Sunday, 19 March 2017

Things are stacking up

In more ways than one.  Some good, some frustrating.
I've been on my hands and knees this afternoon cutting strips to make a 12" cushion project for our Junior Youth Club at school.
It's a little Easter project which will fill in a gap as we change Youth Workers from the County Council (their funding has run out) and to direct employed workers.  We are funded this year by the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner and the local councillor's fund. We're looking round for next year because things like this are never self sustaining.  I have to say it is not my favourite way of spending a Monday evening. I chose my career path because I like working in finance, the school bit came when I took a job with the same holidays as the children. I like being involved with the children but I could never be a full time teacher. No sir!

For New Year every quilter seems to make the resolution that they will finish things they started. I seem to have done the opposite this year, buying fabric and planning quilts I can never hope to finish in a year. I have three quilts sandwiched but only part quilted and what did I do yesterday?  I bought some fabric for a fourth! That doesn't count stuff that I have put in the cupboard and forgotten about. Bad Girl.

I finished the larger version of the mat I made a couple of weeks ago.  This one has a slightly larger margin around the edge of the linen.

I like them both and can't decide which is the better design.
They are going to be a workshop at High Street Quilting when Hilary and I decide on a date, sometime in the next couple of months I think.

I'm just watching Kate Humble on the telly 'Back to the Land'. There is a lady on that has a 'flower' farm. She sells edible flowers to restaurants and weddings. What a job! I love to see how all the people are bucking the trend of the countryside and taking a risk. Good luck to them.

I've just had a cup of tea with the last of the choice cupcakes I made this week.  Sugar rush.....
I've done the chores, Will is out on the bike, making the most of the sunshine. John, Steph, Matty (her little brother), Ben and Max are enjoying the fifth of their ten days in Lanzarote.  I've planted a Minarette Apple tree (variety - Discovery) and there's a joint of pork slow roasting in the oven for pulled pork tonight. No doubt Will has worked up an appetite. The fridge is stocked for the week so now I'm going to settle back for a little embroidery before the light goes - I think the clocks go forward next week so I'll be back to dark mornings for a little while but will appreciate the light nights stretching ahead.
I am nearly on to the last edge of embroidery so this will be finished soon. A bit sad really because I really love sewing these and you can only have so many mats and table runners.

I've a massively busy week ahead of me at work so this hiatus at the weekends is pure joy, especially when I think of next weekend and the start of the F1 season. Yay, stitching and fast cars - who'd have thought?

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Table Runner (and still girly)

This has been a weekend of mixed weather - dull and cloudy yesterday, bright sunshine for most of today but now at half past four it's gone dull and cloudy again.  I've been working with the linen fabric again this weekend. I found some gorgeous soft pink fabric with a lovely delicate design so I decided to make a runner which would be suitable for the chest of drawers in my bedroom but, in different colours would make a nice spring runner for the dining room.

I laid out the pieces
but discovered I had cut the centre piece the wrong size so I had to do some alterations.  I also made the first border narrower to accommodate the stitchery design I wanted to use.
I'm learning the ins and outs of my design programme (Affinity Design) and can now manipulate shapes.  It's a slow process because I have never really worked with a computer design from scratch. Most of my patterns have been hand drawn.  I printed the page and traced them on to fusible web.
After ironing on the flowers and leaves
 I drew a vine which 'loops' around the inner border
and chose some colours to embroider.  The earthier colours on the left are the ones I'll be working with.
So this is the first corner done.  I work on the linen attached to the wadding but will wait until it's all sewn before I put the backing on (like a cushion cover) and quilt through all the layers.
It measures about 15" x 24"

From the 'bakery' this week a simple traybake. Four ingredients - Rice Crispies, toffee, marshmallows and butter
Put the ingredients in (minus the rice crispies)
and melt them very slowly
 to a smooth sauce
add the crispies
 and press into a tin.
There's enough for immediate use and some left for the biscuit tin for snacks at work next week. Yum.

John and Steph are off to Lanzarote with the boys next week so I popped down this afternoon.  It was such a lovely day so I walked round. I was following a man who was out for a walk with twin boys (about 2-3 years old).  When we got to a quiet little cul de sac the boys stopped and looked for traffic. One of them only looked one way before he crossed.  His daddy told him he had to look both ways because if something had been coming he would have got squished flat, like a pizza.  The little boy said - "could you put me in a pizza box then" he asked.  I didn't hear the answer because I was too busy chortling.

Now I'm going to make a beef stew, tidy my stuff away and prepare myself for the week to come - lots of meetings and setting our new budget for next year.

Flossy is continuing to improve and her fur is growing back now. She's been a brave little bunny and am still full of wonder that she survived.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Loving the stitching and the sunshine

Friday night was the wettest I've seen for a long time.  The rain started after lunch and didn't stop until the Saturday morning.  Driving through flooded roads to John's clinic yesterday it felt like the damp and grey winter was never going to end. Today the sun is shining from almost cloudless sky. Yes I am in England! It's warm and almost windless.Why does life feel better when the sun shines?
A quick trip to the dentist yesterday was followed by a spot of shopping before going back to the clinic to hold the fort on reception.
I was looking for kimchi - a vegetable concoction similar to sauerkraut but without the digestive effects. I also called into Lakeland for a yoghurt maker for John.  He eats pots of yoghurt - so does Max. There is a big chinese supermarket in Newcastle which sells loads and loads of asian food, including fresh vegetables like pea aubergines and galangal.  I thought I was buying fresh turmeric but it turned out to be kaempher which has a similar fragrance to lemongrass. I also got some seaweed and sesame crisps (lurv seaweed). Just to redress the balance I got some cookie cutters and little pie moulds.

I'm quite behind with the chores so am sewing and typing in between washing loads.  If it doesn't get finished I'll live with that.  The important places in the house are clean and the rest is a bit of a tip. Hey ho.

Last weekend I started my little girlie mat by tracing a design on to the linen fabric I got last week.
I love the little stitcheries.  I added some appliqué then made a slightly larger shape in fabric.
It's about 7" across
Perfect for a little coffee and cake mat (fully washable)
Rhubarb and custard cupcake - this one was the one of the rejects because I blobbed the icing but the taste is still there!

I've been working on a larger pattern - same design. I've also started a table runner - same colours but different design although they will work together.

The chinese supermarket sold all sorts of china too and I couldn't help myself and came away with a little bowl that is perfect for my Holland and Barrett snacks (oh my halo is shining this week)
The pink flower goes perfectly with the mat.  As I was about the dive into the delicious dried mango, creamy cashew nuts and chocolate brazils, not to mention the sunflower seeds and other little goodies. It got me to thinking - I've seen something similar very recently - 
- in Flossie's bowl. 

It's a funny old life.