Monday, November 27, 2006

A couple of blocks

The last week was every bit as tiring as I thought it would be - in fact I'm still tired, I left work at 4 p.m. today because I couldn't concentrate at all. Might be something to do with waking up at 2 a.m. unable to sleep. When I wake up in the night, I get up, no sense in lying there tossing and turning. I wish I could feel like sewing in the middle of the night - just think of all I'd be able to get done. But I can't, so I do a crossword or watch the 24 hour news channel, then I go back to bed when I'm finally feeling sleepy.

Haven't even had the energy to sew much. I did do a couple of blocks as try-outs for my next project(s). The lilac and green star is this one that I saw on Keryn Emmerson's blog, Quilting Twin - she had done them in pinks and greens but it really caught my eye because I was looking for a pattern to make up a queen-sized quilt for my bed and I've got lots of scrappy lilacs, greens and creams. As Keryn showed, you can make the block look really different by varying the placement of colours. We just bought a new bed from that great British institution, Marks and Spencer's (now known rather more uninterestingly as M&S) and I wanted to redecorate the bedroom in shades of lilac. You may have spotted the 'oops' in this practice block so I'll have to be careful when I make more - but I'm not going to unpick it and it will go into the finished quilt - it'll get lost once there are a few more blocks together. I think this must be a sign that I'm getting older - when I was younger I probably would have had to unpick it - nothing less than perfection would have done - now I'm a bit more laissez faire.

The other block is a bit different - I'm looking for a pattern that will show off all the shirting plaids that I've accumulated, this is a variation of Scrapbagger, from Quilter's Cache but I'm not quite sure about it. I think I need to make up a few more blocks to see what the overall effect is like.

Have a good week, everyone.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Finished Top

Here's the Antique Cutie top all sewn together. I haven't given it a really good iron yet so it looks a bit wrinkled but I'm pleased with how it came out. I might start to quilt it quite soon because I now have three finished tops that are waiting to be quilted and for a completer finisher like me, that is three too many.

And that's about all I've had time for this weekend. We went to see the new James Bond film, Casino Royale, last night and today we went into town to collect a birthday present for DS and are going back into the city centre tonight for the official 'switch on' of the Christmas lights. I did have the grand idea that I would make Christmas postcards, too, but that kind of fell by the wayside. Maybe this won't be the year when people receive fabric card off me after all.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ain't nobody here but us chickens!

Here are my 15 finished chickens in a basket (oh, yes, those corny phrases are coming out thick and fast).

It has taken me a while to sew all their button eyes on. DS is going to sell them at Charity Week at his school, which we think is next week. All the kids have to sell things to make money for charity like cakes, old books, sweets etc.

I feel as if I haven't blogged much lately or commented much on other's, work has taken over a bit and I've had to spend time preparing papers and presentations. Over the next three weeks I'll be out on the road as I have meetings with 20 of our contractors, some local, some not, so I know I'm going to be tired And after Christmas ... I will be starting a new job, with a new company. I have been with my present employer for 15 years so this is quite a change, but man, am I looking forward to it.

Still haven't sewn up all the blocks of Antique Cutie - hopefully there will be a picture at the weekend.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Here are my 'Antique Cutie' blocks and sashing all laid out and ready to sew together. Sorry the pics are so dark - don't know what happened there, I'm sure the flash went off but I bought myself a new camera to go to Florence with and I'm still getting used to it - I'll try to take some outside when I've finished the top. I think I've worked out why I found this quilt top so hard to work on - because I know exactly what it's going to look like when it's finished. With other quilts I have used patterns like Strip Twist from Bonnie's fabulous Quiltville or using triangles as in Margaret Rolfe and Judy Hooworth's Spectacular Scraps. Using these patterns is really exciting, because you don't quite know how it's going to turn out in the end - the fun is in mixing up all of the scraps and seeing what comes out, or deciding what you are going to do next as you go along, as Hedgehog is doing with her beautiful medallion quilt that she is currently working on. With mine, although the florals are different from those used in the pattern in the book, it makes little difference because the overall look is very similar. That said, the pattern is very pretty, and I like the 30's feel it has to it, although I haven't used any reproduction fabrics.

And hey, at least I'm working out what makes me tick!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Finally, I have been able to get back to something I want to sew. These are the sashing strips and cornerstones for 'Antique Cutie', although I have still only completed one block of the machine applique. Don't know what it is about this one, but it's very slow going, I suspect that although it has lots of different florals, it just isn't scrappy enough for me.

I made DS a waistcoat and altered his school trousers into breeches and they went on their trip today. That waistcoat took me all of Sunday to make! I made it the largest boys size but it was a teeny bit too short - I seem to remember from when I sewed clothes a lot that they usually came out too big/long so that was surprising.

Today I went out for lunch with some workmates to a really pretty restaurant close to Bradgate Park in Leicestershire. Bradgate Park was the home of Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England for just nine days until she was ousted by Mary I and executed. The restaurant is called Gibson's Grey Lady after her and is right in the heart of some beautiful countryside. The pics show the restaurant and some views of Bradgate Park - the food is great too. In this picture you can see some of the rock formation peeking out of the ground - Bradgate Park has some of the oldest surface rock formation in England.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Just a couple more pics of our holiday (if blogger will play nice).

I'll be doing some sewing at the weekend but maybe not quite what I want to do. DS is going on a school trip next week to an old manor house and all the kids have to dress up in Victorian costumes. For boys this is a long sleeved shirt, neckerchief, breeches, waistcoat and flat cap. I can adapt most things from clothes he already has, but I need to go into town and get a pattern for a waistcoat to make this weekend so it looks like that will have to come first sewing-wise.

Drat and double drat, blogger has just got rid of my third picture - got to see if I can get it back. Why does it do that?