Thursday 30 September 2021

Sticky cat and other things

When showing you the table topper I was making for the blog hop I told you about a sticky cat sitting on it and that I needed to wash the top before I could finish making it. What I didn't tell you was that we needed to bath Picasso. Some cats like having a bath and others don't. Fortunately Picasso enjoys an occasional bath so long as the water is warm. He tried his best to remove the sticky substance from his fur but the whole of one side was affected so he was finding it hard work. In the end we gave him a bath. He happily allowed us to wash him using a pet shampoo made for puppies and kittens. In fact he sat quietly in the warm water while we gently rubbed his fur to remove whatever it was. We towel dried him and gave him a gentle blow dry with cool air. End result one clean non sticky kitten perfumed cat. The table topper was also washed  (several times) by hand and the sticky came off but there is some slight yellow staining on the background fabric. It looks OK and I can live with the slight stain, it will be a talking point if anyone notices. My plan had been that the topper would have been all finished to put on the table on the first day of Autumn but of course that didn't happen but it will be all finished once I've hand stitched the binding on. I'll post a photo when I've finished the stitching.

Older daughter got a new kitten a while back and last night sent us a photo of Rothko and Penny chilling out together and I thought you would like to see. Being a black cat Rothko is difficult to photograph and pick up any features but Penny's markings show up so well and she plays to the camera. she is a very mischievous kitten, into anything and everything.

My one monthly goal this month was to complete the quilting on the hare quilt but this hasn't been successful. I got the opportunity to do a little work on it and may manage to do some more tomorrow or over the weekend.  I added the ribbon stitching along the blue bird section This caused a lot of work and if you look carefully you will see signs of unpicking. I was feeling a little tired but thought some sewing would pick me up  so I got the machine set up and started work on this strip. Having gone one way I turned to do the other strand or side of the design. When I took it off the machine I realised just how tired I was. I hadn't fully opened the quilt out and so I'd stitched through two layers, successfully sewing the quilt in half.  Grrrr. I'm sure most of us have stitched a tuck in the back or caught the edge in when quilting but this was ridiculous. I unpicked it and by the time I finished I was fully alert and very cross. I resewed the strip, successfully this time and then did the meander on the red strip. I also went back and corrected the part where the stitches on the ribbon had gone very small. Warning - don't quilt when you're tired.

The next day I added a line of embroidery down the middle of the narrow red strip. I used a variegated thread. There's little point in having embroidery stitches on the machine if we don't use them.

I also quilted wavy lines across the thick frog strip. The above photo and the one below were taken with the quilt over the back of a chair, hence the odd lumps and bumps. 

The last few evenings I've been crocheting the granny squares together on the afghan I'm making to use up left over yarns. When I last worked on this I had got this far.

I've now added 4 more rows but still need to join up the rows going across. There are also a huge number of ends to be sewn in. I made 200 squares for this afghan so there are a lot of squares to add. 

I haven't done any work on the dolls house but I have bought a couple of bits, paint and flooring. I also bought a pattern to make the dolls who will live in the house. No point in sorting the house if there is no one to live in it. This is the doll pattern. The male makes up at 6 inches so would be 6 foot if human. Once made the dolls can be positioned because they have wire inside

I also ordered some fabric to make them. I have enough to make the whole family but the baby doll looks very small and fiddly so there may be two older children instead. the main sewing is done on the machine.

I need to go and cook dinner but I will be back tomorrow. I have walks to tell you about and Lucy ran a half marathon. Doing the remodelling on bits of the house, working and trying to fit in sewing has proved too much for me and recently I have been too tired to read the blogs I follow yet alone write a blog post. Things are now settling down again so I'm setting myself a challenge of posting everyday in October. OK, so we all know it won't happen but a girl can dream.

Take care

Tuesday 21 September 2021

I'm falling for You

Today I'm sharing what I'm making for this hop. Many thanks to Joan from Moosestash Quilting for organising the hop. I love taking part in these hops but also visiting the blogs taking part. I get so many ideas from the different projects. I want to make them all.

I gave you a sneaky peek at some fabric I was using for this project. I love the fall colours, browns, reds and oranges.

They look so warm and cosy. I love this time of year. I have a table topper for spring , summer and winter but nothing that really shouts autumn or fall and so I decided to fill this gap. I had a piece of beige/fawn fabric that I was going to use for embroidery but I decided it would be the perfect centre for this project. I then cut lots of 2.5 inch squares to form a border. I needed 10 squares for the sides and 12 for the top and bottom. It took a while to get the arrangement so no similar squares were next to each other. I had already cut out some leaves so my next problem was to decide the layout. I decided to have four leaves in the centre and one in each corner.

My project isn't yet complete. In taking this photo I haven't got too close to my fabric. This is because a certain gentleman cat was found sprawled out asleep on my table topper and when I woke him up to move him I found he had very sticky fur and the stickiness had been transferred to my project. I'm not sure what he had been up to but I can't run this through the machine without washing the fabric first The appliques are raw edge stitched onto to the backing fabric and once the fabric is dry I will sandwich it and quilt. The leaves will have veins quilted into them and the background will have leaves quilted on it. I've pieced the backing using some of the fabrics I've used in the border. The topper finishes at 24 inches square.

These are the blogs on today's stop.

Wednesday September 22

Elizabeth Coughlin Designs



Selina Quilts

Sew Many Yarns

Thank you for visiting and do pop back soon to see the completed table topper.

Take care


Thursday 16 September 2021

A little of this and a little of that.

Although I haven't posted I've been fitting in various sewing and other crafts at every opportunity. It is sometimes a case of having 15 to 20 minutes to sew rather than a nice long session. That has meant that more hand stitching has been done than quilting.

I finally finished sewing the binding on the Mr Rabbit's Garden. I'm very pleased with this baby quilt.

I forgot to take a photo of the back which is a beautiful bright yellow. I had just enough fabric left over from another project for the backing. It's always good when you can use up all the fabric from a purchase with no scraps left over.

I've also been working on the grandmother's garden quilt. These are the last flowers to be added to the white row of the quilt.

One flower left to stitch together and then 3 to attach to the quilt. I should be able to post an update picture of this quilt. However there is still a long way to go on this project.

Next week is also the 'I'm falling for you' blog hop and I'm taking part. I've been busy cutting and stitching to get this project put together. Here are some of the fabrics I'm using.

You'll have to wait until next week to find out what I made. I love all the fall colours but here in London UK the leaves are still very green. Generally the only trees with brown leaves are the Horse Chestnuts and they are always the early ones. The conkers are all dropping now and do remember the old saying that if you want to keep spiders away put a conker in the corners of your room. I don't know if it works as I've never tried it, instead I have Casso who thinks spiders are a delicious delicacy and also great fun to pounce on.

This week I've spent some time making decisions about my doll's house. I've bought the primer in preparation of painting the building and I will get that done over the next few days. I need to make a decision on the colour for the outside but I think it will be cream. I've also bought some wooden flooring for the attics. One of the rooms in the attic is going to be a sewing room. A whole doll's house to set up and I'm planning the sewing room first. We don't have enough space for me to have a sewing room but I can set one up in the doll's house. I'm also looking for some small prints in my stash to make a quilt for the house. It needs to be 1/12 size so a 6 inch quilt would be the scale of a quilt that is 72 inches. I'm also going to use some of the Liberty Tana Lawn I've got in my stash as curtains. Many years ago, when I was 5, my father made me a 1/12 scale model of the house we lived in at the time. It was beautiful and I had great fun decorating it (under supervision and with lots of help) and then playing with it. Unfortunately, years later, it got badly damaged by two of my cousins and it was beyond repair. My father offered to make me a new one but I was at senior school and felt I must be too old for such things so said no. I so wish I'd said yes as owning a dolls house made by my father would have been very special. We do have the rocking horse he made for my children when they were small. I know I have an old photo somewhere. I feel a trip down memory lane coming on later tonight by getting out the photo albums. It's always fun to reminisce.

Today's post is very short but I will be back later. At the weekend we went walking in Suffolk and there's other sewing bits to talk about.

Take care


Tuesday 7 September 2021

September one monthly goal

It's that time in the month when I need to think about my goal for September Some months the goal sets itself and others it's a little more difficult. This month was an easy one to identify but due to other commitments may not be possible to complete but I like a challenge 

So for this months goal I want to complete the quilting on the hare quilt. I've made a good start but there is still a lot to do, well most of it in fact. So far I have quilted one of the rows and some of the hare applique row.. In addition I've used my machine to stitch a fancy stitch over some of the seams. Other seams between rows have been stitched in the ditch. 

I have a second goal but it has to be completed by September 21st. I'm taking part in the blog hop later this month

It should all be done and dusted well before then but it's always a bit nerve racking getting everything finished on time. The hops are good fun to take part in and I've missed doing the last two or three due to home and work commitments. Sorry no sneak previews on this one.

I decided it was a good idea to try and work out some plans for the week. September is a busy time of the year as the new students are enrolled and the new course sites need to be set up online. That's without the ongoing teaching and the unexpected happening. I must get the baby quilt binding fully sewn on as it needs to be gifted very soon. Baby is due in early October. I'd hoped to finish the binding last evening but I fell asleep instead. I should finish it tonight if I can stay awake. On Tuesday evening I want to quilt one of the blocks in the Austen Family Album quilt. I haven't touched it since August 9th but I have decided how I want to quilt Once the binding is finished on the baby quilt I'm going to do some hand stitching on the Christmas tree cross stitch. I have a meeting to attend on Teams where I don't have to put my video on so I can stitch and listen and just click my microphone on and off when I need to input information or be mute. Doing the cross stitch will be easier in the daylight even though I have a daylight magnifying lamp that I use when stitching in the evening. It will probably take a while to work out where I am on the pattern.

Thursday is my day off this week and I have a couple of appointments, First my regular chiropodist appointment and then I need to take Scamp to the vet for his annual check up and boosters. Fortunately Scamp likes the vet. In the afternoon I will work on my blog hop piece but will also try to do some quilting.

Yesterday evening I set up the dolls house. It's just held together by the pieces being held in grooves as I need to paint it before I glue it together. The basement level has pieces to be added to give the street level and the steps to the basement and the front door. The pieces for this don't hold together without the glue. My son is onboard to do the lighting for me and he will also use his 3D printers and his laser cutter to make some furniture. This is a long term project.

I also have a great book about furnishing a doll's house and there's lots of ideas on Pinterest. I'm looking forward to making some quilts for the beds.

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for the September OMG link up. Lots of blog posts to go and read and always lots of quilting and stitching eye candy.

Take care


Sunday 5 September 2021

Internet outrage

On Friday I had plans to set up a blog post once I'd finished virtual breakfast club with some of the girls from work. Ten minutes into breakfast club our internet dropped out, which is very unusual, and resetting the router did nothing. I used my phone to tether so I could run an interview I'd booked with a potential student, leaving the family to sort out the internet but it wasn't sorted and so my post didn't get finished or posted. Turns out it was a problem across the country affecting our provider. In addition our landline crashed. We could make outgoing calls but not receive any so we had to get that sorted. No internet when you plan for it, such as when you're travelling is OK but no internet at home causes chaos. We did take the opportunity to switch out our old router and get the new one set up but it was very late on Saturday before everything was up and running again.

My plan for Saturday was finishing off the coat for Luna Lapin. On Thursday I'd made a start and by the end of the day it looked like this.

I love the detail in the coat, the little pocket flaps and the tabs on the cuffs. I also like the lavender colour. The next time I was able to get back to this project was Saturday. I didn't have a lot left to do so I figured it wouldn't take very long. There is a saying 'don't count your chickens before they hatch'. Well that proved right. The coat is rather fiddly to make being small but the side seams, sewing on the buttons at the cuffs and completing the hem went quite smoothly. Then I moved onto the button holes. The coat is double breasted and so there were 6 buttonholes to do. Not a problem, my machine has a good selection of buttonhole designs and the foot uses the button to make the right size hole so all you need to make them is to mark the front position of the buttonhole. Before trying the buttonhole on the coat I practised several times on a piece of doubled felt. Once I was happy I moved to the coat. The first attempt was a mess as it didn't stitch properly because the big buttonhole foot didn't slide well over the coat. It took me quite a while to unpick what had been done. I chose a different buttonhole pattern, practiced a few times and started again. It worked perfectly and so did the next two. All three buttonholes were along the outside of the coat. Now I needed to line up the other three button holes. Two worked perfectly but the third was off the line so I had to unpick that one. Part way through unpicking I had to answer the door and must have been a bit distracted when I got back to the coat as I started to unpick the wrong button hole. In total 3 buttonholes required unpicking and I can tell you the stitches were tiny! Anyway all finished now and it looks good. Here is Luna modelling her coat.

She chose to perch on top of a garden chair so she could also show off the apples on our tree. These apples are Egremont Russets and will be ready pick end of September, early October. Our rosemary bush, behind her has also grown huge this year. The inside of the coat is neat and the collar and hem are finished with hand stitching.

The back has a cute pleat in it which helps it fit over her fluffy tail.

I couldn't get any smaller buttons but I used the smallest I had. If I make the coat again, which I'm sure I will be asked to do, I will order the smaller doll buttons. The picture taken outdoor is the true colour. The indoor photos turn the colour very blue. I love all the top stitching detail on the coat. It makes it look like a real tailored coat but a lot more fiddly to make.

Yesterday John went into the loft and bought down my doll's house. There are two boxes of pieces for this house. The one John bought down is for the main house.

Richard and John bought me this for Christmas a while ago and I haven't had the time or space to get it made up. They also bought me the basement for the house and one day I set this up to see what it would look like and the room it would take up.

The house will fit on the white top of the basement. I love that the basement has railings but we are going to get some metal rather than wood railing when we get to that point. I'm making the house first. I opened the box and looked at the pieces. I loved the windows as the lower half of all the sash windows will be able to open. The front of the house and the basement open. You can see where the opening is in the photo. Later this afternoon I'm going to start rubbing down the pieces of the house with fine sandpaper and then later in the week I can start on the painting and papering. Choosing the wallpaper and paint is proving to be good fun. There are two rooms on each floor including the basement, 8 in total as the roof also opens. I am thinking I might decorate each room in a different historical era e.g. Victorian, Georgian or present day but I haven't decided yet. 

On the sewing front today I will be completing stitching the binding to the back on the Mr Rabbit baby quilt. That should be completed this evening.

Casso still believes this quilt is for him. He's going to be very upset when I wash it and it leaves the house.

I also need to draw out some more embroidery as I've finished everything I've got set up. I need to try and complete the Christmas tree cross stitch that has been hanging around waiting patiently to be finished for some time.

My big problem with this piece is that I don't enjoy doing cross stitch as much as I used to. Never mind I'll get it finished and if lucky, in time to use it this Christmas.

Now I need to do a little sorting on my dolls house. John is cooking dinner but I will be offering moral support if needed. After dinner, this evening will be finishing off sewing the binding to the back quilt. The cross stitch may come out if I finish the binding early in the evening.  I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has been working on.

Take care

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Welcome to September

This year is rushing by and here we are on the 1st September. There is time to enjoy the last days of summer before we welcome in Autumn or Fall towards the end of the month. I decided to change my picture to one I took last September on a visit to Dartmoor. The day was perfect, sunny, warm but not too hot, not too many people and lots of heather and other moorland plants plus Dartmoor ponies. The perfect day for a long walk.

Today was a work day and I spent it in a series of online meetings. In the gaps between meetings I organised my diary to ensure I have time to fit in more sewing time during September. All work and no sewing is boring.

This last week I worked on the hare quilt. I started by stitching across the seams between the rows to help stabilise it. I had fun using some of the machine embroidery stitches.

The challenge was getting the middle of the stitch along the join line. I was also careful to get the middle of the little flower over the seam.

I did some straight line quilting on one of the red rows. I also did some zig zags to represent grass on the hare applique row.

I've outlined the appliques and I'm currently quilting flying bird outlines and clouds. I have also quilted a tree on one side. I hope to finish the quilting on the applique panel tomorrow. There is still a lot of quilting to do.

Tomorrow I have loads of meetings but once I finish for the day the sewing machine is replacing my computer on the table and I have a coat to make for a soft toy rabbit.

Take care