Monday, 27 May 2013

Some things new

Well when I last wrote, I said I might have something different to show you and here it is...

Smocked ball
Yes, I am back to smocking.  This ball was a pattern in one Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine  and uses a 3" diameter ball.  Although it is very pretty I think I might make another, but will alter the pattern and use a smaller ball. That way I think it will look better as a Christmas decoration on a tree.  I had seen some nice sewing related fabric at my LQS so decided, while the pleater was out, that I might just pleat up some fabric and make a rollup sewing companion.  This was also inspired from the Australian smocking mags.

Has a zip pocket which could be handy.
 I am not sure I like this design much, so I might play around with the pattern and see where it takes me.  You will of course be the first to see it if it ever gets off the drawing board, but for now you can see the one 'I made earlier'.

I have now finished the last of my cushions, not sure what is going to keep me busy in the next few weeks but I am sure I will find something.

Last but not least.

 Just a bit of a parade of the finished cushions made over the past few weeks

and here they are all on my newly recovered sofa 

The cushions don't all live on this sofa ...but I like the look
My friend has had problems with her mobile phone, and she thinks it might be the protective case that is causing the problems.  As I have the same phone,  I decided to ditch my case and buy or make a new one.  My daughter had previously offered me a case for my phone from her stock (blossom creations), but at the time I didn't need it, so a quick skype call and with all the measurements taken I had to make my own.  There is room for  cards and some spare money so I think it might work for me  

would be nice if I could have found lime green elastic 

neat and tidy

We have just had a long weekend (Bank Holiday) and believe it or not we have also had sunshine.... let me tell you that doesn't often happen on Bank Holidays in U.K. so the garden has been tidied a little and is looking good.  I hope you all had a sunny weekend.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Great Weekend

We had friends visit over the weekend, so a bit more cooking was called for.  Mr D had found a recipe for a Rhubarb and Orange cake that he fancied and as Rhubarb is in season I thought I would have a go.  I must say I did think it was going to be a bit of a stodgy cake as Rhubarb can hold lots of moisture and you use all the juice from one Orange along with three eggs, so quite a lot of  liquid, but it turned out really great and it will be on my list of favourites to make in future.  What I also liked about this cake was when you cut it you could see the wonderful colour of the Rhubarb so not only did it taste nice it looked pretty too.

Half eaten but look at that colour.

On Sunday morning we decided to go for a walk, and look what we found.....

So sweet
then around the next tree we found more

beautiful Bluebells
When we left home there was still a chill in the air, so we wrapped up nice and cosy.

from left to right.. Mr R, me, Mrs V.
By the end of the walk the sun was out and it turned into a nice warm day, so we spent the rest of the day in the garden lapping up some vitamin D.  Would you believe we even ate outside....great day.

This is another cushion that I have just finished....bet you will all be glad when these are finished and I go onto something new.  

Maybe next time I might have something completely different to show you...

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Whoop! Whoop!

Guess what I have been doing this week......... you won't ever guess because I don't think even I  would have thought that, after our guests had left us, I would recover a sofa...... but Yep! I have done it.

For years we have had cream 'bull denim' covers on our sofas and I loved the fact that they could all be taken off, thrown in the washing machine and put back on and... the sofa still looks as good as new. One of the sofas had got to the point of really needing everything renewing so we invested in a new one.  I could't get a cream sofa that suited us, but we finally found a sofa that was OK for comfort but I didn't like the colour.  We have had it for about a year now but this week it was time for sudden change!!  I was fortunate that my sister had given me some of her curtains (almost new, but not needed any longer) so I decided to 'have a go' at upholstery and because I was using fabric that was no longer needed I really couldn't lose even if I did mess up.
I started with making the seating cushions in the bull denim from the old covers as I thought they would get the worse of wear and the fabric would be stronger than the curtain fabric.  Next were the arms as they needed template patterns, they worked out so well in fabric so I went "hell for leather" on the rest of it.
This is the sofa before I got my hands on it.

Dull Dull Dull, but very practical if you have children..
Arms getting their covers and checking the amount of fabric  .....loads left

All in pieces ready to go

Phew!  almost done.... now where did I put those nuts and bolts?

All covered 
Tah Dah!
Come on tell the truth, it does look better in cream

No Chocolate allowed here>
Recycle  -  Oh yes ..... this new look sofa cost me zero pounds and I have managed to use all that fabric - and all in one day!!    Yeah!!  

I am off tomorrow to make another 'scatter' cushion so watch this space.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Cooking, sewing and unpicking, that's my Saturday

Cushion number 6 is finished, and I am getting to like this new look more and more.  I only have a few more to make, and already I am having withdrawal symptoms at the thought of finishing.

From the magazine Quiltmakers 100 blocks
I spent most of Saturday cooking as we are expecting friends from South Africa on Monday.  They arrived in the country on the 2 May, and are busy visiting family and friends but have us on the list for Monday and I am so excited as the last time we saw them was in 2006.  

I had a couple of hours late afternoon, so decided to make a start on cushion No. 7.  A friend had pinned this block on Pinterest as she thought I would like it....... she knows me so well!!  Its another paper pieced block, and I was getting on so well but just had to do that extra bit.  Well, you  know where that leads don't you....... yes mistakes,  I spent probably about another hour unpicking, just couldn't get those 1/4" seams correct.  Why do we do this to ourselves?????

Can you see how tiny those stitches were that I had to unpick

Unpicked, pressed and now I am ready to start again the next time I have a few hours to spare.,

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Cushions Cushions and more cushions

We have had some very nice weather just recently, and I have spent some nice time in the garden. Its just amazing how quickly the flowers and trees have come into blossom with the warmth of the sun, but, by the same token the weeds have also shot up, so some time spent on my knees.  Our Hanging baskets and Hay baskets have now been planted up, but they will spend a few weeks in the little green house (well, little plastic house) to make sure they don't get caught in any late frost.  I am always amazed at how just a little bit of sunshine can give us hope that summer is on its way.  Today I am back in a jumper, so days of T shirts and toes out have gone for a while.

I have been busy with my cushion making, two completed and another half done.... want to see them???

I am going to show you anyway.... I found this one on Pinterest, and the pattern is here

Bright or what!

The other one completed is from Geta's book.  I am getting quite used to the free motion quilting bit even thought it does take me quite a few hours, but, cutting away that wadding is a real pain.... in more ways than one.

Can you see that mark on my thumb Ouch!
I must have spent longer cutting away the wadding than all of the hours of free motion quilting and making the cushion up, and I have a poorly sorely thumb to go with it.  I did reduce Geta's pattern, so that didn't make it any easier to cut into the tiny places.

Was it worth it?????? Yes it was.

This is my efforts for today... back to bright colours

Paper pieced,

All sewn, now to quilt
Making these cushions has given me the chance to make up some interesting blocks that I have wanted to try for a while.  If the weather is not so good tomorrow I will get this cushion finished and look to see how many more I need.