Friday, 25 December 2015
Sunday, 6 December 2015
It was great for me. I'm talking about FNwF's of course.
I had a surprise visitor. My Mojo! Don't know where it's been hiding for the last few weeks but was I glad to have it back. Together again we had a really fun evening. This is how it started....
Nothing could phase me on Friday evening. I didn't even get flustered when my precious Pfanny Pfaff decided she wasn't too sure about the curve master foot after all. She showed her displeasure time and again by chittering her spool, throwing out a couple of wonky stitches then tangling threads just to show who was in charge. I was patient with her. Did what had to be done to keep her comfortable and sewed on.
When TV time came around and I had to stop playing I counted up my blocks. I was hoping I'd managed to sew about 30 quarter circle blocks. Well imagine how chuffed I was to find I'd actually managed 63 !!! I'm still happy dancing.
To celebrate I raised a glass of vino and toasted Cheryll and all my FNwF's companions. I was so excited I drank the whole bottle.....
Yep..... this diet really is messing with my head! It may not have been much but it was the perfect end to a lovely day.
Thank you Cheryll for a really lovely evening. Hope you and all who joined in enjoyed themselves as much. I'll be around to check.
Earlier... when I arrived home after the grocery run soaking wet and prepared to kill for a cup of tea and a sit in front of the wood stove I found this in the postbox......
my face went from grumpy to happy in a split second. Doesn't take much eh!
I'm going now because I want to spend this Sunday afternoon catching up with what you've all been up too.
The sun is shining and I intend to enjoy every little moment of brightness because it's going to be short lived. We've been pummelled by Storm Desmond with his torrential rain and gale force winds for the last 24 hours. Flooding everywhere. Still... a few hours respite is not to be sniffed at when there is more rain and wind forecast for tomorrow. Santa better get some scuba gear if he wants to visit here.
OK..... I have a hot date with my web browser.... see you soon.....
Have fun... cause a ruckus and don't forget to laugh in the face of adversity. Folks will think you're mad but we know different.....
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
|Here are a few of them|
This is where the wheel fell off my speeding waggon. Lots of baskets cut meant lots of baskets to prepare for applique. As I'm working at the rate of a snail on sleeping pills right now this is a BIG problem.
I tried out a new (to me) method I found on Esther's blog. Basically it's using Best Press with freezer paper templates. Check out Esther's tutorial HERE. It works a treat! As the freezer paper is removed before appliqueing it's so nice and supple and super easy to stitch too. I'm a convert!
Have to admit I treated myself to a new mini iron. One with a much shorter shank. Don't know about you but I find the distance from handle to iron on my old Clover one a problem. Attempting delicate pressing with it is somewhat akin to eating a fried egg with chopsticks as far as I'm concerned.
My new Mini Iron Master works a treat and was much cheaper too. Win...Win...eh!
Now.... you might have noticed a new button on my sidebar. A link to Quilty 365 a great idea from Audry at Quilty Folk. I've signed up and I bet if you take a look you'll be keen to join in too. Take a look HERE (only if you are sure you can resist temptation).
I've been really keen to start my own circle project but as yet haven't been able to get going. I will make a start soon.... like maybe Friday. Well it is the last FNwF's of 2015 this week what better day to start a new project. Fancy joining in a lovely night of self indulgent sewing/stitching? Well click HERE and sign up. If the thought of a whole evening of enjoyment isn't enough just check out the lovely gift that Cheryll has put together..... who wouldn't like a chance to win it.
I may not have started my 365 but Sally is totally smitten with hers.....
here's her first batch of circles. I know... I've tried telling her she's only supposed to do one per day but she's a woman possessed.
She turned up with batch 2 on Monday....
and she's still going strong.... except for the occasional coffee break to watch Chris knitting.
Heck... they do look serious. Shows how tough it can be to get the foundation row of a baby cardigan just right.
I'm afraid I can't show you more of what I've been up too since I was last here. My projects have either been secret or not very photogenic. Been cutting lots more Drunkards Path components for my 'get rid of as much stash as I can as quickly as I can' project. If ever a project was badly named it's that one..... quick it is not. You see I'm not just dipping into stash for fabric I'm actually ironing and re folding and sorting every last piece of it. I have a really cunning sub project going on though. Every time I press a piece of fabric I slice off 4 pieces. One goes into a new 'applique scrap' box for me and the other three go into large... pretty bags that (once I am done) are destined for the applique boxes of Chris... Sally and Kitty. I'm quite chuffed with myself for coming up with that bright stash reducing idea. Only hope they don't recipricate. I need more fabric like I need a hole in the head. I'm crossing my fingers.
It has been hard to find motivation here. We've been having the worst spell of weather we've had in ages. Every day is dank, dark, dreary and dismal... it's been that way for weeks. I've forgotton what the Sun looks like. It rains every day too.... occasionally not for the whole day. Last week I spotted this little beauty on the burn......
It might look a bit grubby right now but once it's adult feathers arrive it will be the most beautiful Swan. It paddled up to the bend in the river then let the current carry it back to the start point time and time again. I stood for ages totally captivated by it. Hardly noticed that it was chucking it down and I was getting soaked to the skin.
This is the exact same bit of the burn a couple of hours later......
At this point it has burst it's banks. Later... it flooded the field and the lower garden.
On the home front Mum gave us a bit of a scare. She hasn't been eating lately and had an appointment at the Hospital for an endoscopy to try to find out why she felt she couldn't swallow. I arrived at her building (sheltered accommodation) to take her for the appointment to find an ambulance outside and the warden and paramedics in mums flat. The ambulance took mum to A & E and I followed. Everything was OK. Basically fasting for the endoscopy and not having taken her heart meds that morning (she got mixed up) had caused her blood pressure to lower to the point she passed out. She recovered quickly and was super keen to keep her date with the Endoscopist (is that even a word).
With only a minute to go to her allotted appointment time I popped Mum into one of those hospital wheelchairs which you can only pull and set off on a mad dash across the hospital from A & E to Day Surgery. Honestly.... I ran so fast that when we arrived I was relieved to find mum still in the chair.
It all ended well. Mum had her tests and was diagnosed with a small Hiatus Hernia which doesn't require treatment. A discussion with her Dr later resulted in her being prescribed an SSRI which appears to be working a treat. She's found her appetite again and is making up for lost eating time.
I'm still trying to stop her from telling everyone she is has a High Anal Hernia!!! Note to self... get more batteries for her hearing aids!
Do you ever have one of those days when you just don't know which way to turn?
I think Tiggy was having one here. Or perhaps she's trying out a new yoga position.
Well.... that's about it for the update. All I can say is I hope to be back in the sewing saddle soon... like FNwF soon. I'll be there.... will you?
I need to be out of here and heading into the Bat Cave for TV time. Here's hoping Mac has ran out recordings of disaster documentaries. I've had all the Armageddon I can handle for one week. Still... he's recording Dr. Jeff Rocky Mountain Vet these days.... thank goodness for a fluffy animal programme with a (mostly) happy ending.
See you all at the weekend
Have a great time till then and beyond.
Onwards and upwards....
Posted by Josie at 21:17
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
I'm thrilled to bits with it. Now all I have to do it quilt it....yikes! I'm working up to hand quilting it. Watch this space.
Chris started work on Message In A Bottle by Irene Blanck. Here's her first block taking shape....
She actually prepared four blocks for this project.... no mean feat when you consider she's not much better at choosing fabrics than I am. I'm afraid I didn't get photos of the other blocks. Hard to take a decent photo when you are sneezing for Scotland.
Here's an almost good shot of Chris and Sally at the kitchen table.... would have been better if there heads were intact.... perhaps.
Sal is studying her copy of
She's combining the centre of one of Irene Blancks amazing quilts with the borders of another. She is either inspired or totally off her trolley. The jury is still out. This is how the centre looked back then.....
now it has borders and lots of colourful circles around the bird. Have to say.... it's looking great. Shame you can't see it. You guessed.... I didn't get a photo of that either.
Kitty did a great job making this bag......
it's totally gorgeous! The front applique is actually a zipped and gusseted pocket. There are applique side pockets too and a magnetic clasp and ties and great tube lined handles. Very professional looking. Not only did she make the bag she started work on an amazing Dresden quilt. Ooop's... no photo!
As for me.... I did sew... secret stuff! Finally an excuse for having no photo's. You'll all have to wait till next year to find out what I was sewing I'm afraid. You see I signed up for Chookyblues 2015 SSCS Swap. The girls threatened to kill me... or have me committed to an asylum if I so much as harboured a thought of signing up but I went ahead and did it anyway. Am I scared they'll carry out their threats.... you bet! If you don't hear from me by Christmas... call the police.
That's all the news from retreat. Well... not quite all. There was a bit of a drama one evening when I appeared to be loosing my eyesight. After dinner I picked up my laptop to check mail and discovered the screen was so blurred I couldn't read anything. Took off my specs. Checked I had on the reading ones and not the distance. Gave them a good clean and checked out the screen again.... couldn't make out a word! Took off the glasses again and this time the room was blurred too. Believe me I was petrified. Chris and Kitty took one look at me and asked what was wrong. Heck... I was about to burst into tears when I blurted out I was loosing my sight. They were very concerned.... particularly about who was going to drive me to the hospital as we'd all had wine with dinner. The situation was very tense when Sally came into the room and asked if anyone had seen her reading glasses. You could almost hear the penny drop. I was only wearing them wasn't I!! Amazingly my sight was restored when I put on my own specs. Duh! We all had such a good laugh the profits of Tena Lady doubled.
I did make one major decision while on retreat though. I need to seriously reduce the amount of fabric in my stash. So I'm on a mission to make as many scrap quilts as I can as quickly as I can. I won't tell you what the girls said when I told them my plan. Actually they didn't say much. They were too busy laughing. Perhaps I should advertise for some new pals.
I have made a start. Inspired by this gorgeous quilt I discovered at Quilting With The Past ll I've bought some drunkards path templates and started slashing my stash......
Each time I cut circle components I cut a template for a basket too. Remember those baskets? Long time no see! I was a bit miffed that it took longer than I thought to achieve......
a tub of both inner and outer quarter circles. Well... I was cutting them one at a time. Don't trust myself with a mini rotary cutter and a curved template. I'm too fond of my fingers to try multiple cuts. Looking at those tubs I remembered that (after watching an amazing demo at a show) I bought a Curve Master presser foot. Of course I had to drop everything and give it a go.....
Wow! Why haven't I used this before! It's amazingly simple to sew curves without any pinning at all. Seriously. You need to check it out if you haven't already. It took no time at all to stitch these....
without a pin in sight and they are pretty perfect too. Finally I can see a light at the end of my stash tunnel. All I have to do is keep going and not get distracted.... right! What are the chances of that I wonder. Somewhere between slim and none.......huh!
Thought you might like to see what Mac got up to while I was away. He revamped the post box!
Before I go I have to admit I'm wearing my horse hair vest again. Seems I never get to take it off these days. I must apologise for not responding to everyone who left a lovely comment on my last post. Your comments really do mean a lot to me. Knowing that there are lovely people out there who take the time to pop in and 'talk' to me really make does make a difference.
If I didn't have you and my pals here I'd have gone totally bonkers by now. I'm trying hard not to make excuses for being so impolite but there are times here when things just get too much to cope with and I tune out. I have to switch off from the outside world and concentrate on doing what needs to be done for Mac and Mum. Times like this I wish we were a bigger family and there was someone to share but as there is only the three of us and I'm the only one who is compos mentis (and that's debatable) I have no choice but to knuckle down and get on with it.
Things are a little calmer here at the moment so I'm hoping for a lovely spell of blog reading and commenting on your blogs. I love blog visiting. You gals (and guys) are so inspirational.
Keeping my fingers crossed.....
Better get going. I'm trying to clear out the big flower bed so I can do more laying of membrane and bark before Winter arrives in earnest. It's all dig..dig...dig right now.
Hope you are all happy and healthy and having as much fun as you can pack into your days.
See you soon..... crossing those fingers tighter!
p.s. The diet is going great. I've lost 31 pounds and counting. The only downside is my trousers are hanging at half mast and I'm too mean to buy smaller ones while I'm still loosing. One of these days I'll be mooning in the high street!
Posted by Josie at 17:30
Monday, 21 September 2015
Nothing went wrong! Bet you can't believe that. But it's as true as I'm sitting here in my wee goonie and baffies (nightdress and slippers) poking toast crumbs out of my keyboard.
Last week I did the grocery run on Thursday to leave the whole of Friday free for FNSI. Maybe I should call it FDSI because I really did sew the whole day. Started stitching along with all you Southern Hemisphere gals..... picked up the European lasses at tea time then made a valiant attempt to stay up late enough to say 'Hi' to Canada and the US of A! Wow... what a day!
Started out with some therapeutic slicing and dicing......
Cut the 200 blue squares needed for the next border of Natures Journey. While the blade was in my hand I prepped the outer border too... optimistic eh.
Next... some chain piecing....
I don't often chain piece but I managed to make it work for me this time. Before you all start telling me that chaining is super efficient and fast... I know all that and I agree (in principle). My problem is brain saturation. My little grey cells fill up very quickly and once that happens all bets are off. I loose track of what I'm stitching to what and chaos quickly ensues. That usually means a lot of unpicking.
No chaining the next step. I needed to keep control and my cool for this bit....
Things went swimmingly well and pretty soon a miracle happened......
collecting rocks from the field next door... and hurling them over the garden wall. Great Scottish pass time. Shame it isn't an Olympic sport I reckon I could make the team.
My rock tossing did have a purpose......
Mac started work on some steps from the drive to the upper part of the garden. Can't wait to cut the ribbon at the grand opening. No more risking life and limb slithering up and down the slippery slope to short cut the route from top garden to drive. Lost count of how many times I've slid down there on my bum!
Been doing a bit of garden work too (weather permitting). I'm trying to clear the undergrowth around that path with a view to laying some membrane and bark. I'm getting too old and cranky to have to dig out the darned path every year. Won't tell you what Mimi is up to but she seemed to think my digging was for her convenience!
but she's not saying.
Well.... that's it for now. I'm sewing again tomorrow. I need to finish Natures Journey before Friday..... when the girls and I head off on retreat again. Want to come?
I'm going now, I've a lot of lovely blog visiting to catch up on and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. See you soon....
Have a happy time stitching....
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
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......
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.....
Posted by Josie at 19:52
Monday, 10 August 2015
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...
Posted by Josie at 23:19
Wednesday, 5 August 2015
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.
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.....
|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....
Posted by Josie at 17:10