Monday, January 31, 2011

Lakeside Farm Progress

In all the excitement of finishing the kindle cover and the quilt I almost forgot to post a cross stitch up date. You might remember way back at the beginning of the month, me telling you about this new project that I would be working on in JanuaryI have to confess with all the hand stitching going on round here this month, kindle pouch, doodle stitch a long and sewing the quilt binding, the cross stitch hasn't seen the light of day for the last couple of weeks.

Thankfully at the beginning of the month it did get worked on for a while so fair progress has been made.This is probably about quarter of the picture done. If I hadn't gotten distracted by the other stuff I probably would have been half way through by now, lol. Anyhow I'm really pleased with how it's coming along and I'm enjoying working with the autumnal colours.

This one is going to be put away through February though as the tigers are coming back out. I'm looking forward to working on them again. I think this rotation thing will work well for me and it'll stop any one of these cross stitch projects from feeling like a long slog.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Red and White - Part Eight, the finale

Everything is happening at once. All the projects that I've been working on this month just seem to be coming together at the same time. I guess it's serendipity. I'll be able to start a new month with some new ideas.

Speaking of serendipity I got the quilting finished on red and white bricks and stones and was thinking about doing a random binding made from the fabrics that had gone in the quilt. While I was hunting through a pile of junk in the sewing room trying to locate my tape measure I found the perfect fabric.If I remember rightly this the red and white polka dot was free with a magazine, I think it was for making a bag. The fabric is a bit thicker than the usual quilting cotton and it was a bit hard going as I like to finish the binding by hand.At one point the needle just slipped right across my finger and sliced right through the top which meant a bit of extra red got added to the back of the quilt ;) Still I worked through the pain, isn't it amazing how the smallest of cuts often inflict maximum hurt! I'm happy that I stuck with it because I think the fabric makes a great end to the quilt.Here it is finished (I'm having to apologize again because I can't get the photo loaded up the right way).I love how this turned out. Just as a reminder in case you hadn't seen the earlier posts, the pattern can be found here. It's a small quilt about 44 inch square so perfect for any rainbow challengers out there who might be reading.The quilting on this one is much more of a feature than I've done in the past. Usually I just quilt in the ditch, but I'm really happy with how this turned out, and although it's far from perfect having the walking foot on made things go a lot smoother.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Scraphappy Saturday - No More Blues

Last Saturday of the month so this will be the last of the blues I guess. Am feeling a little sad about that, was just beginning to get up some pace the month has run out, its true that time speeds up as you get older!

Never mind I'm pleased with what I did get done in the end. I'm happy to say the Kindle cover is finished, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. It's amazing what you can do with a few scraps of fabric that might otherwise have ended up in the rubbish pile.You might remember that this was the starting point, some random blue strips woven together, and just a little bit of work later and I ended up with this.I'm now going to be able to take my kindle out and about in my bag without fear of it getting damaged or scratched up.The hand stitching took a bit of time, but I think it was worth the effort. And thanks to Terri's brilliant instruction (see link in yesterday's post) the zip that I was worrying so much about went in nice and easily.And the kindle fits in just perfectly.
This has got finished just in time as I'm going away next weekend so my kindle will now be coming with me :)

If you have been reading my blog you may have seen my posting about the red and white quilt I'm working on, quite a few people mentioned that it would make a great quilt for the rainbow challenge and yes it really would, but somehow I just don't know what I'd do with 12 of them :) Anyhow my favourite part of the quilt is the chequer board block so I figured I'd make myself a few blocks each month and have a rainbow quilt just for myself at the end of the year. So here are the blue blocks.Now I'm off to do some blog hopping to see what everyone else has been doing in the rainbow challenge this week.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Still Got the blues

Hand stitching on my kindle cover continues. I am loving the fabric weaving technique and all the possibilities that it holds. Don't forget you can find all the inspiration for this over on Jude Hill's blog. As I was putting the basic block together it occurred to me that all the little squares of fabric were much like chapters in a book, each with it's own little story to tell, a piece of the puzzle. In my mind they have come to represent all of the chapters in all of the books out there that I've yet to read, some of which have yet to be written even.I thought that stitching some letters in to the chapters/fabrics would be really fitting. One side of the cover is going to be all like the above. The other has a little embellishment.

You know how sometimes you have wonderful treasures that you've held on to for years, just sat there or hidden away, out of sight maybe but not entirely forgotten, waiting to find the perfect home?This little kitty picture (sorry the photo is refusing to upload the right way!) was sent to me by the very talented Terri Stegmiller a few years back when we did a little swap of kitty fabrics. As Terri is also the designer of the kindle pouch pattern, I knew that at last I'd found the perfect project for him.

The covers of my pouch have now been finished, and I have also made one part of the lining for this I'm hoping to get the linings finished and the pouch sewn up today. Of course I'm raiding my blue scraps for the linings of my pouch.I've cut a piece of scrap muslin to size and am randomly laying out all the tiny odd shaped scraps I've kept on top, it's sort of like putting a puzzle together.Once I have my base fabric covered I'm using bondaweb to fuse the pieces in to place.Then on with the darning foot and I'm securing the pieces with some random looping meandering, nothing too fancy or neat as this will be the inside.I'm excited to have this almost done. I'm a bit nervous about the finishing though as this has a zip fastening and I've never put in a zip before.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dreams of Adventure

We're hoping for a good year this year, and I've been shopping the sales this January. Not for clothes, or furniture, or any of the usual stuff. Instead I've been seeking out some bargain deals which will take us away to explore new places both in this country and further afield.

So far we have weekends away booked for February, March, April and August. A week away in June and plans for two weeks in November. Some of the accommodation is bargain basement, no frills and certainly no luxury but who cares, it's just somewhere to sleep at the end of the day and I'm willing to have the basics if it means we can get away more.

The picture is of a cute leather money box, which I also found in the sales, this has now replaced orange kitty as the home for all our loose change ... which every now and then finds it's way in to the holiday account at the bank. It's surprising how quickly it adds up.

Are you planning any exciting trips this year?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doodle Stitch A Long Week Two and Three

Here are a couple of quick snaps of my complete coaster for last weeks Doodle Stitch A longWhile I was stitching this one I have to confess that I didn't really enjoy it half as much at the first week. Not really sure why. The design is cute but I think it didn't appeal to me as much as the first week. Also I was in a bit of a hurry when I transferred the design and I think sometime when you know you could have done something a bit better than you did you just see the imperfections.Actually know its all done I'm a lot happier with it than I thought I would be. I think I'm going to have a fun set of coasters at the end of this.This week there are two design patterns I've had to play around a little to get them to fit in to the frame of my coasters but here they are just waiting to be stitched.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Weekend in Plymouth - Part Three

This is the last installment from our Plymouth weekend. On the Sunday morning we spent a happy few hours wandering round the Aquarium. Not many words to say for this post, just a few of my favourite pictures from the visit.Colourful fish Swirling in the tank
Ramsey the Octopus
Dave and the Shark

It's not often that I actually like any pictures of me, but I love this one of me and the Jellyfish

Spider Crab

Lobster, isn't he/she such pretty colours?

We had such a lovely weekend in Plymouth, but hardly scratched the surface of what's to see and do so hope to go back soon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Red and White - Part Seven

As hoped I did managed to get in some stitching time over the weekend. I've been working on a tonne of different things though, flitting from one thing to another and not managing to actually get anything completed, lol. But here is a little progress report on Red and White.

To try and combat the usual problems I encounter when quilting with puckers appearing on the back I decided I would take my time in the basting process this time. I laid everything out carefully and as tautly as possible. I turned my back for a couple of seconds and look what happened .........little paw depressions all across my nicely laid out fabric. Thankfully not dirty paw marks or someone would have really been in trouble!!With a little help from my kitty friends (or should that read in spite of my kitty friends) I did manage to get the layers together and under the machine. I have had my sewing machine for coming up to 5 years now and I have never used the walking foot that came with it.I'm hoping that this will also help with some of the puckering issues. Only time will tell, but the first quilting lines are in and all is well so far.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Weekend in Plymouth - Part Two

Well it's been a few days so it's about time for the second installment of our time in Plymouth last weekend (can't believe it's been a whole week already!). There will be just one more post after this one. Although we spent about three hours wandering Dartmoor, because we were unable to complete the planned walk we had plenty of time left on Saturday to get in to Plymouth itself and do a bit of exploring.We had a quick wander round the town centre and then took a wander up to Plymouth Hoe. There are plenty of statues, monuments and things of interest to see on the Hoe.We had a lovely little wander, but we were in danger of being blown away. There was definitely a sea gale rather than sea breeze going on that day. Take a look at the state of us ...... it's pretty hard to tell which bits of hair belong to who, lol. Anyway after the cobwebs had all been blown out it was time to retire to the hotel ...... have a fabulous dinner ........ and after all the sea air and a glass of wine or two I had the best nights sleep I'd had in ages :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Scraphappy Saturday hand stitching

It's been a bit of a whirlwind of a week. Do you ever have those? One minute it's Monday and the next time you wake up Friday is already here and you haven't done anything much? Well that's what this week has felt like to me. Consequently things haven't moved on a great deal on my kindle holder for the Rainbow Scrap challenge.I managed to gather up a whole array of blue embroidery threads, these ones are all left overs from previous projects. And have been hand stitching this week.I had hoped to have more progress to show you as I know there is only one week of January left to get the project complete. Help! No seriously, I have a clearer week this week and hopefully plenty of free time for stitching this weekend so hopefully I'll have something finished to show by the end of the month. I'm already starting to wonder what February's colour will be, lol :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Doodle Stitch A Long Week Two

Wow its Friday again already and I just realised that I haven't spoken about this last weeks stitch along, the next pattern is due to arrive on the blog at some point today too so I'm going to be behind if I don't get a move on.Here is my hastily snapped photo of the pattern that I transferred on to my coaster earlier this week. As you can see the stitching has begun but I have some way to go yet.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Red and White - Part Six

The back is pieced.Sorry about the picture, there hasn't been too much opportunity for me to photograph in daylight being at work, and its not really as creased as it looks, I just didn't lay it out very well.

Anyhow you get the idea and as you can see I've just gone for something really simple. I gathered up some of the offcuts of red fabrics left from cutting the pieces for the front, matched up strips in 3 different widths and then just pieced them together in 3 long strips.

Next it's the bit I don't enjoy so much, basting the layers and quilting. I can never seem to get things quite right and always end up with a few puckers on the back, but hey I've only so far completed 3 quilts in my life and practise makes perfect so I'll just keep going and hopefully one day I'll get better :)

For any rainbow challengers reading this, don't worry I still have plenty more red scraps left for use in future months :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Weekend in Plymouth - Part One

Finally managed to get some time to get weekend photos off the camera and on to the computer. As there are quite a few pictures that I want to share and I don't like to spend a lot of time at the computer in the evening after a day of computer at work I think I'll end up with two or three posts to share.Anyway we had an absolutely lovely weekend away, and are hoping to go back again later in the year as we didn't really have time to explore properly. On Saturday we stopped at a place on the edge of Dartmoor called Ivybridge, as we had picked out a walking route to do.After driving through rain to reach Devon, we were lucky and is disappeared and we were left with fabulous views of wonderful rugged, wild, desolate moorland.It was a bit cold, but not uncomfortably so, and we set off up the first hill of the walk on to the fabulous moorland. Sadly it wasn't meant to be for us this time round....................... here we are pouting over the fact that we couldn't complete the walk. We got to the top of the hill and were greeted with total white out. We sat at the top of the hill for a while in the hopes that the cloud would pass but it just kept getting denser. As we were about to walk across open moorland with no landmarks in sight to even take a compass bearing we decided to be safe and make our way back down again.Rather than give up entirely we decided to stick to some low level below-the-mist-bank walking and struck out on the moor in a slightly different direction.We stumbled across this rather macabre sheep's head - maybe this poor little fellow got caught in a white out too. We may not have done the walk that we had hoped for but nonetheless we had a wonderful time on the moor and will definitely try again soon.Morris the Moose enjoyed his time trekking the moor too :)