Monday, 27 April 2015

April's Mini Mania Reveal

So April's instructions were handed out at the beginning of the month.  This is an 18" block, so compared with the 
8" x 10"  in March this one would be a breeze.

We used this pattern  (Instructions very clear and  easy to follow)
Cutting, pressing and piecing commenced quite quickly.
 (Mr T on the golf course)
 Spot the mistake!!
 another round added
 The last piece of this white on white. I shall be sorry to see it go, it's so lovely and crisp.

 Ta Dah!  this is my Mini


 A trio of pretties
It is funny that we all have used similar colours, purely coincidental.
We have been issued with the May instructions so will be selecting my fabrics ready for that.

I have cut out two more blocks for my Swoon quilt, and pieced all the Half Square Triangle ready to put together at the weekend
 Trimming all those corners
But no sewing was done this weekend. A visitor on Thursday who went on Friday, for another to arrive on Friday and one more on Saturday for departure Sunday.

It is lovely to have the house full again ( even better that it's only a short while!!)

I did manage to use a huge bag of Rhubarb that I had been given. 
One Rhubarb Crumble that went down very well with the men in the house and then a pan full that bubbled away
gently cooking
 And now we have 7 jars of this (slightly acid) jam. A jar has been donated to one who will give a true opinion but it tastes good to me. Will have to make a batch of scones to ladle it onto.
 Because the weather has been so mild, we have managed to get such a lot of jobs done in the garden, with potting on and planting out many varieties of plants.

And a great event today.

My lovely daughter, who is now grown up, was a collector and lover of all things Panda as a small child.  She had big ones and little ones and lots of in-between ones. She did favour a rather tubby 10" one so when we were asked if "Pandy" could accompany us on a transatlantic flight, we of course said Yes!!
He is about 30" long and shared MY seat !!!

Anyway Big Pandy is 20 + years old and very well travelled and today he had his first proper bath!!

and has gone from this...
To this!!
Still a bit damp and needs a bit of a fluff up but will be ready to cuddle shortly.

Which is good because all of my lovelies are visiting this weekend and Little Miss "O" has taken to the collection with delight. "S" may have a fight on her hands.

Have a Grand Weekend! 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A Fabulous Start

 to spring!
The weather here has been glorious. The sun has shone every day and the temperatures have been rising ( but not too much - not a fan of  HOT!) 

It seems that everyone is in a good mood, and all is right with the world.

Except for the hiatus that hit me at midday on Sunday and left me feeling like I had been hit by a bus for a good 24 Hours. But I won't go into details
( you understand...)

The postman did bring me a ... small parcel
made me feel much better
Some lovely balls of yarn from Wool Warehouse.  Now, I didn't really NEED this. I have lots of colours that I am working my crochet blanket with. But some time ago, I had done a favour for a very nice lady and she gave me a voucher to purchase yarn from Wool Warehouse. She keeps asking if I had used the voucher, so I popped on-line on Friday and picked some lovely rich colours. 
just lovely!
She approved of my purchase. Aren't I just the luckiest!!  I am making good progress with my crochet blanket, and may have seem another pattern that these lovelies will be used for.

I did complete the Appliqué panel that I started at the workshop on Friday

And after quite a lot of cutting and trimming
I have decided on the pattern for my new bed quilt.

I do have this pattern.       I purchased it a couple of years ago, but never actually got around to starting it. I am sort of glad too because the pattern is for a 24" block and I think that is just too big so I drew it up as a 16" and tried one block out.  I like it.  Just 24 more to go !

I spent a bit of time pairing up some of my Bonnie & Camille fabrics and cut out the next four combinations ready to piece this week.
such happy colours
We are picking up the nephew tomorrow ( the skier not the sailor or the traveller) who will be staying with us for a couple of days before he heads off to pasture new.

And the sun is shining again!!!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Learning a new skill

 when I attended a course  (1950's Flowers ) at my LQS  and run by Gillian Travis .
The designs were inspired by some 1950's textile artists (Lucienne Day & another one that I cant for the life of me remember the name!!).

 Gillian is a very productive Textile artist and had lots of her designs for us to choose from. She uses a layering method for her appliqué and we started off by making a simple pieced background which we block printed with acrylic paints
I used two block designs and two different colours

 Then we traced the design onto Heat & Bond lite
 As you can imagine, this was quite taxing, so some of this was consumed - just to keep the energy levels up of course
Cranberry & Orange  sponge - scrummy!
 We did seem to be in a bit of a mess on our tables!
 And this is what my finished piece should resemble
We will see....
 I didn't get it finished but am not far off so I will wait for my Ta Dah! moment hopefully later this weekend

Here are some pictures of Gillian's work

Love the colours

 And these are works in progress of some of the ladies

 This morning started with a bit of this

 When a friend and I tripped off to Lamport Hall  -  to learn a bit of
Wildlife Gardening.  I can't show you (yet) how we got on, but we have laughed all morning and that's a great way to start the weekend! 

If you haven't visited this part of Northamptonshire - you must - it is so beautiful - rolling hills and sandstone cottages. Just lovely.

There are events (Art, Craft & Design Fair 3rd & 4th May - Festival of Country Life 24th & 25th May  Weekends) at Lamport Hall so I might just bee returning shortly.

Lamport Gardens

worth a visit on a nice day
 Looks like the weather is going to be good this weekend so Enjoy!!

Monday, 13 April 2015

It's All Been A Blur!

 With no sewing done at all since my last post.

Met DIL on Thursday - midway between our two homes. Had a rather splendid lunch at a pub before bringing Little Miss O home with me for a couple of days.
She is a pleasure to be with, but I didn't realise how out of condition I am (that's a lie - I do know really!)
The weather was beautiful and she spent all afternoon pond dipping with Grandad
 She was happy just dabbling her hands in the water, dropping pebbles out of the pot into the water and catching water on a leaf to drip onto the brickwork.
As you can see, those coping stones have been there a number of years hand have gathered a variety if lichen, which apparently when wet attach to your sleeves !!
can you see the colour of her elbows
Wet up to the armpits and f.i.l.t.h.y but completely happy.
We will not have to feed the fish for several weeks.......

After returning (now cleaned up) child to her parents I did manage to get a bit of gardening done. Darling Daughter arrived on Sunday and helped cleared out the greenhouse. (We are summer gardeners and batten down the hatches in November till Spring comes rolling around.

It's so exciting when you see little shoots rearing their heads

sure sign things are warming up
 And the Fuchsia that I thought I had killed proves me wrong
 In another smaller pond ( an old Belfast sink that we were going to be all trendy and make a herb garden out of in the early 80's that was taken over by several amphibians the day we sealed the plughole)

Well, they're at it again. There is masses of the stuff and every time I walk past the water positively boils with movement

So I am hoping that my collection of Hosta's will remain unscathed again this summer

Back to the sewing theme - isn't this picture just the best?

If that doesn't inspire I don't know what will

I have been sorting out the fabrics that will become my new summer bed quilt.  Fabric choices done but still got to toss that coin to decide on the design.....

A busy couple of days later this week . On Friday I am attending a class - 1950’s Flowers with Gillian Travis  - at my LQS. Completely out of my comfort zone and the first class I will have attended for years.  And to complete the weekend I am off to Lamport Gardening Academy  with a friend on Saturday. We are doing a course on Wildlife Gardening. I know now that we will have such a laugh - I wonder if they know what they are in for!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Great Easter Weekend!

Full of all the good things in life.

Socialising with the family

Little Miss on the Easter Egg Hunt

Daddy and Auntie S checking that neither gets more than the other - things never change!
Good food ( too many puddings and maybe a bit of chocolate...)

All gone now - In my defence - there were eight of us!
Gardening in the sunshine
We have lots of Daffs in he garden but these have just appeared in a bed! I don't know where they came from!
One of my lovely Hellebores
 I spent most of Monday sewing seeds in the greenhouse, and planting potatoes in the garden. The sun shone all day and it was glorious (if a tad warm in the greenhouse!)

 And between all this I managed to spend some time with my lovely sewing machine
Adding the binding to the charity quilt
 I don't use blue very often - this quilt was made from Layer Cake. I pieced the back and the binding ( which took probably as long as actually making the quilt).

Oh No!!  Have to find another scrap!!
I officially have no blue left!
It's a really quick design to run up and using a Layer Cake there are absolutely no scraps left.

 Hopefully the MS Centre will raise some funds with this.

I also finished April's Mini Mania - but I can't show you yet. The reveal takes place at the end of the month.  We used this design and I love my finished project.  The finished item is 16" square - so twice a big as last months.
pressing the seams

before the unpicking! - sewn them all on the wrong way!
sneaky peak
 The crochet blanket has had more rows added. Still not sure about that Coral colour, but it is staying so I will have to use it again soon.

A friend is going to look at a new sewing machine today, and I have invited myself to "help" her choose.  Look out Andy - trouble is on its way!  And I have to make the house safe for a little visitor for a few days. She is now walking so I must be on my guard!

 If you are a Downton fan, pop over and watch  this video a bit of fun by  ( and I so think he is) in a very good cause.