Tuesday, 8 August 2017

July Antics

 On a lovely July day a group of friends and I  took a leisurely train ride up to visit the city of York

view down the River Ouse
The weather was just right, nice and sunny, but not too hot.  We had no particular plan, just to meander around the streets and enjoy the sights. One of our group despite her advancing years had never been to the city before. 

We hadn't ventured too far before we felt the need for refreshments so a detour into Kennedy's ( one of my favourite haunts) for a bite of lunch

 Which went down very well
 Then off we went again. 

We did walk the prettiest section of the city walls which takes you around the back of the Minster

Then a visit to the Minster itself.

I love this building

 York Minster has the largest collection of pre Reformation stained glass, some of which date back to the 12 century! 

One of my favourite parts is the Chapter House - a circular room within the Minster where the day to day business of the Minster was run. It has this fantastic tiled floor

and an incredible vaulted ceiling

 My photo of the whole space was... rubbish,  so I have borrowed this

from Flickr
We wandered quietly ( which is good, because I had an awful case of laryngitis and could make no sound) for several hours. A wonderful place of peace and reflection.

No visit to York would be complete without a visit to Betty's Tearoom  in St Katherine's Place , where afternoon tea was served just as it should be.

Two lovely Chinese ladies sat at the table next to us and much fun was had demonstrating how to use a tea strainer and the correct way to load the scone with jam and cream. Their English was very good and we chatted about the Chinese perception of English people (how wrong that is!) and where they were from in China. Luckily I happened to glance at my watch and realised we only just had time to get to the station for our return journey home. 

A great day out that I am sure will be repeated.

I have not got much sewing dome this month, but the renovations have now been done
 (1st phase ๐Ÿ˜ณ )and DD and SIL have now settled in.

I did make this little caddy  at our group
 But I failed miserably at the July New York Beauty Mini Mania Challenge. August's Challenge has been set ( Seaside)  and I have started that in earnest and hope to get back to the NYB too this month

 There is much excitement close to where I live as the long awaited Rushden Lakes development has now opened. 

 Everyone knows that I am not a shopper, but the Lakes has a lovely open feel to it and I can think of many worse places to spend an afternoon.

there is a Boardwalk area overlooking the lake, and you can hire a pedalo, kayak or canoe if you want to venture out on the water.
 The development is a step away from a large area of lakes and walks that are a designated area of Special Scientific Interest.
This was the view that we had (minus the vehicles!) at our wedding reception  37 years ago, when the Skew Bridge Ski Club was using the site.

 A few purchases may have been made. Well, it would be rude not to ๐Ÿ˜œ

 Mr T has been busy in the garden building a bin store for the ugly wheelie bins that our council uses.

Plants have been purchased

 et voilร  our Bin Store with a Green Roof

 As I said, not much sewing but three knitting finishes ready for the arrival of Grandchild number 3

which will be Darling Daughter's first so there is much excitement and preparation but hopefully he/she will not make an appearance before Sunday as I am doing my annual stint at the
Festival of Quilts working on the

Kids Quilts stand with my friends from New Zealand.

I feel a purchase may be imminent๐Ÿ˜ณ

We shall see what new treats they have to show us.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

I Need a Rest!!!

not too much sewing has been going on at my house lately. We are still helping out DD & SIL prepare their new house for the move.

I did however break out a new (well, had it ages but not used it) toy to make two more blocks for a stalled project.

It is a "Sew Straight Seam Guide" by Quilt in a Day.  It is designed to sew a 1/4" diagonal seam without drawing a guide line. Got it out - read the instructions and then decided to go old school and use a pencil and ruler, as all the other blocks had been made this way and I did not want any deviation in measurement at this point!.

 So i got those blocks made and  added them to the other 7 that had been hanging in my studio for ..... two years!!!
 I had been going to make my bed quilt with these, but had decided that it was just too fussy for my liking.
 The blocks are 16" and this quilt top now measures 62" square. The pieced backing is coming on nicely and I will machine quilt it soon - I hope!

Between the renovations we had a short trip to Tenby in South Wales.

A 4 1/2hour trip on one of the hottest days of the year with no AC in the car (needs fixing - just no time to leave the car at the garage!) was not the most pleasant, but as we crossed the Severn Bridge we knew we only had about an hour left.
 And we were not disappointed. Tenby is a beautiful little town that has not been spoiled by the fact it is a popular seaside resort.
our hotel

the view from our room

 A lovely church

 Which hosted a Choral Concert in aid of a local charity

 And some fabulous stained glass

 We have have indulged in some local yummies
 whilst watching the changing view. It was hot and sunny, but as the sun went down a sea mist rolled in and the island completely diasappeared!

from the gardens near the museum
 We spent some time in the Tudor Merchants House (an NT property) built just before 1500AD the National trust have recreated the rooms to looks as they may have done in that time

 the lower floor was used as a shop and trading place and the upper two floors weer accessed by an outside staircase (now incorporated in an adjoining building).

 Can you see the strings stretched across the bed - hence the "Sleep Tight" wished at bedtime

 It was a lovely morning spent wandering around. The house originally stood in its own grounds with a large productive garden and a clear view across the busy trading port, but now many other buildings have been squeezed in and there is only a small courtyard garden and no sea view! 

 In Tenby, the RNLI have a small but FULL second-hand bookshop to help raise funds. I do feel they would sell more books if you could actually get in the shop!!

 Anyway, back home it was time for the Mini Mania Challenge June reveal.
This month we were only to use 1 1/2" strips to create 4 or more blocks.

A quick design was scribbled out 

and my quilt was made up in a jiffy.

 But I think that the July Challenge will take a bit more time -  New York Beauty is on the Agenda!

All the family were staying with is for a few days and we headed over to see what Grafham Water had to offer - it is only a couple of miles from DD's new house.
 Apart from miles of cycle and walking paths, a water-sport and cycling centre and a good coffee shop - there was a very nice sandpit playground, which all of the kids enjoyed!!!!
 It has been soooooo warm lately and when we got back it was definitely time to cool off
who needs a posh pool! ๐Ÿ˜‚
 Meanwhile I may have overdone it in the garden ..........
how did I manage that?!!!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Phew! Catching Up!

 So, last time I posted, I had just begun my May Mini Mania Challenge
I spent the afternoon in the garden using my glue pen to prep the diamond shapes
 sewed them together

 And finished the quilt
 with time to spare

 Made some bunting for baby Leo's Baptism celebrations

My lovely family
 And we had a lovely family get together in a sunny garden. Cousins caught up on news, a little bit of fizz was drunk and a good time was had by all

I had a trip with a friend  to visit a craft shop that supplies Box making kits for our group.  I am glad that I was with her,  as we had almost got to our destination when there was an awful accident ahead of us and  we sat stationary for over an hour.  We had a little lesson on how to use google maps to check traffic problems, and thanked a higher being that it was not us laying on the Tarmac.

We did our errand and then walked into the town (Hertford)  to see if we could get a coffee before our return journey and came across this lovely building

the Old Vergers House built in 1450

 And with the coffee we thought it would be rude not to have a bite of lunch too

 I have been making some small items for a friends sales table

 And a couple of little pouches for No1 son's spare lenses

  I have also been using up more scraps of fabric to make some skirts for the Dress a Child Charity                         
 Four skirts made and Three tops left to crochet

 But I think that they are quite pretty and hope that they will find a new home soon.

There was a trip to the RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth house.
 which went so much better than we thought it might. The day before they had had to call of the Press event due to 40MPH winds and torrential rain  ⛈๐ŸŒฌ
my next willow weaving project!
 But, though it was a bit damp underfoot in some places, we had a glorious day wandering round amongst the exhibits
fell in love with this clematis

the overpowering perfume of s many lillies

Gladioli fireworks

an earwigs heaven
 This little garden display is my idea of heaven, but I'm afraid my garden get too much sun ๐Ÿ˜ž
 Love the Lime green and purple together
 This display of Alliums and Amaryllis just took my breath away

At home, we have had a bumper start to the strawberry season 
 the new tiered bed is working out a treat
though this was Little Miss' reaction when she heard that we were eating them

she LOVES strawberries
Whilst we were down south we visited the Poppy Wave at Shoeburyness Garrison 

It was a little walk from the car park to see this, but on a lovely day was well worth the effort.

Last weekend, a couple of the ladies from a Patchwork Group that I belong to, hosted a Flower and Quilt show at their local church.  A couple of friends and I popped along on Saturday morning to take a look, and we weren't disappointed.

There were a number of fabulous flower displays,
 A Peter Rabbit wedding
 and some beautiful quilts on display
gorgeous embroidery

an Inchies hanging
 and a great number of fabulous quilts packed into a small village church

 In the afternoon, we went to visit DD's new home. They haven't moved in yet but will do so in a couple of weeks. There is much work to do, both in the house and in the new garden
goose grass and bind weed ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
 But it will make a lovely new home for them and the new baby when heshe๐Ÿ‘ถ arrives in a few weeks

 At Group yesterday, we had a session using Transfer Crayons, and I made this little card with the help of a paper doily

 That's it then, Oh except I have finished Junes Mini Mania Challenge too ๐Ÿ˜…

 So perhaps it's not surprising that it has taken me so long to catch up on my blogging ๐Ÿ˜€