Saturday, 30 July 2016

Mini Mania Challenge July

Boy am I late starting the Mini Mania Challenge for July! Here we are with one day to go.
The challenge this month is Seminole, and I started the month not getting my head around the challenge. Having found my Simply Seminole book by Dorothy Hanisko I decided on just two of the patterns, Flip-Flop and Telegraph Poles.
Love this book

Why the choice of these two patterns?

 My husband used to work for the GPO which became BT and while doing his apprenticeship had to climb a telegraph pole and used to fascinate me [ well I was newly in love] with telegraph pole information. How deep they are in the ground, the safety aspects etc etc...
Two rows of telegraph poles
Layout for Flip Flop

My second choice Flip-Flop was due to the fact when I was in Jersey on holiday [many years ago] I went out to buy a pair of flip-flops to wear on the beach, but on the way to the shop I picked up two hitch hikers [ we live in different days now] and to cut a long story short I ended up marrying one of them. Chris and I have now been married 44 years.
Made with one day to spare!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Three Days with the granddaughters

It is the start of the school holidays so the granddaughters came to stay for three days. We were so busy I did not get around to blogging, so this is a catch up blog about our adventures.
Grandad starting the BBQ

Yummy hot dogs and beef burgers in the summer house.
It's cold but fun, lets fill up the water guns

Fun in the pool, even Grandma had a paddle
Lets shoot Grandad with water guns

Tuesday the three of us [ Grandad had a peaceful evening at home] attended an auction at my church.
The £1200 money raised will be used for the the youth camp next month.
It was great fun and the girls loved it even putting in bids for items.
The extremely large box of fruit, complete with jams and nuts was won for £10, it was so heavy I had to ask  for it to be carried to the car.
We also won the cake [ now 1/2 eaten!] and seven cup cakes, plus beans and courgettes.
I won two pledges, one is for a lemon meringue pie and apple pie, the other for three Spanish lessons.
I am hopeless at languages but it would be nice to have some knowledge of Spanish as we spend a minimum of two months in Spain each year. First lesson next Wednesday!

Time for a game. We love this Ticket to Ride game.

Abigail starting a pair of shorts

Eleanor working on her shorts

Eleanor with the shorts and cushion she made.
Abigail with the shorts and Seahorse machine embroidery she made.
I made the seahorse for Eleanor and the girls loved colouring them in with water pencils.
The Toby Inn for dinner, the girls love going here, but sadly it is closing next month and we will have to find somewhere else.
It has been a lovely three days but I probably need a couple of days to recover. They are all off to France for two weeks and will be back with us for a week at the end of the school holidays.

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

What a week of ups and downs

Sunday started so well as I went to church but then I hit an uneven curb in the church yard. The damage did not look too bad but it ruined ...