Monday 29 May 2023

A slow month for stitching

May has been a bit of a challenge when it comes to getting projects finished. Work as usual got in the way but it wasn't the only problem. Aches and pains in my fingers as the weather warmed up didn't help as it meant I had problems holding the needle or moving the fabric when trying to use the machine. Even using the rotary cutter proved a little difficult. However I did manage to make my project for the rose coloured glasses blog hop which made me happy. Not being able to sew did mean I caught up a bit on my reading, finishing two books. The first was The retreat by Sarah Pearse. Detective Elin Warner uncovers the truth behind suspicious deaths on an island retreat. I enjoyed the story but I found it moved a little too slowly for me. However I will read the authors first book in this series. 

The second book, The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley totally captured my attention and I finished this book very quickly.

John and I did also enjoy a day trip to Frampton marshes and an overnight stay in Portsmouth. The first outing was a bird watching trip and the second was a 'scoping' visit to check out where to stay and identify things we wanted to visit. Since Portsmouth is near and has the historic dockyards we knew it would be interesting. We are now planning a weekend away to the area but that will have to wait until September as it gets very crowded during the summer.

On the stitching front I was pleased I'd finished my blog hop project but nothing else has moved forward. I'd added the binding to the tulip mini and had hoped to finish that in early May but it still isn't done. Today I'm going to be stitching the binding down while I watch another episode of Magpie murders this evening.

Monday is a bank holiday in the UK and John and I will be having a craft day once we've completed a couple of chores. I want to do some work on one of the dolls I'm making for the dolls house. I haven't done anything on this since I completed the sewing. I needed flexible fabric glue which I didn't have,  well I did have but it was so old it wouldn't come out of the tube!

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

Take care


Tuesday 16 May 2023

Rose coloured glasses

Today is day 2 of the Rose coloured glasses blog hop. Thank you to Carol from Just Let me quilt for organising the hop. We were asked to use rose coloured fabric, inspiring words, eye glasses  or roses and to incorporate two elements if possible.

I decided to be slightly different again in that my project involves a mini quilt but also a stuffed toy. A year or maybe two years ago I made Luna Lapin for my daughter. The pattern includes her clothes and the story of the rabbit. Luna loves sewing! Here is Luna showing off her dress and coat.

I needed to make another rabbit for the grand daughter of a friend. They aren't difficult to make but they are a little fiddly. The little girl wanted a white rabbit so I got white felt and cut the pattern. The instructions are well written and easy to follow. This version of Luna has deep pink fabric for the lining of her ears and she will have blue eyes. Buttons are used as eyes but unfortunately I don't have any blue buttons of the right size. I also need to embroider her nose.

Meanwhile I made a small rabbit sized quilt that would keep her warm on a cold night. 

The little rabbit is very pleased with her quilt.

This new rabbit is called Rose and so some of the squares in her quilt have roses on them.

Meanwhile the original Luna Lapin that I made wanted to help with sewing the quilt. She was excellent with helping with the sewing machine. She also wanted to help sew on the binding. She needed to wear her glasses for that job.

I hope you liked my project. Now you need to visit the other blogs showing their projects today. Here is the full schedule.


Today I've been busy all day and evening so I haven't visited any of the blogs yet. I looking forward to my lunch break when I will be able to make a cup of tea and enjoying seeing what people have made. I know the projects will be fun and inspirational.

Take care


Monday 8 May 2023

A busy weekend

Another long weekend thanks to the coronation bank holiday. It should have been a 4 day weekend but I had to go into work on Friday.  I didn't have any set plans but I did want to watch the coronation. That didn't happen as we had visitors. I will watch it over the next few days, as and when I get time. I did see some of the broadcast on Saturday and I enjoyed the bits I saw. Once our visitors had left I set about cleaning and tidying a cupboard in our bedroom. I'd been meaning to do this for ages but never had time. I need to create some more room for storing my sewing projects. It's surprising what gets stored away in case it will come in useful. I got rid of a lot of junk and created some valuable storage space. Having done that I was tired and opted to do some hand stitching during the evening. This is part of my project for the rose coloured glasses blog hop  that starts on the 15th May. 

Sunday was warm and sunny and a bit of me wanted to work in the garden but I also wanted to get on with sewing. I started on part of my blog hop project. Obviously I can't show it to you but here is a quick peek at a bit of it.


Having finished my machine stitching I decided to do a little more cutting in preparation for starting the dinosaur quilt. The dinosaur blocks are made in six different colours and so far I have cut the green and blue fabrics. I wanted to cut the lavender fabric, which would mean I was half way through the cutting phase.

To make sure I use the right fabric in the right place I have labelled each piece. This is just the first cut. When I reach the point of starting to sew I need to cut these pieces into smaller pieces ready for sewing. I still have three more lots of fabric to cut and I will be ready to start on the next phase..

I have been trying not to start projects unless I've finished one but during my sorting I found two patterns that I really want to make. The first one would be a present for a gardener I know.

The finished size is 92 in x 72 in. I love the pieced vegetables and there is some embroidery to do as well. This is a row by row quilt so can be made in stages.

the second project would be for me. It involves rather a lot of curves, and I'm not very good with curves but I really want to make this quilt.

If I decide to make this quilt I should be an expert on curves by the time I finish it. Whether or not I start these two patterns I need to make another baby quilt. This time one of my student's wife is pregnant with their first baby. They are both very excited. The baby isn't due until later this year so there is no rush to get the quilt finished at the moment.  I also need to make a donation quilt as I haven't made one recently. This will help clear some of my stash as I'm trying to reduce the amount of fabric I have stored away.

Tomorrow is a work day but I'm working from home and so that frees up some additional sewing time since I have no travelling time. I do need to check exactly what I'm teaching tomorrow before I go to bed. 

Take care


Monday 1 May 2023

A sewing day


Today is the start of May and finally this weekend the weather seems to have warmed up a bit and to have stopped raining for a while. Through the centuries the beginning of May has always carried special meaning. In Roman Times the Festival of Flora took place at the end of April and early May. It was celebrated in honour of the goddess of flowers, spring and fertility. 

In early medieval times bonfires were built on the last night of April for the Beltane festival which gave power to protect livestock and the herdsmen. Gradually over time the bonfires disappeared but feasting and dancing on May 1st continued. At some point in time the tradition of crowning a May Queen came into being and dancing round the maypole. When I was young and attending a village primary school (5 to 11 year olds) we celebrated May day by choosing a May Queen and dancing round the maypole. The first time I did this I got very confused as we skipped round the pole clutching our ribbon and creating a pattern down the pole by weaving in and out of the other dancers. I found it even more difficult when it was time to dance in the opposite direction and unravel the ribbons. Over time I got the hang of it and I used to enjoy the May Day celebrations at that school but at that point my father changed his job and we moved to another part of the country where they didn't do maypole dancing..

Today I set about starting the quilting on the bag ladies quilt. This is an old UFO and I want to get it completely finished this month, hence it is my goal for the month. I had an idea of how I wanted to do the quilting. I had decided on swirls on the sashing and borders. I had also decided to do needles and thread on some of the embroidered blocks. I used this design for the ladies bordered in green.

I think this works rather well. I then decided to do reels of thread on the embroideries bordered in Blue. I found these slightly more difficult to sew.

Although the reels are not exactly as I pictured in my head I am happy with how they have turned out. So all three green bordered blocks are done and so is one blue bordered block. I have a design for both the pink and purple blocks but I need to practice a bit more.

By the end of this month my goal is that this quilt will be completely finished including the binding. I think this is doable but I do have quite a busy work diary which may mean I end up working extra days and I also have a busy social diary. I'm feeling very positive that this quilt will be finished.

This evening I finished up the binding on the Christmas mini quilt. This will now be put away with the rest of the Christmas decorations, ready for use much later this year.

Tomorrow evening I will start stitching the binding down on the tulip mini. The binding is already attached to the front and I've used clips so the binding is held in the right position for stitching.

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for her One Monthly Goal link up.

I didn't do any work on the dolls for the Doll house. I thought I had all the requirements to make a doll but I hadn't checked if I had any soft toy stuffing left. Lucy had been using it to stuff the rabbit she is crocheting. Never mind I'll be able to buy some later in the week. Next weekend there is another bank holiday, this time to celebrate the coronation of Kind Charles III. That means I have another sewing day but this time I might also be watching the coronation. Hopefully one of the dolls will be made over next weekend.

Take care