Sunday, 29 April 2012

A quick catch up

Time and days seem to be flying by at the moment.... and we are having an amazing amount of rain here, it seems to have rained almost all week, and the roads and fields are flooded.  I hope this is going to fill up the reservoirs as officially we are in a drought zone.  Anyway, this wasn't meant to be a weather report - it's a quick update on some of the sewing I have managed to do whilst stuck indoors.

Firstly my stash bee blocks for this month.  My first attempt shall not be shown here!  I got in a muddle about the folding over of the black edges, but I persevered and was really quite pleased with how these two blocks turned out in the end, considering I've never done anything like this before.

So here, they are all ready to be sent off with a little pin cushion ring for CeLynn.  Once again I was pleased to have learnt something new from this block technique, and I'm quite looking forward to seeing what the block will be for the month of May...

Then I made my Mum a paint brush holder (from a fab book I borrowed from the library, called 100 pretty little projects).  She does lots of painting these days, and has two art exhibitions coming up, so this is a little good luck pressie for her.

Then I had a bit of a glum day when I discovered that there are lots of exciting swaps and things going on for the FQ retreat in June that I had not been aware of.... so had missed the boat and not been able to join in.  But I cheered up when they let a few more of us late comers to the group join in the sample swap, so I signed up right away.  No time to panic for this swap, just get on with it!!  (There was an attempt at making some pocket wallets for notebooks but after one good attempt and one terrible attempt, I realised making four of those was beyond me - Mark said he'd never heard sewing cause so much swearing before).... so on to plan B which was these pot holders.....

Sorry about the terrible photos, it's so dark here with the rain and grey skies.... but I enjoyed sorting through my scraps to make these, and am beginning to love the  paper piecing method of sewing.  The tutorial is at Fairyface designs and can be found here.  In fact I am a little bit addicted to making them, and have two more underway.  Ooo while I'm here, can anyone give me any tips about keeping the backing fabric from moving around?  On the last one I made I have wrinkles, and I thought I had pinned it well, but obviously not.  I know these are only very small quilting projects, but would there be any other techniques than pinning the layers that I could use?


Sunday, 15 April 2012

A train going no-where!

I'm back..... we had a lovely week in the Lincolnshire fens, staying in a converted traditional railway carriage.

It was tiny, but had lots of character.

We had days out exploring Ely cathedral.....

Spent lots of time pretending to be 'The Railway Children' (watched the DVD while we were there)

Made our own cafe in the back garden having baked pink princess fairy cakes.

The only thing missing was any opportunity to sew.  However I read two good novels, and can recommend 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' by Rachel Joyce and 'Trespass' by Rose Tremaine.

I can't remember if I got chance before we went away to blog about this little swimming rucksack I made for Hope?  She needed something to sew her swimming badges on, and she chose the floral fabrics herself from my scraps. It's a straight forward tutorial that I would really recommend.

I got back to two fab parcels - which was lovely.

The first was a PIF from the lovely Lynz..... a beautiful sewing wallet

I'm afraid the backdrop, and picture taken in the dark don't do the beautiful fabric justice.  Also the photos don't show the neatness of the sewing, especially the lovely corners.
And check out those cute cute pins.....  I love it and will start using it straight away - big thanks

And then Sarah kindly sent me some yellow and black fabric as I don't have any for the stash bee which needs yellow and black for the gothic windows this month. Thanks very much (I have had a practice at this block on some old scraps I already had - but the result is a travesty and will NOT be shown here!!!)  So I am looking forward to having a spotty go!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

What's that? Time off?? It's all gone Wonky!

Can you tell I'm a bit demob happy today?

It's because I just finished work for the Easter holidays...... whooooppppieeeee.  Twelve days off, here I come!

And last weekend I managed 24 hours of freedom away from the kids and the usual routine to go and visit my good friend Rachel who lives in Chester.  Rachel is quite a funky so and so as will soon be revealed.   What did you do with that precious 24 hours I hear you ask?  Well, good question, but no, I did not go shopping, nor did I spend the day in the spa, nor did I chill out in the cafe or the pub.    No............ we spent the afternoon geocaching (an on line treasure hunt) - a four hour marathon in fact, during which we found 21 caches.  Here I am pointing stupidly at a well hidden cache under a fake plant.  

It would have been a near perfect afternoon had it not been for THE COWS...

Yes, I know it's irrational.  Yes, I know I should just 'man up' but the fact is I am terrified of cows, their mere prescence at the other end of a field sends my heart thumping and I can taste the fear in my mouth.  And this lot were NOT at the other end of the field!  No..... we were well and truly chased by a large herd of bullocks, and I went leaping over a barbed wire fence in blind panic!

Then I had just recovered from that and there was a second field of cows to contend with - this lot were a bit nicer, but they were very interested in us and followed us across the field.  Poor Rachel had to get the geocache from under the tree roots as I was nowhere to be seen (other than hiding behind the barbed wire again snapping photos)

To recover we did nip to a nearby pub for a celebratory drink - and I couldn't resist posing in front of Rachel's brand new fancy mini cooper - with funny little lights inside that you can change to different colours depending on your mood (what's that all about?)

 And then an American diner??

Nope that's Rachel's themed kitchen, all set out like a real American diner.  So I had 24 hours enjoying a very different lifestyle to usual - and we had good fun catching up together.

Back home it all went Wonky when I read Jude's blog, and saw my shimmying Pippi Longstocking needing a home!  This months bee blessed is making Wonky houses to go with the Pippi's.  So I couldn't resist, in fact I couldn't wait - I was up til midnight having a go at these last night.  I am quite pleased with the one on the left, but not sure the one on the right quite makes the grade to be sent off? (I was getting a bit tired by then)

Anyway, they were lots of fun to make out of my scraps - go on have a go yourself!

My next challenge is the stash bee block for this month - which is a beautiful looking Gothic window block. Only I am finding that I never have the required colours of fabric in my stash each month at the moment..... and this month it's grey/yellow or black/yellow prints...... so there's nothing like that at all in my stash - I managed to pop to Beales in my lunch hour today and got some fabric vaguely resembling these colours, so will be able to give a practice block a go tomorrow.