Wednesday, 31 May 2017

What a day!

What a day Tuesday turned out to be.
7.30am saw me dropping Chris off at Northampton General Hospital for removal of his Gall bladder. The worry and tension of this was having it's toll on both of us.

8.45am the girls arrived for the day, so we set to making Get well cards for Grandad.
They had great fun choosing fabrics from my stash and ironing it onto Heat-n-Bond.
Next came the fun part of choosing die shapes and cutting them out on the Sizzix machine, these were then ironed onto cards and felt tips used to write messages... it was so enjoyable they made a few extra cards.

Card making
12am. midday I called the hospital to see how Chris was getting on and they said he was still waiting for his operation. The girls were concerned about the fact he had nothing to eat since the night before.
The completed cards

Lunch was hot dogs and ice creams in the summer house, it was too nice a day to sit inside.
We then played a game of Ticket to Ride.

1.30pm the hospital called for me to collect Chris, his operation had been cancelled for the second time!

Back home the girls cut off his name tags and laughed at the grey compression stockings and red slipper-socks he was wearing.  It was so nice having them here to take away some of the tension.

We played Game of Life in the afternoon, and put away the Get Well cards until he does eventually have the operation.

Also during the day we emptied the container I had planted with a couple of seed potatoes and were amazed to find just over a kilo of lovely potatoes ready for eating. The girls loved digging in the soil to find as many as they could. Grandma cleaned up the mess afterwards!!

Digging with their hands for potatoes

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Another pair of socks

Just completed another pair of socks and made them match as much as possible.
They were started in Spain, worked on while travelling through France and finished in England... so quite European and well traveled without going on a foot !

I cannot find the wool label but I think it is King Cole Zig Zag sock wool.
I know it was a gift from my son and family.
My fleece cat is sitting waiting for something to arrive....

"I wonder why there is such an empty space in the Happy Room,
Think I'll sit here and wait and see what happens"

Friday, 26 May 2017


The garden is looking so nice at the moment with all the rain we had last week and sun this week.
The pond Iris are one of my favorite, pity they do not last in flower very long.

Please ignore the plants in the wrong place [ also known as weeds!] the ground is rock hard in this hot sunshine, I need to water and then weed!
Handles on the crazy patchwork bag, and not joining the UFO pile. More pleased with this bag than I thought I would be.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Sue's Bedford sewing day

Wednesday spent the day at Bedford on a sit n sew day at St Marks Church.
Most people were doing something different, from crochet to applique and rabbit making.

I decided to make use of the crazy patchwork panel that I made at BSK last week.
A look through my stash of bag patterns turned up one with a zipped pocket on the front, two side pockets and the crazy panel was just the right size for these pocket fronts.

The pattern was a little confusing but once I got started it all fell into place and I am really pleased with the end product. I managed to complete the bag except for attaching the handles, which are reversible and I think I will attach them with red fabric to match the red machine embroidery.
The pocket on the front is just the right size for my ipad.

Just a small amount of sewing to complete the bag handles.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Get together and Row by Row #3

Three friends arrived for a sewing day yesterday, and we all set to on making a Row by Row panel.
Christine had three ready for sewing down the applique on the designs she had chosen.
Pauline and Penny were working on patchwork Rows.
I decided it was time to complete my 'Row' #3

Interesting that we all choose different panels to work on.
Just love this Bear panel and Christine's choice of fabric is really nice

Penny's HOME just needs a couple of birds sitting on the fence

Pauline wants to add a window to the Quilt Shop

My completed 'Row@ #3
My friend Chantal sent me this kit, bought in Brussels Belgium. I forgot to reverse the pattern for the applique but I guess it does not matter unless you are familiar with this sky line!

I have five Row by Rows completed now, all they need is the backing and binding. I think I have decided, but then again my change my mind, how I want to complete them. Also there are at least two more I want to make.

It was a great day of sewing, friendship and laughter.

Row by Row #3

I managed to complete Row by Row #5 this week.
Called 'Hoo Be Quiltin' I think this is one of my favourite panels.
I love the owl in the tree branch just peeping out.
Sorry about my feet in the picture, but I am wearing socks I made some time ago.

Friday, 19 May 2017

BSK day

A day spent at BSK [Bedford Sewing & Knitting] was really nice. Once I had decided what I wanted to machine embroider it was quite a relaxing day.
This is the sample bag that I intend to work on
 Hooped up Tear Away, then Cushion soft and a layer of calico.
Loaded the pattern into the machine, it is in three parts.
Chose six different black and white fabrics and a reel of Red Marathon thread.

Joining section one to two.
Using just the one colour saved some brain power! I usually find it difficult to decide on thread colours. Eventually I had to make two "crazy patchwork pieces of fabric" which will form the back and the front of the bag.
Completed the crazy patchwork and now have to find time to make them into a bag, watch this space!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Cooking, washing, sewing

What a busy day I am having. Up at 5.45 am I put in a load of washing and started cooking!
Three containers of Spaghetti Bolognaise, and Two Cottage pie meals plus two loads of washing all before 9am!

Chris arrived home from his night shift at Harrod's where he is working for two weeks and looking very tired went straight to bed. Meanwhile the Hedge man arrived to cut the long hedge, what a noise! hope Chris had his ear plugs in.

A very shaggy looking hedge in need of a hair cut!

The Berberis is looking top heavy so the plan is to cut it lower and try to improve it.
While all this was going on I retreated to my Happy Room to work on my latest Row by Row.
Sewed out a Home Sweet Home sign on my embroidery machine and attached it to the owl's hole in the tree. Heat n Bonded the rest of the owls to the branch and started buttonhole stitching them in place.

Needing a breath of fresh air I walked to the pillar box to post a couple of letters, also need the steps!
Decided I have put on too much weight lately so re-joined Nutracheck to make myself loose a few lbs, it worked well for me last time, plus they had an offer of 6 months for £29.99, wonder how much I can loose in six months?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Tu Whit Tu WHO?

Guess who is lurking under my sewing machine?

Another Row by Row started, this time the pattern is from Charlottesville Virginia USA.
I love owls and this panel has four of them.
I will soon have enough to fit around one side of my Happy Room wall in a long banner.
I'm still "thinking" about how I will finish the panels and how I will actually hang them!

Some time ago there was a display of mini quilts at the NEC quilt show and they each had a loop and button to link them together, I think this might be the way to go.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

It's RED

Collected my new car yesterday, a VW Golf automatic in Red.

Due to ongoing knee problems I was finding it harder and harder to drive my manual shift Polo, and having been driving for over 50 years and always owning my own car I could not bear the thought of not being able to drive. A visit to a showroom last week and we saw the perfect car, in the perfect colour! Going out for lunch today to get used to all the important controls [ CD player, Aircon, heater etc etc...]. Loved driving it home from the dealer.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Row by Row #4

The Milton Keynes quilt shop Threads and Patches, in 2016 designed a Row by Row of London.

I bought the kit in June 2016 and have just managed to make it before it's first birthday as a UFO, actually it's not a UFO as I hadn't even opened the packet until a couple of days ago!

While Chris is still working nights in Harrods I enjoyed myself in my Happy Room sewing undisturbed while he slept.

The panel shows Nelson's feet standing on his column with a pigeon nesting on it in the fore ground.
St Paul's Cathedral, The Gherkin, Big Ben, The London Eye and Tower Bridge in shadow to the right.
As usual I did not follow the instructions ! Nelson's column was suppose to be patchworked into the sky fabric, but I did not like the joins so made up the column base, machine embroidered the lettering and then Heat-n-Bonded it onto the sky, finishing it with buttonhole stitch on the sewing machine the same as the rest of the panel. 

I now need to complete Row by Row #3.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A trip around the garden

Chris is working nights at Harrods in London for 8 sessions to help out his old employer with some IT work.
It is a bit of a shock to the system for both of us, him with a lack of sleep and me creeping about in the day keeping as quiet as possible.

Today the sun is shining and I thought I would take a look around my garden.. want to join me?
An experiment with growing First Early potatoes in an old dustbin with the bottom cut out!

I had a couple of chitted potatoes left over so stuck them in a large empty plant pot
no idea when I can eat them, the packet said June so I will have a feel then!

Colourful pansies with some of my Acers in the background

My favourite Rhododendron, just love how the flowers look dark red
until the sun reaches them and they start to turn pick.

Polygala myrtifolia a gift from my family for Mothers day in March
A member of the pea family it has put on a lot of growth in a month.

Pansies, self seeded from last year.

Please do not mow the daisies, I love them in the lawn.

A late cowslip in the shade of a Japanese statue

Monday, 8 May 2017

Row by Row #3

I have made a start on my next Row by Row design. The pattern and kit was sent to me by my friend in Belgium.

I was surprised to find the fabric had been torn not cut into pieces which meant having to cut off the rough edges to get a smooth edge to the fabric.

It is slowly taking shape. I spent quite a lot of time working out how to make the panel, as there are no instructions just a picture and plan. Having decided to heat-n-Bond most of the applique I now need to attach the pieces and will use a blanket stitch on my sewing machine to sew them down.
Making a start. The finished panel will be 36 x 9 inches.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Gaydon Motor Museum

Saturday we visited the British Motor Museum at Gaydon for their Land Rover show.
We were asked to park in the show area with rows of other Land Rovers which was great as it is a long walk from the car park with dodgy knees!
The English weather was playing tricks again and after a lovely warm sunny Friday, Saturday was cold and windy with spots of rain in the air.
A bacon and egg sandwich with a hot chocolate soon warmed us up and we toured the museum, which is free entry on show days. A walk around the traders selling things Chris liked but I had no idea what they were and then watching a few events in the arena.
So many Land Rovers to look at from tiny to huge, some with guns on the top medical ambulances and fire engines.
My favorite were the mini Land Rovers especially the one driven by a girl of about 8 or 9 years towing a mini caravan with two very small children inside.
A mock up garage, part of the display in the Motor Museum

H10 CJG looking smart in the line of Land Rovers

Every shape and size

Serious Land Rovers

Lego version of a Mini

Mini Land Rover setting off for the arena
driven by a 8 or 9 year old with two small children in the caravan

Saturday, 6 May 2017

A garden visitor

The bird feeders in my back garden  attract many Starlings, Blue Tits, Sparrows and even the blackbird has had a go at hanging on and feeding. Recently I hung one in the front garden, where we face quite a busy road, and sometimes Blue Tits will hang on and feed but recently a Jay has taken to calling to feed, I cannot remember seeing one here before as they are known to be shy birds that like the countryside and keep close to cover. What a treat.
Took this picture from my Happy Room through the window.

Friday, 5 May 2017

May IAM meeting

What a great day we had yesterday at the IAM meeting in my Happy Room.
All eight members arrived and after the aches and pains and general medical problems we all have were discussed our conversation turned to funerals and 'green' burials!  Yes we are a craft group but all being retired I guess these thoughts need an airing occasionally.  I must say there was a lot of laughter went along with the subject!

A hot or cold drink, no two people seem to drink the same thing, we settled down to sewing, knitting, crochet, English piecing, cutting out applique etc etc..
The sun was out and I think it lifted all our spirits after the past few cold miserable days.

The morning flew by and after eating our packed lunches and sharing the two lovely Roulades Maureen had brought we had show and tell, always a favorite part of the day for me.

Shirley was busy working on the latest Attic 24 crochet pattern,
very pretty colours.

Penny showed her long round cushion completed after our little workshop.
I too showed my cushion.

Penny had also completed her cushion with lots of buttons 

Jenny had been busy with wax and a hot iron
 to produce very pretty Encaustic art pictures.

Dorn's silk Sandie Lush cushion [click on link to take you to her site]

Ann had used fleece to make a cuddly Linus blanket
The day went far too quickly and having discussed a trip out for our July meeting every one went home smiling.

Monday, 1 May 2017

May Day visit to Lamport Hall show

Lamport Hall has a very chequered past. Build in Tudor times it has been home to a blind book collector, 17th century grand tourist, eccentric Victorian, Hollywood Actor and home to the Isham family for over four centuries.

Due to two world wars and the ravages of time Lamport Hall has undergone many changes, some of which are a family home, flats, country club, Records office and an Italian prisoner of war camp.

Sir Gyles Isham died in 1976, in his will he bequeathed the estate to the Lamport Hall Preservation Trust, which was set up to carry on the lengthy restoration work needed after dry rot and general neglect was found.

The hall and grounds are now a centre of culture and education.

Today an Art and Craft Fair was held and although the weather was very changeable [sunshine and showers] we made a visit.
The vast stables are a great venue for all the different stalls, everything from leather work, to jam!

The grand entrance

Spinner using dog hair to produce a fine wool

The Lamport church

Daffodils have gone over and the blue bells make a wonderful sight.

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...