Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Almost There

Oh yes, I could cry, I am almost at the end of finishing the top of Gypsy Wife.  Then what do I do?  It feels like I have done nothing else for months, and of course I have done very little and am desperate to move on.  First, you get to see exactly where I am up to.

Sections one to five in all their glory, what do you think?  One, two, and three are stitched together but I need to get six and seven finished before I can join them all.  Sections eight, nine, and ten are already done, they form the left third of the quilt and I did them first, except, I am not sure of one of the blocks, it's a big one, I am waiting until I finish this main part before I decide if I should take it out and replace it or if it sits with the rest when I see them all together.  One thing I have learned in the years that I have been quilting is if I'm not sure of something it's best if I fix it, if not it will always niggle at me like a festering sore.

Now I'm thinking what next, well I have got a couple of things planned, but I can't share them, not even a hint, well, one is a bit of a swap, but that's all I'm saying, they are top secret.  I do have a bee block to make though, I did mean to get it done and posted way before Christmas but I have decided to post it after in case it gets caught up in the Christmas post.

There are a couple of things I want to put to bed though, the first one is

Circles, I stopped quilting it when I ran out of thread, I did manage to get some more but Gypsy had came into my life and Circles got pushed to the side.  All I need to do is finish the quilting, bind it, and add a label.

I would also like to get back to

these blocks from the book 100 Modern Blocks by Tula Pink.  They began as just something to do at my monthly class but I'm finding it a bit too much to carry my machine, even though I have a bag on wheels I still have to lift it in and out of the car and the weight is too much for my shoulder.  They are nice quick and easy blocks and I enjoy making them.

Now, I need your help and advice.  My stepdaughter is getting married in February and instead of a guest book she wants an autograph quilt, that's where I come in.  What I need is a nice pattern, that's where you come in.   I'm confident someone will know the exact thing I am looking for.  I want something nice (duh! obviously), I don't just want squares, more of a pattern, but not too complicated.  Anyone have any ideas?  I had a look on Pinterest but I didn't see anything that caught my eye.  I don't know how many people will be signing yet, I must ask Tina for an idea of numbers.  This may not be the only autograph quilt I will be making this year, my son proposed to his beautiful fiancee a couple of weeks ago and they have set the date for May, so two weddings in three months, exciting or what!

It's a short post this week, lot's going on, it's that time of year, and my car broke down, sad.  It's fixed now but my Hubby missed our work Christmas meal out because of it.  My car is always reliable, it never breaks down, it just happened to take poorly when he drove it.  I would love to go down to one car but the oldies are a good 40 minute drive away and it takes me two hours on the bus, it's not practical.  We did try once but trying to get the car one day a week from hubby was nigh on impossible.  The good thing is I have lots of independence and can visit the quilt shop as often as I want without anyone realising how  much I actually spend, so there are benefits.

Yes I'm rambling again, guilty as charged.  I'll post again next week when I should have a pic of the finished Gypsy for you and we can all give a sigh of relief.

Until then,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
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Friday, 8 December 2017

Nearing the End

I'm nearing the end of a couple of things this week, Gypsy and my temper.  Oh yes I do have a temper but most of the time I keep it well under control with just the odd flash of anger, but this week I feel my patience has been sorely tried.

First, the last of the Gypsy blocks,

Square in a Square in a Square.  I used the Bloc Loc chart as always and I stitch from the back so I can see my points, well most of the time, looks like I just caught these ones, but not bad enough so I can't live with them.

I have most of Gypsy together now, only sections five and six to go.  Want another peak?

The bottom of section one and the top of section two.  The longest time has been in choosing the strips, AGAIN.  Section seven drove me nuts with the partial seams, I worked it out It took me about eight hours just on that section.  Yes I am telling the truth, I keep telling you how slow I am and yes I did use the sewing machine.  One of the problems is by making all the blocks first and using a limited number of fabrics I found some of the blocks just didn't sit right together and I ended up changing the borders of some and replacing others with new blocks.  I think Jen Kingwell would think me a bit picky but if I don't do it it will spoil the finished quilt for me, that much I have learned.

You may just want to skip this next bit because it's not about quilting it's me just venting off.

I had a problem with a delivery this week, my big sack of dog food for Ella who has some food allergies, I have it on subscribe and save from Amazon and the notification came it was to be delivered on Monday.

Monday  no delivery but a notification it had failed, it said a card had been left.  Strange because I had been in all day waiting and no card had been put through the door.  Contacted customer services, it seems to have moved since the last time I contacted them ages ago, it used to be in Ireland and they were wonderful, second to none.  This person was obviously abroad but had a good command of English, he said it wouldn't come until Wednesday, I was concerned, I couldn't wait that long.  No problem they would send another for next day delivery and just refuse delivery of the first one when it came.  He would even ring me the next day to confirm it had arrived in fact he even said they would refund me my money, I didn't expect that but never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Tuesday No delivery and no phone call, I contacted them again, what was going on?  I received an apology, it would be delivered the next day.  Then I received a second call, at midnight, no, sorry, I exaggerate, it was actually 11.58pm.  My mother is ill you can imagine my reaction to a call that woke me up, it took ages to get back to sleep.

Wednesday contacted customer services and complained, received an email of apologies and excuses.  The good news was I also received the replacement order, Ella was very grateful.  It was over.

Thursday  I received a notification that my original order had now been delivered and handed over to a receptionist.  WHAT??? I live in an ordinary house on an estate, there is certainly no reception or receptionist.  Contacted customer services, a bad line and he obviously didn't understand my concerns, AND he said I wasn't getting a refund, which I hadn't asked for in the first place.  I requested to speak to someone else and eventually I spoke to a lady, she sounded somewhere very noisy and kept leaving long pauses is the conversation as if there was something else going on.  She just wasn't interested in what I was saying, and when I left a pause ended it by saying thank you for shopping with Amazon we hope to see you again soon.  I think not.  I cancelled all my subscribe and save orders and deleted everything from my basket and shopping list.  I want someone to listen to my problem, understand what it is, deal with it and do what they say they will.  At least that was the end of it all, I needed a glass of wine to calm down.

Friday, oh no it wasn't finished yet.  The doorbell rang, my second Amazon delivery had been returned to the delivery company from wherever they had delivered it to.  I stood there amazed while he apologised it had no packaging, the box had disintegrated???   Or maybe the receptionist or someone had checked the contents before returning it but didn't have a dog, I don't know, it just makes me think in all different directions.  I refused delivery.  I have emailed Amazon customer services and told them, not that they will be very interested, as long as I give them a good rating on their surveys they are happy.  Apparently I will get a response in six hours, I don't want one, the whole experience has been upsetting and distressing, I just never want to go through anything like this again.

Bet you wish you had skipped it now, oh, you did, well anyway, want to see my hand project?

Well it was going to be a hand project but now it's going to be a half in half, I think.  I have Jen Kingwell's book Quilt Lovely and I have drooled over this quilt

Sorry the pic isn't great, I can't get rid of the colour cast, but you get my drift, it's lovely.  It has got Y seams though, that's why I was going to make it by hand.  Changed my mind after the first one!  Then I decided I would do it half in half, so I cut out the pieces and machined together what I could for the first few blocks, here is where I am up to.

Don't ask me what's happening to my pics, rubbish, Sorry about that.  Here are the first blocks waiting for the background bits with the Y seams, only I forgot to stop stitching at a quarter inch before the Y point.  I'm great friends with my unpicker.  I'm not sure when I will get back to these, they were meant as a long term project I could take to my monthly class so I don't have to carry a sewing machine so don't hold your breath on seeing them any time soon.

You know what, you wait all week for a post and when it comes, rubbish!  Well we all can't be sweetness and light all the time.

Until next time
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
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Friday, 1 December 2017

Good intentions

Well all my good intentions of getting back to posting on Wednesdays I am back to Friday.  So, what happened to make me late?  I don't have an answer to that one, except I haven't much to share and the insanity that is Gypsy is still very much in evidence.  I love Gypsy and it's still my dream quilt, but I would like to get my life back.  Sometimes I have been tempted to shelve it and do some other stuff, like the Christmas projects which will not get done this year, but if I stop I don't know if I will ever get started again.

I have such a messy workspace, it's not my fault, honest, well, not all my fault anyway, I'm blaming Gypsy, there are just so many fabrics I can't put away.  Like the too many commas in this paragraph hehe!  Want to see what I mean?  Not the commas you can see that anyway, the workspace.

That's what I mean, and that's the bit I can show you.  I think it would be so much easier if I was using different strips to those I am using in the quilt, I'm trying not to put a strip next to a block of the same fabric or colour and it is so hard.  I have spent hours and hours just choosing the strips and then I get so far and need to change them it's driving me gaga.   Yes you do get a glimpse of Gypsy, sections 8, 9, and ten are finished and stitched together, about a third of the quilt I would say.  I have also finished section two and section one just has the left side to finish, it should have been done yesterday but for the strip carry on.  On one or two of the blocks I even ended up changing the border as it was easier than finding another strip.   Want to see where I actually do the business?

My sewing table, yes it's just as bad, strips, fabric, worksheets, and the far end is my cutting area too. My bin on the floor is starting to overflow and I can't even show you my lovely new trolly as the bottom shelf is full of scraps to be sorted, I don't know where I will put them, my scrap boxes are crammed full already.

These are this weeks blocks, week 18 Square in a square with Courthouse steps.  There is only one block next week, the very last one, then you get to see the quilt in construction properly and by Christmas the top will be finished and will be revealed in all it's glory.  If I ever get the strips sorted that is.

I was in the lovely town of Harrogate for the Knitting and Stitching show on Saturday with my friend the lovely Jan, we had a great time.  I do think the show is going back though, although there was some lovely quilting stands there were fewer than usual and there appeared to be more of the cheaper retailers in evidence.  It is a craft show though so it's not all quilting, in the ten or more years I have been going there have been many changes.  At one time it was full of cross stitch retailers but there was only a couple this year, and then every other stand seemed to sell stuff for card making and that has now all but disappeared.  Even knitting seems to have shrunk a lot, and in my opinion stands selling handbags which are manufactured don't come into the category of knitting and stitching.  The Bernina stand seemed to be doing a good trade though, no I wasn't shopping for another machine all I wanted was some more bobbins for Baby, there isn't a retailer nearby and online I noticed they seem to sell for more than the RRP so I decided to wait because by the time I added postage it was ridiculous.

The first thing we did on arrival was to go to Betty's Tearooms for brunch.  I don't know about you but I always think the food available at shows is overpriced and poor so we always eat before we go in and it was almost lunchtime when we got there.

This will give you an idea of what it is like, this is the ground floor tea room, we were seated on the lower floor and there is another one for snacks too.

This is how the staff are dressed, it's like stepping back into another world.  The staff are so wonderful too, nothing is too much trouble, no wonder is has such a good reputation and it is always busy.

I always have kedgeree with a poached egg, if you haven't had it before it's sort of like risotto, it has smoked haddock, almonds and sultanas in and has a slight curry flavour, it is also very delicious.

A tray of earl grey tea made with tea leaves, you can just see Jan tucking into her scrambled eggs and bacon on a bagel.

Want to see a pic of me in Bettys?  I took my glasses off specially.

This is what I look like now, or at least last Saturday, I had my hair trimmed a bit yesterday but it's basically the same.

Talking about glasses I was at the hospital for a check on my eyes, they have healed well and I am going to have the other one done.  My distance vision in the first eye is almost perfect and when I get the second one done I can throw the distance glasses away, I only ever used them for driving before but I can't see properly without them with just one eye done.  I will still need a small prescription for close work and reading, I don't mind that a bit.  My world will brighten up even more when I get the second eye done as I still have a yellow cast looking through both eyes together, which I normally do.  I can't go around covering my left eye to see the bright and beautiful world now can I?

After Bettys I was so caught up in the show I forgot to take any more pics and there was no quilts on show anyway, shame.  I can show you some of what I bought though.

Embroidery needles as my local shop just sells multi size packs, a bear pattern so I can make a memory bear, the most beautiful ceramic magnetised pin tray, and a pair of Ernest Wright needlework  scissors, I have been after these for a while.  The scissors are handmade of Sheffield steel and the company has been going for over a hundred years.  They do a repair and sharpening service too, it says on their website the oldest scissors the had back for repair were eighty years old, how about that!  I particularly wanted a pair this size, I have smaller ones and bigger ones but for some jobs they are either too big or too small, these are perfect to fill the gap.  Let's hope I don't misplace them, I'm one pair short just now, I do hope I find them faster than the last time.

I also bought a ceramic needle catcher too as there is never a pincushion when I need it, they are either across the room or I knocked it on the floor, and it's handy for when I'm sitting hand stitching too, it beats playing hunt the needle in case one of the girls gets it in their foot, I found Indi chewing a flowerhead pin once, if there is anything dropped Indi will always find it.  I did get some other stuff, a Gypsy Gripper for my ruler which I haven't tried yet but they always seem to have good reviews, wool batts and needles for needle felted animals, but that's for next year, Jan is going to teach me she has made the most beautiful little hare and I have a love of hares.

Well I didn't have much sewing to show you but I do seemed to have rattled on a fair bit.  I was going to show you a bit more of the book from last week but I'll keep it for another day.

Until then,
With smiles from,
Kate x

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

I have to show you this.......

What a week this has been, I was determined to get back to posting on my usual day of Wednesday, however, the force that has taken over my life this last couple of months is not through with me yet, and Gypsy took over again.  Thats not what I want to show you though........

First let's get Gypsy out of the way with this weeks blocks for the Gnome Angel sew along.

Square in a Square Bordered, only the five blocks this week after last weeks marathon 35.  I'm not so sure of the one that's top left with the double border but I will see how it looks as I'm putting it together.

That's not what I've been sewing this week though,

This is your sneak peak, section 9 which is actually finished.  You can see the edge of section eight which is not quite complete and section ten is about three quarters finished, but I will show you another day.

If you have been reading here for a while you may remember that I lost my dear mother in law Edna just over a year ago, recently her husband Jack gave me her cookery book.  I had never seen it before, it was given to Edna as a young bride by her mother in law who in turn received it second hand from someone else.

 I think it is about mid 1930's, it's a bit tatty and has what looks like paint on the front, but I will treasure it anyway because of the family history and pass it down to Emily's Mum Tina who is Edna's granddaughter.

It appears to be available second hand if anyone is interested enough to want a copy, they are not expensive, only around five pounds in the UK, mine won't be worth as much as that because there are several pages missing at the beginning, but that doesn't matter to me.

There are lots of recipes inside but today I want to share with you a section at the back.

Oh yes, this book was aimed at the new bride, so you think that's why the new mother in law Sarah gave it to Edna?  I believe their relationship was rather fraught in the early days, Edna was from Kent in the temperate southeast of the UK and came up to the cold north east, no airs and graces here, we call a spade a shovel.  For Edna with her strong southern accent it was a different world, no one could understand her very well and the northeastern dialect was like a foreign language to her.  Still, she never went back to live in Kent and towards the end of Sarah's life it was Edna she lived with and who took care of her.  Edna had no daughters but I believe she was happy with me as her daughter in law, I hope so.

What miners wife Sarah thought of this book I don't know, a salad plate?  Salad went on the same plate as the stew and Sunday dinner, why would you want a plate just for salad?

Hehe!   Oh la di dah, only the gentry had maids, I bet they had a good laugh at this one.  The only bells were at the church and the school, working folk didn't even have a new fangled telephone in those days and who had a drawing room?  One room served as kitchen and living room for most folk, and for those with a big family it was a bedroom too.

I hope you enjoyed this, I haven't even explored the recipes yet, if I find anything good I'll make sure I share.

Yes I know this is supposed to be a quilting blog, and I admit I do tend to go off on a tangent at times, that's just me I'm afraid.  I do have one snippet to add about quilting though, Janice at Color Creating and Quilting has done a review on a new Craftsy class, it's Quilting the Grid by Christina Cameli.  Do pop across and read it, especially if you struggle with quilting or are looking for new ideas, it's a great review and appears to give a great flavour of what the class is about.  I think it sounds great, just what I need to improve my quilting while gaining confidence in my skills.  I do treat myself to a Craftsy class now and again, I have a few, what do you mean you can't tell by my quilting, who said that?  ANYway, this is the one I will be treating myself to at Christmas, I could buy it now but for me a Craftsy class is a treat for myself and it wouldn't be a treat if I just bought them willy nilly on a whim now would it?  Unless  there is a Black Friday offer on of course hehe!  I have to watch the pennies now I have officially 'retired'.

THERE IS I JUST CHECKED!!!  It is SUCH a good price, I don't think I have got one as low as that before.   Yes, I succumbed, oh the shame.   I WON'T be getting one at Christmas now of course, but I am only a month early, there again I could wait until Christmas to watch it, I said COULD, if Gary confiscated my laptop, tablet and phone and locked the door of his office that is.  Sigh..........  no patience.

Just a reminder, I may have included a link to the Craftsy class but I have no affiliates and get no renumeration for anything that I recommend, and neither does Janice which is why I'm happy to mention it.  Just saying.........

Until next time,
With similes from,
Kate x

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Friday, 17 November 2017

I made

something nice.  I'll tell you all about it later but first I want to show you

this weeks Gypsy Wife blocks.  Square in a Square Pinwheels, there are two of them using the tiny 2 1/2 inch pinwheels.  I like these blocks.

I have had little time to sew this week, sad :-(  But I did get into my sewing room for a bit yesterday to start

putting together section nine of Gypsy.  No I haven't done the previous eight, I'm starting with nine on the extreme left.  I was going to do one to five first but I need the longest strips and some double length strips at the sides and it just seemed easier to do the left side first.  As you can see I didn't get that much done but I cut the strips I need and sorted the blocks out.  I'm not sure about the small square in a square top left though, it's in one of the strips too so I may just make another one.  I'll decide when I start stitching it together, as you can see I haven't even pressed the strips yet.

These strips are pinned up on my design wall, they are for the right side of Gypsy.  Colourful enough for you?

I haven't had time to sew anything else this week but I did make

Fork biscuits.  This has to be one of the easiest recipes with the fewest ingredients ever.

8 ounces (250g) butter or margarine, whichever you prefer, at room temperature
4 ounces (125g) caster sugar, thats the fine one for baking, not the one you would use for icing or put in your coffee.
10 ounces (300g) self-raising flour.

Mix the sugar in with the butter with a wooden spoon, no need to cream it like making a cake, just enough to incorporate it will do.
Gradually mix in the flour and any flavourings.  You might need to use your hands to bring the dough together, it should be on the soft side but not sticky.

Take a walnut size piece of dough and roll it into a ball and place on a greased baking tin.  I use those nonstick liners so I don't need to bother.  You will get about 32 biscuits from the full recipe so you will need two trays but you can always just use half of it and make one tray of sixteen.  That's what I used to do but I soon learned it was easier to make the big batch, then I would have some left for the next day.

Dip a fork in cold water and squash them flat leaving fork marks.  It's a great recipe to make with kids.

Bake in the oven at 180degrees Celsius (Gas 4) for 15 - 20 minutes depending on how hot your oven is, until a pale golden colour, but it can be a bit hard to judge when they are chocolate.

I leave them on the tin for a few minutes when I take them out then put them on a cooling tray until cold.

Keep in an airtight tin.  I would tell you how long you can keep them for but they never last more than a day or two.

Add whatever flavourings you like they are so versatile.   I use:

Cinnamon, two teaspoons and I mix a little extra with caster sugar and sprinkle on the top when I take them out of the oven.  About 1-2 teaspoons sugar and a good quarter of cinnamon should do it.  I leave them on the tray for a few minutes and shake off the excess when i put them on the cooling tray.

Chocolate, replace an ounce of the flour with cocoa powder, or even better make it double chocolate and add about four ounces of chocolate chips.

Lemon or orange, add the finely grated zest of a large orange or two small lemons, or just some of each.  Orange with sultanas would be nice too.

How about adding some ginger instead of cinnamon?

What would you add to your biscuit mix?

Well if the thought of the easiest homemade biscuits in the world doesn't make you smile how about

this!  We took our youngest granddaughter out for a walk in the woods at the weekend.  Hubby is trying to get Emily interested in nature and is teaching her the names of trees, flowers and birds.  He asked her if she knew the name of one particular tree,  "Kevin" was the reply.  She has obviously inherited her Grandfathers sense of humour.

And that's all for today, not my usual post but I already told you I haven't been able to sew.  I do hope you will try the biscuits though, they are so easy for children to make and no rolling out or cutting either.  If you try them let me know what you think, and I would love you to let me know what flavourings you think up too.

Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

I learnt a new trick

Seeing as it is was the beginning of the month I decided to get my bee block commitments made and posted early so I can concentrate on getting my Gypsy top put together.

First up was my block for Paige from Quilted Blooms who is queen for Bee Inspired this month.  Do you know Paige?  When you see her work you will want to, she designed her chosen block, Planted Pines.

This is the mock up of the blocks and,

this is the quilt, isn't it lovely?  Paige sent us all enough fabric so we could make two blocks, I really enjoyed making these.

This is the new trick I learned, to make fast work of all those flying geese.

First I cut all the pieces for the flying geese and marked the centre line with a Hera marker and another line a half inch away to get bonus triangles.

Then I used painters tape to mark a straight line using my needle, forget about a seam this is directly in line with the needle, use your ruler and any markings on your machine to line it up.

Line up the marked line with the painters tape and stitch.  It's so fast, and you get a nice straight seam too.

I chain pieced them quick as a flash.

Then I guided them all through again and lined up the mark for the bonus triangles.

After pressing and trimming off the bonus blocks I fed them through again for the second side.

At this point of course I should show you a pile of flying geese and another of half square triangles but I got carried away with the momentum and I forgot, though I expect you know what a pile of finished flying geese looks like.

And here they are stitched together in the blocks.  I got a bit carried away and made an extra one, then I remembered I didn't have any more ground fabric so I sent it to Paige in two pieces for her to add the ground as well as the bonus half square triangles in case she wants to do a feature on the back of the quilt.  The background on the left is a linen look, a pale sort of creamy coloured fabric and the one in the middle is an Alison Glass fabric, none of them have photographed very well so you will have to take my word they look a lot better in real life.

Now this is where you say you already knew how to do this and how I must be one of the few quilters who don't use this trick.  I was just so impressed at how a piece of painters tape can make the job so fast and easy, and so much better than stitching on a drawn line, my stitching usually ends up wonky when I do that.

If you want to get the block tutorial you can find it on Paige's post.  I'm looking forward to seeing the finished quilt it will be a lovely autumn winter quilt I think.

I made another bee block too, my last block for Stash Bee 2017.  The tutorial was for a circle of geese block, wonderful, but it's paper pieced and very intricate, and I'm not what you could call a paper piecer, it would have taken me days to make and no guarantee i would have made a very good job, and I hate the thought of sending off a block which isn't made to a good standard.  Fortunately there was a link at the bottom for an alternative block as strictly speaking the circle of geese broke the rules, blocks are supposed to be doable in 1 1/2 hours.  I followed the link and found

This wonderful block, it's called Zig Zag Path at Piece N Quilt.  If you follow the link it takes you to the tutorial which has an illustration of two different quilts made from the block, one looks like it has an optical illusion.  I love this block, straightforward to make and very effective, the perfect bee block in my opinion.

Oh I haven't shown you my Gypsy blocks for this week,

Here they are, square in a square.  Yes it is a lot and no it's not all of them, there are sixteen here, Gypsy contains 35 and yes I have made them all.  They are mostly in two sizes with just a couple in odd sizes so I chain pieced them.   I cut centre squares and outer triangles from lots of different fabrics and just mixed them up.   I didn't follow the piecing instructions in the pattern I used the Bloc Loc chart instead, it gives cutting instructions so the block turns out with a bigger seam allowance which can be trimmed down to the exact fit, but as you can see I haven't trimmed mine yet.  You can find the free cutting chart here and you don't need to use a Bloc Loc ruler to use it either.

That's all I have to share with you this week, I'm having my kitchen painted next week so I don't know how much time I will get to sew, I will be camped out in the sitting room with my overactive girls Ella and Indi and I won't be able to leave them for a minute to nip to my sewing room, the last time Indi chewed a hole in one of my favourite cushions and no I still haven't got around to repairing it yet.  Still, last time the decorator was here I ended up camped out in my bedroom, so at least it's an improvement.

Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

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Friday, 3 November 2017

It's been........

one of those weeks where I feel as if I haven't done much but I have lots to show.  This is a change from the weeks I feel like I have accomplished so much but DON'T have much to show for it.  Do you ever feel like this?

Any how, I have been making Dog Gone Cute blocks for Karen at KAHolly who is making quilts for hurricane victims.  Karen is one of the nicest quilters I have ever met, and it is lovely to do something to help her so I made

this block.  If you haven't seen the blocks before they are designed by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts as part of a free quilt along.  There are six different dogs in all in two different sizes and you can find them on the introductory post.  If you are familiar with the blocks you may notice that this block, no 5, is slightly different.  Jennifer from Inquiring Quilter changed the ears on this dog when using it as a bee block, Lorna loved it and shared it on her blog last week and as I have two springer spaniels I just had to make it too.  Jennifer posted the details on how she made spaniel ears on this post if you are interested.

The second block isn't quite finished yet, I have a head cold, the first one in years, and have a touch of cantbebothereditis, but I should get it finished and in the post in the next couple of days.  This one is Ella, and the previous one is Indi, after my two.

Oh I haven't shown you this weeks Gypsy blocks have I?

An easy week this week, three hourglass blocks, and as I forgot to take a pic before I went on to the next stage you get to see them in all their glory, with one and two borders and bordered with square in a square.

Last week I forgot to show you pics of two snowman cushions Elspeth is making,

 Elspeth hasn't quite finished them yet but tells me how much she is enjoying making them by hand.  They are bonded appliqué as in the pattern but Elspeth did all the buttonhole stitches herself whereas I just used the sewing machine.  I must say the stitching is beautiful, so even.  The templates and tutorial is available free HERE if you missed it.

One thing my sewing room lacks is drawers, but after seeing a pic on Instagram from Anja at Anja Quilts I paid a visit to Ikea.  I ended up buying a similar one,

What do you think?  I meant for it to go under my sewing table but it's a little taller than I thought, or it could be that my table is a little lower, but anyway I love it, perfect for all the bits and pieces I use all the time and have to hunt for.  I could do with one or two containers to keep it tidier and I've just thrown everything in as you can see, but I can see where everything is at a glance and I love it.  So thank you Anja for the inspiration.

Finally, I got such a lovely surprise in the post from Helen at Midget Gem Quilts,

a lovely pouch with some goodies thrown in too.  You know the feeling of surprise and happiness when someone gives you something and it is totally unexpected?  Well it arrived today, just when I was feeling sorry for myself with this cold and it's cheered me right up.  I love the fabric Helen used for the pouch and the bright blue zip is perfect, I love it.  Thank you so much Helen, it is so very kind of you.

So, that's all for this week, although I haven't shown you the fabric I forgot to show you last week, hmmmmmm, I will show you next week, promise.  AND, if I remember that is, I will tell you about the book I was given which belonged to my mother in law Edna given to her by her mother in law Sarah, I couldn't believe what I was reading.

Until then,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Finished Or Not Friday
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