Monday, 29 July 2013

A little red work.

Yesterday was a good sewing day and also a good ironing day. I decided that I really must finish my swoon blocks so my objective for the day was to make several blocks. Most of the swoon quilts I have seen have used different colours or patterns for each block. For my quilt I am using white, grey, red and purple. There will be 5 red blocks and 4 purple blocks.  Because I haven't worked on this quilt for a while I had forgotten how the block went together so I had to keep on referring to the pattern at first. Once I'd made the first block the rest went quickly. 

I finished all the purple blocks (4) and made a red block. The colours are not showing true in the photo as the grey is the same on all blocks and actually looks like the grey in the red block below but the red is not as bright as it appears here. 

So I hear you ask where did the ironing come in? Well I decided to leave the ironing board set up (as usual) whilst I was sewing and each time I ironed the seams open I would iron a few items in my ironing mountain. I tried to do a bit of everyone's ironing but the end pile shows I favoured ironing my own clothes. I shall finish the rest of the ironing today and tomorrow as the temperature is cooler and the humidity is down.

I also started a NewFO for July. I had ordered an embroidery kit from BirdBrain Designs called It's a Dog's Life. Barbara from Cat Patches made a red work quilt from the same company called Love me Love my Cat. Since we have a cat and a dog it was a difficult choice as to which one to make.

I am using Fabric Solvy to transfer the pattern to the fabric. This is the first time I've tried it and so far I'm impressed. I copied the pattern onto a sheet of the Solvy. This has the stabiliser and a backing sheet. You copy onto the stabiliser and then remove the backing sheet to place on your fabric. The back of the stabiliser is sticky and you hand press it onto the fabric. Once the embroidery is finished you use water to dissolve the stabiliser. One comment I've heard says you need to make the stitches a little tighter than usual to allow for the stabiliser being removed later. Here you can see the corner stuck to the fabric.

I haven't got very far as I only received the fabric Solvy on Saturday. My stitching isn't very even as I was trying to use an embroidery frame. I don't usually use a frame when I doing back stitch. 

Last night we had quite a lot of rain which the garden was desperate for and today the temperature is much cooler so I'm off to take the dog for a walk. He hasn't enjoyed the high temperatures at all. According to the Met Office the high temperatures are set to return on Thursday. Once I get back from our walk I must finish my project for the HO HO HO hop that starts tomorrow. Here's tomorrows schedule.

July 31

I hope you all have a good day .


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Baby quilt finish

Last week I started a baby quilt for a work colleagues baby daughter. Here's the top that I finished last week. Unfortunately my camera has had to go back to Nikon for repairs as nothing will work so the photos aren't great.

This week I had to get the quilting done as after Wednesday I'm not going into work again until September.  I found some lovely backing fabric with pin-wheels on it. 

I was going to use the yellow with pink blocks for the binding but decided to stick with the yellow I had used for the sashing.

Yesterday evening we took Scamp for a walk and took along the quilt and a camera. We headed for Wimbledon Common and had a lovely walk since a slight breeze was blowing. All the grass has been scorched by the very hot weather we have been enjoying. The temperature has been up at 33 degrees which is very hot for England.

Unfortunately although it was evening the light has faded the colour out of the quilt but the scorched grass is showing up perfectly. I quilted it with an all over meander but on some of the printed blocks I stitched hearts or flowers. I couldn't get a good photo of the flower quilting. I used a variegated thread

For the last two year a pair of swans have nested on the lake and reared young. This year they had 6 cygnets. They wouldn't stay in a nice group to get all of them in the photo.

Scamp has also had a hair cut, gone are his long curls and he is now one very happy and much cooler dog. It's been too hot to take him out during the heat of the day but he loves a walk in the evening or early morning. The rest of the day he chases the shade and keeps cool.

I'm hoping we will have some rain this evening or else I shall have to water some of my plants. Last Monday we had a huge storm with sheet lightening which was beautiful to watch and it rained very heavily. When I drove out to pick up my son there were enormous puddles right across the roads. However that soon drained away and the plants and trees once again all need more water. In fact a lot of trees are so thirsty their leaves are already turning brown and falling. However it is really lovely to be having a lot of sunny weather.

I'm now going to work on some of my backlog. I have so many blocks to catch up with on the Votes for Women BOW and I must finish my project for the HO HO HO hop that starts on July 31st not to mention this months schnibble. I also won an e-book of Jacquelynne Steve's new book called Child's Play and an e-pattern Merry-Go-Round in Connie's give away which I haven't looked at yet. If you haven't visited Connie's blog Freemotion by the River you should check it out.

I'm linking this post with Richard's Link a Finish Friday Why not pop over and see what everyone has been up to.


Monday, 22 July 2013

A great venue for a graduation

Saturday was Lucy's graduation day. She has spent three years studying English literature and history as a combined honours degree at Bath Spa University and yesterday was her day to celebrate the outcome of all her hard work.

Usually the ceremony is held in a large marquee on one of the fields at the university campus. However they are having major building works and so this year it was held in Bath Abbey. This is a wonderful venue for the ceremony. 

The Abbey is fairly small and so there were 8 ceremonies over the two days. Lucy's one was at 10 am on Saturday. The only down side to the day was the early start as she had to collect her gown at 8.30. We decided we should start the day with Buck's Fizz and croissants. We had time for a couple of photos before we all had to find our seats.

When we came out the square outside the Abbey was crowded with the new graduates and their parents. The tourists visiting Bath were most perplexed.

A lot of families headed to the formal gardens on the river to take photos.  First we needed some formal photos. Pulteney bridge by the weir in Bath is fabulous as a backdrop.

We then spotted these characters from 'The Herb Garden'. There is Dill the dog and Parsley the lion. I can't remember the name of the gardener.

Then Lucy wanted a photo of her riding on Bladud's pig. Bladud is said to be the founder of Bath

Of course she had to pretend she was fighting wizards at Hogwarts. I've an almost identical photo of my older daughter doing this when she graduated. 

We didn't have a lot of time to see much of Bath as we had to pack up all Lucy's belongings from her house. I'm going to pick up the rest of it on Tuesday as with 4 adults and one dog in the car there wasn't much room for all her stuff.

We took these three photos on a previous visit. This one is walking along the tow path of the river into Bath.

This is Pulteney Bridge from the other side. It was completed in 1774 and is one of only four bridges in the world that has shops on both sides along the whole span of the bridge. It is a fascinating bridge to see.

Finally here is the weir and the gardens are the green area on the photo

A lovely day that I will treasure. By the time we got home last night we were all worn out, a mixture of the heat, the excitement and Scamp being grumpy and not settling in the car. I can't say I blame him as it was so hot and he doesn't like the air conditioning.

Today I've finished my baby quilt but I'll post about that tomorrow when I have time to take a photo of it.

I hope you've had a good weekend that included some time for you.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The gentle purr of the sewing machine

What a joyful sound...the gentle purr of my sewing machine. Not a sound that has been heard this month, well not since the 3rd July but now I'm free from the heap of marking that had to be done and once the examination board is over tomorrow I've finished work for the summer. The biggest decision is where to start as I've got several new projects to get started.

At work two colleagues have welcomed new babies to the family. The first little girl arrived at the beginning of the month to the sister of one of my colleagues. As I didn't have time to make a quilt I looked through my little stock and pulled out the schnibbles 'Gentle Art' 

So this little cuddle quilt has gone off to a new home. Meanwhile my colleague wants me to teach her how to make a quilt.

The second colleague came back from paternity leave this week following the birth of his daughter. I've seen a pattern I want to make but didn't download it so I must do that. I have a charm pack I'm going to be using.

I know I'm going to use the windmill fabric for the backing and the yellow solid for the sashing but I'm not sure about the other yellow and pink for the bindings. I'll wait and see once its finished.

I'm sorry the photo quality isn't very good but I recharged my camera battery today and was looking forward to using it. When I put the battery back in nothing happened. I've tried everything to make it work but it just doesn't turn on even though the battery is fully charged. I did find a paragraph in the manual that says in very rare circumstances the camera may not turn on and to contact your supplier or the manufacturer. So I'll take it to the camera shop on Thursday. It's still in warranty so there isn't a problem.

I spent some time this afternoon sewing and pieced the top of the baby quilt. The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman for Sew Mama Sew from 2009 and has simply flown together. I can recommend it if you need a fast baby quilt.

The pattern doesn't have side borders and so it is ready to be made into a quilt sandwich. I'm hoping to get that done on Thursday.

I've also got a parcel to collect and I'm hoping it is my 'Love your dog' quilt kit. I can't wait to make a start on that.

As it's Tuesday I'm linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the river for her Tuesday linky party. Seems like ages since I last linked up. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has been making and catching up on all the different posts I've missed over the last two weeks.

I've really enjoyed sewing today. Work tomorrow, cleaning on Thursday and then lots of lovely free time to sew.


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

July goal setting

A Lovely Year of FinishesNever Too Hot To Stitch!

So here we are at the beginning of another month and it's time to set some goals. If you want to see how I did on my June goals click here  Last month I didn't do very well, the small projects got done but the big ones didn't get any attention at all. That means that this month there can be no excuses I really must work on my swoon quilt. All the blocks are cut out and ready to go. It's just a case of sitting down at the machine and there is only 6 blocks to go.

I have also signed up to take part in the HO HO HO blog hop. My day (at the moment) is August 2nd but that means I must get my piece completed in July. I have a few ideas for the project, I just need to decide on fabric. This will be one of my July NewFO projects. If you haven't come across the NewFO challenge visit Cat Patches to find out what's it all about or click on the button on the right.

I have also been enjoying doing my cross stitch this last month and decided I wanted to make a quilt with pieces of stitchery in it. I loved The 'Love me, love my cat' quilt that Barbara over atCat Patches made but I was looking for a pattern involving dogs. We have both a cat and a dog but it is Scamp, the Yorkshire Terrier in my blog header who sits on my lap while I stitch. 

I found what I was looking for on Bird Brain Designs and I am now waiting for it to be delivered. I'm hoping this will be my main NewFO for July.

I'm still quilting slowly by hand on my Holiday quilt. I will show a photo update at the end of the month. 

I know this month is going to be busy so I am only setting these goals;

1. Finish the swoon top

2. Make piece for HO HO HO blog hop

3. Start 'it's a dog's life' stitchery

4. Work on my cross stitch pieces.

I'm linking this post up with a lovely year of finishes at Fiber of all sorts and the year of the finished project at Never too hot to stitch

Monday, 1 July 2013

Stamp on it.

Welcome to my day on the Stamp on it hop. I should have posted last Thursday but unfortunately my computer developed a fault and just wouldn't work. Now thanks to my son all systems are go again. I have no idea what he does to make it work again. As soon as he starts to remove the screws on my laptop I go and find something very important to do so I don't have to watch. 

So before I show you what I made I would like to thank Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt for organising the hop and to Thearica Pig Tales and Quilts for being a superb cheerleader. Thank you Thearica for re-arranging the schedule so I could post today.

I spent some time thinking of different things I could use on my stamp to represent London. Maybe Buckingham Palace or St Paul's Cathedral or just the skyline. Unfortunately I threw out these ideas as they were rather complex. I then thought about making the stamp about me but I really wanted it to relate to London and the UK.

Whilst browsing through Barbara Brackeman's Civil War Quilts posts I discovered a block called London Square. You can read about the history of this block on Barbara's blog. The colour scheme was no problem as it had to be red, white and blue for the colours in the Union flag. We had to include the cost of the stamp and I put 60p which is the current cost of a first class letter. 

I made my stamp into a mug rug. It is big enough for two mugs to sit on. I'm taking it to work tomorrow to protect my desk. It will make a pleasant change from just putting my mug on a pile of papers!

The mug rug is quilted in the ditch and the writing is machine embroidered. I forgot to take a photo of the back but I just used the blue fabric.

When I showed my son he suggested I make several to take on our Guide trip to Switzerland in August. We try to take a few small light items to give as presents. I like this idea and will try to make several. I will miss off the postage price but will add our Guide unit name.

This hop has also started me on another project. I want to make some table mats and I like the idea of making them as an envelope with a stamp. I'm currently working on the stamp designs. I find these blog hops always set me off on another project. 

Now you need to visit the rest of today's participants. 

Quilt Matters


Patchouli Moon

The Slow Quilter

A Loose Thread

Janes Fabrics and Quilts

Selina Quilts

Debby Kratovil Quilts

Dancing Thru Threads

It has been a pleasure sharing with you today, please come back and visit soon.