Sunday, 24 July 2016

Michelle Randles School of Dance

Time for the granddaughters school of dance to perform at the Lighthouse Theatre Kettering. The Saturday matinee performance started at 12.30 and we eagerly took our seats on the front row.
It was a wonderful show lasting four hours with great performers. The Pre-Preliminary group of tiny tots were just too cute, especially the one who wanted to know where her Mum and Dad were sitting!
There were three acts with 14 dances in each act ranging in age from about 4 years old to mature ladies doing a tap dance.
Abigail and Eleanor performed in a number of routines and of course were THE BEST, not that I am bias! As soon as Eleanor spotted us it was a quick smile and then serious concentration. Abigail performed quite a few solo leaps and they both looked terrific.
The programme
It has become quite interesting to see how many times the family are in the programme:
Grade One: Eleanor
Grade Two: Abigail
Ballet Class One: Eleanor
Ballet Class Two: Abigail
Back Stage Crew: Richard
Props Team: Richard
General Help: Jacqueline

They had another performance Saturday evening and again today Sunday. My guess is there are a lot of very tired people by Sunday evening!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Wild Life

Wild life in the garden is always a treat for me. This year there have been more newts in the pond and less frogs but I enjoy them all. I think the cold weather killed of a lot of the frog spawn earlier in the year, but they will be back again next year I'm sure. The toads did better and there were lots of toad tadpoles which have now turned into little toads and leap across the garden looking for a cool shady spot.
Newt in my pond enjoying the sunshine
I went out to the pond to take a photo of a lovely red water lily only to find it had closed for the night! Most of my water lilies are white but each year I get just one red one. I did however see a newt basking in the sun and with zoom to the max on my camera managed to get a shot. I love my new Canon camera.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Hamtune Quilters


The meeting last night at Hamtune Quilters was a talk by Heather Jacks, winner of the GB Sewing Bee 2014. She was extremely entertaining telling us all the behind the scenes making of the show. Apparently it takes 128 hrs of filming to make one, one hour show.

It had been very hot all day and the evening was no better but on the way home the sky was a blaze of colour I could not resist stopping to take a couple of photos.

I love colourful skies.

Enjoying the country side

Monday saw us setting off for a small village near Rugby to start our Off Road adventure. Little did we know it would be quite the adventure it turned into.
The start of the route was through a stream, it was almost impossible to see where you came out the other side as the water seemed to be coming and going in three directions!

Where is the OUT?
Must be up the hidden ramp.
We passed along lovely country lanes and although they were a little bumpy [ well actually quite bumpy!] we expect that. However they suddenly turned really wet and smelly stagnant and it is hard to know how deep they are. Next we came across fallen trees and Chris had to remove quite large pieces of wood. It looked like there had been a lot of illegal off roading, there is always someone who spoils it for everyone else. Sadly the Land Rover got damaged trying to get through the undergrowth.
Moving tree branches
I am told it is possible to take a Land Rover to bits easily so I am sure Chris will be able to fix it!
On the good side it was a lovely sunny day and we crossed a bridge that Chris had read about, it was extremely high and looked like it had been made from a Meccano set.
Don't look over the sides !

Surely built by Meccano?

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Hamtune Mystery BOM Stars

In May, Cathy the chairman of the Hamtune quilters, announced a Star Mystery block of the month. I signed up even knowing I had a lot on my plate this summer.
We were given the first pattern on May 17th and it took me an age to decided on the fabrics I would use. June arrived and I had not started it, but with Junes pattern I decided on my colours and managed to make the May and June blocks so I had caught up. Wrong!! I had not read the pattern correctly and although I had made the three May blocks I had only made one of the two June blocks. This was only discovered when we were given the July pattern. I really want to stay on top of this Mystery so yesterday and today I have managed to complete the missing June block and make the July block. Yippee I'm up to date.
The stars are shining I am upto date with the Mystery BOM

Machine Embroidery Seahorses

There has not been a lot of sewing in the Happy Room this week but someone on one of the groups I follow put up a picture of a Mug Rug she had machine embroidered of a Seahorse. I love seahorses so bought the pattern for myself and had fun making a couple and thought I would keep the colouring in for my holiday but I could not wait and out came my trusty Derwent Water colour pencils and I made a start. This is a new idea for me and I just love it, must see if I can find more patterns to machine embroider and then colour in. If you know of any please leave me a comment.

Applique cut out in the Embroidery machine

Ready for colouring in
Starting to colour in the seahorse

I also found a couple of free heart basket patterns, in the past I have made a lot that just have straight lines but these have little heart shapes and a Ying/Yang design. I fused Heat-n-Bond to the back of fabric and interwove them, just need to add the handles.

Tiny hearts and Ying/Yang woven hearts

Ikea visit

We had a free day on Wednesday so Chris treated me to lunch out at Ikea, they are having a special on Wednesdays this month, their meatball lunch for £1. We have an Ikea card so the drinks were free.
We did splurge out on a dessert but the whole bill was less than £8 ! plus it was really nice.

The store also has an offer when you swipe your card going into the store and you get a £5 voucher, so armed with our £5 voucher we bought a couple of small things and the checkout was only 50p using the voucher... this was followed by swiping the till recipe to win a prize, anything from a hotdog to a trip to Sweden. Yes you guessed we won a hotdog.

An added bonus was fuel was 6p a litre cheaper at the petrol station next door so we filled up.

What a great day on the cheap.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Working with faux leather

Three of us got together to make a faux leather handbag yesterday. I had never worked with this fabric so got out my trusty Pfaff 7570 put in a new needle and the practice went well so I awaited Christine who was helping us make the bags.
The pattern is a free download from luckily there are pages and pages of instructions.
It was definitely a learning curve putting it together, but both Pauline and I managed to complete the bag, and I think making another would be easier having learnt how it all goes together. I think I may make one in cotton fabric as I love the size.
Christine who had already made two versions of the bag helping Pauline

my bag with an added long handle

Inside there are three sections [ one in the middle is not open for the photo]
The site has lots of things to explore, many for free.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Proud Grandma

I guess everyone is proud of their grandchildren but mine made me especially proud this week.

Eleanor age 8 had her school report and received excellent in every subject plus a 344 out of 344 for attendance. Her teachers were all extremely complimentary about her work.

Abigail brought a big smile to my face. Age 12 she started Textile and Design at school and at her last lesson she was the only one in the class that had done any sewing before. In fact the teacher made her her assistant. I asked to see the needlecase she designed to which she said " I could not finish it as I had to help all the other children". It is still at school waiting to be finished.
Photo by Abigail to show me she had her name on the Textile School board as Year 7 designer.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Dutch blocks

Sorting through my cupboards I came across a set of 'Dutch girl' machine embroidery that I had completely forgotten about. I think I made them to make into a hanging holder for quilt rulers, which obviously never happened.

I have been needing a thin large bag to hold my cutting mat and rulers I take to workshops so I thought I would set to and try and make one using these odd blocks. Another rummage in the cupboard and I found a pretty blue flowered fabric that I thought would go well with the Dutch girls.
Adding a bit here and there I managed to make the perfect size bag to hold my cutting mat and rulers.
Front of the bag

Back of the ruler bag.
I also did a little more to the Dog Panel I started on a workshop with Trish at Coleman's Warehouse yesterday.
Trish's sample

Trish demonstrating binding.
She is a great teacher and now appears on the Hocanda TV show with Debbie Shore.

Eleanor, IAM and catch up

Hi Everyone, its been a couple of days since I got a moment to sit and write on my blog. The tennis at Wimbledon and the Tour de France Cycle race are partly to blame, I love both. It is hard for me to sew and watch TV but I have been working on a new crochet project, more about that later.

Tuesday my youngest granddaughter called me and asked if I could attend her school assembly the next day. Of course the answer was yes, even though I was booked on a workshop that day and had no idea what I was letting myself in for!
It turned out is was a poetry reading for the whole of year 3 followed by scones. Eleanor had called a few days prior doing a school survey on our favourite scones. The Headmistress assured us the children had washed their hands before making them!
sharing a scone with Eleanor

I dashed from the school to Coleman's for a days workshop with Trish making a disappearing nine patch with a difference wall hanging. I have decided to make it into a lap size quilt no no photo yet! It was a great day as usual and nice chatting to a couple of ladies I had met the previous week.

Thursday was IAM craft day and the whole gang were here. The day went very quickly which is always a sign of a great day. It was lovely seeing Penny here after her recent operation.
love this crochet by Shirley

Ann had been knitting hats and squares for prem babies

Dorn showed us a ornament she had bought in Namibia on a recent holiday

Shirley gave me this Spanish lacemaker model she bought for £1 at an auction

Jenny is getting ready for Christmas with this lovely hexagon wreath

Clare had made a bag we all loved

Reverse of Clare's bag

While Penny recovers and is unable to use her sewing machine she has been finishing lots of little projects

The postman arrived while the IAMers were here and I had received a lovely little gift from a friend in the USA, Thank you so much Christa we all really enjoyed you thoughtfulness.

Love the star design in the middle of this heart

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Row by Row Block One

I decided to start my Row by Row adventure with the free pattern and kit I bought from Fabric HQ at Pickets Piece Andover.  If you have not heard of the Row by Row experience take a look at one of my previous blog posts.

Fabric HQ was a small very friendly place and the first Row by Row block I collected. I am glad I bought the kit as there were so many different pieces of fabric and in my opinion good value for money. I have plenty left over that will come in handy for the Rows I make without buying the kits.

The pattern is worked in three blocks and the first block had so many pieces to cut out I had backache all evening from standing at the cutting table!
so many pieces for the first block

Having made a few mistakes, reading patterns was never my thing, I completed my first row.
One mistake was to just copy the picture of the clothes onto Heat-n-Bond, they looked so small !!! then I realised I should have enlarged the picture so the one inch scale actually measured one inch. I had to scan at 175% to get the correct size.
Home Sweet Home

Saturday, 2 July 2016

July Plan

At the beginning of June I planned to complete eleven projects and I'm pleased to say I have managed ten of them. The only one outstanding is my hexagon hand sewing, but that has been on-going for quite some time so it will  go forward into my July plan.
By the skin of their teeth the first two Hamtune Star mystery quilt blocks were made

I am using a variety of Dimples coloured fabric with a white on white background.

Now for the July plan:
1. Work on hexagon quilt
2. Complete a dog panel quilt started yesterday Finished
3. Complete two chicken pot holders Finished
4. July Mini Mania is Seminole so I better sort that out and get it made.
5. Make the July Hamtune mystery star block
6. Make a ruler bag Finished
7. Start my Row by Row project One row completed
Workshops in the diary this month:
8. Window quilt
9. Leatherette handbag

I think that sounds more than enough to keep me busy this month.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Mini Mania June Challenge

July 1st and time to reveal the completed Mini Mania challenge for June.

The challenge was to use three colours and make stars.
First challenge was choosing the fabrics in the right colours, yellow, aqua and purple. Yellow is simple enough but choosing aqua and purple is a challenge for me in itself. I soon decided on my 'aqua' fabric but after pulling shades of lavender, lilac, mauve etc, from my stash which one is purple?

Choosing the fabrics and designing the mini quilt on EQ7
Next came the choice of design and wonky stars came to mind, so I set to and made one as a test, liked it and soon completed the mini quilt.
Finished mini quilt measures 24 inch square [ the maximum allowed in the challenge]

Simple quilting and smiley sun

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Fabritastic plus Byways

Set off this morning for a day of fun for both me and Chris.

My fun started with a trip to Coleman's Warehouse to exchange a Sizzix die that I had bought last week only to find I bought the same die a couple of weeks ago... am I getting old and forgetful... please do not answer that!
While I was there I booked another workshop that looked interesting tomorrow.

My fun continued with a visit to Fabritastic at Peterborough to buy my fifth Row by Row kit. We struggled finding the shop as the Tom Tom in Chris's Land Rover decided to die on us and we had to resort to old fashioned map reading, which of course does not show street names.
Parked outside was a car covered in adverts for the shop, it looked great.

Love the car decal
Row by Row houses
Buying my kit
Home Sweet Home was the design on offer, made with very tiny pieces, the first one with no applique that I have bought.

The houses kit
Now it was time for Chris's fun to start and we planned to travel the Byways in the area, were we in for a bumpy ride! This part of the Fen's is very wet and  many of the puddles hid large holes in the lanes throwing the car from side to side. The final lane we traveled was SO overgrown, we are used to grass growing up the lane and even bushes touching the car on both sides, but this was ridiculous the lane was about 3 ft high with weeds and in many places the hedges and trees touched both side and the roof of the car, it was like fighting your way through the jungle. A machete would have been handy.

Land Rover covered in mud from head to toe

Where is the machete to get us through this overgrowth

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Row by Row kits

So far I have bought three Row by Row kits. I intended just getting the free patterns, but with so many fabrics in each kit I thought it would be easier to just go mad and buy the complete kits. One advantage of Chris coming with me, he just said "buy the kit".

Threads and Patches sky line of London kit

Fabric HQ kit and pattern

Quilters dream picture
Fabric included in the Quilters Dream Kit