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Friday, 29 May 2015

Debbie Shore bag

Another Sit n Sew day yesterday, this time at Poppy Patch Gt Doddington.

As I did not get on too well with my bag at Bedford I decided to make a blue one and have another go at putting in a zip. All went well this time and I now have three of these handy size little bags.
The pink one I unpicked the top and managed to get a zip in the top. I really like my bags to be secure.

I love the Debbie Shore patterns and hope to make some more of her bags. She has a very nice CD out with lots of bag patterns, complete with video instructions.
Now I am all set for the summer with my new handbags, but where is the sun? Today is cold, wet and windy !

Thursday, 28 May 2015

A million Miles !

Set off at 8.15am to pick up Penny and travel to Bedford for a days workshop with Sue and Annette. It had been some time since we had attended one of their workshops, and since I travel to different events in Bedford I took the right road to a Quilt Day but the wrong road to the church where we meet! Trying to find our way back through Bedford was a nightmare but eventually we found our way to the workshop.
It was so nice seeing all the old friends there. Two workshops were on offer, a beach scene and a Baby/Beach bag. However I decided to make another little bag like the one I made last week, only exception I wanted to add a zip to the top.

Sixteen of us enjoying a workroom at St Marks Church
I think my head was somewhere else, probably going around the streets of Bedford, and I made a real mess of it. After lunch, out came the zip and the bag was soon completed.
Rather than tackle another bag I crocheted a few flowers until it was time to go home.

My pink bag [ no zip!]
There were road works on the way to Bedford and by the time we left they had closed the road back to Northampton. A very scenic journey, including a stop to put the SAT Nav on, eventually helped us find our way back home. Goodness knows how many extra miles we did on this trip.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Crochet Diet !

I have struggled with weight since the age of 30 [ when I had a hysterectomy] and decided a couple of weeks ago that if only I could loose a little it would help my poor old knees.

SO.. the crochet diet was born..

Breakfast I'm OK, lunch I'm OK, dinner I'm OK... then TV and nibbles until bed time.

So first thing was to cut down on desserts, I still HAVE to have one but they are less calories, usually a yogurt or reduced calorie jelly with fruit. [I love rhubarb in jelly]
Next was how to stop the TV nibbles... answer Crochet, with a hook in my hand I forget about eating.
I have a target I hope to reach before our next trip to Spain the end of August and will let you know if I reach it [or not].
The result of my first manic crochet instead of nibbling effort
All joined together with crochet and the borders made.
I just love this blanket.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sunshine in the garden

I love getting up early in the mornings, and today is no exception. 6.30 and I am creeping around my garden with my camera! The sun is shining and everywhere is quiet and peaceful. I thought you might like to see what is happening in my garden.
The summer house has been painted, thanks Chris, and the Rhododendron is in full bloom

The pretty pink buds of this Rhododendron are just turning into the prettiest white flowers

My Blueberry bush is full of flowers that will turn into the most delicious fruit

I just love the colours.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Waiting for the Doctor to call

While waiting for the Doctor to call me about my knee X-rays the crocheting continued...

Decided to make a few flowers for my Attic24 project. I love the designs on Attic24 check it out if you have time.  Of course once I had started I could not stop, in fact I even had a go at working without a pattern for a little yellow flower. 

Eventually 45 mins later than my phone appointment the Doctor rang and the good news there is nothing wrong with the replacement knee but he will see me next week to sort out the pain I am having. The Weleda [Anica oil] that I have been using on my hand I have now rubbed into my knee in the hope it might help.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Crochet therapy

What weather we are having, the storm raged for most of the day yesterday.

I had phoned the surgery for the result of my knee X-rays only to be told I had to see the doctor. First appointment 1st June :-(
Not knowing what is happening to my replacement knee that now hurts so much and the lousy weather really got me down.

After feeling miserable for a while I decided to pull myself together and sorted out the silver crochet project I had started earlier this year. Where is the pattern for the basic square? How did I do it? Questions I could not answer, must email a friend to see if she still has a copy.

I did find the pattern for the block with the flower and managed to make the three blocks with flowers that I need to complete the project. I also crocheted together some of the blocks.
The therapy of crochet really lifted my spirits and a friend has now sent me a copy of the missing pattern so all is well with the world. [ well except for my knees]
3 flower corners made only 6 plain blocks and the border needed.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Bag workshop

Coleman's warehouse near Rushden was the venue for the workshop I attended on Friday. On arrival we were offered a choice of fabrics for the Vintage Chic bag we were going to make. As I was fairly early I had a good choice and just thought my choice would go with anything.
The workshop, costing £17.50 including the fabrics, with Trish ran from 10am to 1pm and with 12 ladies in the class she had her hands full as some had little experience of sewing.
The bag instructions were easy to follow and with her extra tips I managed to have mine completed by 12.30.  In fact I like the bag so much I bought enough of the canvas type fabric to make two more!
Colemans offer a 20% discount on their goods while you are on a workshop.
Loved the day and love the bag.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Working on Abigail's quilt

Abigail asked for a new quilt and I had three charm packs that 'fit the bill'.
I cut 126 five inch squares in tone on tone cream fabric and made little sandwiches of a charm square and cream square sewing a 1/4 inch seam around the four edges.
Next came the cutting the squares on the two diagonals, which produces four half square triangles.

To make such it is all going to work and I can get the size I want, I used my EQ7 programme to produce a picture of my finished plan.
I still have a way to go with this quilt but I feel I am getting there, and already Abigail, who made the first block herself, likes it.
Charm/cream squares ready for sewing. My EQ7 plan and squares ready for the next step.

Linus Quilts

Thursday was Poppy Patch sit-n-sew day.
My knees were really playing me up and the thought of climbing the stairs to the workroom nearly put me off going, but I had a few things I could do without a sewing machine so I went.

I started my day with cutting a large pile of charm squares that were sewn to cream squares on the diagonals and then ironing them open. It was a bit boring but went quickly chatting to the friends around me. They are part of Abigail's quilt that I am making.

I had two Linus quilts needing the bindings sewn down, another job I'm not too keen on, but I quickly managed to get both of them done.

Sometime ago I completed another Linus quilt and now I have three ready to go to a child in hospital or distress. The Linus movement do such great work providing quilts for children not only in hospital but also in women's refuge houses, those that have lost a parent etc etc..

My target for this year was to make four but I have already made five and hope to make more as the year goes on.
Linus quilt made from a charm pack and pretty backing fabric I "found" in my stash

Another charm pack used and again backed with stash fabric

ABC fabric and jigsaw fabric backed with "vegetables"

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Machine Embroidery and wool!

A number of my T shirts have seen better days, so I decided to cheer them up with some machine embroidery.
I hooped up heavy washaway and then carefully placed the T shirt in place on the top. I do not hoop up the T shirt. Making sure the excess T shirt is out of the way I carefully hold it in place while the pattern sews out. I find I get less wrinkles and puckers using this method, but I do have to be careful of my fingers!

I adore the frog design and was tempted to use it on all three T shirts.

Three T shirts given a new lease of life


Yummy colours
Deremores offered me a 15% off coupon as I had not ordered from them in a while... who can resist a tempting offer... not me!  So I ordered 13 balls of different coloured Stylecraft DK Special which meant I got free delivery plus the 15% off. I only ordered them on Saturday and they arrived Monday, if only everyone offered such a good service.  I have a project in mind for these lovely colours, but must complete my silver project and keep upto date with my Lily Pond CAL before I start anything else.

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Land Rover meeting

Some time ago Chris was asked by the GLASS rep for Wales, who lives in Nuneaton [?] if we would like to join him and another couple for a day Off Roading. Chris is the rep for Northamptonshire and likes to meet with other reps so the day was arranged for yesterday.
Young bullocks surround us
Normally we never go Green Laning at the weekends, one because I like to go to Church on Sunday and secondly because everyone else goes at the weekend and being retired we prefer the quieter times during the week.
Sandwiches packed we met up with Matt [ the rep] and Heidi and John in their Land Rovers near Rugby Warwickshire.
The weather did not look too good, but the rain stayed away and Matt had worked out a route taking us from Warwickshire to nearer home. Many of the lanes we had travelled before but usually in the opposite direction.



At one point a Red Discovery, also driven by a Matt, joined us for a couple of the lanes and we became a convoy of four.

A LR Discovery joins the party.
Lots of farmers are making a big effort for our countryside, which we all respect.
Everywhere there are fields and fields of smelly yellow rape seed.
A lunch time stop near an ice cream vendor [bang goes the diet again!] was nice for a get together chat. Talk of a trip to Italy in convoy next year was banded about, hope it comes off.




How many people does it take to read a map?

The final obstacle, and Matt just makes it

More headroom for John and Heidi

Until we meet again

Who bought these?

Saturday evening Richard and the girls came for dinner.
I cooked a large gammon joint and we had all the trimmings.
Jacqueline is still in Thailand so Richard accepts any offer of a meal while she is away.
After the meal we played Yahtzee, which seems to be the game of the moment, and then the girls disappeared into their bedroom here and came down with ....

The noise and dancing and singing was enough to drive the neighbours away!
Whenever they stay here for a few days one of their favourite places to go is Emmaus Charity village and for a couple of pounds they seem to find the noisiest items to bring back. Usually they are banned from the house to play in the summer house. I did ask Richard if he would like to take the  pianos home but for some reason he refused!
It's a good job I love them to pieces. A quiet evening of TV was lovely when they went.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Towel experiment

Where oh! where has the week gone? Even my husband was checking up on me, asking why I had not blogged for a week. Here's a quick recap of my week.
Saturday we visited friends for a meal and played a new [to us] game of Rummy 10 card game. The meal was excellent as usual and the card game was also very good, once we had the hang of it.
Sunday was church in the morning, where we had some very interesting testimony's and talks.
Monday was a financial scare, Chris's Land Rover was making a terrible noise and everything looked like it being the petrol pump, which is very hard to remove in an old LR. I suggested taking it to a garage and they confirmed Chris's diagnoses and it looked like a bill for £450 +. However someone on a forum Chris follows said it might be the filter, as he had one he changed it and like magic it sorted the problem out. In my book this means we have just saved £450+ to spend on another holiday, sadly Chris does not have the same opinion.
Tuesday our daughter-in-law went to Thailand for work so I collected the girls from school, as Richard was in a meeting. We had a lovely time playing Yahtzee and eating hot dogs.
It was Hamtune Quilters 10th Anniversary in the evening and the speaker was Shirley Bloomfield, I had attended one of her workshops ten years ago. She was a great speaker with lots of  beautiful Baltimore quilts to show the group.
Wednesday... no idea what happened ! Think I was working on my Stylecraft Lily Pond CAL as the third part of the series was downloadable on Tuesday. I have managed to get up to date and even have all the ends sewn in. I will block it at the end.


Thursday our monthly IAM group met for the day. Two members were missing as they were on holiday. There was some wonderful show and tell... why did I not take photos?
Friday I had a Doctor's appointment as I have been having such a problem with my knees. She sent me for xrays and I will get the result in a weeks time. My replacement knee is painful and the doc was surprised such a new knee was making clicking noises! My old knee is swollen. Oh! the joys of getting old.
Today, Saturday I am experimenting with machine embroidering six cheap small white hand towels.
left to right my progress. 1st one looks too wimpy, 2nd one the applique is too small, 3rd one not too bad on blue silk.
Think I've cracked it! Used patterned satin with heavy washaway in the hoop.
One each for Abigail, me, and Eleanor. Spells AGE I think its a sign ;-)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Lazy day

Today is our last day here in the Peak District and the black clouds have been rolling over all day after a very wet start. We decided after all the excitement of yesterday we would just take it easy.

I have been busy with my crochet lily Pond blanket CAL, completing the first block (4 times) and the second block (2 of the 4 needed) plus making one block that was issued in a magazine and will be CAL edition #7.

It has all been a big learning curve as many of the stitches I have never tried before.

Two items have really helped me with the arthritis in my thumb and hand and enabled me to complete these items. Weleda, an Arnica Massage Balm, and my fingerless glove that I wear inside out to stop the seams pressing into my hand.

 

A sea of rocks

Wednesday started off not too bad weather wise, but very overcast, so we decided to wait until mid morning before setting off on another Off Road course.


Starting at Monsal Dale, a very scenic view over the countryside, we travelled through very narrow lanes, where you could touch the high stone walls on either side of the car. These lanes give way to wonderful views that very few ever see, but also some very scary moments when the lane starts off with partial Tarmac that turns into cobbles and then becomes a roller coaster of scree and boulders. The occasional hail storm hit us as we travelled along but then the weak sun would come out.

The route we were taking took us within 50 yards of our holiday home, so we decided to stop and have our pack-ups in comfort.

Resuming our trip every now and then it would snow, followed by hail and then again the sun would try to appear. Such a mixed bag of weather. We passed through quite a few gates that I got out to open and close and the cold wind took my breath away.

The remains of a Lead works.

We passed farmers, cyclists, dog walkers, hikers and every time they waved and spoke to us. There is room in this amazing land for everyone to enjoy the countryside if they keep to the paths and lanes.

The final lane was one never to be forgotten, (Blurry photo proof of trying to hang on) a steep twisty descent over large boulders and steep side banks where the car was thrown from side to side. It was described on the route as 'A sea of rocks dropping off the edge of the hill, this is a proper rock crawl'. It was really scary and even when I tried closing my eyes the fact I was either pressed against the door or trying not to fall onto Chris did not help.

One thing we were quite impressed with were the signs everywhere, including notices saying the once rough lanes had been adopted by the local councils as BOATs. An upgrade for 4x4 use.

 

 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The 'neigh'bour

It is so peaceful here and amazing how often the view changes with the weather.

In fact it's amazing how often the weather changes. We started yesterday morning with snow showers, which went on most of the morning sometimes causing a complete white-out on the hills in front of us. By lunch time the sun was doing its best to come out and we decided to take a trip into Calver where we had spotted a shoe factory shop. Having tried on a few I gave up and we left empty handed, this may be a first for me when shoe shopping!

We were not far from Bakewell so continued our afternoon shopping there. A visit to a wool shop was not as I expected, all the wool was upstairs (which I didn't think I could manage with my old knees) and on the ground level was everything but wool! So no money spent there either.

There are a number of nice charity shops in Bakewell so a mooch in the Air Ambulance shop and I came away with a new dress, it still had the shop tabs on it, and a blouse £9.50. In the Age Concern shop I bought another dress and two pairs of trousers, both trousers were brand new £10.

I do not like trying clothes on in the confines of these shops and just look at my purchases as a donation to the charities and hope they fit. I could not be more pleased when back 'home' I tried everything on and everything fits and I am really pleased with my bargains. Five new items of clothes for less than £20.

Did you get the neigh-bour funny? Our only neighbour looking out our front window is a horse in the field.

 

 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Snow, snow and more snow!

Awoke this morning to everywhere covered in snow! My guess is this will be a day in the holiday home, eating, crocheting and watching TV!

 

Yesterday we went on our first Off Road course that Chris had taken from a magazine. Although some of the lanes were pretty rough it was nothing until we reached one that was horrific. The lane started ok, the usual bumps and swaying of the LR with high stone walls about three inches from each side of the vehicle, then... It was the worse we had every come across and although Chris took three of four goes at it he could not get up the road and had to back down the narrow lane. I was very impressed with his excellent driving ability backwards. We both took a deep breath when we reached a normal road.

The course then took us through the Chatsworth estate and into Eyam, where during the plague they cut the village off to save the disease spreading.

Back at the holiday home, which is on an equestrian farm in Wheston near Tideswell we enjoyed a nice meal and settled in for the evening. We were quite surprised that they took all the horses into stables for the night, they left them out the night before, guess they knew the snow was coming.

 

A week in the Peak District

Sunday we left home in the Land Rover for a week in the Peak District, Derbyshire.

On the way Chris dropped me at the Uttoxeter quilt show, while he went to a Land Rover show at Castle Donington.

The show is quite small but big enough for me, as I find walking far too difficult. The traders had everything you could possibly want and the competition entries were very nice. My favourite part of the show was in one of the Racetrack buildings where the most wonderful display of quilts and journal mini quilts were on display. Definitely a venue to mark on my calendar.

Some of my favourites.

Loved the quilting idea in Pearl threads

 

Love the colours and combination of geometric and appliqué

Wow.. I need to work on my wholecloth (in my dreams)

 

So many ways to make crazy patchwork hexagons

My absolute favourite

Reminds me of a visit to Yellowstone.
 
Such incredible workmanship