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

Row by Row

Tuesday we were on the road by 8am to take part in the  Row by Row  [click the link] experience. There are only six stores taking part in England UK so we set off to visit four of them. Hope to visit the others sometime.

Row by Row Experience™ began in 2011 with 20 quilt shops across New York State. In 2012 the event grew to include 62 participating shops. Pennsylvania came on board in 2013 for a total of 138 shops throughout the two states. 

In 2014 over 1250 quilt shops participated in 34 states and Ontario. 2655 shops across the US and Canada made 2015 the biggest year so far! 2016 will be even better!

Although the quilt shops are organized by area, quilters have no borders. Travel, shop, collect patterns and add rows to your quilt from anywhere!

206 mile eight hour round trip!
First stop Quilters Dream, Picket Piece, Andover Hampshire
Such friendly staff
The building does not do much for the delights once you get inside.

 Second stop was Lady Sew & Sew, Farm Rd, Henley on Thames
Chris always happy to help and a good support.


A warehouse full of fabric

Henley on Thames

As we crossed the Thames bridge they were getting ready for the Henley Regatta next week.
 Third stop Stoke Mandeville Buckinghamshire
Only open 10am to 2pm we were worried we would not make it in time
so did not stop for lunch until we got there. There is a really nice cafe in the same complex
as the shop where we had a really nice lunch so glad we waited.
A small complex of shops worth a visit.
 Fourth Stop was Threads and Patches at Bletchley
Hanging under the I love quilting sign are smaller versions you can buy.
A friend in the USA had asked me to get her one.

Love this quilt made by MK Gems

Finally time to go home and look at my goodies.




Sunday, 26 June 2016

Maker's Tote by Noodlehead

I like to follow a few blogs of other people and one of them is Noodlehead by Anna Graham.
Recently I saw the pattern for a bag she had produced which I really liked. It is nice to support small business's so with the click of a few buttons I had purchased the pattern from the USA. 9 pages of PDF download and I instantaneously had the pattern in my hands. I do love technology, well most of the time!

So many pieces
A search in my fabric cupboards and I had everything I needed to make the bag.
Wow such a lot of pieces to cut out.
zips, bias strip, Bosal foam to give it shape and Pellon fusible 

Projects like this I like to make in a day, how difficult can a bag be? Two days later and I managed to complete it.
Zipped pocket on the back


Flat inside pockets on one side, pleated pockets on the other side
Popper pocket on the front
 With so many pockets this is going to be such a handy bag.
There is a larger version in the pattern, I may have a go at that next.
Thank you Noodlehead.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

My busy week

Tuesday evening was the regular meeting at Hamtune Quilters. Pippa Moss was to be the speaker,  I did not know her work so did not know what to expect. What a treat she has a collection of Welsh and Durham quilts and explained the different and what to look for. Unlike most speakers she was happy to share where she bought her quilts and what they cost. One was really nice and had cost less than £40 on Ebay! A really nice informative evening that went all too quickly.

Pippa Moss collection of beautiful quilts
She was happy for us to feel the quality and see the workmanship
Part of her own hand worked Hawaiian quilt
Wednesday evening was spent at Church helping complete some quilts that had been started a couple of weeks ago. I had already managed to pin together two tops to their batting and backing and cut out the bindings, which enabled ladies to start marking and quilting them, the other two I had ready for the pinning process. It was a very busy evening, I needed a KitKat chocolate when I got home to recover!

Sky on the way home
Thursday it was off to Leicester and Kisko, fabric warehouse, to their sale. I bought a few yards [ yes they still measure in yards] of fabric varying from £2 to £3.50 a yard. I also bought rolls of bias binding [five very large rolls for a fiver] and batting. Chris sat in the 'rest area' and drank a cuppa and ate a biscuit.
We then went to Sainsbury for a fish and chip lunch which was really nice and to do some shopping.
Next a visit to the Leicester Costco warehouse for more shopping.

4000+ steps had me worn out !!!

Friday I attended a Colemans Warehouse workshop to make a clock. I always love these days with Trish, and the workshops are such good value for money. The clock will go in the granddaughters room here for when they visit.




6 FQ's a clock kit and felt etc workshop all for £20

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Weigh In

Having been trying to loose weight to relieve the pressure on my poor old knees, one of which is already a lump of metal! I joined the Candis Diet club.
I'm celebrating today as I have gained my second rosette, a silver medal for another half stone.

The celebration will be a low cal jelly with peaches, nothing too bad ha ha!

In fact I really enjoy this diet club and its flexibility. I have not had to give up chocolate or ice creams, both of which I could live on, I just have to be more sensible.

I would like to loose another 7lbs and turn my silver medal into a gold before my holiday later this year.

Oven mitt swap

A large package dropped through my letterbox yesterday from the USA.  It contained not one but two oven mitts.  One of the on-line groups I belong to organised an oven pad/mitt/glove swap and Barbara from Knoxville IL sent me a very pretty round machine embroidered mitt. I love the design and it will make a cheerful addition to my kitchen. The other Spearmint mitt is the sort you put on your hand to hold a casserole dish and again the choice of fabric and machine embroidery is really nice, thank you Barbara.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Happy Fathers Day

There are three men in my life that I want to remember this Fathers Day.
Firstly my Dad, Stanley Douglas Simons.

1917-2003 always a gentle man, willing to help and a role model to myself and my sister.
Secondly my husband, Christopher John Glasspool
and last but definitely not least, our son, Richard Anthony Glasspool
Richard not only a wonderful and caring son, but the father of my wonderful grandaughters
Chris my rock and father of Richard 
Although June 19th is Fathers Day we should remember our Dads and give thanks for them every day.


Saturday, 18 June 2016

More items completed from my June Plan

Another busy morning completing projects I hoped to finish this month.  I now have just two more to work on to complete my target.

This scene from Paris was sewn out on the Embroidery Machine using two different fabrics to give the effect of pavement and sky with just a little green applique to add contrast to the basically black silhouette. I decided to simply frame it in black fabric to make into a picture.

I didn't really know wheat to do with this sunflower crochet square that I worked while on holiday in Spain. Funny how sometimes things just go together and I thought it would make a nice bag to carry my crochet in. It has the same bright yellow backing as handles and a yellow check lining.

Andy Murray and the start of the tennis season

This week I have tried to watch as much of the tennis from Queen's Club England as possible. There have been some wonderful matches, and today Andy Murray has won his place to the final tomorrow against M Cilic.  The venue at Queen's looked in great shape.

Can Andy win for a fifth time?

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Canon has arrived

Yesterday a trip to join Costco, ended with me buying, amongst other things, a new camera.
I have been using Sony cameras for some time but my latest one was giving me problems and I had been looking for a new one. I like easy to use, slid in my handbag style of cameras and the Canon Ixus 285 HS seemed to fit the bill. Plus it was £40 cheaper at Costco than anywhere else.

It was a job setting it up to wi-fi the pictures across to my computer and finding a lead that would also fit for when I needed to use it without wi-fi, thank goodness I am married to very handy man and he sorted out both problems.

Here is my first photo, another of the items in my June finish plan.
It consists of ten 60 degree angle triangles and the way they are cut and placed form this interesting shape.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Not IF but WHEN

Hospital

Not my favorite place to visit, but I had to see the Specialist this morning, as I have been having so much knee pain and walking is really difficult. It is two and a half years since I was last here having my right knee replaced.

He gave me an injection to help reduce the swelling and will see me again in two months to make a decision about another knee replacement, saying it's not IF but WHEN ! Really not words I want to hear.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

The garden showing signs of Summer

At last the garden is starting to show signs of summer. The lilies in the pond have at last flowered and there are lots of buds just waiting for a nice day. It was funny watching a couple of newts chasing each other around yesterday. I love the wildlife that just appears in the pond.
My two apple trees have lots of tiny apples on them and I am hoping for our first year of a good crop. Considering they are growing in pots and do get rather neglected I am very pleased with them.
One of my favorite flowers

Hoping for a good crop this year
The never ending weeding and lawn mowing, luckily Chris always mows the lawn, is a draw back of a big garden. Where I used to be so fussy about my garden and in fact was a member of the Japanese Garden Society for some years and everything had to be "spit spot" I now am far more relaxed. The problems with my knees means I cannot kneel and bending to do anything is hard on the back so I am learning  to live with  what I can do and what Chris is willing or able to do. He is definitely not a gardener.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A busy few days

5th we attended Brian's 75th birthday BBQ. The sun came out after what seemed like an eternity of gloomy wet days. It was a lovely day with great food and wonderful company. Brian's garden is full of interesting things and pretty flowers.

Brian and Pauline in their garden
I attempted my first selfie..
Just in case you wonder what I look like!


6th was spent mostly in my Happy Room completing some of of my PLAN.  I decided to use the machine embroidered Japanese ladies to make a large bag. It is amazing how many times I seem to need a big bag to take stuff to quilting days, however I want to try and use up some of the fabric that has been lurking in my cupboards for ever! so the bag is pieced with a Japanese print and the lining is Christmas fabric.  At least I can turn it inside out and use it at Christmas for a change of look.
oops forgot to take a photo of the back.

 I also managed to sew the oven pad I had machine embroidered a cockerel on and found, again lurking in the cupboard, chicken fabric for the back.
Back
Front











Daughter in law is off on her business travels so I picked the girls up from school, took them home for a quick change of clothes and something to eat before delivering them at their rhythmic gymnastic class. Long hair has to be put up in a bun. Always a great treat to see the girls.

Fixing their hair ready for gym.
7th four of us got together for a workshop, Christine had organised an owl table mat, and we had a lovely day with windows and doors open sewing the owls. Thank you Christine for organising this day.

Christine, Pauline and Penny in my Happy Room

The completed owl mat, tried to make each one look in a different direction!


While we were all sewing Chris was busy in the garden, giving it a make over.
Clearing out the overgrown circle under the front trees.
The plan is to replace the stones with slate to match the rest of the front garden and the circle of bricks will also be replaced.