Saturday, 24 April 2010

Look what we bought ...

We went to the Wells Trading Post (and isn't that a wonderful name for a shop) this morning, a mix of antique, junk and second hand goods, and we found this wonderful chair. I've never seen anything like it before, it's such a fun thing. It's French and dates from about the 1930s.

The back slides forward over the seat to form a table, and there's a wooden tea tray that slides under the seat.

Now all it needs is some cushions, a table cloth and a tray cloth. Something more to add to the list I think.

Friday, 23 April 2010

A few finishes

I seem to have been pretty busy this month, and we're well over half way through now, but I don't seem to have many finishes. Anyway, here's a few.

These are the goodies I made for my give-away, which went winging their way across to Jo in Tas - there's a pile of red and pink fabric squares, a bookmark, an appliqued teatowel, a heart pincushion and an I Love to Sew embroidery hanging.
From April 2010

I've had this pattern from a magazine for ages and made it up over a couple of days.
From April 2010

I went on a workshop some weeks ago on making maps out of fabric, and this is the outcome, which I gave to Christopher for his birthday (as well as the all-singing, all-dancing coffee maker which was a joint Christmas and birthday present). It's a reasonably accurate map of the area around our house - you might be able to see that our house is a bit lighter than the others, and it's L shaped instead of just a square.
From April 2010
And I've finally found a use for some of the fabric that I bought some months ago and have been enjoying looking at since then. We decided to change our plastic mugs in the camper van for china mugs, as they're so much nicer to drink from. So, of course, we needed something to put them in to protect them when we're travelling. I had a pattern for a bottle carrier bag which I was able to protect.
From April 2010
From April 2010
The next job will be to make some more for the wine glasses and the tumblers.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Up, up and away!

From April 2010
It's been such an action packed week. Our elder son came to stay for a few days last week, and on Thursday it was Christopher's birthday. His choice for the day was to visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum. I'd been dropping hints about a local quilting exhibition, but sadly it didn't take his fancy quite so much!
From April 2010

Now you may be more interested in aeroplanes than I am, although I was fascinated by the older contraptions which appeared to be made of nothing more than string and wood.
From April 2010
From April 2010
What did interest me though was the WRNS exhibition (Women's Royal Naval Service).

During World War I many women suddenly found themselves in demand to do men's jobs, after the men had been called up. The first women were allowed to join the Royal Navy in about 1917, to do the jobs that enabled more men to go to sea. Sadly, many found themselves out of work when the WRNS was disbanded after the war.
From April 2010
From April 2010
From April 2010
From April 2010

The WRNS was reformed in 1938, as World War II loomed. This time they were allowed to do more of the operational work and received training in many of the jobs previously thought unsuitable for women.
From April 2010
From April 2010
From April 2010

We loved this sign!
From April 2010

Christopher certainly enjoyed himself, which was the main thing.
From April 2010

After Oliver left we went away for a few days, so I've loads more photographs to share. I'll show you some of those next time.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Mostly pictures

Rosie enjoying the sun.

A sight to fill my heart with housewifely pride - weather good enough to hang washing out on the line, knowing it will dry in one day. And having got some of my antique linen washed.

Peony shoots just starting to appear.

The first tulips to flower. These were sent to me in a swap last year by Pia.

Beautiful hellebores.

The best flower of all - daffodils. We've got hundreds flowering just now, and they're a sight to gladden any heart after a long cold winter.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

A light bulb moment!

I just had an idea that might help my poor Tail Feathers quilt. Thank you so much to everyone who has made some suggestions. They've probably been swimming around in my mind overnight and helped contribute to this new idea.

Since I can't make it any worse I've got several options. I could try stippling in the stitching panels but as Karen said, this might just move the excess fabric around into wrinkles.

Or I could give up and shove it in a cupboard.

OR - and here's my idea - I could cut some little holes in the back and put some wadding in behind each panel to stuff it out. Then it would be really 3D (Amelia put the 3D effect into my head). Then I'd have to applique something clever over each of the holes. I can't make it any worse I'm sure, and at the moment I'm so disheartened with it that it's just likely to end up in a cupboard, so it's probably worth a try.

What do you reckon?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A big disappointment

Over the last year I've worked hard on Tail Feathers, by Natalie Lymer, which was a BOM. The embroidery was good fun, the patchwork less so. Lots and lots of one-and-a-half inch squares. Too many seams to match up. But I persevered, then managed to put it together and decided to machine quilt it. I thought about hand quilting, but decided against it having just finished hand quilting An Angels Story and wanting to do some embroidery instead.

But that's where it all went wrong. I was quite happy with the machine quilting as I went along, but oh dear, when it was finished it just didn't look good. The stitching panels seem to have expanded whilst I was quilting! They're nearly all too big and puff out from the quilt. I don't know how it happened, but I can only think that struggling to fit all the little patches around the stitching and poor basting have combined to jump up and bite me in the bottom! I've washed it in the forlorn hope that it might look better, but it doesn't.

Believe me, it looks worse in real life than in the photographs! So, I'm now feeling rather downhearted, wishing I'd hand quilted it after all. Any suggestions?

Sunday, 4 April 2010


Here are some of the blocks that I have made recently.

The first two blocks are those that I made for a virtual quilting bee that I have joined, Euro Quilting Bee.
From April 2010
From April 2010
The first is for Sylvie in France (no blog) and the second (yet another rather fuzzy photograph!) for Monika in Germany.

The last block is the first in the new BOM I have started, Leanne Beasley's Down in the Garden. It's a beautiful block, but oh, so much work in it, it took ages to complete.
Today I plan to complete the last BOM I did, Tail Feathers by Natalie Lymer. Just the binding to stitch down, the label and the hanging sleeve to finish.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Great bloggers

You know, I'm so envious (yes, I know it's a sin, but there you go) of those bloggers who not only have the commitment to blog nearly every day, but have the imagination to find something interesting to write about so frequently. I love to read all of the blogs on my blog list, and to see what my blogging friends are up to (and that's how I start my day every day), but there are a few bloggers who give me tingles of anticipation when I see a new post flagged up, people like Heckety at Home, Taniwa, Kay at Musings, Jenny at Elefantz, the wonderful ladies at Among the Gum Trees. And I'd like to say thank you to these wonderfully creative and generous ladies for the pleasure they've given me.

Do you have favourite bloggers who give you that same feeling of anticipation when you see a new post pop up?

I hope I haven't offended any of my blogging friends who I haven't mentioned, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

I can't seem to find anything that exciting to write about in my daily life on a regular basis, but I wish I could, and I'm going to try harder.

Meanwhile, Happy Easter to all of you - as you can see I didn't have my camera near by before we broke into the easter eggs, but I managed to grab a shot before they were too far gone.