Tuesday 30 November 2021

November finishes.


Overall November wasn't a good month for sewing but I did complete my goals for the month. I wanted to complete the binding on the Mr Hare quilt....done. This quilt is now being enjoyed by its new owner Lucy.

I wanted to put the binding on my Christmas table runner and this is also completed. This is a long runner and is destined to go on our long coffee table but the jigsaw board is on it at present. I love the appliqued deer.

This is such a cheerful table runner. Its going to make the room very festive.

The mug rugs being made for the No rings blog hop were completed. This first one has been gifted to my colleague and she is really pleased with it. She is counting the days to our Christmas break when she can get her machine out and get sewing.

The second mug rug is also a gift and will be off to its new owner in the next couple of days. I used the deer template from the table runner for this one.

The third mug rug still needs its binding but this was an addition to my planned makes for the hop. In hunting for suitable bindings for the other two I found the tea cup panel and decided to make a new one for myself. This will be a New Year addition to my desk at work.

That leaves my main goal for the month which was to embroider the elephant block of the Noah's Ark embroidery. I wanted these embroideries to be bigger so I enlarged it to 160%. I'm very happy with how this turned out. I'm trying to use up all those left over strands of threads from other projects and for this I didn't need to start of any new skeins of floss. Later today I will decide which embroidery to do next and trace it out. Since I have holiday over Christmas I may do the ark which is the biggest piece.

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for the final link up of her 
November OMG It feels great to have completed all my goals for the month. I think it's the first time this year!

Take care.


Sunday 21 November 2021

Sunday stitching

This weekend Lucy, John and I headed to Suffolk to do some more walking. We wanted to complete the Stour and Orwell path. On Saturday we wanted to walk from Shotley Gate to fill in a gap between the sections we'd walked. It was only a short section and we were able to take a circular route. We started at the car park opposite a pub, The Bristol Arms. From here we walked up the road, going up hill away from the water. We met a man with his German Shepherd dog. The dog was huge and gorgeous but worried by the cars going past him on the road. We chatted to his owner for a while before continuing our walk. We soon turned off the road and headed across fields. Whilst walking we came across some fungi.

one solitary blue flower hiding behind the leaves,

and these structural plants.

There was a big flock of Brent geese but they were too far away to get a good photo. Eventually we came to the top of the hill and could look down on the river These pictures across the river were taken as we walked back along the river to the car.

Our walk on Saturday was quite short being less than 5 miles but we were all tired. We headed to the hotel where we enjoyed a cup of tea and a nap before going to dinner. We decided to go to bed early so we were well rested for our walk on Sunday as this would be about 9 to 10 miles. I'll tell you about our second walk tomorrow as I need to take the photos off the camera first.

This morning I had a little time to start my hand stitching of the binding on the Christmas table runner. I only managed one short edge but every little bit of sewing gets me nearer completion. This evening I've done a little more stitching but it's a slow job.

This week I've also been stitching my elephants. The main part of the block is done but I still have things to do to complete it. There is a border to complete, the elephants eyes and to complete the leaves on the elephant's blanket. Oh I mustn't forget the elephant's tail.

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

Take care


Thursday 18 November 2021

No Ring Mug Rug Blog Hop

Welcome to Thursday and my day to show you what I created for the No Ring Blog hop. I do love a mug rug. Before I discovered mug rugs I used coasters which looked pretty but where only just big enough for a mug to sit on. Mug rugs are bigger and provide room to put a snack down. Perfect by my machine on a sewing day. Great on my desk at work and very pretty on my bedside table .

Thank you to Carla from Creatin' in the Sticks for organising this hop. Blog hops are great fun to take part in and I love all the ideas you get by visiting everyone's posts. Friday is my day off and I shall be making myself a pot of tea as I settle down to catch up on all the posts. 

I decided to make a mug rug for one of my colleagues from work. Last year during lockdown she bought a sewing machine but hasn't had time to get started on her sewing. I'm hoping this week, whilst she is on annual leave, her machine has been out and she has created something beautiful. I had some sewing prints I wanted to use for this mug rug. I kept it very simple so the pattern on the fabric was easy to see. I added a small heart to one corner, I've quilted around some of the items on the background fabric. I had some button fabric which I think looks amazing as the binding. I had a few problems mitering the binding on my second mug rug so I did straight binding on this one. I also sewed this on by machine.

My second mug rug is a present for my daughter to use in her bedroom. She has two or three mug rugs but she doesn't have a Christmas one. I used the reindeer pattern from my Christmas table runner for this one. As I said a little earlier I had several problems with the binding on this one. As you can see the right hand side is all puckered. I will have to unpick the binding and re-stitch it. This is why you shouldn't rush binding.

When I was pulling the fabric for the other two mug rugs I found this teacup fabric and yesterday I decided to make another mug rug to use on my bedside table. This one still needs to have the binding attached because I couldn't decide which fabric I wanted to use. It doesn't show up on the photo but I quilted round the cups and saucers. I also stitched in the ditch around the border.

Here is the schedule for today.

Thursday, November 18th

Go and check out what everyone has been making. I can't wait for my day off on Friday so I can catch up on all the mug rug eye candy.

Take care


Sunday 14 November 2021

A finish at last and slow stitching.

Yesterday I finally finished the Mr Hare quilt and Lucy quickly run off with it to her bedroom. She did get a photo for me.

We turned back one corner so I could show some of the quilting on the back. I love that the quilting design shows on the back. It makes both sides of the quilt really interesting.

In the top photo you can see some pink legs at the bottom of the picture. These are the legs of the flamingo lights that decorate the foot of the bed. 

Now I've finished the quilt I can work on stitching down the binding on the Christmas table runner.

I have already used my clips to fasten it down so it's just a case of getting the stitching done. Yesterday evening I made a start on the elephant embroidery. I'm trying to use up the odd ends of embroidery floss I've got left from previous stitcheries. The floss I'm using is all DMC but not necessarily the shades given in the pattern. It shouldn't take too long to finish this little piece.

Last week I received my November subscription box. I love these little boxes. There is always fabric, a notion and a pattern or two that you could make with the fabric. I love this month's fabric choices especially the one on the right with the poppies and rabbits.

Over the last couple of evenings John and I completed a jigsaw puzzle that Katy lent us. It was 500 pieces so went together quite quickly. As the weather gets colder I enjoy putting together jigsaw puzzles. I think it's because it reminds me of doing them in a winter evening when I was a child. This puzzle was very colourful and includes two cats.

An update on Scamp's trip to the vet earlier in the week isn't good news. The vet says all the physical evidence is that it is osteosarcoma. She will do a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis if we want. Unfortunately treatment isn't very effective and he is an old dog (14) so her advice is to keep him comfortable, and treat any pain. At the moment he is behaving as his usual self so we have a little time to make a decision. There has been quite a few tears from all of us and Scamp has been busy giving us all cuddles, an activity he really enjoys.

This evening I will be stitching the binding on the table runner or doing some more work on the elephant. Whatever I'm working on Scamp will be in his usual position on my lap making sure my thread or scissors don't run off.

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

This week there is the No ring Mug Rug blog hop taking place. Here is the schedule for the week

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Prepping some embroidery

Today I have a day off and have a list of jobs that I want to get done. I need to go to the bank to pay money in and I need to take Scamp for a walk. As always there are household chores to do and even though I'm not working today I need to go into my work email as a couple of urgent messages popped into the box as I was closing it yesterday. Fortunately they are just quick queries so will take seconds to answer. If anything urgent has popped in this morning it will have to wait until tomorrow since this is a non work day.

Having loaded the washing machine I decided to start by enlarging the embroidery pattern I want to do this month. The Noah's ark pattern is by Lynette Anderson and was originally a BOM back in 2008. These are small pieces. The elephant stitchery should fit in a 21/2 x 4 inch rectangle of fabric. I want these patterns to be bigger so I need to play with the printer to get them to the size I want. I will increase all the patterns by the same amount. Having increased the pattern size to 160% I got the iron set up to press the fabric I'm using but I got distracted and forgot as you can see from the photo.

I use Frixion pens to draw out the pattern so I can't iron it now but it is nice and flat in the hoop. Note to self - put brain in gear next time.

Having made coffee for the family I pulled out some fabric to make a couple of little robins. These will look cute when I decorate for Christmas later in December. I just need to check I have brown felt for the legs. 

At this point I took a little time to check out my fabric stash. My birthday is in early December and we will be staying near my favourite quilt shop. I usually take the opportunity to stock up on threads and fabric if needed. I have decided to use a sewing print between the bag lady blocks when I turn them into a quilt top. They will be a wall hanging either for the wall at the top of the stairs or the wall by the stairs. I will also be hanging the turtle quilt. Richard screen printed this fabric when he was at school. I need to add a hanging sleeve to it.

I'm making slow progress on the quilt binding. When I sit down to do some stitching in the evening I have been so tired that I fall asleep . It will all get done but slightly slower than planned.

This evening Scamp has an appointment at the vet. Last week we noticed he had a lump on his muzzle. It is a firm lump and our vet gave him some antibiotics and an anti -inflammatory  medicine but she is concerned that it is osteosarcoma. The lump feels a little softer but that could be wishful thinking. Our vet will be running some tests to find a diagnosis. Scamp is looking really well and is full of energy and currently demanding the walk I promised him so I'd better take him out. When we get back I think I may pick up the table runner and start stitching the binding on that. I fancy watching a film and I know Scamp will settle on my lap while I stitch.

Take care

Monday 8 November 2021

A walk in the woods

I'm trying really hard to get life back on an even keel. It sounds like it would be easy, and under normal circumstances it would be, but a global pandemic has knocked a great many things out of kilter so we shouldn't expect too much all at once. I'm slowly getting back to reading the blogs I follow and I really have missed reading about all your activities. I'm also trying to get up to date with my posts and so today I thought I'd tell you about a walk John and I did in August in the Surrey hills. As the saying goes, 'it's better late than never'. We started at Ranmore Common car park at Denbies hillside. It was a little crowded with dog walkers all waiting to get a coffee and cake from a mobile coffee shop. We joined the queue and the wait was worth it as the coffee was delicious and the cake was really tasty. There is nothing better than starting a walk with coffee and cake....except maybe finishing the walk with another coffee and another slice of cake! We took our coffee out onto the hillside to enjoy whilst looking out on the views over the low weald to the South Downs. There were a lot of wild flowers to enjoy. I had left my camera in the car as the path we wanted started from the car park so I'll show you the views later. The path took us down to the North downs Way which we followed along the ridge. We had good views along the way

We eventually started to descend and we passed a pillbox as we headed down the hill to Wotton. The walk itself was circular but this downhill part was an add on to take is into Wotton and the pub Wotton Hatch for a cold beer. As we walked down hill a bit of me was already questioning the sense in going to the pub as we would have to walk back up the hill, which was rather steep. The walk was worth it as we saw giant sized thistles,


and several fields of corn (or maize) that towered over my head .

In Wotton we found the church.

Following the road from the church we came to a very busy main road with the pub on the opposite side. It was a little difficult to get across but we managed it in the end. Wotton Hatch was a pretty pub but the staff were a little snooty. We decided to sit in the garden to enjoy our drinks. We had our lunch with us and having had a good helping of cake we decided we didn't need any more food at this time. John enjoyed a beer and I had lemonade with lime and lots of ice. Refreshed we set off to retrace our steps up hill. It wasn't as bad as I had expected. Back on the hill we managed to lose our way but we were able to navigate ourselves towards our next destination, Polsden Lacy. Here we stopped for a cup of tea before circling round the grounds to take us in front of the house and up the hill opposite.


When our children were small we used to visit Polsden Lacy a lot. Kathryn and Lucy both learned to walk in the grounds and a trip to visit Polsden at the weekend was always popular. During the walk there were a lot of old trees with their roots on view along the path. I love the patterns they create.

There were great views across the downs.

We saw a lot of nettle leaved bell flowers.

As we walked across the front of Polsden we came across this poem on a fence post.

Almost back to the car we passed piles of logs

and this cottage with interesting tile work.

As we came back to the car park there was just my little car parked waiting for us.

I took some final photos from the hill,

while John did a little bird watching.

A great day out. We walked 11.5 miles enjoyed coffee and cake plus a beer at the pub. We ate our lunch looking across the valley while we enjoyed the sun. I really need another long walk!

Take care


Sunday 7 November 2021

November monthly goal


It's that time when I need to set a goal for the month. There are so many things I want to achieve this month. First I need to finish stitching the binding onto the quilts. First Mr Hare.

and also my Christmas table runner.

I need to finish my mug rugs for the blog hop in the middle of this month. No sneak peeks at this one. These three items will be finished so I started to think outside the box. I want to start stitching the Noah's Ark stitchery so my goal for this month will be to complete one of the blocks . Next  I need to think which one I want to do first. I took a screen shot so you could see all the blocks.

My goal for this month is to complete the elephant block. I will cut the background fabric tonight and if I have time I will draw out the pattern. I'm looking forward to stitching this block.

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for her November goal setting party  Once I've linked up my post I'll find my embroidery fabric and then get back to stitching binding.

Take care