Friday, 31 May 2013

The Quilting is Done!

Quilting Done!

Today has been a fabulous day in more ways than I can go into.  Not least becaues I finished quilting my bee quilt. I didn't do any quilting yesterday because I came home from work exhausted and headachy and was going out in the evening. I had a lovely meal out with an old school friend.  I got back on track today and in a couple of hours I'd finished the quilting. I LOVE this quilt. Quilting has given me the opportunity to admire every single scrap of fabric and my bee buddies did me proud.  

That said it was during the quilting of this beauty that I've done a lot of thinking as to whether I want to continue in these Bee's if they go on for a second cycle or whether or not I want to be in a Bee in the future. I have loved the challenge of making a variety of blocks either using my own stash or other peoples fabric treasures. I feel I've made some firm friends and I hope to meet many of these at the FQ retreat and a few others that can't make it I'm already plotting a way how I can get to meet them too.  

Life has not been easy for the six plus months. I know many out in blog land have been going through their own trials too.  It's often not at all appropriate to blog the gory details.  As a result I know my sewing mojo has suffered because I've felt under huge pressure at times to sew for other people before I contemplate sewing for myself. It's completely taken the fun out of sewing at times. I've been late some months and most bee members have been kind and understanding.  Often I've thought why the H*** did I sign up for this?!   It's all the more demoralising when you put yourself out to make blocks and then find they don't make the final grade when the quilt is assembled. For me not to have included someone else's block in my quilt it would have had to be seriously Sh** in the extreme. So how rubbish did I feel that someone else thought that about my blocks... So I still have not made up my mind. But at least if I am never in another Bee I will have this lovely wonderful quilt to remind me of the time I was.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Caught Quilting!

So having had a lovely roast dinner linner yesterday I made a start on the quilting. I worked out that a couple of hours each day and all the quilting should be done by the weekend. I'm opting to quilt in a straight line diagonally through the centre of each patterned section in both directions. (Does that make sense? In my head it did. But lots makes sense in my head that doesn't outside of it!)

I have a Parish Meeting to attend tonight so I've been stitching this afternoon. I have now completed just over half.


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I am not deliberately looking away, I'd just removed a safety pin and dropped it back in the jar.  I didn't  realise someone had a camera...

...If I had I'd have put some make up on and brushed my hair...and maybe not done that furrowed brow in concentration thing.

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The quilt is much prettier to look at so I'll leave you with a final shot of that. It's raining here today, but I have summer right at hand. That's enough to make me smile!

Quilting!


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A Change of Plan

So this afternoon the plan was to come home from work, hoover, bake and do stuff in preparation for Chief coming down tonight. Then I got a text this am to say he was off to the doctors. Followed by one to say he was ill. He'd got medication from the doctors, the doctors had argued he should be staying up there for the next few days. He argued (and I don't think you really argue with Chief when he decides he's not going to do something.) he wanted to go home. They eventually said he could if he had a driver. The last I heard he was being driven to his car, before starting for home. He's been working in Yorkshire all weekend and his car was even further north. What I'm really saying is my plans to see Chief this side of the weekend are no more.

To console myself I have roast beef and Yorkshire pudding in the oven. I will be having a late lunch/early dinner (is that a Linner?) I wish this blog had the power to transfer smells to readers because it smells LUSH! I can't wait to eat it. It's all I can think about it, which is why I'm blogging and not stitching already! After I've eaten I'll hopefully have my power of concentration back and will be able to start quilting that quilt I showed you yesterday. My sewing mojo is doing happy dances and really wants to get making.

I don't like blogging without a picture so here is a different view of my garden...in the rain.

  A different view

Monday, 27 May 2013

Bank Holiday Basting!

I don't recall a Bank Holiday Weekend as quiet as this one. I've been a right billy no mates. However, in some ways it's been a good thing because today I had another look in my stash to see if I had anything already I could use to back my bee quilt. I thought maybe some Kona and the Summersville I had already selected; then maybe a bit more Summersville and Kona joined to the bottom and maybe it wouldn't be too difficult to line the front up with the pieced backing. It was when I pulled out the other big piece of Summersville I had in my stash, that I realised the other big piece was much bigger than the first. Easily big enough to run the length of the quilt. This meant I only had to join some kona to the sides. I used the original robins egg one side and some klona cream the other as even with the robins egg kona added one side, it was going to make a scant backing.

Backing for Bee Quilt 
Loving the bold 'J's on the back of the quilt as my initial is J!

I had a walk after lunch and then started basting. So now I just need to quilt. 'Just' eh?! I probably won't tackle that today. But I think there is a very good chance I'll be able to finish this quilt to bring along to the retreat.

Basted! 
I have a feeling this quilt will be my new favourite!
Bank Holiday Basting 

 Even better I'm using up fabric in my stash which means I'm not only saving money but getting myself a little bit closer to a full on fabric-stocking-up-buying-blow-out!

Back to work tomorrow but with luck Chief maybe down late tomorrow night and will still be here when I get home from work on Wednesday.

I'm thinking the post bank holiday fun might just make up for this quiet one! 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Going Potty!

Today has not been so random as yesterday.  In fact today I have set about planting all the bedding plants I've been buying of late. There has been some good deals at the local supermarket and I also picked up some at my favourite local nursery. What I didn't realise was the deals were so good that for a relatively small amount of money I'd managed to buy enough plants to fill over 20 assorted containers. Some of which you can see in this picture below.


Going Potty

They are not much to look at at the moment.  However, in a few weeks I predict a riot of colour. I wasn't going to plant any tubs last year because of the hose pipe ban. My garden is largely south facing and in drought conditions there is no way you can water enough with a watering can to keep bedding alive in containers. However I succumbed to a few on sale plants at my local nursery and did a few tubs but not this many!

Now I need a shower. All that gardening is dirty work. I hope wherever you were and whatever you were doing you at least got to enjoy the glorious sunshine I did today.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Very Rambling Random Saturday Post

If you read Hadley or Katy's blogs you will know they do the whole Random Thursday thing and do it pretty well too. I have decided to be random in my post today too. In fact as I'm doing it on a Saturday, not a Thursday, I am already being random!

I have had a really random kind of day. It comes of having a long weekend with no definite plans. A few friends seem to get quieter than ever so with my being ill the last week and no Chief I have nothing arranged. So the possibilities were endless. I could sew, I could bake, I could garden, I could even do more decluttering and cleaning or maybe just go out somewhere, but the only thing I actually managed to achieve today was to get two loads of washing done and have a very long natter to a neighbour.

It all started off with my deciding to sew as it was too cold to garden. I thought I'd try to piece a backing for my Stingy Bee quilt and wait for it to warm up outside. I soon discovered I was never going to be able to piece a back and then line up the top sufficiently to not make it look like a dogs breakfast. Well not from what I have in my stash.  I pulled out solid and patterned fabric. Looked at it one way, then another and decided I need to invest in some of that extra wide backing. My quilt top is coming up at 5ft x 6ft that even rules out Ikea prints as they are just under 5ft wide.

So I folded the quilt top up and decided to pull out some supply boxes and get cracking with some sample swap item making for the FQ Retreat sample swap.

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Some essential ingredients for sample swap item 1

I have opted to make two small items. I didn't want to make just one item and find that I'm in a group with tote makers and cushion makers who look at a small item and think - OK, great. Thanks. That must have taken you all of 10 minutes and a few scraps! As when I signed up for my sample swap item most people had signed up for anything else I'd have opted to make I decided to think out of the box. The first item maybe small, but it is turning out to not be a ten minute make by any means. I managed to cut bits for four items and not one is finished!

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WIP on sample swap

My brother then came up to cut the hedge and lawn.  As he was leaving we bumped into a neighbour and er spent the rest of the afternoon chattering. By which time there was no time left to contemplate planting up the containers or veg in the garden. Not worth going out anywhere either.

  in bloom
A random picture from my garden today

You maybe thinking this is just a normal day in the world of Isisjem and you might be right. So I'll up the randomness by telling you a few random facts.

Unless you are living on another planet you can't fail to have heard the shocking news of events in Woolwich.  (I could do twenty blog posts on that and related subjects, but best stay away from religion and politics.) Needless to say as I'm on the periphery of the forces community because of Chief, it seemed all the more upsetting.  Chief used to live in Woolwich and said you could see where he lived in the news coverage. Just last Sunday he told me that Woolwich was the first place in the UK that MacDonalds opened. Apparently in 1974.

A further random fact: Theresa May is the current Home Secretary. On news of the attack she called together the governments crisis committee. Theresa May went to the same school as me! Although she was long left and the school's name changed by the time I got there.

Royal Mail Letter 

 This week I had a letter from the Royal Mail. It informed me they'd found a label with my name and address on it but not the mail item it had been attached too.   They said if I could give them more information on what it had been attached to they could look for the item. I'm not sure given how I was the recipient of the item not the sender, how I would know what would be in the missing parcel! As it was I had an inkling. Nicky did me an extra bee block and said the parcel had returned to her when the label had come adrift meaning they sent the item to her address that was underneath the label. We love a bit of recycling in Bee a Brit Stingy.  Thankfully the block made it to me OK on the second sending attempt.

And finally and perhaps most randomly - I was reading my RSPB Birds of Great Britain and Europe the other day when I read the following about what Dunnocks eat:

"Feeding: Forages on ground, shuffling, crouched, often in or around bushes, close to cover; feeds on scraps beneath bird-tables and grated cheese under shrubberies."

Now I don't know about you but I have never in all my life either seen or put grated cheese under my shrubs.  I bet dunnocks round my way are gutted about this...

I hope your weekend is being less random or at least more productive!



Friday, 24 May 2013

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

"Friends are like Stars, you don't have to see them to know they are there"

I don't know who to attribute this saying to. It's one that was on my mind when I was choosing a block to make for Sarah this month.  In the HipBee's Sarah asked us to pick a block of our choosing so she could make a sampler quilt.  I knew straight away I wanted to make a block with stars because of this staying and also because when it was my month in this bee I asked for stars.

I have not met Sarah but I consider her a friend due to her unfailing kindness and support shown to me online.


For Sarah

The block is based on the Star Gazing block designed by Angela Pingel, I couldn't do the star gazing block exactly because as I started cutting the back ground fabric I realised I wasn't going to have enough even if I didn't do the third small star. I could have asked for more fabric, but as it's close to the end of the month I decided to modify the block by sneaking two squares of Summersville fabric into two opposing corners. As I was working with one solid and two prints for this block I decided to fussy cut some of the Summersville for the centres and as that would mean I'd not used very much of that fabric, it seemed an obvious choice to use in the corners.  

I hope you all have a lovely weekend what ever you are doing. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Birds!

Just when I think life is back on an even keel I get a lurgy. You know sore throat, hacking cough, generally feeling sorry for myself whilst trying to carry on with stuff like work. I mean have I not have enough illness these past six months?!

Chief did get down on Sunday. We agonised over whether he should come if I wasn't well, but we both wanted to see each other enough to not worry about germs. (He may live to regret that one, I hope not!) We didn't do much. He got a take away for our lunch as I didn't feel like eating much or even going out to get something. We then went for a little walk with our cameras through my old school.  I wanted to show him where I went to school and was sure there would be some wildlife to keep him entertained. I wasn't wrong. There was a Canada goose on her nest, a heron and so many more birds singing that we couldn't identify.

One curious spot was this bird by the edge of the moat. At first we thought it was probably a Chiffchaff. Not particularly timid and not singing so that hasn't helped with identification. Some in the bird world have got quite excited that we may have spotted something a bit unusual, no definitive identification from them yet.

Mystery bird - is it a chiffchaff?


Chief also bought me a bird bath.  

Bird Bath

I haven't spotted any birds having a swim yet but hopefully soon.

I also promised to share with you some pics of the fabric I fell off the waggon for. Actually I'm feeling more virtuous now as I only bought a total of 4 fat quarters. Three of them are here: (One I've forgotten to take a picture of; it has feathers on it and was from a different range.)


Birdie Treats

Frustratingly I haven't been doing any sewing. I feel so worn out when I get home from work I'd only mess up any sewing. I also am conscious I have to go to a funeral straight from work tomorrow so need to try and conserve some energy for that. 

If you're reading this Sarah - there is still time for me to do your bee block and get it to you before the end of the month!


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Winner!

Today has not quite gone to plan. I had intended to do some major decluttering and sewing, plus make a cake. As it is I've done a tiny bit of sewing and a bit of decluttering and not made a cake. Plans changed when my brother turned up with a power washer to clean down the patios. They look fabulous already, but it did add an extra item into my scheduled itinerary. I don't want to over do things now as my throat feels a bit scratchy and I really don't need a sore throat/cold/flu on top of everything else at the moment!

But on to the give away.  I almost didn't do the draw today. I had decided I'd struggle to use Mr RNG because several people had commented and asked to not take part and another person had issues commenting on the post so had emailed me instead. The easiest thing was to dig out an old hat and write everyone's name on little slips of paper. Any writing you can see is not the names, just the text from where I cut up an old meeting agenda I was about to shred anyway!


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I then got my lovely assistant to give them a good stir up


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and then pull out a name.

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So the winner is Liz of Dandelion Daydreams.  I  sort of regret now that I didn't do my bestest hand writing on the slips. 

I'm off to email Liz now. Thanks everyone for playing.


Friday, 17 May 2013

Aeroplane Bag Plotting

So having decided to make an Aeroplane Bag I have been pondering fabric choices. This is what I've come up with.


Fabric Choices for Aeroplane Bag

I'm thinking the purple Echino for the top half and the spotty Country Fair (home decor weight) Denyse Schmidt dots for the bottom panels (I hope there is enough) and then the other two for lining/straps. Although I'm also thinking of jazzing up some webbing I have to use for handles - only I may be an inch or three short of what's recommended and so may not have enough.

Now I'm stuck on the interfacing. I have some duck cloth left over from the failed weekender purchasing and some unspecified stiff wadding bought for bags that I've never used and can't remember the name of. I'm hoping to make as much of this bag from what I have and probably need to go and re-read the blog posts of other folk who've made this bag and compromised on the interfacing and hopefully I'll glean some links to cheap sources of anything I will need to buy. I have a zip on order. 

Top tips will be much appreciated.  

I'll be doing the give away draw tomorrow so do pop back then and see if you're a winner!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Tempted.

Today's plant purchases

Today after work I went and bought some plants. I had been really good lately, visiting garden centres, and not getting tempted at all. Then today I did. 

I have been tempted a lot this week, although I haven't got pictures of all the temptations. Either because I've been too lazy to take a picture or because the items have not arrived yet.  

Today in the post arrived a small alphabet stamp set. I'd been thinking about getting one of these for a while so I could stamp some quilt labels.  I am also signed up for the FQR badge swap and my partner has said they'd quite like their blog name and their first name on the badge if possible. Just my luck then to find that my partners blog name just happens to be 'Sew Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' isn't it?   Only joking I just made that up. But I'd still rather not be embroidering the whole of the blog title on a badge and make it legible! I've seen that some people have already started on their badges and I'm soooooo excited.  Not only will it soon be the retreat where I'll get to meet up with so many bloggy friends (Squeeeeeee!) but I'll get a name badge and if I'm really lucky a lanyard.

I also fell off the fabric waggon with a bit of a thud yesterday. I'd been really good for at least 5 months. Buying only the very smallest amount of fabric over that time. Then Nicky sent me some great 5" squares of bird fabric. For some reason she thinks of me as a bird lady - can't think why can you?! I really wanted to go and get some more of this fabric and to stop me from buying too much fabric I decided to track it down in the UK. (You just have to buy more in the US to make the postage worth it.) I'll post pics of the fabric when they arrive. I've been collecting bird and bird related fabric for a while because I'd like to do a birdie quilt. But having seen this gorgeous fabric I wondered if I could use some of my birdie stash to make an aeroplane bag. It will depend on if I have enough time and fabric...

So I went and bought the aeroplane bag pattern. I may need an overnight bag for the retreat after all. Whether I will manage to do the birdie themed bag remains to be seen. I may go for something more straight forward in the hope I can actually get it finished before the retreat! That more straightforward plan might mean ordering some more fabric...I know I'm a bad girl.

I also ordered the wadding for my bee quilt which when the last block arrives I can get sewing together! Exciting! (and some fabric may have fell into my basket at the same time.)

But that's enough temptation. Another friend has been to the Orla Kiely Sample Sale today. She's posted pictures on facebook and if I had gone I just know I'd have been more than tempted!



Tuesday, 14 May 2013

24 Hour Salad Recipe - Only 24+ days late!

After I blogged about making a 24 hour salad I went and told people in response to requests I'd blog the recipe and then I didn't. Opps. It wasn't intentional. I got side tracked, had an early senior moment or something.


24 Hour Salad
It kind of tastes better than it looks. Just not for people who are on a diet!

1 Egg - well beaten
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons of vinegar
1 cup of Marshmallows
1 cup of red grapes- halved and seeded
1 cup of tinned pineapple cubes
1 cup of whipped cream
1 Tablespoon of butter (use solid butter rather than the 'spreadable' kind.)

Put the egg, sugar and vinegar into a saucepan and stir constantly over heat until thick then stir in the butter and leave to cool.  Mix into the cool mixture the marshmallows, grapes, pineapple cubes and bananas.  

Finally mix in the cream and leave in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.

A note about cups: this recipe is Canadian hence the cups unit of measurement. You can by cups in most supermarket home baking aisles. When I first made this recipe I just used a mug because I had no 'cups' and it worked fine. 

Thank you all for your great comments on my give away post. I am reading all of them but probably won't manage to answer them.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Give Away Time!

Do you ever wake up in the morning a funk and find you need to get certain things off your chest? Stuff you've been bottling up for so long you didn't realise it needed to be said So you do. You put something out there. Only once it's out there you wish you hadn't. Because once some things are out there you can't take them back. To make matters worse you know the stuff you put out is not going to change one iota because it's been said. Things will carry on just as before. Or worse still, things will get worse not better. Whatever the outcome, all you have achieved is to spread a little misery far and wide. No? OK, well it's just me then.

So that was my morning for you. Clear as mud I know. But really you don't want to know all the gory details. I will blame illness and lack of sleep and maybe six months of more horrid stuff than nice.  Suffice to say having made myself miserable and at least two other people miserable into the bargain, I thought it was about time I started to spread a little happiness.

So it's time for a give away. (Hey do I get a prize for the most inventive and deep and meaningful reason to do a give away? Probably not but then I didn't win in any of the SMS give aways either.)

What can you win?  Do you remember when I made this Little linen and liberty purse as per Leila's tutorial?


Liberty Hexie Flexi Frame Purse

Now as much as I love this purse it's sat on the side in my sewing area unloved. Sometimes I may pick it up and try out the flexi flame, because that's almost as satisfying as popping bubble wrap.

inside

But really it needs to go to someone who will love it.  You know use it until it falls apart. (which hopefully won't be a week after you've got it...hmmmm) I would say I'd fill it with scraps, only that would be silly because really it's so small they wouldn't be scraps they would be trimmings! I will send some scraps with it though as my scrap box is fit to burst. 

So what do you have to do to enter? Well leave a comment and make sure you're not a no reply blogger person. Or if you are leave a way for me to contact you.  I know sometimes people find it hard to just 'comment' so if you feel like telling me the best way to cheer someone up or brighten their day let me know that. Oh and the other condition is you have to live somewhere where I can post this too. I know this rules out any one living in a galaxy far far away.  But blame Royal Mail delivery parameters not me. 

I'll keep this open until Friday 17 2013.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Not a post about the Malvern Spring Show

Given that I felt pretty grotty when I woke up this morning and that grottiness has pervaded through most of the day I think it was probably sensible that I didn't go The Malvern Spring Show.  I am still sad that I didn't get to go as it was two years since my last trip there and who knows when another opportunity will arise. That said it gave me the perfect opportunity to catch up on some of my sewing.

First up having cut the squares to make four more blocks I set about sewing them together. I know a lot of folk don't like these blocks. I actually enjoyed making them a lot. It's not that fiddly to cut two inch squares if you cut strips of your chosen fabric and carve them up. I made a template to cut the main bits of fabric and I guess that bit was a bit time consuming as I spent ages choosing the right scraps.  I definitely think using klona helped with the sewing together as it has a little stiffness to it, which stops the fabric shifting about too much.  If there was any bit to the construction that made me sigh a little it was drawing diagonal lines on all those little white squares.  Those who are more reckless/brave/stupid (delete as applicable) might have just eye balled it, but I just thought I'd spend more time with the seam ripper if I guessed at it.


Extra March Block

Extra March Block

Extra March Block

Extra March Block

These blocks are also a great opportunity to use up scraps of fabric not much use for other projects, yet still too lovely to just bin. 

With these done and dusted I tackled Miss May's Blocks in Bee a Brit Stingy.  Catherine picked such a great block. It was simple. It helped I already had a lot of 2.5" strips cut from when I thought I might jump on the whole scrappy trip bandwagon. I didn't need my seam ripper and now I'm hoping I didn't cock it up because it seemed too simple...


For Miss May


For Miss May

Catherine also asked for the  bonus blocks you can get from assembling these blocks. I can't wait to see what she has planned for these.

Miss May Bonus Bits

Oh and you know that pile of bead strings I showed you yesterday? Well what I didn't show you were them broken down and reassembled into necklaces.

In a previous life I used to make jewellery and repair and restring vintage jewellery. Alas it was not a job that I felt I could earn a living from.  Too much competition for the former and not enough demand for the latter. As a result though my craft supplies do contain a fair amount of beads and jewellery findings.

Every time I go to a local craft gallery I see some lovely gemstone necklaces at prices...quite frankly too high for me. (£35 for mass produced necklace and £95.00 for hand made) I'm not saying the jewellery is not worth the price. Just that it's not within my budget right now. So the other day I thought if I want a necklace in aqua colours why don't I just buy the gems myself and whip something up. The Dalmatian Jasper just kind of threw itself into my basket too!

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Dalmatian Jasper and some Orange Seed beads.

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Amazonite and Tibetan Silver heart beads


While I had some of my beads out I remembered that the other day whilst in Fat Face I saw a necklace made of glass millefiore heart beads and remembered I had some star ones waiting to be made into a bright necklace just perfect for the summer.  So I whipped one of those up as well.

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Millefiore and seed bead necklace

Bonus is I still have some of the beads left from my recent purchase and the cost of all the materials involved so far means I have three necklaces and a pair of earrings and change from a tenner!

So this is definitely not a post about the Malvern Spring Show. 



Friday, 10 May 2013

Not the weekend I planned.

Tomorrow I should be going to the Malvern Spring Show, coming home to find Chief waiting for me and have him stay over so we spend the day together on Sunday.

What I am doing instead is recovering from a stomach bug.  It means no Malvern Show for me and as Chief is unwell also (with something different) there will be no Chief visit either.

The silver lining will be there is a whole weekend on the horizon that I had not planned for. It means there is every chance I can get caught up with my bee block making and I may even tackle reading and replying to the gazillion emails that have been piling up in my mail box.

And as I don't like to blog without a picture I'll show you what arrived in the mail today.


Amazonite, Fancy Jasper, Fluorite and Dalmation Jasper

But more on those next time. Have a lovely weekend and avoid stomach bugs or any of the other lurgy's doing the rounds.

Monday, 6 May 2013

May Day - The end of the long weekend

If you were in my part of the world today you'll have been treated to glorious weather so it was just as well I'd decided to follow Chief's suggestion of a no work bank holiday. The day actually started with some really sad news. A family friend, a lady Mum goes on trips with and holidays, died unexpectedly.  We don't know the details. It was a complete shock to us. Just yesterday, while gardening, I asked Mum if we'd be walking round with this lady when we got to the Malvern Spring Show. I'd even spotted the ideal item on Etsy to get for Mum to give this lady for Christmas. The sad news was another reason to do stuff today that took our minds of things.

First off we had an early morning (well it was before 9am on a bank holiday!) walk to see if the bluebells were out locally.  When Mum had been ill back in February she thought her days of field walking were going to be well and truly over. Suffice to say she was striding down the fields to a stream where she has fond memories of playing as a child.


IMG_0152ps
At The Guggles


May Day
The bluebells are not quite at their best.

When we got home we had a cuppa (I may have broken Chief's no work rule and popped some washing on.) before heading off for lunch at a local pub. It was so nice to be able to sit outside and eat. Mum decided she was having pavlova for dessert. 

Lunch Out
It was massive. I said she'd never eat it but she did. 
Field walking obviously gave her an appetite.

It was whilst I was waiting for food to arrive in the pub I decided to have a review of some pics I'd not uploaded and was horrified to discover that one of the sprout blocks I made yesterday was wrong. How did I not notice that?


Final Two Sprouts
Can you spot the mistake?

I unpicked and resewed. The seam ripper was a close companion whilst doing these blocks. I don't know why. But at least they can be posted off now!

I was pretty stuffed after lunch so decided to see if the bench/book-on-face-to-shade-the-sun combo was still working for me.  It was. I really need to finish my book though as I haven't started the book group choice book and er book group is a week tomorrow. (Did I mention I have a busy weekend coming up too!)

I then got on with sewing up some parts for more blocks for the bee quilt. I took on board every ones advice and there were two main ideas. Either bite the bullet and make 6 more blocks or take off four and put them on the back. The trouble with the latter idea was I felt bad about sticking some ones block on the back. I just felt like a bit of a slight sticking some on the back. Like would the makers search out their own blocks in the finished quilt and think - Ok so were mine not good enough for the front then?  So last night in front of the TV I started cutting out the 3.5" squares I'd need for the main part of the block.  It was actually really fun going through my scrap box using up bits and pieces I'd wanted to use in a special project, but were only really big enough for something like this. Some of those scraps have little stories to them and others have been either won in give away's or sent by other bloggy/flickr friends.

Very kindly two of my bee members offered to make me an extra block so I only have to make four blocks. This is doable!  That said I think I really need to do a list of sewing to do for May:

(In no particular order)
Do four blocks Bee Quilt
Do the block for Miss May in HipBee's
Do two blocks for Miss May in Bee a Brit Stingy
Do the backing and as much else to get the bee quilt finished for Bee Quilt

And that's all the sewing goals I'm setting this month. I reckon if I try and set aside an hour a day this should be achievable.

I was going to do a long over due giveaway today. Only I hadn't realised until last night that today was SMS giveaway day. I was too late to sign up for that. So as everyone has probably got entering fatigue at the moment I'll leave the giveaway for a while longer.

I hope you all had great weekends too?!








Sunday, 5 May 2013

Ta Dah!

Quilt Top Done!

These are all the bee blocks from my month as Queen Bee in Bee a Brit Stingy. Doesn't it look fab?!  The brief was to make Road to Tennessee blocks in a summery theme/colour. I wanted the blocks to shout Summer. As when I was asking for them back at the end of February we'd had such horrible cold weather for about ten years six months that I really wanted to bring some summer into my world.  I asked that the small negative space bits in each block were made from white or a white on white fabric. I was really hoping everyone would do a mix of both so the quilt had some little extra touches of detail that gave it an obviously hand made finish. The group did me proud on all counts.


Quilt Top Done

This really does shout Summer doesn't it? Although I do need some advice and I appreciate that advice would be easier to give if I'd actually done the sensible thing and measured the quilt. 

The blocks are 12" finished - or there abouts and I've assembled the in rows of four blocks, six rows deep. However, it may just be a trick of the block but I think it's making the quilt look long and thin. As much as I love this block I'm not sure I want to make another six blocks to add another row along the length and adding borders down the long sides and not the short might just look weird and I'm not sure I'm a borders sort of person anyway.  However, this is only going to be a lap sized quilt. My question is does the quilt look ok to you as is, or do I need to...widen it? 


Quilt Top Done!


Quilt top done!

Not the greatest pictures as it's hard to photograph quilts horizontally and I have no where to hang it vertically. Even my washing line is not man enough for that job!

Today has been a no sew day so far as I've been busy in the garden. Mainly tidying jobs and also starting plant up the veg beds.  I managed a trip to a large garden centre first thing and didn't buy a thing!  Chief told me that tomorrow should be a 'no work' day and I should make the most of a rare day off and do something that doesn't involve work or chores of any kind. Better still go out. So me and my camera will be off out and about of course that's meant lots of chores and jobs today!

I hope you're all enjoying the weekend too. 


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Devious Minds, Sprouts and a Quilt Top

You have to love a long weekend. Especially if you're fortunate enough to not have to work and you have the promise of good weather! A long weekend means a Loooooong post.

For me the long weekend started yesterday lunch time.  I grabbed a pillow took it to the bench and chilled out with a book. When I say chilled out with a book what I pretty much mean is I read a bit then used it to shade my face from the sun, as I reclined and had a nan nap...

In the evening there was an event on in our village hall put on in conjunction with Good Night Out which provides entertainment for local communities by subsidising a range of entertainments that you can put on in your local community hall.  This was the first time the village hall had tried this and they picked Devious Minds a magic show and turned it into a supper evening by providing a yummy two course meal.  Devious Minds were BRILLIANT!  Great fun for all age ranges and very professional.  There was lots of audience participation but at no time was anyone humiliated or picked on. It was just great entertainment. If you ever get a chance to see these guys you have to go.  The first part of the evening T J Shoesmith did a comedy magic show. Lots of laughs and oooh's as you think you know how something is done only to be completely baffled.  After the main course Dean Maudsley took to the stage and pretty much told the audience everything we were about to see was a con.  Only by the end of it there were just so many 'How did he do that moments' that you're sure he must be able to read your mind or manipulate it.

I have to say I've seen these types of shows on TV and am a bit cynical and always assumed that the audience participants are plants and primed to do certain things. Chief is also an amateur magician and having helped him with tricks I know the value of a good stooge... Having been picked last night to take part in one of the tricks I have to say I had no idea I was going to be picked or how the trick was done. I don't want to give much more away about the show because it would be wrong to spoil it for any potential viewers that stumble across this blog.

I also have no idea if I should be concerned that he said that people being picked were not being picked randomly; he'd chosen who he wanted to pick by watching them during the first part of the show. I just hope I wasn't sat at the table doing my 'Olive from On the Buses' faces or picking my nose...

Today I got on with some sewing. I've been feeling really pressured to get on with Bee Blocks before I do other sewing. Having heard Di is away and not going to be sewing her blocks this weekend I gave myself a little break from making her sprout blocks and got on with some of my own sewing.

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I made these two in the week over about three nights. It took so long because of interruptions and my hurrying meaning I had to reach for the unpicker a few times. I have parts of the other two assembled but due to not being able to count I didn't cut enough parts. I hope Di likes these and before she panics about her blocks being in the mud I confess I did place them on my veg beds but I have used a safety net. 

Now all the Bee blocks from when I was Queen Bee in March have arrived I got on with sewing my own March blocks. Did I mention I'm behind with bee blocks?  I needed to make three blocks because I had an odd number of blocks sent to me as one person made just the one block. As I'm assembling the quilt in rows of 4 I was either going to have not make any blocks myself and jettison someones block or make three myself. This afternoon I got stuck in.  It wasn't without it's interruptions due to some visitors and the need to dance around the living room singing at the top of my voice to various cd's.  

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My lovely assistant modelling the block. 

Block one. Some of you may recognise some of the fabrics that I used because you sent them to me. I've included some lovely Mendocino and the only bit of the Original Flea Market Fancy I have, as well as some great fabrics that make me think of summer when I look at them.

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Again with the next two blocks you may recognise some scraps and again I've gone for fabrics that say summer to me. In the block below you can spot a camper van. I cut into my Spoonflower Heather Ross fabric because Chief has a little dream to get a camper van of some kind and go off travelling around the UK. When Erin sent her blocks she kindly me some left over part blocks and I used these. Fabric was too gorgeous not to!

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So here it is Saturday night and I've just sewn the rest of the blocks into rows and added them to the quilt top work in progress. I have a quilt top people!!!! Better pictures tomorrow!


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