Thursday, 31 March 2011

Confessions....

This weekend we had a pleasant visit from my sister-in-law and her two little ones.  I'd forgotten just how full-on 5's and under can be!  As the SPARE ROOM is my sewing space I had to tidy, clean, clear out and keep out....ARRGH!   So no sewing done this weekend  :{  but I now have a clutter-free sewing room :-)  Wooohhoooo!

However I did meet up with my dear friend on Friday who is now a knitting buddy and we knitted up a storm.  I have now finished knitting a shrug that I started 18 months ago! TADA!!!  Fanfares please!!!  Kindly modelled by elder daughter in pictures 2 and 3 though quite a bit big for her....






I may have to adapt it a bit as the ribbed section at the bottom does not lie flat but am happy with the general result.  With the recent slightly colder weather I may get some use of it too - not sure whether I'm happy or sad about that??!!  I love Aran knitting - it looks complicated but isn't....the pattern was free and downloaded from here!


After our guests had left, my son, the Tudor princess and myself all caught a very nasty bug and were ill for several days.  So not much progress this week either. 


Instead I offer one of many UFOs that I wish to confess to, and hope that I can finish this year - oh no I've said it now .... what have I done??? 






  This quilt top is not quite finished as I am wanting to add a black border round it plus a scrappy tumbler border to make it a bit bigger.  The colours are inspired by the Art Deco period which I love and the fabrics, apart from the solid black, are all dotty!

Carolyn Forster of Quilting on the Go! taught this scrappy Kaleidoscope Hexagon Quilt in June 2010 at the Quilt Room, in Dorking.  She is such a lovely person it is a pleasure to do a course with her and I always feel I am in safe hands, indeed she keeps trying to prevent my kackhanded self from slicing bits off my digits with my rotary cutter!  

Carolyn's own quilt has blue centres, white and scrappy tumblers and is absolutely gorgeous - no in-filling half-hexies on her quilt edge to make a nice straight line! (You can see her quilt here!  - please do!)    

I am amazed I got this far quite quickly - all before Christmas - as it is hand pieced - yes each individual piece in each hexagon - and I even joined them up by hand too!  I know!??  How crazy is that?? But it has been stuck at this stage for quite a while.  I hope by confessing it I can move it on.

Here is a close up:



I have quite a few more tops to confess, some older than this, but at least I have made a committent and hopefully will turn UFOs into WIPs and maybe even a finish!

What are you hiding in your closet?

Happy piecing...

Nicky

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Looking gorgeous in the garden at the moment!

This is what is happening in my garden this week. 

A bit of yellow, a splash of purple and if only you could smell my daphne - devine!  

Forsythia

Hellebore

Daphne

 

My camellia is one bush of several, which are gradually merging together in a hedge round the base of my Holm or Evergreen Oak tree.  Cannot wait till it comes out in flower. 




What's happening in a garden near you?  I'd love to hear about it!

This morning my youngest had a bit of a surprise!  A crow fell down the chimney!  We closed all the curtains and flung the patio doors wide open then opened up the doors over the fireplace.  Out he flew, bumped his head on the ceiling but seemed none the worse and flew off to freedom.  A close encounter with nature...and now she said she will know what to do next time it happens...hop(e)fully it will not be this crow again.

Have a great week!

Nicky

Monday, 21 March 2011

A host of golden daffodils!

I'm thinking daffodils and William Wordsworth at the moment as everywhere these glorious flowers are braving the weather and making us think of Spring.

So this is a post in their honour.





 







 


And some word by Bill:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


More information about William Wordsworth here

Are you dancing with the daffodils?  I hope you are!

Nicky











Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Little Tudor Princess

Here are a couple of photos of my little Tudor princess:









She has a suede leather bag with her tankard, knife, spoon and napkin inside.  What more could a Tudor girl want?   She borrowed the cloak from her brother which I had made for him to appear as King in a school pantomime.  I couldn't have foreseen how well it would go with this outfit!

I do love making a costume or two...in between other things.  What costumes have you made?  A friend is dressing up as a cat to do a charity walk for Red Nose Day.  She has made a really good black/white tail, ears and even a white bib to wear over her black lycra walking gear!  Meow she will be the cat's pyjamas!

Now back to patchwork I guess.

Have a great week - sadly mine started with a bit of a bump - fell off the horse on Monday! Ouch!  But looking forward to Friday - I might even tell you what I get up to then...

Nicky

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Tudor costume nearly there!

I was going to post yesterday about my lack of progress on the Tudor costume and my displacement activity of finishing a Hallowe'en banner instead.  

The banner is a Debbie Mumm printed thing which I have attempted to machine quilt.  I have not done much machine quilting and all I can say about it is DO NOT look at the back!  It looks allright from the front and was a small easy project to start with.






Machine quilting is still a work in progress for me...I so want to be able to quilt like you ladies who can do fearless feathers and stunning stippling but I will have to be happy for now following a printed line!

That was going to be my sad story however today I have knuckled down and nearly completed the dress and headress - only the hem, fastening and neck edging and it is finished!  Huzzah! (that's what they used to say in medieval times).


When it is finished I will of course post a picture with someone in it!  She fancies herself as the Princess and future Queen Elizabeth I no less.

I still have to buy some ginger beer for the feast on Wednesday because as you know all Tudors needed some ginger beer to make their party really pop! :D

Hope you have had a productive weekend without too many displacement activities!

Have a great week - I intend to, starting with a riding lesson tomorrow - Huzzah indeed!


Nicky

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Giveaway on Little Island Quilting


Do you fancy a half yard each of these beautiful fabrics:
  • Tufted Tweets Birds on a Wire in Grass
  • Lime Ta Dot
  • Anthology Candy Shop
  • Wild Thyme Pods in Blue?


If the answer is yes (and why wouldn't you) then follow this link to Little Island Quilting where quiltilicious is giving this away - how generous can she be??

She is willing to ship "this happy accident" anywhere and will leave this open until Sunday 12 March  12 midday(GMT).


What a great giveaway and just imagine what you could do with this fabric???  I know I am....


 No sewing done today but I am planning lots tomorrow and for a few days to come.  Or rather my youngest daughter is planning on me doing some.  Next Wednesday she has been invited to a Tudor feast at school, suitably attired of course, and therein lies the problem.  So I will be making a Tudor dress for the occasion and between you and me I am quite looking forward to it.  My only worry was the rather specialised headress they used to wear but thanks to a tip from a friend I think I can attach some stiffened fabric to a headband and all should be well.  This is the sort of thing required:

Wish me luck - I may just have exceeded my abilities but wait and see...

Happy sewing to one and all!!!!  Or happy whatever else you get up to!

Nicky

Monday, 7 March 2011

Birds of a feather...

Today I should be riding - another of my hobbies - but instead I am taking my 13 year old son to a Rock guitar exam.  The sun is shining here although the temperature was 1.5C at 8am and there was frost on the car windscreen.  My 10 year old daughter took some of our first daffodils into school for the teacher's staff room.  I do think Spring is on its way!  Hooray!!  

In honour of the imminent arrival of Spring I am showing you some cross stitch pictures my mum and I did when I was about 15 years old (ooh a long time ago now).  They are of Danish design and I am displaying them by my front door.  The blue tit is kept company by some glass bird paperweights that I collect - fabric is not my only addiction....!




a long-tailed tit by me





a wren by me





a blue tit by mum





a goldcrest by mum
 
 

 Enjoy your weather and I hope it's as good as what we have here, or better!

Nicky


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Cushion for a friend.....

Here is a cushion that I have made for a friend.  Her birthday is not until next month so for once I am ahead of myself - long may it last...!







My friend had asked a relative if she could bring back a matroyshka cushion from Russia but her wish was not fulfilled.  I thought I would make her one albeit not from Russia...  I hope she likes it!  But I have to wait now till I find out...

I have tried to insert a close up but the photo comes out sideways - I'm hoping that you can click on the photo and get your own close up if you want.

Friday, 4 March 2011

men are from Mars and I am from somewhere else....

When I proudly showed my husband my first attempt at blogging I realised what I long suspected was true. 

I look at my blog title and I think (and so far we agree)



Then I think



Yes well I like gardening as well as crafting! 

While he thinks...... 



"Why do you want to blog about that?" he asked.  And now I cannot get this image out of my head.  It's a bit like the original Reggie Perrin played excellently by the now deceased Leonard Rossiter, who sees an image of a lumbering hippopotamus everytime anyone mentions his mother-in-law.

Here is the link if you need reminding or do not know what I am talking about:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2mLAajm7ZY

I'm afraid I will now have to embrace this connection but I'm thinking Beatrix Potter rather than the above image or I will know no peace of mind.   A pleasant, friendly, clean lady pig in muslin dress and white cotton bonnet and apron, patching and piecing in her armchair by the fire, or sowing seeds in her cottage garden....There I think I have laid that nightmare to rest and all is well on my planet but I do not know about my husband's...?

Happy sewing .....

Nicky

Hello, my name is Frog!

At least this is what my daughter wrote to show me how to blog!  Why not I thought??  It's as good a start as any I could think of....

I recently received some goodies in the post.  I got them from Seamstar, an online fabric shop in the UK that I read about on  I'm a Ginger Monkey.  Thank you to both Seamstar for a really propmt delivery of some gorgeous fabric and to Ginger Monkey for the recommendation!   It was good to find somewhere in the UK.


my little parcel of goodies!

Tonal bundle Fire

Dan Stiles Marine bundle

 
 

I also got to do some sewing this week on a WIP - I think I can call it that now - it is a basket quilt that I started in September last year at a class with Margaret Hughes at my LQS the Quiltroom in the lovely town of Dorking.  I love the quilt but wanted to make it bigger, hence the delay in finishing it.  I now think I will add a border rather than disrupt the symmetry of the original design.  I hope to sew all the rows together and the corner setting triangles soon and then I will need to think about the border - mmmmm??   Any suggestions?



Here is a better photo from the washing line:



 


I have to say I am in awe of all the blogs I have come across but you do have to start somewhere... 

Have lots of sewing fun this week!  I know I have...

Nicky
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