Happy New Year readers, hope 2015 is filled with good times and laughter.
The New Year started well for me. I finished a quilt I had been making for my mum. I had wanted it to be for her Christams present but I didn’t finish it quite on time, although she did get to see it on Christmas Day. It took a little longer than I thought to do the binding but now it’s done and needs a lable popping on the back. Needless to say my mum loves it!
It’s been a labour of love, and I first started working on it back in October 2013 when I joined a quilting class. I’ve pretty much learned on the job, and at my class, I have found out how to measure, cut and piece fabrics, use the rotary cutter, quilting ruler and follow a block pattern. I’ve learned how to assemble the quilt top, baste the layers, and bind the quilt, as well as making the binding, and mastering the rocking stich for the all important quilting. The quilt is 64 inches square and is entirely done by hand. It has been hand-pieced, hand stitched, hand quilted and hand finished and it is the largest thing I have made from start to finish. I really wanted to make a quilt in the traditional way, the way our ancestors did before the advent of sewing machines (although I am grateful for electric lights!!!). Now it’s finished, I feel a bit empty but that also means I can start something new – time to dust off that fabric stash!
As well as my lovely quilt, I’ve also been making a nice vibrant block to donate to Quilts for Comfort North East. I’ve got a bit of the fabric left so I can maybe make another one to donate! You can read more about this very worthy cause on the link below.
Have a great week everyone, and Happy Birthday to Uncle Ken!
Hello, I’ve been away on holiday with t’other half – can you guess where?
Two weeks in Walt Disney World, Florida was lots of fun, a bit crazy and I discovered I didn’t like riding in the front seat of Space Mountain at breakneck speed in the dark with nothing to hang onto! We stayed at a Disney hotel so it was full-on, intense, 24-7 Mickey, even down to the mouse-ears shampoo bottle and soaps in our bathroom!
We loved all this at first, but soon realised there was no escape from the Disney folks willing you to “have a magical day” even when I caught a cold and felt dreadful and no magic in the world could have made me better! Not to worry – I soon got well again and we hired a car for a few days to go shopping. It was Columbus Day Weekend which meant sales!!!! We got most of our family gifts and goodies for ourself and then we went to Michaels and Jo-Annes – my favourite craft stores. I treated myself to new books and magazines,,,
Back at Disney World, we crammed in as many rides, shows and experiences as we could, had some lovely meals, but ate too many pancake/bacon breakfasts (I do miss those)! We relaxed, enjoyed the sunshine and shared lots of laughs! So here’s a flavour of all things Disney…
Have a magical week everyone!
Hello folks – I’ve had quite a mad time these past two weeks – busy at work (aren’t we all!) a couple of appointments and my quilting class so it’s nice to take some time out to relax.
Last week, roadworks and traffic lights sprung up outside the entrance to my work which is on a busy road. Needless to say nobody left the junctions clear, and struggling to see where the entrance was, I mistakenly followed a car into work on the exit lane on the wrong side of the road! Horrors! Luckily nothing was oncoming and we cut across onto the right side, but it was scary and I got a look of disbelief off the site security guard!
The next day, I walked across to my office building in the rain when all of a sudden my arm was yanked backover, jarring my shoulder! Ouch! Somehow a spoke on my umbrella had caught in the decorative metal framework on the staff restaurant building, which providing much amusement to passing colleagues! I too was laughing so much that I cried!
Luckily the rest of the week passed without further incident!
This week I had the excitement of going to a craft fair in Harrogate with my pal Lesley and her daughter Lauren. So bright and early, we drove down there and got a nice front row car parking space! The fair was really busy and packed to the rafters with like minded folks all wanting to indulge in their favourite needlecrafts. Lesley bought a new sewing machine which was exciting, and she got batiks, bag patterns and textile design books. Lauren, who is 16, and a keen artist and crafter herself, got some buttons to make into keyrings and earrings and a kit to make Christmas tree decorations from ribbon.
As for me, take a peek at the gallery of goodies! Have a good week everyone. K x
Donegal Irish Tweed
Liberty Tana Lawn £2 a Fat Quarter – bargain of the day! Wooden charm buttons – love the trick ‘n’ treat ghost!
Flannel, Japanese charm pack and notions
Nice ‘n’ bright – Japanese fabric charm pack
I had a fantastic day yesterday at the lovely High Street Quilting where I spent time with like-minded folks helping to sew a quilt top for Quilts for Comfort North East. The magnificent seven (Hilary, Brendie, Eileen, Dorothy, Karen, Jill and me) spent the day ironing, cutting, piecing, hand and machine sewing and generally getting busy to reach our aim of sewing a quilt top in a day.
Susan popped into the shop to say Hi and stayed a while to sew some blocks together. A man in a pirate bandana, sporting a red beard, visited too (alas he wasn’t Johnny Depp)!
We had coffee and cakes, and nibbled on chocolate and crisps, figuring the calories and caffeine would convert to “Quilting Energy”! And by mid afternoon we had 16 blocks ready to piece together into a quilt. We auditioned the blocks every which way to find a good balance of colour and pattern and after another round of coffee and cake (hmm – definitely a trend here!) and a bit of friendly decision making we got to sewing the blocks together and made this………
Our quilt top!
But this isn’t where our story ends – The lovely Brendie has now taken the quilt top home and will be hard at work behind the scenes adding borders and binding and doing the actual quilting. It won’t be too long before she can hand over the finished quilt to Quilts for Comfort North East for them to pass on to the young person we made it for.
We always had in mind that we wanted to make the quilt for a young man – someone who may be going through a difficult patch – and we hope that this quilt gives them a little extra comfort.
I would love to think the person who receives it will love it as much as we loved making it.
Huge thanks to “Team High Street Quilting” who pulled out all the stops to make our aim a reality.
What a glorious Easter weekend it’s been. The sun has shone every day, I got chocolate eggs and it was warm enough today to sit out doors with a cuppa and a good read! I’ve spent this weekend potting up new plants and tidying up the planters and troughs. I’ve battled with the weeds and the garden wast bin is now full up! Now I have to admit, I am a reluctant gardener. I start off with such good intentions and look after my plants but after a while the poor things wither and die before they’ve even started to live! I think I kill them off with kindness rather than let nature take its course! This year, I got packs of flower seeds from t’other half’s dad’s garden magazines so I have dutifully planted them in propagators and lo-and-behold they are shooting away! Spurred on by this little success I’ve also planted some broccoli seeds. My teeny kitchen now has a mini plant nursery of 4 propagators, so I have everything crossed the plants will survive and I can soon plant them into small pots and gradually move them outdoors. I’ve really enjoyed my gardening weekend and liked the simplicity of being in the fresh air and pottering in the garden, getting mucky with no worries! Hope you’ve had a great weekend too.
On a regular basis I get all nostalgic for times past! Whether it’s visiting the pit cottages or the Co-operative at Beamish Museum and wishing I had been around in Edwardian times when the pace of life was slower, or watching old childhood programmes on You Tube and singing along to Rupert the Bear – I can shamelessly say I often get lost down Memory Lane! Perhaps I’m trying not to forget what a great childhood I had in the 1970s, when times were simpler and fashions dubious, and my hair was styled like Purdy from The Avengers! When we seemed to have endless summers, paddling pools, toys you shared with your friends in the street and games you made up yourself. It doesn’t take much but a little fix of nostalgia to make me feel good again about life, and to remind myself to remain a child at heart!
Hope you have a good week doing something memorable.
I love it when I am able to get organised through the week leaving Saturday’s free for me-time. T’other half is at work until tea-time so I have a whole 8 hours for me! Much excitement! So although I have to do the food shopping in the morning I find this is a good reason for yummy goodies such as fresh-baked tiger bread, a cinnamon danish, choc chip cookies and a couple of their calorific cousins to magically place themselves in my shopping trolley! Weather permitting, I hope to head to Barter Books in Alnwick for a relaxing browse in this ever-interesting haven of vintage and modern books of all genres and partake in a cuppa and cookie in front of a roaring fire. I’m also hoping I can pop into Cragside or Stitchin’ Heaven on the way home. Ahh Bliss!
Hope you have a nice weekend doing
something that makes you smile.
Soon after my last post I somehow wrecked my computer simply by switching it off! Don’t ask me how – I haven’t a clue. Well, after a few months, some newly purchased technical bits & bobs, and a bit of magic on the part of t’other half and his brother, I now have a fully operational computer. Big cheer to the boys for getting me back on-line. Another thing I am grateful for is the fact we’ve had no snow which although looks beautiful and picturesque, terrifies me! As a pedestrian – I teeter along like Bambi on ice trying not to slip and usually cling onto anything to hand to steady myself (including total strangers!). As a driver I find the experience rather intense as you’re concentrating so hard to keep calm and control your car over the snow while keeping an eye on other drivers who aren’t driving to the conditions……!
Anyhoo – I haven’t had any of that so far – phew – and Spring is just around the corner too so plenty of reason to be positive.
In the crafty portion of my life I’m hand-stitching sampler blocks at a quilting class I go to every two weeks. I hope to make them into a quilt and am progressing quite nicely as a beginner, although I sometimes mis-cut the fabric – ha ha – but that’s ok as my scrappy collection is expanding and I can always buy more fabric!
They’ve just announced on the telly it was 30 years ago tonight since Torville and Dean won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Yikes – 30 years – where did they go. I remember being allowed to stay up late to watch them!
Well, that’s today’s waffle! Happy Valentine’s Day to all – hope you’re celebrating by doing something you enjoy. T’other half cooked me a lovely chicken risotto for dinner and we had magnum ice creams for dessert – and he did the washing up although I was left with the ironing! Who says romance is dead!!!
Have a good weekend xx.
Greetings readers – I am nursing a head cold and snacking on biscuits and hot chocolate to make me feel all better! Hasn’t the wintery weather landed with a bang? It was freezing today so the heating got cranked up (along with heating bill!) I am off work this week with t’other half so our good intentions of doing housework and garden work have well flown out the window and we’ve combined a couple of lazy days with being out and about. We went to Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire last Saturday evening to see Easingwold School Choir perform in the floodlit abbey ruins – the whole experience was really atmospheric and moving – it was a really lovely time and we finished the evening off with a hog roast sandwich and cuppa.
Yesterday we did my favourite drive across Alston Moor down to Penrith and into the Northern Lake District. After stopping at Ambleside and Grasmere for lunch, coffee and Sarah Nelson’s gingerbread we went to Aira Force and enjoyed a walk to the waterfall. The river and falls were quite swollen and fast-flowing which made it particularly dramatic . And one unusual fact – of all the times I have visited the lake district, this is the first time it has rained – honest!
Bridge House, Ambleside
Grasmere Gingerbread House
Long Way Down – looking over the edge – Aira Force
Have a good week. xxx.
Ooh I had a lovely day yesterday at a quilt fair/show at Harrogate. Naturally there were lots of goodies to buy and yes, I did blow the budget a little! I was blown away by the quilt exhibition which ranged from traditional patchwork like 9 patch and hexagons to more elaborate offerings using hand-dyed and painted fabrics, exquisite embroidery and photo transfers. One artist had hand appliqued and hand-quilted the most amazing Jacobean design quilt and one of the abstract designs had a hole in the middle of the quilt! Perhaps just as interesting as the quilts were the quilters’ stories. One lady said she’d started doing the quilt to cheer herself up after her father had passed away and one quilt was made by a lady for her little boy, who had helped pick out the fabric. Some of these talented folks had taken a leap of faith and been on an incredible journey. It truly was a great show – and as for my purchases – well, I got a mix of fat quarters in red/green subtle Christmas prints and a couple of Lynette Anderson fat quarters in a woodland animals print. I bought three books to ooh and ah over, some wool felt in autumn colours, a button in the shape of a toadstool and yo-yo makers! I just need to get those creative juices flowing to decide what to make!