Friday, 31 July 2015

Nature Sketches Quilt

Anita Goodesign machine embroidery patterns are always a big hit with me, they sew out so nicely.
I just fell in love with the Nature Sketches designs and even though they took forever to sew out, the finished blocks are so worth it. I decided to make them into a single bed quilt for my grandaughter if she likes it.
Masking tape used as a guide for quilting
I quilted the sides using masking tape in a chevron pattern, which went very well. Then came the middle and I did not want to take away from the designs so stitched "in the ditch" using my ordinary sewing machine. I do not like stitching in the ditch, and I admit I am not very good at it, also coping with all the fabric is a nightmare on the back and shoulders. Breathing a sigh of relief I have finished it and added the binding. I will leave sewing the binding to the back until I need a sit down project, as I always do this by hand.
Lots of tables set up to help with the weight of the quilt while getting it through my Pfaff sewing machine

Trial placement on one of the girls beds in our spare room

Binding still need hand stitching to the back

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The parcel

Yesterday I had to visit the Specialist for a follow up appointment on my poor old knees. The outcome being, unless I want the other knee replaced, which he does not recommend and I certainly do not want, I am stuck with what I have. Having been walking with a stick and rubbing in Arnica oil for the past six weeks things are a little better.
Feeling a bit low that nothing can be done it was a wonderful surprise when I got home to a large box from the WoolWarehouse. The wool was beautifully wrapped and although I had not paid for next day delivery it had arrived the next day, what service.

I am trying to decide what to take to Spain with me. I always like to take a project for our four week holiday in September. I had decided to make the CAL [ Crochet Along] pictured below. It is an interesting project as the centre block can be a personal choice [ there are lots on Ravelry for free]. Each week starting August 8th the patterns for the borders will be published.

Having ordered the wool for the Keitopalette CAL, Jane Crowfoot produced a new project that I love and would actually be a more sensible [ less wool to carry] project to take. Decisions decisions!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Edna Wynefred Harris [nee Simons]

Yesterday was the day we celebrated the life of my Aunty Edna, my father's youngest sister.
Her funeral took place in Kettering at the Parish Church where she had been a loyal worshipper for most of her life. The church was full of friends and family.
Everyone had a story to tell, my favourite memories were the jar of lemon curd she made me every Christmas. Family get togethers around the large table in the basement of her house were always full of fun and laughter. She loved receiving little things I made her and had a cabinet full of special things, including bobbin lace, embroidery, and other craft work I had made her.
There are six cousins from her side of the family and happily we were all able to attend.
In age order we lined up for a rare photo together.
Rosalind (74), me(70), Andrew(70), Deborah(67), Stephen(64) and John(59)
My sister Debbie, with cousin's Rosalind and Andy at the wake. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Poppy Patch sit-n-sew

First thing in the morning I had nothing ready to take to the regular sit-n-sew day at Poppy Patch.
The large quilt I am working on is too bulky to take, plus I like to take my Singer Featherweight sewing machine as it is not too heavy to carry.
A search through the pile of UFO's I found four machine embroidered panels that had been laying there unloved. I also wanted to have a go making another hat, the first three I made do not fit !
I grabbed wadding and matching fabrics to the machine embroidered panels threw in some fabric for my fourth hat trial and off I went.
Great day, I managed to make three bags from the  four panels I took, the fourth is cut out ready to sew. The hat is still a little too big but I can live with it.
Hat ideal for when I am sewing outside in the sun!

Panels machine embroidered for Halloween last year but now made into bags ready for this year

A machine embroidery experiment turned into a little bag to give as a present to someone.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The start of School holidays

The girls arrived early Wednesday morning, looking worn out. In fact I think they were still half asleep, but a bowl of cereals and hair brush soon had them ready to play games.
Yahtzee and Domino's chicken leg were the games of choice. Both games are great fun and also good for their maths.
They were offered a choice of places to eat but as usual The Toby Inn was the favourite so we went there and enjoyed a very nice carvery meal followed by ice creams.

The sun hats I had made them were popular and as they were reversible 7 year old Eleanor declared they would be great for when her head gets hot and sweaty as she could just use the other side * Out of the mouths of babes * comes to mind.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The day started well...

Sun is shining and the lunches are packed as we set off for a day in the country to dive the byways and country lanes of Northamptonshire. Our starting point was close to Naseby and a quick stop to take a look at Fairfax's viewpoint and take in the wonderful scenery was a reminder of our past and the Battle of Naseby.

We pasted over tiny bridges and saw lots of pretty thatched houses, it was easy to imagine how people used to live in the narrow streets and country lanes.

A stop for lunch in a remote field with only the birds for company, we were in high spirits.
Apart for reading the maps we were making a note of the condition of the Byways for Chris's future reference. He has taken on a role with LAF, I've no idea what it stands for, but it is something to do with keeping the lanes we travel safe and available to all.

One such lane is a very short byway with gates at both ends, hardly worth travelling, but in the scheme of things we decided to survey it. The gate is SO overgrown with lots of stinging nettles so I let Chris open the gate! It is such an overgrown route, we were probably the last ones to use it sometime last year.

Then disaster, a few yards in the car just slid into a very large unseen soggy hole, and there was nothing Chris could do to get it out. With great difficulty I managed to climb across the seats and get out of the car, with Chris practically dragging me [ not a pleasant sight!]
Out came the winch and tidied to the metal gate post eventually after a huge amount of effort the car was out, back through the gate and home for showers and a cuppa.. What a day.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Rob and Beryl Coy Party

A surprise afternoon tea party was arranged for friends Rob and Beryl by their daughters, Louise and Helen, and Rob's sister, Ann. We arrived at 2pm as requested and the hall was wonderfully decked out with balloons, flowers and bunting. A short time later Rob and Beryl arrived, they had been blind-folded from their home ! to loud cheers of "surprise" they entered the hall, it was a wonderful moment to see the look in their eyes at friends and family from far and wide had arrived to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

There was enough food, which was mostly home cooked, to feed an army. I think they will be eating left over sandwiches and cake for a month!
Flowers for Ann for helping with the preparations

Helen and Louise giving a talk about family life
Listening to their daughters give an amusing talk,
they look a bit worried about what might be said !!!

Rob replying to the talk while their daughters and granddaughter look on.

The happy couple

Louise, Beryl, Rob and Helen

The tea party

Honey and bordering a quilt

I have been suffering terribly with Hayfever and someone suggested Honey might help the situation, but it has to be local honey. I made a search on the internet and found there is no proof it works but everyone seems to swear by it! Eventually I found a farm shop selling local honey, so I'm taking a teaspoon full a day and we will see if it helps. In any case it tastes really nice, much better than the cheap honey I put in my Barley cup drink.

I have managed to sew the Nature Sketches machine embroidery blocks by Anitagoodesign together with white sashing, anything else seemed to take away from the pretty designs.
Now I need to add borders. When I sewed out the designs I used Dimples fabric by Andover Designs in grey, I have the same fabric in many colours and think I will use them to add a few borders to make the quilt big enough for a single bed.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Bargain beauty

A few weeks ago I bought a couple of hanging baskets from Lidl at the bargain price of £3.99 each. What a wonderful show they are giving us now. I am sure the geranium in the centre would have cost me more than the whole basket!

For a brief moment the sun came out last week, so I grabbed the quilt off our bed and squeezed it into my washing machine, luckily the sun lasted long enough to get it completely dry, back on the bed it went smelling lovely and fresh. Being King size it is a job to get it into my front loading machine and even more of a job coping with it when wet! Although I have a number of large quilts this is one of my favorites and except in the middle of winter is always on our bed.  In the winter I like to make the changes and put a couple of other quilts on the bed with our electric blanket.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Enjoying the countryside

Yesterday we decided the weather looked good and we would go "Off Roading". Packed lunches ready we set off about 9am. Our starting point was a few miles away using a map from a magazine.
It is amazing the difference when you travel along main roads the hustle and bustle of traffic and the noise and pollution, is then quickly followed by peace and quiet along the beautiful  lanes of Northamptonshire.
Entering the first of 20 gates that I [or sometime Chris] opened.
Occasionally we meet horse riders and always stop turn off the engine to let them pass on these narrow lanes, everyone smiles and greets us, occasionally asking about the Green Lane Society,  Chris has a big sticker on the front of his Land Rover, he hands them a leaflet.
These two horse riders waited to find out which way we were going so they could take a different track.
The countryside is there for us all to enjoy as long as we look after it.

The road map [ called tulip maps ] that we followed suggested a shop in one of the villages sold wonderful pork pies, Chris could not resist and I must say the slice I had, cut with his penknife, as we did not have cutlery with us! was delicious.
A typical tulip map. Number 21 meant a stop for pork pie, yummy.

See the legs in the front garden? You never know what you will come across when passing through little villages!

Standing room only for the sheep  taking a rest squashed in under the shade of tree

We found a nice wooded area to stop and eat lunch and watch the hundreds of butterflies everywhere, I have never seen so many.
The weather turned from warm to hot and the fields of wheat and barley etc. that we travelled through gave both of us terrible hayfever, Chris spent his time blowing his nose while I coughed so eventually around 2pm we abandoned our trip and headed for home. In any case it was the semi-finals of Wimbledon, where sadly Andy Murray got knocked out.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

How to turn £5 into £60

When the time came to block the Lily pond blanket I realised I did not have enough foam boards. The pack I had, I bought in B & M Store for £4.99 so off I went to buy another pack thinking £4.99 would not break the bank. Chris came with me.
We both searched the store and asked the staff, no more foam boards, I guess the crochet crowd had been and cleared the stock! We picked up a couple of odds and ends and then I saw they had a Swan Steam Generator Iron reduced from £222 to £59.99 so somehow it came home with me.
I had wanted a new iron for quite a while as my old one would sometimes spit out brown water even though it had a new filter. I am not silly that I think the irons would be £222 anywhere so checked on Amazon and the same iron is £79 so I still got a good deal.
This did not solve the foam board problem so a quick nip into Tesco and I bought a pack of foam noughts and crosses game and they did the trick, plus the granddaughters can play with them.
I just love a new box of goodies

Ready to go

Almost there. Lily Pond CAL

Watching the tennis at Wimbledon has meant I have done a lot of crochet lately. There is nothing better than to find a good match to watch, often not the favourite, and sit there with  nice glass of apple water and my crochet hook.
Yesterday I managed to complete my Lily Pond blanket all except for the final border, so I decided to "block it". This is all new to me but I managed to pin the wrinkled mess to a selection of childrens foam boards [ that's another story!] and spray it with cold water. I was of the opinion that if the wrinkled mess did not sort it self out or I had done something wrong it was going in the bin.
***Alleluia***  removed the pins this morning and it has all gone flat and I am in love with it again, cannot wait for the border instructions to come out next week.
So wrinkled I cannot believe it will ever go flat!

Yippee, lovely and flat and I love it again

Friday, 3 July 2015

July IAM meeting

Another great day with a full compliment of IAM ladies.
Crochet is certainly very popular among the group, we all blame Shirley for showing us how to crochet and the money we are spending on wool!
It was nice to see Clare working on her lace pillow, making a bookmark for her husband.
Maureen was working on "old faithful" Lowry tapestry, looks like it may be completed soon.
Others were knitting, crocheting and quilting. Plus there was lots of chat and laughs with of course the regular "medical up dates on everyone"!
Here are a few photos of the show and tell.
Shirley with yet another crochet blanket

Penny with her machine embroidery and patchwork quilt for Linus 

Penny's crochet blanket

Maureen''s book cushion, with pocket for book etc on the back
together with the rear end of the elephant!

Clare's machine embroidered table runner

Biopsy, bruises and a block finish

Thursday I went into hospital at 10.30 for my lung biopsy, the staff could not have been nicer and put me at ease. The procedure meant lying...