Wednesday 19 May 2021

Born to be wild


This week is the Born to be wild blog hop. Many thanks to Carol for organising the hop. It's such fun to visit everyone and see what they have made.

My plan for this hop was to make a baby quilt which features a panel with applique and picks up on the 'wild' in the choice of fabrics. I already had the fabrics I've used in my stash There are a troop of cheeky frogs. I've had the fabric in my stash for years, left over from a project made many years ago. I had the same fabric but the frogs were all different colours. The frogs are enjoying life on the wild side.

The second fabric has cute birds flying around and the third one has a variety of wild creatures.

The last of the fabrics I used has a woodland scene and reminds me of the animals of Farthing wood. When Lucy was young she loved the Farthing Wood stories. Not that we need to visit a wood to see foxes, they quite happy walk round the streets at night. In fact when I lived in the country I only saw one fox but since moving to London I see them regularly

I posted this photo of a fox cub on my blog quite recently. I took the photo when John and I were getting some exercise in our local cemetery. 

There were two cubs but the second one was rather shy.

So using the fabrics and some scraps of batiks for the applique I put the quilt top together.

In case you think I cut the dark fabric with the owl at an angle, I didn't, the fabric is a full WOF wide but the pattern is a drop pattern. I think it makes the owl look like it's flying.

I used bond a web for the applique and a straight stitch to stitch it down. I matched the thread colour and so there was a fair amount of rethreading the machine involved. The top should have a couple more strips but the fabric I'd chosen didn't give me any joy when I saw it as part of the top so I ripped it out. If I'd left it in I wouldn't have liked the quilt top. The top is currently 42 inches by 48 inches. As I said at the beginning this was meant as a bay quilt. However as often happens, plans have changed. Younger daughter loves the top and wants me to make it slightly bigger for use as a lap quilt. I should have realised as soon as I'd appliqued the hares on that she would want to keep it. I now need to add borders to enlarge the quilt, but I don't have any fabric that will do the job. I'm sure I should be able to find something suitable when I visit a quilt shop this weekend.

Here is the schedule for the other blogs taking part in the hop. Do go and visit to see what everyone has made.

May 17th

Meanwhile I still need to make another baby quilt as the baby this quilt was meant for was born at the weekend. I will probably use the same pattern but the fabric will be different as I only have small pieces left of the fabrics I've used.

Thank you for visiting
Take care


Tuesday 18 May 2021

Having a 'disruptive' week

This last week has been a bit of a waste of space. I'm sure you've all had those weeks where nothing goes really badly wrong but nothing runs smoothly or to time. That was the last week, a get nothing much done week but at the same time I achieved a lot. So although I achieved a lot I feel a little dissatisfied because I didn't get more done and especially because I didn't sort out or complete the things I really wanted to complete. The weather also hasn't helped as it has been cold and wet for a lot of the time. I really need the sun to put in an appearance but rain is forecast for most days over the next week.

On the plus side I got my car sorted out. Over the last couple of weeks the battery in the key fobs failed. They are both the same age so both key fobs failing wasn't a huge surprise but trying to get the right sized batteries was. Having sorted that problem and once again able to get into the car without the alarm going off, the engine wouldn't start as the battery was flat. I called my recovery service and they started the car and but it failed very quickly as the battery wouldn't charge. New battery later and the car was good to go. 

I have a lot of sewing projects I wanted to work on this weekend but I ended up running errands and completing chores that I couldn't fit in during the week. Eventually having settled myself in front of my machine all ready to start sewing, the tension started playing up. I don't usually have any problems but I couldn't get it right. It wasn't quite a throw a tantrum situation but I was very annoyed. I turned the machine off and walked away. Even more annoying, when I turned it on later in the evening  it stitched perfectly but I didn't have the time to do any sewing.

What I have been doing over last week was hand stitching. I did a lot of repairs, the usual things, sewing buttons back on and stitching up hems that had been caught and I replaced a zip. Once that was done I got on with the Pride and Prejudice blocks. My monthly goal this month is to complete three blocks. One for May, one from April and the one from March.  These are relaxing blocks to stitch. First I worked on the May block.

I'm very happy with this block. my stitching is even and an added bonus, I managed not to spill anything over the fabric. Next up the block from April. I've almost finished this one. Oops I must have moved slightly when I took the photo.

This will be finished tomorrow and I can get to work on the March block. I'm almost out of the embroidery floss I'm using for this patterns. It's a dusky pink rather than a bright red and I like the effect it gives. It's a DMC thread and I should be able to stock up this weekend. We are away and I'll be visiting my favourite quilt shop. I have a healthy fabric budget due to lockdown. No travelling expenses to pay to get to work means more to spend on fabric.

I must apologise to those of you who have left comments on my posts recently. I'm having a few issues with my email account and can't see a lot of the comments. I think it's now fixed and seems to be working fine. Thank you for your comments as I love receiving them, and I will respond shortly.

This week is the born to be wild blog hop. 

Here's the schedule for the week. I can't wait to see what everyone has made.

May 17th

Take care


Sunday 9 May 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

I have enjoyed slow stitching this weekend but before I tell you about that let's rewind and I tell you what else has happened.

On Saturday Lucy was running her first race, a 10K run on a common not far from us. She was very nervous as the last time she took part in a race it was at sports day for her final year at junior school and the race was an egg and spoon race, Her memory of that race is not a good one as she was disqualified by the teacher in charge, who was also her class teacher, for cheating. Parents and children all pointed out she hadn't cheated but the teacher wouldn't change their mind. Needless to say that teacher didn't get a present at the end of the year and I more than supported her decision. She set off for the race venue on her own as she wanted to settle her nerves. We were to meet her later, at the end. She completed the race and had a good time, not one of the fastest competitors but well within the time allowed. After the race she verbalised her worries which included, do I get on with warming up on my own or do they do a group one and will I be able to socially distance at the start? She found the race well organised and very supportive. She was also very pleased with her performance especially since it was a wet and cold morning. We took her out to lunch to celebrate which was fun (but cold since it was outside). Her medal is very pretty.

For the rest of the day I was busy with stitching and cutting. I completely finished the oven gloves for Katy including the loop to hang them up. I was going to finish them for last weekend but Katy cancelled her walk with us so there was no rush. Both gloves have a red side and a white side. I love this cat fabric.

I cut the fabric for the frog embroideries, well the ones I hadn't cut and started to draw them out. I also cut more of the fabric I need for my Born to be wild project. Sorry but I can't show you this until next week.

I carried on working on the May block for the Pride and Prejudice quilt. I'm very pleased with how far I got and I think I should finish this piece this evening whilst watching television.

Slow stitching for the rest of the week will be the remaining two blocks for this quilt. They stitch up very quickly and I'd love to be up to date. That would leave me free to do some stitching on the frog embroideries.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching link up. I must pop over a see what everyone is up to this week.

I'm hoping the weather gets a little warmer soon as I want to spend more time outdoors. We've been doing a lot of work in the garden and it's looking good but it's too cold to sit outside for very long.  I would love to sit and stitch in the garden to the gentle buzz of bees. On that note I must get back to my stitching.

Take care


Friday 7 May 2021

May One Monthly Goal

Last month I totally missed my goal for the month but I've been told that if you don't succeed at something all you need to do is try again. So that's what I'm doing but I'm adding to the goal.

Last month my goal was to complete the April block for the Pride and Prejudice stitch along I'm doing with Sherry but I only put a few stitches into the block. Add to that I've still got the March block to finish. So having failed at finishing just one block my goal for this month is to complete the blocks for March, April and May. I'm feeling really positive this month so I think this is possible. I've already made a good start on the April block. I've done a little more stitching since I took the photo yesterday.

It's back in it's hoop and all ready for me to start stitching later this evening. Last night I stitched whilst watching the latest episode of the Great British Sewing Bee. It was international week and was great fun to watch. 

Here is a picture of the completed quilt.

I need to complete the block on the top right corner and the two on the left of the next row down. I don't think I will use the block as they are here, but there is a long way to go before I'm putting together the quilt top.

This weekend I don't have a lot of sewing time available. Lucy is running her first race tomorrow. It is 10K so she shouldn't be too taxed by it, but this is the first time she has taken part in a formal race. It will be good practice because she's booked to run a half marathon in September. We can't go and support her because supporters have been asked not to attend but we are going out to lunch as a family after the event. It should be good fun.  On Sunday we are going walking with Katy and Olly. 

Although sewing time will be limited I will make sure I have time to do some. I'd love to finish one of the cushion covers or the bag. It will all depend on how I feel at the time.

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for her May OMG link up

Take care


Wednesday 5 May 2021

Exercise and sewing.

Over the later part of 2020 John and I decided to lose some weight. We were successful and I lost a stone which I've kept off since then. Christmas and a lockdown have happened but I haven't gained the weight back so now it's time to lose a little more weight. A stone would be fabulous. We have been careful with our diet but have also enjoyed very tasty food and in addition I've pushed up the exercise. Many years ago, when a teenager, I used to do yoga and I really enjoyed it since I felt it gave me more energy. As an adult I've given the excuse of lack of time but is that a real excuse when flexibility and core strength are essential as we age? Anyway I restarted yoga on New Years day. It wasn't a resolution and I haven't done it every day but I have tried to do at least half an hour several times a week. I can already feel that I am more flexible and I have much better balance. I can even do some of the crazy one legged poses without falling over! If you're looking for some gentle exercise then yoga is really good and there are a lot of videos on YouTube to help you. Take time to choose ones suitable for your age, health and ability and then enjoy. In addition to yoga John and I have also pushed up the distance we are walking. We have tried to walk 4 to 5 miles most days but now we are hoping to walk a minimum of 5 miles every day. Trying to fit everything into the hours available in a day takes good time management which is always a problem, and not something I'm good at, but hopefully in a few weeks time I'll be lighter and fitter and have more energy.

Last evening I sat down to do some stitching. I decided to work on the block for May and whilst enjoying one of the new episodes of Midsommer Murders that I'd missed, I made a good start on the block. I'll probably do some work on it this evening.

A little while back I cut the fabric for a couple of cushion covers. These will be very bright and cheerful cushions.

After work I set up my machine and set about putting the front of the cover together. There are 4 appliqued bowls on each cover and I needed to trace out the patterns for the bowls onto the paper side of bondaweb. There are three pieces per bowl. When I put the bowls together I ironed them onto greaseproof paper as I don't have a Teflon pressing sheet. It worked very well but I've added a Teflon pressing mat to my wish list. By the time I'd finished I'd completed both cushion fronts. The blue version,

and the orange version.

I've already stitched the backs of the covers together Tomorrow I'll applique the bowls onto the backing and quilt the cushion fronts. I don't think I'll have time to finish them completely.

I'm trying to finish projects that I'd started and that have stalled so I pulled out this bag. There was a mistake in the pattern. Fortunately I received an email with the correction before I cut the fabric but I put it back in the cupboard. It's funny how a mistake, even when it's corrected, can put you off something.

I quilted the front and back of the bag and then stitched the front to the back. The bag has a pocket and a lining which I'll work on tomorrow or Friday. 

I need to spend some time finishing off my project for the Born to be wild Blog hop that takes place a little later this month.

It feels good to have done some sewing this evening I'm hoping to finish at least one of the cushion covers tomorrow but I have promised to do some mending for my daughter so that will be done first.

Take care


Monday 3 May 2021

Flags and other things.

Today was the early May bank holiday and as is traditional for a bank holiday in England, it has been cold, windy and this evening it has started to rain. Fortunately today was a staying at home day, with some sewing and gardening on the agenda.

First I wanted to sew the oven gloves together and attach the binding. I managed to sew both gloves together and get the binding fully attached on one. I still need to sew the back of the binding down on the second glove.

I had been asked to sew some webbing to the bottom of a couple of flags. Well the Union Flag and the Girl Guide flag. The flags will be on top of a building several stories high and needed some extra support. This was just straight sewing and didn't take too long to complete.

Yesterday evening we had dealt with some of the plants we bought yesterday but we still needed to plant out some others. We have a new wooden planter that we decided to use for a herb garden. It looks good all planted up and herbs fresh from the garden will be great. We still have jobs to do in the garden but I'm working for the next three days, as is John, so it will have to wait until the weekend.

I need to take the photos of our walk on Saturday off my camera but I've misplaced my card reader so it will have to wait till I can remember where I put it. It was so easy with my old computer as it had an SD card reader but my new one doesn't. For now I'm going to do some stitching on the Pride and Prejudice block. Hopefully I'll finish it before bed time.

Take care



Slow Sunday Stitching.

 May already! This year is really rushing by. Yesterday I had an appointment in the morning and then was going to sew for the rest of the day but my appointment was cancelled and so John and I decided to go walking instead. We wanted to go and visit our favourite bluebell woods. They were resplendent with flowers and after our walk we stopped at the nearby garden centre. They have a cafĂ© that does delicious food and we both enjoyed a prawn and avocado salad sat outside in the sun. We then went shopping for plants. I wanted some tomato starts and some bedding plants for the hanging baskets and pots. We had fun choosing our plants and when we got home we needed to get them planted in the garden. By the time we'd finished that it was time to think about dinner and so no sewing got done. I'll share some pictures of the walk tomorrow.

Today, after I'd completed my yoga practice we headed out to the local cemetery for a walk. We haven't walked here for two weeks so a lot had changed. The trees were all in full leaf and there were a lot of flowers. Whilst walking we saw a pair of fox cubs. They were very shy and it was quite difficult to get a picture but John managed to get a photo of the bigger of the two cubs.

Back home I pulled out my slow stitching. I haven't done any for the last week and have a lot of catching up to do. I'm doing a stitch along with Sherry but haven't fully kept up. I have completed the block for January but the one's for February, March and April are in varying stages of completion. Here's the January block.

The February block is very close to being finished and this I am planning on working on today. I probably won't finish this evening but it will be completed tomorrow. This is where I've got to.

As you can see I need to finish the stitching on Elizabeth. The stitching is stem stitch and it is very quick to do. If not tonight I'll finish it in the morning. I also drew out the next block.

I can't decide whether to work on this block and then go back and finish the March and April blocks or to get up to date before starting this block.  Tomorrow I also plan on drawing out a couple of the blocks from this pattern.

I bought some fabric for the embroidered blocks ages ago and I want to cut it ready for the blocks and draw them out so that the fabric doesn't get used for anything else. My machine is already set up ready for some sewing action tomorrow.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching link up

Take care