Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mini Mania

 Our little group (of four) are making a Mini quilt a month this year. We failed to start this in January so we will have to do a catch up block during the next few months.

We were all getting on quite nicely, with the seam rippers only being used every five minutes occasionally. 
I have used more pins on these 3" blocks that I would ever on a "normal" block, but there is absolutely no "wiggle" room when sewing these pieces together

I think we have all made this mistake!
 Or this one!

 But eventually we all got those little blighters blocks done

 We are all keeping connected via "WhatsApp" and some of the photos and comments that have been posted have given us all a good laugh.

 And I am NOT going to explain this!!!

Anyway, the big "reveal"  will be on Saturday morning at 10 am  - just because ONE of us (we know who you are) does not do early mornings.

And next months design has been chosen ready for Monday morning.  

Do you remember the Snowdrop Sunday event that I visited a couple of weeks ago?  Well I went back on Saturday and took a couple more photos

 The good weather has opened up so many more of the little buds

 And they raised an incredible £5500 over the event weekend!!!  How about that!

On Tuesday I met Sister 2 at Sywell Country Park  to walk around the reservoir there. I was cold and quite windy but a lovely day for a brisk(ish) walk and a long chat about all sorts.  

 We must have had more rain over the past few days than I had realised because we came across many of these
 And had to brave some obstacles

 These two photos were taken at the same time

 How can it be so grey one way and so blue the other!!

We may or may not have had a nice cup of tea and toasted tea cake when we had finished. I cannot possibly say.

We will hopefully do the same next week (work commitments permitting)

Friday, 20 February 2015

A Flying Visit

Just to say that the"Plus Quilt" is finished and will be heading off to Chilterns at the weekend ready to be Raffled at their Art Exhibition in a couple of weeks. I will be attending (not to enjoy their delicious refreshments - honest!!)
 The back used every scrap!

But today's task is to get a Mini Quilt finished before all the other members of our Mini Mania group beat me to it.  We are using this pattern  and our own choice of fabrics.

Yesterday I cut out all the little pieces
 And started to sew
 Before I went out to meet up with some friends, I had done all of the Four Patch blocks

 And the rectangle blocks
they ARE small
 And had added the triangles onto some of the Square In A Square blocks

Mr T is doing a bit of decorating. He does not want my help (he likes to work at his own pace

But I am not complaining because he always does a good job and I do not enjoy decorating. I feed and water him at regular intervals and leave sport on the radio to keep him company.

So I intend to listen to another Jack Reacher tale whilst sewing the rest of these little blocks together.

I have sharpened my unpicker.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Snowdrop Sunday

Every February, in the next village, the church hosts a little fund-raising event called "Snowdrop Sunday". Well it used to be just the Sunday, but it has proved to be so popular that they open on Saturday and Sunday now.

After a visit to the"Big Guy" on Sunday, we headed over to Chelveston to view the carpet of Snowdrops and Aconites

 Its a tiny village, but a well supported church.
yellow aconites along the footpath approach

 Where we bumped into several people to chat too....

And as you approach the building there is a hint of what's to come

It was quite cold and misty

But so peaceful (even though there were hoards of visitors!)

 With thousands of these little darlings bobbing their heads in the breeze

The volunteers serve hundreds of cups of tea and plates of cake, but we went for a home-made soup and roll for £1.50!! (Delicious!) 

 And we met up with so many people that we haven't seen for ages.

Then back out to take more pics.

I think that one more week would have seen more flowers in bloom and less buds. This will look like a carpet of snow shortly.

 And a pause for thought at the loss of so many young men

My Mum remembered the USAF base here during WW2 and how all the young girls visited the dances that they held, and accepted stockings and make up and things that had not been seen since war broke out

Each year many ex servicemen re-visit the local area and have supported the church keenly.

 The churchyard has many different varieties of this little flower but I still love the simple single ones
A double variety
 It's a pretty little church in an idyllic setting, shame there was not a clearer sky.

I shall head over there again later in the week to see the change. I will take more pics and hopefully let you know how much money they raised.

And when we got home, I just needed to add the binding to my "Plus" Quilt.

The machine kept skipping stitches, so I gave it a bit of a sort out and I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed of this little lot!

I really do clean her out on a regular basis. Every project - HONEST!  Got enough here to fill a cushion!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Love is in the Air!

 I have spent two days piecing all the scraps from the "Plus" fabric to make the backing for the "Plus" quilt

 It's done and all ironed on to the wadding ready for quilting. I like to use Hobbs 80/20 Fusible wadding. You can iron on both sides and then dash over to the machine and starts quilting. No crawling around the floor pinning and basting.
 So now I am "dashing off" to start the quilting. I would like to get it finished this weekend and get it sent of to raise funds for the MS clinic

As soon as the quilt is in the post, I have to get on with a little challenge between four friends, We are going to make a Mini quilt each month. Any fabrics that we like, just using the same pattern.
 One friend who lives WAY up north is joining in, and these are her cut out pieces.
 There is just as much work in a "mini" but maybe a little less thread?!?  It seemed like a good idea.

I will let you know.

 It's Valentines day and my dear husband knew just what to do to make my day special.  He has played golf this morning and has gone to see his team play football this afternoon so I get to play with my machine all day!!!

And some sweet flowers...
A table decoration sneaked away from a dinner that we attended last night.
 And who says romance is dead!


Monday, 9 February 2015


 The bag.

I have just finished sewing the lining into the Weekender Bag!

I was glad to set it aside for a bit because I was having to unpick a few bits that I wasn't quite happy with and then - well I don't know about you, but if one thing goes wrong, then it's a bit like dominoes  and everything goes wrong.

Anyway - Marmalade made (it is very good) cakes baked and homely chores completed and I looked at it again with renewed enthusiasm.

The zip went in well when I changed to a cotton quilting thread. It held well and coped with the thickness of the cotton duck fabric that I had quilted my scrap fabrics to. 

 I did try pinning the pieces together, but my nice long fine silk pins just bent when I used them. Wasn't prepared to loose those pins so I used some Clover Wonder Clips. They have a really firm clasp even if they are a bit expensive and did just the job.
Clover 10-Piece Wonder Clips
 I have also got some of the Sew Easy clips and they are just as good (if not better) and quite a bit less expensive.

Sew Easy Quilters Holding Clips

Anyway all clipped up and ready to sew. 

 It was a bit of a fiddle getting these panels together. The cotton duck is very stiff (but not hard) so it is not very malleable when feeding through the machine.

But it is done.

And I really like it.
empty bag - stands by itself

patched panels using scraps
I do have some "special" fabric that I am going to make this bag from, but as I had read a few negative reviews of the pattern I thought that I would make a prototype to see any problems for myself.

Nothing that I couldn't actually handle, though I can see what some folk mean by calling this pattern "tricky".  I will make another, and there are a few little amendments that I will make to try to avoid problems. 

I only broke one needle (Schmetz 70 Microtex which I should have changed before I started!) and completely blunted a Schmetz Jeans 90, and I so understand why.

  So all I need to do now is book a Weekend away to test drive it!

Now - where to go..........

I have been dibbing and dabbing between projects this week too
I did finish the Aran cardigan for Little Miss
its so soft and really cute!

And then started a knitting project for myself using this pattern
Its growing quite quickly and I am using some Alafoss Lopi Icelandic wool that has been packed away in my loft for ( I am ashamed to say ) probably 28 years!!!

 It was my Mums wool, and then she decided that she wouldn't use it, so it went up into the loft and was forgotten about till a friend showed me a pattern for some hats that she was going to make for her Grand-children. 
Out the said wool came and had made several hats, a jacket and the one that is in progress.

it's still perfectly fine!

 And I have also been asked to make a quilt to be raffled or sold at a MS Clinic that my daughter works at.
 It's a Charitable Trust and they have to raise  - well - a HUGE amount of money annually to keep the place running.
They have an Art Exhibition at the beginning of March, which I will be going to, as I have heard that it will be worth the trip.

I have started the top using the "Plus" pattern  that I read about here and am using some rather bright fabrics from Moda designer Malka Dubrawsky From Outside In. 

It will not be a big quilt, but it will have impact!

First 7 rows - 8 more to go.
I think I will add a slim white border and then use all the scraps for another border finishing in with white. Or I may go for Grey?  We shall see.

The weather is slowly improving and although it is still cold, the last few days have been dry and bright and if the saying is right it looks like it will be bright and dry tomorrow too
Red sky at night.....

I will be computing tomorrow trying to sort out some little niggles with email accounts. I also want to know how to add a "Tutorial" page to a blog. I know how to add the page, but haven't discovered how to add a picture that opens up a tutorial. If you know - can you point me in the right direction?

We will see what happens .......