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!

Russells International Circus

Half Term is here again and the girls are staying with us for a couple of days. Groupon were offering a reduced rate for seats at the Russells International Circus. Having not been to a circus since they banned the use of animals, probably 50 plus years ago, I bought us a voucher.
We set off for Kings Lynn [80 miles away] after a quick early lunch, the road to Kings Lynn  is notorious for being slow so we allowed plenty of time.
With half an hour to spare when we arrived, we used the facilities at the nearest Garden Centre and wandered amongst the Christmas items. Eleanor could not resist trying on fluffy ear muffs so we all tried on something!
Fun in the Garden Centre

Back to the Big Top we took our seats and were well entertained with jugglers, acrobats, that made you gasp at their daring acts, magic tricks and strong man feats.
Visiting the ticket Office

Yummy candy floss for Eleanor, Popcorn for Abigail!

The show starts

Dancers and acrobats from around the world

Such strength

This act really made us "gasp"

Saturday, 24 October 2015

PE Design Next

This has been a very busy week including a trip to BSK in Bedford for a One to One lesson on using the Brother PE Design Next. I have had the programme for some time, in fact almost a year! and have hardly opened the package. I decided to pay for a lesson to get me started.
Mike, my tutor, was very patient with me and having two lap tops set up taught me the basics and two hours passed very quickly. Back home I worked all afternoon on the lessons trying out different ways of doing things until my back ached, my rear hurt from sitting so long and my eyes would not focus!  I definitely need a lot of practise to master this design programme and now have such a respect for the people that digitise patterns for us to buy.

Fill stitches in different shapes.    Outlines with words in different formats and directions
I took a small photo of CJs Land Rover and cropped it, then sewed it out in Photostitch
Thursday was our two weekly sit and sew at Poppy Patch, where I almost completed another quilt for Linus. Just a small amount of binding to complete it.

Made from a Jelly Roll for Linus
Friday an early visit to Specsavers for an eye test. My first time of trying this company and I was very impressed with their efficiency.
I usually spend in the region of £280 on new glasses but even buying two pairs of the most expensive frames [ I decided to have spare sun glasses] only came to £199.
The evening was spent with our friends Dorn and Bill. Dorn had cooked a lovely meal which was followed by a long evening playing cards, Rummy 10 our "IN" game at the moment.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

An Autumnal walk

It is such a nice day today so after lunch we set off for a walk along the side of the old railway. It is always interesting to see the carriages and wagons that are being restored by the local enthusiasts.

It has been a long time since I dared even try to walk along this path and I was amazed at how much better my walking is now. All the early morning sessions on the treadmill seem to be paying off.

Always something interesting to see, love this mosiac

Lots of benches, but it was too cold to sit today.

The trees and bushes are heavy with red berries, suppose to be a sign of a hard winter.

Interesting carriages and signal boxes etc. 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Nene Quilters

Saturday I attended the Nene Quilters meeting in Northampton. It was not as well attended as in previous years which was such a shame for the organisers who had arranged a speaker, traders and mini workshops, but those of us that were there were in for a treat.

Amongst the mini workshops was one making tiny Teddy Bears, they are so cute I could not help but buy a kit, even though I have a drawer full of un-made kits and promised myself NO MORE!
One of the traders was selling packs of nine Tilda FQ's for £7.50, a treat not to be missed even though I had said NO MORE fabric I have enough to last a life time.
Are you starting to see a pattern here? Instead of NO MORE it should read no will power.

The afternoon speaker was Penny Armitage from Devon via the world! She was brilliant and her quilts and stories kept as all entertained. Her love of the countryside around where she lives was very evident in her work, and having learnt to quilt while living in Dubai, her stories left us wanting to hear more.
How to make a mini Teddy

Isn't he just the cutest

After the talk allowed to take photos of Penny's beautiful quilts

Called Cross Roads, this shows the changes taking place in Dubai

Trapunto style sunflowers, glittery scene from Dubai and a local Devon scene

A journal challenge of 12 twelve A4 panels
with each three months a different colour and each having a wild flower of the season.
[I could not get near to take a photo of the rest of the panels]

Penny Armitage in the centre explaining some of her work.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

My Brother and I

My Brother and I have been very busy today, of course I mean my Brother 4000D embroidery/sewing machine, I only have a sister in real life!

Normally on a Thursday I would be at BSK having a machine embroidery class but it was cancelled so I thought I'd put my time to good use, and I have made 25 [ YES Twenty Five!] FSL angels plus a few other Christmas ornaments!

A few items having been washed to remove excess wash-away  are now drying  near the radiator.

Yesterday we went to Market Deeping, near Peterborough, to the Antique / Craft barn. Always a fun place to go. Apart from the many different antique traders booths there is a wonderful shop full of beads and another with fabric and wool. It is fun looking at what people sell and remembering the items from my youth.  Pippins the fabric booth had a little workshop in progress, I think they were making fabric containers.
We also stumbled upon a market with a few stalls including one sell cards and Christmas paper, we came away loaded down. Great day out.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Baubles and diet

Since getting back from our last trip to Spain I have decided to try and get a bit fitter and loose some weight, mostly for health reasons. The day after we got back I joined Weight Watchers on line, a friend has had great success using this tool to loose weight. I filled in the forms [ get the first couple of months free if I can loose 10 lbs ] and was allocated my points. Three weeks in I have found it really easy to follow the plan and even coping with birthday and Golden Wedding cake I have kept within my limits.
It's early days but I really would like to be a lot slimmer by Christmas.

Before we went to Spain, funny how life is always either before or after something, I started using my treadmill to get some exercise [ I am really a couch potato]. I set my target on a place, Lamport, and clocked up my miles until I reached it. I decided to continue my journey and I am now on the way to Leicester, where I was born incidentally. Making these goals really helps my motivation, it is hard with bad knees and asthma but I am sure every little helps and I already feel better.

I joined a FSL [Free Standing Lace] Christmas ornament swap and have gone 'mad' on my embroidery machine making a number of items. The 3D red bauble was my choice to send to the Secret Sister swap, I hope she likes it, it involved making two sections that slot together..

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

How many times do I say ....

How many times do I say, where has the week gone?
I have been neglectful of my blog but up early this morning to do a "catch up".

We are in the throws of birthday month, when my whole family seems to be celebrating, starting with Chris [ see a previous post ] then eldest grandaughter turned 12 last week, her aunt reached 50, son will be 44 [ no that cannot be possible to have a son THAT old!] youngest grandaughter will be 8, plus my sister also has a birthday this week.

The IAM meeting for October was on the 1st and we had a full house. Six of the eight were busy hooking, yes we have all caught the crochet bug! There were some wonderful show and tell items [ please don't ask where the photos are, I didn't take any].

My friend Diana celebrated her Golden wedding and had a ' drop in for a piece of cake and drink' which we did yesterday, the house was full of flowers and both Diana and Trevor looked so happy. Needless to say I forgot my camera!

I have started a new crochet CAL, called the Spice of Life, so far I have mis read the instructions and made three rows of granny stitches that should just be trebles.. ho hum I am not frogging all that work, it will just be larger.

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...