Monday, 31 August 2015

Its that time of that month again....

Yep!!! its time to reveal our Mini Mania's...

This month it was foundation piecing chosen by Sew Happy and "boy oh boy" did we have some fun......well if you call it fun having to unpick almost as much as you sew.

The original pattern came from Charise and she even gave you a hint on how to sew it together. I have done quite a lot of foundation piecing, so thought it would be a piece of cake.....how wrong could I be!

I started as instructed by cutting up the pattern

this was the easy bit

I then started to sew but forgot to add the 1/4" seam allowance for joining to the next piece of pattern...... unpicking began!

This piece took hours and hours....I am kidding not, in fact I am surprised there is any pattern or fabric left
Finally I managed to get the machine together.....Yeah!

Not quite together but it will fit

The rest should be a breeze ....... don't be fooled by what looks simple ..

this was probably the only bit that didn't have any reverse stitching to do

you still had to be careful with that little strip at the top

but finally I got it together


Now how to quilt.... I decided to quilt pebbles as I wanted to disguise all the seams.

What do you think?

To say this one was a challenge would be an understatement, but I am thrilled with the results and I love the banter between friends.

Onwards towards the next one.  Dee has an idea for  September, can't wait!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Busy, but fun week.

Goodness where do I start..... The week started with a trip out to tea for my friend A's birthday.  It was a special birthday (you know the ones with big ZERO's), so we all thought a bit of a treat was called for....and what a treat it turned out to be when one of A's old friends, who happened to be sitting close by saw the  celebration and ordered a bottle of bubbly for us....Thank you A's friend.

'A' is the one on the left

That same evening I was off to my Tuesday evening walk, and after a pretty miserable grey day the clouds cleared and gave us yet another beautiful sunset.

The sun was like a fire ball

You would never think to paint these colours
Because we were going to be on holiday in the middle of the summer we decided to not plant so many annuals or hanging baskets, but instead plant up Lily's. 
Just look at the size of these ones. 

Size of a plate

They smell beautiful as well

Thursday was a sewing day at our LQS so I took along a 'Debbie Shore' bag to make.  Believe it or not we did get some sewing done and I came home with this.....

It's just the right size for me

One of the ladies from the crochet group has a daughter that is going to be making up some special boxes for the neonatal unit at a local hospital.   As three of our grandchildren have had need for the neonatal units this is very close to my heart and I have decided to help.  One of the things they want are 'bonding squares' (its explained here), and it seems that tiny hats are also called for.  I think our crochet group would be willing to use up some of their scrap yarns on these tiny items.  

Tiny hats for tiny babes

Hope to make many more of these
Lastly, my friend went on holiday and brought me back a little gift and a stick of rock.  When was the last time you had rock???   I can't remember myself, but am looking forward to breaking into this one.

Thank you 'L'

Next week is the big reveal of the Mini Mania Challenge and I have to say this months 'challenge' was very challenging.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Another week gone!

Once again a Tuesday evening walk was on the cards as the weather was being kind to us.  As my friends are organising a group walk in September they are looking for pastures new, so East Farndon was the chosen village.  We were going to do a 'recce' of the walks around the village.  What a beautiful evening, and a lovely country walk.  We walked through fields of cows with their calves, and other fields with sheep, and some fields filled with crops. The walk along the footpath must have had about 10 stiles in about 3 km. so thinking of the September walkers we decided to walk back along a bridle path. We did do a little detour up to a ridge hoping to get some spectacular views, but the light was against us.  I couldn't get decent photos of the distant view, but did get a few of the lovely sunset.
just look at our long shadows
the beginning of sunset

The beginning of  Sunset

Motorised para-gliders were the noisiest thing around

More beautiful by the minute

At the back of our house is a Recreation Ground which on Friday evening was transformed into a bike race track.  We were able to watch from our bedroom, which wasn't such a bad place to be as the weather wasn't that warm outside and it had been raining throughout the day.  I can't believe how well organised it was, and how quickly they cleared everything away afterwards.  I am not sure if this will be a regular event, but it was a nice watch.

I don't suppose they mind that the sun wasn't shining

I am still working on this months Mini Mania Challenge which is from Charise Creates and it has been a challenge.  My quick unpick has been working its little socks off.  There are very few pieces that have not been sewn and unpicked, but I did manage this section first time "big grin".

this bit was another story

You wouldn't believe how long this took to get together

Last year at Yarndale (they now have a facebook page) my daughter bought some lovely yarn for some fingerless mitts, but time for knitting is just not a priority for  her at the moment, so they have been passed over to me.  I made the first pair, and as there seem to be quite a bit of yarn left decided to make a second pair.

The second pair are a bit smaller but they fit me, so fingers crossed they come my way

I did get to the 'Festival of Quilts', and there were some real works of art there, but my camera stayed in my pocket....goodness knows why, maybe its because I was Oowing! and Arrhing! too much.  I did a bit of shopping (as you do) so will look forward to playing with this little lot.

Happy sewing.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Quiet week

Things have been fairly quiet in our house this week, but I thought I would stop by and let you see what has been happening.

On Tuesday evening I went off with my friends for yet another walk in the Maidwell village area.  We have done this walk a few times, but always come across another new footpath and my adventurous friend wanting to see where it leads.  So this week we started off as normal on the footpath that leads from the village,  did a little diversion, and for a little while no one seemed to know were we were headed. Unfortunately Northamptonshire don't seem to mark their footpaths or access areas very clearly, but my friends have a great sense of direction and we finally found ourselves back on a track that we knew.  I am sure I have said it before, but I will say it again... the countryside is stunning!

The evening was not the clearest of evenings. but in the distance this purple field looked beautiful

Swathes of purple beyond the corn fields
 As the evening deepened the clouds cleared a little and we had another lovely sunset

Just a hint of pink

Just a minute later...bit more pink
then more of the sky lighting up
So beautiful

Finally the whole sky was a mass of colour
I also had an unexpected visit to the 'Festival of Quilts' at the NEC Birmingham. A friend was going and had a spare seat in her car, so I took the opportunity to go along.  The NEC is always a good day out, some wonderful quilts to impress you, some super fabrics to inspire you, and always new people to meet and chat to.  I didn't buy much, but loved the 'looking'.

I have finally managed to get my 'quilt as you go' quilt finished.  If you remember I had hand quilted a whole cloth and then added blocks around the edge to make it into a size that could be used.  The whole cloth had been marked out in blue, so I had to wait for some good weather so I could wash out the marking...... the day came when I thought I could get it dry so in the bath it went, and surprisingly it fitted into the washing machine for a spin, then on the line to dry.  I have added some 'yo yo's to the centre to bring in some of the colour from the blocks and love it.  For the summer months it will sit happily on my bed.

Unfortunately you can's see any of the true colours or the quilting

The  Mini Mania group this month took its pattern from here, with Felice giving her blessing.  The 'show and tell' was at the end of the month, and this was my addition to the group.

Started off with neat little piles

and spent happy hours hand sewing

then ended up with this little quilt
This month is 'foundation paper pieced' and I have to say its already given me a few headaches, but I am sure I will get there in the end.  If you want to join us, this is the pattern we are using Vintage sewing  created by .charise creates.  Good luck.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Bit if a bumper blog

As promised, no more holiday snaps as I am sure I have bored you enough.

Do you, as I do when planning a holiday, allow suitcase space for a small project that you can play with while away?  This year I took some knitting that was on the go, and some hexigons to make this, and just before I left I saw this little beauty. So I decided to slip in a few Perle threads ( there is a pattern  here)  but as I didn't have any internet right then and there, and needed the pattern right NOW, I had to just make it up as I went along.  I sat in our hotel room at Gatwick and made a start.

The colours are not quite right ...the white is actually cream.
Not a bad start, but have to say the 'sewing up' took almost as long as making these (approx) 1" squares.   I did get to finish it, but need to adjust the edging.

Finished and more like the actual colours

 Once in Canada my grandson asked if I could make him some fingerless gloves for when he goes fishing in the winter, so off to 'Michael's' for the yarn, pattern off the internet and ready to go.  They didn't take long, then the orders came in......

Mr C's completed

Pair for daughter-in-law, and garter st pair for Miss A
 I also started on my Spring Basket,

So neat.

Planning in progress
happy with the result

Its actually quite big

Once home we were given the instructions for our next Mini Mania Challenge, which  is paper pieces as well, the pattern comes from here and Felice gave us permission to play together.  Before I show you any of that I should show you my completed quilt for June. 

This one does not have binding because I am planning on sewing them altogether at the end of the year

Mug Rug size
 If you would like to see them all my friend over here has photos of them all.

This is the beginning of July's challenge, but it wont be revealed until the end of the month.

The squares are just 1" so all pretty small
At Yarndale, last year, my daughter bought a patten and yarn for some fingerless gloves, but after battleing with the pattern decided to get me to make them.

Lace weight yarn and tiny tiny needles
I have completed one mitt, but after a visit to Fiber East will they be put on the back burner?????  Oh No I really should not have bought, but it was fun.

Lots of shopping
We went back to this stand about 5 times... umming and aahing!!!
and this was my final haul! 
Can you see that tiny circular needle...I am going to have a go at making some socks with it!  A lot of the ladies at the exhibition were using them instead of  Double ponted needles and all said they much preferred the circle, so I can't wait to have a go.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Busy Day and the last of the hols.

I have had a really good day today.  You know you wake up, do normal things but you just feel you have achieved a lot.....well today was one of those days.  Do you want to know more.....well I am going to tell you anyway.  I woke stripped the bed and put that washing in the machine, caught up with my pile of ironing, then had a go in the garden.  The garden has been signed over to Mr.D since his retirement, but I wanted to get the patio jet washed (that usually falls to me as I love the power of that machine), and as it was a nice sunny day I went out and within a couple of hours we had a nice clean patio, pots tidied, lawn mowed, and I had even managed to get my bed linen dried and ironed, all before lunch - that's what I call a bonus!!!.  I'm bushed now so I thought I would share the last week of our Canadian holiday .

Just before we went to San Francisco we had a trip up to Squamish where they have recently opened the Sea to Sky Gondola. The ride takes about 10 minutes but you can, of course, hike up the mountain. However that involves ropes and effort!
If you look closely you can see one of the ropes by the side of the big rock

foot path...I think not!
but these folk obviously decided to be mountain goats

Not sure how long it would have taken them
This is the way we travelled 

and once at the top the views were breath taking

another suspension bridge 
Miss A, Mr D and I had another trip into Vancouver and Stanley park.  We came prepared this time to stop off at English bay and have a swim, with a few handstands thrown in.   

I don't know how she does it. (no they are not my legs!!)
then we noticed that paddle boards were for hire  Dudum!!!!  I have wanted to play on one of these for a while and as we could hire for just one hour it seemed meant to be.  I have to tell you that we forgot that English Bay water is not as calm as 'the cove' and those little waves soon threw me off.

:Little Miss is confident 

But I did manage to stand for a while
We did have fun and it was well worth the dunking.  I have much more regard for the folk you see paddling around 'the cove' making it look so easy.

On our last evening we went to the night market at Lonsdale Key (where you would catch the Sea Bus to the city).  It was another beautiful evening, and the market had lots of different food and craft stalls.  Unfortunately C had to work (well someone has to! ) so he couldn't come with us 

Some very interesting stalls 

Vancouver in the background.

Our holiday in Deep Cove is another one for the memory box, we had such a great time.

Next time I will get back to some craft work I promise.