Friday, 29 January 2021

What a week

This has definitely been one of those weeks!

Tuesday we were told by a friend if you call 119 / 1 / 2 you could make an appointment for the vaccine. We tried it and got appointments the next day.
It was all very well organised and other than a headache the next day we are fine. Will have to wait twelve weeks for the follow up jab.

Last year to enable us to get away with relative safety we bought an old caravan and managed five short term trips. It had been 20+ years since we had caravaned so hoped we could manage. Chris put on a Motor Mover to make it easy moving it around at home and on sites. However by todays standards it was fairly basic with cassette toilet and shower all in one small room and not a lot of space.
We shopped around on line and found a dealer in Bristol selling the van we wanted, he gave us a WhatsApp live tour so we could ask questions and look at EVERYthing. We decided to buy it. Bigger bathroom with separate shower, microwave and all mod cons.

Now to get rid of the caravan we already own, Chris put it on Market Place and within an hour someone was interested, saw it, bought it and drove it away!  We had told the dealer in Bristol there was no hurry as we hoped to sell the old one before it arrived, now we cannot wait.

A friend who’s husband has dementia caught Covid and was hospitalised, good news today he is looking well and may be back in his residential home in the next couple of days. He has been constantly in my prayers.

Not much sewing or housework has been going on this week with everything happening, but I did manage to complete a small Valentine mat that I started last week.

HOPE this finds you well and able to cope with Covid, the Weather and Life in general 
Diana x

Sunday, 24 January 2021

First snow of winter

Yesterday to took a walk around the garden and spotted a clump of snowdrops

Today I looked through the window [too cold to go out]
Back garden, always looks so well kept covered in snow! and through the front window !

It is coming down heavy now, so time for Treacle pudding !

Friday, 22 January 2021

Rose of Northamptonshire award

Yesterday Chris received his award via post and zoom.
The post arrived with his certificate
In the afternoon we attended a Zoom meeting with the High Sherriff, Paul Parsons, and about seven other recipients of the award, it was so interesting hearing why they had been nominated and their stories during this Covid 19 pandemic.  Apparently Chris’s nomination, which he has no idea who sent it, was the longest! It was nice that the High Sherriff [my spell checker does not like it spelt this way] spoke to everyone including the supporters and was dressed in his full regalia.

Home is where the heart is...
so I made a little house to remind myself how to ‘flip and sew’. 
I like it so much I may make a village!

We ended the day with the reddest sky I have seen in a long time..
Taken through the window, too cold to go out!

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Another finish

The Elephant Quilt top is finished, just needs a good press.  My main iron packed up a couple of weeks ago, luckily I have an old steam iron but it is nowhere as good as my main iron.

21 Elephants on parade, just need to sort out backing and batting and then its off to the LAQer for quilting.

This was such a fun project and I may add button eyes and a floss tail when it comes back from the LAQer, unless it is going to a small child.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Elephant Stampede

There is an Elephant Stampede occurring in my Happy Room

Colonel Hathi Elephant March from the Jungle Book keeps running through my head!

Hup two three four
Keep it up two three four
Hup two three four
Keep it up two three four
Company Sound off... etc etc...

Are you singing along?

I had a couple of bundles of FQ’s [ten different colours ] and decided to make TEN elephants !
Big OPPS as by mistake I cut out TWENTY !!  What do they say, measure twice / cut once !
I already had one that I had made as a trial block, so eventually I will have 21 Elephants.

I have been making two at a time and swapping the ear fabric each time, so there are twins but not identical.

The pattern is by Wendy Sheppard and for a few US dollars you can buy the pattern in PDF form, which is great as no waiting involved.

Talking of waiting, my December Sew Sample Box was posted on January 8th, spent 6 days in the USA playing with the other parcels in the sorting office before catching a plane to Switzerland on January 14th where it is admiring the snowy mountains before it decides to continue its journey to England, it has been there 4 days so far.

At last my Christmas hyacinth is coming into bloom. I just love the smell of hyacinths.

Time for a cuppa, drop me a comment if you feel so inclined, I love to hear from you.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Ten years ago today I was baptised into the Duston Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I have never regretted it for a minute and although I am the only member in my family, I have ancestors that made the trip from Leicestershire to Salt Lake City in the early days of the church.

I continue to work on my quilt ‘Women of the Bible’ and study their lives.
Top Row: Asenath, Deborah and Tamar
Middle row: Jephtah’s daughter, Miriam and Jael 
Bottom Row:  Potipher’s wife and Rabah.

Also on my design wall: Nellie the elephant and Block 14 of the Sewcialites weekly blocks.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The Substitute

Sometimes you just have to laugh!!!

I alternate, one week Tesco the next Morrison’s to deliver my food. Today was Tesco’s turn and as they had a special offer on pillows I bought a pair.
You would never believe what they substituted them for!
A basket !!!!!

Crisps subs... OK
Peas no substitute, surely they have some kind of peas they could have sent ?

Guess I’m just grateful for the delivery drivers and being able to have my food delivered.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Thoughts of holidays and the long lost object.

While away in the caravan last year I visited a quilt fabric shop and bought a metre of Caravan fabric, I could not resist it jolly colours.

In a mad moment I decided to just quilt the fabric as is, it was too nice to cut up into a more traditional patchwork design. I cross hatched the fabric and used the ‘birthing’ method to back it. When using this method of backing I always cut the backing in half, sew it back together leaving a gap to ‘birth’ the finished item, I find it better than leaving a gap on the edge, where it never seems to lie flat. [Does this make sense?]

Two place mats, with heat resistant batting and the joined together backing which now just needs a few stitches to close the hole.

I have enough caravan fabric left to make a couple of drawstring bags, they are on my ever growing list of things I want to make.

Guess what I found ?????
I bought these two special candles while on holiday in Spain January 2020 for Chris’s birthday in September.
Needless to say with the pandemic raging his birthday was a small affair with two pairs of friends for a meal out. I did however search for the hidden candles and just could not find them until yesterday FOUR months too late!
Maybe when we are ‘back to normal’ we can celebrate his 70th, our March Anniversary, Christmas, Easter family birthdays etc etc... or just plain celebrate the end of Covid.

Stay safe everyone even our Doctors surgery is closed, except for telephone calls, as the pandemic is worse than ever around here.

Going to the Movies

Yesterday Chris was looking a little ‘lost’ so I asked if we could look at his Dad’s movies.
When Jack my father in law died ten years ago we brought home his movies collection but have never got around to looking at them.
There are 7 or 8 small reels of Super 8 movies he took about 55 years ago.

Luckily Chris still has a projector capable of showing these films [ he never throws anything away!]. The films themselves are very fragile and we no longer have a screen. With some gentle persuasion and a piece of white cloth pinned to the wallpaper we managed to watch two of the films.

Will it work after so many years !

A tiny picture appears on the white fabric from my stash and looks to be a holiday in Cornwall from the 1960s.

We sit through two more of these tiny reels and decide it is taking too much strain on both the reels and our eyes.
A search of my Dad’s movie equipment produces a long forgotten Splicer, so Chris splices 3 or 4 reels together and we decide to wait until its dark to watch them.

My Happy Room means we can set up a longer view, so I clear off my tables and pin the same white fabric to my design wall.
6.30pm its dark enough to have a ‘date night’ at the movies ! We are now seeing the films the full size of my fabric.

Half way through the first reel ‘boo hiss’ [remember doing this in the ABC cinema when I was young and the projectionist was not happy having to mend a film with a cinema full of children!] the reel has jammed and a number of pieces broken off the very fragile film.

An intermission while Chris fixes the projector, splices the film back together and we are good to go again.
It was great seeing Chris age about 15 sailing boats and amphibian cars on a boating lake, The whole family enjoying the seaside and trips to Scotland and Wales.

The plan now is to transfer the fragile films to a DVD so we can share with his sister and the grandchildren.

Do you have forgotten films from long ago? Time to get them put on DVDs to save them from disintegrating.

Monday, 11 January 2021

The past six days

The past six days have been very stressful, and although I have managed a little sewing, I have spent more time feeling sad for my friends.
My friend Elayne, who I met 50 years ago and together with her husband were witnesses to our marriage died, having suffered with dementia.
Albert the husband of my friend Gill, who I have known for 58 years died three days ago.
A number of people I know really well have contracted the Covid Virus, mostly it would seem through school age children, it seems to be rife in the local schools.   A few friends my age have been offered the vaccine, but no news yet for us.

So much sadness and constant worry.

My steam iron spat brown water on fabric I was ironing, even though I change the filter regularly and use bottle water as recommended. Luckily I still have an old iron that is nowhere near as good but does the job.

At the beginning of January Chris and I decided to see if we could last the month without spending any money, other than the grocery shop that is delivered to the door. All the upset and problems of the last six days would have driven me to buying things, but so far I have resisted, although the shopping list for February is getting longer!

I managed to get the final border on my Barn quilt and as soon as lockdown ends it will go to be long arm quilted.
Ready with batting and backing for the LAQer.

Women of the Bible Quilt

I have been reading the stories of the 40 women of the bible mentioned in this quilt, and preparing blocks ready for machining.
I find if I prepare a number of blocks in one go, it is motivating to pick up each individual ‘block kit’ and work on it.

I already have 12 blocks made, labelled and ‘stuck’ to my temporary design wall.
The tones of blue with the beige background are most unusual colours for me, but I am loving the feel of this quilt.
The blocks are different sizes, which makes for an interesting quilt eventually.

Row1] Naomi, Esther and Bethsheba
Row2] Eve, Judith and Rachel
Row3] Rebekah, Hagar, Ruth and Mrs Noah
Row4] Jezebel and Sarah

Nellie the Elephant still has no friends at the moment !  

If anyone knows how to get the creases out of a flannel backed tablecloth please leave me a comment.

Stay safe and HOPE for a better times to come.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

SewSampler Box

Back in October I decided to join the monthly SewSampler Box offered by The Fat Quarter Shop in the USA. A little treat for myself during the pandemic and something to look forward to each month. I certainly need something to look forward to in these Lockdown days, which by the way will be with us for yet another month or longer!
I paid the joining fee $5 I think, and waited for the invoice to pay for the first box due to be shipped on 20th November... even more special as this is my birthday. 
Problems with deliveries to the shop meant the Box did not get shipped until Dec 9th, so I still hoped I’d get it in time for Christmas...

9th December left the shop in Illinois
It drifted around Illinois until
15th December it left the USA and arrived in Switzerland !! 
Was it going for chocolate?
It spent two days in Switzerland and left on 
17th December
I’m now getting excited it should be here soon....
Vanished off the radar for Christmas and the New Year
4th January it arrived in the UK at Heathrow Airport  [18 days celebrating somewhere unknown]
5th January it arrived at South Midlands sorting office at 3.11am and was delivered at 9am the same day.

I absolutely love it and will put everything to good use.
Mini Jelly Roll and pattern, Bobbin Boat, Mini Rotary cutting and ironing pad [great in the caravan] and a pair of appliqué scissors [always wanted to try these, especially when working on the Embroidery machine].

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Making a start on my 2021 projects

I have been putting together my Little Village quilt along by Jessica Dayton blocks.
It took me an age to decide on the sashing fabric, whatever was chosen had to come out of my ‘stash’. I am really pleased with how it looks, and intend to add another border using the red of the barns, it will then have to wait to go to the Long Arm Quilter before I can add a green binding.

I am so pleased with my flannel backed tablecloth to use as a design wall. It hangs from a curtain rail so can easily be removed.

The Women of the Bible quilt is next on my ‘to do’ list, I have sorted out the fabrics I will use, still slightly unsure of the background fabric I have chosen. I intend to make one block and then see if I like it. 
HOPE  to get the block made and cut out some more of the blocks when I decide on the background.

This is such an interesting project and I am loving reading the stories of the different women mentioned in the bible.

Friday, 1 January 2021


 I have decided to have a word of the year, rather than making any New Year resolutions, that only seem to last a month and are then forgotten.  I thought long and hard and decided the word Hope is what we all need now as we wait for the Pandemic to pass, vaccines to arrive and life to resume some normality.

Do you have a word of the year? 

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...