Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Hurrah for the NHS

As you can see, I'm typing this very slowly, with one hand. On Saturday, just as the thaw was starting, I managed to find a patch of ice to slip on when I was out walking the dog. So off we trundled to the RUH (the Royal United Hospital) in Bath. Luckily, it wasn't crowded, so I was seen straightaway. I have a Colles fracture of my left wrist, which meant the bones had to be manipulated back into place under a local anaesthetic. It had to be done twice as it wasn't good enough the first time. So, after four hours, eight x-rays, a local anaesthetic, two plasters and the services of at least six excellent members of staff we were able to go home. Hurrah for the NHS. I go back to the fracture clinic on Friday for a check up and new plaster.

So I'm sitting around at home unable to do very much at all, and I'm going to get very frustrated I know. Any suggestions of things I can do one handed?

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Some bits of sewing

I've managed quite a bit of sewing over the last couple of weeks, well the weather hasn't been very inviting, so I've stayed indoors and sewed. Here are just a few of the things I've been up to.

I've signed up to the Craftsy class on Modern Quilting, and the first class was on random squares. I decided to just make a small sample of this one, using squares that finished at two and a half inches. It's a quite useless size, but it hangs quite happily in my sewing room and I'm quite pleased with the way it looks, especially the sewing themed fabric.

I haven't signed up to much in the way of BOMs this year as I have so much to do with my City and Guilds class, but I am doing the Sugar Club BOM, just to keep my hand in with some traditional piecing and to try and improve my accuracy. This is the first block that I made.

Last year I did the Aurifil Buzz BOM, as I always enjoy having some hand sewing on the go. I finally finished it and put it all together. Not an unqualified success.

When I had finished quilting the sashing the stitched blocks were all baggy. So I stipple quilted around all the stitching and then outline stitched the designs. That looked a bit better, but then the stitching parts were all baggy, so I cut the backing fabric and wadding at the back of each design and added some extra wadding. Hey presto, trapunto!

But then of course I had to fix the cuts in the fabric, so I used some of the iron on tape used for sticking bits of wadding together. Then, because it looked a bit of a mess on the back, I added a further backing.

And then, to cap it all, when I looked at it after it was finished I realised that I'd stitched two blocks in upside down! Well, they're going to have to stay that way, and perhaps no-one else will notice!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


We woke up on Friday morning to about six inches of snow, topped up this morning with another couple of inches. Somehow, no matter how old you are, snow is always exciting - on the first day. But as twilight comes on and it's till there, glooming outside the windows, the thrill starts to wear off. And after that it's a bit of a drag. On the main roads it soon clears, but on our country lanes it turns to ice, and rutted ice at that where the cars have slipped up and down the road. Luckily we have plenty of food, though Christopher did venture out in the car on Sunday for potatoes and milk and topped up with a few more essentials whilst he was at it.

The gritting lorries don't come up our lanes so people have been out and about clearing snow in places and gritting the road where possible from the gritting bins that were filled in the summer. Christopher has been using the ash and cinders from our coal fired stove too. We've been keeping the bird feeders topped up, and the ponies topped up with carrots and apples, and I've been making soup for lunch.

Ruby loves the snow, though walking her each morning is hard work. Walking through snow is like walking through sand, a real workout. And I'm not too excited by walking on rutted, slippery, icy roads, so we're sticking to the fields as much as possible.

Can you see the snowball that her tag has turned into?

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

First birthday present of the year

One of my nieces has her birthday on the 10th January, so it's always a bit of a rush after Christmas to get a present made in time. I had half hoped to get it made before Christmas so we could take it with us when we saw them, but it was a pretty forlorn hope. So I got on and made it today. The pattern comes from the Fat Quarterly magazine. It was a brilliant way to use up some scraps.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


If you like to knit or crochet then do pop over to Annabelle's Serendipity where she is giving away a wonderful book.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Assessment Piece 3

I've just finished my third assessment piece for my City and Guilds course. The brief was that it had to be based on the non-block patchwork that we did last term and had to be an accessory. I checked that a waistcoat would be classed as an accessory - which it would, luckily, as that's what I wanted to make - and chose to make it with machine stitched crazy patchwork.

I loosely used a pattern from Christine Barnes and had a wonderful time choosing the different fabrics and trims. I backed the 'difficult' fabrics with black iron-on vilene to give them a little more stability.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Christmas quilt

Just as we were putting away all of the Christmas decorations I realised that I hadn't taken a photograph of my new Christmas quilt. I was working on it right up until a few days before Christmas, and then we rushed to hang it, so I completely forgot to photograph it. It is a pattern called 'Twas the Night After from Quilt Mania, though I can't remember which issue. I liked it because it wasn't a traditional Christmas quilt, or in traditional Christmas colours. It's huge, which meant moving furniture so that the bottom, rather important, row could be seen.