Tuesday, 29 April 2008

A FO and quilting

Today has been the last day of my leave. I go back to work tomorrow. What have I achieved off the list I made at the beginning of my leave, I hear you ask? Well, very little housework other than washing the mattress cover & valence off our bed and tidied up our bedroom a little. I caught up on the washing but no ironing has been done.

I haven't made any cards for work either, although I've cout some bits out in preparation.

But I have done this!

Sof M's quilt. It's sandwiched together, pinned and I have started quilting. I am hand quilting it as I don't feel confident machine quilting it at the moment. The hand quilting needs practise as well but I love doing it.

This is the manipulated flower wall hanging that I went to the workshop to do last Wednesday. It is completely finished and ready to hang. I learnt a lot from doing this and I am pleased with the finished result, I don't think it is bad for a 1st attempt at something like this.

A close up of the flowers.

and a close up of the stem stitching and applique on the leaves.

Last but not least a sock!!! Trumpets and fanfares!!!! Put up the bunting and balloons and lets' have a party! I have completed a sock that I am happy with. I've also started the second one!
Also this last week I have completed the blocks for my work collegue's quilt but I forgot to take a photo of them. In fact I've enough blocks for 2 lap quilts and as I love the fabric so much, I'll prbably make myself one as well.
There were a good few mornings when I didn't get up much before 10am as I haven't slept very well, I think because I've been out of my work routine.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Holiday bits & pieces

Well! I've done a few of the things on my holiday list but not many really, still I've a few days more before I go back to work.

I've just about completed both my quilt top and SofM's quilt top, I've done some spring washing, you know the sort of thing, bed valances and mattress covers. I've tidied one or two mucky corners but I've loads more to do.

Yesterday I went to a quilting workshop. We made a manipulated flower wall hanging. I've got on well with it, I had some hand stitching to do on it, of which I've done quite a lot today. I will take a photo when it is finished.

I am determined to complete the 2 quilt tops and then start the one for my colleague at work before I go back to work next Wednesday and I will probably let the house work go hang but DD will have won her bet. She has been on holiday in Tenerife with a fellow student off her course. Before she went away she said I wouldn't have done any of the house work and she is right!! Isn't it horrible when your children are right?

Sunday, 20 April 2008

100th post!

It may have come to your notice that this post is my 100th post. Now I know it is customary to celebrate this by having some sort of give away but I have decided to wait until my 1st blogiversary in August - mainly because I've not got anything nice to give away at present but I'm working on it!

Now, down to business.

I am doing quite well on the holiday plans. Yesterday I went on a scrapbooking workshop. I got quite a lot done on the scrapbook I have got of residents from work. I didn't stay for the whole session as my hands started protesting with all the cutting I was doing.

Today the airing cupboard got sorted, the clean washing pile was sorted, put away and more washing was done.

Look what else I managed to work on! - SogM's quilt.

This is a gratuitous photo of Molly enjoying the quilt before SofM gets a chance.
These 2 photos show it with it's sashings in place and one piano border. I am short of some of the green sashing fabric so I am unable to complete the rest of the top. I will get the fabric on Wednesday when I go for the quilting class.

I have also had a go at my own top and I will have another go at it tomorrow. I want to get these 2 tops completed before I started the one for the girl at work.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Day 1, On track!

Well! I've been a busy girl today. I managed to get up at 8.20am which is very good for me. I did the errands for work, made a birthday card that had been ordered, bought sashing and border material for SofM's quilt, the backing material for his quilt & the quilt I am going to make next week, 3 x 0.5 meters of fabric for my stash (possibly for a quilt for my Mum) and a sewing machine!

I've bought a Janome. It is much lighter weight that Betty Bernina, which is my old faithful machine. I have bought it because I want to start doing classes and I would like to join a group as well. Betty B is too heavy to lug about and her carrying case is broken. It will also serve as a back up whilst Betty B goes for servicing and repairing. DD will also use it as she is used to using Janome machines and she doesn't really like Betty B.

I am doing a class next Wednesday which will be the first ever class I've taken in any craft since I left school. I usually teach myself from books and these days, the internet.

This evening I went to Aglow which is a Christian women's outreach and ministry group which meets in Northwich town centre. It is an internationally run organisation and there are groups all over the world. It's lovely to think there are women all over the world ministering to other women in these groups. May God Bless each and every one!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Not enough hours in a day!

Today I worked my last official shift before I begin my week's holiday (I've got to nip into work tomorrow to drop some stuff off). Although I have decided not to do any decorating whilst on holiday because of my hands, I've got lots lined up.
  • Clean kitchen cupboards out
  • Catch up on the ironing and washing - LOL!!!!
  • Clean all windows inside and out (upstairs ones slide sidewards)
  • Do basic cleaning (not been done for weeks, don't tell Aggie & Kim, I really couldn't cope with them telling me what I've got growing in my fridge, I'm a nurse, they would tell me I should know better)
  • Finish 2 quilt tops
  • Start and mostly complete a new quilt for a girl at work who is having a particularly tough time (I told you quilting was addictive, I told you, you didn't believe me did you?)
  • Get rid of various items no longer required.
  • Making cards for work ( lots of them as I've nearly sold up.)

And of course there are several lots of knitting needing attention.

Now, bearing in mind I tend not to be able to get out of bed much before 10-11am when I'm not working, what do you think my chances are? Probably zero, I know, but I WILL give it a go as the house is getting on my nerves and I feel the new quilt is important.

Now, you do realise you are going to get a daily blow by blow account don't you? I hope you are up for it!!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Busyness, socks & Blah!

Look what I was up to yesterday afternoon!

I have heard and read that quilting is addictive and so it is! Be warned, if you are thinking about having a go make sure you have enough money and enough space because one quilt leads to another.YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!

I love it!!!

Back in March I showed some blocks I have started for a lap quilt to go over the back of my sofa, now I intend to finish the whole top when I am on holiday the week after next (I hoped to decorate but the old hands aren't going to let me, what a shame, I'll just have to knit and quilt!!!) but I decided some weeks ago I want to make a quilt for SofM to take to uni. So here it is.

I bought 2 charm packs of 6" Moda Marbles, one in blues & 1 in greens at the NEC when I went in March, specifically for this quilt. Yesterday I couldn't contain myself any longer and started it. I cut the patches down to 4 & a half" and then made 9 9 patch blocks and because I want the quilt to be rectangular I used the 1 & half" strips to make a piano key border for the top and bottom of it. I now need to purchase the material for the sashing, borders and backing (see what I mean about needing money) which I am going to do this weekend so I can also try to get the top completed when I am on holiday. The quilting of this top is going to be very simple, buttons and hand tieing, maybe some very simple hand quilting in the middle square of each 9 patch block.

Each block is different as each charm pack only had one of each Moda Marble colour so the overall effect is quite bright but there is sufficient interest to make you look at each block.

I particularly like the boarders, I can't wait to see the finished top. Everything needs pressing but I decided there wasn't any point yesterday as they are going to lay around for over a week now.

Socks - because I've been ploughing up and down motorways this week and the Oh! Bearded One has driven, I've been able to knit my sock. I was really pleased on Wednesday evening when we got back from Edinburgh, I had turned the heel and was going great guns down the foot. I picked it up last night and noticed I had dropped a stitch when decreasing for the gusset so guess what happened? You've got it - ripppppppppp! Grrrrrrrrrrr! I'm a perfectionist and although I could have repaired it, I would have known and it would have spoiled them for me.
I have taken the opportunity to go right back past the heel flap as I meant to do a re-enforced heel but had knitted a few rows of the flap before I remembered. This time I'll do the re-enforced one.
I've felt Blah today, shaky and achy. I am putting it down to my period, I haven't had one for nearly 3 months and I am now paying for it! Never mind, hopefully I'll be better tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Uni visit

We are off to Edinburgh tonight so we can look round Heriot Watt University for SofM. I love Edinburgh and would be very happy if he decides that's the uni for him. I can see some very nice weekends away for the Oh! Bearded One and I!

Don't forget 'Pay it forward'. I am really looking forward to making something for someone but I need someone to sign up!

Have fun!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Pay it forward

I have signed up for 'Pay it forward' on Idaho Quilter's blog.

How it works is that I am one of 3 people who have signed up on Idaho Quilter's blog. She had signed up on someone else's blog. She makes us 3 that have signed up a hand made gift and sends it to us. I now invite people to sign up on my blog. I make a handmade gift for the first 3 that sign up and send it to them. They then invite 3 people on each of their blogs, make handmade gifts and send them to each of the people that have signed up so on and so forth. We each have 365 days to make and send the gifts although I would hope I can complete this challenge before a year is up!

I am not giving any clue as to what I will make as it is dependent on who signs up, so if you would like a surprise sign up ASAP.

Our weekend!

We are back from our weekend in the Lake District. We had a lovely time! The weather yesterday wasn't too bad, especially in the morning.

The photo above was taken in the Lakes in 2005, this time these hill tops had snow on them, it snowed overnight and again this morning - click on the link below, there is a photo showing just what it was like this morning.

It was lovely to see our friends and the lunch they gave us was really nice.

The hotel was comfortable, although the bedrooms are in need of decorating. The food was excellent, we ate and drank too much but that's what a weekend away is all about, isn't it?

We went walking yesterday but I didn't the full walk the group did (they walked up Cat Bells which I have done before) because of the groin strain, if I had I wouldn't have been able to get my leg high enough on some of the steep bits, also my hands were too sore to put pressure on the walking pole I tend to use for steep bits. Never mind, I enjoyed the bit I did do, the views were very good.

In the afternoon I went into Keswick and had a potter about there. I then went back to the hotel and read my book for a while.

This morning the group did a short walk before we left but myself and 2 of the other ladies sat in the hotel lounge, had a chat and watched the snow come down.

Hope you had as nice a weekend as I did!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Weekend away

Have you seen or heard the weather forecast for the weekend? Very cold and possible snow! Typical! just in time for our weekend in the Lake District, so it will be thermal underwear and warm clothing for me or if it's really horrible it will be shopping in Kendal and sitting in a nice warm hotel knitting!!

We go tomorrow morning. We are having lunch with friends who live near Lake Windermere and then we will drive to the hotel. We are going to meet up with about 20 of our friends for a weekend of good company, hopefully good food and some walking.

We usually go away together like this once a year and often the boys go away on their own for a weekend of bonding (read into that lots of booze!) and climbing or walking. It was the boys being friends through Scouting that started all this in the first place. The boys have been friends for over 20 years, some of the girls have come and gone but the boys have stuck together. I am one of the original girls. The Oh! Bearded One & I are one of the 2 couples that have been married the longest!

I will be taking my sock (I hope my hands settle down, they have been painful today) and a good book - Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson.

I have read all of Peter Robinson's books, I love crime novels!

I'll be back Sunday evening. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Sock saga

I'm passed the ribbed cuff on sock 1. I will not be defeated, I will get the hang of sock knitting, even if it kills me in the process (which at the rate I'm going it will!!).

I bought a little wash bag in Tesco this afternoon, £2.19 I think, red with a tasteful cream flower in one corner and a drawstring top. It's idea for carrying half knitted socks in and just in time for the weekend away.

I was also very brave this afternoon, I sat in Marks & Spencer's cafe with a cup of coffee and knitted my sock. I don't know many people saw me but the lady on the next table asked me what I was making. She didn't appear to think I was mad for knitting socks as couple of my friends have done.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

I won!

A little while ago (8th March to be precise) I won a prize in celebration of Clarabelle's bloginversary. If you click on the link you will see what I won. I have now received it and am trying to decide what to knit with the yarn, especially the lace weight. I have come to no conclusions yet!

In the parcel were 2 bars of Thornton's chocolate. You will be unsurprised to know that these were enjoyed in very short order!!!

Socks, b£$%^&", socks

Above photo - this was a sock I cast on for SofM in Regia Kaffe Fassett Design Line, colourway Landscape Earth

Above photo - this a pair of socks I had cast on for myself in Regia, colourway 5025 Papillion

As you will be aware I have a love, hate relationship with knitting socks, actually more of a hate than a love relationship. In recent months I have cast on these 2 cuff down ones and frogged them both as I wasn't happy with them one way or another.

I have previously posted I have also recently cast on a toe up sock with which I am have difficultly with the heel. Tonight I have put this aside and recast on the sock yarn in the 2nd picture. I have cast on for a cuff down sock again as I have knitted this pattern successfully before. I have cast this on because I want something easy and small to take away with me at the weekend when we go to the Lake District.

So wish me luck and if you have advice please let me know