Friday, 27 March 2015

10 Things: Week 12

Hot on the heels of the last post of ten things I'm back with this weeks round up. Can't believe I've managed to blog for this many weeks and hope the format is something people are still enjoying. I suspect I'd not be checking in weekly or even monthly if it wasn't for these posts to prompt me.

1. Read: Touching the Void is still the bath time read. Only I've not done the bubble bath thing this week so it's been untouched. I have been reading my Kindle and am over half way through Stardust by Neil Gaiman. It's like the film with a few differences, as is often the case.

2. Made: Despite the post sickness fatigue meaning I'm in bed each night by 9pm and struggling to do much of quality in the day I decided mid week I had to make something and as I'd recently bought some lovely buttery soft voile from The Village Haberdashery I decided that I'd whip up an infinity scarf. Really less than 15 minutes and it was done and ready to wear.

Infinity scarf

3. Watched: I keep forgetting to watch Gardeners World now it's back on TV. It's lovely to watch together with Mum on iplayer when we do remember.

4. Worn: I may bump this for a better category as this is the one I struggle with the most. I can't even show you a picture of me wearing the infinity scarf as I'm still post sickness pasty and I thought my mug might detract from the beautiful fabric. I'm thinking from next time I should maybe do garden/flowers.

5. Eaten: I've been a bit funny with food this week. My appetite has not fully returned and I find I'm filled quickly and not really enthused by anything.  The only food I have photographed is blurry. That's what happens when you take a quick snap before you eat and it looks good enough on the camera. Only when you upload it it's not.

Twice baked potato skins
Twice baked potatoes

6. Visited/Seen: I haven't been anywhere other than work and the supermarket. However, I have seen violets out in little clumps in the most unexpected places all over my garden. They are my favourite flower and just seeing these makes me smile!

Favourite little flower

7. Recommended: The lovely Jude has some fab deals on fabric in her etsy shop right now. I may have needed to restrain myself in purchasing. (And not succeeded terribly well considering I'm supposing to be using stash not buying more!)

8. Stash In. 4 yards!!! Out 3/4 yard. It took a half yard to make the infinity scarf and I probably sent a further quarter yard in scraps to Lynz who was in need of some purples. Purples are the hardest colour to find. My stash only lacks two colours more: Yellow - although I have rectified this a bit, and Red. Red mainly because I made a Christmas quilt that wiped out what little red I did have and it's not a colour in fabric I particularly like so the pattern/design has to be really something to tempt me away from the blue/green/orange/pink palette.

9. Birds: After 16 last week 0 to report new this week.

10. And Finally: The forecast is not great for the weekend so I'm hoping to get working on using up that stash. I have some birthday sewing I'd like to do and also some more tulips for the Amsterdam quilt. I also want to do a little secret sewing which I'll probably hide in plain sight on here.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

10 Things: Week 11

Rather late this time due to spending the past four days being unwell.  I'm still feeling pretty washed out. At least I'm back on solid food and keeping it down!

1. Read: I finished the Veronica Stallwood and it's reminded me how much I enjoyed the previous novel I read of hers. I really need to get more found. I think I'll keep an eye out of in charity shops when I go vintage sheet hunting. I then started on the latest book group choice: Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. I'd managed to get a second hand copy from Amazon. I was in denial about reading this book because I'd had a copy previously and passed it on because I decided I was never going to read this. When it was chosen at book group I did a little inward sigh and didn't relish the cost of buying it again - even for Kindle. As it was the book was OK. I read it in a couple of long leisurely baths. I'll be interested to hear what the group make of it as there was some pretty unpleasant violence in it. (Mind is violence ever pleasant?!) The story is about a civil war on a little island in the pacific and when most of the people leave the island (or go and fight for the rebels.) it leaves groups in villages left to fend for themselves. In  young Matilda's village (and the story is told from her view point.) the only white man on the island becomes teacher to the children and decides to read them Great Expectations with both positive and devastating consequences. Now I'm reading Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. More about that next week.

2. Made: No making to speak of this week.  I really need to get on with Amsterdam Quilt.  I also need to stop buying fabric to replace fabric I've only thought about using in projects. I am seriously considering a destash because my fabric drawers are crammed full and I can't get the lid on my scrap boxes - yes the scraps are multiplying like Tribbles.

3. Watched: Second episode of Poldark watched and I'm already only watching in the hope that Captain Poldark will take his kit off again and go for another swim. Otherwise I'm losing interest already. (I have to say I haven't watched episode 3!)

4. Worn: Well it wasn't the lovely clothes I packed for a night away in a suite with Chief on Wednesday night because after he had breakfast on Wednesday, Chief started being sick. He was sick all over Otmoor (literally!) and then crashed at the hotel in bed, in a dark room. Thankfully we had booked a suite because I could at least watch TV in the living room and order room service without disturbing him.  Although using the pool and spa facilities wasn't much fun on my own.

5. Eaten: Room service feels very decadent. It certainly doesn't come cheap. But when I told Chief I'd go down to get some food in the bar to spare him the smell of food in our room, he said I should come back and check on him before I go down to the pool. I then got really worried. When a man like Chief thinks he may need checking on you know that he really is feeling bad and the bravado he's trying to put on may just be covering something more serious. I decided to order a salad and sit in the suite and eat so I didn't leave him for too long. It was called a Vespa salad and it was delicious.

Vespa Salad lunch

Later in the evening Chief thought he could manage a spot of scrambled egg. (The hotel were great and had assured him if he felt like food they'd whip him up something plain of his own choosing.) I opted for the hand pressed burger and chips. I got some fruit for Chief just in case he fancied it later and he did!

Burger for room service dinner 

6. Visited/Seen: I visited the dentist this week to have a filling replaced. It was the tooth that caused me a lot of drama a few years ago. Resulting being on antibiotics for months and the need for surgery.  Now with no nerve left the replacement was easy as no pain! No injection required.  

7. Recommended: Splurge on a suite if you ever get the chance. They aren't always as expensive as you might think and to have our own separate sitting room and all the extras were really lovely. However, I don't advise you get ill when you book it on a no cancellation deal. Although I have to say having two toilets was pretty useful under the circumstances.

St Anne's Suite - The Belfry
View of sitting room - can't see the dinning table or sofa properly.
Bigger than my sitting room at home!

St Anne's Suite - The Belfry
Bedroom - lovely comfy bed

St Anne's Suite - The Belfry
Bathroom - shower was wet room style and just out of shot
around the corner. The bath was a spa bath.

The view from St Anne's Suite - The Belfry
View from the suite.

8. Stash: I confess I've completely lost track of fabric this week. I'll get back on track for next time.

9. Birds: Thanks to a trip to Otmoor I got 16 new birds added onto my year list.  One new addition I even managed to photograph - Redshank - I think you can probably work out it gets its name from the colour of its legs.

Red shank 

My favourite pic of the day was of the robin. It posed quite happily for us. It wasn't a great day for pictures as it was rather murky and misty. 


10. And finally: Friday when my own bout of sickness kicked off (kindly passed on by Chief.) I did have one ray of sunshine. My Spring Time Surprise Swap package arrived. I can't find my partner on social media so I hope she sees this or the pics on IG to see how much I liked the package she put together for me. I am looking forward to growing those dwarf sunflowers in my new cuttings patch.

First day of spring
Thank you!!!

Friday, 13 March 2015

10 Things: Week 10

1. Read: I finally finished Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry. I didn't enjoy it as much as A Fine Balance but it was still worth reading. I also finished Wreckage by Emily Bleeker, which I found an easy read with a few twists and turns I didn't expect. So I have new books for the Kindle and the bath. I have started reading: Stardust by Neil Gaiman on my Kindle. I saw the film at Christmas and found it quite enchanting so thought it would be a good one to read when I saw it on a kindle deal. For the bath I'm reading Oxford Letters by Veronica Stallwood. I had read Oxford Exit before and had been saving this one until I could get some of the novels in between. I'm not sure it's crucial to read them in order but I usually find that there are reoccurring back stories that progress through a series of books. However, next month I'm off to the Bookcrossing World Convention in Oxford and I could do with some Oxford books to take with me so it made sense to get on with reading it.

2. Made: Jude shared this lovely tutorial for a little fabric basket, perfect for stuffing with chocolates. I decided to make one for my partner in the Spring Time Surprises Swap. I think these would make great Easter gifts and will probably be making more shortly!


3. Watched: Poldark on Sunday. I do like a good period drama and have very vague recollections of this show when they did a version in the 1970's. I was relieved that unlike last years BBC dramatisation of Jamaica Inn - you could actually hear what the actors were saying.

4. Worn: I have been venturing outside without a coat. I still need a thermal top on at work though so I'm not banishing the winter clothes just yet.

Me the other side of the spinney

5. Eaten As my brothers family had a fair bit of illness around Mum's birthday we didn't get to go out for a family meal as planned. Last Sunday we were invited down for lunch at theirs to have a belated celebration and my niece made dessert! It's a flour less torte with ground almonds being used in place of the flour. It was yummy!

Lunch at Derek and Claire's

6. Visted/Seen: Reindeer in the Oxfordshire countryside. Who'd have thought it?  I took this picture when I came out of The Crazy Bear Farm Shop. They have all kinds of animals in their fields. But I LOVE to see the Reindeer the best.


7. Recommended I bought myself a Japanese Razor Hoe because it'll be just the job for weeding around plants and readying my raised beds. I've already decided I want a cuttings patch and planted Sweet Williams in the Autumn. Whilst I love the idea of veg growing I tend to grow veg and not eat the majority of it. Twice I've grown beetroots and then they've spoiled whilst I procrastinated about what to do with them.  I'm going to limit the veg and concentrate on flowers so I can get back into a bit of flower arranging.

Japanese Razor Hoe 

8. Stash  In: 2 yards (and a Liberty Scrap Pack) Out: fat 8th!  Ok so a lot more in than out. Hopefully when I can get back to sewing I can remedy that.

9. Birds Again nothing new to report. I need to get out with Chief who's own list is way over 100 for the year now!

10. And Finally I've a very busy week next week. Including time away with Chief. Lots to look forward to and hopefully lots to come back and blog about.

Friday, 6 March 2015

10 Things: Week 9

1. Read: The Val McDermid novel got finished on my kindle. Didn't really see who'd done it until it was about to be revealed. Surprising as I'd watched the Wire in the Blood series on TV which was based on this series of books. Just be warned if you're thinking of reading these books they are pretty graphic and gory.  Now I've started 'Wreckage' by Emily Bleeker.  I've only read about 20% of it so far, so I can't tell you too much. It's about a plane crash and what happens when the survivors are rescued and become media darlings but are they all telling the truth about what happened.

2.Made: I've started making an Amsterdam quilt for me to use in Gertie.  I have about 10.5 tulips made so far and then the week got in the way and it's been untouched since the weekend. I'm going to use wider sashing to help get the quilt up to a usable size. I was hoping to make it entirely from stash but as I wanted some red tulips and am woefully short of red I have ordered a couple of fat quarters of fabric to use.

Still doing a spot of flower arranging
Amsterdam Quilt - I'm enjoying making these tulips

3. Watched: TV watching has been pretty disjointed this week as I've had a lot on.  I have been enjoying re-runs of Enterprise as ever since I was a child I enjoyed the whole Star Trek thing.

4. Worn: The problem with the whole worn category is it requires me either to do selfies (and I'm the worlds worst at them.) or get someone to take a picture for me of what I've been wearing. This week though I did put on a posh frock (for me!) because I had a funeral to attend where colour was requested. I went for a dress I'd bought but, not worn for another occasion. It's teal with a black leaf/flower design. I felt I had to make an effort not least because I'd be standing up in church reading a piece chosen by the family!

5. Eaten: The celebration of life after the funeral was a two course sit down meal at a very lovely gastro pub near to me: The Mole.  We'd been asked to choose from a set menu prior to the lunch and I opted for Aylesbury duck on a bed of mash with herbs and peas.  I hate peas and am not a fan of mash but luckily there were some yummy roasted new potatoes on the table for those that had chosen the smoked haddock option so I was in no danger of starving!  Dessert for me was a passion fruit and mango pavlova.  It was very civilised and a nice way to remember our special friend and chat with other friends and family.  It's just a shame someone has to die to have these occasions! Mum has already requested a return visit to the pub and she's not even a foodie.

6. Visited/Seen: The place I've visited the most this week is our local church yard. Whether it was to line the path up to the church with pots of spring flowers prior to the funeral; attend the funeral or take Mum to see the flowers afterwards.

Holton Church
pots of spring flowers lining the path to the village church
(these have been planted in the church yard as they are all 
native wild flowers.)

7. Recommended: If you're somewhere in the world right now where the weather is improving do venture our for a walk. The spring flowers are pretty abundant at the moment and I think it lifts everyone's mood to get some exercise and see some pretty flowers. Well, I know it does mine!

Wildflowers by the church
aconites, snowdrops, primroses and soon daffodils all in a field behind our local church

8. Stash: In: 2 yards Out: 2 yards. IG has become my new tempter of fabrics. I've bought some lovelies this week and forgot to take a picture of any. Suffice to say there was a fat quarter of some novelty vintage sheeting and some lovely Denyse Schmidt. I'm saying 2 yards for out because it's not easy to calculate how much fabric I've used so far on the Amsterdam quilt. It'll be easier once I've made all the blocks.

9. Birds: Nothing of note to report on the bird front. They're definitely courting and nest building though.

10: And finally: I joined up in a spring time surprises swap that was happening via IG. I've tended to avoid swaps on IG because it's not so easy as flickr used to be and most swaps I've seen have been for mini quilts and whilst I don't mind making a mini quilt, I never know what to do with the ones I receive as I don't have suitable wall space to hang them. The spring time swap sets a £5 budget and asks that you're creative to your partners likes/dislikes and anything goes! So I need to get working on that.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Quilt for Gertie

When I say a quilt for Gertie. I actually mean a quilt for me to use in Gertie. It is going to just about break every rule in Chief's book as I've already been warned I'm not going to be allowed to fill her with "Girlie S***". But one little quilt to keep me warm is hardly filling her with 'Girlie S***' and as I feel very much like a guest when I'm in her. (No doubt it's his territory.) I do want to have a little bit of something that makes me feel more at home when I'm out and about.

The major difference between Chief and me is that Chief puts practicality over beauty. And whilst I can be as practical as the next person, I can't see why you can't mix beauty with practicality. I like colour. I like texture. He may not understand how a bunch of nice flowers can make my heart sing, let alone get why I love fabrics. Colour makes me happy. So I've decided the quilt for me to use in Gertie will be the Amsterdam Quilt and today I made a start.

No fancy design wall for me. Couldn't even remember where I put the washi tape so it's taped
to the wall with a torn customs sticker!

I have made 8 of these blocks today. Two I've trimmed a bit too much so they're about a quarter of an inch smaller than the rest so I may have a final row of the mistakes! I've put them to one side for now and joined four blocks together with wider sashing than the pattern calls for because I'm trying to get this quilt up to size without having to make loads of flowers. 

The actual block comes together quickly and easily (more so when you concentrate and don't rush! More haste, less speed and all that.) 

A while back Leanne sent me a bloc-loc ruler. This is genius for squaring up half squared triangles. It makes such a huge difference.  I have always had a bit of a problem with HST's and have come to dread any block that requires them. Mine still aren't perfect but they're a lot nearer to it than they were previously thanks to the bloc-loc ruler. 

I am trying to make this quilt entirely from stash. Although I will need to buy some wadding as I used my last 'roll' up.  I've been getting through the low volume fabrics lately too so I may have to buy some more of low volume stash blenders. I'll see how I go. I'm really wanting to use up some stash. But why is it I can have so much fabric and still so much that won't play nicely together?! 

Friday, 27 February 2015

10 Things: Week 8

1.Read: I'm still plugging away with both the Rhoninton Mistry book and the Val McDermid one. Maybe if I was only reading one by now I'd actually have had one finished. I'm conscious I need to get the next book group choice and read it too. I've also been reading and re-reading the piece the family have asked me to read at the funeral.

2. Made: I had plans for making that just didn't happen in what's been a busy and difficult week. I feel numb and unable to settle and conscious of all the stuff I need to get done.

3. Watched: I've been watching that zombie apocalypse reality show on BBC3. More out of curiosity than anything else. It's pretty slow viewing to be honest. But they do make the victims look like they are being properly attacked by zombies.

4. Worn: I promised pictures of me in the hats of late and pictures you get. Or at least one picture because it's the only one I've got of me in one of the hats. I'll still be friends with you even if you snicker.  In fact I'd be more surprised if you didn't snicker.

Me looking like a twit at Blenheim Palace
You even get me pulling a silly face as just as he was going 
to take the shot I spotted a kestrel zoom over his head and land on Blenheim 
Palace - see the picture below

5. Eaten: Mum's birthday was on Thursday and we were all going out for a family meal. However, my brother got ill and we've had to postpone. I suggested I made her afternoon tea and we had a little celebration at home with my niece coming in after school to join in.

Mum's Birthday tea

6. Visited/Seen: Chief got down last weekend and we had a few trips out including spending the morning at Blenheim Palace. We have annual passes so can spend as little or as much time there as we want.

Reflections of Blenheim 
Interesting 'balls' on the lawn at Blenheim. Nicely reflect the palace.

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

Kestrel at Blenheim
The kestrel that caused me to pull the funny face above.

7. Recommended:  Nothing springs to mind this week.

8. Stash: In 0 Out 0. I am very conscious I need to sort out my scraps which have started to overflow badly. Think fabric Niagra out of a plastic box!

9. Birds Thanks to a trip to Blenheim Palace and a drive around our usual countryside circuit out between the villages of Chalgrove and Ewelme I have managed to add a few more birds to my list. Including Ravens! The highlight of our Blenheim trip was being able to photograph that male kestrel that kindly posed for us on the house.

10. And finally: I'm hoping things will return more to normality next week.

Friday, 20 February 2015

10 Things: Week 7

Wow week 7 already? Where is 2015 flying off to? Nearer to spring and better weather I hope!

1. Read Still reading that Val McDermid on my Kindle. Although I have started another in-the-bath-book: Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry. Last year or possibly the year before (as time does fly) a friend in book group was off to India and picked A Fine Balance as her book group choice. I remember the stunned faces of some members of the book group when she showed everyone a copy because it's the size of a doorstop with titchy writing and looked like it might be the sort of book that took the average reader a few years to read. As it turned out it was the best book of that years book group choices. A book that stayed with me long after I'd finished it. A book where I felt I knew the characters and wanted to stay friends with them long after the final words had been finished. When I saw a copy of Family Matters by the same author at a book crossing get together, I had to give it ago and it's shaping up to be a good read too. One of the best things about book group is reading books by authors I'd never heard of or considered reading.


2. Made: I made the supertote and blogged about it here. It's my second full sized version.

3. Watched: The Bourne Legacy. It was Saturday night I was faffing about on the laptop with the film on in the back ground. I don't think I did the other Bourne films after the first one as they were too hard to follow for a multi-tasker like me. Anyway, I'd pretty much missed a whole chunk of the film before it caught my attention and from then on I was hooked. I think  Jeremy Renner's  character jumping out of a cupboard and saving the day (the first of many times that I saw.) might have just helped.

4. Worn: I got a rain hat in the Seasalt sale. Actually I got some trousers too. They've not been worn yet. My Mum said I look like an old lady in the rain hat and snickers every time I put it on. I love me a hat though. Any excuse. The trousers were a bargain. I've not bought from Seasalt before as I had browsed a couple of times online and anything I liked seemed expensive.  The sale prices make purchases more palatable. If I was better at selfies I'd don the hat and let you make up your own mind about my old lady status. Maybe I'll just do a post with me in every hat I own.

5. Eaten - Shrove Tuesday I made pancakes. Not my best effort. I was tired and hungry.

Cooking Pancakes

6. Visited/Seen: Last Saturday Mum and I made our first trip of the year to Waterperry Gardens, where the snowdrops are out in full force.

Waterperry Gardens - Snowdrop Weekend

Waterperry Gardens - Snowdrop Weekend

Waterperry Gardens - Snowdrop Weekend

Waterperry Gardens - Snowdrop Weekend

7. Recommended: I have to recommend getting outside and if you can find a nice park, garden or similar so much the better. I'm not a fan of winter. I am a fan of the bit of winter where you start to see signs of spring. They do me good. Make me feel better and really lift my spirits.

8. Stash: In 2.5 yards Out 2.5 yards

9. Birds: No more birds on my year list. To be fair I haven't been out anywhere bird watching and as Chief pointed out it's amazing my list has so many from pretty much just the garden.  Chief did buy me a bird identification book that he thought was really good as it has photographs of the birds in different stages/positions. I was reading up about Dunnocks. The book says they have 'red hot sex lives' taking multiple partners. Who knew those shy little birds that flit about under my bird feeders have red hot sex lives?! It just goes to show it's right when they say it's the shy ones you have to watch.

10. And finally: It's strange times. I don't even know how to articulate this at the moment. Suffice to say bereavements are hard. I'm trying to keep up beat and focus on the positives. Chief is on his way down as I type. Sometimes a girl could just use a hug.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Easily Distracted

I bought fabric this week. One of the cuts was 3/4 yard cut of Emma's Garden - Garden Bouquet in Violet by Patty Sloniger.   I am fairly sure (as I'm not buying fabric 'just because' and because 3/4 yard cut is a strange amount for me to buy) that when I purchased it online earlier in the week I had a very specific project in mind for it. By the time it had arrived I had absolutely no idea what that project was. Instead I took one look at it and thought Super Tote!


Friday I started cutting out the bag parts - pairing the Garden Bouquet fabric with some bright pink Essex linen that I also bought earlier this year with a specific project in mind and then promptly forgot what that was. Hmmm are we beginning to see a pattern here? Is it my age? All the while I was cutting I kept thinking: Shouldn't I really be getting on with that quilt for the camper van; so that if we hit the road next time Chief's down I can snuggle under it? Of course I did what any sensible quilter would do to assuage her guilt. I left the pieces scattered around the living room floor for a whole day and didn't touch them (or get on with any quilt making.)

Today I thought I'd best do some housework and picking up those bag pieces from the living room floor and turning them into a bag counts as housework, No?

I actually put the pleats in how they should be.
(I didn't in the first one I made. 

The plan for this Super Tote is to use for work once the weather improves. It might actually encourage the weather to perk up a bit as it does rather zing on these miserable February days. I'm also thinking I could pack quite a bit into it for a trip in Gertie.  And when Chief said I couldn't fill her with my girlie Sh** he surely didn't mean for me not to bring a pretty bag or two with my essentials in the quilt if I ever get to make it.


I did a pretty good job of pattern matching the back pieces. Which (in the interest of full disclosure) was a happy accident. I didn't put the zip in as I knew I hadn't a zip anywhere near the right size. I'm sort of regretting not putting a magnetic snap in to close the bag instead. But I completely forgot to do this. I may add a trigger clip on strip of fabric inside as that's useful for keys. It'll be easy enough to add one later as I didn't have one at time of making. It's lined in some random kona grey fabric I found (bought to make Christmas place mats and not used.) I put one of the gathered pockets in but neglected to take any internal bag photographs. I may have plenty of fabric in my stash, I am learning that few of the larger cuts play nicely together in projects like this.

The Supertote pattern is by Anna of Noodlehead fame. Click through to find out more details and buy.

Friday, 13 February 2015

10 Things: Week 6

1. Read - Animal Farm by George Orwell. I had thought I'd read this before although couldn't be sure if it was a version aimed at children; I thought no harm in giving it ago again. It's a slim volume and was perfect to read over a couple of leisurely bubble baths. Really the amount of baths v. showers I have these days it's a wonder I've not shrunk.

2. Made - I haven't made a single thing. Although there has been a fair amount of plotting concerning the quilt for me to use in the camper van. I was sold on tumblers and then I saw the Amsterdam Quilt pattern and I'm wondering if I could adapt that. Although could Chief cope with flowers in the van?! I have also just this afternoon decided to make another Super Tote so I've started cutting out pieces.

3.Watched - Another week of watching very little of note on TV. Although my little Father Brown addiction continues. It's perfect for watching or having on in the back ground as I wind down from work.

4. Worn - I have relegated my baker boy cap of choice to the back of the cupboard after as slight (but very painful) head hitting incident in the camper van. The peak of the cap obscured my view enough for me to give my head a good crack on the cab when climbing in from the back of the van. I told Chief I needed a woolly hat instead. (I was dreaming of those pretty hand knitted beanies that crop up on in IG in the feeds of all those wonderful knitters.) Chief on the other hand took of his black military beanie and handed me that. I may now advertise a defunct regiment, but I can't fault it for warmth.

5. Eaten - Saturday I had a belated birthday lunch at The Greyhound.  It was yummy. Chief and I have been there three times and it's always yummy. I was too busy eating to photograph my food. I did get a shot of this blue and white china that Chiefs cup of tea was served in. We were messing with camera settings whilst we waited for our food to arrive.

The Greyhound, Besselsleigh 

The Greyhound, Besselsleigh

6. Visited/Seen - I have at last ventured somewhere! Chief got down in his new camper van (Gertie) and we headed off to Farmoor. It was cold and grey and we saw very little bird life and the decision to head straight to The Greyhound was an easy one. After lunch we headed to Otmoor. When we returned to the van it was blocked in by several abandoned cars in the car park. At weekends the car park can get very full with so many people flocking (excuse the pun!) to see the starling murmuration. Still with Gertie so well equipped waiting wasn't a drama: gas heating, freshly made hot chocolate and a quick lay down watching the rugby.

Otmoor, Oxfordshire
Otmoor: It's looking quite bleak this time of year.

Otmoor, Oxfordshire

Having a hot chocolate in Gertie
Hot choc time in 'Gertie'

7. Recommended - It has to be camper vans. I still have some reservations re security etc. But I'm completely sold on 'Gertie' and can't wait for our first trip away!

8. Stash - Out 0  In 0

9. Birds - The list is now at 45 thanks to the Otmoor and Farmoor trips. Ironic considering we didn't see that many birds! I was so happy that when we turned up at Otmoor the first birds we saw were bullfinches. Sadly not the right light or location for photographs.

10. And Finally - I'm hoping to cram a lot into this weekend so there may be more sewing blog posts on the horizon!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Birds of a Feather Quilt

Finally I can reveal some pictures of the quilt I made Chief for Christmas.

Birds of a Feather Quilt
Lesser Spotted Chief holding his quilt

I hadn't even attempted to get pictures previously due to the awful winter light and nobody to hold the quilt for me. I told Chief I'd need to get pictures before he left with it and the weather was kind to us. The concept of a photo shoot for a quilt perplexed Chief rather and when we took it out to the garden he first held it folded in two. I asked him to turn it round so I could take pictures of the other side of the fold. He obliged but missed the point about me wanting a picture of the whole quilt. In the end he did hold it out as in the top picture, but the wind caught it and I knew he'd not faff about for long. His major concern was it not touching any part of the wet ground. Despite me telling him it was ok to wash it. 

Birds of a Feather Quilt

Birds of a Feather Quilt

Anyway, some quilt details. I followed these dimensions for the St Louis 16 patch.  It's the second quilt I've made following this pattern. Although this one is twice the size as the first, as Chief specified he'd like a quilt that would cover him head to toe, as he thought he'd use it in a camper van should he ever realise his dream of getting one. 

All the fabric is from stash - sort of. I deliberately picked bird themed fabrics. I had quite a few of these in my stash but when Chief requested a larger quilt it was clear I'd have to use the birdie fabrics I'd  just bought to replace some of the fabrics I've used in this quilt. In most cases I had a nice section left over after cutting, which I've put to one side to use in a scrappy trip I'd like to make. I felt a lot better about using some of my hoarded stash knowing I'd have a little bit of fabric to put in a big quilt for me. 

This quilt was actually a great stash buster. Each block uses a fat quarters worth of fabric so with with 24 blocks I busted 24 fat quarters. I used 3/4 yard of Kona peacock to bind it. I picked Kona Peacock because it was a colour named after a bird. After buying some lovely birdie fabric for the back I'd no where near enough and it was going to be ridiculously expensive to buy enough. Instead I used an old flat sheet that had been my brothers. Chief likes blue and there was a lot of blue on the front so it worked a treat. 

I can't tell you exactly how big this worked out as I didn't measure it. I quilted it diagonally through each block in both directions using a pale grey aurifil. 

Chief loves his quilt although now he isn't sure he wants to leave it in Gertie - his new camper van, as he's worried someone will steal it away! 

Thanks for all the suggestions about what quilt I should make for camper van adventures. I'm leaning towards tumblers at the moment. Apologies for not answering comments on the last post yet. Chief actually made it down for the weekend and only went back at lunch time. I'm sold on Gertie too. But that's a whole other blog post!