Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Been busy

We are going away for a couple of days tomorrow - off to my brothers for a long weekend.  The kids have had a good 4 days together, we have been out somewhere every day, despite the grey overcast weather.
Our trip to the zoo was great: we fed the elephants and giraffes

We have done this day out for the last 3 years and the zoo is constantly changing and always fun to visit.

I have made a little something else for Ellen my sister in law for her hospitality this coming weekend, so as well as the bag I made:

I did this little table mat as well. I had to do something else for her in that fabric!

I am taking my hexalong hexies with me this weekend, as well as my next new project:

The picture hasn't come out great, but it is a knitted log cabin blanket, which I thought was fab.  I have chosen cream, dark pink and a pink/purple wool.  Its so easy to knit.  I am not making it for anyones baby, but for me.  I needed something else to knit because I have finished this too:

a little pram blanket for Zoe and Tims baby.  I went to see her today, she is now overdue and very fed up.  Selfishly, I am hoping she waits until Tuesday, when I get home, before anything happens!

On top of all this, I have been setting my alarm for 7am - yes: 7am, in the holidays!  So that I can get up and revise for a couple of hours.  I have my exam next Friday.  Can't wait for next weekend, I shall just be sewing with no revision guilt!

So, I shall be back to blogging next week.  See you all then!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

swapping wine for children....

....which may sound like a good deal, but I handed over the wine and received two additional teenagers in return!
I went to Thetford yesterday and met up with my brother and sister in law.  Heather (16) and Andrew (14) are staying with us this weekend.  The kids are all the same age and have always enjoyed each others company.  I am taking them home (Sleaford) on Thursday and staying for a long weekend, which is why I handed over some wine!

So, whilst they watched dvds, went for walks and chatted I made these:

I love this material!  I sewed a strip on blue on the top and bottom, so that picture strip was central, and I am really pleased with it.  This is for Ellen, my sister in law.

I also made this for my brother.  When I saw the material I knew I had to make something with it

My brother normally wraps around a tea towel to keep his cafetiere warm, so hopefully this will work much better!

Tomorrow we are off to Colchester zoo.  An amazing place.  Having been to London zoo I still prefer colchester and it is just as big with as much to see, and right on our door step.
And, amazingly, the sun seems to be out at the mo.....

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A whole new era

I had today off.  I am working tomorrow and then I am off for 6 weeks: whoo hoo!  (well I have two half days to do in the summer hols)
So I got this done today:

Another block completed for the mystery quilt: I am all caught up now, phew

I believe we are sewing some blocks together next, can't wait.

I have an exam in two weeks, so even though I had a day off I was still up at 6.30 so I could get some study in

I figured that if I got up early and got on with it, I would have more sewing time.

Also, can you see my credit card in the bottom right hand corner.....I had to use that today....... to upgrade Jennys car insurance because she passed her test today!!  I am so pleased for her, but I am dreading her going on any kind of journey on her own.  She drove up to school today (which is normally a 3 minute walk!!) and it was so strange to see her go off in her car, all on her own!  Gulp.  Still, on the bright side, boy does she owe me some driving around - who fancies going out for a drink tonight, Jen will pick us up :-)

Monday, 18 July 2011


Hmmm, is this a little too obsessive....?

I have downloaded the graph paper instructions as shown on Lily's blog here - wow, who knew such a thing existed! 
I have hunted down some (very basic) colouring pencils and am now doodling every hex colour scheme I can think of - some of which i may never use!
I have a charm pack that has been waiting patiently to be picked and of course I have my obligatory storage thingy:

I want to get started now, but it's getting late and I have another early start tomorrow, so I will bide my time.......

Sunday, 17 July 2011


My new computer has a print button right were the CAPS button used to be on my old computer.  I seem to be hitting it a lot in the middle of typing my posts: and it publishes my post for me - which would be great if I had finished it!  So if random, half finished posts appear, (like the previous previous version did) please bear with me :-)

Mission accomplished

Here is the finished article:

I used this tutorial in the end:   it's a pretty modern life  because it gave instructions on the pouch with lining, whereas the other didn't.  Apart from that they were almost identical.  It was an easy make too

Also, just so that you are under no illusions that the life of a carnival queens mum is non stop glamour (ha ha) :

the girls got a 2nd for the float.  Amazingly there were 9 other carnival courts there and a huge procession: and even more amazingly, a large crowd, who made everything worthwhile.  The girls managed to stay dry, although chilly.  I, on the other hand, got to walk at the side and was drenched.  My feet were slopping around in my wet shoes, my rain coat has ceased to be waterproof and I was wearing a wet sweatshirt and t-shirt and jeans.  Not good!
Beccy and I promised ourselves a lazy day today to recuperate: she had been very good at it, only getting out of bed at about 11am to put some chips in the oven!!!
I did manage to lie in bed and read yesterdays newspaper and this caught my eye

it is a wall hanging that has been stitched together by a dozen prisons across Britain, with the help of the charity Fine Cell Work.  Some 10% of all inmates in british prisons were once in the military.  A small group in Wandsworth prison, led by a military veteran started this.  The wall hanging was recently auctioned, raising £2667 for help for heroes.
I saw some work done by this charity at the quilt exhibition in the V&A last year.  It was amazing quality.  The article ( in the Saturday Times) was a really interesting read. 

Just following instructions!

I am going to make one of these today:


following the tutorial from here: threebears

So that I can do exactly as I am told: gayle brindley says I need a hand sewing kit

so that i can start on this

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Hexie QAL

Hexalong anyone?
I've signed up to lily's hexalong - go and have a look and tell me that you are not totally seduced by that gorgeous quit.
Now, when I was at boarding school, we did lots and lots of hexies: oh how I hated those things.  I have see people blogging about them but they don't do it for me.

but look at the quilt on Lilys blog: they are not ordinary hexies!  And there are so many new things that we are going to learn, and we all love new things to learn.  If it hadn't been for the mystery QAL I would never have learned how to paper piece

So, to and have a look if you dare!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Church Windows

So, this is how my 'church windows' quilt is coming on :

Sorry about the leg of the ironing board (and how come we don't mind ironing our fabric but not the washing!!)

Its going to look so good when it is completed.  I just hope that every time I look at it, it won't remind me of sitting on the park and ride bus going nowhere (see here)

I also had a bit of a spurt with these last night:

I started going through my scraps and cutting sashes for the sides of these blocks.

Its funny how sewing can be so chilling after such a busy day. (although the clearing up of the debris can be a bit of a drag!!)

Tomorrow I am in the office, a group of us will be trying to design a website: now that should be interesting because none of us have done anything like that before!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Bargain time!

I finshed work early today (11.50 precisley!) and I knew that I was very close to DunElm, so I knew that I had to go and have a look.  So, glad that I did:

I made an amazing purchase:

They seemed to be having a major change around and had rolls of fabric on offer: this was £9.99, yes £9.99 - for 10metres!  When was the last time I bought fabric at less than £1 metre.  And look at the fabric:

Its so beautiful, kind of a brushed heavy cotton.  It is perfect for full length curtains in my bedroom, which is painted a duck egg blue (I do also want to paper a wall this summer, to make a feature wall)

It will go so fabulously with my quilt too:

I can't wait to get started!

Also, my early finish meant that I could get home, do some revision and then have time to go and visit Zoe, who only has 10days left until the baby is due, AND to do some catching up

Another block for the mystery quilt: I still have one to do.  They look really great all together

Apparently next week we will start sewing some blocks together, so I had better get a move on with the last block.  I'm guessing that there are other blocks to come as well.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Sunday cramming

My Sundays seem to get busier and busier as I try to cram a whole weekend into one day!
I got up nice and early (7.30 - on a Sunday!!) and studied until about 11: things are starting to become clearer but I am also aware that I really need to put in for my next exam soon!
Then I wrote an email to the carnival committee, telling them how badly they let us down yesterday.  After several emails back and forth, I am hoping that things will get better!
I finished this:

 How fabulous does it look next to my cathedral windows cushion. I really love this, its so bright.  Can't wait to flop on the settee later.
And I have been so busy in my front and back garden.  I wish I took before pictures so you could compare the after pictures!  I didn;t take any of the front, but this is my back garden:

Its not big but its all mine (well, I suppose I share it with the mortgage company!)  The decking needs repainting: need to get round to that!
This is a chocolate plant: sadly it doesn't grow chocolate ( how cool would that be!) but it does smell of chocolate, next best thing I suppose!

This is the end of the garden, that gets all the sun at the end of the day.  The acer at the back was a bargain buy a couple of years ago for a few pounds: it looks fantastic now

I tend to keep everything in pots: I think it is a throw back to having always moved house at least every three years (I was an Air force child and then an Air Force wife!) - the girls and I have been here for 10 years now, but I can't seem to get over that : we might move one day scenario!

And then this is the lavender that I chopped off today, to dry out: with a well deserved glass of wine.

Beccy and I have grilled haloumi and salad (and chips!) for tea tonight, so I had better go prepare!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Well, the weather was sunny but.....

I am exhausted!  Today we attended a neighbouring carnival, one of many we will be going to.  The weather was fabulous again.  We were very badly let down by the organiser of the Tiptree carnival, who was meant to have a driver sorted out to tow the float.  It was on/off all week and last night confirmed as definately on.
Then at 11 am this morning we are told there is no float - by which time the girls are all ready to go
So, we decided to go and see if we can hitch a ride on another float. When we got there, we were told that the organiser had cancelled us at 9.30 last night: but had just never told us!
Anyway, with no thanks to her, the girls hitched a ride with another court and we had a wonderful day

The 3 girls get on well together and made the most of the day.  They are starting to get to know the other carnival courts and make new friends

We have another carnival next weekend and have been told that if the girls dont want to walk then they need to sort out their own transport.  So, to the organiser of Tiptree carnival (who obviously doesn't even know this blog exists) : we won't let our girls down and we will overcome your adversities.
Yes, I am cross!  We were promised all sorts - actually all we want is some organisation, but it appears that now that our carnival is over the organisers do not want to be involved, although they say it is important for the girls to turn up to other carnivals so that the Tiptree carnival committe don't look bad.  We are turning up for our girls: not for them.
And, we are looking forward to next weekend

Friday, 8 July 2011

Yummy raspberries

This has been a long week!  I seem to have gone to work early, got in late, sat down and studied and gone to bed.

Anyway, managed to get home early today and caught up with all my house work, so have one less thing to do.

And i picked these from the garden:

Lovely raspberries (and one strawberry) I have had a bumper crop of raspberries this year - love them!

Susan at Canadian Abroad got her PIF gifts this week: that is what I was doing on Sunday.  When I saw last week that she had a birthday this week I knew I had to get a move on

(i have' borrowed' Susans pic, as i can't find mine!)

It was the first time I made the tissued holder, it was so easy to do.  It's on my list to make one for me this weekend.  Anyway, I am so glad Susan liked them all.  She is brillant at leaving comments, not just on my blog, but everyones.  Her blog is a great read too.

Jen is away this weekend, so it is just Beccy and I.  We were meant to be at a local carnival tomorrow, but there is no-one to pull the float.  As of yesterday they had found someone, but this evening it may have all fallen through!! So, who knows.
If it doesn't go ahead we will have a (window) shopping day in Chelmsford tomorrow - and then I will sew!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A drive out and a productive Sunday

I have had a very productive day, so much so, that someone may even have provided me with a few extra hours and I didn't notice.

I did a couple of hours of studying this morning.  Then, Jenny took me out for a drive.  Obviously I have to go with her as she still has her L plates and she needed to get out and practice.  So, I decided to kill tow birds with one stone and let her drive me to the local craft village and the fabric shop about 35 mins away!)  I got just what I wanted (and of course, more than I needed!) there and have made this this evening for Zoes baby which is due in 3 months:

Sorry, not a great picture!  Anyway, I bought two fat quarters: one of peter rabbit and one of pale green check:

I already had the yellow border and the giant ric rak, so got straight on with it. 
When Zoe came round during the week she mentioned that she was looking for peter rabbit stuff, so I knew I had to go to the fabric shop

It is all pinned together, ready for me to decided how to quilt it:  I really don't know at the moment.

I was also very busy this afternoon, but it will be the end of the week before I can show what this entailed....

Jenny did help me out this afternoon, when she offered to do my ironing.  Obviously I took her up on the offer, but I did also feel the need to point out that it wasn't just 'MY' ironing :-)

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Jenny Wren

Another saturday with no sewing done :-(.  We left the house just before 8 this morning to go up to Norwich to have a look at the university there for Jenny.

Just before we left I put the washing on the line and out of the corner of my eye saw something climb from the decking into the conservatory.  We do have a resident toad in the garden and I freaked because I thought it had got in the house!

Jenny, who is the resident animal lover assured me it was not a toad and at first we thought it was an injured baby bird.  On closer inspection we think it may have been a wren ( and how often do I call my Jenny 'Jenny wren')

It did not seem to mind us sitting there talking about it and wondering what on earth to do.  Jen decided in the end that we should just leave it there and it would fly off - so we left the room and sure enough it flew off.

University of East Anglia (UEA) was interesting to visit, but neither Jenny or I liked it as much as Chelmsford, although the actual medical facilities (she wants to be a child nurse) were first class, but neither of us got a feel for the rest of the campus.  Still, at least we have comparisons now.  And we did get to sit out in the sunshine listening to an amazing band whilst on campus.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Hugs and Kisses

I have another major finish!

This is my hugs and kisses quilt.  I got the pattern here Henry Glass fabrics: where there are lots of lovely free patterns, all made with the popular fabrics of the moment.

My quilt was made with some fat quarters that I had been saving : I wanted lots of bold fabrics and vibrant colours and I really do like this quilt.

I started it last summer hols and it was an easy one to pull together: nice big sqaures and nothing complicated.  I hand quilted it, stiching around the x's and through the middle crosses.

The green on the back is a sheet that I picked up in the charity shop and then I used the remainder of the purple fabric from the front.

This quilt will be staying with us, because we all love it and I know it will be well utilised!
I am linking up with Lilys fresh sewing day , even though it is not a FWQAL!

Fresh Sewing Day