Sunday, July 30, 2006

My first FMQ

Yay, my first FMQ quilt! I need to put the binding on but it is quilted all over with loops and swirls and I am particularly pleased that when you turn it over the quilting is distributed evenly - I had a fear that it would be far apart in some bits and close together in others. My daughter likes it, though I have explained that it was just for practice - close inspection bears this out as there are, shall we say, some interesting variances in stitch length here and there and some rather wobbly lines in the border :-) This top is about 40 X 57 inches - what I think I'll do soon is to make a couple of smaller charity quilts to get more practice in. But all in all it has turned out OK for a first attempt.

And for my next project ...
I have started cutting out a pattern in florals but not much to see yet so no pic.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

All work and no sewing

What a week - I've been to Coventry (twice), Derby and Grantham for work and fitted in a visit to my Mum too. Although I have tried to keep up with other's blogs I haven't had time to comment much - although bloglines is a great help I think I'll have to go back to just going through my bookmarks to catch up with everyone. I think this is about the longest I've gone without posting for a while. It's just one of those times when work takes over and I've been too tired to do anything in the evening other than water the allotment. So apologies for not commenting and I will get round to it soon.

I have got a new free motion foot - and guess what, I don't think the other one I had was a genuine Brother foot as the new one is different (and hasn't broken and does float better over the top of the quilt). So maybe it was a fault with the foot rather than with me. The FMQ is going OK so I'm hoping to be able to post a picture soon.

Just so I do have a picture (after all this wouldn't be too interesting without one) here is the afghan I crocheted for DD. The colours are brighter in reality. I want to crochet a rug like Darcie's out of fabric but can't quite get round to starting - maybe in the winter I'll get round to it.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Quilting Disaster

Okay, I thought I'd have to give free motion quilting a go. So, once I'd put borders on my pink and green squared top I thought that would be good to start on - I didn't care too much about it so I wasn't worried about 'ruining' it. DD is going to camp at a music festival next month so I thought she could put it in the tent. So there I was, stitching away merrily (but not very evenly - hey I'm still learning). I remembered what Anne, at Quilting Bebbs had said about starting in the middle and moving to the edges. I thought this could be like one big practice piece.

And then THIS happened. The needle broke into 3 pieces and the actual plastic part of the foot sheared off. I don't think I hit a safety pin so I have no idea why this happened. Maybe it's a cosmic message ~stick to stitching in the ditch~. So I have no idea whether it's a faulty foot or whether it was something I did wrong. Either way, the quilt will now have to wait until I can order another foot. I haven't tried the machine with another foot yet, so I hope there is no other damage to it.

One thing I did find out when I was doing the fmq - my machine always stops with the needle up and you can't set it to stop with the needle down - kind of annoying when doing this. Other than that I love my machine, it's a Brother star 230E and has lots of features that I like such as a top loading bobbin so you don't have to put it in a seperate case and pull the thread through.

And, best news yet, it's raining, what a relief!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Back from Prague

Back from our short break in Prague - as you can see from the pics it was absolutely beautiful, but very, very hot. All of Europe seems to be suffering from a heatwave. The second pic shows the view from a hill on the edge of the city - normally you can go up by funicular railway but it was closed for repairs so we walked up (in the baking sun). Just the three of us went - DH, DS and me, my daughter didn't want to come - just too uncool to be seen walking around with parents and a younger brother, so she stopped with my mum.

We nearly had a disaster - I thought we were coming back on Thursday but when I checked the tickets we were actually coming back on Wednesday - good job I looked because otherwise we'd have missed our flight home for sure.

This was the first week of the school summer holidays for DS - in Leicester the kids break up a week earlier than most of the rest of the country. This is historical as years ago all of the textile and engineering factories shut down for the second two weeks in July so the workers could go on holiday. Not many places take the traditional fortnight now but the schools have kept to it as where it is still in force workers have no choice of when they take their holiday and it would cause some people inconvenience if the schools only broke up at the end of July. Of course, this means that Leicester schoolchildren still have six weeks holiday but they have to go back to school a week earlier than the rest of the country - so there are drawbacks.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not much sewing going on around here lately, the new job is quite demanding (particularly as I'm still doing my old one at the same time - don't ask) and I've had to travel about a bit this week.

Also I've been packing as we are going away on holiday for a few days to the Czech Republic. I hate packing - I just can't imagine how all you bloggers out there who are moving house must feel, just packing a suitcase stresses me out. I am looking forward to going away though.

I didn't want my last post for a few days not to have a picture so I've just used another postcard made for a friend's birthday to fill up the space with a bit of visual interest :-)

I'll look forward to catching up when I get back - bye for now.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Depression Block Progress

Blocks all sewn together and pinned to our old shed - I like the rustic air it gives to the quilt top!! This was nice and easy to put together and I really like the fact that because it's so scrappy you never quite know how it's going to turn out in the end.

It's a pity that some members of my family don't share my reverence for all things quilty. I came home the other day to find my 24inch ruler leaning against a wall instead of in it's usual holder. Suspecting foul play I questioned DD, only to be told that she had been using it to try to swat a fly! My acrylic ruler, a fly? What is the world coming to? Needless to say she has been given very firm instructions not to do it again, ever.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I did finish it

Here are a couple of pics of the quilt I made for my DS - he really likes it, which is the most important thing, but it was a learning experience for me. I didn't realise how difficult it would be to stitch a thicker batting by machine so I just had to do my best and stitch in the ditch between the squares. I never intended to do anything more complicated on it but just doing that was a real headache. Note the cunning way that there are no close-ups! The second pic was meant to be the only one I posted but the quilt did seem a bit too far away! We all went to the cinema yesterday to see 'Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest' - a bit of a disappointment and way too long at 2 1/2 hours althought the more comic parts were good. It was only the second day of release here in the UK and the cinema was packed.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Progress so far

All the HSTs have been sewn into squares so now it's just a matter of making up the blocks - not much progress this week because I don't have much time in the evenings but I have completed four blocks so it's coming along. There might just be a few dodgy darks in there but I'm pleased with it overall. The other pic is of the lavatera in our garden after the rain. Yes, after days of sweltering sun it has now rained for the last 3 days and I've had to bring Frankie inside so he doesn't get wet! Thanks to those of you who have given me rabbit keeping tips - they are much appreciated.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


The latest addition to our family - Frankie the rabbit. Apologies for the 'behind bars' pic - we had only just got him when DH took it and I haven't taken any since.

My Dad got him for us - I have to admit I was a bit dismayed at first because I didn't have a long haired rabbit in mind, just your common or garden normal short haired rabbit. Long haired rabbits take a lot of grooming to stop their fur becoming matted and with a full time job, allotment, and 2 kids I did wonder just when I was going to fit this in. (Yes, I know he is DS's rabbit and I will encourage him to groom him but it's going to take him a while to become confident)

However, I am pleased to report that Frankie seems to have a lovely temperament and will let me pick him up and groom him so things aren't looking too bad now.

The other downside has been the weather - it has been unbearably hot here and we've had to put the rabbit run under a parasol to protect him from the sun. In fact today we put the hutch in the kitchen because it was just too hot outside. Frankie's well on the way to becoming a house rabbit.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Depression Block

Haven't posted any sewing lately but I have been working on a depression block quilt. This is my test block - I have nearly cut out enough HSTs for setting the blocks 4 X 5, just need to cut a few more dark ones. Then I'll jumble them all up and see what comes out - nice and scrappy, just the way I like it. I'm hoping to get some sewing done on it this weekend.