Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Pretending it's Saturday........

It might as well be Saturday because I haven't a clue what happened to the weekend or to Monday for that matter.    
So... in my world it's Saturday and here I am reporting in with my FNSI progress!    I do remember I was there on Friday night sewing unpicking along for all I was worth.   The unpicking didn't start right away.  In the beginning I was going great guns.

While I was leisurely contemplating what to work on for the sew in I suddenly realised I hadn't even looked at the August block for Natures Journey.   Now I won't admit to panicing but after a slap from Kitty and a cup of hot sweet tea I girded my loins and got down to the business of piecing the first border.....


And here I am in action....... attaching the border....


Sorry I didn't have time to look up and as for smiling.... hard to do with clenched teeth.

I really should have opened a bottle of wine (darned diet) and loosened up a little before I sewed that border..... it looked like a dogs back leg when I'd finished with it.   Out came the seam ripper... again and again and......


I think my shenanigans were responsible for the exasperated expression on Kittys face.... either that or she had been sucking a lemon when I wasn't looking.     Why couldn't I be more like Kitty?   Calm.. cool and in control.   She gets things done.  No messing about.   She's a real problem solver and (bless her) she solved mine....... she got out the Gin!     Hic!   Thanks Kitty.... you're a life saver.

Things got a lot better after that.

I did manage to piece and attach all four borders to the centre block therefore I am declaring my FNSI a resounding success!     I hope all you fellow FNSI'ers had a successful sew in too.  I'll be around to visit all of you to find out.

Thanks Wendy  for hosting another lovely Friday Night Sew In.   Lang may yer lum reek! (as we say in Scotland)

Click here to see what everyone else got up to on Friday.

I did do more sewing over the weekend but to be honest it was all a bit of a blur.  That had nothing to do with the gin either.... honest.

I prepared squares ready to applique to NJ.   All 46 of them.....


Then I attached the second border and pinned the squares in place ready to applique.....


This is how it looks tonight......


Eight blocks appliqued..... only 38 to go!     I won't panic.... I won't!   

That's about it for now.   I just have time to share a bit of chicken with Maisie before I'm due in the Bat Cave.
    
Tomorrow (weather permitting) Mac wants me to help him fix the Septic Tank!  Talk about a a shi nasty job.   Never mind....I'm sure it'll be fine as long as I don't inhale.

Onwards and upwards...

Have a wonderful week .... 
See you all soon
Hugs
Josie  xxx

Monday, 10 August 2015

A Fine FNWF.....

Shame that the rest of the weekend sucked!   

In a nutshell.  On Saturday morning Microsoft decided to surprise me with the 'free'  Windows 10 upgrade I reserved a while back.    I don't think they realised (I certainly didn't) that attempting to download a NASA size upgrade down a Mickey Mouse phone line in what Sky News once described as 'remote, rural South West Scotland' was ever going to cause anything but frustration on a grand scale.   I would have appreciated a tip off so I could stock up on tranquillisers.

The pitched battle download started at 7:45am on Saturday and ended in the wee small hours of Sunday morning... a little after I'd fallen into stress induced coma an exhausted sleep. 

Blissfully unaware of the technical perils of living in the sticks Microsoft promised the download would happily run in the background allowing me to flit through cyber space at will.   Two on line activities at once!  Here!   Never going to happen.  I'm almost certain our antique telephone exchange is operated by a little old lady in twinset and pearls who doesn't know the war is over!   Maybe I should knock and see if she's OK.... 

It was all worth it in the end.   Windows 10 is a joy compared to version 8.

Ooops... almost forgot I came here to show you what I got up to on Friday evening.  

I picked flowers.....


and as usual it took me ages to do it.    By the time I'd chosen six small pieces of fabric for the blooms and six more for the centres (I'd picked the stems earlier... thank goodness) my sewing room looked like a bomb had hit it.   

Chose fabrics for a couple more Stonefields blocks too..... the semi circle ones.   This is how they all looked on Saturday morning.... 


Managed to complete the blue semi circles but only stitched the plain yellow ones.  I'm thinking of swapping out that pink/white flower fabric.  It just doesn't look right to me.  Picky... picky.    The flowers have all been turned ready to stitch but only one on each block has been sewn down.

Oh.... and I prepared hexie blooms for the centres of two more Stonefields blocks.....


and felt very pleased with progress.

This is how Stonefields looks right now.


There are one or two blocks up there which will not be making the final cut.... I'll leave you to guess which ones.....:o)

Well.... that was my FNWF.   I had a lovely time.   Thanks Cheryll for hosting another great get together.   I'm already looking forward to the next one.....;o)  

I will be visiting everyone who joined in FNWF in the next couple of days.   That's a promise.  If life hadn't got in the way I'd have visited already.

After Saturday I didn't think the weekend could get worse. Wrong.  I woke on Sunday feeling sick as a dog and sounding like one too.   I slept most of the day which was just as well because being awake was no fun at all.

Fortunately I felt much better this morning (Monday)  and didn't have to cancel taking Mum out for the day.   Today is her 87th birthday.   She wanted  a trip to Carlisle.... fish & chips and lots of cake and caramel lattes.  Bang went the diet!  

Well.... it's that time again.  The Bat Cave beckons.   I'd better get my skates on.

To everyone who left a lovely comment on my last post..... I haven't forgotten you and I will be replying.... promise. :o)

OK.... I have to run.... I'm being summoned.   We're working through re-runs of Boston Legal.  I love that show.....  Denny Crane! <lol>

Have a fab week doing whatever takes your fancy....
See you soon...
Hugs
Josie  xxx

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Sign up....Sign up!

For Friday Night With Friends!  

If you haven't signed up for a sew in before then you don't know what you're missing.  Who wouldn't like a whole evening (or day if you're lucky)  stitching along with loads of like minded gals from all over the world.   Guys are welcome too and I know there are some of you out there who love to play with fabric as much as we girls do.

Here's your big chance! It just so happens that it's  FNWF  at Cheryll's  place this coming Friday.  So... what are you waiting for......


CLICK HERE TO JOIN IN
...  
Dress is optional.... no one is looking!   Hope to see you there.....:o)

Right.... now for what I've been up too since I was last here.

First.... I worked like a demented beaver to complete this in time for the end of July deadline.....

but did I succeed......
Can't you go any faster mum!

I'm afraid not.   Despite Tiggys best efforts to speed me up I was a day late..... again!     Better late than never though so here it is.....  the centre block of my Natures Journey.


You can check out how everyone else's NJ is coming along HERE.

And there's more.....

I took a notion to work on this ......


Finished the knot garden and made the border blocks.   Then....


I stitched the flower beds and bird house and put together the complete 6th Block....


Bet you can guess what I did next......


I stitched block 6 to 4 and 5 then joined the two rows together.  Phew!   Only (!)  three more blocks to go.    I'm getting really excited now that I can almost smell the finish line. 

That's all the sewing news for now folks.   

On the home front..... the shed is almost finished...


Here it is being modelled by the not so sartorially elegant Mac.   I must say he put on a clean bib and brace for his photo shoot.   If you care to enlarge him you'll see he's got on a bow tie too.  Fortunately one that doesn't spin or he'd have insisted on a video!       Hummm.... methinks when he ordered the shed he opted for the 'Hobbit' version! 

Trust me.... it's bigger than it looks.

What else.....

My eyes are much...much better (the woolly ointment works a treat).  

I'm on a diet..... again! 

It's raining..... again!

And that's about it.    Life is so exciting here.   Just ask Maisie.....

Zzzzzzz  Zzzzzzzz


OK......I'll be back at the weekend to show you what I sewed for FNWF..... think I might work on some Stonefields blocks.   It's been a while since they saw the light of day.

Don't forget to sign up  (go on...you know you want to)  :o) 

Till we meet again
Have fun and be happy....
Hugs
Josie  xxx

Monday, 20 July 2015

FNSI (without frustrations)

That's right..... I had a calm and frustration free FNSI.   Why?  Because I did the grocery run on Thursday!    Beats me that I didn't think of doing that before.

Kitty arrived on Friday so I bullied persuaded her to join in the sew in too.   Except we didn't sew....


I had a sudden desire to play with yarn.   Not knitting.   I fancied an evening of crochet and who better to have around at a crochet-in than Kitty.   What she doesn't know about crochet you could write on the head of an applique pin.

Except for a miserable failed attempt to crochet a puppy (turned out more like a pear)  a few years ago I haven't picked up a hook for decades.   It took me the entire evening ( under the close scrutiny of Kitty) to come up with these...



If I'd been alone on Friday I'd have been very happy with 5 crocheted hexagons but as Kitty completed all of these.....


despite the fact that she was tutoring me..... I felt more than a little bit slow!   Still..... we both had a lovely tine with all you FNSI'ers on Friday.   I'm looking forward to visiting you all in the next couple of days to see just what you got up to.

Thanks Wendy for hosting another lovely evening..... I didn't sew but I did have loads of fun!

I couldn't shake the crochet bug on Saturday either.   I decided I'd practised enough to be trusted with some 'posh' cotton yarn I've been saving.......


I really think I like these.   I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with them so if you have any ideas feel free to share.   Must admit I'm feeling a bit addicted........

By the way.... when Kitty left this (Sunday) afternoon she'd made 87 hexagons!  She does everything at speed.   Oh... and I should mention that the pattern is free and available here at Crochet In Colour.

My sewing projects haven't been neglected but progress has been slow.....


I still need to outline the path on the Knot Garden with running stitch but at least it's been pieced.

Work has started on the July block of Natures Journey.....


Love...love... love it!!      Hope to get lots done on it this week.... eyes permitting.

On the subject of my eyes.... another visit to the Dr resulted in a diagnosis..... blocked tear ducts!   She prescribed some ointment which is suspiciously like axle grease only clear.   I was a bit dubious when I read the list of active ingredients and came across sheep wool!     Still... it appears to be working.   I've been doing my best to 'rest' my eyes as per Dr's orders... but it's been tough.  Hardly any screen time... hardly any e.mailing... hardly any blog visiting results in hardly any fun!

Hoping this week I'll do better.

Heck.... I've just realised I'm late for TV time.... better get a wiggle on right now....

Hope everyone reading this has an amazing week ....

See you soon
Hugs
Josie.....xxxx

Sunday, 5 July 2015

FNWF and other stuff.....

I really hate to say this but I think I'd do much better if Friday Night with Friends was on a Wednesday!   

Don't know about you but my Fridays are guaranteed to be frustrating.   Grocery shopping for instance...  who doesn't hate that.   I'd give my eye teeth to live in a French or Italian hill village. One with a beautiful village square and an outdoor food market filled with scrumptious freshness.  I can smell coffee and croissants right now.... ahhhhhh.   

I wouldn't care if I never saw another supermarket in my life!   Every Friday I say 'never again'  and vow to order next weeks groceries on line and have them delivered but I never do it.   I suppose I'm just too picky to let someone else choose my chicken!

Sorry.... you came to see what I sewed with Friends on Friday not to listen to me moan.   Without further whinging here's what I got up too.....


I can't claim to have stitched all of the above on Friday evening .... I'm not that speedy.  The little lollipop trees and the cabbages (!) next to them I made earlier.    Friday night I appliqued and stitched the little blocks (bottom right) then prepped and began to applique the longer blocks on the right.

"That's not much"..... I can hear you muttering.    Well it was a lot for a woman with only one eye!

Yes... I'm still having eye trouble.  If it carries on much longer I'm changing my name to Cyclops. Took the problem to the Dr who gave me a steroid spray to stick up my nose.... very useful.  Friday morning the offending eye and cheek turned red and began swelling.  By the time I arrived home I looked like I'd taken right hook from a heavyweight boxer.   What was that all about!    I give up!

Swelling has gone down now.   Eye is still constantly wet and running and randomly making it's own decisions on whether to focus or not.    Back to normal then......

Deep breaths......

Ok.....    here's something nice (well I think it is).   The completed June blocks for my Natures Journey BOM.....


I think this is my favourite 'month' for blocks so far......


really enjoyed stitching all of them.    Was only a day and a half late for the end of the month deadline too.   I would have finished on time but just as I was taking the photo's to post to the SAL blog I realised my ladybugs were headless and legless.   I couldn't show them like that now could I... I do have some standards.....not many but some.

Now.... remember those second projects the girls were working on on retreat.... the ones I forgot to take photo's of?    Well here's Chris showing her 'second' quilt of that week......


Amazing what can be made from just one Jelly Roll isn't it.

This one is Sally's second project that she put the finishing touches too when she got home.....


It's a Hatched and Patched design.... love all those perfect little houses.

Had a lovely visit from Tina last week ....


she brought her latest EPP project to layer and baste.  This is a mat for her bathroom window sill...  lovely.

That's it for now.... I've nothing else to show you.

Time to get myself some lunch (late) and settle down to enjoy the afternoon watching the British Grand Prix and indulging in a spot of leisurely blog visiting.... bliss!

See you soon then.....
Have a great week
Hugs
Josie.....xxxxx

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Fiddling FNSI....

I missed all the sew - ins last month so I was really keen to make the most of Friday night.     Had to take mum to an appointment on Friday afternoon so I packed a little bag.....



Most of you girls get to stitch at football matches or swimming pools or at the athletic track.  Me... I get to sit in the car outside the Chiropodist.    For once mum timed her appointment well.... Gardeners Question Time was on the radio.    Stitching along with Bob Flowerdew (that's his real name) is as good as it gets!  

I did stitch Friday evening too.   Took advantage of a dry spell to take my stitching out into the garden.   Wasn't out there long before couple of  neighbours  popped over for a chat....


Blanche (I made that up) seemed very interested but I don't know if it was my stitching or Tiggy doing her yoga routine that fascinated her....


I haven't a clue what this position is..... have you?

All in all I had a good time.....


The June blocks for Natures Journey SAL are finally under way.   I haven't had much time for sewing/stitching since I got back from the cottage so it was lovely to spend some quality time with one of my most favorite projects again.      

Thanks for hosting FNSI again Wendy....  you made my day!   Love your new website by the way!!   

Well... TV time with Mac is almost upon me again so I'd better grab a bite to eat before I head into the Bat Cave with my stitching.

Roll on tomorrow... I'm taking time off from garden/building duties to spend a whole day blog visiting..... see you soon then  :o)

Hugs....
Josie  xxx

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tempus fugit......

Time really does fly doesn't it.    I swear I blinked and missed most of May and half of June.  I have been super busy but when I look back it's hard to see what kept me so busy that I couldn't find time to spend in blogland.  

I did have a mini break at the beginning of June.   The girls (Chris, Sally and Kitty) and I travelled to our favourite cottage for a week of hyper sewing or just plain hanging out depending on the mood of the day.
   
Day one and here's my little workstation all set up and ready for action.....


Three days of snail sewing later I had this.......


A finished quilt top!!    It's ages since I had one of those.  No one can accuse me of being prolific!     The pattern is Sweet Pea from The Pattern Basket.... it's a really nice one to piece.  No hassle... which is exactly what I needed.

Chris occupies the work space to my right (we are creatures of habit).   Day one and she continued working on a gorgeous Dresden quilt she's been busy with.


We crossed the finish line together......
.

impressive eh!    Chris is gifting this quilt and I reckon the recipient is going to be thrilled to bits with it.    Problem is.... her DH loves the quilt too so guess who's going to make another one.

To the right of Chris is Sally's space.   Day one she was getting down to the serious business of making her first wall quilt....


some piecing and some beautiful applique later here it is.....


Don't you just love it.   The pattern is  Prairie Spring from Cornbread and Beans Quilting.  I have a vested interest in this project... Sal borrowed my pattern.   Does that make me part owner?   Maybe she'll let me put it on my wall for half of the year.   Maybe I just better make my own.

To the left of me is Kitty's space.   Day one and she's starting the week with a four patch set on point with sashing and cobblestones.   Believe me there were a lot of patches to be stitched for this one.   Fortunately Kitty is the machine sewing equivalent of Michael Schumacher ...... she is fast!

 

Didn't take her long to finish her first project....


Reckon the 5 stars on the gate refer to her quilt as well as the cottage!

Flushed with success we all worked on a second project.   This is how mine arrived at the cottage nicely organised and packed ready to sew.


This is how it looked just as we began packing for home......


It isn't finished.    The girls helped me lay out the blocks till we were all happy with the arrangement then stack them in rows ready to stitch.   Well.... hold onto your hats.... this is how that top looks today......


I unpicked it!   Brave or plain stupid eh?    I just didn't like it.   I love the fabric (Flora by Lauren and Jessie Jung)  I love the pattern too.   I've just fallen out of love with the combination.   Not to worry.... Flora will find a home in a new quilt.... a scrap quilt... and I'll have the pleasure of sewing it all over again.   Being a process person does have it's advantages.

That's it for the quilty stuff.     I can't show photos of the girls second projects because in the rush to pack at the end of the week I forgot to take some.... duh!

Actually it's not quite the end of the quilty news.   I'm still sewing away on Natures Journey.  My May blocks are all done and dusted .....


and I'm about to make a start on June.    I'm still loving this one but have to admit that wasn't what I was saying when I was making those strange flowers.

Things have been very busy on the home front.   Any sniff of fine weather has us outside trying to catch up with all the chores outdoors.   Take a look at the courtyard....


Looks like Mac is building an aeroplane out there doesn't it.   It's actually a fancy new metal shed to replace two old, battered wooden ones.    I thought it would be a good idea to dismantle them (Mac wants to keep the wood panels) in situ but he had other ideas.   He wanted to try out his new  ratchet winch.  He roped a shed to the winch and the winch to a convenient tree and began the move.  Problem!   He'd used his old climbing rope which is stretchy.   I stood waiting for the huge "twang" that would hurl the shed into orbit along with Mac still hanging on to his winch.  

Three days later..... the sheds have moved 3 feet and boy have they suffered in the process.  Believe me they weren't this dilapidated before Mac had his bright idea!


Right now I'm working on the foundation for the new shed base.   Got my Bob the Builder hat on again.   Love must be  in the air..... Mac bought me a mini cement mixer!   It's banana yellow and very girly.   Who's a lucky duck then.

These poor plants are not so lucky.   I'm still working on clearing and laying bark and membrane on the long flower bed.   The previous sunny spell we had was short lived.  The rain returned and work on the border came to a halt right after I'd bought these plants.   They are all dressed up with nowhere to go at the moment.    I'd better get a wiggle on with the shed base and get back to the flower bed before they croak!       


One of the reasons I've not been around for so long is that I attempted  to stop taking the Anti Mac and Anti Mum pills.... with the Dr's permission of course.   Turned out to be a big mistake.   Seems I need to be drugged up to cope with them both.

I was just about holding my own till the day my mum took delivery of an Electric Wheelchair. Great... now we can go for walks.  Well..... we made it to the supermarket on a wing and a prayer.  I had cause to remember that when my mum drove a car she was a speed queen!     Problems started when we left a home store in the town.   First off I had to persuade her it was not a good idea to power the chair up the middle of the car park access road.   I finally won the argument and guided her to a long pedestrian ramp up to the pavement.  Success.

At the top of the ramp a group of people were standing talking alongside a very large (4 foot tall) rubbish bin.   I reached the top first and turned back to see mum powering up the ramp towards them at full tilt.   They managed to jump out of the way just as mum careered into the waste bin!  She wasn't hurt.... the bin was empty.   To say those folks were gobsmacked was an understatement.     Mum simply smiled and told them it was her first time out with the chair.   By the look on their faces they thought it should be her last too

Apologies complete we carried on towards home.    Without warning mum took off like a bat out of hell.   I chased after her yelling....  "Take your hand off that knob"!    She took not a bit of notice.   An elderly couple walking  towards us stopped and watched in horror as mum found more speed. Her wild ride came to a sudden stop when she steered into some poor guys garden fence.  It was a miracle she wasn't thrown over it into his flower bed.   As I was running to see if mum was alright the old guy yelled at me.... YOU WANT TO GET THAT WOMANS LEGS COVERED UP!!!    OMG.... what had he seen!

Mum was totally fine.... totally unrepentant and chastised me for fussing.

I'm back on the pills.

That's about it from me for now.    Hopefully I'll be around much more from here on in.  I'm looking forward to catching up with all your antics.

Hope you are all enjoying the season Summer or Winter
See you soon.....

Hugs
Josie xx