Saturday, 30 January 2010

Tea towel challenge

Jenny, of Elefantz, has a challenge at the moment, to make something out of a tea towel. I finally had an inspiration; my yoga mat needs a decent cover/carrier so I set to and made one yesterday. It's not the greatest of tea towels, but it's the best my local shop had to offer, and at least it matches the yoga mat.

Monday, 25 January 2010

It's not that I haven't been doing anything over the last week or so, it's just that I haven't got round to blogging about it! We had a lovely time at our family get-together last week. Luckily both of our sons were able to make it, so everyone was very happy to see them again. Sadly our nieces weren't able to join us, one being at university and the other two being unwell. The whole weekend was, as usual when we return to our old haunts, extremely busy.

We started off in Brighton, spending Friday night with Number Two Son. Alexander cooked a wonderful prawn and vegetable curry for us, then we played Articulate with his partner and another house-mate, and watched Angels and Demons (at least, everyone else watched it, I fell asleep part way through - a reflection on the film perhaps?) Luckily, Alexander loved his waistcoat and wore it on Saturday.
From January 2010

Saturday saw us taking Alexander shopping first of all, then visiting some other friends in Brighton for coffee, before heading up the road to my sister-in-law's house for the family party. At some point we dropped Alexander at the station, as he was working that evening. Whilst we were in the town we popped into a new quilt shop, The Wandering Line, that has recently opened. It's a lovely shop, but I didn't buy anything, even though Christopher offered to treat me. Am I completely mad?

On Sunday morning Christopher went for a run with his old running club, whilst I went shopping; I actually managed to find some trousers that fitted in Marks and Spencer. After the run we met up with Number One Son for lunch, before heading home.

And what's happened during this week? Well, Christopher and I have joined a new singing group that had its first meeting last week. That was great fun and we're really looking forward to the next session. My yoga class went ahead, the first two sessions of this term having been cancelled because of the snow. And I did a whole load of housework, including cleaning all the windows.

On the sewing front? Well, I've finished the blocks for the quilts for the twin beds in our guest room. They've had to be put on one side whilst I make a lap quilt for my sister-in-law, for her birthday in March. I'm part way through making the blocks for that. And I've made a table runner.

The Quilt Show is running a contest for a Spring table runner, and I was inspired to make my own design, rather than following a pattern. It's the first time I've done that and I'm rather pleased with the result. It's all made with scraps, which is equally satisfying.
From January 2010

But now, I'm planning to have a rest, and perhaps a nap, after two very poor night's sleep.

Have fun,

Thursday, 14 January 2010

More snow

We had yet more snow on Tuesday night, and I'm really getting fed up with it. Pretty it might be; fun, it isn't.
From January 2010
Yesterday evening I had to go out to collect Christopher from Bath Spa station, about a 30 minute drive. The main roads were fine, though very foggy, but the roads from our house to the main road were dreadful, really slippery and I was sliding about all over the place. By the time we came home though it had started to thaw a little, and we couldn't get home by our usual route as the car wouldn't go up the rather steep hill. Luckily we are able to use a different road, where the hill is less steep. I had visions of having to abandon the car and walk home but thankfully that didn't come about. This morning there's a steady thaw and a thick fog. Let's hope the thaw continues.

At least I've done lots of sewing, by machine, with the electric heater on in my sewing room, or by hand, sitting by the fire in the kitchen.
I've finished a waistcoat for Alexander - and I almost he doesn't like it, as I love it!
And this morning I've made a tote bag out of another unwanted block to take this weekend to my sister-in-law - we're off to a big family get-together.

I've also been getting on well with An Angel's Story blocks and the basket blocks for the two single bed quilts I'm making.

I hope you're keeping warm, if it's winter where you are, and cool, if it's summer.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Big Freeze

The freeze continues here, the temperature hasn't risen above freezing for days, generally hovering around -4 or -5; some of the snow has melted when the sun has been shining but most of it's still here, and now it's snowing again. The main roads are reasonable, but our little road is becoming increasingly treacherous. These icicles are on the back of our house, which doesn't get any sun at all. They're about 16 inches long.
From January 2010

So, no excuses not to sew. I've spent a lot of time preparing the remaining blocks for An Angel's Story, which I'm keen to finish over the next few months. I've also put together a load of basket blocks using scraps; I'm planning to make two twin size quilts using similar fabrics for our larger guest room.

I've also made these cushion covers using blocks from my only UFO. I made the blocks for Piece and Plenty, a BOM from The Quilt Room in Dorking, but never really liked the colours as they came together. I knew this was one I'd never finish, so I've got rid of the blocks I didn't care for at all, and kept the rest. I've used three for these cushion covers, and will use the rest for other things.
From January 2010

And finally, I've made this little wall hanging for my niece's birthday; her birthday is today but I fear her present will be a little late since we had problems getting to the post office.
From January 2010

But now, we're about to brave the elements and head for Midsomer Quilting, as I've got a voucher burning a hole in my pocket and a long list of things I need so I can get on with my quilting.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


This is the view we woke up to yesterday morning, about eight inches of snow. We knew it was on its way, but it hadn't started snowing when we went to bed. It looks so pretty, but causes so much chaos. Schools close, trains stop, airports close, roads come to a standstill. Gritting lorries have been out, but they don't come up on to little side roads like ours.

Christopher spent some time clearing some areas so that we can put food down for the birds; even the rooks and magpies have been trying to balance on the feeders, to no avail. Rosie spent the day inside with her legs crossed!

We went out for a walk down to the village shop in the late morning and although it was cold it was easy to walk in as it hasn't been compacted yet.
(That's me, looking like Michelin Man with all the layers I had on!)

I did think of doing lots of sewing, but first had to do the housework after all the Christmas decorations had been put away. In the afternoon I finished a little hanging for my niece for her birthday, and made a couple of cushion covers - photographs still to come.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Best wishes for 2010

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and send my best wishes for a happy, safe and healthy 2010. We had a quiet evening last night, just the two of us, but I did manage to stay awake until midnight to toast the new year (with camomile tea!). Today we followed the usual tradition in our household of having a lazy morning, watching the New Year's Day Concert from Vienna. And I'm now having a lazy afternoon too!

This was actually my very final finish for 2009, as I finished sewing on the binding and hanging sleeve during the evening. I used Anne Sutton's BOM A Tisket, A Tasket, shrinking the design by 50%. I kept the sashing and bordering very simple, and quilted it using one of the fancy stitches on my machine.

So, what plans have I for 2010? I'm not actually planning very much, as I know that my time will soon get filled up with whatever comes along. I will of course be finishing the BOM that I'm currently doing, Natalie Lymer's Tail Feathers; I have a waistcoat to make for Number Two Son; various birthday presents to make; etcetera, etcetera.

But I am planning one thing. I was really inspired by a quilt that I saw at the American Museum in Bath. This teatowel shows just part of it.
The quilt maker clearly used it as a diary for things she saw around her and happenings in her
life. She couldn't draw very well, and neither can I, but I just love the idea. So I'm going to be doing something similar, using redwork stitching to document part of my life over the next year or so. Does anyone else fancy this idea?