Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The best gift

After 19 days in quarantine/ lockdown it doesn’t take much to put a smile on my face.
Tesco delivered my order, he puts the bags of food in the hall, while we stay indoors, as soon as he goes it’s time to see what items I’ve managed to get, a lot of things are unavailable. I am however grateful for the delivery
A bag of bread flour is the reason for my smile, this has been impossible to get until today.
I also sent for a new dough hook for my ancient Kenwood and it arrived today.. so no excuse now to make bread.



Monday, 30 March 2020

Busy cutting out more 1/2 inch hexagons


Before stating the La Passion 1/2 inch hexagon quilt I researched methods of making the shapes and decided to use the freezer paper method.
Cutting out over 17000 hexagons seemed a little daunting so I bought a Fiskars stamp, I already had a box of freezer paper.
I cut two 2” strips of freezer paper and then punched out the shapes, even Chris picked it up and cut some for me, it was so easy.

These shapes are then ironed onto my fabric and I tack around the edge before sewing them together with silk thread.

Spring has sprung

The clocks went forward an hour on Sunday, so guess it’s now officially Spring, not that it feels like it, the weather has a real chill in the air, we even had a few flakes of snow yesterday.

Thought I’d update you all on what I have been doing...

I spent some time sorting out photos and found one of my Mum on her wedding day,
Mum, Catherine Mary Ashby lived opposite the St Mary’s Parish Church in Burton Latimer at 65 Church St.
Her father, the Church warden escorted her across the road on March 25th 1940 to be married, she always had a love for Arum Lilies and carried them in her bouquet.

While still in lockdown at home I have been busy working on my 1/2 inch hexagon La Passion quilt, still a loooong way to go but I am enjoying the journey.
The central papers have been removed.

A new project is in the pipe line and today the postman delivered a lovely parcel of fabric, ordered from Doughty’s  on line, one of the many company’s still operating while keeping their staff safe.
Dimples fabric, one of my favourite, easy to mix and match fabrics.

Finally just a little funny

Love to hear from you, please leave me a comment.








Friday, 27 March 2020

Sad but beautiful sight

At 8am this morning a horse box arrived a few doors away from us.  I live in a town so this is a most unusual event.
It turned out to be a beautiful hearse and horses, that were loving cleaned and prepared for a funeral.
The horse box arrived

Two beautiful black horses were loving prepared 



Finally the hearse drove past the bottom of our drive on its way to perform its duty for the day.
I do know know who will take their final journey but they will go in style.


Thursday, 26 March 2020

Happy Room projects

The sun is shining, but I’ll wait until it warms up a bit before doing any gardening.

I’m enjoying listening to Bud Flanagan on Alexa, so many of their songs were from the war and I feel like we are at war at the moment.

Richard called last night, he looks worn out with lots of his staff isolating and the Hospices being asked to do more and more. We spoke through the closed window, felt like we were in jail having a visitor, but it was lovely to see him. We managed to at least have a nice meal on our Anniversary, which was spent with Chris cleaning the grouting in the shower room and me gardening.

The Arne and Carlos daily knit along is up to date, 8 blocks so far, as it’s a mystery we have to wait a few more days to find out what we are making.
Two still need the ends sewing in but that’s an evening TV job!

Moda Blockheads 3 block 11 of the week was published yesterday and I have managed to make it this morning, four pretty hearts.

One of my UFO crochet projects started ‘goodness knows when’ that I mentioned in a previous blog post is now completed in 32 squares. I’m open to ideas for what do do with these squares.  I must admit I had to look up how to do some of the crochet stitches, what would we do without the internet!
8 knitted blocks, 11 Moda Blockhead patches and 32 crochet squares.


Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Happy 48th Anniversary to us

The sun is shining, we have each other and I’m knitting while Chris scrubs the grouting in the shower room!
Happy 48th wonderful years to us.
Love the daffodils, a sign of Spring is in the air. [thanks Tesco delivery service]

Today would also have been my parents, Mary Ashby and Stan Simons 80th Anniversary.
I actually used my Mum’s wedding ring to get married in, then gave her it back, such happy memories.
Burton Latimer Parish Church 25th March 1940 with a guard of honour by the St John Ambulance Brigade holding the rods from stretchers.
I still have part of Mum’s wedding dress as due to the war and rations she cut it up and made my Christening dress from it in 1944.




Sunday, 22 March 2020

Mothering Sunday

What a beautiful sight to start the day.
5.30am through the front window.


Decided to go for an early morning walk [8.15am] as there were so many people out and about yesterday it was hard to find somewhere more isolated.
When we returned this was on the back door step.
The nicest ‘flour’ to receive in these difficult times. Thanks Jacq for dropping them off, and thanks Richard for choosing me to be your Mum .

Yesterday’s walk, as I’ve already mentioned was to have been around Pitsford, but it was crowded out, so we decided to walk a ByWay !
Absolutely no one about but mud mud everywhere and even a huge tree across the Walgrave ByWay, but it was nice to be in the fresh air.

Decided to have a go at making bread all by hand, I gave away my bread maker ages ago thinking I would never need to make bread again.
I tried the Amish White Bread recipe [google it] and if I can make it anyone can!
I can not get bread flour so just used plain white flour.






Friday, 20 March 2020

Quarantine Knit along and a walk

I was looking through my messy wool drawer and one thing led to another ! 

I pulled out all the Stylecraft yarn and found three projects started and not finished, one I have unraveled as I do not like it, the one on the back of the chair was to be a blanket but I’ve gone off it, so will sew in the ends and call it a scarf! The other pile of squares consists of 23 complete, 8 only needing the edge row and one hardly started, I really hope to complete the unfinished ones and get them joined together, now where is the pattern? What size hook did I use? Can I even remember how to crochet?

So much wool!

“Scarf” on the chair, blocks almost complete plus
The three Arne and Carlos Quarantine blocks.

The empty drawer 

To start the day we went for a walk along the old railway track at Spratton and only saw one pedestrian and one cyclist.
We are trying to walk in places where few people go, plus it was raining as we arrived, stopped while we walked and then started again when we drove home. Nice to get a breath of fresh air.
Bit muddy underfoot!




Thursday, 19 March 2020

Moda Blockheads 6,9 and 10 plus Quarantine knit along

Yippee I am up to date with my Moda Blockheads block of the week.
Have to wait another week for the next one, so I will work on some of my UFO’s or maybe do a Jigsaw, I have three train jigsaws waiting for me to open the boxes!


All the designers come up with such interesting ideas and all so different.


I am also upto date with my Arne and Carlos Quarantine daily knit along.



Great way to use up my odds and ends of Stylecraft DK yarn.
Next design due at 5pm tonight.

I continue pushing myself to do one household or gardening job a day, and gradually the house and garden are getting a makeover.
One oven has been cleaned, three cupboards sorted, chest of drawers emptied and a bag ready for the Charity shop plus all neat and tidy.
In the garden I have dead headed the sedums and started a major tidy up in the front garden, plus weeding in the back garden.

On top of this I am fighting to get refunds for the USA trip we can no longer take, especially British Airways and the Motorhome company.
Two of the hotels in the USA and a camp ground have refunded in full, plus Amtrak have refunded most of our money.  It’s a nightmare trying to get a response from the companies that have cost us the most. Still we are thankful to be well and have food on the table plus of course each other.

Stay safe everyone.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Isolation due to the Corona Virus

We have decided to isolate ourselves as much as possible, which is bringing out the ‘housewife’ in me!
A couple of days ago I made bread rolls, not brilliant but they were edible!
Today I have made two, what the family calls, Diana’s Fruit cakes. I throw everything in the mixer and hope for the best, it always seems to work out and the house smells yummy. 
250g butter or margarine 
250g sugar
500g self raising flour
750g sultanas or mixed fruit [ in my case this includes the glacé cherries]
4 eggs
1/2 pint milk
Mixed spice to taste

Mix it all together, use two loaf tins and cook for 90 minutes at 160 degrees in a fan oven [180C conventional oven]


Quarantine Daily knit along

Arne and Carlos the knitting gurus are spending two weeks in Quarantine after being out of their country, Norway, for a while.
In the spirit of kindness they have organised a Quarantine Daily Mystery Knit along.
Today is Day 3 and the pattern is available on their blog from 5pm UK time.

I have complete the first day using Stylecraft wool from my stash, and started day 2.

It looks like it will be a fun project and I have already learnt something new.
The new being to use both colours in the last stitch of each row, certainly makes it neater.
Thanks Arne and Carlos.


Monday, 16 March 2020

Blockheads 1 and 8

While the shoppers go mad buying everything in sight because of the  Coronavirus I have been keeping myself busy either catching up on jobs around the house or sewing.
Sadly our trip to the USA in a few weeks time has been cancelled and we are now struggling to recoup the money we have spent. Hopefully the insurance will pay out for any losses, but at the moment it is impossible to get through to them.

Two more Moda Blockhead blocks are completed.
Number one of the 52 weekly blocks.


Number 8 designed by Laurie Simpson

Two more to make up and I will be upto date until the next one comes out on Wednesday.

I have also managed to complete a pair of socks
This pair will be a jolly addition to my sock drawer




Saturday, 14 March 2020

La Passion half inch EPP

In a mad moment I decided I needed a hand sewing project, and having searched the internet came across La Passion by Grit Kovacs, I was hooked. I bought the online pattern for 10 euros and printed it off, all 77 pages of it!!

There are 17260 half inch hexagons in the design! Again more research of the best way to tackle this large, will I live long enough, project. I decided on using the freezer paper method, and bought 200 ready cut 1/2 inch freezer paper hexagons from Daisy and Grace, I soon had this ironed and tacked to my fabric, so sent for 300 more while again researching how to cut my own. A Friskars cutter was the answer, but no one in the UK seemed to sell them so I had to send to the USA [through Amazon] and wait two weeks for it to arrive, which it did yesterday and I already have a paper cut to prove I have started using it.

A couple of days ago I started putting a few together and much to the amusement of my crafty friends I am loving the hand sewing. In the past the word HAND has always been a four letter swear word to me as I am much better known for using my sewing machine.

Goodness knows how old the ruler is but I thought it gave an indication of the size of the hexagons.

If you want to join me this is where I bought the pattern.   www.gritslifeshop.de 


Blockheads 3 blocks 5 and 7

With this enforced stay at home I have been happy in my happy room working on catching up my Moda Blockhead blocks.
I decided to make two of block 7, the heart by Lissa Alexander and two of block 5, LOVE by Brigitte Heitland and join them together into a 12 inch block.

I now have four more blocks to complete, they are already cut out, to get upto date before next Wednesday when block 10 will be published



Thursday, 12 March 2020

Blockheads 3 down 6 to catch up

Working on my Moda Blockheads block of the week. I have managed to make three of the blocks and have six more to work on to get me upto date.
Unfortunately I have run out of cream thread and await a delivery from Amazon so I can keep going.
Purples and greens are not my colours but I seem to have quite a lot in my stash so thought I would try and use them up.
I have choosen to make the 12 inch blocks, but as the patterns come in lots of sizes I am now thinking I will make some blocks six inches to add to the final look of the quilt. I think there are 52 blocks in total.



Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Sock it to me!

I have three pairs of socks on the go at the moment, and hope to complete them all this month.
Dark pair are Schachenmayr Regia Pairfect 4 ply
Blue pair are Schachenmayr Regia Pairfect 4 ply by Arne and Carlos
The third pair are Schachenmayr Regia Festival Colour [ I think]




Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Blockheads Day

Today is Blockheads Day, the patterns are produced weekly on the Moda Blockheads site, with a mixture of sizes and I thought it would be a fun project. BUT I am having to play catch up as week eight has now come out and I haven’t started sewing yet.
I asked a friend to join me for the day and then set to work cutting out the fabric for the first five blocks, hoping to complete them and maybe more today.
I love the mixture of designs, so far normal patchwork, appliqué and paper piecing.
Using fabric from my stash in mostly lilacs, purples and cream.


Friday, 6 March 2020

Denim jeans to shoulder bag

In Spain I acquired a pair of black jeans from the Charity shop with the idea of turning them into a handbag for my next holiday.
Earlier this week I managed to make the bag in just one day.
Charity shop black jeans 

Two zipped pockets inside for passports and money

Back open pocket with a clasp for iPad and tissues

Long across the body strap and button fastening

I must admit I am really pleased with how this turned out plus of course if it gets dirty I can just throw it in the washing machine.




March IAM

Another month has come and gone and here we are with our monthly craft club meeting, IAM.
Seven of us enjoyed a great day making different craft items in patchwork, knitting and crochet etc.

The highlight of the day is always the dessert, which the members of the group take in turns to bring. Clare brought a raspberry roulade and lemon meringue pie, yummy, thanks Clare.

Shirley and Pauline had us all in fits of laughter over a telephone incidence [you had to be there!!].

After our pack up lunches it was time for ‘show and tell’
My new denim bag

Dorn had completed a crochet blanket for her grandson

Clare and Maureen admiring the show and tell items

Pauline is stocking up on baby items

Pauline’s baby blankets and bibs.

Shirley had made a Janie Crow crochet blanket from her stash

Another crochet work in progress by Shirley


The Rocket and the Cancer Sampler

A friend from Church sent me a message that a Lego Rocket Technic was for sale on Market Place and he thought Chris should have it. The guy ...