Saturday, 28 November 2015

Weymouth Regent Hotel

Monday saw us packing our bags for a five day Turkey and Tinsel break in Weymouth.
A special offer with the company Daish was too good to miss and with good friends Dorn and Bill we booked five days at the Regent Hotel.
The meals were excellent and Katie our server went out of her way to make us feel special.
Monday when we arrived was Christmas Eve,
Tuesday Christmas Day where we were served meals with all the trimmings and even Santa paid us a visit. Wednesday was Boxing Day.
Thursday was New Years Eve and Auld Lang Syne was sung at 11pm !
Evenings were spent playing cards in the lounge with Dorn and Bill. Afternoons saw us meet up to work on our crochet, while the men read or played on their ipads.
Chris with Santa in the lobby.

During the day we did our own thing, and Chris and I went to the pictures twice. First to see James Bond which we really enjoyed although did not think it as good as Skyfall.

Our next outing to the cinema was to see Maggie Smith in the Lady in the Van, another great film we had heard a lot about.

Friday, 20 November 2015

20th November 1944

Yes... Another birthday rolls along! I am amazed at all the cards I have received, thank you friends.

Chris worked hard making me a Sophie's Universe crochet file, it is so heavy I can hardly lift it! Plus he gave me all the wool to make it. I am so looking forward to working on this crochet, hope it's not beyond me.

Wool and pattern for the crochet project Sophie's Universe
Yesterday was spent with friends at BSK Bedford where I machine embroidered Christmas designs onto a plain white T shirt. I have been looking in the shops for something Christmassy to wear for the holidays and other than jumpers, which I never wear, I could not find a thing. The answer was to make myself an embroidered T shirt which I love.

T shirt for Christmas, plus the start of the applique alphabet
With Christmas coming fast I love working on festive items, and gingerbread men that hold cutlery were just the job. I sewed out the small one by mistake, but he will hold a little candy cane if I remember to buy some.
Gingerbread man cutlery holder plus son of gingerbread man holding a crochet hook. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Party

Our friend Peter celebrated his special birthday in style at the weekend. His wife Ann had organised a room at Duston Sports Centre and laid on a wonderful buffet. We have forty plus years of history together and it was lovely meeting their relations and friends from long ago.
A big surprise for Peter was his niece Heather  who arrived with her harp and played throughout the party. A wonderful event, thanks for the friendship.
Peter with his niece Heather

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Christmas is coming

My first Christmas card arrived a couple of days ago! complete with a lovely FSL [ free standing lace] Christmas stocking to hang on my tree.
The gift was from Donna in Michigan USA part of a swap I took part in. I love it and red is my favourite colour.

Monday I had my weekly weighing session and Weight Watchers on line continues to work for me and I have lost 5% of my body. I cannot believe I have been able to stick to this plan, but feel very motivated. We are going on holiday for five days in a couple of weeks, where all the food is provided, this will be a big test of my resolve.

Spent the day yesterday working on my quilt, until my hands hurt and my back was saying STOP!
Hope to get a little more done today before going out for a pre-birthday lunch with hubby.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Safety Pin day

Decided today was the day and I needed to get my latest quilt top backed and wadded and safety pinned. Starting the day sewing strips of fabric together for the backing, I am trying to use what I have [ which is a lot!] rather than buy new. Using my two banqueting tables I laid out the backing, after ironing it, then the wadding and finally the quilt top. Back breaking work trying to get everything straight and no creases.
A quick cup of hot chocolate to keep me going it was then time to start putting in the safety pins.
I like to use the small bent pins and although I have a gadget, Kwik Klip, to help with the closing of the pins it is very hard on the fingers pushing through all the layers of fabric.
Over 400 hundred safety pins later my fingers need a rest, and I may put off the actual quilting until tomorrow. In any case I have not decided how to quilt it yet.
Over 400 safety pins!

close up on one of the blocks.

Monday, 9 November 2015

MK GEMs show

Saturday saw Penny and I travelling to Woburn Sands in the most torrential rain.
The MK GEMS [Milton Keynes Group of Embroidery Machine Sewers] were holding their bi-annual exhibition.
What a wonderful show and so well organised, we were greeted at the door and told about the different exhibits. The members of the group had be challenged to decorate an apron, their imaginations had run wild. The display of quilts and clothes were wonderful plus there were three different embroidery machines set up working on different projects, felt, leather and wash away.
There is a story running around the outside of this tepee, what a masterpiece any child would love.

Attic Window quilt with dramatic ME

One of my favourite quilts, completely ME'd, even the sashing.

What a wonderful way to capture your memories.

Love this Roman blind

The clothes and cushions display 

The 3D poppies on this cushion a reminder of Remembrance Day

Less than 7 weeks to the Yo Ho Ho Day

Everything on the tree was for sale for 50p

This 3D swan beautifully framed really caught my eye

Daffodils with tiny lights, what a great idea

The group had had a workshop and there were many of these 3D flowers, really pretty

Back and front of this jacket were incredible

One of the apron ladies

The "good night" side of the tepee

Cheering up the Happy Room

 Having lost my sewing mojo for sometime, after a week of workshops and the quilt show I suddenly want to sew sew sew...
Nice but dull and do not meet in the middle curtains!
The dark evenings mean I draw the curtains early in my Happy Room, and the pair I have are really dull and do not really fit the window so action was needed... bingo, bright new flowered curtains that bring a smile to my face.  I like them so much I will probably make short ones for my side windows, I have enough fabric as I bought far too much in the first place!

Pretty new curtains to cheer up the room, plus they meet !
I am gradually de-cluttering my room and have either given away, sold on Ebay or put in the bin quite a lot of things, but there is a long way to go before I will be really happy with my clean up plan. Hopefully the bright new curtains will give me the push to keep going.

November IAM meeting

What better place to be on a very wet day than together with my friends for a craft meeting.
The usual highs and lows of our lives were shared, plus much laughter. Two roulades provided by Penny took care of the sugar boost to help us through the afternoon.
Show and tell was well supported...
Ann had been busy making her Christmas cards, we had wondered what was going to appear from the brown box!

Wow! Shirley had completed a Janie Crow crocheted blanket in the time it takes most of us to open a ball of wool. 

Ann found a  new use for a paper back book, turn it into a hedgehog

Penny's pretty furry sheep quilt, complete with black sheep!

A beautiful blanket of yellow and white crocheted daises by Penny

Clare had been really busy with the black bias tape [ I think she said 11 rolls!]
I would love this if she cannot find a home for it.

Jenny has been in knitting mode and we loved this racoon.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Monday with the girls

Monday the girls had an extra day off school, teacher training or some excuse!

It was nice to have them here and we were busy in the Happy Room most of the day, although we started in the kitchen cutting up oranges and satsumas and put them in the oven to dry out. The girls rotated them every hour to make sure they dried evenly and did not stick to the wire frames. The house smelled lovely all day!  I intend to make them into a Christmas decoration.

Next they were busy cutting out banner shapes from a Christmas panel I bought at Coleman's. I need to back each piece and add a ribbon to be able to use them over the holidays.  [Just another job to add to the ever growing list!]

Arranging the banner after cutting the pieces out of a panel.
I have strict instructions to keep them in this order when I back them and attach them to ribbon!

A number of us at church are making flower or ornaments for the McMillan nurses to give to cancer patients that have lost their hair and are given hats. The flowers will add a bit of colour during the dark winter months.  Both girls were happy to help with this worthwhile cause and managed to make six felt flowers with buttons and safety pin backs. Well done girls.

Flower brooches made by the girls.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Duxford Quilt Show

Saturday was my first time at Duxford quilt show.
Duxford is the home of the Imperial War Musem near Cambridge, with its museum of aviation history and the stories of the RAF that were stationed there.

Chris had decided to come with me to visit the planes but in the end changed his mind and accompanied me to the quilt show.

It is a small show compared to the NEC but there were lots of traders and quilt displays plus a bonus of  lots of seating !

We wandered around the traders before looking at the quilts on display. Having spent rather a lot on fabric this week I was really good and only bought batting and some ribbons.
Love the 3D effect

Chris's favorite, he said he would not mind hanging this on our wall... high praise indeed.

Called the "Life of Darcey" the quilter chronicled her dog through the seasons.

This is my choice for the wall.

Lots of goodies to buy

Part of the plane exhibition

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Basket workshop

Coleman's Warehouse at Rushden was the venue for Fridays workshop.
I love going there as the atmosphere is so relaxed and I always learn something new.
Six of us enjoyed the workshop with Trish lining a basket. All the fabric [ 2 metres of it!] plus the basket were provided making this a real bargain workshop for £20.
We were allowed to chose our own fabrics, so mine were blue flowers and pink check.
My friend Christine arrived while I was looking around the warehouse and unknown to me chose the exact same fabrics from the large selection in the store!

Trish cutting fabric in part of the wonderland store.

While making the basket I thought how nice the flowered fabric would be for curtains in my Happy Room, funny the ideas that go through my head!
The thought persisted so a quick text to Chris asking him to measure my window [ funny how he never wonders why I ask these questions when I should be doing something else!]. I then bought the fabric for new curtains, this was not on my plan when I left home.
In fact it turned out to be an expensive visit to Coleman's as I needed batting, plus having said no more Christmas fabric items I then bought a Christmas banner kit.
Apart from the cost I seem to have loaded myself down with a lot of projects to make before Christmas.
My basket before the handles were put back on.
My shopping: Batting, fabric, banner and a polystyrene ring.

It was a great day, plus I filled my loyalty card and get the next workshop for free.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Sue Sewing Day

Up early to pick up my friend Penny and head off to Bedford for a day sewing with Sue and her gang. I always look forward to these informal sewing days, where we are offered projects to work on, tips and ideas, or we can do our own thing.
For some reason Bedford has often given us a problem when driving there, and Penny and I have seen most of the town by taking the wrong roads, yesterday was no exception! We have been to the Church hall many times, but twice missed the turnings and had to do a quick U turn to retrace our steps, maybe too much talking and then laughing when we went wrong is the reason for the second missed road.
I decided to try and do something with 12, 12 1/2  inch blocks that I had hand sewn years ago, so together with the 328, 3 1/2 inch Tilda fabric squares that I had cut out the day before, I spent my day putting them together.  I must say I am really pleased with the result so far.
So far so good, the fairies are getting the Tilda treatment
Half the quilt made

Made by one of the group I love this idea, a mat for Santa's drink and a little pocket for a note and Rudolph's carrot!

Busy busy busy

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Getting ready for Halloween!

Blog post by Abigail and Eleanor.

Today we had a day of resting after the long day yesterday at Russel's International Circus. We went into Grandma's Happy room to carve pumpkins ready for Halloween on Saturday. We put a tablecloth on one of the tables and started by drawing faces and cutting the top of the pumpkin off (Granddad did the cutting of the tops). When that was completed, we scooped out all the insides and put them into a washing up bowl. After that, we started carving the faces on the pumpkins- mine (Abigail's) had a diamond shaped nose and two teeth for the mouth whilst Eleanor's had a triangular nose and a spiky mouth.
Starting to remove the seeds and insides.

Five Halloween faces all ready for Saturday night!