Sunday, 29 June 2014

What happened to the last week?

This time last week I was full of myself because I'd  really worked  hard and  finished  Block 3 of 'In My Garden'.   I mean.... can you believe how quickly (for me) I'm stitching this project?    I was so on the ball
I'd even taken the photo's and loaded them onto Blogger all ready to compose a post. 

Don't ask me what happened because I haven't a clue.   But here I am one week later.... telling you old news and feeling miffed with myself.    

So.... here it is......Block 3


Don't believe me when I say I don't like stitching pears..... I loved doing these ones...


Love that bird too.   Think my satin stitch skills are improving... it hasn't got a wonky beak!


So enjoyed stitching this basket.   It's even got Thistles... for Scotland!  Maybe I should have done them purple.....


The finished block..... 


Three blocks = the first row all done and dusted.....


I'm totally smitten with this project.   The applique for Block 4 is prepared and I'm keen to get started.  This quilt calls for hand quilting I think.  There's the sticking point.... I haven't hand quilted before.  There has to be a first time... right!  

Other news......    Chris and Sally came over last Monday.     I don't really know what Sal was doing draping all her Swoon blocks over the frame but as she had Chris's Kona colour chart tucked under her arm I'm guessing she was matching some fabric for binding.    Those blocks are really big!   Did I mention I made a mini Swoon block... no..... remind me to show you.   I think I prefer the smaller block.... 


Chris brought her knitting.   Her very special knitting!


She is now officially.... a Granny in waiting!!   What do Grannies in waiting do.... they knit baby things. Don't you think she looks serene......  


Nope!    She's like a duck on a lake.... serene on the surface... paddling like crazy underneath!    You see she's waiting for the patter of those tiny feet...... all SIX of them!   

Both of Chris's sons and their wives are expecting for the first time.    One set of twins and one singleton due within 6 weeks of each other.   Twins first.....


I think her laugh could be hysteria!  

Now you know I've never had children.   No bothers or sisters, nephews or nieces.  No friends with children either but.... I am hoping to pass muster as a surrogate Granny.   Would you trust me with your child?  Don't answer that!  

Last time I did any baby sitting things got a bit tricky.    The little girl (4) wanted to play nurse.... she had yards of bandage... cute.  Her brother(6) wanted to be a wild west cowboy...   I was up for all of it!    Good job their mum was in the kitchen preparing dinner at the time because half an hour later I was underneath the piano... hog tied to the legs with bandage... a gun at my head and someone trying to take my temperature!  

Think I can kiss goodbye to passing 'responsible adult' test!

OK... that's all folks!     Things are pretty quiet here... for now.   Stitching may have to take a back seat to some real gardening in the next few days.   I still have that huge bale of bark to deal with not to mention weeds that are taking on jungle proportions.  

So... have a great week and I'll see you soon....
Be Good
Hugs
Josie

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Fickle Friday Night With Friends!

Honestly.... if you'd been here in the flesh yesterday you'd have been ready to strangle me before the sew in even started and personally... I wouldn't have blamed you.

I started out early in the day with a plan to get going on a quilt for Mac that I've been collecting fabric for . It's a Kaffe Fassett design called Economy Blue.


 You might remember Kitty making it ......


Now... there is a massive (honestly) amount of cutting to do for this quilt.   So many 'lights' and so many 'darks'.  Hang on medium looks dark when put next to a light and light when next to a dark.   Preparing this quilt was going to need a lot of concentration.    Well that was a no go with Mum, Mac and Maisie all wanting someone to play with.    You've got to love them but honestly.....by the time Mac asked me to tie up his tomatoes I was ready to truss up all three of them!  

What I needed was a much easier project so I put Kaffe away and got out a little pattern I've been itching to make for a long time...


the little Zippered Case from Anni Downs 'The Simple Life'.  I already had the stitchery pattern transferred onto Sticky Fabric Solvey so it was good to go.    I pulled out a mini charm pack of Ruby before reading that I needed to cut 1 1/2" squares.  Now.. call me mean... but no way was I going to waste 1" of that lovely fabric.  Back to the drawing board.....

Thought about this.....


Thought again!

Tried sewing more Irish Chain Blocks that haven't seen the light of day for months....


sewed three tiny strips... put the box away.

Do you want to strangle me yet?   Have you ever had a day like this?   Did you cuss a lot?  I did!! :o)

I did finally settle down and find peace with these....


sweet little baskets.  Long time since you've seen these too.    I did manage to tack and glue baste another batch ready for applique...


So.... the evening ended happily and I really did enjoy myself.  If only my jaw wasn't aching so much from grinding my teeth!

Mum joined in too and had really productive day.....


knitting another little blanket for Africa.   This one is really nice.  It's done and she's busy with another one today.

This morning I escaped popped out to post a letter....


picked up a Latte then parked up here to drink it.    The tide was out in the estuary.....


The tiny speck just off centre to the left on that island is actually a lighthouse.  The open water behind is the Solway Firth.... right where it opens into the Irish Sea.


Watched an Oystercatcher going about his business.... noisy blighter.....then went home feeling relaxed and at one with nature.   I love living here.

OK... it's time I went to bed.  Had to wait till the Three M's went to bed before talking to you.  It's after midnight and I'm pie eyed... with fatigue not alcohol I might add.

Hope everyone who joined in had a fantastic time at FNSI      Big Thanks to you Wendy for making it all possible.  Right I'm off before I'm tempted to have a G&T...... sobriety is no fun at all!

See you tomorrow.... be good (or careful) take your pick!
Hugs
Josie

p.s.  If you're wondering what happened to Mac's tomatoes.... I did tie them up!  :o)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Don't forget..... it's FNSI

That's rich isn't it..... me reminding you not to forget a sew in when I'm the one who either forgets or just scrapes in the door by the skin of my teeth.  


Good news is.... I got a photo of the button onto the post but I forgot how to link the photo to a web site (told you I'm useless)  so please look on the sidebar to your right and you will see an identical photo which , if you click on it, really does link up to Wendy at Sugarlane Quilts where you can add your name to the list of stitchers/sewers preparing to have some fun on Friday.    Heck.... I just gave you another link... is that overkill?   No I'm just keen for you to join the party.   If you've not been to a virtual sew in before .... try it.   It doesn't hurt.  You can wear your PJ's.... work on whatever makes you happy then show it to all your fellow revellers (a really nice bunch).     Great...eh!   Look forward to seeing you there ;o)

Now.... what's been happening on the sewing front....


I prepared more of the applique for In My Garden Month 3......


Got out my special tin of very special (to me) threads....my little collection of YLI 100wt Silk.   I love it... in fact I think I'm 'in' love with it (don't tell Mac).  It's my ambition to own all of the colours.  OK... I know that's stupid because I can work with neutrals but..... as far as these threads are concerned 'want' overcomes 'need'.


I stitched and I stitched until I wore a hole in my finger!    Just enlarge that photo and you'll see the damage to my digit.   It's sore.  So sore in fact that I've given it the day off.   I'm thinking today.  Planning what to do for FNSI.   Figure if I sit here and cogitate long enough I'll be inspired.... if I don't fall asleep first.

I've been toiling in the garden too.....


Can you spot the stream in this photo?


 There it is!   This is the result of a mild (fairly) winter and a warm, wet spring.  There are ferns everywhere.  We always did have a lot but I think they've reproduced like rabbits this last few months.   You can hear the water in the garden but you just can't see it anymore.    Reckon I need to get in there and do some clearing.

I normally clear the stream much earlier... when stuff is just beginning to show but this spring this little gentle stream was a raging torrent.    Not only that it joins with the river right by our garden gate... talk about white water there too.   If I'd slipped and fallen I'd have been swept out to sea for sure..... it's only a couple of miles downstream.  Who knows where I'd have ended up.... apart from Davy Jones Locker that is.

I want to show you my pride and joy......


a climbing Hydrangea.....


Isn't it gorgeous.    Not at all bad for a 99p shrub from Woolworths  bought some 16 years ago and still going strong.   Shame about Woolworths closing down.... I spent most of my pocket money in there as a kid.

Before I go.... Malcolm wanted me to show you his nuts......


his Hazel Nuts.... he's very protective of them.   The are only just beginning to actually look like nuts and he's on Squirrel watch already.     Not that I blame him.  The minute those nuts are ready those rodent raiders return to rob him.  Happens every year.   I think he did manage to get one nut for himself..... once.  You have to feel sorry for him don't you.... nah!!     I'm with the Squirrels!

OK... I'd better get back to thinking or I'll never be ready for FNSI.    Since I've mentioned FNSI again... go on... sign up... I'd love to meet you there.

Hope you are all having a fun filled week....
See you soon
Hugs
Josie

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Friday Night With Friends

Phew!   I almost missed sign up for this months sew in.   Is is me or are the days flying by faster than usual?  

Oblivious to the sew in I'd gone off on a day trip in search of  fabric. It was more good luck than good management that I got home in time to discover it was sew in night.  Talk about a last minute rush!   I've been dithering all week over whether to start Anni Downs Pocket of Posies so I grabbed my pencil and pattern and got to work preparing applique......


I've been experimenting with a different stabiliser and have to say I love it.    I'm now using Floriani Stitch n' Wash Tear Away Fusible..... how about that for a mouthful.    It's fabulous.  Definitely my favourite.   It's so light in fact you hardly know it's there.   It softens more when washed too which makes it just perfect... in my book.  

Everything was going well until I tried picking fabrics for the centre block......


You can guess how that went so I won't bore you with the details.   Eventually I gave up and got out a project that I'm comfortable with..........


I was going to have a little break from In My Garden... so much for that... I started work on Block 3.     Almost got all the pieces stitched down... just the centre circle and one and a half tiny squares to go.    Then it's on to..... more pears.  Oh no... not the dreaded pears!!

That's it.... the fruits of my labours.   Not a lot.  But some progress is better than none... right!  

Thanks Cheryll for making FNWF  possible again.   You can't beat a good get together can you.   If you haven't signed up before why don't you make the first Friday evening in July a date and join in the fun.... go on... don't be a wallflower! ;o)

Now... I'm feeling a bit shamefaced.   I forgot to pop back last weekend  to show you what happened to the stitchery mum made at the Chookshed birthday party (she'll kill me if she finds out).   So..... here it is in all it's glory.....


It's now decorating a little needle case.   Would you believe that this is mum's first ever needle case... in 86 years!  Told you she doesn't like anything to do with sewing.

Mum did a good job conning persuading me to make the needle case for her.   Cheeky minx  then asked  if I'd photograph her at the machine so that it would look like she made it.  Excuse me!   There is something not quite right about a child of 60 telling an octogenarian mum that it's naughty to tell  lies.  Even worse is mum telling said child that one of these days her halo will choke her!!

Anyhow..... she did pick the lining fabric and felt.....


credit where credit is due! :o)

What else.   A delivery.....


A giant bale of bark mulch that is headed for the fruit bed.   Once I get rid of the weeds and do a bit of prep work.  Made a start digging just as rain stopped play..... shame.


Later I discovered a new talent.....


Sawing tree roots.   OK.... so it was a small tree but still... I felt like a Lumberjack!   Made a good job of it too if I say so myself.

Well... that's about it for now.   I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel for something to say so I reckon it's time I got out of here.     Mum's gone to bed so I can settle down to watch the recording of the Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying session..... perfect end to the day.

I'm going now before I get a second wind.......
Have a brilliant rest of the weekend
Hugs
Josie

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Party at the Chookshed!

I was there..... in fact I still am!    


Right now I'm feeling like the party guest you find next day crashed out behind your sofa oblivious to the fact that everyone else has gone home.   Just who decided there should be an International Date Line.   Why can't we all live in the same moment.... it would be a whole lot easier.   Especially when it comes to virtual parties on opposite sides of the world.   Hummm.... suppose that would mean half the planet would have to be nocturnal..... perfect for Mac.

OK.... back to the point.     Happy Birthday Chookshed!!    Thank you Chookyblue for inviting us all round to celebrate.   

I got up with the larks on Saturday determined not to miss a minute of the party  (I know... I'm 13 hours or thereabouts behind)  some of you might have already been heading up to bed with your cocoa or be totally blotto on bubbles!      See that lovely morning sun sneaking in the window......


I wasted no time finishing up the last bits of applique for the second block of In My Garden and getting them trimmed to size ready to piece.    Had to do some real maths to work out just how the scrappy border was going to fit.   Didn't have a centimetre of fabric to spare.... phew!


Then it was outdoors for a photo shoot (!)      Snails in the flower bed.......



Bugs in the Astrantia........


And pears...... tree fulls of pears!



At this point in the proceedings I was going great guns...... so tell me.... why did I shoot myself in the foot?

This is how it happened.      As you may or may not know my mum spends most weekends with us.  She knits!      Now... as I've been trying to get her interested in hand stitching for years I seized the opportunity to tell her she couldn't come to the stitching party if she didn't actually stitch!   We had a  long argument over whether or not knitting stitches qualified  however  she finally caved in when I showed her the bag of chocolates that I wouldn't give her unless she picked up a sewing needle.

Can't say she was all that keen though.....


The mutterings of discontent did subside after a while.   However,  she wasn't prepared to admit she might actually be enjoying herself.    I however... have evidence.   I'll let you decide if she was having fun or knot.......

video

What about me?   What else did I do?


I ate chocolates.... drank tea and gazed longingly at the photograph of the project I was desperate to start work on and couldn't....... because if I took my eyes of mum for a second her running stitch ran away with her... her backstitch went forwards and she hog tied herself with French knots!  

Finally mum went to bed and I could at last crack open some vino to toast the Chookshed and boy did I toast it... a whole bottles worth!  Yummo... as they say in the Antipodes ;o)


I swear I didn't give any vino to Maisie but........


that kitten certainly knows how to party till she drops!

OK.... I'm going now.    I've taken mum back to her own home and there is still a little bit of Sunday left for me to do something nice with.      I'll be back tomorrow to show you what happened to the fruits of my mothers labours and what I get up to tonight...... hummm... that might not be such a good idea!    There will be more vino.... white for tonight then that's me on the waggon.... till I fall off again!  

Have a great whatever day of the week you are reading this on........  

See ya very soon
Hugs
Josie