Tuesday, 15 September 2015

A new cover for my ironing board

For some time now I've been meaning to make a new cover for my ironing board. The old one isn't really that old but it's certainly in bad shape.

The cover has a foam backing and as you can see the foam has been compressed by use and the metal mesh is showing through. Here's a better view of it.

I've been putting on old towel over it because when you iron the mesh pattern shows on the laundry which is very annoying. I knew the cover wouldn't last when I bought it but it was the only one I could get for my size ironing board. When I took the old cover off the reverse side had the metal mesh pattern burnt into it and much of the foam was missing.

I bought the cover about a year ago and with only three of us living at home there isn't that much ironing - well not as much as when my two daughters lived here as well.

Anyway I hunted through my stash for a suitable piece of fabric and I was going to use layers of wadding as the padding. Then I hunted out a couple of old towels and decided to do a layer of wadding over two layers of toweling. The new cover is nice, soft and well padded so I'm actually looking forward to doing some ironing later. I can't remember what I originally bought this fabric for or even if I had a plan for it, but it looks good on my ironing board.

Last night I did a little more work on my 'It's a dogs life' block. I didn't quite finish it as I still had some of the lettering to do. So this morning once I'd finished my cover I sat and stitched the letters. Job done, that block is now finished.

I washed all the fabric solvy out and the block is now drying on a towel. The dark at the bottom left of the picture is my shadow. Having finished this one I set up the new block ready for stitching. 

This blocks looks like it will stitch up quite quickly. Then I can start putting the quilt together. I bought this pattern as a kit so I have all the fabric needed to complete it, I just need some wadding. I go through phases with the fabric, sometimes I really like it and at others I hate it so I'm not sure if I will use the kit fabric or mix in some from my stash. I have a little time to make up my mind as I haven't started the last block yet.

A little earlier today I had to take Scamp to the vet. The end of last week he started scratching a lot so Richard gave him a bath. He has his flea treatment applied every month and there is no evidence of fleas. I checked him out for ticks and mites but couldn't find any evidence so hoped the bath would cure the problem. He certainly stopped scratching but started to lick around the top of one of his legs. He stops if you see him doing it and tell him to stop but he has made himself quite sore so a trip to the vet was needed. It seems like an allergy but the sore area now has an infection so he has antibiotics. He is good at taking tablets so he should soon be back to his happy little self.

Now I need to go and cook dinner and maybe later I'll get a chance to do some more sewing.


Monday, 14 September 2015

A little slow stitching

At last a day of being able to sit and do a little stitching. The fault for lack of stitching lies not with too much work but with two relatively small family crises. One is now resolved but the other will take longer. However in between life in general, work etc I can sew again. Yesterday I settled comfortably in my chair with Scamp on my lap and worked on this block for 'It's a dogs life' quilt.

I should be able to finish this tonight. Yesterday was so relaxing and as a result I'm expecting to get a lot more done today. Once this one is finished there is only one more before I need to piece the remaining blocks and stitch it all together. 

I have also completed the baby quilt but haven't posted the finish photo yet

Scamp was under very strict instructions not to sit on the quilt. I chose a stripy fabric for the binding. I used a jelly roll for the ribbons on the quilt and the bindings came from the same roll. I cut the strips in half and alternated the colourways. I love the way it looks. The ribbons were quilted in stripes and the background was a large meander.

I have some housework to do and teaching preparation but then I have some sewing to do. I have a summer skirt cut out and ready to go. In typical UK style it's raining at present but it is still warm so I'll get a fair amount of wear out of it before the autumn weather really sets in.

A couple of weeks ago John, Tony and I went walking. Every year our church does a walk in support of the Children's Society and we were checking out the route. It was a 10 mile route but I took Scamp with us as he loves long walks so long as he has regular breaks. The route was out in West Sussex so we traveled by train, another favourite adventure for Scamp.

 On the walk we went under the Ouse Valley viaduct. This is a fabulous victorian structure that was built in 1841 to carry the London to Brighton railway line over the river ouse. It stand 96 feet high and has 37 arches.

For me the most amazing bit was when we stood underneath the viaduct and looked along its length . Instead of each pillar of the arch being solid, to save bricks it was built like this.

This picture shows the detail at the top of the arches and the balustrades a little clearer.

At one point we walked along a path through the middle of a corn field. Now many years ago as a child or teenager (it is that long ago I can't remember) I heard a song from a musical which said 'the corn is as high as an elephant's eye.' I was confused because I'd only seen corn that was shorter than me. Walking through the field with corn on either side of me, that was definitely taller than me I suddenly realised (oh so many years after the event) that what we children had called corn was in fact wheat and the corn referred to in the song was maize or sweetcorn. Der that made the song make more sense.

The walk also took us past a reservoir and nature reserve and we ended at a little cafe where we enjoyed homemade scones and cream. Even Scamp was catered for with dog biscuits provided free by the owners.

I'm linking this post with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching It's very odd coincidence but she's been appliqueing a corn stalk. Go visit and find out what folks have been doing. Have a good day


Sunday, 30 August 2015

Beck Hole, Goathland, and Whitby

I started writing this post on the 17th August but had to stop as my wrists were painful. Unfortunately I spend far too much time on the computer as all the students essays are submitted and marked on line. All the teaching presentations and notes have to be uploaded to the module website so the students can use them for revision. The down side was I also had to stop stitching so since then there has been no sewing at all! No wonder I'm feeling shaky and stressed without my chill out stitching to calm my nerves after a stressful day at work, or my weekend sewing to renew and revive me. Still the wrists are less painful and are feeling stronger so I'll revamp this post and then do a little stitching.

I never finished showing you the photos from our holiday. So here are some piccies from the end of the week. We love the North Yorkshire Moors which is a national park but it can look quite bleak especially as the day draws to a close.

Many years ago when our children were younger we rented a cottage in Beck Hole and had a fabulous holiday within the moors that we shared with my parents. It was such a great holiday we revisited the same cottage a couple of years later. Both holidays were extremely special to our children and they have wonderful memories of walking with Nan and Grandad, and going to buy sweets at the pub. On the Wednesday of our holiday we drove to Goathland, which is where Heartbeat was filmed. We parked the cars and walked down to Beck Hole as we wanted to have lunch sat outside the pub.

Beck Hole is just a collection of a few cottages and the pub in the valley by the river. We went and visited the cottages first and turned to go back towards the pub. As you can see the lane is very narrow and the hills out of the valley are steep. Not very pleasant if you meet something going the other way. This is why we walked down. Here we are heading back to the pub.

The day had started off wet and windy so as we got a passer by to take the photo we were still muffled up in jumpers and coats. As the day wore on it became sunny and hot. We enjoyed some sandwiches and beer for lunch. Scamp just wanted to get walking again. We also visited the sweet shop part of the pub (window on the right) .They still sold the same assortment of sweets but they were no longer a penny each.

We decided to walk along the river to see the waterfall which is called Malyon Spout. Scamp thought the walk was great fun.

Katy was having fun taking photos of the wildflowers and fungi. It was beautiful walking down by the water. As we got nearer the waterfall there was a lot of clambering over rocks.

It was very peaceful as we walked along. At this point the river ambles round the corner to the right and the waterfall is out of picture on the left. In the middle the water coming round the river was brown which could have been due to the heavy rain washing the peat from the moors into the water.

Malyon spout was to the left of the picture above. 

As we walked back into Goathland we found the sheep grazing and resting on the grass along the roadside.

By the time we drove home it was late and the sky was amazing.

Scamp was exhausted when we got home and settled down for a long snooze. He loves to sleep upside down.

On the final day of our holiday we visited Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay. Whitby was extremely busy. The ruins of Whitby Abbey stands on the east cliff . It was made famous by Bram Stoker in his novel of Dracula written in 1897. In the story Dracula came ashore at Whitby in the guise of creature that resembled a large dog and he climbed the 199 steps up to the ruins.

We went down the 199 steps into the town but we did have to climb them later to get back to the cars. As we walked down we looked over part of the harbour.

We went to Robin Hood's bay later in the afternoon and I paddled in the sea, it was very cold. When we got home Scamp spent the evening asleep with his teddy.

So now I've caught up telling you about our holiday. We have already started planning the next one. Tomorrow I tell you about my sewing. I hope you've had time for some stitching.


Sunday, 9 August 2015

A slow day stitching.

For the last couple of days I haven't done any sewing and only spent a little time on the computer as my right wrist had started to be painful. A couple of years back I overdid the knitting and ended up with repetitive strain injury which affected my whole arm. It was so painful that I don't want it to happen again. Now if my wrist starts aching I rest it for a couple of days and it usually settles down quite quickly. Yesterday I attached the binding to the front of the ribbon quilt.

I used some more of the strips from the jelly roll which is 'Blooming fresh' by Deb Strain. I'm slowly stitching the binding to the back by hand. It's a nice job to do whilst watching TV. There's a Midsommer Murder on this evening and I've not seen this episode before.

Earlier today I finished the quilting on the second of two bath mats I've made. The binding is made and ready to be attached. I'll do that tomorrow.

I also finished stitching the binding on the first mat. This has already been pressed into service.

It's great to have finally used the shell fabric. I was given the fabric several years ago and it is perfect for the bath mats. Our bathroom is decorated in blue and white and the mat gives it a seaside feel.

As those of you who follow my blog will know my son is a star trek fan. I recently finished a quilt for him which incorporated fabric from the original star trek series.

I saw some fabric from Star Trek the next generation on ebay so I ordered a pack of 4 fat quarters.

I don't have a project to make with them yet but they will come in useful. I love the red fabric with the star trek logo on. 

Whilst I was preparing the binding on my ironing board I realised it was time to make it a new cover. The old cover isn't that old but the foam backing has lost its 'umph' and the metal mesh base shows through. You can see it on the bottom of the photo.

I have some pretty fabric that would be perfect. 

Tomorrow I have work but tomorrow evening should see the baby quilt finished and I can start my next project. I'm linking with Kathy's quilts for slow stitching Sunday. I hope you've had time for some slow stitching..


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Finishing the baby quilt

Today I had a little marking to finish off and then I was free to get on with some quilting. Most of my friends assume that as I teach at a university I have the whole of the summer off but reality is very different. One of the courses I have responsibility for will be running all though the summer and there is marking still coming in. In fact I have about 60 essays to mark in the next couple of weeks. The difference during the summer is that there are only a few courses running so there is space to take time out. The main part of the job now is preparing for the start of the new academic year in September.

Once the marking was finished and I'd dealt with the emails I hit the sewing. I decided to do a meander on the background of the ribbon baby quilt so this was my job for the day. When I started I thought I was going to have problems with the sewing machine as the stitch wasn't very good but I re-threaded the machine and it worked well. It didn't take very long to complete the meander.

I have some more ends to sew in this evening. As you can see I have already trimmed the quilt (don't panic it is trimmed square but it's badly folded.) I will make and attach the binding tomorrow.

Having finished the quilting I decided to sort out my stash of pink fat quarters. I have a baby quilt for a girl to make. The baby's due date is actually tomorrow but it is a first baby so will probably be late.

I seem to have lots of pink fabric and somewhere I have the fabric I plan to use as the background - I just need to remember where I put it. It's not a bad as it sounds, it just that I have several places where I store my fabric. 

Finally I did some boring sewing. I had a small pile of mending that I had been meaning to do for a while. Instead of putting it off yet again I got on and did it. I now feel very virtuous.

I've been doing some hand stitching while watching TV but now I've got to go out. Today in London there is a tube strike and I've promised my son I'll collect him from work. So I'm off for a late night car ride before bed. It all adds to the rich tapestry of life.


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

A new pattern and some fabric and August goals

I always love receiving presents so it was lovely to receive 8 fat quarters from John. He had picked them up a little while ago when he went on a trip away. He always comes home with little presents for everyone. He gave me a small present at the time but didn't give me the fabric since he knew I didn't have any time for sewing. Since the machine is now back on the table and in use again he thought it was the right time to give them to me.

There are four patterns with two FQ's of each fabric. I had muttered that I wanted some pieces with small floral patterns and these fit the bill just fine.

I also like presents that I treat myself to. I have been following Barbara's progress with stitching her quilting snowladies and the more I saw them the more I wanted to stitch one myself. Well actually I want to stitch 3 or 4 as pictures for decoration at Christmas but I thought I'd start with one. Barbara blogs over at Cat Patches and if you haven't visited her blog you are missing out on lots of fun. Barbara blogs about all sorts of things from trips, flowers, cooking ( such yummy recipes, I know I've tried several of them), cats, stitching and quilting. Barbara has just completed stitching the last of 12 of these quilting snowladies and it looks fabulous. Anyway I ordered one for myself from Chickadee Hollow Designs and it arrived today. I really shouldn't start it yet as I still have one more of the red work dog designs to do. In fact I can't start it yet as I need to get some fabric to stitch it on first!

Barbara added a little cat to each of her stitcheries. It's already been suggested that I stitch the flag as an English flag rather than the US flag but I'm not sure.

So having checked out my presents I settled down to decide on my August goals.

I intend to complete two small quilts. 

Number 1 the ribbon baby quilt.. This one is almost done and should be completed by the weekend.

Number 2 is to complete the turtle quilt.

This is already sandwiched and ready to be quilted. It's not that big so wont take long to finish. This one will be my August finish for A lovely year of finishes 2015 over at Sew Bittersweet designs.

I also want to complete the dog red work I'm working on and make a start on the next and final pattern for the 'It's a dogs life' quilt. I also need to catch up on the rainbow scrap blocks as I haven't made the July blocks yet.

I have some other plans too but I need to make some kitchen curtains or blinds. I haven't decided which to make yet as it rather depends on the fabric I come across when I go shopping.

Anyway I'm going to sit and relax with my redwork for a little while before bed. I hope you've had a good day and enjoyed a little 'me' time.


Finally, some sewing.

Today i had some housework to do and I needed to get my contact lenses checked before I could do any sewing. Some days my contacts go in without any trouble whilst others are a real pain in the butt. Today was one of those days requiring lots of attempts before my lens were in my eyes and comfortable. The check was fine and there was no need for a change in prescription.

Following that I needed to chill out with some relaxing sewing. I started making a baby quilt a while ago with a ribbon pattern. I finished the top  but hadn't got very far with the quilting.

I finished all the quilting. I had decided to do straight lines on the ribbons and I was going to leave the white background without quilting Now I think I might do a large meander but that will be tomorrow.

Next I hunted through my scraps. I haven't made the blocks for the July rainbow scrap challenge yet. The colour last month was red and this month it's indigo. The search through the scraps took ages as there was a lot of fabric needing a stroke since I haven't had time recently.

My last job was to hunt through some patterns. I need to make two baby quilts, one for a boy and the other for a girl. Have you noticed how much time you can lose hunting patterns and ideas. I don't have many pattern books and so I was searching the internet. So many designs and ideas. One design led to another. I still haven't decided what to make but I have lots of ideas.

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm going to finish the quilting on the ribbon quilt. it shouldn't take long as a large meander sews up fast. I also need to cut the binding ready. It would be great to have this finished by the end of the week.

I hope you've had a good day.