Saturday, 28 November 2020

IAM Christmas gifts

The IAM craft group that have been meeting in my house for the past 20 years are unable to meet due to the Lockdowns and Covid 19 disruption.

Each year the eight of us always have a really fun Christmas party. Each person buys 7 x £2 gifts and we enjoy unwrapping so many different little presents, plus play silly games.  All change this year so I thought it might be nice if we all bought the same 7 x £2 gifts and I would collect them and play Santa as soon as I am able, delivering them to the groups front doors [social distanced of course].

I managed to get everything sorted and ready to deliver.
Wow they look so exciting and I hope everyone enjoys their gifts and cards on Christmas Day.

Sewcialites and my Jolly Box

I have been playing catch up with my Sewcialites blocks
Each one is in a different colour of Dimples fabric
The picture towards the top shows the completed quilt, with block patterns due every Friday it will not be completed until June!
I will probably have to double up on the colours as I do not have enough for every one to be different, but think that’s OK.
 It is using up some of my stash.

Today I received my Jolly Box from the Fat Quarter shop in the USA. I joined their subscription service for their monthly boxes and this was an extra Christmas box. Due to the high cost of postage I am not sure I will continue using the subscription, but it is fun receiving them through the post and I love the contents.

There is a panel and charm pack to make the Reindeer pattern, to spools of thread, a note book, pair of socks and a fun package to make three Infinity scarves.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

The Cozy Quilt blocks

Pat Sloan [] started a quilt along a few weeks ago called Cozy Things.

I started the quilt along using a layer cake with black for a background, it felt anything but cozy! Rather than abandoning the whole project I unpicked some of the fabric I could re-use and chose a different background but the same Layer cake.

The project is based around the Danish lifestyle called Hygge.

 I bought a little book to read up on the subject, How to be Happy and Healthy in Your Daily Life. 
A most interesting read and I intend to incorporate as much as I can into my everyday life, even in these Pandemic times.

Four blocks with the new fabric background.

Three more blocks. Just two more to complete the quilt.

All change and a sewing marathon

On the spur of the moment, which is normal for us! We decided to have a new television.  We have talked about putting a TV on the wall for some time and of course this means changing the whole lounge around.  It was a good opportunity to have an early Spring clean!

The TV arrived yesterday and Chris completed putting it on the wall today, advertised the old TV, which sold within an hour.

Furniture has been moved, and the whole room is in upheaval at the moment.

While all this was going on I decided to make some Christmas gift bags using the pattern I was given for my birthday.
Carabiners come in tens, so I have made ten, using oddments of fabric from my stash. Each one contains a small bottle of sanitiser.
Luckily I had a selection of zips and managed to find enough.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

The birthday gift

Yesterday I received a sewing kit from my friend Audrey. I could not wait to make it and started it after lunch. Very quick and easy to make with great instructions and lots of photos. I need to investigate ‘Little Patch Pockets’ its a new designer to me.
Everything was included in the kit, fabrics, backing, batting, zip and hook thing [I’m sure there is a proper word for this] to attach it to your bag
May try and make some more for ‘extra’ little Christmas gifts.

Made it to another year!

Yesterday I made it to 76years of age and had a lovely day.
My request for the day was KFC for lunch and a game of Ticket to ride.. Chris is not keen on board games but I love playing them and miss not being able to play with my family and grandchildren.
I was overwhelmed with the number of cards I received through the post, gifts, messages on Facebook and by email, thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart.
Amongst the more unusual gifts was a salt and pepper set shaped like a caravan, look forward to using them when we get back in the caravan.  I also received a kit to make a bag to hold sanitiser and a mask, who would have thought that would be a nice gift 12 months ago!

KFC was delivered to the door for lunch and afterwards Chris played TWO games of Ticket to Ride. I just love the game and each one is so different.
We played the Europe version first and it is fun finding the city’s and towns we know so well.

This ended for the first time ever in a draw, we both had the same number of points.

Next we played The Old West, a version I don’t remember playing before, as it is double sided we usually play the other side [France]
This is an add on game to the Europe game, there are many different versions. 
It is amazing how different each board is.

I also spent part of the day sewing my Red houses quilt.
16 houses all with different blocks within them.

A great day with phone calls from the granddaughters and Richard, plus the cake Betty made is one of my favourites, lemon drizzle, and will not last long!

Today is back to normality, Chris is spending the day in his shed organising Welfare check visits with the 4 x 4 Rescue service. Anyone on the vulnerable list was phoned by the Council in the week and those that did not answer get a visit to make sure they are OK. I think Chris said there were 200 house checks to be made by the volunteers.

I decided it was time for Christmas facemasks. Found a new design that is suppose to be better if you wear glasses.
I’ve made three so far.
Third one is for Chris.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Sometimes the unexpected brings you to tears

Tomorrow is my birthday and as we are still Shielding and in Lockdown I have felt very gloomy, not seeing anyone or being able to go out even for a meal.  My Dad died on my birthday 17 years ago and it is always a bitter sweet memory.

It is wonderful how a friend can lift you, probably more than they will ever know. Two different friends have left a gift on my doorstep, and a third elderly friend from church just brought me a beautiful cake, that had me in ‘happy’ tears.
Lemon drizzle, iced with a D what could be better?

I have kept myself busy sewing and managed to complete 6 Cozy blocks and get right upto date with the block of the week. Four of these blocks I had already made but didn’t like them so remade them in a different colour way. 
Picture not very good as I have them on my table and its too height to preach for a good photo.
The Cozy quilt it based on the Hygge Danish lifestyle.

I also managed to get upto date with the Sewcialites block of the week.

Now it’s time for tennis and removing more tacking and paper from the 1/2 inch Henie quilt.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

An Early morning walk

We drove to the Pitsford  stop of the Brampton Valley Railway, and had a nice walk along the side of the tracks.  It was quite wet under foot so glad I wore my new waterproof boots.
Love this bench and its carving. Too cold to sit today!

Trains going nowhere, and no one working on them today.
A few leaves still hanging on, love the reflection in the water.

Back home for a hot chocolate and then into the Happy Room to work on my blocks.

Cozy, Sewcialites and Little Village kits

Yesterday afternoon I decided to try and work on my 1/2 inch hexagon quilt. It has been on the back burner for sometime, and I often wonder why I ever started it, as hand piecing is really not my thing.
So, feet up, tele on, and I managed to make some progress. In fact all the hexagons are on, just the long job of removing the tacking and papers before deciding what to do with it next! I love the tennis and Theim and Nadal were playing, so the afternoon went quickly and it was a great match.

The Cozy quilt I have been working on, its a block of the week with Pat Sloan, I decided I did not like my colour choices, so have managed to cut out the five blocks we have already received in a different colour way, they are ready for the machine some time today. The four blocks I had already made will make a cushion or something!
It’s a free quilt along based on the Hygge, Danish life style.

I also have the latest Sewcialites block ready to machine
This is also a free sew along with the Fat Quarter Shop. I am using a single Dimples Fabric Colour in each block.

Lastly I have started another new quilt and have been working on cutting out some of the pieces.
I love anything red, and have always wanted to make a ‘house’ quilt. This one really took my fancy as each house has a different quilt ‘wall’.
The pattern from Jessica Dayon called Little Village Quilt Along, is also free on her blog post. Jessica designed it for 16 different coloured FQ’s but I like the all red look.

I am so grateful to all these wonderful designers that offer these patterns for free.

Time to crank up the sewing machine and get sewing, but a quick breath of fresh air and walk to the post box first.

Please leave me a comment, I read them all before they appear on my blog.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Table runner and place mats

Having completed the table runner I decided to make a couple of place mats to match as I still had some Charm squares left over.
Such a quick and easy project and will look nice throughout the Winter.
The bobbin lace in the coasters was also made by me, probably 20+ years ago.

Today I need to concentrate on housework and laundry before going in my Happy Room.
However a member from church has asked me to make a FSL Christmas Tree and it has given me all sorts of new ideas, can I resist before boring housework?  At least I do not have to cook dinner today as I prepared a stew and dumplings over the weekend and we have enough left for today.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Oh dear I’ve started another project

What is wrong with me ? I cannot stop starting new projects !
Pat Sloan announced a table runner design and I have wanted a new Christmas runner for my dining table. 

The runner used a pack of Charm Squares [5x5 inch squares] and I had just the one I thought would work well.
Lewis & Irene Charm Pack Countryside Winter, not too Christmassy and although I did not have quite enough of the colours I wanted to use, a Layer Cake [10 x 10 inch squares]  by the same makers and same series came to the rescue.

I have managed to sew the HST [Half Square Triangles] together and decided to use Insul Bright for the wadding to protect my table when hot containers are used on it. The backing and binding will be a pieces of fabric that have been so long in my stash they need to be put to use.
I played around a little with the placement and feel pleased with my final layout.
Now to get it quilted and finished.

Friday, 13 November 2020

Santa’s Sleigh & Tesco!

First the good news..

Yesterday I used my Embroidery machine to sew out the sections of a Santa Sleigh and his reindeer. I managed to get them joined together and decided I just wanted a small binding as it is a long way round so I would do it on my sewing machine.

This is a first for me as I have always sewn my double 2 1/2 inch bindings to the front and hand sewn them down to the back.
I cut binding 1 & 1/4 inch wide and ironed a 1/4 inch fold. This was then sewn to the back of the sandwiched fabric.
Turning the folded edge to the front I machined it down with a small buttonhole stitch, in hindsight I wish I had used a fancier stitch.

Santa and his Reindeer ready for either the mantelpiece or I’ll use it as a table runner.

Now the bad news...

For TWO hours FIFTY FIVE minutes I was waiting in a queue to reserve a Christmas slot with Tesco before I gave up.
I was so sick of looking at a Christmas dinner, Chris and I took it in turns to watch the site refreshing itself.

We’ll put you through as soon as we can... this probably meant sometime on Christmas Eve ! Even my ipad battery had to be plugged in as it was going flat waiting.. 

Thursday, 12 November 2020

A walk and a gift

We started early this morning collecting a prescription and then going for a walk along the old railway.
We passed a couple of people all keeping a safe distance and I find people are more pleasant since the pandemic as everyone said ‘hello’.
Early morning walk along the side of the railway.
It is so nice seeing the progress the volunteers are making restoring the track in this area.
Chilly but lovely to see the blue sky.

I was told a parcel would arrive between 10.19 and 11.19 this morning, and dead on the dot of 10.19 my new iPhone arrived. RED of course, everything red... my birthday treat to myself.
I managed to unwrap it and plug it into the charger, then over to Chris to sort out everything else ! What would probably have taken me all day he did in half and hour. I still have my original phone number and at the moment if it rings both phones ring! Guess things will sort themselves out, I do not need stereo mobile phones.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

‘Virtual’ sewing day with a friend

My friend Dorn and I had a sewing day planned for today, but then Lockdown 2 came along, and we are no longer able to meet, so decided to have a ‘virtual ‘ sewing day.

My list of ‘To Do’ was 
1] complete sewing down the binding on my USA Star quilt and add a label.
2] sew the two Sewcialites blocks I had already cut out
3] Sew the six filler blocks for the Cozy Things Quilt I am working on
4] Add to my Leaders and Enders blocks.

Label made on my embroidery machine, and completed hand sewn binding. 

USA Star quilt hanging on my new rail
Six Cozy Things filler blocks completed
Two Sewcialites blocks sewn 
I’m amazed how many Leaders and Enders blocks I’ve made today, every time I start or stop machining.
Finally I realised I have walked around all day like this, one slipper on, one off. 
I prefer to sew with no shoe on, wonder where I left the other slipper!

Great motivation having a friend sew along, even ‘virtually’.
Almost 3pm and I have completed my ‘To Do’ list, time for a cuppa.

Monday, 9 November 2020

The Curtain Rail

I had an idea a long time ago that it would be nice to have a hanger over my cupboards so I could hang quilts on it and ‘hide’ the mess! Plus I have so little wall space in my Happy Room having chosen to have lots of windows when it was built.

I didn’t think it would be possible to fix it to the ceiling but while holding up a quilt to take a photo I asked Chris if it would even be possible and Mr Fix IT said of course and promptly put up a rail that had been moved from somewhere else. What would I do without him?
Putting up the rail
This is a trial hanging of a quilt that I made and love, but I really want to finish the binding on my USA Start quilt and hang it. The idea being it will slide from side to side and I can get at my fabric etc that lies hidden in the cupboards.

The Parcel

Great excitement here today, plus some sadness. A large box arrived from the USA containing a painting my Dad made thirty plus  years ago.

As a child we lived near the Midford family, my Mum was great friends with Phyllis and I was friends with her daughter Robina. Robina and I had some wild holidays in the Lake District as teenagers!  Robina married had twins and moved to the USA, followed by Phyllis a few years later. We all kept in touch, and I visited Robina a few times in the USA.  My Mum and Dad decided to go to the USA for a months holiday staying with Phyllis and Dad a keen hobby artist painted a picture to take with him as a gift.

The Royal Scot 1927  on the Pinmore Viaduct in Scotland

This article appeared in the local Ohio newspaper.

Left to Right, Phyllis, Mum, Dad, Robina and Roger. Sadly they have all died now.

I am so please to have this painting returned to me by Helen, Robina’s daughter, it certainly has travelled some miles!

Sunday, 8 November 2020

We will remember

We took an early morning walk to pay our respects to those who lost their lives in the war at our local cemetery.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

2020 Caravaning and being home

Just a little recap on all the trips we managed to make in the second hand caravan since buying it in July. The purpose of buying it was purely to have our own bubble and to be able to get away during this terrible pandemic. We joined the Caravan and Motorhome club to have access to CL’s, camp sites with a maximum of five ‘vans. Many of the people we met were doing the same thing, staying safe but getting away from home.

Jul 20 to 24 our first adventure was to a local site at Staverton to test the electric hook up and put up the awning
Aug 10 to 14 again fairly local but with no electric hook up we visited Fotheringhay
Aug 20 to 27 having more confidence in the caravan we visited Louth in Lincolnshire
Sept 9 to 16 a week at Cransley, only 12 miles from home as we both had flu jab appointments in the middle of our stay
Oct 6 to 10 Cold Aston in the Cotswolds to be able to visit my sister who had just moved there
Oct 31 to Nov 4 [should have been the 6th but had to leave because we entered Lockdown 2] Trusthorpe on the Lincolnshire coast

We have truly enjoyed our caravaning trips and being able to get away in the safety of our own ‘bubble’.

Since arriving home it has been busy with winterising the caravan, washing and ironing and generally catching up with life.
View from the house this morning, I love sun rises and sunsets, but always hard to capture on a phone camera.

Yesterday we emptied a couple of my potato sacks and look forward to these new potatoes.
The Potato growing sacks experiment has worked quite well, and it has been fun growing vegetables again.

Due to the Lockdown which is forecast to last until Dec 2nd, but everyone seems to think will last longer than that, we have very sadly cancelled our trip to Scotland for Christmas with the family. We had two Lodges booked.  I pray 2021 will find a cure / vaccine for Covid 19 and we can all get back to a normal life. Stay safe everyone.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Goodbye sea and Trusthorpe CL

A fairly early walk this morning to see the sea for one final time before packing up to travel home.
Sad to say goodbye, but glad we have been, even if the holiday had to be cut short because the Country goes into lockdown tomorrow.

Please Keep 2 m apart was stencilled into the promenade plus signs on every lamppost.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Donna Nook Seals

We had booked a ticket to go and see the seals yesterday, and our slot was 9am to 10am.
Awoke to torrential rain and the coldest day so far this trip.
We waited until just after 9am and decided to drive the half hour to the Sanctuary in the hopes it may stop raining, needless to say it did not stop but was a little lighter. 
I am so pleased we went and it was wonderful to see the seals basking amongst the marshes with their young.

October / November is the start of the breading season.
The Donna Nook site is on the edge of a Military Base, and the whole time we were there a jet plane was swooping and looping and very noisy over the marshes not that the seals seemed to mind one bit.

I thank you for leaving me a comment, but due to the way I post to my blog I am unable to answer you unless you leave me an email or facebook link.
Vera, love the idea of Christmas masks, must look out some fabric when I get home.

Stay safe everyone,  Diana

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...