Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt 2011 - August...

:: something ancient ::

:: a mountain ::
artistic licence... of ironing on our return from holiday...

:: something bizarre ::
I have never seen a gold postbox before.  Ever.

:: a fountain ::
at Kew Gardens

:: street food ::
the ice-cream van outside Kew Gardens

:: fabric ::
now that's an easy one to find!

:: bread ::
homemade and thinly sliced.

:: market ::
the plant stall.

:: a picnic ::
at the Show

:: a boat ::
on the shelf in Tom's bathroom

:: a festival or funfair ::
also at the Show

:: a sport ::
yep, you guessed it, at the Show.  Carriage racing.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The rural life...

Yesterday I visited the Edenbridge and Oxted Agricultural Show.  I loved every single minute of it.  Take a look at what I saw...

I don't seem to be able to make it bigger, but if you click here you can see it on my Flickr page where it is a bit bigger!

One day, I will live in the country.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Seeing stars...

Still raining here so more sewing to catch up on.  I have written about 1000 words of my book today, so I think it is good to balance that out with some creative soul-food.

I posted here about my plans to give my two nephews a quilt each for their christening presents and I had reached a bit of standstill for one reason or another.  While I was on a roll yesterday in fabric love mode, I managed to cut out the rest of the pieces for the one I had made a start on.  That was some serious cutting out - just under 600 pieces!

I find it incredibly satisfying to see an organised pile of fabric on my worktable ready for sewing.

I am using this tutorial for July Star Blocks over at Cluck Cluck Sew, although I have made the blocks slightly bigger to achieve the size quilt I was looking for.

It has been a real challenge trying to think of what type of quilt would appeal to a 14 year old boy and I really hope it isn't too childish.  This is just a mock-up using the collage creator to give me a feel of what it will look like.  12/35 blocks completed.

For the my younger nephew I have chosen to make something with a bit of a watery feel as he is our star diver and likes to be in the water.  I pulled lots of blues and soft greys and some splashes of green from my stash and am using the Wonky Roman Stripe Block from this book.  I love the mixture of solids and prints.
This is my first mock-up block to get a feel for how it might turn out.

I really am hoping that this week's persistent rain will give way to a dryer and even warmer bank holiday weekend.  Right, I'm off to make pizza for dinner and change the pace and relax in to some hand-quilting on this quilt.  Poor neglected thing.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Things to do on a rainy day...

  • Catch up on my Farmer's Wife blocks
Week 12:

Week 13:

  • Take note of book recommendations from the lovely Pomona and duly purchase.

  • Anticipate handling of hot pots and pans on campfire.  What better to while away a few hours than playing with my scraps and make a couple of pot-holders inspired by one of the Farmer's Wife blocks (Evening Star, above).

I made a little pocket for my hand on the back to give extra grip.  I used a plate to draw round for the curve.

I have found the best to handle linen when making hst's is to cut it bigger than needed to allow for the movement which it is prone to, being such a loose weave compared to the quilting cotton.

After sewing the two pieces together, cutting along the marked line and pressing open, it is easier to achieve a square block.

I use the diagonal line printed on my ruler to line up the seam to cut the block down to size.

There may be a tiny bit of waste, but I think it is worth it.

Monday, 22 August 2011


Shiny new eyelets,

fluorescent guy ropes,

sparkling tent pegs

and a bit of spec to boot.

All the signs are there that I have realised my dream and bought myself a tent.  It seems that late summer is a good time to find a bargain for such a purchase.  My intent is to go camping before the winter sets in.

It was a doddle to put up and is having a good airing in my garden. So what better reading material to peruse than the books I have pored over for the last few years hoping that one day it would all come to fruition.

It gave me a view of the garden that I don't often take notice of - I'm usually looking the other way.  I didn't want to come back indoors and spent a lovely few hours relaxing with my sampler and laughing at my daft dog.

It was his birthday yesterday and he had a mahoosive rawhide bone as a special treat.  He shares his birthday with No2, who was 15 but adamantly refuses to be photographed.  My very own Inbetweener.

Of course, it has necessitated a whole new board for inspiration over on Pinterest!

Thursday, 18 August 2011


It is pouring and has been all day.

The rain is bouncing off the deck and the garden furniture.

Fortunately, it is not quite so dull indoors.

I have been to the nursery, picking my own dahlias.

Filling the house with colour.

And having a play with my macro lens.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Late summer...

Hot colours around Kew yesterday, captured on camera whilst walking and talking with Alice and Kristina.

The highlight of my day was Alice tentatively asking if we ever stopped for a drink or something to eat! Heehee.  Of course we do... eventually...!

Holidays have been taken and I am seriously considering adopting the habit of taking a siesta in the afternoon as a matter of routine.  Just an hour, but it seemed to make a whole lot of difference to the rest of the day.  Particularly if there were gorgeous beaches to wander along.

I am a creature of the shade and so have no tan to show off.  More an impressive (for me) list of three books read and reaching the letter K on my sampler (that I saved for my holiday, being light to pack) ticked off my to do list.

I am looking forward to the rest of the holidays to be able to write, write, write (deadline fast approaching), balanced out with some creative pursuits and perhaps some gardening.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

FWQAL week11...

In a fit of procrastination about doing the things I should have been doing last week, I made the decision to get ahead of myself and make four blocks and draft this post for today so that I'm on target with Week 12. I'm actually sunning myself in Portugal.

These teeny tiny squares were crying out to be made (I'm getting quite into this scale of sewing) and again, were perfect for my skinny strips.  Postage stamp being a very appropriate name for the block.

I'd been making other star blocks that week too so I thought I'd keep the theme going for the Farmer's Wife quilt.

Have you  looked at the Flickr group lately?  It's full of inspiration.  I love the blocks made solely from solids.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

FWQAL week10...

My first block this week was chosen just because I wanted to carry on using my very skinny (1 ½") honeybun roll strips.  Each strip doesn't yield much, so mistakes are going to be unforgiving.  I'm pleased with the way this one matches its points and corners up.

The second block I chose was a real brain teaser.  I checked out the errata page and couldn't find any comment about it, but the block assembly directions just weren't making sense to me for its construction. Maybe I was missing something.

In the end, I had to fudge it together by sewing the little seam on the end of the long strip by folding the already pieced part over and then sewing on the corner triangles.  Probably not the right way, but other than a couple of hardly-noticeable tucks on the corners, I think I've got away with it.

I also wish I'd placed the middle fours tiny squares differently.  Never mind.  No matter, I like this block anyway.