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 mistake....to 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
VoilĂ  !!
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 together....watch 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
 t
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.








Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Trying to keep up to date

My friend phoned the other day and said I had been lacking in my blogging efforts, turns out she hadn't been to visit the blog since the 3rd of June post..... Hmm!!  I do try to write each week, but sometimes life just seems to get in the way, and that has happened this week, but I do have a few things to show you.

Remember the socks I had knitted, well I seem to have caught the bug, made a second pair and am half way through the third.  Guess what some folk will be getting for Christmas....


looks like a fancy pattern, but its just variagated yarn

I have also added to the collection of 9" blocks that will eventually surround my whole cloth.  I am spending loads of time looking for different blocks that I would like to use then reducing the size if needs be, and its getting more difficult to find ones I want to use .....maybe I am getting fussy.
 
Plain and simple

I can't remember, but think I might have made this one up 
The next block was originally a 12" block so needed to be reduced and do you think my muddle brain could do it????  It was late one evening, and my sister in law was also working on blocks (hers were 8" blocks) and I just think I got totally confused ....mind you that doesn't take much these days.  Eventually my local Quilt shop friend helped me out.
Pinwheels and Bears Paw
I have no idea what this is called, I just like it


 One of my days was spent preparing some smocking for the ladies that come to my smocking group.  We are going to make these,

A friend saw a bigger version on Pinterest

so I spent a whole day (yes the whole day) 'rolling and whipping' the hems in green to make it look more like a tree, then pleating the different pieces, but my ladies were thrilled so that makes it all worth while.

All done ready for smocking

I am working on another swap mini quilt, so once it has been sent and the recipient has received it I will show all, but until then you can have a sneak peek...

This will be sent off to America in the next couple of weeks

That's about it for now, so happy sewing until next time.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Bike riding

We were supposed to have visitors this weekend, but at unfortunately a trapped nerve in the ladies back has stopped her travelling so we had the weekend free and decided to dust off the bikes and cycle along the Brampton Valley Way which runs between Northampton and Market Harborough (an old railway line).


Just look at that blue sky

We usually head for Northampton as there are a few nice 'resting places' (in other words Pubs) but today we headed in the opposite direction towards Market Harborough.  It's a really lovely ride through beautiful countryside, with birds singing, butterflies flitting, lots of wild flowers and a couple of very dark tunnels.

View towards Kelmarsh (or possibly Oxendon)

Oxendon Tunnel
Mr D was not very happy with me at this point, because I asked him to hold my bike (too lazy to walk around and put up the stand), and he obviously was off balance and slowly began to fall backwards into the black mud.......nothing hurt, just his pride.


 As you enter Market Harborough you cycle through a small park, so we chose  to end our journey here, sat on the grass and enjoyed a bit of sunshine. Neither of us could remember the last time we sat on the grass in a park without any children in tow, so we took the opportunity to take our very first 'selfie'. What a laugh that was, but if you can't act the fool at our age when can you do it.

Decided this one was a bit dark, so....

Couldn't stop laughing


 It's been a while since we have travelled this part of the cycle path, and they had add some lovely mosaics depicting the area.

Lovely to see this along the track



As we weren't stopping at the Pub for lunch I had made a nice healthy salad which made for a pleasant stop on our way back.

Tasted Yummy!

We really should do this more often.


Saturday, 14 June 2014

How time fly's

Goodness where have all the days gone??  Perhaps what has made time fly by is the fact that we have been away for one weekend, and this week we had family come to visit - men off to play golf while we ladies spend time sewing.

I have also received my mini quilt from my swap partner.  If you remember we could choose Log Cabin, Pin wheels, or Chinese Coins, and I made her this



and this is the mini my partner sent me.. a sampler of Log cabin blocks, and its just perfect.

measures 10" x !0"

So what has been happening in my world, not a lot actually but the sunshine has brought out the flowers.  

Love in the mist...I just love them peeking through the undergrowth

Last year this only had a couple of flower heads, but this year its beautiful

Sambucus nigra
The foxgloves have grown taller than the fence


 and the Peony's have given a bumper crop



With rain forecast I thought they would be battered down, so decided to cut them 

I have two vases full
At the end of May I showed you a 'wholecloth' quilt that I was going to add to and so far I have made these blocks to surround it 

Dresdon Plate

Flying Geese

Lone Starburst

Indian Summer 
I have another 12 of these 9" blocks and for the corners 8" blocks, so my thinking cap is on.   I hope to show you a few more next time.

+