Wednesday 30 November 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt 2011 - November

:: a lucky charm ::
my ring ... I never not wear it

:: a poppy ::
worn with pride

:: a self-portrait eeeek!!!!
eeeek indeed

:: comfort food ::
a deliciously thick milkshake ... a naughty treat

:: memorial ::
slate from the quarry where we chose Tom's headstone

:: polka dots ::
my wellies

:: silouhette ::
epic fail as No2 would say! Not found : (

:: something purple ::
sumptuous yarn in Loop

:: something that lights up ::
No2's face when there is an Ocado delivery containing doritos/pringles/haribo/skittles etc

:: something you have made ::
tiny hexagon cushion 

:: staircase ::
the escalator at The Angel tube station

:: warmth ::
an open fire. unfortunately, not mine.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Adventures in bag-making...

I made a bag!  What I'd like to think of as a proper bag, from a proper pattern.

I spotted the fabric way back at M is for Make but I think it is out of stock now. The grey fabric is a great weight, slightly heavier than quilting cotton.

This was my little adjustment I made that I gave a glimpse of here and it has worked out just fine. I don't get along with bags that are supposed to just perch on my shoulder. I have the wrong kind of shoulders.  It doesn't matter though because you can get little metal things and webbing to make things all better.

It holds everything I need it to hold and very nicely too.


I am going to do my November Scavenger Hunt post tomorrow and then I have decided that I need to get back in to my blog and am going to attempt a blogging Advent Calendar again.

Tuesday 22 November 2011


There have been all sorts of different stitches around these parts lately.  Some beautifully soft malabrigo ones on my dpn's--I can feel a knitting phase coming on ...

Remember this? Well, it has been coming along s-l-o-w-l-y, inch by inch, stripe by stripe. Another 14 or 15 inches to go to cover my bed. It is a monster of a blanket and incredibly cosy. I can vouch for this for I am enjoying snuggling under it as I crochet the evenings away.  I hadn't touched it throughout the whole summer and paid for it dearly as quite a few of the colours I am using are now discontinued and it has been a job in itself tracking down odd balls here and there.  There are some pretty impressive stats to go with this blanket which I will finalise on its completion. Miles of yarn, miles!

There are a couple of sewing projects on the go too, which have required some accurate top-stitching.  I find that if I look at the needle as my guide, my stitching seems to go all over the place and so now I have discovered my own trick to fairly neat top-stitching. Not exactly rocket science, but all part of the process of learning!

There's been a new venture in bag-making, with a slight modification of my own due to my preference of a long handle to go over my body rather than a shorter one which invariably falls off my shoulder.

And then there's the stitching that needs to be unpicked and re-done. Sigh.  I'm trying to catch up with the FWQAL and not doing too badly considering how far behind I had fallen.

Sunday 20 November 2011

In pictures...

A misty start to the morning but I am feeling in need of fresh air so I head outdoors.

I am joined by the hens, who now follow me around as soon as I step outside the back door.

The rake and my new leaf-grabbers, plus a fair few black sacks, are my companions for a bracing clearing up of fallen leaves.  I always make leaf compost and next year I am going to use it for this.

It feels like a thankless task when I have a tree that is still positively laden with yellow leaves.

The heavy dew looked dramatic on the dark green leaves on my bear's breeches.

Which is surprising me with a late flush of flowers.

Whereas my hellebore has one early flower.

And the muscari I planted just a few short weeks ago are starting to green up my pots.

My greenhouse is looking promising too. I'm feeling a bit nervous about planting out these seedlings now that the weather is getting decidedly cooler but maybe I should just bite the bullet and see what happens. If they don't survive, I can always sow more in the spring.

And look what has happened indoors! One of my amaryllis has flowered four weeks early! I planted them carefully so that I might have flowers on Christmas day!

Saturday 12 November 2011

A Christening Quilt Part II...

It's been a busy sewing week and I am feeling very pleased with myself that I can now give both my nephews their christening gifts. This is my version of the Wonky Roman Stripe quilt from this book.

For the first time, I roped No2 into being my assistant to get a photo of the finished quilt. There was a modest bit of moaning but nothing more than I am used to!

I decided to use some of the fabrics I had left over to make a bold striped back. I've always held onto my fabric stash so preciously but now I am beginning to want to use more of it on the backs of my quilts. Of course, this makes way for new and exciting fabrics. Like this for example.

I machine quilted it and added a bit of detail on the neutral triangles that I really like, especially where it overlaps on to the tip of the stripy triangles.

For the binding, I used the same as Sonny's quilt only in orange, which I think frames it very nicely indeed!

The boys have also got a cushion each which I made out of the scraps and leftovers. Watch this space for a separate post soon.

Have a great weekend!

Friday 11 November 2011


I've been listening to this series on Radio 2 this week. It's well worth a listen.

Thursday 3 November 2011

A Christening quilt...

Since I have some time back on my hands for sewing, my first priority has been to complete the quilts that I started way back for my nephews' christening gifts. I have one finished and one very near completion and for the first time I am entering a quilt in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival. Click on the picture above to see more amazing quilts. 

I've been waiting for an opportunity to photograph it in its entirety and this was the best I could do. Ignore the hangers! It would have looked good on the lawn but it is too wet and the last thing I wanted was to give away a muddy quilt.

I made such a good start on the first quilt but then it kind of got in a pile of Stuff Still To Do and remained there for some time.  As I completed the blocks for this quilt, I found I had a growing pile of triangle offcuts that I knew would be destined to stay in the bottom of my scrap bin if I didn't make an effort to incorporate them into the quilt somehow.

My FWQAL blocks (which are in the aforementioned pile for the time being) had given me heaps of confidence in sewing with triangles and so I set to making some scrappy stripes for the back of the quilt. And, oh! I love them!

This quilt has been a joy to make. I love the blocks, I love the back and I love that I decided to machine-quilt it.  It is only the second time I have attempted this (the first one is still languishing in The Pile awaiting binding) and it has saved heaps of time as opposed to hand-quilting. I am also dead chuffed with the binding and went with my thoughts that I talked about here.

I have learnt so many things about quilting over the last year, my head is full of ideas and plans.  The second christening quilt is basted and ready to be quilted too -- it feels so good to have my sewing mojo back.

Here's a final couple of photos of the front and back of the quilt, blowing gently in the breeze, all ready to be gifted.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt 2011 - October

:: a black cat ::
This is such a terrible photo (taken with my phone) I nearly didn't post it ... scraping the barrel with the first one here as there are no cats around me at all so spotted this one on an advert for flea treatment!

:: candlelit ::
cosying up my evenings now that they are so much darker

:: crunchy leaves ::
on my walk with Pippin

:: fog/mist ::
early one morning last weekend

:: golden ::
my pen tin

:: graffiti ::
surprisingly, I had trouble finding graffiti near to home. A good sign.

:: heritage ::
My great-grandmother crocheted, I crochet. I'm hoping the generations below me will love my crochet.

:: pumpkin ::
at the garden centre. Little and large!

:: river ::
not exactly a river, but the closest water to home

:: something eerie ::
on a leaflet I picked up in the vet.

:: sunset ::

:: a witch's hat/broomstick ::
modelled gracefully by my funny friend