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.


Tuesday 4 August 2015

Redwork and an abbey.

Today I had to go into work as I was teaching but it is the only day I'm working this week. As I work at a university everyone assumes we have a long summer break with no teaching but unfortunately several of our courses run over the summer, but there is space to take leave and to take back time owed. So today I worked and tomorrow I sew.

Yesterday I showed you the redwork I took on holiday. A little earlier I took a photo on my phone and this shows how far I've got. I love the way the little dogs are stitching up.

Oophs sorry about the shadow of my phone. It didn't matter which angle I took the picture from I always had a shadow due to the light source. I'm hoping to work on this a little tomorrow.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to download the camera yet so I can't give you the last part of our holiday. I do have one photo that I took on my phone. This is Whitby Abbey or rather the ruins of Whitby Abbey.

It sits on the headland above Whitby, a seaside town and port on the east coast of England. The abbey was the home of Caedmon, a monk at the abbey and the first known Anglo Saxon poet. The abbey also features in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula story. Whitby itself was very crowded, probably because the weather was perfect. 

Not only will I have time for some sewing tomorrow but the lens from my Nikon 1 camera is being delivered. A little while ago the lens went wrong and I kept on getting an error message. I phoned the repair centre and they told me it was a known problem and they would either fix it for free even though the camera is out of warranty, or if that wasn't possible they would give me a new lens. I missed the camera last week as it is light, versatile and easy to use. It's bigger than a point and shoot but still fits in my bag. I've missed my camera as it's the one I use to take pictures for this blog. I hope it comes back early as I have to take pictures of some sewing.

For now I'm going to bed as it's getting late and I want to be up early to enjoy my sewing day.


Sunday 2 August 2015

Holiday, housework and sewing.

Today I finally completed the laundry from the holiday and most of the ironing. I'm not usually this efficient so I'm feeling very pleased . John and I also sat down and identified all the work that we still have to do on the house. We were very organised and wrote down what we wanted to do in each room. The list is rather long but we should be able to get it all complete in time for Christmas. Wow I can't believe I'm thinking about Christmas already. While away last week I found several items that are perfect presents for family members. I do like it when you can get ahead with presents.  I also have plans to make presents.

I was telling you about our holiday. On Monday we went into Thirsk to look at the shops and John bought me a necklace from one of the jewlers. Thirsk is a market town between the Yorkshire dales and the moors. It was the home of James Herriot, (real name was James Alfred Wright), who wrote the autobiographical stories of a vet living in Darrowby (Thirsk). It was also the birthplace of Thomas Lord. Lord's cricket ground in London is named after Thomas Lord. The town's racecourse for horses runs flat races during the spring and summer. 

We then drove to Nunnington Hall. This picture is from the National Trust website. They own and manage the house. We've been members of the National Trust for a number of years and their work ensures the upkeep of a diverse range of buildings, coastline and countryside.You can get more information about the house here

One of the rooms had a lovely quilt on the bed but the room was very dark. You can just make out the stitching on this photo. Unfortunately you weren't allowed to use any flash.

The house is also home to the Carlisle Collection. This is a collection of exquisite miniature room settings. This is the regency games room and the workmanship is amazing. 

On Tuesday we visited Brimham rocks to see the amazing rock formations and to enjoy the views over Nidderdale as well as a good walk.

Before we went exploring we needed a soft drink as the weather had become very hot. Scamp was really interested and was desperate to get on with the walk. Many of the rocks had names. This one is known as the bear.

When there was a quick downpour Richard and Scamp sheltered under this amazing pile of rocks. The rock it is balanced on is very narrow when viewed from the side.

The views over Nidderdale were fabulous.

Over the day the weather became very changeable and made for an impressive sky.

We had a delightful walk even though we ended up slightly wet. 

I said there was a little sewing but I can't show you as the picture is still on the camera. I need to find the cable to upload the them. I took the dog red work with me and also some of the hexies. When last I showed you my red work looked like this.

I moved on since then with the three lower digs completed. I didn't do as much sewing as I'd planned on holiday as I took a good book with me and really got into reading. If I can't find the cable by tomorrow I'll take a photo on my phone and show you how I'm getting on.

I hope you've had a happy and restful Sunday. Tomorrow I'll tell you about our trip down memory lane and check in my sewing.


August already?

Here we are already at the start of August. My last post was July 12th and since then I've been busy with work. I can't complain as it pays the bills and also funds my sewing but I have been looking forward to August as I only have two days of formal work all month. I still have work to do but it is about getting everything ready for the start of the new academic year. That means I now have time to catch up on my sewing. I also want to get back into writing my blog so I plan to write a post every day during August.

Last week we had a family holiday. We couldn't quite have all the family with us as Lucy had been on holiday in Greece, with friends from her university days, getting back the day before we set out. However Kathryn and Oliver her boyfriend were able to join us. We had booked a cottage just outside Thirsk in Yorkshire for a week and had all been getting excited about what we would do whilst there. 

The cottage had a nice sized garden which Scamp loved. He spent time exploring and madly running around.

The cottage was very comfortable and proved a perfect base for our holiday. The first day of  our stay we decided would be a rest day as we had all been working very hard and needed a chill out day. John and I went grocery shopping and took Scamp for a walk but otherwise we read  and chatted. It was just what we all needed before we explored the area.

On Sunday we visited Rievaulx Abbey. Rievaulx is a former Cistercian abbey in Rievaulx near Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park. The abbey was one of the wealthiest in England until Henry VIII dissolved it in 1538. It is now a ruin but very interesting to visit.

There were lots of interesting nooks and crannies to investigate. It started to rain while we were there but that didn't affect our enjoyment.

Kathryn wanted a picture of me with Scamp but the only way to get him to look in the right direction was to pick him up.

Kathryn had fun sneaking round the ruins to take pictures of us. We spent several hour here including having lunch. You can read more about Rievaulx Abbey here

In order to show you any more pictures I need to download them from the camera. I think I'll stop here and tell you more of our trip tomorrow. The only problem with the trip was the lack of internet access. The internet coverage was so poor that even our phones struggled to get any connection. For a family who rely on the internet for recipes, blogs, directions, films etc this was a major issue. The up side of this was of course that no one could email us. Emails are great but you can have too much of a good thing.

More on our trip to Yorkshire tomorrow and a little sewing.