Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Busy doing not much at all

I wonder if it is the sun that has chased away my enthusiasm for sewing but all I have to say is there has not been much of any going on in this house.  I did manage my Mini Mania Challenge for this month, but even that gave me a few headaches ....... I decided to make a few different size plates and to try something new.  I started with the largest plate and sewed three different fabrics together to make a multi coloured plate, but what I didn't realise until I had sewn them altogether was that if you only use three colours the middle blocks will obviously be all the same...bit of a Derrrrrr! moment, still live and learn as they say...

This one measures about 7" from point to point 
back at the sewing machine to make a smaller one, but only two colours this time

each blade was 3" at this stage
now for the fun bit

Points sewn 
got the yellow and green together nicely, but then tried even smaller and goodness knows what happened to them but they certainly didn't make a plate...

Something definitely wrong here 
bit of jiggery pokery and finally got there

don't look too closely at the quilting...I was tired! 

I am still playing with beaded baubles. 

Love making these 

Just a few more...

and finally this should be all about my scarf/wrap.........I must have spent about 4 days knitting a pattern row, then the next row, only to unknit these as something was wrong.  I finally gave up as I always seem to have the correct number of stitches (261 at this point) and just couldn't get the pattern to work...and life's too short!  I'd like to think the pattern was wrong, but I very much doubt that so as a last resort .....

needles out and unpicking begins 
I have often shown you photos of my Tuesday evening country walks, but the evenings are drawing in now and the sunsets are more difficult to capture, but this is what we do half way around - when the evenings are as warm as they have been in the last couple of weeks...

Not quite Champagne flutes, but these will do nicely  
Enjoy the last of the summer sun.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Not much sewing going on, but keeping busy

I really am falling down on my blogging lately, but I think I might have lost my mojo for sewing as well. I might blame it on the stunning summer we have had, but that wouldn't be true as we have had a rubbish summer really.   There have been the odd days of sunshine and I have tried to make the most of those days with some long walks and the occasional bike ride.......no photos sorry?

I did sew last month's challenge but can't say that Seminole quilts are my favorite - still you always  learn a few things along the way, so that's a bit of a consolation.

Learnt a lot along the way

I have also spent time watching the Olympics (which I am really enjoying) and knitting up the yarn I dyed with L   If you remember we only dyed 50 gr. hanks and there's not a lot you can make with just 50 gr, but fingerless mitts work very well.  All the patterns came free from Ravelry....  If you want patterns, Ravelry is a good place to look.

4 skeins ready 

Ready for winding into balls 
and after a few weeks those hanks turned into these 

gifts ready and waiting.

I had a trip back to Lichfeild and Spellbound beads 😱😱 gilts got me again.  I bought mainly beads this time, and as soon as I got home I started playing.   My sister in law S had bought a pattern for the Emperor bauble a couple of years ago at Alli Palli and neither of us could get our heads around it at the time, so it was pushed to the back of the pile and forgotten until this visit to the shop.  I thought I would try it again as this is one of the patterns in the.book I bought.  Would you believe it, this bauble is no more difficult than any of the others so I have been busy and started whipping up the tassels.   I have to say I am really enjoying beading at the moment, even to the point of buying myself a new box to (hopefully) keep them all together

These are the tassels 
and the tassels turn into this

Emperor Bauble 

and just a few more that I have enjoyed making

Not great photos but gives you an idea 

Friday, 29 July 2016

'Bits and Bobs'

I feel I have been neglecting this blog recently, but life has been getting in the way a bit, so apologies all round.

My sewing machine has also been neglected, but I have managed to get this months Mini Mania Challenge completed, but more about that after they have been shown on Flickr .... End of the month is show time!

In the past I have made quite a few pairs of socks and there's always about 35 gr. of yarn left over and as I hate waste, these bits are kept. "Low and behold"- just the right project came up and this little shawl was born.  I did think I had enough yarn to finish the lace edge cast off in one colour, but soon realised I was going to run out - so even the lace cast off is made up of two different scraps.  Think it's turned out OK -  it's used up scrap, cost me nothing and kept me out of mischief....winner all round I'd say!

I have been dying to knit up some of the yarn that L and I had fun playing with a few weeks ago.   We only dyed 50 gr. in each dye lot, so I thought I would make some fingerless mitts as they wouldn't need much yarn.  I have chosen two different patterns and soon realised that some patterns just don't show up when knitted with variegated yarn, but who cares when they look like this.

So exciting

Little bit of yarn left

Can you see my deliberate  mistake?

After my mistake on the second pair of mitts I did take a break and beaded up a bauble or two.   I had a head start, as when I made one a few weeks ago I had made an extra bow tassel - so only two to make this time (usually three bow tassels)   I have to say I love making these, but they are a bit fiddly and terrible to photograph.  Still did my best.

Love this pattern
This one is a practice one, using some old beads that I had..... note they are not all regular size beads so look a bit scruffy.  Note to self .... if you're going to spend the time, make sure you have decent beads !
Not too shabby

Happy crafting

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Mini Mania Challenge June #16

This months challenge was Stars.   Easy you would think!  The first problem was the 3 colours that we were told to use being Yellow, Aqua, and Purple!  As you can imagine there was much discussion on what is Purple and what is Mauve!  Eventually, it was agreed that the Purple police would not be visiting, so just use what we had in our stash.  We could use as many shades of these colours to make our quilt, and there had to be at least 4 Stars and we could choose a different background colour.  My first thoughts were to make scrappy stars, but that didn't work for me, so I decided to play.

I started with a 12" block which I increased in size to give me an 18" finished block.

Then I started to reduce the star pattern, and tried to work in my colours

 I started with the smallest star, which measures 2" finished.   I then added that to my 4" finished block, hoping that my decreasing worked, and that it would all fit together.

  I  got a bit nervous after joining the first two so chose to make the big Daddy size star next.

It looks like its coming together
Just have to fill in the gap now..... that's three, now for the fourth.

Phew! that seems to work.


The finished block is 18" square, contains the three colours, and 4 stars are (almost) 'present and correct'.  You can't see, on the photo, but each star is shadow quilted and  the outside of each star is quilted with a free motion vermicelli stitch. 

Go over to flickr to see all the other ladies mini quilts, and don't forget you can always join us.  I wonder what next month will bring????


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.

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.