Sunday 31 October 2021

Just the binding to do.

Happy Halloween.  We haven't been celebrating and since there are no young children living near us we haven't had anyone ringing the door bell. I think covid has also made people less likely to go trick or treating but it could just be the weather. It has been raining quite heavily on and off for the whole weekend. Yesterday, I was working as we had an open day and by the time I got home I was too tired to sew. It had been raining so heavily while I was driving home that I just wanted to sit and relax. Today I did a few housekeeping jobs before setting up my machine to finish the quilting on the hare quilt. I had hoped to have this fully finished this month but that didn't happen. I had half of the blue border to finish and then the larger green border to do.

When I lay the quilt on the bed to take a photo Scamp decided he had to get involved. First attempt he scrabbled the quilt up so I moved him and tried again. On the second attempt he went underneath the quilt.  This was the third attempt and he still managed to ruche up the quilt a little. Never mind the photo will do to show that the quilting is done. I've also added the binding so now I need to stitch it down at the back of the quilt. That's my hand sewing for the evening and the rest of the week. I hope it stops raining soon so I can take the quilt outside to photograph when it's all complete.

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

Tomorrow I want to sandwich my Christmas table runner and I have a Christmas pillowcase to make. I should be able to get the binding on this quilt finished this week and I need to complete my project for the mug rug blog hop.

Take care


Sunday 24 October 2021

A little quilting.

Since my last post, life has thrown a few curved balls which have affected my sewing time. At work, so many staff are off sick and there are a lot of vacancies which affects everyone's workload. Lucy and I have restarted running our Brownie and Guide units on a Wednesday evening. Getting the programme organised has taken a lot of time and energy. At home there are lots of things going on that means I have limited time for sewing activities. Never mind, life will get back to normal at some point. Having said I've had limited time for sewing, I have managed to do some quilting on the hare quilt.

Finishing this quilt is my goal for October. I'm not sure I can do it but I intend to give it my best shot. When I last worked on it I still had to quilt some of the rows. I did a castellated pattern on one row.

 I had fun stitching the top and bottom lines at an angle . These were done free hand which made it fun to sew. I also did a cross pattern on the other row using this pattern.

Again this was done free hand. Having done these all rows were completed. I started to quilt the blue border. I decided to do a pebble pattern on this border. It's a little difficult to see.

I've got one last side of the blue border to finish before I can start on the wider green border. This will be quilted using a large meander. I already have the binding prepared so once I've finished the quilting and squared up the quilt I will be ready to add the binding.

For our first Guide meeting we did a penny hike. For this you need a penny. We decided that if the head came up when the coin was tossed we would turn right and tails would be left. Each time you come to a road junction you toss the coin and follow the direction the coin gives you. If there are more than 2 ways we could go we limited the choice of route to two. With a little bit of cheating we managed to ensure that the hike ended at the local fish and chip shop. The girls enjoyed chips on the way back to our meeting place. Along the way we came across this decorated post box.

The top for the post box and the flower are crocheted whilst the bee is knitted. The girls told us there that there are several decorated post  boxes in the area. Originally post boxes were decorated in support of the NHS but now they are being decorated for the start of a new season or a local event. I'm hoping to see several in the lead up to Christmas.

A couple of days ago I received a photo on WhatsApp from Katy of her two cats. Big brother Rothko asleep with little sister Penny. This pair are so cute together so I thought I'd share the photo with you.

Last but not least I pulled out the Pride and prejudice block I've been working on. I shall be working on this over the week but I managed to do a few stitches whilst travelling on the tube to meet Lucy at Paddington station. She has been away for the weekend visiting her best friend who she has known since she was 3.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching It feels good to be doing some hand stitching again.

Hopefully the chaos of the last few weeks has resolved and I can get back to some pleasurable sewing. I hope so or otherwise I may go ever so slightly crazy. Why do folks not realise I need my sewing chill out zone.

Take care



Sunday 10 October 2021

Slow stitching.

This post is very short as the weekend has flown by and I seem to have achieved very little.  Yesterday, Saturday, was a little slow as far as getting any sewing time was concerned.  In the morning I did some ironing with the intention of then having some time to work on the quilting of the hare quilt. Whilst I was still ironing Katy, my older daughter phoned to say she would pop over so no sewing happened. The day was a lot of fun and Katy and I enjoyed cooking dinner together. At the end of the evening I drove her home.

So today I needed to create some time for sewing. It was a little difficult as John and Richard decided to tidy the loft and sort out their tools. The tools were laid out over the living room floor and for quite a while chaos ensued. In the end I left them to it and fused the applique to my Christmas table runner. I then needed to hand embroider the reindeer's antlers.

I was very pleased with the result. Having completed the applique I pieced the backing for the table runner. I still need to sort out the wadding. I know I have a big enough piece somewhere. I was thinking of embroidering a red nose on one of the reindeer but I decided against this idea. The antlers were finished quite quickly and I went back to looking through my embroidery patterns for the next project

This afternoon I spent some time cooking. I made a lentil roast and a cheese and onion pie. The pie is for tomorrow but we had the lentil roast for dinner and it was delicious. Tomorrow I have work but I'm hoping to have some time for hand stitching.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching Pop over and see what everyone is working on today.

Take care


Saturday 9 October 2021

Getting sorted

Yesterday was a good day as I started on my ironing mountain. It isn't the worst I've known it but it was taking on mammoth proportions. I decided to do some ironing first thing and stuck at it for an hour. I soon had neat ironed piles of clothes ready for their owners to put away. I still have some more to do but it will have to wait until later. I kept the ironing board set up as I was going to do some sewing but before that I had to have my hair cut. I spent an hour at the hairdressers being pampered and walked out of the salon feeling fabulous. My hairdresser made sure I was comfortable and made me a delicious cup of tea. Normally I hate having my hair cut but the trip today was perfect. She took time to find out what I wanted and then did exactly what I had asked. I shall be asking for the same stylist on my next visit.

Back at home I set to work on the Christmas table runner. I'd cut the strips ready to make the piano keys border. 

These were stitched together into sets of 5. I then cut across the strips to make two piano key sections of 41/4 x 8 inches. Sections were stitched together to make two long side pieces and two end pieces. I also had to trim the central panel to the correct size. The side borders were added next and then the end borders. It was good I'd left the iron set up as there was a lot of seams to be pressed.

Next I chose fabrics for the applique and traced the patterns onto bondaweb. This was then fused to the fabrics.

Yesterday evening I sat and cut the applique shapes out so it was ready to be applied to the center section today. Before I can do that I need to find the right coloured threads from my thread stash.

I need to spend a little time deciding how I'm going to put together the bag ladies quilt. Last month I trimmed and added a border to these ladies. The finished quilt will be a wall hanging in the hallway. 

I'm currently auditioning fabric to use. I've pulled some out I like but all family  members have opinions and so far we haven't come to a consensus.

The other UFO I need to move forward is the large hexagons that I did a few years back for the rainbow scrap challenge. I'd got the top together but didn't like it so I took it apart.

Now I need to reconfigure and put it back together. Meanwhile would it be a silly move to start another quilt? I have a pattern I really want to make and I don't need to buy any fabric to make the top. I'll have a good think and get back to you.

Later today I need to draw out some more hand stitching patterns but I'm going to start by attaching the appliques to the table runner .

Take care


Friday 8 October 2021

Hampton Court Half Marathon

Since the start of the covid pandemic my daughter Lucy had made a decision to become fitter and to be more active. At school she hadn't been particularly interested in sport. Lucy, John and I do walk a lot and we had almost finished walking the Suffolk coast path when we went into a lockdown in March 2020.  We have now finished this long distance path and will be starting on the Norfolk coastal path when time allows. This is part of our plan to walk the coast of England. During that first lockdown Lucy started running each day and she found she really enjoyed it. She has put a lot of effort into learning about the right stretch and warm up exercises to do before running and how to cool down to prevent injuries. She has also become much more interested in ensuring she has the right nutrition. In May she competed in her first 10K run and in September she took part in a half marathon. 

The half marathon started and ended in the gardens of Hampton Court,

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace and is on the Thames 12 miles upstream of central London. Building on the residence for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey began in 1514. Wolsey was the chief minister of King Henry VIII. In 1529 when Wolsey fell out of favour with the Henry, he gave the palace to the king.  King Henry enlarged the house and it became on of his favourite residences. The house is currently in the possession of Queen Elizabeth II and the Crown. The palace and grounds are open to the public and on a previous visit several years ago we really enjoyed the well established maze.

The half marathon started at 9 a.m. with the runners who had submitted the fastest potential times going in the first wave. Lucy had put in a slower time so had to wait a little for the start. That's Lucy in the centre of the photo in her black legging and bright orange running shoes as she started the race.

Whilst she was running I was able to wander around the garden and drink tea. The avenue of trees lead from the house to the fountain.

There were gulls on the pond but they flew away as I got near. I think I saw fish in the water but couldn't capture anything on a photo.

With my back to the house and the fountain. I had this view in front of me.

As we walked through to get to the race start we passed this lovely dragon. 

One or two small children were worried he might eat them.

In the race village there were stalls selling food, running gear, bath bombs and creams so I generally had a look round. I didn't walk round the flower gardens as I wanted to be able to cheer Lucy on when she came round from the first loop. Since none of my children were in school sports teams I'd never experienced cheering from the sidelines. When she took part in her 10k run the organisers had asked that there were no supporters so that social distancing could be followed. I found a good spot on the terrace area so I could see her and I could shout encouragement, but where she would be running on smooth ground so wouldn't trip up if she turned to look where I was. As she came into view I made a lot of noise and she turned and waved at me. She later told me it had really helped spur her on. 

By now the fastest runners were already coming in with the fastest male clocking 1 hour 11 minutes and the fastest female 1 hour 22 minutes. I have no idea how the runners managed it but they all sprinted the final metres to the finish line. Lucy said the crowd cheering really made her pick up her speed at the end. Lucy crossed the finish in 2 hours 30 minutes. The red numbers on the photo are the gun time but the runners all had strips on their shoes that gave them their personal time. She was very pleased with her result, especially as it was her first full half marathon.

The medal is very heavy.

After meeting her at the finish we went and found a coffee before heading back to the car. Whilst walking back the rain started and we were both drenched before we got to it. At least it didn't rain while they were running. I'm very proud of my daughter's achievement and she is now planning to do some trail running.

Back to today and I have a day off so I'm going to be setting up my machine and having a fun day. It won't be all sewing as I do have an ironing mountain to tame along the way and I want to try and book a hair cut.

Take care


Monday 4 October 2021

One Monthly Goal


It's time to set a goal for the month. Last month I set myself the challenge of completing the quilting on the hare quilt. I managed to complete several strips. The ribbon pattern and the meander.

one of the embroidery stitches from my machine

Wavy lines on the frog strip.

There is still a lot of quilting to do. I want this quilt completed this month so my monthly goal is to quilt and bind this quilt. I am off on Friday and so I can spend most of the day sewing. That should see quite a bit of it finished. 

I'm linking this post with Elm Street Quilts for the One Monthly Goal link up .  What are you going to be working on this month?

Take care


Sunday 3 October 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Today I have felt tired for most of the day. The party next door went on until 4 a.m. but we went to bed at 1 a.m. and slept through any noise. Even though I slept I still felt tired and it has been a slow day. I spent a little time cutting some of the fabric for the Christmas table runner. These strips need to be stitched together in sets of 5's and then cut into 4.5 inch lengths to form the border. I'll do that tomorrow evening, when I get home from work. The new teaching year begins tomorrow and so I will have less times for sewing since I need to be in the office,

Today I wanted to get the binding stitched on to the fall table topper. When I showed this during the blog hop it looked like this.

Two or three days before I took this photo, Picasso came in, and had a nap on the top. When he woke I noticed that he was seriously grooming himself. When I picked him up, one side of him was covered in something sticky and so was my top. Picasso enjoyed his bath and I washed the top carefully by hand. The top has a couple of small stains but I can live with them. Once the top was dry I got on with finishing it. I pieced the back.

This evening I have sat and watched television whilst stitching the binding down. I'm pleased with how the table topper looks. I quilted the leaves using a variegated King Tut thread in both the top thread and the bobbin. I haven't completely decided whether to quilt a few more leaves or leave it as it is.

I haven't done much hand stitching recently and now I have a sore finger from the needle. I need to hunt out my leather thimble.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching link up. What have you been working on today?


And the rain came down.

Today it rained and rained and rained. Sometimes I really enjoy rain but today it was that  depressing type of rain, breaking down the few remaining flowers. leaving large puddles and turning the sky really dark. The rain also dropped the temperature and I put a jumper on for the first time in ages. Oddly the rain also set me brain whirring. I remembered that I'd bought an embroidery pattern for Noah's Ark and I had to search it out. This design is by Lynette Anderson. 


I love Lynette's designs. The centre of Mr Rabbit's Garden quilt was a Lynette Anderson design. The baby boy that this quilt was made for was born this morning.

I've still got to finish stitching the Pride and Prejudice blocks and the frog stitcheries but starting another project wouldn't hurt, would it? OK I'll finish the Pride and Prejudice blocks first. I need to sort out the background fabric and make sure I've got all the floss I need for the Noah's Ark so this will be another start for 2022.

This morning I had post. First my copy of Today's Quilter popped through the letter box. I spent a little time reading a couple of articles and I looked at the quilt patterns. One was a scrappy pattern and I want to make it at some point. I love scrappy quilts and like all quilters I have a lot of scraps. However much you try the scraps never get used up. I've put this scrappy quilt pattern on the agenda for next year as well.

I also received my monthly fabric box in the post. This month it contained a Christmas table runner pattern and the fabric to make it.

This is a project I will be starting this month, Maybe even this week.

Overall no sewing got done today but I did make a rye loaf , millionaires caramel shortbread and a whole wheat chocolate cake. The family has almost finished the cake already. I found doing some baking very soothing as our neighbours are having a party today to celebrate moving into their new home. They set up a large gazebo in the garden and since 2 pm there has been music blaring from the house and lots of loud laughter and squeals. I hope they don't make a habit of loud parties.

My plan is to do some quilting tomorrow and I'll decide on my goal for this month. 

Take care


Friday 1 October 2021

October weather

1st October and the weather has become very autumnal. It's cold, cold enough that I switched the heating on this morning to make it reasonable to get out of bed. The rain is pouring down outside, breaking down the few flowers left in the garden and making a huge amount of noise as it hits all surfaces. To add to the woes caused by the weather Picasso has just stuck his head in my tea mug and drank my still quite hot tea. He loves tea but he won't drink it if you make him his own brew. When I let Scamp out this morning he came back in completely drenched and I had to give him a good rub with a towel to dry his fur. Today is my day off and I was looking forward to going for a long walk with Scamp but that will have to wait until the rain stops. 

Today was a house work day but this evening we had tickets for an art exhibition with Katy. The exhibition was titled 'Mixing it up: Painting Today' and was on show at the Hayward Gallery. The reviews said this was 'nothing less than a show of enormous and lifelong devotion to painting by 31 contemporary artists, many born elsewhere but who all now live in Britain.' I really enjoyed this exhibition.

As we walked through the main door this was the first painting we saw. The Captain and The Mate by Lubaina Himid. Here is the information about the picture.

I also liked this painting of artists and their models.

The next one, by Mohammed Sami, entitled Refugee Camp.

The next picture by Allison Katz was made using acrylic and rice on canvas. Katy and I were fascinated by the use of rice in the picture. Many years ago when I studied art at school I used lentils in a piece of artwork. The rice made the picture look as if it was snowing.

I loved this cockerel and I thought it would make a great jigsaw puzzle. Later in the evening, quite independently John said the same thing.

This is also by Allison Katz and the flowers are created with rice. The final picture I'm showing you is Sleep Relay by Tasha Amini. If you look carefully you will see the sleeping figures.

The whole exhibition was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. After the exhibition John, Katy and I enjoyed dinner at Wagamama before heading home.

At home I wanted to do a bit of cutting, not fabric this time. I had printed out a page of 1/2 inch hexagons.  It will take me a while to cut this out.

I also need to hunt for my Liberty Tana Lawn fabric that I want to use for this little project. I'll tell you more in another post.

Take care