Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Hand quilting

I should be making my grandson's quilt and I have done a bit on it but as he hasn't arrived yet (1 week overdue now) I've got a bit longer - lol! Instead I've been plugging away on my hexi quilt

 I am persevering with the hand quilting, even though it is pretty appalling on the back. Due to arthritis in my thumbs I struggle to hand quilt as you are supposed to so I resort to stab stitch which appears fine on the front but I can't get the back to look right at the moment.  

If I show this quilt I hope nobody looks at the back!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Grow your blog - 2014

Over the weekend you will see a lot of blog posts titled 'Grow your Blog'
This idea was the brainchild of Vicki of '2 Bags Full' as a way of encouraging visitors to our blogs and to spread the friendship throughout blogland. I am very happy to take part in this as being a 'Blogger' is very important to me. I love the contact with like minded people and the ability to learn new skills through others. I have also taken part in some lovely swaps. I feel that I have made friends through blogging. I have met some bloggers and I hope I meet many more.

So welcome to 'Not Enough Time To Craft'

My name is Ailsa. I have been married for 31 years and have 2 grown up children. I am a qualified nurse but I am not working at present. When I was working I worked in the Care Home industry.

photo taken in Italy - 2013

This is the 'Oh! Bearded One' aka my husband. We have had our ups and downs (mainly health related) but I love him to bits. He has had his health issues, the most recent problem being eye cancer in 2010, he lost an eye but made a full recovery, ready to fight another day. He is a Health & Safety auditor in the telecommunications industry. 
 I have suffered with on & off with depression for over 10 years which has taken its' toll but currently I'm doing fine, I also have a type of arthritis which can be more of a problem.

We love animals so we have Meg (6 in Feb), a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who is such a character and makes us laugh so much. She was a rescue dog and has her issues but I wouldn't be without her.

The next 'character' in our family is DD, our eldest child, who, as you can see, is expecting her first child. The baby is a boy and was due on the 21st of January so we are playing the waiting game at present. I am looking forward to being a Granny. Also, here, is our other pet, Molly, a 13 & half year old short haired 'moggy'.

The next characters are my Mum & Dad. They are both 78. Mum is in reasonable health but Dad has been really poorly and is awaiting various tests and procedures. The main reason I am not working is to be available to look after Dad, he is needing a lot of physical support.

This 'character' is 'Gromit', my Son-in-Law.This is him on his wedding day. At that point he was in the Army. He had to leave in January 2013 due to an injury. He now works as an air conditioning/refrigeration engineer. 

Last but not least is Son of Mine, my 2nd child. He lives in Edinburgh where he did a degree in Chemistry. He is currently looking for his first 'grown up' job, until he gets that, he works in a bar and in a restaurant to pay the bills. I often visit him in Edinburgh.

I titled my blog 'Not Enough Time To Craft' because when I started it in 2007 I was working full time and didn't have enough time to do all the crafty things I wanted to do. Even now I still want to achieve more than I have time for.

I love quite a few crafts......

......quilting, the above shows the latest quilt top I have finished, it is waiting for quilting.
The photo below shows what I am working on at present.

I knit, this is a waistcoat i am knitting at present. I love knitting socks.

I used to do a lot of dressing making, last summer I made a skirt which is the first thing I have made in 25 years.

I crochet. I am left handed and as the older adults in my family were right handed I taught myself.

I cross stitch. 25-30 years ago I did nothing but cross stitch and knitting.

I make cards and scrap book. I made a lot of cards 3-4 years ago to raise funds for the Care Home I was Deputy Manager for. 

I also have had a go at jewellery making, lace making, candle making and at present I am making a rug from a kit that my Mum bought in 1983!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

A finish and a quilt!

 Last week I decided to get the bags and boxes of craft stuff residing in the loft. I have been keeping some fabric (mainly quilt backing fabric) and some wool up there for some time as there wasn't room to keep it whilst my DD & Son-in-Law were living with us.

Anyway, as I was going through the boxes I found this hat half knitted. I started it for the Oh! Bearded One several years ago and left it half done. It only took a couple of evenings to finish it! Ridiculous to leave things in the way I do when it doesn't take long to finish things!

If you have followed me for a bit you know I am making the quilt on the front cover of this book. The quilt in the book is a lap sized quilt but I am making mine to fit my king sized bed, nothing if not ambitious!

These hexis represent a quarter of the quilt excluding borders (please excuse Molly, she couldn't help but get in on the scene) 

I'm going to quilt this quilt 'as you go' because I want to hand quilt it and I couldn't manage handling the whole quilt to hand quilt it.

Hand quilting!

The cut out borders!

My bit of paper telling me how long the borders needed to be and where they are going!

One border with its' bias binding 'stalk' to be appliqued on!

This is going to be a long project, I started it in 2012 sometime but haven't spent any concentrated effort on it. One of my life ambitions is to show a quilt so I've decided I want to enter it into the Uttoxeter quilt show in 2015 so I've now got a time scale. Wish me luck! and remind me I need to keep going with it and not leave it to rot in a cupboard!

Monday, 20 January 2014

OPAM 2014

In the spirit of this post I am going to join this year's 'One Project a Month' with Peg at www.happyinquilting.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/its-timeopam-2014.html.

It's scary how many projects, knitting, cross stitch and quilting I have got on the go. There is a lot of time and money invested in these projects, it is time to gain control! - lol!

January's finish has to be my Grandson's curtains & quilt!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

It could be a big week!

It could be a big week this week, as DD's baby is due on Tuesday! She is certainly more than ready, she is tired and her arthritis is giving her a bit of gip (pain). We are all so excited now! But we will just have to wait & see, babies will be born when they are ready, not when we what them!

Today my friend, J & I have been to the Nantwich quilt fabric sale. This is a fabric sale that is held once a year at the Civic Hall. It is quite a popular sale, although the last couple of years haven't been as good (last year was particularly bad because the weather was so bad some of the traders couldn't get there!). This year was much better and really busy! Next year the show moves to Sandbach High School and will be held on 25th January for anyone is fairly local to me.

The green fabric is to make bias (more later in the week), the advent panel & gingerbread man fabric is for my Grandson for next Christmas. The Christmas panel in the right hand corner was from my LQS (Sew Simple at Lady Hayes in Frodsham), I bought it yesterday half price and I bought the group of fabrics in the right hand corner today, to go with it. The 2 charm packs I've wanted for a while and the fabric bundle (just because!) is Moda Luna Notte - 5 half metre cuts working out at £3.50 per half metre - a bargain in this country! 

We had a nice day! The weather was kind, dry and sunny! It was nice to potter about without any pressure.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Being Challenged!

Walking in the Lake District

As you know occasionally I get out for a walk, either on my own with the dog or with 'Oh! Bearded One and the dog. I don't get out enough, basically because I'm too lazy!, especially now I am not working. I have no excuse now!

I have read Lyndsay's recent post on walking a 1000 miles in a year which struck a real cord with me. This stems from a challenge set out in 'Country Walking' a UK walking magazine. 

Now I don't think for a minute I will manage 1000 miles so I am going to challenge myself to walk in excess of 250 miles, which is about 240 miles more than I walked last year!

Anyone else going to have a go? Remember walking is gentle exercise, if you want to lose weight it helps, if you live in the UK you get much needed light!, fresh air and it is free!

FAL 2014

This year I am trying to join in with things going on in the blogging community that aren't going to cost me money on postage or items for swaps because now I'm not working I can't afford that type of expenditure but I still really want to interact with other bloggy quilters. Also when I was working I just didn't have the time to commit to things such as this, I would fine I would run out of time but now I have the time. So one of the things I'm joining in with is Littlest Thistles' Finish Along.

I've got 4 things I would like to finish

I want this finished by the end of January so I can use it for Valentine's Day.

This table runner won't take much finishing.

This waistcosat has been on the needles for ages, it would be good to get it finished

This quilt was started at least 3 years ago, probably longer so this is an incentive to get it at least to the flimsy stage.

I've also got my Grandson's quilt and curtains to make, which is this coming weeks' target.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

FNWF & a finish!

On Friday I took part in my first 'Friday Night with Friends'

I already started the blocks so I got them finished on Friday...

.....and got them made up into the flimsy. Hopefully I'll get the top ready for quilting in the coming week. I have already decided how I am going to quilt it.

Last night The Oh! Bearded One cooked tea. Now this is not unusual but we had lobster which is unusual as it is so expensive but Waitrose were selling frozen lobster at a reason price just before Christmas and he had a fancy for one. He did a good job, it was lovely!

Last night I finally finished the hand sewing on my Roman Holiday GMFG quilt top.

Today I got the borders on so it is officially a flimsy! 

I am really pleased with it but I feel I've lost a friend, I've been working on it so long, since 2009 and the flowers are well travelled as I worked on them on quite a few holidays including one in France.

I was going to hand quilt it but now it is finished and I've seen the size of it I can't face it so I will send to Jude to have it done when I can afford it.

Now I can officially start the next GMFG!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Friday Night Sew In # 2

I've decided what I am going to work on tonight.

This afternoon I've had a tidy around in my sewing room so I'm all set!

Over Christmas I decided I wanted to make some seasonal quilts to go over the back of my conservatory sofa, so as Valentine's Day is coming and I had 2 Basic Gray 'Kissing Booth'  charm packs I have started a Valentines' themed quilt.

The pattern is out of this book

The pattern is called 'Use a napkin only for your mouth'.

This is where I am up to so far!

Friday night sew in with friends

This has been running for quite a while but whilst I was working I didn't feel I had the energy after a week's work to be bothered doing any real sewing on a Friday night but that has changed.


Tonight I am going to join in!

I haven't decided what I am going to work on yet!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Other things to show!

I have fallen in love with Moda's new '3 Sisters' line, Vin du Jour.

I knew that once I had finished my Roman Holiday (3 Sisters) Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt (see previous post) I wanted to make another one. I was going to use Paris Flea Market which is also a '3 Sisters' design (can you see a theme here) but I decided there wasn't enough colour contrast so when I saw Vin du Jour I decided it was perfect for what I want to do!
 I've made this table runner from the rest of the charm pack I'm not using for the main quilt

So far I have bought some FQs, a charm pack and a jelly roll. I've also ordered the border fabric as well (even though this is a long term project) as I wanted to make sure I get the choice I want. (This line is selling fast from the Fat Quarter shop in the US-see last post about buying fabric)

The Jelly roll is cut up into 2.5 inch squares to be made up into 'flowers' but with this quilt I'm going to make a medallion quilt.

I've chosen this block out of this magazine

I've got all the pieces cut out for the centre medallion and just need to finish prepping them so they can be hand sewn.

There will be 4 of these with a border round them, then there will be the Grandmother's Flower Garden bit! i am not allowing myself to start making the flowers for this quilt until the last row is on the 'Roman Holiday' quilt! Watch this space! I started the 'Roman Holiday' quilt in 2009 and it won't be finished for a good while yet so this one won't be finished until 2020 at least! 

This little quilt is a 2013 finish - civil war fabrics and the pattern was from 'The Civil War Sewing Circle' by Kathleen Tracy. It currently hangs in my sewing room.