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 !!!

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 

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!


Monday, 26 October 2015

Secret sewing!

As usual I joined in Cheryll's Secret Santa Sack plus I joined a new swop for me as part of the Thimbleberries internet group.  This has meant a lot of sewing over the past few weeks whenever I could grab an hour  - but a lot of which I cannot show in case my swop partners peak!  

This is the practise table centre I quickly made from a pattern I bought at the Harrogate show in September but I have made a better one but can't show it ! 

 But I have also been busy this weekend while my husband was away at a Chess Congress and I had a whole weekend to myself. The result is I managed to put together new quilt top which is for a birthday in the new year. 

This is some LakeHouse fabric I have been saving for a while and thought it would suit this pattern. 

I plan to add a scalloped border again as I liked the one I did on my twister quilt. 

I also managed to make a couple of cushions for the spare bedroom to match the bed runner i started on our quilt weekend but which I still need to quilt. 

Improvising rulers!!! 
There is a lot of interest in blog land about quilting on domestic machines with rulers and I bought the new foot produced by Parr's last year at the Harrogate Show but I have not found it very easy to use.. 

I  also have watched a couple of Craftsy classes but getting the rulers here in the Uk is difficult and expensive. 
However, while watching some of the YouTube videos on the web I decided to improvise and used a piece of packing foam about 18 inches long and 4 inches wide with my normal quilting foot.  

This was deep enough to wedge against the screws of the quilting foot and I was then able to guide my sewing along the edge. It worked brilliantly!!, and as it is so soft and not hard like the Parr rulers I did not feel too worried about it damaging my machine. In fact I did not have any problems and it did meant I could sew straight lines without changing to my normal foot so I can see that it will be really useful when quilting a large quilt where you do not want to have to continually turn the whole quilt round. 
I have a curved template from one of the Craftsy classes so I intend to cut that shape from some more foam and try that one on the next large quilt as well. So watch this space!!! 

It's been a good week all round as my Mum has been steadily improving from her recent operation so that has meant I have had a bit more time for some sewing! 

Bye for now 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The big ONE!

It's been a while since I found time to post as I have been helping to care for my Mum after her operation but I managed to finish my sister-in- laws' quilt and get it posted off to her just a little late for her birthday. 
I enjoyed making the twister quilt and plan to make another one soon in rich reds and greens. 
I also finished off two baby quilts for presents for my daughter's friends using two easy finish patterns.

So why the title of this post ??? 

Well it is my 60th birthday tomorrow !! Can't believe I am all grown up but it's a shock to the system! 

But my family planned this great weekend for me -  we all met up for the weekend in London and they organised for me and my husband to have afternoon tea at Fortumn and Mason and then go to a show in the west end. 

Then we spent Saturday at Richmond park and spotted lots of deer - some who got a bit too close for comfort!! 
Then finally a lovely meal at a pub on the canal. 
It was such a lovely time to spend with both of my kids plus their partners and then it was home yesterday by train. 

Then at my new quilt group today I had a birthday cake thanks to my good friend Audrey so that was a lovely thought.  We started up this new group and this wasonly our second meeting but it  looks as if it will be another great group of people to sit and sew with. 

I received a card today from my son which he had had made which is a collage of photos and shows the whole family at various ages on family holidays and his recent wedding to Hayley and is a great momento! 
So maybe being reminded how old you are is not so bad when you realise all these people love and care for you. 
So here's to the future !! 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Wedding Bells!!

We had a great  weekend at Simon and Hayley's wedding. The sun came out as she reached the church and continued into the afternoon while we enjoyed the wedding reception at the lovely setting of Soughton Hall near Chester. 

The party continued  into the evening but my husband and I retired to our beds at about 11.30pm absolutely tired out but happy to see such a happy couple enjoying the party with their friends. 

The have now left on their  honeymoon to Mexico and New York so we have only the photos to remind us what a perfect day it was for both families. 
Bye for now

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

In a bit of a whirl!!

It has been a difficult time since my last post over a month ago as my Mum was diagnosed with a Malignant melanoma on her leg while we were away on holiday in Edinburgh. She is waiting for surgery and thought it would be this week  so she would not be able to go to our son's wedding this weekend. However as it is not until next week and she has been looking forward to it so much she is now going with us as planned. So it will be a sweet moment for her to see her eldest grandson marry his lovely bride Hayley

They met at the University of Sheffield when they first started there 9 years ago and have been  together ever since.

One of my tasks has been to make 6 sweet tree decorations so I have been in the garage mixing up plaster of Paris and glueing tissue paper over balls. Just need to add the chocolates  on Friday night!

I have been dipping in and out of a few projects to keep my mind off my Mum's difficulties and have a number of quilts nearly ready for quilting. I managed to finish my first twister quilt and then made another small table mat.

Then I started another throw size so you could say I am twisting the day away!! I am going to aworkshop next week to make  twister quilt so looking forward to a day out with friends.

I have managed to put together my Dresden fan which I started over 12 months ago which is a long time to have a UFO even for me - so the plan is to get it layered up and quilt it while I am away on the Quilt Retreat in late September.

My other current project is my rainbow hexi which I am plugging away with in spare moments.

A quick project I found on Pinterest this week was an idea for a non slip mat for the sewing machine foot pedal. As I often chase mine to the back of my table I thought is was a great idea and as I had some of the non slip material in my cupboard I quickly made two - one for my big "Brother" and one for "little Brother" which I take to workshops and classes. 
They are a really great idea. 

So off to finish packing and hoping for a sunny weekend ! 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Summer Travels

I have been missing from my blog as we have been away quite a bit on short breaks - the recent one was to Scarborough.  While there we visited Whitby, one of our favourite places. The weather was lovely and sunny and we took some great photos of Whitby Abbey and the Church yard - the setting for Bram Stoker's Dracula.

I managed to fit in a visit to the wonderful Scarborough Sewing shop for some fabric and also happened to be there when the local quilt group Heirloom Quilters were holding their annual show. It was a wonderful exhibition with some beautiful quilts and some good trade stalls. There was a lovely exhibition of baby and children's quilts using old nursery  equipment to stage the quilts.

With being away from my machine I have been concentrating on hand sewing and I am plugging away at a Rainbow Hexi Quilt from this  months Popular Patchwork.

This week I have also  been catching up and sorting out UFO's but decided I wanted to do some machine embroidery so I have started a new quilt. This is one I did many years ago when I first started with an embroidery machine called " I Love Flowers" - so I am looking forward to seeing how it will turn out this time as I have learnt  a lot since I last made it last.

I am going to a workshop next month with some friends on making the Twister Quilt but bought  a template at the quilt show so I  was keen to try one so I trawled the internet and found a lot of pictures and tutorials so this morning started a small Twister Wreath as the first of my Xmas in July projects

It has turned out well and I enjoyed seeing it come together so feel that I might have to try a few more.Many people commented that they can become addictive and I can see why!  There are so many variations depending upon how you arrange the original blocks before you start cutting with the twister ruler.
 It just needs a border and then can be quilted by hand which could be useful to take on our next trip which is next week to Edinburgh. We love going for the Festival when the city is full of arts events so hope we get some good weather.

Looking forward to more Twisting!!!


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Halfway through and nearly there?!!

This  year is flying past and my son's wedding is getting closer!   Everything is nearly organised so we just need to hope for some sunny weather.
We had a lovely short break in Northumberland and I took some great photos of the castles and beaches.

But once back I have been busy with more projects for the Charity Coffee morning.

These were all made with a jelly roll of Lewis and Irene fabric I received free at the Festival of Quilts last year when I subscribed to Fabrications magazine. 

I also started a new quilt - Rain Drops from Quilt Now magazine using some of my new fabric from ARt Gallery fabrics.

It is very Modern with lots of white, and I am enjoying the applique of the raindrops onto the white background. It is very portable doing it this way so useful to take on holiday. 

I also completed the Crazy quilt course I was doing on line and have a nice block which I intend turning into a needle case.

I continue to swap postcards and pincushions in a couple of swaps and love receiving the packets in the post. 
This is my latest pin cushion from  Zane in Latvia.

And this is my latest postcard from Maria  in Australia as part of Sheila's "Summer" swop 

I have signed up for Cheryll's Santa Sack swop again as it is always a good one to be in over the next few months.

My big finish is this quilt from a Sue Daly pattern which is for a friend for her birthday - which was in April! So a bit late but I'm sure she will like it.  

I enjoyed the free motion quilting I did on it and also experimented with using Goldren Threads paper for the feather designs. 

Off on holiday again to the Lake District so hoping for warm weather for walking, and time for crocheting and handwork sitting in the sun. 
thanks for stopping by