Tuesday, 26 May 2015

On my design wall this week.

Today I set out to cut the fabric for the baby quilt. I soon ended up with a neat pile of pieces. I had to number the coloured pieces for the ribbons so I didn't muddle them up.

Well having got that far I thought I'd just stitch a couple of pieces together to see how it looked.

I'm using some strips from a jelly roll I won from Aunt Marti at 52 Quilts in 52 weeks The fabric design is Bloomin Fresh by Deb Strain. It's just perfect for a baby quilt.

I also did some more work on my dog stitchery block but I didn't take a photo. I'm hoping to finish it in the next couple of evenings.

It's been lovely to have 3 days to do some sewing. It's back to work tomorrow so not so much play time but I hoping to get some more of the baby quilt done. I'm also taking the embroidery with me to do in my lunch hour.


Monday, 25 May 2015

A very happy weekend.

Here in the UK this weekend is another long weekend. I think May is my favourite month because there are two bank holidays which means two short working weeks.I haven't had much time for stitching recently since work has been very busy but this weekend is a free weekend so lots of stitching time.

First I had to do a little re-organising as I'd put all my projects away. So first thing Saturday morning I pulled things out and organised the work I wanted to do this weekend. First I pressed the 'Beware the attack dogs' stitchery.

This is the only stitching I've worked on over the last week. I still have 3 more blocks to stitch so I decided to scan all 3 patterns and print them onto Fabric solvy.

I decided to work on this pattern first. 

This evening whilst watching TV I started work on this piece.

On Saturday I spent quite a long time cutting up scraps. First I cut the fabric for the April churn dash blocks and then the blocks for May. I'm making these blocks for the Rainbow scrap challenge. April's colour was purple.

and the colour for May was green.

I'm taking part in the snowball and 9 patch quilt a long at Terry's treasures. I've made all the snowball blocks but only 10 of the 9 patch. I needed to cut up some of my scraps to be able to make any more. It's amazing how quickly scraps collect and how long it takes to cut them into 2and half inch squares. Tomorrow I'll get sewing on the blocks. I think I need 50  of them and hopefully I've got enough squares to make that many. If I haven't I'll just have to cut some more as I still have loads of scraps.

I was going to make a baby quilt this weekend as one of my colleagues has gone on maternity leave and she is coming back on Wednesday for a baby shower. I went and bought the fabric but I decided to put it to one side as I was told on Friday that she isn't going to take any of the presents home until after the baby is born. So I have a couple more weeks to work on that quilt. I'm planning on doing the cutting tomorrow .

Finally I got on with stitching the binding on the star trek quilt. This quilt is large and the hand stitching is taking ages. Fortunately the temperature cools off in the evening so sitting with it over my lap while I stitch is quite cosy.

I'm linking this with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday. Go and see what folks have been working on.

I hope you've had a good weekend with some time for stitching.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Election, a party and a country house

Since Thursday of last week life has been a bit of a whirlwind. Work on Thursday left me drained and all I wanted to do when I got home was sit and fall asleep. Instead, once I'd had a cup of tea, John and I went and voted, something I've done in every election since I was old enough to vote. In most of the country they were voting for the local elections as well as the general election but here in London we only had the general election ballot. Then it was time to head to the common to walk Scamp and Buddy. The walk woke me up and so instead of heading off to bed at 11.30ish I turned on the TV to watch the first results of the election declared. I love to stay up and watch the results come in on election night and the fact that the exit poll predicted a conservative victory whereas all the polls in the run up had predicted a hung parliament had me intrigued to see what the outcome would be. Normally the results come in very fast between 2 and 4 but this time it was quite slow so at 3.30 I decided to go to bed since I had a drive to do on Friday.

We had planned to leave home early on Friday but due to the late night we got up late. Late enough in fact to miss the morning rush hour. The journey north was uneventful and we got to the village where the party was being help with time to spare. The party was to celebrate my Uncle Terry's 50th wedding anniversary. We only really knew Yvonne and Terry at the party but it was fun and we found people we could talk with quite easily.

Here's the happy couple looking fabulous and of course there was cake.

The party was an afternoon tea and then we went back to Yvonne and Terry's house for a while. It was fun to sit and chat. We had decided to stay overnight so we could visit Lyme Park on Saturday so we had a drive to our hotel. Not knowing the area and the good places to eat is always a little difficult but we found a fabulous indian restaurant that served delicious food. 

Saturday the weather was a little unsettled with drizzle and a cold wind. Lyme Park is on the edge of the peak district so the wind was blowing quite strongly. The house was used as the exterior of Pemberley in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. 

The house is huge and we really enjoyed wandering through the rooms. You weren't allowed to take photos in the house so no interior shots I'm afraid. We walked through the gardens and I took a few photos.

Unfortunately the bulbs in the Italian garden were coming to an end but it was still pretty.

The rhododendrons were just opening so not much to see but this area of the garden was a little wild and I liked it

John took a rest after our walk round the garden and before we took a walk through the park. It would have been great to do their long hike but we weren't really dressed for the weather and we needed to drive back to London. As we drove away from the hills the sun came out, the drizzle stopped and the wind dropped making for a very pleasant drive home in the early evening.

On Sunday Katie and her boyfriend Olly came over and we went for a walk on Box Hill. Katie wanted to see the bluebells before they were finished for another year.  

Scamp had a grand time running around off his lead.

There were lots of forget me nots, buttercups and cowslips.

There was several steep inclines to climb up and Olly and Scamp rushed on ahead. Olly found a comfortable place to rest.

A little later Katy found her own seat

This tree was amazing as it had grafted some of its branches back onto itself.

The last part of the walk took us past houses and on either side of a gate were these characters.

I also thought this was a great use of a bicycle.

Back at home Scamp settled down for a nap with his friend Picasso on the back of the settee.

So that was last weekend, what will this weekend bring? Hopefully quite a bit of sewing as I am falling way behind. I hope you've had a good week.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

WIP Wednesday

The weather here in London Uk has been wet and windy with sunny intervals. Having been caught in a heavy shower and nearly blown over walking to the car after work yesterday I decided to ignore the great outdoors and get on with my quilting. I finished the last bit of quilting on the 'Star Trek' quilt at lunch time and trimmed it ready to attach the binding. Before I can do that I have to find the safe place where I put the fabric I'm going to use. I also have lots of ends to sew in but that will be done while watching TV later. It won't be a finish this week as I hand stitch the binding to the back but it is a definite for next week.

Having folded that all away until later and decided to leave cleaning my machine until later as well I spent a little time working on the hand stitching. This has moved on quite quickly.

I've also cleared the table ready to cut up some of my scraps into 2 and half inch squares. I have 40 nine patch blocks to make for the snowball and nine patch quilt a long. The cutting will have to wait as I have Brownies to run this evening..

This Friday John and I are going to a party to celebrate my Uncle Terry's 50th wedding anniversary. Terry is my father's youngest brother and he looks so like my father did and also sounds the same as he did. It's a bit of a drive as they live in Cheshire but we have decided to stay overnight in the area so that we can go and visit Lyme Park on Saturday. Lyme Park was used for the exterior shots of Pemberley in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. I'm not sure what I'm more excited about the 50th wedding anniversary party or visiting Lyme Park. Both are sure to be great fun. I haven't seen either of my brothers for ages and they are both invited to the party so I'm hoping they will be there. Unfortunately I have a pile of work bits that needs finishing before I leave work tomorrow evening so I need to get a wriggle on.

South facade of Lyme Park house, 2013.jpg
"South facade of Lyme Park house, 2013" by Julie Anne Workman - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:South_facade_of_Lyme_Park_house,_2013.jpg#/media/File:South_facade_of_Lyme_Park_house,_2013.jpg

I'm linking up with Monika at Needle and Thread Network

I hope you have a chance to work on one of your projects today.


Monday, 4 May 2015

Review and move forward

April was supposed to be a good month for sewing but I took on extra work and so my goals for sewing didn't get done, not one of them. No use crying as that won't get the job done so  I'm going to set my goals for May and this time try to finish them.

My main goal is to finish the Star Trek quilt for Richard.

I have just got one of the blocks to quilt and the border. Here in the UK this has been a three day weekend as today was a bank holiday. When I last worked on this quilt I managed to make a tuck in the back so had some unpicking to do. i finished that on Saturday and so I was able to get on with the quilting. I had hoped to finish the quilting today but run out of time so now it will have to wait until next weekend.

I haven't started the baby quilt yet but there is another one I need to make for a work colleague. She is going on maternity leave in the next couple of weeks so this has to get done I have a pattern but need to buy some fabric. The pattern is by Michelle Engel Bencsko from Make it Sew Projects I'm excited about starting this project.

I also need to get on and quilt the turtle wall hanging. I set the quilt sandwich up last month but didn't want to start the quilting until I'd finished the 'Star Trek' quilt 

Although I haven't been quilting I have been working on my embroidery, in particular the dog redwork blocks. I'm almost finished with the next block and then there are only three more to do. Unfortunately I've found another pattern I want to make. If you read my blog regularly you will know I love Jane Austen and I found a Pride and Prejudice quilt by Nancy A. Bekofske while surfing various blogs.

Once I've caught up with my stitching this is next to be made. Hopefully I will finish the remaining three blocks on the 'Its a dog's life' quilt this month as I have several trips on the train and a weekend away from home.

I'm linking this post with A lovely Year of Finishes. Hopefully that will give me the push I need to get the Star Trek quilt finished.

I hope your weekend was good. The only down part of the long weekend here was the number of people we had ringing the doorbell to canvas for the election on Thursday. I normally stay up and watch the election results come in but I'm working on Friday so I may have to go to bed. I'm also not sure how exciting the results will be as they are still suggesting it will be a hung parliament.  


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Happily stitching.

Yesterday evening, once I'd had dinner I put the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice on and settled down to some hand stitching. Scamp was curled up on my lap and Picasso stretched out along the back of my chair. Just the three of us at home for the evening. It was bliss.

I did a little work on the cross stitch but it isn't easy when watching TV. Having to count the threads meant I lost track of the story. Well not so much when watching Pride and Prejudice since I know all of the script for the 6 hours. The girls and I have watched it so often since it was first shown. The girls wore out two videos and one DVD set of it but still love it as much as ever. 

Over the evening I finished most of the redwork and the bit that was left was finished this morning. Then it was time to wash off the fabric solvy and dry the block.

Once that block was finished I decided to set up the new block straight away whilst I'm in a hand stitching mood. Here's the next block. I still have 4 blocks to do including this one.

This has now been printed onto fabric solvy and finger pressed onto my fabric. All ready to go a little later this evening.

Today I also made 10  of the nine patch blocks needed for the snowball quilt. Only 40 more blocks needed. I shall have to cut some more 2 and half inch squares from my scraps as I'm running out. Not a problem as I have a lot of scraps needing to be used up.

Finally I got round to making the purple blocks for April for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This year I'm making 4 blocks a month of Churn Dash. I forgot to take a photo so I'll do that for next time.

I'm linking this post with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday stitching. This week she has some fabulous beading on her blog. No I really mustn't start another project! 

Hope you've had an enjoyable weekend. This week I'm hoping to fit some sewing in on Tuesday and Thursday as I'm not working those days and I may get to finish up the Star trek quilt. Now for the last bit of Pride and Prejudice and a little more hand stitching.


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Catching up with hand stitching.

The last few weeks I've been trying to catch up with some of my hand stitching. I like hand stitching but unfortunately I really have to be in the right mood to do it. In that mood I can keep stitching for hours but I go through phases when I don't touch it for months. This explains why my stitching takes so long to complete. Recently I just haven't been in the mood to do my cross stitch or red work but this week I picked it up again and I'm really enjoying it.

On my last post I showed you this picture of the block I  was going to work on from the 'It's a dogs life' quilt.

I thought I had started work on this block but when I opened the project bag I found I hadn't so I almost put the bag back in the drawer. Add to that when I opened the fabric out I found that the fabric solvy which I used to transfer the pattern was coming unstuck from the fabric. The only answer was to get on and sew.

Normally I'd complete one dog at a time but as the pattern was coming off the fabric I decided that stitching a bit of each dog would help hold it in place while I completed the block. So far that has worked well. A good film on TV tomorrow evening will see this block finished.

I also fished out my millenium sampler.

So I've got three mini blocks to do and two more to finish. Then two and a half sides of border plus three corners. I worked on the block of 1066 The battle of Hastings when William the Conqueror became king after defeating King Harold. There's a little way to go before it's finished.

I have a cross stitch I want to start but before I do I must finish either the sampler or the blocks for the quilt. I have too many unfinished stitching projects in progress at present. The one I want to start is this cute Yorkshire Terrier kit that I was given last Christmas..

This is a small piece finishing at 4 and half by 3 inches. It reminds me of Scamp when he was a puppy.

This weekend I'm teaching a first aid course on Saturday but apart from that my time is my own. John is away for the weekend and will be leaving at about 4pm tomorrow afternoon. He won't be back until Sunday afternoon. So there should be lots of sewing time especially as it's supposed to rain over the weekend. That gives me the perfect excuse for staying in. 

For now I'm off to bed. The cold I had a couple of weeks ago has come back again and this time I have a cough. I'm going to take some cough mixture and  then curl up in bed with a book and a hot chocolate. I'm not sure I'll get much reading done as I feel worn out. Just tomorrow to get through at work then two days off and next week is a light week. With luck I should finish my April goals.