Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Taking things a bit more gently

I'm just emerging from my sick bed - almost inevitable considering the soaking I got on Sunday. I felt fine until Monday tea time and then it hit me.  I spent yesterday in bed, sipping water and sleeping on and off. Achy head, sore throat, achy everywhere else, dodgy in places you won't want to hear about. Even if I'm healthy for the rest of the year I will always remember 2018 as The Year of Poorly.  But now the sun is shining and I have emerged. Despite the fact that there is a heap of stuff all round the house waiting for the carpet to be fitted in the spare room (aka Will's gym) I am not stressing about the mess.

I had an unexpected couple of hours off last Friday afternoon so I went to see my friend Jan at the Cotton Tree. She was having a fund-raising event/coffee day on Friday and Saturday. I had a lovely cuppa and cake, won two prizes on the tombola
and of course bought some fabric.
The orange and green are Sandy Gervais autumn colours which are being lovingly stashed to make a log cabin and stars quilts. There are lovely autumnal purples and oranges, golds and greens to work with. I don't know when I'll start this as there is so much to be done! The green snowflake is there for Christmas stockings.  I like to have simple 'main' fabrics so the designs show up well. I also like to have the fabric there for when the fancy takes me - whatever time of the year. The other two fabrics are from Nancy Halvorsen.  I have quite a collection of her fabrics - some sadly no more than scraps. I love her simple designs.  They are so easy to work with.

The carpet fitter is coming tomorrow so hopefully everything will be back in time for the Easter Break.  We were all going to get together to have afternoon tea on Sunday but at the moment eating is not very high up my list of things to do.

Now my Moorland Blanket is nearly complete I'm looking round so something to do.  My eyes set upon a corner to corner crochet blanket.
This is just a picture from the internet.  I wanted to do something that was colourful but didn't involve sewing in lots of ends.
I ordered this from the Wool Warehouse. I haven't really worked with highly variegated yarn before and hope the transition from one colour to another is not too sudden.  I don't really want it to look to 'splashy' It's 100% acrylic which is easy to work with. The joy of the Corner to Corner method is that you know when you are half way when you have used half the yarn because the second half is a mirror image of the first and you'll always end up with a square.  I've ordered six balls but if it looks like it will be too small I can order some more.

So now I am going to try a little something to eat. Wish me luck chaps.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Be careful what you wish for

There I was lying in bed - 6.45 old time.  I had the Australian F1 recording so that I didn't have to get up at 5am. Planning out the sequence of things I'd do on a quiet Sunday.
Then I heard the phone ring. Never a good sign at that time.

John, Steph and Max are in the throes of multiple bugs. Upset tummies, sickness, chicken pox, more tummies. They resistance must be rock bottom. Could I have Ben for the day. Of course. (curses under breath) I walked down to get him - it's a lovely day so that was nice.

He played on the computer, sat drawing and colouring rockets and then said he had a tummy ache. A millisecond later he had thrown up three great heaves, splattering all over me, all over the things littering the sitting room (we are having a new carpet in the bedroom because of the flood last week, so everything is decanted around the house) all over his clothes, all over my slippers. Inconsolable, all he wanted his daddy, so I rang John who got off his own sick bed and came to collect him.  Ben wouldn't stay with me. So now I've cleaned and disinfected, steamed the floor and am sitting in peace on my own. Getting my wish. OMG was that a rumble in my own tummy?

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Squeezing sewing in between bouts of lethargy

I got home from work on Saturday afternoon and stared at the things that needed to be done. Didn't do them.  I did manage to drag my sorry @#!* to the supermarket, hitting the snow storm as I loaded the car
The storm raged during the night- snow clattering against my window. It continued off and on during the day on Sunday but didn't seem to get any thicker.

I couldn't motivate myself to do anything at all. I just wanted to hunker down under a quilt and sleep.
The hens hardly ventured out of their little house and the rabbit just sat and scowled (no change there). Have you ever heard a rabbit growl? I hadn't until we got Scruffy.  He really doesn't like me. I had to hold him back with a broom so that I could reach into his pen and refill his food bowl.

The little Easter Gift bags are finished however,

Sorry about the atrocious quality of the pictures. No light. (naff photographer).  Not content with bunnies on egg cosies and easter bags I decided to update the 'Picture the Year' mini quilt for April which was rather bare on the original.
I decided to add a bunny because I had bunnies on the brain. Despite the fact that I have my very own live Bunzilla - or perhaps because of the that - I wanted a cute one.
First I draw the bunny then a take all the colour away and reverse the shape for tracing on to fusible web. The first motif was too small so I cut out another - with different colours because the colours looked a bit cold. (Ha!) I made his little thumper feet yellow instead.

I couldn't find the original mini quilt pattern for the dimensions so I'm making a new one.  It must be around somewhere. (note to self - organise your electronic and paper patterns better).

After a couple of cutting mishaps I had the mini-quilt ready to embroider.  I always layer it up with wadding before I embroider if possible, as it gives more definition and hides any stray ends of thread.
So instead of a plain umbrella with raindrops a little spring bunny is sheltering underneath the brolly.
The light was appalling on Sunday so I wanted to get sewing before it faded altogether. I should have been making some headway with the housework. There is stitching paraphernalia littering the table. Dishes in the machine which have been in there more than 24 hours because I can't be bothered to empty it. Huge pile of ironing teetering in the basket. How bad is that?

But the bunny is stitched! Later I spent an hour moaning about various things on the phone to my friend, she moaned back and then we just laughed our heads off for being such miserable old chooks!
I stitched the back on and did a little trimming
 I like the new April better than the old.
Complete with a few daffodils- I like the goose with the umbrella too!
So after a couple of busy days at work my mojo is reset. By Wednesday I'm on a mission.  I've washed, ironed, vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen and made some broth for tonight. I'm going to jump in the shower and then settle down to some more appliquéd leaves while I'm waiting for John to pick me up for our evening clinic.  Happy little bunny that I am in the knowledge that there is a lovely bottle of coffee porter waiting for me in the fridge when I get back.

Just before I go let me show you two pictures of some alstroemeria I bought at Aldi for £2.50

Taken on 25th February
Taken this morning - the 21st March - pretty good value eh?

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Butterfly Mind - so many flowers to visit

I haven't been able to settle this week. There are so many exciting things just waiting to be made/created. I'm sitting eating my breakfast trying to still my mind and organise my time so I don't spend it flitting around like a butterfly, landing on things and flying away so quickly.

I didn't feel like quilting this weekend so I dug through my yarn piles to find something to tickle my fancy.  I can't sit doing nothing. There has to be something in my hands.  A little frisson of pleasure when I alighted on my collection of hand dyed yarns from the Natural Dye Studio (sadly now defunct)
Perfect for an afternoon playing hookey.  This is my long term project. There is no deadline because I'm making it for the pure pleasure of working with such amazing colours.  Most of the yarn is Blue Faced Leicester, but some has silk mixed in which gives a lovely twist and sheen.  The pattern I've used for the hexagons is from Sue Pinner's book 'Granny Squares' but I wanted straight edges so I could add a border.
It took a few experiments (more than shown here!) to make the half hexagon equivalent which I pencilled into the book for posterity.
I've found a fix for the other edges from Polka Dot Cottage  which I'll try this weekend. The project is 12 x 7 motifs at the moment but I will be making in 20 motifs wide and as long as I can with the available yarn.  Amanda Perkins and her daughter ran the Natural Dye Studio but stopped a couple of years ago, not long after I discovered them. She still designs gorgeous things though. 

Sorry about the dull photos - the light is naff at the moment and I'm not the best at taking pictures.

When I was looking for something to do I came across these 

which I made last year adapted from a wall quilt I made a few years ago.
I made the first three months and then flitted to another flower. So now I will come back to the mini-quilt flower and make three more! (April, May and June). The patterns are all there from the original wall quilt so it is just a case of cutting out the minis and cuddling down with a needle and thread. 

I've still go a pattern to make for a little gift bag for easter so I must settle down to that first....
I tried a little reverse appliqué but I don't think I like that.
Then I tried the little chick motif from the egg cosy and enlarged it slightly. I like that
They are about 5" high and will fit three creme eggs or some little mini eggs. 

Pop back at the weekend to see the little bunny motif and an updated egg motif.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

No, not a tale of Two Cities, a tale of snow. Sitting at home in the warmth of comfort, not having to travel to work (we had to close the clinic last Thursday). What about the people that had to go to work - a big cheer and thank you for the heroes that made it, delivering food, keeping us safe, taking supplies to people stuck in their cars.

The empty shelves in the supermarket over the weekend weren't just because the delivery lorries couldn't get through.  It was a siege mentality according to one of the checkout ladies - worse than Christmas.  We actually had enough food in the house for a good couple of weeks. Granted it would have been lentils from the back of the cupboard and no fresh vegetables but we weren't going to starve. My friend's mother works in a local store and she said people were fighting over bread..... these sort of things bring out the best and worst in people.

Anyway there is a little bit of snow left where it drifted into 6 foot piles and there is a huge amount of surface water on some of the little roads into work but we are back to normal now. March - in like a Lion and out like a Lamb! (I hope)

Today I have been to the dentist, shopped for pet food and human food and back to the house before 10am. There is something to be said for 8.00am appointments on your day off.  All clear at the dentist I'm pleased to say. I was round the kitchen like a whirling dervish pulling out things and cleaning behind things. Now I'm a bit exhausted and ready to finish my little egg cosies.
 Embroidery - it's easier to do more than one at once because they are so small.
Adding little froo-froos
Sewing the loops before sewing the four layers together.
Finally cutting the excess away
After sewing the linings the four little designs complete. Just the instructions to finish off and print.
Ben came over on Sunday to play with Will.  They fed the hens and rabbit first. Ben hadn't brought his wellies so we put plastic bags over his shoes. Then they came in and played on Ben's little handheld games console
And when they got bored with that, Ben painted a jar for his Mummy
 and Will practised his yoga hand-stand - it seems to defy gravity.
It's nice to see your babies enjoying themselves!