching you all up on projects since Christmas so also completed was the I spy quilt for my friend's baby Taylor (see post on 14 Jan.) sorry it's a bit blurry!
I had great fun choosing fabrics, as you can see from the following
For the back I used a Navy Teddy print
 and rounded it all off with a bright red border.
sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the finished quilt as it was delivered in a hurry during the Family 'dramas' that ensued around then.
I made some progress with the Alphabet wall hanging for Little H, getting the first 2 rows together last Saturday when SVQ had a sewing day, .
My good friend Lisa sent me pictures of the quilt she just completed, she has joined us at CTQ this year and has been working on this during our sessions there. I believe she used all Moda fabrics as she loves those

She made the label on her sewing machine.
Another 15 minutes of play block came off the machine last week and looks like this, bringing the total up to 5, not sure yet how I shall use them but something will occur I'm sure.
I hope you all enjoyed Mother's Day yesterday, it was really busy here, I cooked a special lunch with blackberry and apple crumble to follow, we invited our nieghbour to lunch as she had surgery on her right arm last week and cannot do much for herself at the moment and of course my Mum was here as usual. We cracked open a nice bottle of red as it was also the day of our 40th wedding anniversary, DH actually remembered though had no idea how long we had been married for!! The card he gave me had red roses on so that seemed quite fitting and he bought me some flowers on Saturday!!!! After lunch the whole family arrived so it was tea and cakes all round. I got these lovely Owl & the Pussy Cat stitch markers (from here) and a small box of chocs from DD and Co.
So all in all it was a great day.
I finished another book, as you all know or have guessed from the title of this blog I am passionate about primates and in the past I have 2 adopted Orangutans (Gordon and Kai) at Monkey World in Dorset which we visited some years ago. For Christmas I got this book by Jeremy Keeling who is one of the directors and I couldn't put it down.
It's a really good read, Iv'e added a picture of the back cover for you to read
Byeee till next time

Monday, 9 March 2015

Waaaay Back in January....

I started a tutorial, (See post on 15th January) and its waay too long since I added to that but as you will see from my previous couple of posts life has been a little hectic since then. I am going to try to get this rectified herewith, so hopefully by now you will have all the required 'tools of the trade' ready and waiting
Hex-a-long part 2.
Cut out some papers and some small fabric squares and let's get going, 

 place your template centrally on the fabric.

 and pin in place

you can use a fairly large needle and any thread for this, I have used a dark thread so it shows up. Make a large knot in the end of your thread, fold the first two sides of the fabric over, taking care not to fold the paper and take the first stitch from right to left (R-L) do not go through the paper, this will make it easier to remove them later on.
 continue folding the edges in, going round  R-L and taking a stitch at each point

 At the final corner fold the last piece under the one just stitched so that all the folds go in the same direction.

 make lots
 and lots!
Once I have made quite a few and I have the iron on I give them a press with a a fairly hot iron to really fold in those edges. You can aim to make 'sets' by making a solid colour or fussy cut hexagon for the centre and 6 co-ordinated ones to go round the outside or go completely 'random' as I have here.
I'll be back again later to show you how to join them up.
Meanwhile here is a finish, in January I won this little kit at one of the quilt meetings
and have passed a couple of hours making it up, it's supposed to be a key ring but it's actually a bit big for that so I made it into a little hanging, I will probably put it in the new sewing room.
Byee for now

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Long Time No see

Well Hello again my friends,
What a few weeks we have been having here, as I explained in my post on Feb 2nd DSIL went into hospital suffering with Gall stones. Since then he has been rushed back in, once by ambulance at 2am and discharged 2 days later, then on Sunday 15th Feb he had to go back in again as an emergency!!! Finally the surgeon agreed he needed to have the offending organ removed, once this was done he was back home after almost a week in hospital while they worked out what to do. During all this Little H had Cystitis and then an ear infection. Thankfully now everyone is fine and back in the good health (Fingers crossed I'm not speaking too soon here!) Throughout all of this I was back and forth to their house staying over to give moral support, babysit etc. I got lots of knitting done, mostly my now 'famous hats' which now total 14
When I have been at home I started making a new pair of gloves as I lost the pair I made earlier (now found :-))) but have put these on the back burner as I found myself offering to make a pair for our neighbour after she admired mine.
I have also worked on DH's sweater, both back & front are now complete, and I'm working on the sleeves, these are all stocking stitch so should be a lot quicker to knit.
On the sewing front I have been working on a spring Challenge for WPQ, but more on that later as the 'big reveal' is on Monday and I don't want to give the game away early. I only got going on it last Thursday as I kept changing my mind about what to make. I have made progress on the alphabet wall hanging for little H, I now have all the letters & pieces sewn on by machine after the bond a web decided not too stick. This has taken for ever as some are quite fiddly here is a block to give you an idea, and this is one of the easy ones!

 I made another 6" block for a '15 minutes of Play' session which looks like this..
The new workroom project continues to progress, last week the fabricators came to fit the steel girders which will support the walls above the garage.
This is all passed by the building inspector so we can go ahead with the joists for the floor, so its all moving along nicely. Below is a view of where the new room will be in relation to the house, this is at the back where there will be a 6' window.
and on  final note this is what is I have just finished reading, 

I can highly recommend this book which I saw mentioned on the lovely Radka's blog Here  DS gave it too me after I requested it for Christmas, at first I thought it a bit slow but once the story got going I couldn't put it down often reading till the wee small hours. Speaking of which I'd better go to bed, it's almost midnight, so I'm off to fill the 'hottie', get a cuppa and tuck myself up for the night.
Be back soon (I hope!!!)