Sunday, January 28, 2007

London Eye

A couple of pics taken from the London Eye, 'the world's tallest observation wheel' on the bank of the Thames. The views are great but we won't mention the hour and a half that we waited in the queue, even though we had pre-purchased tickets. We have been in London for the weekend with my Mum and my brother and his wife to celebrate my Mum's 70th birthday. The trip also included a visit to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, a real nostalgia fest of all the brands that we grew up with here in the UK. The museum sprang from the collection of one man, Robert Opie, who collected all sorts of packets and tins. It has moved to London from Gloucester and is in the chic Notting Hill area, very close to the Portobello Road Antique Market.

We always seem to run out of time on trips like this, we wanted to go to Liberty's, but couldn't make it there before catching our train back to Leicester. We don't go to London all that often, yet the journey there only took an hour and ten minutes by train and you can get fairly cheap tickets now if you book well in advance. Soooo, no sewing this weekend.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I've been baking. I love to make cakes. Where I last worked, I used to run General Knowledge quizzes at at lunchtimes and make cakes, so that they paid an entry fee and got a free cake and all the proceeds went to charity. I think they just humoured me with the quizzes and all they really wanted was the cake! Whatever, it meant my favourite charity got a donation. Me and DS made these choc-chip muffins this morning. I used a recipe from Jan at Be*Mused - it worked out perfect! DD had her friend to stay over last night so they had them for breakfast (at about 11.30) and DS and his friend had some this afternoon.
I made a little pillow and sheet to go with the doll-quilt - I think it adds a little something! I posted it to the little girl - it's always exciting to get things through the post (well, I think so anyway).

I picked up a couple of plaid shirts at charity shops this afternoon - that only makes about 20 I've got to cut up now! Best get on with it then.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Well, I've been merrily ticking things off my list this weekend. First, I did my tax return - it has to be in by January 30th. I have been putting it off and putting it off, and how long did it take me? About 30 minutes! I used to do some self employed work as well as a salaried job so that is why I've ended up having to complete one, though I haven't done the self employed bit for 3 or 4 years now.

So, once it was out of the way I could enjoy myself. My friend's little girl had asked me to make a patchwork quilt for a little animal doll she has. It only needed to be 5 X 7 inches. I cut 1 1/2 inch squares from leftover strips from Antique Cutie to make it. Somehow I don't think miniature quilts will ever be my thing. On the picture for scale (though I don't think I'm in much danger of anyone mistaking it for a full size quilt) you can see my favourite sewing tool, a pair of little thread snippers. They are so cheap but sharp and they just fit my hand and I don't know what I'd do without them. You can see how much use they've had from where the paint has rubbed off. I saw another pair when I was in Carlisle and bought them so I could have a pair by the sewing machine and a pair by my sofa in the living room - at £1.25 who could resist? What is your all-time favourite sewing tool?

I also made up a string block in honour of Nancy's Birthday Request. Thought you might like to see the clutter in which I work - and you know what, I kind of like it that way! I did another star block too, but I'll wait to show that until I've got a bunch more done. Hope the pics will enlarge if you click on them, but it doesn't always seem to happen.

Now I'm back in the throes of working I think my posts will get more sporadic again. I think I'm better at posting in the summer - you can work better in natural light. DH and I went for a walk this afternoon as it was actually bright and sunny - we are thinking of moving, probably in the same neighbourhood, but we need more space so we thought we'd go out and see what we could see. Not a lot, I think people wait for the spring to put their houses on the market. Means we've got to get our act together by then too, and sort out that loft. Oh yes, that would be the one that is so cram bang full of stuff that you can't walk from one side of the room to the other :-( It's going to be a mammoth task!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A couple of blocks

Not a very productive or pleasurable weekend (and I didn't even get round to doing my tax return, which was what I'd got planned). A series of unexpected events and requests meant that I had very little time to myself or to do what I'd been looking forward to.
But anyway, I am getting very tired of cutting the pieces for the star quilt so one thing I did do was to dip into the bags with the cut pieces and pick out the pieces for a couple of blocks. I'm suspecting this top might just be quite a long term project. I didn't time it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that each block is taking me about an hour to make at the moment. I know I'll get faster the more I do, but I'm left with a sense of bemused wonder at the speed that quilters like Anne and Bonnie work at. Mind you, I did make two string blocks as leaders/enders whilst I was making them, so I suppose you could have the time if you didn't count them.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Here's a pic of the finished Antique Cutie - tried to use the light to show what quilting there is - apart from the quilting in the sashing it's all stitch in the ditch and round the bay leaves. I'm glad I took the opportunity to photograph it because I think that was the first and only time the sun has shone in two weeks (and even then it didn't last long).

Despite my resolution not to go to the sales I did have to go into town today to get DS some new school shoes - we were in the shoeshop for one hour. It has one of those ticket systems for being served and it seemed like everyone else in Leicester had the same idea as us. He couldn't do without a new pair of shoes so we just had to wait our turn. So, I bought him a pair of trainers while I was there too - got to save that time where you can.

As I happened to be in town I couldn't resist these dinky little slipper socks when I saw them - they are adult size, not children's. What a bargain for the princely sum of 50 pence each - hand made and all (not from the shoeshop I hasten to add). I got 2 pairs, one for me and one for DD - what's the betting that she pronounces them hideous?

Update: she is now wearing the red pair!

Took down the Christmas decorations when we got back - we usually do it on New Years Day but DH didn't get the boxes down from the loft yesterday. For once, the house is relatively tidy, I'm going to make a real effort for it to stay that way. It's been great having some time off over the holidays even if only to be able to update the blog a bit more regularly.