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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Up and Down times....

All I seem to have been doing lately is getting in the car and travelling.  We have made the trip to London a number of times (nothing exciting - hospital visits)   We just seem to get over one journey then it's time to do it again. We also had offered to take our granddaughter to Heathrow as she was travelling to America joining one of the 'Camp America' groups for the summer, so that was another trip down the M1 and the dreaded M25. Actually we have been lucky with the traffic, so that's a bonus.  Mr. D and I had a trip to Cumbria, up there one day then back the next.  We had lovely weather while we were up there, walked along the prom at Grange over Sands, something we never did while we lived there, and I believe there was torrential rain and storms in the South - so once again we have to count ourselves as the lucky ones.

The weather this summer has been atrocious, but one flower in the garden seems to have benefited. With so much rain I have been picking the blooms and having the benifit of these beauties in the house
Beauties aren't they 

I can't say I have been in the best of spirits and there comes a time when you just need to get out and do something a bit different.  I used to do most of the gardening, but these days it's been handed over to Mr. D, still I needed to do some heavy digging.   I don't really enjoy weeding, but give me a patch of ground, a garden fork, and I am a happy bunny.

Clay soil, and full of clay....heavy work!

down and dirty! 
but not sure if its going to get finished today - look at the sky!

shirt off, must be warm!

There has been a bit of crafting going on, albeit only knitting.  I finished my first shawl in The Shawl Society over at Ravelry  and a finish to the scarf that I started after a trip to Purlwise, the yarn shop at Kimbolton, (I'm not sure if the pattern has a name),   It seemed if you bought the yarn you could have the pattern as a freebie Yeah!

Nice easy knit 
I also tried to make some sort of keeper for my double pointed needles, and my interchangeable needles.  It took me ages to start this project and I have to say it didn't have my full attention but I did get it finished.  Problem was, the first time I took it for a road trip the needles fell out......back to the drawing board!!

Looks good, but not practical
T-hen a friend showed me a neat keeper for double pointed needles, so I thought I would have a go

RESULT ...... for the double pointed needles, and I think it will work for the interchangeable

I expect the next time I see you it will be to show you this months Mini Mania Challenge.....goodness where does the time go????

Happy playing 




Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Knitting needles flashing away

I feel I have been neglecting my blog recently, so I apologise but I did show you my Mini Mania quilt in the making, and  I have been busy  knitting too.

It seems that shawls are the 'in' thing to knit at the moment and as I have some nice yarn stashed away, I decided to have a go.  This first yarn was bought last year at Fiber East and is a lace weight silk mix, which I think came in a skein of 110g.  and after completing the shawl I still have 79g left, so definitely enough for a second shawl.




This second shawl was made from a 20g ball of Subline Lace ( extra fine merino wool), well I say 20g, but I ran out of yarn as I was casting off so had to join the second ball for the last few stitches......still there is plenty left  for some fine knit fingerless gloves.

This was where I had to join the second ball...BOO HOO!

Blocking the shawl.....must find some pins now.

The other knitting I have been doing is the bead knitting for my half dolls.  Before I can start knitting I have to thread the beads onto my yarn, which starts with threading them onto sewing thread, then transferring the beads onto the cotton.  Believe me - threading the beads takes almost as long as the knitting, but it's a job that can be done while watching the T.V.

This is where it begins 

Transferred  to the  cotton and knitting on the go.

Finished 
A friend has some antique half dolls so I did a deal.......I would do the knitting and she would share one of her dolls with me.  

She chose her doll first, and I chose to use this skirt pattern.

Isn't she a darling!
For my doll I made the same skirt  but as she is a little smaller I altered the length of the skirt , but now I think it needs to be a bit longer, so maybe I will have to do some re-knitting

Lilac beaded skirt to go with her purple flowers
Our summer has been a long time coming this year, but one consolation is that these beautiful Iris's have lasted a lot longer in the cooler weather.

So pretty 

Hope to catch up again soon.






Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Another Month bites the dust

Oh my goodness where did the month go!  It doesn't seem like yesterday when I was showing you my Drunkards Path Mini Quilt and today it's the "show and tell" for May's Cathedral Window Challenge.

I did try my luck with this one, offered it up as this months challenge, (to be fair I had made it  a year or so back), but I got a big 'No' ( from the rest of the group - Boo Hoo!) so I had to make a new one

All of the flowers were embroidered, and now is my sewing machine cover

So - off to the cutting board


all cut now pressing 

The folding not too shabby, let's hope the next step goes as well

All neat and tidy


I was not sure what I was going to have in my windows, then Higham Piecemakers had one of their social 'all day' sessions - 'Collage Creation' was the title.  Janis brought lots of scraps and a lot of it was Liberties Lawn and I knew that would work perfectly in my windows.  Very kindly Janis allowed me to take a few scraps.

I believe these are all off cuts from Liberties hexigon kits 
I had to put some sneak peeks onto flickr and these were the ones I chose

Bit of a close up

Black and white, but most spied the Liberty fabric
and this is my finished Mini.    As you can see it finishes as a  6" square..... too tiny for my sewing machine so hand sewing was the way to go.  I would love a full size quilt just like this, but I don't think I have enough hours left in my lifetime to complete it



Wonder what next months mini will be.  Pop over to Flickr and see the other beauties.



Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs????

Do you have pink and blue jobs in your house?  I don't think we do really, but our jobs have changed since Mr. D has retired.  Pink jobs used to include the garden, decorate the house including tiling etc. etc.which I know most folk would consider these 'blue' jobs.  Nowadays many of these jobs have turned into 'blue' jobs along with shared cooking (what a treat), bits of shopping, tidying the house.  This weekend the sun was shining and it was actually warm , so I wanted to power wash the drive and patio ready for the 'stunning' summer I long for, but I had the distinct impression that Mr. D now felt this should be a 'blue' job, but after a bit of discussion out came the power washer and this was me a few hours later.


Not sure I'll ever get those pants clean.

These next few jobs are definitely on the Pink list (big grin)

This week is crochet week again, and last time we met we were shown the boxes for Emily's star that some of us started to fill with bonding squares, hats, booties and incubator size quilts for our local hospital.  One thing that was in the box were little comfort toys for the babies, so I thought I would have a go at making them.  I have to say I have not got very far.........ONE is complete, but I did have good intentions, even bought a soft fleece blanket ready for the many that I should have finished...Blah! Blah! Blah!

So cute

They really don't take long to make and the white blanket is ready for the 'Off'

I did have an unexpected trip to my sister-in-law (S) last week and we took the opportunity to go to Lichfield to Spellbound Beads   The shop looks a bit boring from the outside, but inside is a wonderland of beads.





Sparkling Icicle 

Starry Night tassel 

We just couldn't resist, so came away with a couple of kits. and S bought beads which she plans to make into one of these....

My second half doll skirt
You would not believe just how many beads are in that skirt, it takes almost as long to thread the beads onto the perle thread as it does to knit the skirt, still keeps me off the street.

Don't forget if you would like to join our Mini Mania group over at flickr.  The next challenge is Cathedral Windows, the  instructions are here.

Till next time, happy days x x


Monday, 2 May 2016

Aprils Mini Mania Challenge Tah Dah!!!

Yep! It's that time of the month again.....Mini Mania Challenge 'show and tell'.  This months challenge was the 'drunkards path block'. We also had to use solid coloured fabric which suited me as I had used solids on my 'Pineapple block'  challenge and fabric still hadn't found their way back into the cupboard. Now I have only made drunkards path once before and that time each block was about 6" square and all sewn by hand. This time I wanted a 2" finished block and machine pieced, so a bit of Internet trawling and I came across this website that showed you how to make your own template, then I found this one so thought I'd have a go at making my very  own templates.




But I wasn't happy with the result, and so I then had one of those light bulb moments!  A couple of years ago I did a quick workshop at one of the quilt shows.  This workshop was to show you how you could frame a circle with fabric.  I have used this technique on a couple of occasions and thought I could make it work for my blocks.  Out came the compass again and voila! My drunkards path blocks were born.




I made them a bit bigger than needed so that I could trim down





Once all blocks were done I then the fun bit of choosing a design....and what a choice I had.  In the end I had three that I had to choose from




Eventually I settled on this arrangement.




Sandwiched and quilted, I am rather pleased with my little mini quilt.  This one will end up in a large quilt at the end of the year, that why it has no binding.

Why don't you head over here and have a look at the talented ladies creations.


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Perhaps we should never tidy our sewing rooms!!!!!

This has been a bit of a mixed few weeks.  I took Mr. D for a walk around Foxton Locks, a repeat of the walk I did with my friends, but this time in daylight so we could enjoy the joys of Spring.  The first of the wild bluebells (some were white just to be contrary)  and daffodils that I have seen this year, mind you we were away at the beginning of Spring.

Is this an indigenous bluebell????

Daffodils in flower,  Bluebells to follow

Think these must be the real thing


I still haven't got back into sewing, but I am enjoying making the crochet doilies.  I have tried a few patterns for the 'ladies that crochet' and made a few into a dream catcher, but I can't have hundreds of them hanging around - so! what to do with the rest?   I have a plan, but I might save that to reveal in another post......sneaky of me!

Just a start


At the weekend I decided to look through and tidy all my yarns.........big mistake!   I started well, but soon got distracted when I came across some perle threads which a number of years back I used for knitting miniature dolls clothes and some skirts for half porcelain dolls.  Porcelain dolls!  Where are those dolls?   Every cupboard, box, drawer, nook and cranny was searched.....no dolls!  This is the time when the saying 'My brain is like a Teflon pan. Nothing sticks' is very appropriate.   My sewing room was then turned upside down for the umpteenth time. Then as I last resort I looked in the garage where a few boxes for the charity shop had been stacked  Yes, you guessed it, one box had strayed into the wrong pile and my half porcelain dolls, along with some skirt patterns, were finally discovered. Phew! Lucky rescue........
,



Probably the longest part of making these beauties is threading the beads onto sewing thread ready to transfer to the Perle.

It takes hours honest.

Finally something finished to show you....

She just needs a name.

The moral of the story is - if you get distracted while cleaning up your stash, don't worry you may also  rescue a treasure,  because my ladies would certainly have ended up at the local charity shop Eeeeeek!!!  

I am on a roll now, "dollies and doilies".









Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Walking and working......

As the clocks were set to British Summer time at the end of March it meant that 'we ladies' could start our evening country walk again, but the weather hasn't really been very good to us until last night.  Although it took a bit to get me out of the chair I was really pleased I made the effort as it turned out to be a really lovely evening with a  beautiful sunset.  We walked around Foxton Locks (Leicestershire), and ended up in the village,

So beautiful
 As the sun went down the sky looked like it was on fire.



Now, have you ever had that item in the house that you feel you could make more attractive -- but never had the time to get around to it?  I have an old office chair which is used at my sewing machine and it is covered in typical office upholstery fabric, so a number of years ago I draped a small quilt over it as I was a little intimidated about reupholstering it,


Looks a little sad
But today was the day for tackling it.  Mr. D was out for the day so I had access to the tools (have to say I feel they are my tools as much as his!).

The old screwdriver is ready to lift old staples 

A few more tools added and I am now at the point of no return.....

Think its working....
Bit of cutting stapling and sewing -- Voila!!!!

Think I should have invested in some white paint for the legs....maybe that's a job for next week