Monday, 31 August 2020

Masks, masks and more masks

I have spent most of the day making masks for my two granddaughters. Eleanor the younger one goes back to school on Thursday, while Abigail starts next week as a sixth form student.  The Covid rules seem to change all the time, and at the moment they will need to wear them everywhere in school except the classroom.
The top eight are for Abigail the lower set for Eleanor. Both will get one ready for Halloween, using the end of my pumpkin fabric.

It was fun making them, but I am now ‘masked out’ and fortunately run out of elastic so no more until I get more.


A normal Sunday

The last Sunday in August was spent as normal as possible. In the morning Church had a Zoom meeting which was very informative and I am so grateful to those that organise these meetings during the Covid times.

A little sewing in the afternoon followed by a visit to our family for dinner. It is the first time we have been in the family’s home, and all kept the best we could to the ‘rules’. The meal was delicious and the company always the best.

I had made four different masks in different sizes and only Eleanor’s was too small, she has grown so much this year. I will now set too and make the girls enough for when they return to school this week.


The latest family portrait !!

Glasses and masks just don’t like each other !

We finished the evening with a game of Ticket to Ride, USA version, how can six people make so much noise!
Brilliant evening and just what the doctor ordered.


Sunday, 30 August 2020

The Air-con unit

When the Happy Room was built it had one failing, it was never warm enough in the winter and I always had to use a little oil filled radiator even when the central heating was on. This summer has been brutal for me, with the extremely hot temperatures, so it was decided to install an Air-con unit that hopefully will solve both problems, cool in the summer and heat for the winter.
Chris did a lot of research and we had a couple of quotes. He decided to DIY, he has always been known as Mr Fix It and this would  save us a lot of money. 
Friday the units arrived.
The start of chaos in my room, but also very exciting.

Windowsills and every square inch is usually covered in ‘stuff’ all had to be removed before Chris starts drilling holes through the wall.
It is a good opportunity to have a sort out and clean up, where does all the dust come from?
The Air-con unit will go between the windows. I should have taken a photo of the chaos this has caused to the rest of the room.
I did however manage to keep a small table and space so I can continue to sew while the work goes on.

Curtain tracks had to be removed and some of the Row by Row Quilts that line the top of my walls had to be removed.
What a blessing to have a handy husband who is always willing to help.


Bringing home the Christmas Trees and a present

Saturday was a busy day, we started the day giving the large Acer tree a haircut. The Acer was bought as a damaged plant in B & Q quite cheaply many years ago, it has grown into a beautiful tree but getting far to large for my garden. Chris got out the saw and loppers and together we reduced the top growth to a more manageable size. I am amazed how much it has opened the garden up and let in more light.
Enough exercise for the day and it was only 9am when we finished !

Trees must be on my mind as I retreated to my Happy Room to work on Bringing Home the Christmas Trees.
Laying out ‘almost’ flying geese blocks, I say almost as the tops are missing, I drew diagonal lines on the white squares.

Starting with a ‘leader’ that was in fact an ‘Ender’ the last time I sewed, I chain pieced them sewing along the lines.
The ‘waste’ piece is then cut off leaving 2 small triangles for the scrap bin.

Instead of going in the scrap bin, I sew a parallel seam 1/2 an inch away, cut between the lines and produce a half square triangle ready for another project. I have so many of these little half square blocks that will be ideal for a border or mini quilt, It’s like getting a little present.

Time ran away with me [see next blog post] and although I had hoped to get two more tree blocks completed I only completed some elements  of them.


Friday, 28 August 2020

The trees are growing

Today the ‘sew along’ with Pat Sloan started that I decided to join.
Perfect day for sewing as the weather is dreadful, torrential rain, I will not be surprised to see the fish in the pond taking off down the street !
Using this book, Vintage Christmas by Lori Holt, we are making Taking Home the Christmas Tree quilt. Always fun to be sewing along with people from all over the world.

I managed to cut out some of the fabric before our last trip away and today started putting some blocks together.

The two blocks of trees I have managed to make so far have not been pressed yet, there are four of these blocks in the design and 5 cars, yet to be started.

I decided to make all the tree blocks before reving up the engine and making the cars..

Please note all the starters and ends blocks that have been made while working on just these two blocks! The pile grows bigger each time I sew.
I also have a pile of half square triangles ready for another project cut from the flying geese ‘waste’, more about these in another post.

Time to get back in the forest and make more trees...


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Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Rain stopped play, Nutty Cottage CL

Tuesday it rained and rained, plus the wind was very strong, so we had a leisurely day ‘at home’. Chris braved the weather and fetched us fish and chips, which were delicious.
I spent most of the day listening to audiobooks [free from the library] and working on my hexagon quilt.

We decided because of the weather to cut the holiday short by one day and travelled home on Wednesday to find the storm had caused havoc in the garden, with the BBQ in pieces on the lawn, but only dented when we up righted it.

When is a courgette a marrow ?
Found these whoppers waiting to be picked !

It has been a lovely 6 days at Louth in Lincolnshire, but we are glad to be home before the next storm hits!





Monday, 24 August 2020

A Grand Day Out

We decided to use the government food offer to Eat Out and save £10 on a meal. Tried a number of places near us but all were full, many are working with smaller numbers to help with ‘social distancing’.  Eventually made a booking with the Kings Head at Waltham, near Grimsby.



Everything was prepared to keep us as safe as possible, with the staff wearing visors, safe distancing for buying drinks and food delivery. There were also bar codes to register for ‘Track and Trace’ together with a number of ‘gel stations’.



Steak for him and chicken with ribs for me, both meals were excellent.

I remarked we needed a walk after such a nice meal, and just happened to know there was a fabric shop in Cleethorpes only 5 miles away!
Large sign asking that we gelled our hands before entering the shop or touching anything.

This is a small corner of the shop it was a treasure trove of fabric and unusual items, with arrows to follow making it one way.
Needless to say I spent money there !! And followed the arrows around about three times!!

It has been a glorious sunny day, and although we did not stop to visit the sea it was nice driving along the front with the windows open.




Sunday, 23 August 2020

Louth Canal

The Louth Canal starts in Louth town and travels 11 miles to Tetney Marshes Nature Reserve in the Humber Estuary.
It was very successful in bringing trade to Louth, which grew in size to complete with Lincoln.

We decided this morning to walk part of it and found a parking spot a few miles outside Louth.



This abandoned canal is technically a Navigation and was a canalisation of the River Lud.
It has had an interesting life, authorised to be built by an act of Parliament in 1763 it was completed in 1770, but sadly closed due to lack of use in 1924.
A local trust has undertaken to look after it and there is a tow path on the east side for the whole length.
Ticklepenny Lock, now abandoned 

The flow of water makes for a pretty picture

Chris investigating the old lock structure

Alvingham Lock, such an interesting construction.

Wavy walls.

This was as far as we walked today 

This could be the reason why!


Saturday, 22 August 2020

Nutty Cottage CL Friday and Saturday

Friends Ann and Peter are staying at their holiday home near Skegness and we were invited for lunch on Friday. With great directions from Pete we found them quite easily and spent most of the day with them. Their holiday home is really nice and we enjoyed a tour of the ‘estate’. Chris helped Pete with some I.T. Setting up some form of link to the wi-if... no idea what they were talking about but it all seemed to work.
Friends reclining in their holiday home.

Today, Saturday, we drove into Louth not realising they had a market and it was quite busy but most people were social distancing and wearing masks, especially in the shops. I  needed fabric and found the Owl Fabric shop, the guy was really helpful and I purchased enough to border the USA stars I am trying to complete at home. A jelly roll and Moda Scrap Bag somehow decided they also wanted to come home with me, and they were quite a bargain.
Cannot resist fabric !



Middle of the Louth high Street

Lovely to hear the Hurdy Gurdy  playing in the quaint streets

Love this ‘wall art’ brightening up a dull building.


Thursday, 20 August 2020

Nutty Cottage Louth Lincolnshire CL

We arrived at the Nutty Cottage Caravan site in Louth Lincolnshire, this afternoon for a weeks holiday.
The site is well laid out with electric hookups and my name was on the site board next to number 3 pitch.
Due to Covid the owners have made it easy to site yourself and pay in advance.

It is very windy and was a bit of a struggle to put the porch awning up.
Chris discovered a fish and chip shop very close to the site, so who am I to refuse? The portions where enormous, we could have managed with just one portion between us.
Sitting in the awning enjoying our first holiday meal.


USA stars again

How many times have I dragged out my USA star blocks and put them away again?
The stars blocks were made using Carol Doak’s book of 50 USA paper pieced star patterns. I chose the States I had visited while teaching bobbin lace and taking holidays in the USA. Thirty of them. BUT how to put them together?
All 30 of them with their names pinned on.


I decided to ask a group I belong to on Facebook for ideas, how to put them together and how to keep the names of the States on them.
One suggestion was to use my Embroidery Machine to label them... why didn’t I think of that?
I set too and in small script embroidered the names on the blocks, using thread the colour of one of the pieces of the blocks.
4 of the blocks with the State name sewed on

Tiny writing so you have to look closely.

I was also given ideas for sashing, that I like and will work on.



The Caravan Geek

Since buying the second hand caravan and not knowing its history, we decided to have a full service.
Chris tried a couple of places and settled on The Caravan Geek, don’t you just love that name?
He called on Tuesday and spent the morning servicing everything, Chris was really impressed with him.
Everything is fine, just a couple of little ‘need to do this before next year’ advisories. He was also very impressed with how Chris had installed the Motor Mover, saying a company installation would not have gone to so much trouble with the little things no one will ever see.

The Caravan Geek busy in the ‘van.


Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Easy, Breezy and spots!

My Easy Breezy Leaders and Enders project continues to grow. I am loving how easy it is to work these squares at the start and end of each thing I sew.
Enjoying working on these little blocks.

I decided a change is as good as a rest, and had a move around in my Happy Room. 
Love the new set up and even sorted out my extension table for my old Pfaff.

SPOTS!!!
The rash has if anything gotten worse and after over four weeks of Antihistamines, cold compresses and hydrocortisone. Calling the emergency line 111 followed by a video call to the out of hours doctor and a trip to see the pharmacist I had just about given up. It has been driving me nuts so Chris encouraged me to make a call to my own Doctor and after another video and photo call, I have a new treatment that she assures me will work within the week. Back to the Pharmacist to collect the creams. I have tried so very hard NOT to go anywhere near the surgery or pharmacy during this pandemic, but I have had to go a number of times lately, the joys of getting old and falling apart.
Both arms are covered like this

Also my neck area.  Apparently these photos with others are now on my records at the Doctors.

Thank goodness for my husband, hobbies and Happy Room to keep me sane.


Saturday, 15 August 2020

The Hamper

When I purchased a set of crockery for the caravan it came in a wicker hamper. I did not need the hamper for the crockery and today I thought I would ‘recycle’ it as a container for my scrap fabrics.
I choose a fabric that is almost as old as I am , well not quite but you get my drift! Cut it to shape and thought it would be a five minute job to attach it to the hamper... WRONG... it has taken me forever to sew it to the tightly woven canes of the hamper, fingers are sore and I need a cuppa to recover !
I think it is looking quite smart and will be a great place for all the little bits of scrap fabric I seem to accumulate.
Plus it makes a great footstool when I am not using my sewing machine.

I forgot to put a picture of my three new quilt books...
I have plans for making a Christmas Tree quilt from the Vintage Christmas book, and the Birthday Cake design from the Perfect 10 Quilts book.
Both will be Sew Alongs with Pat Sloan, so I bought her book as well.
Luckily I have managed to find all the fabric from my stash except for the background fabric. After a lot of research and shock horror at the price of fabric these days, I managed to get just what I needed from Doughty’s on line and it was on sale, so a win win situation.






Friday, 14 August 2020

Masks,Prom dress and quilt books

Since getting home this morning I have made each member of my family a mask for them to try and if they like the design I will make more.
They did not like the ones they had bought.

Daddy, Mummy, Teen and child sizes !!

I also altered Abigail’s prom dress, hope it fits OK now.

Three quilt books arrived while we were away, I am so keen to sew again having really lost my mojo before we started caravaning, I think I needed a break from this lockdown life to get me going again.
Plans are to join two new quilt-alongs and I now have the books needed and just need to sort out the fabric in my stash and see what I need to purchase.




Fotheringhay CL Day 3,4 and 5

This has been a very laid back trip, the heatwave, 35 degrees +, has meant little walking or exploring.
The evening have dropped a little cooler and we enjoyed walks along the river bank.
There is no real path but we were able to go a little way and admire the evening River Nene scene.

Love this old tree and it’s fungus.

We didn’t manage to get to the church to explore so will have to come back when the weather is better 
and I am not suffering with such a terrible heat rash.

It is a beautiful building.

We took a ride out to Crowland Caravans to buy a pole for the window, choosing the hottest part of the day so we could enjoy the really cold air conditioner in the car!
Home now and everything is put away and some of the washing done, roll on the next trip and please let it be a little cooler.


Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Fotheringhay CL day 2

More exploring today, even though the sun is beating down making it rather uncomfortable.
At the side of our ‘van is stile so feeling adventurous we climbed over it to get to the river Nene.


Love this damson tree bark.

We reach the river, and have seen people swimming in it, using canoes and generally enjoying it.
The water is very clear and full of fish, pity I forgot my bandy net!



Approaching the only part of the original castle left.

The next three pictures tell you all about the castle



Mary Stuart, Queen of the Scots, lost her head in 1586

Chris decided to climb to the top of the site of the original castle.

I seem to have forgotten a number of things this trip, which is not like me! I put it down to the terrible heat rash, antihistamines and hydrocortisone cream effecting my brain! This meant going into a food shop, we drove to Oundle, bliss with the aircon full on, and I masked up and went into Waitrose for milk and squash, my first visit to a food store since lockdown the beginning of March. I must say they were very organised and there was hardly anyone in the shop.


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...