Wednesday, 20 August 2014

In with the new.....farewell to the old

Oh goodness where have the days and weeks gone.  I did think I would have a lot to show you but.... there have been a few changes in my sewing room.  I have said a sad farewell to my beautiful Bernina sewing machine.

Still looks a smart machine doesn't it?

I bought the machine in Durban, South Africa, a number of years ago, and it has served me well but there is always the fear that if something goes wrong with it spare parts may become scarce so I have taken the plunge and bought a new Janome.

Need a new sewing mat now.
Its a pretty swish machine, so I will have to play and get to know all it can do for me.  My friend has been give a new pattern for a baby quilt (sold here) with very little time to make it, so I have offered to make it (using my new machine!).  There was a method in my madness, I get to practice on my machine.

cute pattern

I have never made one of these quilts before, and what a surprise it was to find it took days to trace all the bits to be appliquéd, but once traced it only left me the job of cutting it all out.....Phew! another day spent on the floor cutting and placing..

Just the beginning
 I am sure some of you clever folk know a quick way to do this, but I have spent the day on the floor with a pair of scissors, and spent happy hours (and hours) cutting out those tiny pieces and placing them on the correct pattern piece.  Think I am about ready to start sewing and giving my machine a bit of a work out...Yeah!!!

Some of the scraps.... don't think I will keep them 

Hope I have something to show you in the not to distant future.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Challenging Challenge done and dusted

Do you remember the Challenge with my friend 'L'?  I started to write about it in this post and I ended with this photo and wanted to shout from the roof tops that I thought I had finally cracked it.

Tah Dah!!

I started to piece the other six mini blocks together, but first had to get them in the right order..

Getting there
goodness they seemed to go together like a dream.....

Nearly  done ...

but I think I must have got carried away, because just after this photo I put all the blocks together only to find one rogue mini block had a problem...... to say the air was 'blue' would be an understatement.  I had to unpick once again....can you spot the (I would like to say deliberate, but I would be telling fibs) mistake.  Of course you can it sticks out a mile!

Removed from the main block ....

But finally I did get it together, sandwiched and quilted YEAH!!!!!!!  Isn't it a darling.

I love it, and if you look closely you will notice just how small we made it

'L' has almost finished hers and once she has recovered from 'The Festival of Quilts' show I am sure she will show you her completed challenge miniature quilt.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lots to tell..

I do have a lot to tell, but I might just 'show/tell' you one thing in this post, and the chosen one for today is my 'flickr' swap.  If you remember we know who we are swapping with, and this months theme was 'anything goes'.  My partner gave me 'carte blanch'  so I decided to make a miniature paper pieced 'Rain bonnet Sue'.

It started like this..

Yep! some tiny bits of paper.
then I made some of the 'big' hearts

This is one of the 'big' hearts
added them to the littlies...

Now to put them together...

and they looked like this...

See what I mean about 'Big' hearts 

Borders added, bound and quilted 

Now you can see just how small it is

I added a couple of 'extra's' and off in the post it went..

Scissor keeper, and a collapsible thread catcher

and Yeah! it arrived on Friday so I can now tell and show all. Best of all my partner loved it.  I am now stalking the postman until he delivers mine....

I will show you my challenge next time so keep popping in...

Friday, 25 July 2014

Challenge time.

Remember my post from the 15 July I told you my friend and I were embarking on a new challenge?  Well, the fun had begun.  Fun...did I say fun!!!! All of the half square triangles were cut and ready.

Remember these
 and I like a good girl I actually read the instructions that said it was best not to iron them just  finger press the half squares open. Now I have a lot of patience, but after spending a whole evening (about 4 hours) finger pressing and only getting about half the pile done I decided that was for " the birds", so next morning out came the iron'

Must change my ironing cloth it looks awful

Next I laid out how I thought my pattern would look best, and got ready to sew....

this is the plan..

I sat and sewed a row at a time and all seemed to be working well, then I got to the centre rows which should have been the quickest to make as it has a 2" square in the centre rather than another pinwheel ....famous last words....I cannot tell you how many times I unpicked the two blocks that were either side of that 2" block.  In the end I threw them over my shoulder and started again.

Banished to the floor 

Finally, got them right (or so I thought) and added the centre rows to the 'top and bottom' rows.......and it wasn't until I went to take this photo that I saw, to my horror, there was still a say the air was blue would be an understatement!

Yep! more to be unstitched 
This weekend is my time to get things right, so I hope next time I see you I will have at least one more block completed CORRECTLY .  

You may want to pop across to here to see how my friend is getting on.  

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Look who's back

Yep! the lady is back in town.....well, not our town but she is back in Oxford.  Mr D and I travelled over to Oxford and met up with Dee ( my friend from cyber world).  I think I may have explained before, Dee and I met on one of the 'Flickr' groups.  She was my secret Santa, and I have joined her in a few swaps.  Her daughter (M) came over to study and spent a couple of years in Oxford and Dee with her husband managed a visit each year and we always met up.  Unfortunately Miss M had to return to America in January, but she did quite a lot of work on this  project at the Story Museum and wanted to visit it before it closed and summer time in England called.  Unfortunately the Story Museum is closed on Mondays so we didn't manage to see the exhibition, but Dee did a tremendous job as a tour guide walking us around the city pointing out all the wonderful buildings

It was wonderful summers day, and all of these were in use once the younger folk had woken up

These were all taken by lunchtime 

So happy 

Cuddles for all
 Dee  informed us that this used to be the library,  but now is used as a reading room for the Oxford students..... how cool can that be?
Just look at the beautiful buildings,
Bridge of Sigh's

No water under this one

 Bikes bikes and more bikes

Definitely the way to travel
We even visited the indoor Market

Time to take it all in
So clean and fresh
 Just a last hug before goodbye's

Once again Dee spoilt me ..... Charm pack ' Architextues, Candy squares 'Pot luck' Tea Pot 'fat quarter', and some screen printed Linen by Amy another cyber friend.  

What a lot I got

This is a whistle stop tour for Dee, so I was so thrilled that we could meet up again.  Enjoy the rest of your trip Dee

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Busy doing nothing

I thought I had been a bit slack this week and wouldn't have anything to show you, but, when it comes down to it there is always something going on in my sewing room.

One of my friends had made a collapsible 'Thread catcher' that was so cute and would come in handy when we are travelling with our sewing, so had to have a go.  Luckily a couple of folk had made the prototypes, and had ironed out all of the little mishaps so all I had to do was watch the 'you tube' video, reduce the size of the bottom and 'hey presto' one 'thread catcher completed.

not much room for those threads
Voilà !!
Cute don't you think?
I am still working on the blocks for my 'quilt as you go' quilt, but I am sure you are bored with looking at those, so how about a bit of a change with this little smocked dress.  My friend had asked me if I was interested in making a Christening gown for one of her friends, but when we met up to discuss the dress it was obvious that she needed someone with more experience than me.  I had taken a couple of dresses to show her, and she seemed to like the idea of a smocked dress for her grandchild, and gave me 'Carte Blanche' to make the dress I thought best for a 2  year old.  I think the little dress I made is one of the most comfortable and serviceable dresses because your child can wear it as it is or with a T.shirt in summer, or add a jumper with tights in the winter.  I have stitched the hem, but haven't pressed it then if she is not happy with its length I can alter it.   I hope she likes it.

So cute 
Last but not least....... 'drum roll here I think..... 'L', who often has thrown challenges at me, is joining me in a joint challenge.  L chose the pattern that would give us a quilt of approx, 75" x 69"......... far too big for my liking, so my challenge to her (this is where we need the drum roll) we reduce it.  Ours (hopefully) will end up approx. 13.5" x 15". At the moment we have only cut and shared our half square triangles and I have to say that took quite a while to prepare (L was good enough to snip off  the points of the triangles she gave to me whereas I was sent to the naughty step for forgetting to cut hers!).  So in the weeks to come you will see us with out magnifying glasses and our quick 'unpick'- ready for action.

The mess in the middle are the nibs I cut off...took another whole evening.
The weather is supposed to be hot for the next couple of days, so I may be found under the umbrella in the garden.......hope you have sunny times.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

And another pair bite the dust

Yes I have been busy with the knitting needles again.  A friend gave me lots of sock wool that her Mum had, so I decided to make a few more pairs of socks while sitting and watching T.V.  all I need to do now is go in search of a larger (and smaller) pattern after all not everyone has a size 5.1/2 shoe.

This pair almost match.....
I also have a few more blocks that can be  knocked off the list for my 'Quilt as you go' project.  Six more 9" blocks finished, so  there are just two more 9" blocks then  four more 8" blocks. I have found the patterns I want to use, so with luck I should get them finished ready for Saturday when I am going to my local quilt shop to get the know how on how to quilt and put them this space.

No idea what this block is called

Flying Geese, paper pieced

Marina's Compass - paper pieced

Scrappy Irish Chain (I think that's its name)

Scrappy Pineapple block

Another that has lost its name, 
We have had a bit of an odd week really - on Wednesday the weather forecast sounded good so we hopped in the car and travelled to Hunstanton.  Our plan was to walk along the 'prom'  have a bite to eat and just enjoy the day.  The walk along the front was great, ending up with a nice cup of tea before we turned around and walked back the other way so we could walk along the cliff tops.

Mr D pacing it out 

Brave souls, that water is a bit chilly 

This is an amphibious vehicle that runs little trips along the coast.  In the future they plan to travel between Hunstanton and Skegness, across The Wash
Look at the different lime formations in this cliff.
 We did plan to have a nice 'posh' lunch, but after walking around the town we decided that when by the sea  to eat the traditional meal
Yummy !!!!

To finish off the week we went to Kilworth House theatre to see 'South Pacific' on Friday evening, and Saturday we had a wedding to go to at Kelmarsh Hall.  Both evenings were wonderful, the weather held for us on Friday evening, so we didn't get wet, and Saturday was so calm and peacful we could spend time (after all the dancing) wandering in the gardens.  My week ended well, I hope yours did too.