Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Do you remember I joined a Mini Q.T. Swap on flickr and I showed you this sneak peek of the mini quilt I was making for my partner

Sneak peek
As my partner received it last week I can now show you the finished 8" x 12" mini.   We had a choice of Pinwheels, Log cabin or Chinese Coins, and I decided on the Pinwheels.  I thought it might be good to try different size pinwheels and to say that some of them were fiddly would be an understatement.

It measures approx. 8" x 12" 

My other  finish was the Medallion Quilt that a friend and I attempted with  Sew Mama Sew .  It was a 'sew along' which  gave us a bit more incentive to finish.  I  am thrilled with it, finished  measurement 25" x 25".  I am not sure I have room for it on the wall, but sure it will find some place to live.

25" x 25" finished size

Now my friend that joined me in this little venture has also finished and this is her little beauty

Great aren't they?

Mr D and I  travelled up to Yorkshire for the long weekend, and had a bit of time catching up with our family. Young Mr J has not long passed his drivers test, so we asked him to drive us to see his new venture.

Nice clean car Mr J.

Owning some fancy hens (well chicks and eggs) is the new venture, and visit them we did.  He has had a problem with the farmer dog (who was supposed to be good with chickens) so these little ladies (and the odd man)  have to be kept in their houses and only let out for a bit of a run until further fencing, barbed wire, electric fencing can be erected....... I am joking, but the fencing does need perhaps some chicken wire added

Forgotten their breed but they are pretty little things

A number of different houses for the different breed

We had a bit of fun trying to get  them back in the hen houses, after all we didn't want the farmers dog to have another lunch snack.

Some Yorkshire days were not too bad ......

touch of blue sky
and others were a bit grey 

so on these days we stayed at home and I got a bit of crochet done.

Lots of flowers ready for the borders

On Monday we walked up to the viewing point for one of the only remaining quarries in Nidderdale.  The Coldstone Cut quarry is hidden in the hills and is still a working quarry.

The viewing area

This was part of the walk up.

All in all a wonderful long weekend. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Lots of starts but no finishes

A couple of weekends ago  at Peterborough show grounds they hosted 'The Makit L.Q. and N Fair'  and it marketed itself as  "The East's largest collection of specialist suppliers for Lace-making, Quilting, Beading, Tatting, Embroidery, Knitting, Gold-work, Crochet and most other Needle-crafts". I am not sure this was the correct description, but I do have to say, if I was making lace again there were some stunning bobbins, beads and lace making thread that surely would have tempted me to put my hand in my purse.
As it was, there wasn't really much that made me quiver with excitement, but I did see some wool, and when knitted up it gave a lovely 'fair isle' look.   I thought I really had to try this for myself !   I bought just one ball of sock yarn and the needles ( like I need more needles!! ) and started knitting.

No Fair Isle look in mine, just stripes
 Got carried away watching T.V. and miss counted, so......

Its called unknitting I think
I'll let you know how they turn out at a later date!!

We have had a few really lovely warm days,which makes us feel summer is on its way, so a trip to the local nursery and planting up the baskets was called for.  I think some of them will be kept in the warm for a few more weeks, but thought I would show you how they start and in perhaps a month we can revisit them to see how they have changed.

Just a few bits bought 

Non Stop Begonia's
Wandering the garden I spied this little beauty,

Just the one grew  from a whole packet of seeds!
but these pretty 'fairy' flowers grow each year with little or no attention....

So Pretty

How clever is nature!!
When I lived in S.A. a friend used to make up baby clothes for ladies to complete the smocking, and as I have some fabric that I particularly like, but no babies to make for, I thought I would have a go and see if I could make it work.  I pulled up the smocking, then made up the romper without completing the smocking, and on this particular garment I think it will work.  There would be no 'blocking' (setting the pleats) on this romper so all should work well.......another thing to come back to at a later date.

All I need now is the baby to go in it!

I have a 'whole-cloth' that has been finished for a number of years, but I have never known what to do with it as the size is 39" x 39", too small for a quilt, so I am going to add blocks all the way around the edge and make it into a quilt.  I am going to my local quilt shop  to a 'beginners and improvers' group with Jan Shepherd to learn how to 'quilt as you go' the blocks and add them to my 'wholecloth'.......good idea or what!!!!

As you can see it has been folded for tooooo long.
So lots to come back to visit in the coming months.

Hope all of you living in U.K. have a great long weekend......drive safely.

Friday, 16 May 2014

bit of baking....well sort of

Yep! bit of baking going on this week.  My friend had lots of Rhubarb and offered me some, so I decided to make the Orange, Rhubarb and Almond cake that I made in the last Rhubarb season....but while I am making a mess in the kitchen, might as well get a few things done. Actually something went wrong with every thing I made,  I first forgot the almonds for the top of the cake, so opened the oven after 10 mins and may be that is why it seems to have a dip in the middle.

Looks a bit dented in the middle, but sure it will taste fine

 I had a few sticks of Rhubarb left after the cake, so thought I would try Mary Berry's crumble mix. I chopped walnuts, mixed it with the rolled oats flour sugar and butter...... what could go wrong...left it a touch too long in the oven that's what went wrong with that....plus the recipe from Mary must make a big crumble topping, far too much for our few sticks of Rhubarb....

Pushed the burnt bits to the back 

Now, when we were in S.A, for our holiday my daughter's Mum -in-law cooked a really yummy chocolate cake.  I am not so fussed about chocolate cakes, but this one was really nice, and would serve as a desert, so as we have visitors this weekend I thought I would have a go.  This cake is cooked in the Microwave, something else new to me, but you only live once, so lets give it a go. I first spent extra time making the paper linings for the (new) microwave cake pans

I even used my quilting ruler that draws circles.......I know!I know! ... bit sad really

Melted the chocolate, then had to add eggs with a hand whisk, I have a new one of those, but that was my first mistake.  I didn't know the difference between the speed control and the button to eject the blades....I wanted to eject the blades.... 
I think if you click on the photo you will see the mess the kitchen got in.......everything was covered, includng my new ipad recipe book.....Der!!!!

the brandy was for the cake....promise!
I also forgot to add some of the baking powder, the recipe asked for 50ml. and I only used about 30ml.....the rest was found on the worktop after the first cake was cooking away.....don't ask how I managed that...  but this is what it looked like with its chocolate topping (another thing I have never done before).....

Looks okay, but I'll let you know how it eats..

Enjoy your weekend...

Monday, 12 May 2014

Bit of a change.....

When we went to visit my daughter in South Africa she was painting old fashioned furniture  'retro furniture' with what I thought was new paint called 'Chalk' paint.  Chalk paint is a matt finish paint that can be used to cover any surface without first having to sand etc. Now I had not seen this paint, but  on Saturday I went off with a friend to a painting course.......or should I say furniture painting course using 'Chalk' paint.  I had to search the house for something suitable to paint, but eventually settled on a box I keep sewing patterns in...

Ready to start....
I spent ages picking my main colour, but finally decided 'refreshing' was the one for me

First Coat 
I then added a second coat (not all items need two coats) and used a colour called 'lace' to dry paint over the top giving my box a streaky look.  Then it was decorating time, so I chose to use a stencil with keys on, but found that a bit messy (if you look there is a blob of darker colour on the key), so chose a different stencil for the front.......what do you think so far........

Think I should leave at that.
We were given some hardboard to practice on, and I loved this bit of practice....

Not sure what to do with it......
and I had a play with some sponge stampy things 

I only had time for this.

My box is now back in its place filled with pattens again...........Oh yes, had to put back my scruffy Angel

Sweet don't you think

Fun day, but I am not sure I am going to be taking up this for a living hobby.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Ta Dah!!! well not quite

I have been busy with my medallion quilt along with sewmamasew this second part took a bit longer and was a bit more fiddly,

friendship stars completed Phew!
next I had to make the square in a square border....

Chain pieced these bits.
and I know I should n't do this, but couldn't resist sorting them a little bit

Rows ready to go
First things first.....add the friendship starts

Mmmmmm I am liking it so far
I then added some skinny borders, but forgot to get them in a photo....shame!  My next step was to add the square within a square and the last skinny white border......what do you think?.

Yep! I like it
One thing with this quilt you end up with this...

the cut off bits
I did throw away the tiny triangles, but the bigger ones have been kept, and when I have too much time to spare, I might just go into making a miniature....we will see.

Because my quilt is not sandwiched, I can't really claim a final 'Ta Dah'  but I have finished this....

Ta Dah!!!!
See you next time, happy sewing..

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Mixed Bag

Bit of mixed bag this post.  It started last Wednesday when I had an appointment in the afternoon that I really didn't fancy going to, but being the good girl that I am off I went and my reward was an evening out with Mr D to see the musical 'Tonight's the Night'.  I love Rod Stewart, and I have to say when the musical first started it took me a bit of time to realise 'this was not Rod singing',  but once you got over that and settled down the rest of the evening was great.

I have made a start on another crochet project.  I think this might be a long term project, but also hope it will encourage my crochet ladies to try another different block and perhaps a new stitch or two. I think I will join them all together with double crochet rather than sewing them with needle and thread.  I think I need a few more colours, so I am waiting for them to arrive.

First nine....another few hundred to do
On Sunday the group I go to on Mondays had organised a trip to Uttoxeter to a Quilt show.  The coach trip was made even more amusing with banter from the driver and one of the ladies that organised it - gave us all a few laughs.  The show itself was one of the smaller shows, but I did buy a couple of things .......as if you could go to a show and come away with nothing!  I made a start on my first project, and was surprised how long it is taking to add all of the layers.  

First layers added...more to come

Layers done now adding some glitzy cord

Looking more like a casket 
I have also started cutting the second stage of my Medallion quilt.   I really am amazed that it takes so long to cut these small bits, and if I have a choice of scrap fabrics that can add another couple of days to the process.

The pink 'Birdie' fabric and the pale green fabric are auditioning for the small borders

I have finished the 'mini quilt' that I am making for a swap, but of course I can't show you that until my partner has received it.  I will be posting it off in a couple of weeks as she must receive it by the end of May, and I promise as soon as she lets me know its in her hot little hands I will of course show all.  To keep you interested here is the sneak peak I let my partner see...

What do you think...Log Cabin, Chinese Coins or Pinwheels? 

Have a good 'long' weekend.