Saturday 28 March 2015

Upcycling and reading

I'm getting on with the Star Trek quilt but seriously when quilting such a large item on a domestic machine you need some diversionary therapy. My arms and shoulders are aching from hauling the fabric around. I know FMQ  means you can stitch in all directions so no need to turn the quilt but you do need to get the area you are working on under the needle to begin with. Then as you finish an area it involves re rolling the quilt sandwich to the next area to be done. Just so you know I'm having a great time doing the quilting, it just makes the old arms ache.

As a rest from the quilting I decided to a little upcycling. I bought this plain linen skirt from a charity shop for just £2. It fits beautifully but is very boring. 

I love bright colours and purple is favourite at the moment so I choose this dye to pep it up a bit.

Before I started the dying I used elastic bands to tie the skirt a little up from the hem. I followed the instructions to the letter (which is a little unusual for me) and the end result is a much more cheerful linen skirt for the summer.

Now all I have left to do is shorten the lining a little as when I bought the skirt it was peeping below the hem.

Over the last year I haven't been doing very much reading, well not reading for pleasure. I have read a lot of students essays and in preparing my teaching I read textbooks, research papers, government documents and guidelines and other tedious reports but nothing for fun. I decided to get back into reading for 'me' and decided to start with something light weight but fun.

Stella Rimington was the Director General of MI5 between 1992 and 1996 and since 1994 has written novels about a female intelligence officer. I enjoyed the book a lot. The plot was interesting and not about Russia plotting against the UK and the US. It was good easy reading and if you like spy fiction I can recommend it.

This book, that I've only just started is a lot heavier, in content terms not weight of the book. Last year Lucy and I visited the World War 1 exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London. It made me realise just how little I know about this period in history. Lucy is very knowledgeable as this is the period of history she is really interested in and she filled in a lot of the gaps in my knowledge. I decided to get a short history and find out more. I've read the first chapter so far which is about the lead up to the war. The book is well written in a witty opinionated style and as a result I'm enjoying reading it.

When we took Scamp for a walk this morning I commented to John how slow spring was this year. There are snowdrops out and some daffodils but the trees haven't really started to take on the greenish tinge that shows the buds are developing. Although we haven't had snow this year in London it has been cold and not many sunny days. With Easter next weekend I was hoping for some better weather. 

This evening I think I'm going to catch up on sewing some blocks. I haven't done this months rainbow scrap blocks and I'm way behind with a couple of other projects. I'll get back to Star Trek later in the week.

I hope you having a good weekend where you are.



  1. Great job with the skirt. I guess it was handed in to the charity shop because of the long lining (which would have been fairly easy to fix). I was chatting to someone in a charity shop once who said people give away lovely cardigans because there is one button missing. When she says they could buy new buttons and change them, they look blankly at her! I bought a brand new velvet top in a charity shop recently. I think it was brought in because the hem was hanging a little oddly. It took me about 10 minutes to correct it. Yipee!

  2. Looks like you have quite a few diversionary tactics to get you through the tedium of the quilting. I love what you did with the skirt. Great color. I'm a thrift shop shopper, and so I know the thrill of a good find.