Sunday, 30 November 2014

Generating scraps

In my last post I mentioned wanting to at last get on with a scrappy trip along the world. Despite having a whole bundle of strips already cut it was clear they weren't going to get me very far. I then remembered I'd saved the offcuts from a 16 patch quilt I made earlier in the year with the very purpose of using them in a scrappy trip. But again they weren't going to yield many. So I did what any normal person would do...

...I started another 16 patch quilt so I could have the left overs for my scrappy trip!


2 more blocks and I have a quilt top and 20 less fqs in my stash!

Two more blocks and I'll have enough for a quilt top (unless I decide to go larger.) I have raided my stash for fat quarters and half yards that have birds on them and weren't too girly because this is going to be a Christmas present. No idea what I'll back it with. And no more reveals of this until it's made and with the recipient.

Just for now I'm enjoying sewing and making. It's beyond liberating using precious fabrics in my stash that I was hoarding for the perfect project. It turns out this is the perfect project. My stash is now 20FQ's worth of fabric smaller. Not for long. I may have bought a few FQ's in the Black Friday sales. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Sewing to Soothe the Stress

Most of this week there has been that feeling of stress running like a backing track to my life. It started on Sunday night with a horrid email and gained momentum by mid week when my attempts to reduce Christmas shopping stress by doing it online completely backfired. First off there was a parcel the courier had claimed had been delivered but hadn't. The company concerned said I'd have to pay for a replacement while they looked into it. I said: Or you could just send me one given it's not my fault your courier didn't deliver the goods.

There was a parcel from Debenhams so inadequately wrapped that it was smashed on arrival. I mean really do they think shoving something packaged in a flimsy box into a plastic bag is sufficient packaging? And Debenhams have woefully poor customer service. You're supposed to go to the trouble of returning the goods and have to reorder and pay again for delivery and keep your fingers crossed someone will pack them sufficiently the next time. Oh and of course pay again for the goods even though you'll have to wait several weeks for them to process the refund for the damaged goods. Heaven forbid you want to communicate with a real person. My request was met with an email of the standard How-to-return-goods-for-idiots.

And talking of insufficient packaging: Lush the toiletries company have taken to sending their products naked. It's not clear on the website and I'd not ordered for a while. But when my niece put a few items from Lush on her Christmas list and I wasn't near a shop I resorted to mail order. The naked packing policy now means if you order bath bombs or massage bars they come in no kind of wrapping. Just dumped in a box with lots of spongy chippings. It means they are completely exposed to cold and damp in transit, totally unsuitable for any kind of gift giving and even if they do arrive in a usable state; are unlikely to last very long.

Then there was some issues that caused stress at work and that general feeling that for some people even 110% will not be appreciated. Just the expectation that really you should have been providing 120% and even that will be found wanting.

Of course the week was not all bad. Maybe that's why the stress feeling has been like back ground noise and not full on in your face pump up the volume noise.

I got to spend time with my niece and we had a fun couple of hours pouring over catalogues and the Internet to write our Christmas wish lists.

I also had a day off work and got to spend most of it with Chief.  We even managed to get substantial discounts off of our lunch out due to various discount vouchers.

Chief also brought me down his headboard. He's long complained of my lack of headboard. (Long boring story as to why I don't have one.) Chief is getting ready for the time to come when he'll move out of his room and will have no need of the head board. It was thinking about the possibilities for covering this that made me want to sew again. Although interestingly sewing has started on a quilt not some kind of headboard covering.

I have finally decided to do something with these strips I put to one side ages ago.


Sewing to soothe the stress

I'd forgotten just how gorgeous some of the strips are and have started sewing them together to make my very own scrappy trip around the world quilt. Ok so I'm only a couple of years behind the bandwagon. But I'd really like a cheery bed quilt to get me through winter. If the stress continues I think I'll need to retreat under some scrappy fabric goodness!



Thursday, 6 November 2014

Seeing Red in the City

I had a couple of days off work and Chief and I went to London last Thursday to see the Poppies at the Tower of London. It's part of an art installation called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Blood. They have been planting ceramic poppies in the moat of the tower of London since the summer. Each poppy represents a British or Commonwealth soldier that died in WW1. The installation remains until November 11th when the last poppy will be planted. Then the installation will be dismantled and those who bought a poppy (they all sold out and I'm kicking myself for not getting one when I had the opportunity.) will have them cleaned and posted off to them. To arrive by January.


Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Being half term week it was very busy. We opted to follow the advice given on the underground to not go to Tower Hill Tube Station as it was very busy. We got off the tube at Aldgate and had a five minute walk to us to the Tower. We could see most of the crowds were concentrating around the entrance to the Tower so we opted to get down on the lower level from the Tower Bridge Side. We managed to walk straight down (without the two hour wait I've heard there was to get on the lower level near the entrance.). It soon got very crowded so once Chief and I felt we had enough photos we left via another entrance/exit way.


Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red


Me at The Tower of London


I'd expected it to be more moving and thought I might even cry. But it was so busy and crowded that I was too busy watching where I was going and trying to get pictures, than really registering more than a wow about the installation.  I'm so glad I got to see it though.

From The Tower we walked into the City of London. The City, often referred to as the Square Mile is home to the financial district of London. London is split into districts/boroughs and the City of London is a distinct part of London.  We hadn't a plan. Once we'd seen the poppies we just wandered until it was lunch time. We visited places by accident to do with the Great Fire of London and the impressive architecture of Leadenhall Market drew us in; where we found a military band just setting up to entertain the crowds.


Leadenhall Market, London

Military Band Leadenhall Market


Even though I've spent my life living just 50 miles outside of London and have been countless time I am still an unashamed tourist loving the underground signs and old fashioned London Buses.

Underground Signage


Old London Bus

So I had a lovely, if a little exhausting, day in London. There was definitely lots of red everywhere I went.