01 October 2014

WIP Wednesday

Usually at this time of year, I'm revving up to do the Blogtoberfest, where you post every day during the month.  It's quite pressured to know you've got to come up with something every day that's not total drivel so this year I'm going to be kind on myself, and not join in. I've been struggling to get back into blogging since summer, and what with that and Gordon just having had surgery on his knee, and things are pretty hectic at work, I just don't want to put myself under that sort of stress.

So anyway, WIP Wednesday.  Yes, I've not joined in with this for a while either!  I'm trying to fit what I can in when I can, so I am making some progress.
First up is a baby quilt for a new niece/nephew due in January.  I tried to keep it neutral, but I think it's a bit girlie, so lets hope it's a niece!

Next is a quilt for a friend's baby, Filip, born in August.

I'm also attempting  bit of hand quilting
This is my first attempt to quilt a full size quilt.  It was a bit wobbly at first.  Still is come to think of it, but it is improving!  And I have the hand quilters badge of honour - a callous forming on my left index finger where the needle comes through to the bottom.  I've tried using one of those sticky pads but I can't tell how far the needle has come through, so I'm persevering without one. I've quilted around the 3 tea pots and about 8 of the 20 something mugs.  And then there's all the stripes to quilt too.  I have a feeling this one will keep my warm throughout the winter!

So I'm linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday, and also, again for the first time in ages, Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced               Fresh Sewing Day

29 September 2014

Diamond Falls

Way back in Juy 2013, when I was at the fat quarterly retreat, I bought this fabric in a frenzied lunch time dash to Shaukat, specifically to make the Love Beads quilt from Sarah Fielke's book Hand Quilted with Love.

Fast Forward to August 2014 and I finally finished it, but just never got the opportunity to photograph it. I took some fantastic photos (well, I thought they were fantastic) when we went out to burn a few sausages over a fire, at a friends place in the woods.  Then I got home and tried to transfer them to my i-pad with a new dongly thing I bought, and shazam! I deleted them all from the camera card, including all 700+ photos from our holiday!!! Fortunately Gordon had copied the holidays ones onto his laptop, but the quilt ones had gone for good! Here's one of Bridget's photos of me artistically arranging a quilt for a shot


and here's one of Bridget's quilt in exactly the same position as mine was on an old railway coach type thing. Imagine!
Then the other day, I felt my blogging mojo was on the turn, so I went out and took a few photos around the garden in the early morning sun.  As you can see the photo session was heavily bombed by various animals
Bugger off Lucy!

That's better


Hello George
Now Liska!

I don't think I got the back quite right, but I didn't have enough of the Tula Pink fabric, so I made some double size diamonds 

I love the way the sun shines through this one

Me again, mum!
The diamonds were a bit of a nightmare in truth, because there were so many errata in the cutting instructions.  I can't blame that entirely,  those coupled with me cutting with a ruler not templates, and clearly getting confused along the way, meant that some of these diamonds were the wrong size and had to be squeezed in, and the edging half and quarter diamonds were cut-as-you-go-to-fit!  But all was well in the end.
I wanted to quilt it in a way that would emphasize the diamonds, and the idea of a waterfall, and it had to be straight line, as I have no FMQ foot at the moment. (Don't worry about the pen marks - it's a frixxion pen and it will wash out - I hope)




It's still not been washed (in fact I might do it today!) but I'm going to be careful because I don't actually want this one to crinkle to much)

Oh and why is it Diamond Falls, not Love Beads?  Well I felt, and I don't think I'm alone on this one, that Love Beads had a slighty seedy feel about it! So it had to be changed!  And as it reminded me of a waterfall, so it was Diamond Falls.
Finish Along 2014
So that is another finish for the Quarter 3 FAL - where has this quarter gone?  Soon be Christmas ......

27 September 2014

Hello again

Well I guess summers over now - the pool heater is off and the last of the visitors have gone home, We've had a busy summer and I'm really having trouble getting together my enthusiasm for blogging, so maybe just a few words, and lots of photos might get me back into the swing of it.

We had a couple of weeks away in August - truly the "holiday of a lifetime" - on Safari in Tanzania.  The first few days were spent in relative luxury in the Selous game reserve
The second week was a bit more "back to basics" - a walking safari in the Ruhua Game Reserve.  We had no electricity, and no other people for a good few miles.  It was scarey at first, especially getting up to go to our outdoor toilet in the night, where a lion and her cubs had been playing only a few nights before!  But after a couple of days, we were old hands!  And nothing beats showering (and sitting on the toilet) watching the elephants go by!
We saw so many birds and animals, you wouldn't believe, but being within 5 metres of a lion, or 15 metres of a charging elephant, will be hard to forget.   

Loved the giraffes
and saw some beautiful birds
But my favourites had to be the zebras, for their comedy value

Oi, wot you lookin at?
However my favourite moment wasn't animal related.  Lunch in the river on the last day
 And yes, Gordon did get a wet bum, but he couldn't have cared less!!

So hopefully, this is me back to blogging.  I've finished a few things whilst I've been away, but that's for another day.  For now, I have to walk the dogs, then I've got some tables to assemble.

Have a good weekend

13 August 2014

ATC Swap


Ali from Very Berry Handmade has announced the next round of the ATC Swap, and despite time being a bit tight around here, I couldn't NOT join in could I?  After all, I've always said how quick they are....... unless, of course,  you choose to cross stitch the whole thing!!  Even though it's only 3.5 x 2.5 inches, it's taking a looong time!

This round the theme is "Getting away from it all".  How about a trip to Africa


Just getting in the mood for holidays!!

09 August 2014

Summer sewing

I know you all think the weather here is hot and sunny all summer, but it's not.  We have quite a lot of storms through July and August, in between the hot bits.  Here's the weather for this week!
So whilst it's nice, I'm out sorting out tomatoes, courgettes (oh so many courgettes) Sweet corn, beans etc.etc. But I do manage to get some sewing done when it's raining.

Visitors were here from Australia last week, and I invoked the usual visitors rules - baste a quilt, earn your G & T!  I could tell Monica she wasn't thrilled about it (she's a sporty type in real life) but she got me over the worst of it.

Don't you think a quilt looks so neat and tidy when it's basted?  You may notice it's stitch basted, rather than pinned.  Possibly, just possibly, I may be going to hand quilt this one.  The hoop is on order.  I know lots of you hand quilt without a hoop, but I have arthritis in my hand, and what little hand quilting I've done, leaves me with quite a lot of pain.  Lets hope the hoop helps.

And in anticipation of the next visitors in September, I finished my baby boy quilt (which needs a name please)



I almost went with a plain white border instead of the piano keys, but I'm glad I stuck with the original plan.

So now I'm of to deal with several kilos of shallots which need pickling!
Then this afternoon I'm taxi-ing for the boys who are off to a beer festival, and I can relax over coffee with a friend.  Have a nice weekend everyone