Monday, 13 January 2014

Farewell to the old and hello to the new

 
A title that is appropriate as it's my first blog post of 2014.  However it's not really about the New Year as such...... more about sewing machines.

In December my trusty old sewing machine finally broke down.  This meant I was sewing machine-less for about 6 weeks.  At first I really missed sewing, then I felt liberated, and enjoyed having so much more free time to pursue other things.  This coincided with Christmas, so I socialised more, watched more TV, read more books and started the Game of Thrones DVD box set I was given for my birthday. 

Then in the school holidays Hannah and I went shopping - and I bought my new sewing machine.


I am getting used to her, as it's very different operating this machine to my old machine.  But I am sure in time I will LOVE her.

I practised getting started by making a QAYG pouch to keep the extension lead and all the bobbins etc in for the new machine.



Then I set to with my bee blocks for January.  I did have a few tension issues during the Bee Blessed blocks, so I do hope they will be OK.  I still haven't quite mastered the tension yet, but I am LOVING the automatic thread cutter!




And then I bundled up my old machine, to send to the Police Aid Convoy for the Cinderella project.  This is such a fabulous charity.  They send wedding dresses and wedding outfits to other countries, along with sewing machines and sewing equipment, and then they teach the girls to sew, and they alter the wedding dresses so that girls can borrow them when they get married. 

So here goes my old sewing machine, it will be mended, or used for parts in Rwanda.


I now need to set myself some goals for sewing in 2014.

Small list to begin with:-

- Make sewing machine cover for new machine

- Finish my HipBees quilt

- Make a bag for Hope's dancing clothes.

Belated Happy New Year to you all

Monday, 2 December 2013

Time for my 6 weekly blog post!!!!

So much has been going on here.................

I turned 40.  There was a Ceilidh



There was a supreme carrot cake in the shape of a sewing basket.


There were some beautiful hand made gifts...... A lovely Liberty cushion from Di.


And a really pretty little bag full of wonderful goodies from Jan (goodies aren't in this photos as I've been using/wearing them!).



I just about managed to sew my bee blocks.............




Then this pirate turned 3. arrrggghhhh me hearties.


So there was a pirate party.

 

Then my sewing machine died.  She was a very elderly lady, who had had a good innings.  But I do feel like I've had an arm chopped off not having a sewing machine any more.

Good job that I have been saving up, and asked everyone for money towards a new machine for my birthday.


My brother gave me 40 1 pence's, 40 2 pence's, 40 5 pence's, 40 10 pence's - you get the idea - right up to 40 pound coins.  That adds up to a lot of money.  Here we are counting them all (and the savvy ones among you will see the Janome sewing machine flyer on the table).

So, sewing machine shopping here I come.

x

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Sew much fun!

How can it be that I last blogged back at the beginning of September??

Where does the time go (when you're having fun - working 25 extra hours a week, changing Brownie packs, and trying to decorate a dining room??)

Anyway, there has been time for sewing, and some lovely time at that.

On Saturday it poured with rain all day, and me and Ingrid abandoned the kids and snuck off to Bradmore for the EMMQG day.

Ooooo it was lovely.  Go here for the recipe for the most delicious chilli ever.

We made baskets.....  Here's mine



And here's the fab four.....



(Photo pinched from Moira's blog)

And I basted my scrappy quilt on the big church hall floor.

Which I (drum roll please) have finished.







Things I love about this quilt:-

- It is made entirely from scraps that I have been given
- I made the quilt top in the summer whilst enjoying Cornish sunshine and sea views
- It is square
- The big quilted circles
- Although I have made mistakes as I have gone along, I have learnt a lot.
- It is for someone who needs the comfort of a good quilt - and they have been in my thoughts as I have sewn it.

Where there is room for improvement:-

- I need to get better at basting quilts.  Despite lots of effort from two bright and intelligent women, I still managed to hash up the backing, which moved so much I had to reduce the quilt in size by 2 inches all the way around!

- My quilting is improving, but I still need to eliminate a few tucks that appeared here and there.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

September's here

Well after such an amazing summer, I didn't really want September to arrive.  But it has, and routine and work and cooler nights and dewy mornings are definitely here.

So, I already blogged about our wonderful Cornwall holiday.  And since then we have had more highlights.  I took Hope to London for the first time, and we met my parents there for a real touristy day.

 
We saw the changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.  We had a picnic in Trafalgar Square.  Went to West Minster Abbey and went round the cloisters.  Then took my parents to Fortnum and Mason for afternoon tea to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  The whole day was magical.  My Dad had researched everything so was a brilliant tour guide, and found photos of me as a girl when I used to go to London to see my grandparents. It was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. And Hope loved seeing photos of me as a girl where she was going now.

Then we went to Shambala festival.

There are really so many fantastic experiences we all had during this weekend that it's difficult to mention them all.  I think the children expressed how much they enjoyed themselves by often saying 'I never want to go home'. 'I want to live here', 'Please can this never end'.


We danced, we ate great food, we made magic potions, walked on tightropes, did sewing workshops, drumming sessions, fancy dress most days, pirate water fights, survived the compost toilets, made friends, stayed up late, saw fireworks, saw circus acts, explored the magic forest, danced, and danced some more.  We will be going back.

And, that brought the summer holidays to an end. 

Since then the children have gone back to school and Nursery, I have been back at work (and faced the huge backlog of work that the summer has caused), and we have started to decorate the dining room.

Which brings me on to the fact that there will be no 'Stitching it Together' in September because we are upside down at the moment.  But I will do another blog post soon with new dates.

However, I had a lovely day with the East Midlands Modern Quilting Guild yesterday which has sparked my sewing mojo again!  These were my two wonky blocks for the charity quilt we are making.






There has been limited sewing this summer.  A bee block for Fiona


And two more birthday cushions........



 I hope you have all had a great Summer
 
x

 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Holiday round up

 
There will be beach holiday photos later on...... but first and most importantly the holiday sewing round up.
 
While I have been here this week I have been helping Tracy make all her entries for the local village horticultural and handicraft show.  She has made.......
 

A Quilt as You Go zippy pouch.  Thank you to Trudi for all the wonderful fabrics that have gone into making this.
 

An apron.  Thank you to Moira for the loan of the pattern




A notebook cover.......

And while she has been busy, I have not sat around.  No, I have put all the amazing scraps that various people have given me to good use and created a quilt top.


If you look closely, many of you will see fabrics that you recognise, as so many kind people have given me their off cuts and scraps.

It's not perfect, but I am loving this quilt top so far.  I am thinking of rainbow binding.
 

It's not been all sewing




 
Porthcurnick beach - and 'The Hidden Hut' (as featured in the Telegraph's 30 best restaurants by the sea) 
 
 

We come home tomorrow, after a wonderful and very, very relaxing week away.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Weekender by the Sea

It's finished.


I started my weekender bag during a lovely sewing day with the East Midlands Modern Quilting Guild back in April (I think, so long ago now).  A lot of Quilting as You Go was done that day, but the hard graft of making all the panels and then all the assembling of the bag has been done at home since then.

 All the equipment

Panels being Quilted.

 My first attempt at making cording.....


Starting to assemble the bag.

It was really helpful to hear other people's tips from weekender bags they had made.  I liked Di's idea for some internal zippy pockets, so I did two. (One in the outer pocket, and one big one inside the bag)


 
Then I snuck in some gathered elasticated pockets - one for a water bottle
 


and another big one inside to stuff 'things' in.

I have brought it on holiday to Cornwall with me..... so here goes for lots of gratuitous photos of my weekender bag by the sea!!




I also bought my sewing machine with me this week..... so lots of sewing has been going on.  Days on the beach, evenings sewing and cream teas.  The perfect ingredients for a holiday.

x