Friday, 30 January 2015

A Quick Pit Stop

to say that the bag is coming on nicely. All panels are finished and I am halfway through making yards of piping to add to it.

But I sidelined that for today, as I wanted to get this finished because its someone's birthday next week.
 A nice bit of Harris Tweed and some cotton duck fabric, et voilĂ  , a gardening apron that should have been a Christmas gift, but (excuses excuses ) I ran out of time.
a roomy pocket for her nice new secateurs
Well, she wouldn't have done much gardening in this weather, would she?

Might just have enough of the tweed to make one for myself too.

It's turned blummin cold here and we have had a sprinkling of snow, with more of the white stuff forecast. A quick trip out in the morning and then I am hunkering down for the rest of the weekend .
My lovely Dad would have been 90 tomorrow. 21 years on and I still miss him every day . xx

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Energetic Weekend!!

 Well, and energetic Sunday anyway.

Saturday saw me finish off some of the little charity shorts, which have now been delivered to Ellen to pass along to the Dress A Child charity. I have used lots of large scrap pieces and yards of elastic, but I know that someone will be happy to wear them, even if they are a bit colourful!!

Counted up 26 pairs!

So then I began the Amy Butler Weekender Bag  I know that I have been going on about starting this for .... ages, but life has just got in the way, and when I realised that there was no way it was going to be done before my holiday, it was put back in the drawer, to wait even longer
I had read quite a few reviews on this pattern - some good - some not quite so - it seems that as you use several layers of different waddings, this can be a tricky little beggar to get through the sewing machine. Then I read this Blog by Elizabeth Hartman so I invested in some cotton "duck" fabric, which basically is a heavy canvas, and am using this method to construct my bag.

It's quite a nice way to use up more of the scrap box too!
It's quilted as you go, so the panels are quite sturdy.

choosing pieces

added a larger piece that would be hidden behind the pocket

one panel and pocket
I still have more panels to go, and the scrap box still seems as full but I am trying!!

Sunday saw us over at Wendover visiting Miss Mrs W for lunch. Her brother  was there too with the little darling, and whilst lunch was bubbling away we headed of into Wendover Woods.
to soggy underfoot for a pram!
For those of you who don't know the area, Wendover Woods cover a VERY large hill!

that white speck near the pin is the girls house

and we started off WAY down there
The sun was bright when we left, even if it was cold, but they clouds soon came over bringing the temperature down, which didn't bother us, as we had worked up quite a sweat!

The walk certainly worked up healthy appetites, and lunch was delicious.  Plates were scrapped clean.

This is what happened as soon as Little Miss was put in the car!
Grandpa too!
and he was driving!

A not very nice visit to the dentist this morning, but when I got home, these two beauties had moved in. Thank you for the speedy delivery
I just love Hares
I did hint that these would make a lovely birthday present, but that's ages away, and I don't think they can wait to go on my wall, just got to find the perfect frames. A job for later in the week.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Going, Going....... Gone!

 The Beasty Holly tree that once looked like this...

 Had a jolly good trim and looked like this.....

 And before I could change my mind...

there it was----- GONE!

see the bendy fence?

 Many trips to the tip to dispose of the foliage and two neighbours asking for the wood for their wood burning stoves  - oh the dilemma! Mr T now has to cut it all down and take it to the boy's for HIS stove.

And just to keep me from crying about said tree ( I really get attached to stuff!!)  We made a visit down south to see this little munchkin

 who helped me to eat the pudding that I really didn't need!

but it was scrummy
 And then off to Heathrow, to meet with the nephew ( the sailor ) who was dropping off some bags for safe keeping until he joins his next ship. He flew in from South America, dropped his bags and then flew out to North America for a holiday with his parents! It's a good job he can sleep on a plane!
He is SUCH a well travelled man, but somehow the envy didn't get me. We have been talking about a little trip, but neither of us can muster up the enthusiasm to tackle the airport - maybe next month.....

 Oh, and I have just the binding to sew down on the table runner, and have sorted out the fabrics for a bag making session this weekend. Maybe the MoJo is creeping back in

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

I Love My Elna!

 I have been using my new Elna over-locker (serger) to make some of the shorts for the Dress  a Child charity.

I purchased it last year, used it a few times, one of which was to shorten some bridesmaid dresses. Then it was put away, and I just hadn't got around to actually getting to know it.

It's an Elna 664 Pro purchased from Andy at Sew Northampton

It is really easy to use and I can thread it without looking at the instruction manual. If you want to change the type of stitch, you just turn the dial, and the screen on the front tells you what each setting should be!  The threading is colour coded so you just start at the right and follow the coloured dots!  How easy is that?

 It's not a top of the range machine, I couldn't justify just spending for the sake of it, but it is a lovely smooth and quiet machine that does just what I need it too. If you are thinking of buying one, put this one on your list to try out. I am sure you too will be impressed.

Thank You Auntie Joan!

However ...... being all excited at using the machine, I may have got a bit carried away making these shorts.......
It took me three hours to thread the elastic through the waistbands!!

elastic lengths all cut and ready
piles of shorts
I will tot up how many and let you know

I have also been sewing a simple table runner for my girlie.

This is made from the scraps left over from the shorts  which were made from larger scraps - no waste in this house!

 I will be finishing this later this afternoon, and trying hard NOT to look down the garden...

Mr T has being going on far ages about removing this Holly tree. It started as a twig from a table decoration, pushed into the ground nearly 35 years ago. We have kept it trimmed into a lollipop shape for years but it has got away from us a bit this year. The fence panels need replacing and this is NOT a friendly tree!  The leaves are really hard and VERY pointy, you can't use it for flower arranging, there is always too much blood.

sadly no berries this year
 I want to grow more vegetables this year and the piece of ground would be ideal for a small plot. So I have agreed. (sad face)

It is quiet in the house so I am expecting to hear a shout of TIMBER! shortly...

I will stay away from the windows and carry on with my knitting and listening to a Jack Reacher novel and hoping that there will be no injuries.

 The knitting is coming on nicely (it's not very big!) and the yarn is a delight to use - so soft and smooth to work with.

its a sign of Spring when you get Tulips in the shops!
 Two bunches brought for me at the weekend xx

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Still Looking for my Mo-Jo!

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I always struggle to set my mind to the many tasks and  projects that are waiting patiently for my attention.

I am free of the bug that had me in its grip for almost three weeks, so I can't use that as an excuse.

Before Christmas I began the move of all my 'stuff' out of the bedroom that I had been using for sewing, computing etc.
It is only a small room, but my goodness, I had packed so much in there. 
I was moving out so that when Little Miss comes to stay, she has her own space.
We do have four bedrooms, and only use one most of the time, but if Little Miss comes with mummy and daddy, then often her Auntie S & Uncle L come over too.

Mr T has been busy setting me up a workspace in our little conservatory. I often used the space for sewing anyway, it is so light and I love to sit there looking out onto the garden.

just the machine to set into the worktop
I MUST set myself onto something. I dithered and dathered and got out some of my larger scrap pieces and started cutting.

Then I got out my very nice over-locker (serger). This was a little treat to myself after an unknown long distance relative of my late father, left him an inheritance, that passed on to me and my three sisters. We are still trying to work out what actual relationship it was, but we have gratefully called her Auntie Joan.
 It was only a small amount. But it was something unexpected. I had been looking at these machines for ages, trying to justify the outlay, but after Auntie Joan's gift, I trotted off to see Jill & Andy at Sew Northampton and after umming and ahhing for ages (Andy is SO patient!) I purchased this Elna.

 It didn't take me long to mess up the view!
It is really easy to use, and I can thread and unthread without looking at the instruction book!

 Half an hour later resulted in four pairs of shorts that will be passed to my friend Ellen, who will in turn pass them to the Dress a Child Charity. I used four fabrics, but used a different fabric on each panel so they do look quite funky!
just the elastic to thread through
 Not sure the Mo-Jo is back but I have made a start

And here is a photo of the lovely Orchid that came to live with me at Christmas

And some Hyacinths that were a gift and have got so tall I have had to steak and tie them up. The scent is quite strong and they seem to like living in our downstairs cloakroom, which is quite cool compared with the rest of the house.

 And just because I am not being very productive, doesn't mean that I am doing nothing at all.  This baby Aran cardigan is keeping me out of mischief. Should be ready for the Spring!
I promise that I WILL make a start on the bag that I wanted to make before our holiday!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

It's Been A Long Time...

since my last post, but I can assure you that I have not been slacking!

Not a jot of sewing done, though I finally managed to finish a rather nice little cardi for Miss O.

Things have been really busy at work and having some work done on the house, and I have now sold my little business, which should free up some time for me to do the things that I want to do, though many of you lucky retirees have told me that someone steals the free time that I think I have gained!  We shall see.

Christmas was spent ( several of us having this awful flu type bug that lasted for DAYS!!! ) with all my lovely family arriving on Christmas Eve. Sister 2 and family on Christmas Day and Sister 3 and hubby on Boxing Day. No turkey left in my kitchen!!

Santa HAS been Generous!
Little Miss is now fully mobile ... and despite having the most awful cold, was happy entertaining our guests with her antics. She also had fun helping Grandpa do the chores
not like that Grandad!
She spent ages filling and emptying the cutlery tray! Such a happy little girl.

Father Christmas was kind to me too. My very special friend A made me this beautiful quilt. I saw it in the making, not for one minute thinking that I would receive such a beautiful gift.

"A" has been attending a workshop with Jan Shepherd at her LQS. The piecing is perfect and the quilting finishes it off beautifully.
I am a lucky girl.
I am looking forward to actually getting on with some of the projects that have been sitting waiting for my attention .

I am not one for New Year Resolutions, but I do intend to keep this little blog more up to date. Please come back and see me soon.

Happy New Year!!