Saturday, 6 July 2013

Race for Life

There's not long to go now until Tuesday 9th July. Although my preparation has been hampered by injury I am determined to compete and complete! Any sponsorship donations will be gratefully received - please go to Angela's Sponsor Page.

Group image

Thursday, 4 July 2013

I'm Behind

I'm behind at posting on my blog and I'm behind at reading other blogs so I thought I'd do something about it this evening.
Something else I've been behind at is walking, I hurt my leg a couple of weeks ago when I was out walking and on my way home my leg was hurting so much I had to ring Neil to come and fetch me. My leg was very red, swollen and extremely painful. I saw the doc and although he couldn't find a bite mark he was certain I'd been bitten and reacted to it. He prescribed some antibiotics, told me to take the rest of the week off work 
(this was on a Thursday) keep the leg up, and I could go back to work on the Monday. Anyway I didn't take time off work but I did try and keep the leg up as much as possible and rest and take the antibiotics which made me feel even worse. But by the Monday it really wasn't that much better, it wasn't quite as red or swollen but it was still very painful. So I went back to see the doctor as the antibiotics obviously weren't doing any good. It turned out that I'd got a shin splint, this is when the muscle comes away from the bone and when it was red and swollen it was actually bleeding internally.Thankfully it is much better now which is a really good thing as next Tuesday I'm doing the Race for Life. I'm slowly getting back into my walking routine but I haven't been to Zumba for over two weeks, I think I'll give that a little bit more time.

I have finished Freddie's jumper. 

I've started a sleeveless tunic for Eva in pretty delicate colours, she is our little dolly unlike Ellie.

Granny squares have been on the go again. I'm teaching them next month and two methods of  joining them.

I couldn't resist making a mariners compass block. Pam is teaching this next month and It's been something I wanted to make for a long time so I thought I'd make another sample for the class. I was going to make just the one block and turn it into a cushion cover but I like it so much that I'm going to make another two and turn them into a table runner.

Wednesday was the last meeting of Spectrum before the summer break. I have to say it was a lovely meeting and Gina made the most gorgeous chocolate cake, thank you Gina. We had to take our finished round robin pieces with us. I was the last person to work on this piece but there really wasn't anything left to do except mount it. I had two attempts at mounting it, the first time I stitched it all the way around after carefully measuring and levelling it up. Guess what, it had moved whilst I was stitching so it had to be unpicked and done again. It is now just stitched at the four corners..

Gina has given us some homework for the summer, we are going to do another round robin as we all enjoyed the first one so much. The theme is festivals/ summer, so something else to start at least I don't have to worry about finishing it.

The weather looks promising for the weekend so I hope you all get a chance to enjoy it whatever you may be doing.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Finished and Started

Ellie's cardigan is finished. It's very girly - not at all like her, Neil said I should have made her a combat jacket.

I've started a jumper for Freddie, this is the back and it is now finished and I've started the front.

I had an afternoon in my sewing room yesterday and made these hanging hearts. I gave one to a friend today as part of a birthday present.

I'm getting on okay with stitching this fabric. I've been trying out different ways of embroidering the cow parsley; there's one I really like and some I don't but that's what it's all about and why it's necessary to make samples before doing the real thing.

We have had a lot of requests at work for a class on how to make granny squares so I'm going to be teaching this. I wanted to make another blanket and this will give me the perfect excuse to start one.

While I was washing up yesterday I looked out of the window and saw this little fella. They visit us every year but this was their first appearance in our road, I have seen them out and about elsewhere. I've also seen and heard the spotted woodpecker a lot this year, including this morning.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Early Mornings

This is why I love getting up at 5.30am.

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Catch Up

Over the Bank Holiday weekend Neil and I visited Wicken Fen. Neither of us could understand why we hadn't been before as it's not really that far away. We had a lovely time - the weather was gorgeous the dragonflies were out and in the middle of this picture you can just make out the Red Arrows. You may need to click on it too make it large enough to see them.

We had a wander around the cottage. It's hard to believe that it was lived in up until 1975, although I can remember as a child visiting people in houses like this. I thought  the quilt was very pretty and the only bit of colour in the room.

I have been working on my Markal stick design for Spectrum. I've done half a dozen designs on paper and decided it was time to commit to fabric. Here it is in progress.

This is it finished, now I just have to be patient (not something I'm good at) and wait for it to dry. Then I can get on with the fun bit, some stitching.

There has been some baking and I was going to show you some Millionaires Shortbread but blogger seems to have eaten the picture. 
All I have left to do on Ellie's cardigan is the two sleeves so hopefully that will be finished soon.

I hope you have a good weekend and get a chance to enjoy the nice weather we have been promised.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Getting On

Yesterday was the worst day ever - everything I did or touched went wrong from the minute I got up to the minute I went to bed.

I've finished the scarf I was knitting so I started a cardigan for Ellie. I sat down to do a few rows yesterday evening, I'd done four and then realised that one of them was wrong and had to undo three. I wasn't happy.

I've added the centres to these flowers and even making something as simple as a suffolk puff went wrong yesterday. But at least it's done ready for the next Spectrum meeting and I will have managed to stay out of trouble again.

Yesterday I managed to do some work on my Markel samples. I photocopied the page so I can work on it as much as I like without ruining my original. A couple of months ago at Spectrum Gina did a mini workshop on collages which I didn't wholly embrace at the time but thought this would be the ideal opportunity to give it a go. I'm not entirely happy with the work so far but I have more copies and I plan to go out with my camera tomorrow morning looking for more inspiration.

This Australian magazine (along with others) arrived at work yesterday and I just had to have a copy. I'm so glad I did because when I had a proper look through it there is a great article on screen printing and the lady had used poppies as an image.

Something else that caught my eye was this picture of an art quilt, it fits in perfectly with our theme of black and white for Spectrum.

I have been baking, these coconut tartlets were lovely however the brownies I made yesterday morning, well all I can say is that if you threw them at someone they would have had a black eye. Hopefully today will be much better.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Keeping Busy

I've had a very busy week. At last I have managed to finish the shawl. Silly as it sounds but even though I only had two rows left to do it was finding the time to do them. There was over 700 stitches on the needle and it took about 45 minutes to do a row and it's not one of the nicest things to leave mid row. Anyway I decided Sunday was the day to finish. So when I sat down to watch the F1 I just got on with it.

I'm very pleased with it and I've decided to give it to Steph. I'm not as keen on the colour as I was when it was in a ball. It looked different then.

I also finished this scarf and I'm now half way through another one.

Last Wednesday was the monthly meeting of Spectrum and again I managed to stay out of trouble although I was told I needed a tutorial.  Gina gave us a demo using Markel sticks, this is something we had to do for our City and Guilds but it's always good to have a play and we all enjoyed it. This is my piece of paper that I worked on and I am going to develop it some more. I did do some work on fabric but I didn't like it so it went in the bin.

We are continuing with our round robin. I passed the piece I was working on, to Sue and Caterina passed this piece onto me. 

Isn't it a fabulous piece, I'm really struggling to work out what do with it. The only thing I can come up with is to decorate the flower centres............... in red.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Expo Veldhoven 2013

Neil and I have had a few days away in Eindhoven in Holland. We went for Expo Veldhoven 2013 and had a fabulous time. The weather was very warm and the hotel was great. I have to say I have never stayed in such a big hotel before. The food was good and the staff were polite and helpful.

This is the window in one of the restaurants it was huge, very impressive.

There was plenty of traders there but I didn't see anything new or that I didn't already have so I came away without buying anything, now that's never happened before Neil was in shock.

The bit I really went for was the exhibition and there were some great quilts on show.

I couldn't come away without a picture of a poppy.

Gill if you're reading this one's for you.

I love the use of colour in this one.

Something for those who like the whimsical.

Simple but effective.

The picture doesn't do this art quilt justice. The maker had made a whole series of quilts in the collage method and they were all fabulous.

The hotel was set on the edge of a wood so I did manage to go for a walk. While out walking I stumbled upon a pond, there was no indication that it was there, no warning signs about being near water - you just walked into a half open space and there it was. The Dutch don't seem to be as mad about health and safety as we are.  So you can imagine my surprise when I also spotted the heron, I was lucky enough to get a picture of it.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Quick Catch up

If you remember back to Christmas last year I left everything to the last minute. I'm determined not to do that this time - so much so that I have started pressie shopping already and now I'm making my first pressie. I can blog about it safely because the person it's for never looks at my blog. It's a scarf in the feather and fan pattern, it does look very small in this picture. I can remember making myself a jumper in this pattern many many years ago. I used a fluffy yellow yarn then, I'd quite like another one but not in yellow or fluffy wool.

Beleive it or not I had a request last week for some of my Millionaire's Shortbread ! How could I refuse. So I made some and Neil delivered it for as I ran out of time. I've had a message back to say it was enjoyed very much.

There has been some other baking going on in the kitchen the usual muffins and cakes and there was a try- out of a new recipe that went in the bin. The recipe that is not the cakes, they were edible and apparently very nice. It was a recipe for blueberry muffins. The recipe stated that it made 12 muffins but they were obviously for 12  people on a diet.

We have had some gorgeous weather today. I went for a walk this afternoon and I had a real spring in my step, it's amazing how much better you can feel  with a bit of sunshine on your face. Today was also Dad's last session of radiotherapy so I was glad for him that he walked out of the hospital into sunshine and not another grey day. I'm sure it helped him feel more positive. Here's to more days like this.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

I've Done It

Remember this? It's my piece of fabric for the round robin we are doing in Spectrum. It was such a small piece of fabric that I felt it needed to be made bigger. It took some courage to actually take the rotary cutter to it and cut up someone else's work.

But I finally managed it. I'm still tempted to add some stitching to it but I'm going to leave that to the next person.

I have been doing quite a bit of baking lately, these are Hazelnut Praline muffins that I made for the social stitchers yesterday.

For Neil's birthday I made some Millionaires' Shortbread but I wasn't happy with it. I found another recipe and made some so that we can have a taste test today, so fingers crossed.

I'm still walking in the mornings and who wouldn't when they are as beautiful as they have been. Don't the swans look graceful.

There is one nesting swan.

I finally managed to get a photo of the heron. He's just there in the middle of the picture.