Sunday 31 May 2015

A lovely slow day

Today was nice and slow which after yesterday's rush to get lots of jobs done was very pleasant. The weather here has gone cooler and there has been some rain so it was perfect for staying indoors and catching up on a few jobs. Before I settled down to some sewing I needed to take Scamp for his walk. Once home again the day was mine to work on various projects.

Before starting sewing I decided to check out the tiles I have chosen for the kitchen. We collected them yesterday but I hadn't opened the boxes. All the units were fitted in February and since then I've painted the walls and ceiling. Choosing the tiles proved a little difficult as we couldn't find something we both liked. I didn't want a tile that was all shiny and John thought the ones I liked too busy. We kept on visiting various tile shops and finally John decided he liked the ones I'd pointed out at the beginning of our search. I think I'm attracted to them because the look like mini quilts. I can't wait to start tiling later in the week.

Then I stitched the last bits of the dog's life block I've been working on. I washed the fabric solvy out and got it dried. I now have two more blocks to finish. I need to cut some more background fabric so I'll start the next block tomorrow.

I spent a little time working on the next rows of the baby quilt. I just love the way this quilt is making up

Finally I continued hand stitching the binding on the star trek quilt. I haven't bothered to take a photo of this as there really isn't much to see.

While out shopping last Thursday I treated myself to a fat quarter bundle. I have a new project in mind and these fabrics are perfect.

The last part of the day was spent going through my stash and stroking fabric. I have several new projects I want to start but need to sort out the fabric first. Planning fabrics is such a soothing activity. 

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts for slow stitching Sunday. It's so nice to take life at a slower speed.


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 -,_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.