Saturday 27 June 2015

Cake and Crochet

As July moves ever closer I'm getting more and more excited about having time to indulge myself in a frenzy of quilting and embroidery. All the courses I'm involved with at work are slowly winding down either as the course ends completely or for the summer break. Today one of my student groups celebrated the end of their course. The real end is next Friday but they have a test to complete on that date so decided that a little party was needed this week, including cake.

Tracey, one of the students makes cake and she bought this delicious creation for us all to share.

The cake was a heavy vanilla sponge with a cream topping. It was delicious and didn't last very long!  

When I got home this evening I hunted out my crochet hooks and some double knitting wool. I had seen a crochet along at Sophie's Universe and decided I wanted to have a go. I haven't done any crochet for several years so it took a little time to find the crochet hooks. I found the pattern was easy to follow and completed the first 7 rounds this evening. I need to check the number of stitches I have before I carry on.

You are supposed to start the piece off using the 'magic circle' start but I found it difficult with the thick wool but I'm happy with how it looks. I have a lot of this thick wool so I'm going to continue but I think it would look great using a thinner gauge.

I'm using my phone camera for quick pictures like this one and the cake and that seems to be working out OK. My phone automatically backs up my photos to dropbox so they are ready and waiting for me when I come to write a post, which means no need to find the cable to connect the camera to the computer. I have a Nikon 1 that I usually use but it stopped working recently and I was getting an error message saying the lens wasn't attached properly even though it was. The good news is that when I phoned the Nikon repair office they told me this was a known problem and the lens would be fixed / replaced free of charge. So the lens has been sent off. I'll be pleased to get it back as I usually have it in my bag just in case a good photo shot appears. We have a Canon digital SLR but it's a bit heavy to carry around all the time.

I'm planning on getting some quilting done today but need to walk up to the sewing shop for thread supplies first. I also want some fabric so I need to spend a little time thinking about what I need before I go. I know I'll come back with something I hadn't planned on but it would be good to get all the bits that I actually need to get on with projects.

It's a very hot sunny day here so before I do anything else I'm off to slop on lots of sun screen, then a walk to the fabric shop, then who knows......? I hope your day is going well


Tuesday 16 June 2015

A finish and stitchery.

I finally finished Richard's Star Trek quilt. I'm not sure how long it has taken to make but I know I started it some time last year. The last stages seemed to take the longest especially sewing in all the ends. I'm expected to find a couple of ends I haven't done as the thread colour matches the front so well it's difficult to see the ends.

Scamp thought he'd just test it out before Richard got home. Richard is already planning his next quilt. I muttered that I fancied making a Pac-Man quilt and he thought that was a great idea

I'm going to take the quilt outside to get a better photo later this week.

When I was going through my emails today I found a comment from Super Mom No Cape about my dog's life blocks and her weekly stitchery link up. It's always nice to get comments.

Anyway I decided to revisit the completed blocks. I lay them out on the floor and loved the 
way they looked. I didn't take a photo since I can pull the individual blocks from my albums.

The quilt started with this block.

Second was this one. 

I love number three the little dogs playing.

Number 4 celebrated working dogs. 

I love the laid back dogs in the fifth block

Number 6

Currently I'm working on block 7 

I'm getting on quite well with this block and then there is just one more to do. I've also identified my next stitching project and I'm excited to get started on it.

I'm linking this post with  Super Mom No Cape. Why not go and see what other people have been stitching.

For now I need to set my machine up ready to start the quilting on my baby quilt. Have a good Tuesday.


Sunday 14 June 2015

Slow getting there

It seems ages since I last had time to sew or write a post. It's that time of year when students are submitting their final essays of the year and there's lots of marking. Today I said NO to work, I'm not missing another sewing day, I won't do it!  It made me feel good as I lifted my machine onto the table and got out my project bags.

First up was to sew the baby blue churn dash blocks for the June rainbow scrap challenge. At the moment I don't have very many blue scraps at all so I didn't have a lot of choice but I like what I ended up with. I had to use my phone to take the pictures as my camera has gone off for repair.

Next I wanted to finish the top for the baby quilt for Kate my work colleague. I don't know if she's had the baby yet but it's due about now.

I had to put the top on the floor to take the photo and Scamp decided to take a look. You can also see the horrid old victorian floor boards at the bottom of the picture. We have new flooring going down soon..Yipee. This top has now turned into a quilt sandwich and I'll try to get the quilting done this week. I still have three more baby quilts to make, one for a boy who has already been born and two for girls who are due in September. There really does seem to be a baby boom this year.

After that I settled down to finish sewing the binding onto the Star trek quilt. I'm very happy to report it is all done. I thought I'd sewn in all the ends from the quilting but I found some when I went to take the photo so I'll do that tomorrow. I can't wait to finally declare this one finished.

Last but not least I did a little stitching on the latest dog block. There's just one more to do after this one.

As you can see I haven't done very much yet but at least I've started it. I'm linking this post up with Kathy for Slow stitching Sunday

I hoping for more stitching time this week, I just need to get work back under control.


Friday 5 June 2015

Embroidered adverts and mats.

Work has been really tiring this week but I can always relax so long as I can do some stitching. Waiting at the bus stop with John at 6.20 in the morning earlier this week I got that happy feeling as I realised that the advert for Royal Ascot was a piece of embroidery. I took the picture on my phone so it isn't great but even with the glare on the glass you can see the threads, On the original stitching the threads have been left long and pulled towards the back of the horse. This gives the sense of movement. Even on the printed advert the stitching looks great. This is currently my favourite advert.

You can find out more of Royal Ascot and see more of the stitchery. I just love the stitching. Ascot is a  Racecourse in  Ascot Berkshire. The course is popular with our Royal family because it is only about six miles from Windsor Castle.The Royal Meeting is held in June, and it's highlight is the Gold Cup. T
I set up the next block for the 'Dog's life' quilt.

This is the 8th block of 9. I also finally did the quilting on the first of my little mats for the bathroom. I have a beach theme going on in the bathroom so this shell fabric is perfect.

I quilted it following the stripes. The line down the middle of the picture is a fold line as I'd put the mat back into my project bag. The camera has altered the colours along this line.

The backing fabric is plain blue and I love that you can see the quilting lines clearly. Again the camera has altered the colour. I have two other mats made from the same fabric which I still have to quilt.

The sad news is my camera has developed an error. The lens is not working properly and I'm getting an error message telling me I must contact my Nikon repairer. I need to look out our big digital SLR as I've recently got back into taking lots of pictures and don't want to lose the momentum. the only trouble is that the big camera is heavy.

Tomorrow we are going hiking and I'm also hoping to have time to work on my baby quilt tomorrow evening. The weather should be good so I'm looking forward to our day out.

I hope your weekend has some sewing in it.