Thursday, 30 December 2010


I had plans for some sewing between Christmas and New Year but I haven't worked on what I had in mind.

I had it in mind to make up this bag pattern. I bought it and the fabric to make it at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August
I have made up another couple of blocks to go with these. I have it in mind to make a quilt for our bed with this blocks because I really love this fabric (Moda Rouenneries). I sent for a bit more to add to what I've got.

I received this little bag from a Winter Solstice swap organised by Sue. It is very cute and I will use it for small knitting projects.

The Oh! Bearded One is doing well. He has started driving again this week, just short distances in daylight which he has coped well with. Meg approves, she now gets to go on some of her favorite walks and not just 'round the lump' as before. He's off sick for another 3-4 weeks and then he'll see how he feels as his job does involve a lot of driving and computer work which will be wearing until he fully adjusts. I'm back at work as well so life is returning to what passes for normal in our household other than we still have to get the biopsy results but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

I hope you and your families have a really lovely, peaceful Christmas. I also hope you manage to have  a few moments to do some crafting for yourselves.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Doings from a snowy world

We had another 3-4 inches of snow overnight. That's not a lot of snow in the big scheme of things but for Cheshire it's quite a lot and we live on hill it has made coming up and down the road tricky. We were going to go out but we've put it off until tomorrow.

I have done the hugest pile of ironing instead. I've ironed summer clothes so that shows how long some of it has been hanging around. I would just like to vac and wash the floors before Christmas & I'll be a happy woman. Sad aren't I?

Because of the Oh! Bearded One I'm not working. The week after we found out about his eye I was on holiday and I have a week off sick to be at home with him. I don't go back to work until Boxing Day.

 A couple of weeks ago I ordered a couple of Moda scrap bag - Park Avenue and Wild Rose. I had it in mind to make some placemats for the dining table from the Wild Rose but when I opened the bag I was disappointed to find only 2 colourways and a few repeats of some fabrics so I opened the Park Ave bag and found a bit more variation. I laid out both bags together and realised that they would work together. I then spend a week or so trying to decide what to make. I've settled on a lap quilt using rail fence blocks. I've started making it up.

I cut all the strips down to 2.5 inches and sewed the strips together in 3s. After they had been pressed I cut them into 6.5inch segments which gives 6.5 inch blocks. The pieces are now ready to sew into blocks of 4.

There were some strips that weren't as wide as 2.5 inches and I had a couple of strips left from making the pieces so I cut these remaining strips into 10.5 strips and stitched them together. This will be made into a table runner.
I need to get some co-ordinating fabric for borders.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

I've been a busy bee this afternoon. This was my work space before I started tidying up. I have a habit of getting things out, using them and then not putting them away. One of my New Year's resolutions is not to let this sort of mess build up in here.

 This is what it looks like now. I can actually use my desk and get the sewing machine on it over the Christmas period. I usually use the dining table but that is going to be needed so I wanted to be able to use this space. I've still got a big pile of magazines to go through but at least they are in a tidy pile.

This is my little candle mat made from Moda Frolic, finished.

SofM came back from Edinburgh today. It took him 7 hours to travel, it would normally take 3 hours. He had to change trains twice when he wouldn't normally and each time he was sat on the new train 1 & a half. He was tired when he got back.

The Oh! Bearded One has had a good day, out with the dog for a short walk and has cleared the drive of snow. He also slept better last night which was great.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas is coming!

I hope all your Christmas preperations are going to plan and the weather isn't going to stop families getting together. SofM is due back on the train from Edinburgh tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing him.

The Oh! Bearded One came back from hospital last Thursday. He is doing quite well, he has got better each day although he has had pain at night and we haven't had a particularly good night since he came out of hospital. That will improve, it just takes time. He is coming to terms with only having one eye, probably better than I am. We don't know yet what type of cancer cells were in the tumour, he has to wait until an appointment comes through from our local hospital which we think will be in about 3-4 weeks time.

I am having times when I am extremely sad about it. I was looking at photos last night and I got very upset looking at photos of him, things will never be quite the same again. I know we have a lot to be grateful for and there a lot of people having more problems than we are but I suppose I just haven't adjusted yet.

He went to have his other eye tested today as he now needs glasses for driving and distance. Our bank account is now a lot lighter and next month we will have to pay for prescription sunglasses as he needs to protect his eye from UV light. Up to now he has been bad at having his eyes tested but he will be having a test every year. If anyone is fair skinned, blue eyed and over fifty make sure they are having their eyes tested routinely. This tumour possibly would have been picked up much sooner.

I still have things to show you but need to take photos and I need daylight so I will try tomorrow. I'm off to finish sewing on the binding on Mum & Dad's quilt, 2 more sides to do!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Today's news

 I've been meaning to show this little candlemat for ages. This candlemat was my candlemat swap present from Wendy. Thank you Wendy. It is now residing under a Christmas tree in my conservatory. It looks realy pretty.

 Here is Mum & Dad's quilt (their Christmas pressie), back from the quilters. The quilt pattern is from Bradie at Quiltcetera. It ran as a 2 block per week BOM. It was great fun to do and I am really pleased with the end product. The binding is now on and I've just got to finish handsewing it in place.

On these two blocks the quilting can be seen. Unfortuately the photos don't do justice to the sheen on the thread that has been used. Thank you Jude (quilter).

I went to see the Oh! Bearded One this afternoon. He wasn't too good, he had a lot of pain and had been given painkillers so I didn't stop that long and left him to rest. He comes home tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. It isn't really surprising he wasn't great, it was onlt 24 hours since the op and he has had muscles cut, also the reality of it all will have hit home. Upward and onward, that's all we can do.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

It's done!

First of all thank you so much for your messages of support, they are much appreciated.

The Oh! Bearded One had his operation in the middle of the day and I saw him at about 4pm. He was sitting up, feeling fine and cracking silly jokes which is always a good sign. I've spoken to him on the phone about 10 minutes ago and he was still OK other than he is too hot and is concerned about not being able to sleep tonight because he hates being too hot and also he is 'seeing' white and patterns where his eye should be, he was expecting it to be black. He is finding it rather disconcerting. I am assuming this is happening because the optic nerve to that eye hasn't yet 'switched off. He has been walking about the ward and has had something to eat.

Today I've been on an emotional rollercoaster, I've had several very tearful episodes and I wandered about Liverpool city centre in a daze. It's a good job I've done my Christmas shopping, I couldn't have made a decision to save my life today.

On other news - I got 'my first quilt' completely finished last night and it is over my lap as we 'speak'.

Tomorrow I am planning to go through the house with the vac and a mop so I've finished creating dust in the air before the Oh! Bearded One comes home from hospital on Thursday. I am concerned about dust or animal hair getting into his wound.

Monday, 13 December 2010

What's happening in our house!

This was Northwich early last week, very little snow but very cold and frosty.

This photo was taken from our bedroom window. The view takes in the rugby club grounds, a local chemical works and the village on the other side of the valley.

I've been doing some sewing, this is a table centre mat made from scraps from making 2 candlemats.

The fabric is Moda Frolic by Sandy Gervais. I've taken some other photos and could show you how I made it if anyone is interested.
This is one of the candlemats in process.

Blogger has split these photos as they were loaded. The Oh! Bearded One should be below the one of the black & red quilt. This quilt was started in July 2009 and I am now trying hard to get this one and certain others finished before the end of the year. In the photo below it is at the pinned staged ready for quilting. In the photo above I've quilted with my walking foot a quarter inch either side of the seams, also with some quilting in the ditch. As I want to get this quilt finished and it is for flinging in the car I'm now using a fancy stitch to hold the borders. The black border is complete and I'm half way round the red one. Binding on at the end of the week, hopefully!  

The Oh! Bearded One! & Meg too!

We went back to the Royal Liverpool hospital today where treatment options re his eye cancer were discussed. Because the cancer is near the optic nerve his options were limited to one type of radiotherapy or removal of the eye ball. He has chosen to have his eye removed because no sight will be saved after radiotherapy in his case and there are fairly common side effects of the radiotherapy for no result. I have to take him back for 8am tomorrow morning and he will have his op tomorrow morning as well. He could have waited to have op until after Christmas but he wanted to get it over and done with now a decision has been made. During the op they place what looks like a very small ping pong ball in the eye socket, this will carry the false eye when he gets it. He will have to wait 10-12 weeks to get the false eye. They will test the tumour to see what sort of cancer it is and we are keeping our fingers and toes crossed that it isn't the aggressive type!

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Monday, 6 December 2010

Nearly finished!

My first quilt is nearly finished! I am quite excited about this, even though this quilt is not brillantly executed, it is my first quilt and it is so cold at present I really want to use it. The Oh! Bearded One still likes it as well.

I finished outlining the blocks yesterday and sewed the binding on.

 A closer shot of a outlined block, excuse the strange band at the bottom of the phots, it doesn't seem to have loaded properly.
This is as far as I've got with hand stitching the binding into place.

Here is Molly enjoying it even before its completely finished!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Bad news!

I've had an interesting week so far!

On Sunday I got stuck in Harrogate overnight due to the snow (J & I had been to the Knitting & Stitching show) and Tuesday The Oh! Bearded One was diagnosed with a Choroidal Melanoma of his left eye. This is a type of eye cancer which is treated by either radiotherapy or removal of the eye. He doesn't know which treatment he will have as he is waiting for an appointment to discuss treatment options.

It was diagnosed after he attended A&E intially for what was thought intially to be a partially detached retina. He was sent by A&E to the eye clinic in our local hospital and the Doctor there decided it wasn't a usual sort of detached retina and that there was something else going on underneath so off we went to the Royal Liverpool Hospital where there is a specialist eye unit. He had an ultrasound and was diagnosed there and then. The scary thing about it all is that eye cancer can be secondary to another cancer somewhere in the body or it can spread to somewhere else, usually the liver. We will both be glad when we know what we are dealing with and obviously we hope there is no spread.

As you can imagine we are shell shocked at present as it all came out of the blue.

I promise I won't bore you with a blow by blow account of disease & treatment, I'll mention things occasionally just to tell a logical story, really to give myself a record.

This hasn't effected my interest in wool and fabric, later in the week I'll show some photos of recent purchases (these are in a bid to beat the VAT increase in January, that's my excuse & I'm sticking to it)  and I am planning some small Christmas makes for pressies.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

My first quilt

This is the very first quilt I started. I went to my LQS and chose the fabric. I had already chosen the block and my LQS had it made up. Ella (the LQS owner) was really helpful and set me up. Ella continues to be very supportive of my endeavors.

I got all the blocks made up, they weren't too bad for a first effort, it was the sashings that I made a mess of.

I was all for spliting the blocks and sashing into 2 little quilts to use as wheelchair quilts at work but The Oh! Bearded One saw it and really liked it and wanted me to finish it for us to us at home.

I've quilted a lot of it in the ditch and I am now working at outlining the blocks. I'm not sure whether I will need to do some other quilting on it as there are some bigger spaces around the points of the stars and I'm worried about the batting moving about. What do you think?

Saturday, 20 November 2010

A new laptop!

I'm back on line!!! Hooray!!!

DD's FIL sorted out the wireless connection for me 

The new laptop is bliss, what's not bliss that I've had to pay for it, just before Christmas and as it was the hard drive on the old laptop that was caput I've lost everything on it including all my photos which is distressing.

Anyway, onward and upward.........

At work we are having a little Christmas craft fair so I've been making a few things including trimming these candles. I will make some cards and I'm knitting some little snowmen.

This little doggy is made from felt, it is a Dandelion design and it was really enjoyable to do.

I've made 2 of these little candle mats, one of which is winging its way to my Candlemat swap partner (Click on link on side bar)

 I've quilted it by using an embroidery stitch on my machine. I saw this idea on another blog and I thought it was very effective and quick to do to!

Here is my 12 days of Christmas quilt, all finished. I'm really pleased with it.

I have started another little quilt and I'm finishing quilting my very first quilt.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Just to let you know

..............................I am still in the land of the living.

I have got a new laptop but it isn't accepting wireless conection at present so I am awaiting my friendly computer tech aka DD's FIL to come and sort it out when he can.

I've got things to share when I'm sorted.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Having computer trouble again!
I can't access old e-mails and I know that Janet, you are expecting a parcel from me. Please e-mail your address again so I can post it to you. At least now I have an iPhone I can still keep in touch.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Big Day!

Today is the Big Day!

The wedding of DD & Gromit.

All the planning and preperation comes together and hopefully we have a lovely day.

And guess what I'm doing right now?

Finishing sewing the binding on my God-daughter's quilt!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Odds & ends

This post is about odds & ends.

Look at these 9 patchs!!! These are from the 9 patch swap that Julie organised, aren't they just so lovely? This swap has had me very excited and now I've recieved the blocks I'm not disappointed. Thank you so much, ladies, that took part in this swap, there are going to be some beautiful quilts made from these. At present I am fancing putting them on their points in lines with soild blocks in lines in between.  

 I probably won't get to making this quilt up for a while because I need fabric for it and I've not got much time at present to sort it.

 On Saturday it was my birthday and DD made me a lovely birthday cake. We had a day in Chester as we had to pick up the men's suits from the hirer's for the wedding next Saturday. There was DD, Oh! Bearded One, my Mum & Dad and myself. We had breakfast in Chester city centre as we got there early and on the way back to Northwich we had lunch at one of our favorite pubs in Kesall. I did very well as I had been out on Friday night on a do for work and got back very late so I had very little sleep. I just had to have a little nap later in the day!

 What is it with animals and quilts? This quilt is one I made earlier in the year for my God-Daughter's 18th birthday. I had to give it to her unfinished as I had run out of time (story of my life), anyway, I want to get it finished this week if I can as she is coming to DD's wedding and it would be nice for her to take it back to Sheffield with her. When the quilt was attached to the sewing machine Molly sat on it, next thing I am using the ironing board to attach the binding and she has to move and sit on it again!  It has well and truely been tested! 

This quilt is now at the quilters, except it is waiting for its backing. I feel like a proper quilter now I've put my first quilt out to a quilter.