Saturday, 31 October 2020

Trusthorpe CL

Arrived today for our final caravan trip this year. Chris wanted to be near the sea, and this site could not be nearer  unless it was on the beach!
Parked on hard standing, the field is very soggy.
Walk across this little bridge, up some steps and 

This is the view, miles of sandy beach and hardly a soul about.

Even the sun has come out but it is very windy.

I can see a rainbow.

We are here for six nights enjoying the fresh air.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Something old, something new

20 years at least, in the making, I finally have my Stars of the USA quilt ready for the Long Arm Quilter.
When I travelled in the USA teaching I would add the Carol Doak USA star blocks to my collection, trying to make one for each State I visited. I have actually been to 31 different States, but 31 is an odd number so I have 30 Stars in my quilt. They are paper pieced and made from Thimbleberries fabrics, which I also collected on my travels.
Every so often I would get the blocks out and try to think of a way to complete the quilt, only to put them away again.
At one point I decided to ‘quilt as you go’, cut backing fabric and batting, but still there was no progress.

I made myself a promise to finish it this year, and while on holiday a few weeks ago in Louth Lincolnshire I bought the Grunge Gold fabric and made the decision to sash the blocks and get it completed. I also machine embroidered the name of each State on each block in small letters.

This afternoon it went to Janie Rowthorn [] to be long arm quilted, she always does such a great job, and is based near Wellingborough in Northamptonshire.  I’ll show the quilt again when I have it returned and get the binding sewn on.

Something NEW to me...
Finger knitting myself a hat.

30th September 2008

Who would have thought I would still be blogging after 12 years? I started with a one line post on 30th September 2008.
It has been a wonderful journey, and I look things up and use it as a visual diary all the time.
For example in October 2011 our granddaughters were staying with us and we had fun preparing for Halloween, I miss those days as they are both now grown up and do not come for the half term holiday with us.

Happy Days and wonderful memories.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

It was going so well!

Today was going so well, after weeks trying to get someone to cut the hedge two guys arrived at 8am and worked like crazy to trim the sides and reduce the height by about 8 inches. I hasten to add the main Arborist looked like he should be in school and not a qualified tree surgeon, boy! do I feel old. His assistant did a good job of clearing up the cut wood and now it smells like Christmas in the garden with the cut pine.
Early morning view from the bedroom

The hedge trimmed and looking its best.

I have been working on putting my USA stars together and everything was going so well until the light went out!

I cannot remember ever changing the light bulb and the machine is well over 20 years old.
However I do remember a quilting residential workshop years ago where we were advised to carry a spare bulb.
I wonder if I have still got the spare bulb and was it for this machine?  A quick search and BINGO I found not one but two spare bulbs.

I even found the gadget to get the old bulb out and new bulb in. The Riva bulb looked promising as it was the same size and being a Daylight bulb would give me more light. I managed to instal it... nothing! It was damaged even though it was still in the original packet for £2.95

The other bulb is for a Janome, has the same fitting but it is not long enough and I cannot get it to fit.

Amazon Prime to the rescue, new bulb ordered £6.99 but Chris assures me it will be brighter than the old one, I now have to wait for it to arrive.

Monday, 26 October 2020

Re-cut Sewcialites

One of the Sewcialites blocks I made was not good, I tried to jiggle it, iron it, stretch it... rubbish ! I binned it [after saving what I could for my leaders and Enders ] and started again. I suddenly remembered a ruler I bought on a trip to the USA many years ago, Bloc_Loc by USAUS, brilliant, all my half square triangles are now exactly what they should be. The grove in the ruler fits over the bump of the join making the ruler lay flat for trimming.
Sometimes we just forget what we have hiding in a cupboard. The new one is blue in the right hand corner.

The first five Sewcialites blocks and a picture of the completed project, but at one a week it will be next Summer before it’s complete.
I am using Dimples Fabric, just love that fabric it goes with anything . The white on white background has small snowflakes and a silver dot.
Look forward to the release of block number 6 on the 30th October.

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Mushrooms, Socks and a Mug Rug

Mushrooms, Socks and a Mug Rug, sounds like the start of a thriller !!

Suddenly my front garden is being taken over my fairies. They have plenty of room to hide under these. They are huge.

White ones are popping up everywhere, wonder if they are edible? I don’t think I’ll try.

I have to say, I love seeing mushrooms and fungi growing.

Another pair of socks off the needles, these have been on far to long, as I started them in January.

A Christmas Mug Rug hot off the embroidery machine. [Needs the turning hole sewing up]

Sorry if you were expecting a thriller story you’ll have to make your own up.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Cozy Things and Sewcialites

I started two new ‘quilt alongs’ this week, one being Cozy Things for 9 weeks the other Sewcialites for 36 weeks.

The Cozy Things Mystery quilt is run and designed by Pat Sloan and based on the Danish lifestyle called Hygge.
I had not heard of Hygge so have sent for a book about it.

Each week Pat tells us a little more about the lifestyle. 
Week 1 was make a Cozy List, being a list of all the things that make you feel cozy. As I am playing catch up I have not attempted this yet.
Week 2 is Candles.. I can really relate to this, every evening I light a number of candles and it is so relaxing and cozy.
I am using a Lewis and Irene Layer Cake [ 42 pieces of fabric 10 x 10 inches.] called Scarecrow Acres.
Putting myself out of my comfort zone I am using black with a fine grey line in it as a background.

The Sewcialites Quilt Along is run by the Fat Quarter Shop and so far four blocks have been released, I still have one to make.
For this project I am using my stash of Dimples fabric, one of my favourites and I have lots of colours.
Each block will have just one colour and the background white on white.
A number of different designers were used.
#2 By Lisa Bongean called Loyal Block
#3 By Brigitte Heltland called Affection Block
#4 By Vanessa Goertzen called Spirited Block.
Lots of Leaders and Enders blocks for my collection while making these blocks.

All the patterns are free to download if you want to join me.

Appreciate your comments below....

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Bee Bombs

The wood arrived for the border that was emptied a few days ago. 
Chris managed to put it n place and top dress it with soil.
My ‘job’ was to spread the Bee Bombs.  
I had bought 3 bags of special wild flower seed encased in dried mud, so all that was involved was throwing them on the soil, watering them in well and wait for the amazing display of wild flowers that attract bees and butterflies.

Needless to say we covered the area in wire mesh to stop the cats that just seem to love any patch of earth around here.

Next Springs new garden with a bit of luck.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Autumn leaves

Completed my pumpkin table runner, it’s a bit bright for me but looks OK on the table. I back ed it with Christmas fabric so can just turn it over on November 1st!
The lace coasters made by me must be 20+ years old, but they get used every day.

Started to decorate my fireplace mantle, tried to buy gourds but just cannot find any, so made a fabric pumpkin.

Sitting in my chair in the evening I thought the fireplace looked so inviting, maybe I need some tiny lights to wind around the leaf garland.

Even my sisters painting of a mushroom fits the colour theme.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Saturday 17th and its all go

Firstly my youngest granddaughter, Eleanor,  became a teenager this morning ! How did that happen?
She is a real animal lover and spends a lot of time helping at an animal rescue centre, plus doing very well at school.

Exciting lunch time when four hot air balloons flew over our house. One of them was struggling to gain height and it was beginning to look like he might land in our garden, but luckily he didn’t!

Chris emptied an area of garden that had become very overgrown, Once we can get new wood to edge it I intend to make it a wild flower garden hopefully full of colour. I bought a couple of Bee Bags that I hope will do the job. A Bee Bag is a hessian bag full of wild flower seeds in clay balls, especially for attracting bees and wild life.

I planted up 4 trays of 6 pansies into the black tubs behind the pond to give some winter colour.
You cannot beat pansies, they always look like they are smiling.

Talking of ‘colour’ just look at the colour of my Acer that I bought years ago and planted in a double pot [plastic pot inside a clay pot] it rarely gets any love but puts on the most wonderful show every winter.

My sister gave me a tray of succulents, so I managed to get them planted to match a ready planted container she gave me. 
The two sit side by side on my patio steps.

It’s also Autumn in the Happy Room, I am making leaves on my embroidery machine, using scraps of fabric from my scrap hamper.
You will have to wait to see the final design.

Thanks for making my day and leaving a comment. All comments are read before they appear on my blog. 

Friday, 16 October 2020

Like buses...

Like buses, you wait for hours for a bus and then along come three!!

In my case it was Christmas cushions... I have been making Christmas presents and decided to make three cushions for three different friends.

Ready for wrapping, someone please tell me why I make things that are so difficult to wrap?

Simple quilting to show off the tree.

This one had a white border, in fact all three are slightly different.

Dotty fabric from Doughty’s, red charm pack bought in Mablethorpe plus green from my stash.

Backings where all from my stash, including the zips that come in long lengths. I hate putting the zip fasteners on these zips but they do work out so much cheaper than buying normal zips.

I also collected my quilt from the Long arm quilter, Janie Rowthorn, this morning and I am delighted with it. As soon as I get the binding on I will post a picture. On leaving Janie in Gt Doddington I drove to Finedon plant nursery to buy some winter pansies to brighten up a couple of long tubs, and then got completely lost coming home seeing parts of Northamptonshire I had not seen before.
Talking of the Finedon nursery, they have just reopening their poly tunnels with a one way system, man oh man did that add to todays step count, felt I walked miles [slight exaggeration] to get to the pansies, but they have such nice plants it was worth it. I now need to find the energy to plant the 4 boxes of pansies, maybe I’ll leave that until tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Billing waterway

After a lovely day spent sewing with a friend yesterday I thought some fresh air was in order.

I joined a local on line walking group on Facebook and one of the walks involved a waterfall. I had no idea Northampton had a waterfall anywhere, so we drove to Billing and walked a short way along the stream until the sound of rushing water was heard. 
Glorious I just love waterfalls, even a small one.
All the paths were carpeted in leaves

Such a peaceful place in the middle of a housing estate.

At last the promised waterfall, tumbling over the rocks.

A little further along all was calm, ducks and swans gliding by.

Could not resist picking up some leaves to make roses, hope I can remember how! A friend from church showed a group of us how to make them last year.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Too many projects

Since arriving home from the Cotswolds I seem to be starting one thing after  another. My ‘Happy Room’ is not so happy in fact it is a mess, piles of fabrics that need putting away, a Christmas cushion that just needs the binding sewing down etc etc...
In fact I have a 62 x 62 inch quilt partially quilted across one table, two Christmas cushions cut out ready to sew and a long term project waiting to be tackled, so what do I do?  Start something else...
Sweet Pea machine embroidery designs tempted me with their pattern for an Autumn  / Halloween table runner.
I love their designs, they have very clear instructions and always sew out well.  A few dollars [they are an Australian company] and a couple of minutes and the pattern loaded on a USB and was in my embroidery machine! 

I cannot wait to sew this altogether and cheer up my dining room table.
I may even make a couple of place mats to go with it. 

A friend is joining me for a social distanced sewing day tomorrow so I better find some space and tidy up before I do anything else.
I have just collected my new glasses so can see the dust better!

Saturday, 10 October 2020

4 nights in Cold Aston

Our four nights in the Cotswold has come to an end. It has been a really nice trip and allowed us to spend a lot of time with my sister Debbie, which is a very rare occurrence.  The CL at Cold Aston has wonderful views and is ideally placed for visiting the Cotswolds. Miranda the owner could not have been nicer.
As we pack up to leave it is strange that the three other caravans on site all have Land Rovers varying in type. I guess they are one of the best tow cars.
Two of the vans are new models costing just under £30,000 each, where ours was £2750 !  Caravan sites are such interesting places.
My guess is we will be back.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Batsford Arboretum

Wednesday was forecast the best weather wise day we expect this trip so Deb arranged for a trip to Batsford Arboretum.
The weather was perfect, dry and sunny.
The Arboretum is famous for its collection of some of the worlds most beautiful and rare trees.
Carefully laid out paths explore this 56 acre site.
Created in the late 1800’s by Lord Redesdale, grandfather to the famous Mitford sisters, it was purchased in 1919 by the first Lord Dulverton.
The 2nd Lord Dulverton restored the neglected estate which is now run by a charity called the Batsford Foundation.
Water always plays a part in any garden, and here they have made the most of a natural stream.

Such lush greenery

We were all splashed as we walked under this waterfall

Debbie and Chris map in hand

The furthest point of the walk ends with a very pretty church

Just look at the colour of this Acer.

There are a number of statues including these two deer hiding in the long grass

Debbie and I standing on one of the bridges, there is a lot of Eastern influence in the garden, some we left to explore another day.

Foo Dog statue

I cannot resist a picture of fungi.

5000 steps on my Fit Bit, I deserve a Millionaires shortbread with a cup of Hot Chocolate in the open air cafe.

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...