Thursday 27 October 2016

My week to date...

Not much sewing gone on this week, not that I can show you anyhow.  What with visitors and my sewing room in complete disarray, and I haven't told you about the heating problems yet, but guess what was delivered?

Oh yes, it is here at long last......

It does take up more room than I anticipated so I have positioned it at the side and the machine is under an LED ceiling light which is out of shot.  It has locking castors so I can pull it out easily if I want to walk around it.   See the black handle at the side?  If I turn it the table goes up or down so it will always be at the right hight for me wether I am sitting or standing.   Yes, the books are still in the corner with the (not to be used as) cake tins which contain my quilting pins and scraps as well as various bits and bobs just now.

 See how my machine sits in the cradle with the perspex template giving a flat surface, much better than an extension table.  If remove the machine the base comes up giving me a large table for cutting or layering too.

And look at all the space, plenty of room to trim white cutting and so much space when machine quilting.

What do you think of the chair?  It adjusts so many ways, it swivels, goes up and down, the seat tips up and down and the back tilts too, talk about ergonomics.

Now the table has come I can start to get the rest of the room sorted with shelving and drawers for fabrics and books and all those other essential items.

Want to know about my heating?  Well it's been rather cold recently so I turned on the central heating and left it on the timer so it comes on and goes off twice a day.  My son and his girlfriend came up for a few days and on Tuesday we went to a restaurant for dinner, on our return the house was boiling hot, the heating, which should have been off on the timer, was going full blast, and the temperature far exceeded the 19 degrees it was set at. We had to turn the boiler off at the electrics, you see I had this happen in the early spring and called the gas company, apparently my boiler was in danger of exploding YIKES!!!  Yes, it is rare but it has happened.  These intermittent faults can be awful to diagnose, I had a new diverter valve fitted last time, but apparently this engineer thinks it is some sort of feedback so he is coming back today to fit a suppressor.  Wish me luck.

The only sewing related pic I can show you today is fabric.

I'm not going to tell you what I am going to do with it today, I've started it but it's not finished yet.  As you can see it's Christmas fabric so you would guess right that it's a Christmas project.  No I'm not saying anything else, ask me no questions I'll tell you no lies.

That's all my news this week, except to say I am going away to Higham Hall again on Sunday for four nights on an embroidery course, I can choose what to do and I think I will do stump work this time, but I'll show you when I get back.

Until then
Smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with Lorna @ Let's Bee Social, Kelly @ Needle'n' Thread Thursday, Sarah @ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts, and Myra @ Finished or not Friday and who is also hosting TGIFF this week

Wednesday 19 October 2016

At Last, At Last, a Finished top!

At last I have progress to show you on my circles quilt.  'I don't believe it' I hear you cry, but 'tis true, the top is finished at long last.

Like the borders?  Worth waiting for?  Don't answer that!!!  In case you have forgot I had discussions about the borders with Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter, I knew I what I wanted with the colours but felt it would be too heavy, too solid.  Jennifer had the inspiration of adding the background, inspired or what?  

Have a closer look,  There is a one inch finished background border, a two inch finished coloured border, and another 1 inch finished background border.  The grey of the diamonds was added as cornerstones to the coloured border.  In retrospect the corners should all have been lighter in colour to enhance the grey, but I had just about run out of colours and didn't want to repeat any.  So, what's the verdict? 

So now I need help, can I go on calling it my Circles Quilt?  Now the top is finished it needs a proper name, but what?  Circles, moons, spheres, diamonds, stuff like that comes to mind but nothing is grabbing me, do you have any inspiration? 

I have also caught up (almost) with the Meadowfield Mystery Quilt.  Oh yes, I've been motoring.

Look at all those half square triangles!   The light colour is a sort of grey blue but the light wasn't wonderful for pics.  You should have seen them before I enhanced them.  This was month two, the first month was the cutting.

Month three, not only half square triangles but quarter square triangles too, Cheryl is surely the triangle queen.  How do I make such wonderful triangles you ask?  Well I finally tracked down a shop in the UK that sells BlocLoc rulers, Patchwork Cabin and invested in the six inch one.   Although you can't order from the website you can ring and order over the phone.  I rang up on the Saturday and my ruler arrived, very well packaged, on the Tuesday, excellent service, and the lady was very helpful and nice too.   If you haven't looked at them before BlocLoc rulers come in all different sizes, but by getting just the 6 inch one I could cut blocks up to 6 inches, rather than buying all the sizes, which would be eye wateringly expensive, and I'm mean like that.

This is what I have left from the cutting.  Why did I day almost caught up?  I messed up cutting one of the quarter square triangles so I have to make another one.

You may have noticed I changed one of my fabrics from my original choice.   It was when I realised there was all those half square triangles and the fabric is directional.  I also had reservations about it being next to the grey/blue, it didn't quite do it for me.  Shame I didn't decide to change it BEFORE I cut it all up..........

No further news on my sewing room sadly, but I can show you......

The newly painted cupboard, now I can get lots of stuff in that.  Couldn't show you it now though, it's full of stuff.....

and my quilting books in a corner waiting for some shelves to find a new home.  

It has now been three weeks since I ordered the table and chair though and delivery was supposed to be 28 days so fingers crossed the room will be finished by say, Christmas??????

And that's your lot for today, I hope you've enjoyed reading the blog, makes a change from my whinging anyway.

Until next time
Smiles from Kate :-)

Linking up with Lorna @ Let's Bee Social, Kelly @ Needle'n' Thread Thursday, Sarah @ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? 

Sunday 16 October 2016

2016 Finish Along Quarter 4

Just a short post, it was written in advance and it's a bit boring really, but I'm publishing it anyway because it will help me focus.

The good news is I have been sewing this weekend, it felt great to be getting something done and giving myself a shake.  I'll do a 'proper post' next week, and this time I will have some progress to show you.

Now that the summer is officially over I am hoping to get back to normal and get back into my quilting routine, if I ever had one in the first place that is!

Without further ado, here is my list for this quarter.

1 Get, and keep, up to date with the Meadow Mystery Quilt, which is great fun.  I haven't done a mystery quilt before.

This was my original fabric pull, but I changed the yellow/green one for a lovely tomato red.

2 Get the circles quilt finished and give it a name.

3 Make two Advent calendars for gifts, make that three.  I have a collection of panels to dip into, I buy them every year, I just can't resist.
Update I sorted through my advent calendar collection yesterday, I chose three out of a total of 15 (blush, blush).

4 Join Jennifer, The Inquiring Quilter, on her Berry Cross quilt along, her new pattern from the Cloud9 Blog Hop.  Please, please check it out, there is a new button for the quilt along on my sidebar which takes you to the page and schedule.

5  I'm doing two mini quilt swaps for Christmas with my wonderful friends Jennifer and Janice who have been sharing this wonderful new quilt blogger adventure with me.

And that's it, I have omitted a lot of the stuff I didn't get done last quarter, in fact I only brought one forward and added four new things.  There are a couple of bits and pieces I'd like to do, but they aren't a priority just now.  Realistically I need to make the mini quilts, the advent calendars and I would really like to finish the circles quilt, anything after that is a bonus.

Linking up to Mrs Sew and So, one of the global hosts.

Wish me luck in my list, after last quarter even one finish would be a result, but you know what Today has been cold and rainy, I've been in the house all day, I've seen no one or spoken to no one, except my husband, but life is what you make of it and I'm bouncing back, and its partly because of the wonderful messages of support you have given me.   So, sorry I haven't been reading many blogs recently, and I've not been commenting or keeping up with my return emails either, but I'm still here and I'm smiling again, so, see you soon

Smiles and hugs,
Kate x

Thursday 13 October 2016

Quarter 3 Finish Along - My Progress, or Not???

Firstly thank you so much Everyone, for the lovely comments of support and private messages you sent me, it meant such a lot.  Thank you too, to all the no reply bloggers who I was unable to answer.  

Edna died on Saturday with her beloved husband Jack at her side.  A peaceful end to a life well lived.

I wrote this post in advance, but as events overtook me I didn't get to post it  and now it is well outside the time constraints.  It doesn't matter, here it is anyway if anyone is interested to read of my progress.  I have the Quarter 4 post part written too, I don't know if I am in time for that one or not but I'll post it in a day or two anyway.

Here is the post as written.......

The end of Quarter 3 and what did I achieve?  Very little, but hey, we all have times like this when life takes over and we all must choose our own priorities.  So what did I do?  Here is the list...

1  Complete the top, layer, quilt, and bind my circles quilt.
I have made progress by completing the blocks, but the border still isn't finished let alone finishing the quilt.

2  Start my new quilt to be revealed later this month, I am aiming to make the first three parts.
No pic because it isn't started yet and it's a secret.
Started, but I haven't even finished the first section yet. But here is one of the first blocks I made for the Gypsy Wife Quilt.

3  Make my five cushion tops into cushions, if I don't make these a goal to finish I don't think they will ever get done.
I have made some progress, The elephants are layered and quilted and just need to be made into cushions, but I haven't started the other two yet..

4  Complete my Elephant and I quilt top, I cut the fabric strips last year then decided to change a couple of the colours, I haven't touched it since.  So another one with no pic.
No, never even thought of it.
5  Finish all the mug rugs and coasters I blogged about here.   Yes, its a tall order I know but I'm going to make the effort.  Here is a pic of some of them.
Did one elephant, messed it up and somehow added the wadding but no backing???  Some of the others have been quilted but no binding has been added, yet.

6  Layer quilt and bind my Little House in the Woods quilt.  You have seen it before but here it is again.  To tell the truth I'm afraid of making a mess of it. 
Still haven't touched it. 

7  Make the Ugly Christmas Sweaters quilt, so far one block done and I'm not happy with that!

What did I tell you?  absolute rubbish, no excuses, yes I had stuff going on, but so do we all.

I did do the Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop though and that was great fun, AND, I made a lovely cushion out of one of the test reject blocks.

You may well have seen it before but I HAVE to show you a finish and it appears to be the only one of the quarter, I don't believe it!

I could have just not bothered to link up to the FAL but in compiling this post I am reminded of how well I was doing earlier this year and how much I have slipped in the last three months.  

So, here I am linking up with Nicky @ Mrs Sew and Sew but there are other hosts all over the globe.

Smiles from,

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Why I've been gone

I've been quite elusive recently, not posting, slow to respond or return visiting, not much reading, and generally I've been rubbish.

Truth is we have some serious family illness, the kind that doesn't have a happy ending.  It happens in all families at one point or another and my husband and I have been extremely lucky in our lives in that it has so rarely touched us.

But life continues, the sun still shines, the birds still sing, and the season is giving one last glorious burst of beauty before the long winter sleep.

It makes me think, who is this woman I have known for 27 years?  To me she is the mother in law I didn't choose who became my friend.  To her family she is the laughing sister who teased and played, the girl in the uniform of the Womens Royal Airforce in the war, the blushing bride who left her home in the south to live with her husband and family in the northeast of England.  She is Mother to two sons, she raised them, cared for them, taught them right from wrong.  She was there  to babysit her grandchildren, tell them stories of when she was a girl, with a handbag which always had sweets and pennies to bring a smile to their face.  More recently she has been Great Grandma, always smiling, there to listen, still with the handbag of sweets and pennies.

But the world turns, and her smile is fading.  To the children she will soon become a shadow, half remembered from pictures where she held them on her lap.  The older ones will have clearer memories which will be sparked when someone says 'do you remember' at family occasions and celebrations, or when someone produces a handbag with sweets and pennies.   She will remain in the hearts of her sons forever, this woman who made them what they are.  He husband's heart is breaking as his soulmate and bride of over 66 years is leaving him behind, and wishes he could go too, and her brother and sister cry for their laughing playmate, who teased them, argued with them, and was there is all their childhood memories.  

But the sun is still shining, the birds are still singing, autumn is still in it's final blaze of glory before the winter comes, and the world still turns.

So, no pics today, but maybe tomorrow, or the next day, I'm still here, just hurting.

Kate x