Monday, 28 September 2015

I set the alarm and go up at 3am this morning and sat out back in the darkness watching the end of lunar eclipse.
It was delightful out there and pleasant, not at all cold.
I stayed out till the moon was half way full and should have
stayed longer but I needed a pee lol
It had a rosy look but I wished my eyesight was still 20/20
or Id had a telescope.  
I'm going to do my very best to stay alive and sane enough
to watch the next one!
It's done : )
And even more surprising is that when my daughter saw it she asked if I'd made it, Yes says I - hmm, says she, well could she have it!
Yes, says I with a smile .....
though you could have knocked me over with a feather!
Here's my 2yr old grandaughter, one of 5 little bridesmaids
looking bored at only the dressing stage, well before the wedding at the brides house lol
By we got to the church, she'd bent her wand almost into a right angle and the headband was on and off so many times,
I thought it would break lol
She really did look lovely though but I'm not sure
she smiled in any of the photos!

And here she is at mine after a busy morning playing,
 with Harvey keeping her safe and stop her falling off!
And yet another waistcoat for work
You know, I've seen Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt blocks
on so many blogs that I follow and couldn't really see what
the passion was about them,
then I realised they were only 6" square!
So I thought I would send for the book for our stitchy club library
and it arrived today.
Well, what a charming book!
I'm hooked lol I'm keeping it for myself.
I hadn't realised the premise behind the quilt design.
In 1922 The Farmers Wife Magazine for farmers wives,
ran a competition and they asked readers this question.
"If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of
your own experience, want her to marry a farmer?"
The editors were overwhelmed  by the response,
they had over 7000 replies and 94% of farm wives stated that,
yes, they would want their daughters to marry farmers.
Well Laurie Aaron Hird gathered 111 of the letters and
devised small sampler blocks to accompany the letters.
The letters are charming and so interesting to read
so yes, I have fallen under the spell.
The book comes with a cd which has the templates on
so you can print them off yourself.
I also sent for the book
Little Quilts by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger
for the stitchy club library....
guess what?
I'm going to have to keep that one too!
My excuse is that the little mini quilts are a perfect size for
practising ( learning ) to machine quilt on.
I can totally recommend each book although I am going
to be living on eggy bread and home grown chopped tomatoes
for afew weeks now.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Stitchy Club meet and my scrappy quilt is almost done

Some of my extra cut down blocks make pretty good table mats!
I have used vintage bias binding that I had picked up somewhere or other on these two.
I picked this fabric below up at a charity shop, its actually a commercial pack with backing fabric and quilt front fabric too, with instructions on how to make a lap quilt. Moda too!
 The fabric front is printed  with half inch hexi flowers and it seems you were to hand stitch around the flowers themselves.
The cost was worth it for the backing fabric alone, so this is what I have used as strips tween the cut down blocks .

Those of you that are quilt makers of experience would fall about laughing at my efforts,
but its within finishing now, so at least it will be able to shield my legs from the onslaught of winter weather very soon lol And it will be fine for Evie to use to lay on the floor on.
Professional at quitting I am clearly not!
I'm quilting it piece by piece, even the strips, probably the most backwards way on method but that way I haven't had to wrestle the quilt through and around my sewing machine lol
And now the backing is on, I have hand stitched the back and front together too, so its a mish mash of machine and hand stitched quilting LOL

I had bought some commercial binding but actually when got ready to stitch it on, I realised that it wouldn't look right, so have cut my own binding using 4 different fabrics, so the binding too will have a scrappy look.
Cant get stuck in to it just yet though, grandchild duties loom ahead for this weekend - do hope Evie will go easy on me!

Last Saturday was our EYES stitchy club meeting and we had a talk about costumes from the world of Jane Austin. Julia Soames had made the dresses and gave the talk to us.
I suspect I have been spoilt by seeing 'The History Wardrobe' talks, so although Julias dresses are beautifully made, the talk didn't captivate me as much.
Although to be fair, this was my first meeting as club librarian, so perhaps I wasn't paying the same amount of attention!
Incidentally Jean has a post about The History Wardrobes recent local talk about Fairytale Dresses, so nip over and see her explanation of what she saw.
Meanwhile he's a few pics of Juilas dresses....


and heres some of the members work put on display............many are so, so skilled.

and one member had made several bags from upholstery fabrics that had been for sale on the sales table. This box was cleverly pieced together I thought.
 All her bags had pieces zig zag stitched together and looked super.

The upholstery fabrics cost £2 on the sales table and are the kind of thing that hangs on a hanger, with one large piece of fabric then 20+ smaller sized pieces in complimenting colours?
Well out of that one bulk cheap buy, 7 bags had emerged!
Wish I had caught the ladies name but her bags were really superb.

Oh and this 'matching' activity was todays make at work, along with colour and flavour name cards.
All the time I was making them I fancied an ice cream too!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Hull's Freedom Festival and the scrappy blocks are taking shape

I am posting a mix of pics this post so bear with me please!
Hull has an annual Freedom Festival and this year I popped in to see what was on one day and got caught, well volunteered : ) to take part in this surreal little show.
The taxidermied creature on the top, is apparently an 'Albino Arctic Duck Billed Platypuss' - yes go figure! - and the scenario is as follows...
The two guys, using no words and exaggerated facial expressions, select 5 folks to take part in the show.
That involves wearing a number round your neck and placing headphones on your ears and listening to a voice.
Now your not sure if the crowd around you can hear what you hear, they can't, but your told  eventually to walk forward, place your eyes on the eye holes and then watch and listen.
So your leant at an odd angle if your tall like me, not that good for the back that and music and poetry is played, whilst an apparent 'egg' enlarges before your very eyes, with a flickering light to give it a vintage edge..
The 'egg' eventually explodes, because its a balloon and then extravagant  orchestral music applauds the birth of an automated chick - of mechanical sorts lol
Bizarre but fun and te metal work on the cabinet is magnificent and the stuffed 'mythical' creature was delightfully cute ............

Coincidentally, Lynne whom I sit alongside at work was there too and had been picked ahead of myself.


Another act keeping Queen Victoria company ...
All manner of events and acts took place over 2 days and there were a number of music groups, choirs set up to play each evening.
Its in the spirit of freedom for all and many activities for children take place each day.

I had my pal over from Australia (thankfully she did like the cushion Id made her lol) 
and I took her into the cities Holy Trinity Church to see the knitted version of the
Wilmslow Homer painting several of us had been involved in making last year.
I still think its such a clever idea to create a knitted version of a painting and volunteers from all walks of life were involved in the process, needless to say it wasn't my idea!

It was made, along with a great deal of yarn bomb knitted articles to celebrate a theatre production that was travelling down the East coast commemorating the Trawler men and 'fisher women' whose economic lives, revolved around the silver herrings.
I had made the faces and some of the sea and sky, though the lass on the right came out with far more naff than the other two lol she looks a real sarcastic lass!

I still like this barrel of herring  and the dedications to lost trawlermen that are also to be found in the church.
Saw these little guys on a collectibles stall in the market as we wandered round, well loved by the looks of them.

An interim pic of some of the cut up scrappy blocks ...


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Sad sad sad! I have to go back to work next week : (

I know, those of you that work throughout the year,
as did I prior to April this year, will want to slap me lol
I quite understand!
I really must take stock and see if I could manage to live on just my 2 pensions, it seems really unlikely since they are very small, such bad planning on my part in my youth that.

Anyway September 1st and Autumn is here, such an impressive full moon again last week too.
I guessed Autumn was creeping up on us, because the biggest bloody spiders around are queuing up outside my front and back doors to come in at night! Urghhhh

The nights are drawing in too, also a bummer.
Last night around 9pm there was such a clattering out back and much hysterical squeeking.
I looked out to see Harvey cat hurtling around outside the back door, diving through and under things, relentlessly chasing a small rat - again.
He didn't give in for well over an hour, after which all went very quiet and dog and I finally went outside to take stock.
Hilly cat chased in past me as I opened the back door, having had no part of the performance, she's way too dignified these days for that kind of caper.
Then Max the dog shot out past me to see what he'd missed out on.
Well there, laid near the back door was said rat, decently deceased thankfully and Harvey wandered in past me, his job done by the look on his face and yawned!
Yes yawned as he came indoors!
Tiring work hurtling round after rats clearly.
He's a very successful rat catcher, I just wish I knew where he was finding them and I'm none too happy that he ends up chasing them round my back garden!
All his finds have been youngsters, which gives me no confidence in that there must be the adults out there somewhere too!

I have been scrap busting and so far have made up these blocks, they are about 17" square-ish.
Apologies for my toes present there lol
That left big toe is the offending bunion removed one, that has been left stuck out and up, making balancing virtually impossible when walking now .............
it doesn't lay on the floor the top of it too ...........
 that's the NHS for you!

 Not altogether sure whether to piece these blocks at this size, or maybe chop them each into 4, still thinking about that.
I have quilted each block onto cotton wadding, very, very simple straight lines running round in squares, nothing fancy since I'm crap at machine quilting lol
I quite like this pretty random method of stitching scraps together and wish I could say it had made a huge reduction in my scraps bag, well, it has made very little difference at all.
So I will be making many more of these !

I have completed a cushion too, a gift for a friend, she's over from Australia and coming to me this weekend for a few days.
I screen printed my beach hut design, which you cant see properly because I used white paint on the blue fabric duhhhhh at our recent stitchy club weekend.

The blue fabric is some of Deb Ohara's delish painted fabric and I have had to stitch over the screen print design so it could be seen.
Mary used to go to Scarborough for a summer holiday with her Mum and siblings as a child and they'd hire one of the lovely old traditional beach huts for the duration of their stay.
Then when she was a Mum she took her own young children there , so this is meant to suggest a memory or two, of times past I hope.
If all else fails she can use the cushion to rest her head on, during the long flight back to Australia at least lol

Oh and I must tell you, I drove home the other day and before turning onto my drive, saw this small black ferret galloping happily along the centre of the road out front of my house!
Not what you expect to see mid morning in a suburban street.
I got out and watched but soon lost sight of it as it dashed under various cars, 3 of us stood out there, all taken aback at the sight lol
Since then a veterinary nurse friend has told me it was far more likely to have been a MINK!
They are far more common living wild now, since well meaning activists released them from captivity several years back and sad to say, they are a real danger to our indigenous wildlife!
To quote my old Gran.........

"Well, I never did!"

That was a term she used liberally and it was interchangeable, a sort of explain all phrase, feel free to make use of it too!