Friday, 15 July 2016

What you can find in a Pound shop!!

Why is a coat rack useful for machine embroidery???????
When embroidering a pattern with many colour changes I often mused as to why I could not find a stand for thread other than the very expensive ones made to fit my machine. Although these were custom made I found that reaching up to constantly re thread between colour changes played havoc with my shoulders. 
So I decided that what was needed was a row of dowel pegs sunk into a short piece of wood to organise the threads and keep them tidy. So what did I find while wandering the aisle in a new Pound Shop in town? 

A pine coat rack. 


 I added a couple of spare bits of dowel to the holes and glued them in place and Viola!! 


 It holds a variety of 10 threads from different manufacturers and sits down the side or in front of my machine while working. It has transformed my life - as they say!!!! 

I have been re- organising the storage in my sewing room before I disappeared under a mountain of fabric and UFO's so we bought a new tall oak bookcase and my DH has fitted shelves in the wardrobe and a top box so I know have a lovely oraganised cupboard instead of a wardrobe stuffed with plastic crates. 



But the down side has been I have not been able to get in to do any sewing for over two weeks! 
But today it was all finished so I have starting a bunting for my little niece who has just moved into a new house after my brother got a new job in Edinburgh. 
You can see the first three letters in the top photo -- it is from Sweetpea designs and will also have a lovely owl at either end. So need to get on and get it finished. 

We recently spent a few days at Scarborough and had fairly pleasant weather but also went to a Quilt Show at Whitby while we were away.  It's always nice to see what other people are doing and there were a couple of traders, who all seemed to have a range of Xmas items so I was tempted and bought a couple of things to start making for Xmas. 



One of the items is a clock kit which I have been looking for and I intend to embroider the circle for the front rather than make a patchwork front, I'm  just not sure what design to use yet. 

We went out to a couple of evening events and the view across the bay when we came out of the theatre was breathtaking. It had been raining but had stopped and the reflections were so beautiful.


Well back to the machine to get the bunting finished. 
One thing I did get finished was the Peter Rabbit reading cushion I have made for a friend for her grandson.


But tonight my "boy" is coming for a quick visit now he is back from his 6 month trip to South and Central America. I have made him and his wife some cushions from fabric they bought me at Xmas with places significant to them - London where they live, Paris where he proposed to her and New York where they spent part of their honeymoon last August. But I have  a surprise for them as I found some fabric with a world map and I have embroidered the route of
their trip as a memento so I hope they like it.
Thanks for visiting 
Bye for now 
Pauline


Monday, 30 May 2016

Lovely Lakes- and a mistake!


It's that time of the year when we try to get away in our caravan as often as we can. We are back from a great nine days in the Lake District - lots of lovely sunny weather and a great time with our friends. 








But it's been an unsettled bank holiday in the Uk this weekend so the best place has been in my sewing room and I have been busy machine embroidering cushions. 
This is for a friend's 4 year old great grandchild who has had an operation and is recovering. He is a very active little boy and she thinks it will be difficult to get him to rest and not rushing about so I thought this reading cushion might be appropriate and help him to sit still!

I then decided to make my niece one as she us hopefully coming to visit in a few days - she is just a year old and has just started walking. 

I made her a felt book to go with it. 

 I recently finished the Mountain Majesty quilt and it is ready to be posted off with another 7 quilts from our quilt group to the Siblings Together charity which we support. 

I also made another twister quilt using just one charm pack and some white using the small template and I like this size with the white borders. 


Just needs quilting - along with another 3 or 4! 

I bought a John Flynn quilt frame off someone on Facebook and excitedly bought all the extras needed to get it put together - the drain pipes and metal piping. 

I thought from watching the Utube  videos it would be easier on my shoulders BUT I cannot say it has been a success - I don't like the very narrow area which can be worked on at anyone time and I don't think either of my machines are really suitable and purchasing another machine is not an option at the moment. So I think it will be back to free motion quilting and also using my embroidery machine to guilt. It turned out that a lot of the reviewers online had a similar experience to mine. I'm sure for some people it works but it was not for me. 
It's  back in the box and I'm thinking of putting it on EBay!  So I will continue to dream about a long arm quilt frame if only I had room ( and the money!) for one. 

Another quick make has been this needle saver. I regularly change my machine needles depending upon the task but it's hard remembering which one you are using so this is a great little aid. You Insert the needles in when you have taken them out of the machine and changed them. 

I can see that this will make a nice swop gift as well. 

So lots of catching up before we are off again to a new part of the country for out next trip- and of course I have already found out about a mill shop that sells Liberty Fabric cheaply! 

Thanks for stopping by
Pauline






Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Spring is here????

After a very wet and windy Easter we are getting ready for the first trip of the year in our caravan to Northumberland. I have made us a couple of quillows over the last two weeks - one of which uses the latest apple core I have just finished hand quilting. 




While on our recent ill fated weekend retreat during which 7 of the group including me went down with a vicious bug I started a new quilt using a very modern jelly roll I had bought on a trip to the very lovely Scarborough Sewing shop but managed to get very little done as I spent the Sunday in bed ill. 

So I decided to get on with it and make it for my dear friend who we meet up with on our trips away in the caravan. We have been friends for over 20 years and I just know she will like this as it is very much the style and colours she loves. 
And we may need it this weekend if the weather forecast is correct! 
As I had done with mine I added a block to the back to turn it into a quillow so that she can use it as a cushion. 

I also finished off a small baby quilt for a neighbour who is about to gain a new grandchild so I wanted ready for when "it" arrives. 


I am still keeping up- just - with the Craftsy block of the month but need to get this latest round completed soon.


My son is now half way through his trip to south and North America and is sending us some wonderful photos of the adventures. 
This is them getting ready for a bike trip down the Death Road in Bolivia!  He sends me the photos after they have completed each daring adventure and then let's me know what they have been up to! Only 3 months to go until they get back. 

So looking forward to a short trip and a chance to catch up with our friends so need to sort some hand sewing incase I find a few minutes ! 

Thanks for visiting 
Pauline 

Monday, 15 February 2016

6 weeks of 2016 gone!

Hi everyone
I have been very lax in posting but have been beetling away in the background to keep busy despite having a nasty flu bug which laid me low for a couple of days. 
I have failed miserably with the 365 Block a Day project and stopped after 2 weeks as I just did not like the smallness of the blocks but I am enjoying the Craftsy BOM.


I have also been on Facebook a lot!!!!! It's very addictive because it is so quick and there is so much to see on the two groups I have signed up for.   UK Quilters is a great group and I have also signed up to Helping Hearts which lists all the charity projects who are looking for lap quilts and other items. So I am planning on making more charity lap quilts instead of large quilts which I don't have a home for. 

I have finished a large colourful quilt and a smaller scrappy quilt for SIBLings Together which is looking for 100 quilts this year for their summer camps. The smaller quilt is from Nancy Zeiman's block of the months this year. 


This was a great way to use up strings but with a different end result. 

I have also been hand quilting a whole quilt which is a first for me but it's been great to sit and Sew Slowly!

This is from a Craftsy lesson by Beverly Eimo and is the Buzz Saw block. I used the Whitewashed Cottage fabric as I bought both a jelly roll and a layer cake last year BUT I fell out of love with it as I thought it looked a bit wishy- washy but I now think it has worked well with the peach accent colour to set it off. It just need binding. 
I had enough left to make another quilt so I am looking to making a 1/4 log cabin Block from this months Quilting for You magazine.


I also put together a 10 minute Block Quilt from some lovely Moda layer cakes I had in dark reds and blues.

As usual I end up with lots of tops completed but struggle to find backing fabric at a reasonable price to get them quilted and finished. 

As the year passes we are all looking forward to our next quilt retreat at Cober Hill in only 2 weeks time so I am desperately try to prep some projects to take with me and decided some embroidered blocks ready to turn into baby quilts would be a good idea.

One is a Couch Potatoes Pets design and the other Zoo animals - both from my favourite embroidery designer Kiwi Kreations. 

We are still following our son's adventure in South America and look forward to his Skype messages about once a fortnight and he is posting hundreds of photos to the cloud so we can see what they have been doing. They are in Patagonia and have seen some wonderful sites treking on glaciers and visiting waterfalls. They are about to move further north into Chile and Peru and then will be doing the Inca trai.


So I need to get back to the embroidery machine and get these blocks done and also do the next part of the Craftsy BOM. 
Thanks for stopping by 
Pauline 


Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year - well nearly!!

Hi everyone 
It will be the new year in a few hours time and I wanted to get my final finish of the year posted after delivering it to my daughter and son- in- law today. It was meant to be a surprise present from me for Xmas day but I did not get the borders finished so I am pleased I managed to get it done today. 



So now I can start the 2016 projects! I can get carried away at this time and sign up for quilt alongs and swaps and this year is no exception !  I have already signed up for Lori Holts "Bloom " quilt sew along which is a monthly block and have already bought the templates as this an applique quilt which I have wanted to do for a while. 

The other sign up is to the 365 Quilt Long - a block a day for a whole year!   



I was attracted to it as the example is done in Civil War blue/ Browns which I love but already the first two blocks are causing me problems. The finished block size ranges from 3 to 6 inches and the first two are 3 inches per block. One of mine has finished a bit over so I will have to have another go at it. 



So I'll see how I go with it. My reason for signing up is to keep me busy!  My son and his wife left for a six month trip to South America, Central America, USA and Canada on Tuesday. It will be a wonderful experience for them as they travel up through Brasil, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Equador, Panama into California and then up to Canada but worrying for me at this end!!! 
So a happy new year to everyone !!!
Pauline 



Sunday, 27 December 2015

Christmas 2016

I joined in Cheryll's Santa Sack as I have done for the last few years and opted to wait until  Christmas to open mine - this was the package I recieved from Rachel.
And inside were these lovely gifts - including some great fingerless gloves and a teddy. Once again it's great to make new friends and receive such lovely handmade items. 

These are the gifts I sent to Rachel




I finished the Xmas Tree for my daughters nursery and also made another batch of Xmas stockings for the children. 



We had our Christmas dinner on the 22 nd December as Simon was travelling to spend Christmas with his new wife Hayley and her family in Chester for the first time so we got to open our presents early. My mum also stayed with us for a few days but we are now on our own again and I'm hoping to get back to some sewing. 

I didn't get Catherine and Richards quilt finished in time for Xmas so I plan to give it to them on New Years Eve as a surprise present. So back to the sewing machine and let's hope I get it done in time. 

Happy New Year 
Pauline 






Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Elves workshop open !!

My Xmas preparations are underway and my husband always calls my sewing room the "elves workshop " at this time of the year as I flit from one project to the next with both sewing machines being used and Spotify playing all my favourite tunes. 

I have been busy the last few weeks since my last post - finding more "me" time now that my Mum is feeling a bit better. However she is having further surgery next week so I decided to get a move on and get some sewing done as well as crocheting and knitting in the evening. 


 I have made some little jackets for my little niece plus a lovely cuddly ! I am really into crocheting again and there are some great crochet patterns out there on the Internet. I am current making a Sleeping bag type "thingy" - just need to finish the hood. 

I finished off my LakeHouse quilt and it is ready for my friends 70 th birthday in January. I really enjoyed the free emotion quilting on this one and did a meandering rose instead of just stippling. 


I also managed to finish my bed runner I started at the last quilt retreat so along with the new cushions the spare room has had a bit of a makeover. 



My Xmas preparations include some machine embroidery decorations and some new  table wear for the Xmas table. 






I also posted my secret Santa parcel to Rachel - and I am waiting for mine to arrive! I love having some little gifts to myself on Xmas day! 


I am planning on making some new bags for  my sister in law and daughter for Xmas but no Xmas cards this year as I've decided to give them a miss. So a busy time on the sewing machine with breaks to go shopping when the weather is ok. I usually go to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate which is on at the end of the week but I am not happy at the increase in the admission cost along with parking charges in Harrogate so think I will be giving it a miss. An excuse for wandering the web and spending my pennies on some of my favourite web sewing shops!

Pauline