Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shaken not Stirred...

...but awoken...

By now you've probably heard the news that most people in the UK felt the earth move last night due to a 5.2 earthquake; me included. I was first starting to wake up when I heard a low rumble that was far too loud to be a truck followed quickly by the bed moving side to side. At first I was trying to determine what the DH was doing to move the bed when just as I was coming to my senses I could hear the glasses downstairs clinking together. I sat bolt upright and declared with conviction that it was an earthquake!!! Then the shaking stopped, the rumble filtered away and I was left thinking that it really felt like it had rippled through the house like a wave. My DD1 came into our room looking rather rattled as she had only just blown her nose as the rumble and shaking occurred...I told her that she shouldn't blow her nose so hard!!! LOL The other DD2 slept through it. I was feeling half scared but half excited as I've never experienced an earthquake. Normally I sleep right through them! And once I was actually underground on the metro system in Montreal when one occurred. That was strange, because as I surfaced into the crowds everyone was talking about it...and of course I had missed it. We were lucky this time in that were only were left with our stories of moving beds...but I know others further north weren't so lucky and had more damage. They (the experts) say we could get an after shock in the next day or two...we'll have to wait to see of they are right.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Back to my regular posting schedule...

Well there you go...I definitely post more when the children are home...and now I'm back to my weekly post with lots titbits to share.

Firstly, things in the sewing dept. have slowed down as a result of some re-organizing and re-folding. I knew it was time to take stock when I literally couldn't fit another piece of fabric in the cupboard. I wish I'd taken before pictures...but it was all of a bit of an impulse thing and I started emptying shelves onto the floor. I've got all my yardage folded uniformly and weeded out anything significantly smaller than a fat 1/4 to be trimmed down for the scrap bins. (BTW, notice the bin on the left of tops waiting to be basted!)

I've also been working on project for the Lutterworth Piecemakers group quilt. I don't want to give too much away so here's a close-up peek. Those of us in the group will probably figure it out!

I also was lucky enough to win a lovely red fat 1/4 from Patchwork Penguin's Valentine give-away...thanks Nancy.

And lastly, Libby has asked for people to post pictures of their ironing board. So here's mine. Now as it happens I just changed the cover yesterday to this rather bright orange one. It was the spare that came with the board when I bought it. The old one had developed a crease and in the process of trying to smooth it out the cord snapped making it unusable.
If I ever get the inclination I might try one of these tutorials to make a new one. Check out Marmadaisy's tutorial or U-handbag's super easy tutorial.


Friday, February 15, 2008

BQL February Bag

Can you tell it's half-term? I've posted everyday this week!! It's also meant I've had a bit of sewing time which I've been putting to good use.
There are a few Linus tops that are finished (which I'll show you when they are quilted) and I finished the February Bag (picture) for the BQL challenge. I used some of the fabric I won earlier in the week from Tilde and not 30 sec. after taking this picture it was bag-knapped by DD1. I can see how this is going to go... I'll make 12 bags, but I can't see myself still owning 12 bags at the end of the year!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

As you can see I've started another stitchery...woohoo this is number 2! I'm really pleased with my little French knots on the sides...I did them first in case it all went horribly wrong and I was left with a mess! I still don't know what I'll do with these stitcheries when they are done..but they are quite nice to work on in the evenings.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bitten by the Stitchery Bug?

It seems where ever you look someone is talking about some stitchery they have completed. There are several designers out there with beautiful patterns...Leanne Beasley, Cinderberry Stitches and Moore Patchwork and Quilting...just to name a few. Then there is all the talent on blogs...Our own British Anne has been working on a beautiful quilt (scroll down to the bottom of the post) and there's Rose in Australia that has been working on some beautiful blocks for her quilt.
So what's a girl to do when she sees all the inspiration...but to dive in and have a go.
I have to admit that I dove in kicking and screaming. Can you remember the gingerbread men quilt? Well I struggled and cursed my way through stitching the eyes and mouths...hated every minute of it and vowed that I couldn't do embroidery.
This is so typical of me...I will fight and refuse to try new things and normally the things I fight against most are the things I ended up trying and liking! I did this with hand quilting, appliqué and driving a car!! LOL and now stitchery...
Well I guess what made all the difference was some encouraging know who you are and realizing that you stitch with 2 strands of floss not 6 (like I did on the gingerbread!!) and that the trick to nice straight lines is the backstitch (not the stem stitch) and that if you go through the same hole you've made from the previous stitch you get nice straight lines without gaps.
I found a bit of clipart I thought would translate nicely into stitchery, enlarged it slightly and used a light pencil to draw the design on my fabric..(is that what everyone else does?) and then got started. I've got a couple more I'm going try as they seem to stitch up watch this space...(oh what have I started!!!)

Thanks for all the inspiration folks!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Meet Lydia...

My husband surprised me last night by bring home Lydia! She's an Italian sewing machine...a Necchi 544. Someone at work was saying he was off to the charity shop to drop off an old sewing machine and my DH's ears perked up and he say he'd have it....that does bring my total to 4 machines (if you count the toy one DD2 has)! So last night I found some info on the internet about threading her and loading the bobbin, then I de-fluffed her and tried sewing. I have managed to determine that something isn't quite right with her. I can set the upper tension, but the bobbin tension seems too loose. I can correct that if I tighten the upper tension, but the upper thread is much too tight. I don't know enough about machines...or even about this type of machine to determine if there is some other adjustment for the bobbin, or whether the timing might be out. I plan to do a bit of investigation and see if I can get her working properly. If anyone knows anything about this machine, please get in touch.

So that wasn't the only thing that arrived in the house yesterday. Last week I won Tilde give-away and these three beautiful fabrics arrived. I'm hoping to make something with one of them very soon. Thanks again Tilde.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Welsh Weekend

No quilty content, I'm afraid.

This past weekend my DH and I got away to celebrate his birthday in Llandudno, Wales. We had the most perfect weather for walking and enjoying the views. I won't bore you with the break down of our time away, but rather let the pictures to the talking.

Along one of our walks we found lots and lots of poop and I thought perhaps it was from rabbits, but then thought it was too large for rabbit poop and then as we got towards the top of a hill I found the animals responsible.

Beautiful goats! Aren't they cute!!

On our second day we went to Betws-y-coed to see Swallow Falls. The sound of the water was fantastic and there were kayakers river rafting down the falls. My little video captured one man coming down through the water.

Looked like fun!

Monday, February 04, 2008

February = Red and White hearts

A little while back, Clare from Dordogne Quilter put out a request for 8 1/2" hearts for her Quilts 4 Leukaemia quilts. I finally got busy (I can do that now that my scraps are in control!!) and made her these 5 blocks.

Clare I hope to get them in the post tomorrow!!!


UPDATE: if anyone is interested the pattern for the woven can be found on the Quilter's World Website. It's a PDF called Scrap Patch hearts.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Emerging from the scraps...

I bet you all thought I'd been lost under my mountain of scraps...well not quite! I have managed to finish pressing a cutting the scraps into sensible pieces and I'm vowing to stay onto top of it in the future. I still have a box of strings and scrap triangles that will need to be incorporating into something, but at least I'm not feeling overwhelmed by it any more.

I wanted to share a couple of links with you...some of this might be old news, but I still think it's worth mentioning again.

The first is a link to Quilters TV which shows quilting videos. It has different sections such as designer of the week, appliqué features and pieced features etc. and you can pick the video you want to watch when you want to watch you don't have to be at your computer at a set time....and it's all free!

The second link is to their new sister site called Sew On TV which is set up exactly the same way, but shows programs that cover fashion sewing, home dec and other fibre arts.
I love catching a bits of the quilting TV as we don't have anything like that on our TV screens in the UK.

Happy Viewing!