Sunday, 25 June 2017

A Seaside Start

I finally got an excuse to buy some really lovely pirate/seaside material! A colleague and his wife are expecting their first baby, so of course I have to make them a quilt!

I found a lovely pinwheel block on Pinterest, and decided to use that for this quilt. I didn't have filler fabric to do a traditional pinwheel quilt, so out came the pencil and the rubber, and some amazing coloured pens!

I spent about 2 or 3 hours planning this out, and have tweaked some combinations since doing the original pattern!

This weekend, alongside supervising the Year 11 Prom, having a meal with one set of friends, and going swimming with another good friend, I have managed to get all my big blocks, rectangles and little squares cut out and ready to go!

Please note the notepad - there to carefully track how many of each size block for each pattern I needed! Makes the disappearing nine patch seem far easier now! I also think I'm becoming much more particular with how I lay things out and how I prepare a quilt (not that I wasn't particular before, but I think I'm getting worse!).

In none sewing updates; last weekend I had a bit of an explore of Cambourne whilst Darren had a course there. It's a new build village (there's quite a few down here). It was absolutely gorgeous, and the really hot weekend helped show it off - and also helped me get burnt.

I have also been marking coursework and exams in work for my year 12s - that's mostly all done now, but has kept me away from the sewing a little (mainly because I have felt too guilty to sew in the evening when I had work I should have been doing).

But I did manage to find time on Friday to have a clearout of a lot of resources - I have a rule for home and work clearouts; if I haven't used it for a year, it needs to go. If it's presence surprises me, it definitely has to go! It's awful how much paper I will be clearing out, but at least it will be recycled!

Thank you for reading yet another long post - hopefully there will be more quilt updates during the week! To finish, here is a lovely sunset (well I thought it was anyway) from my bedroom window! Have a lovely week all.

Friday, 9 June 2017

A Bit of a Catch-Up

Hello! I have been shockingly remiss at posting this past month; although I have been taking lots of pictures ready for the blog. Looking forward to catching up on all your lovely blogs too!

It's going to be a bit of a pictureful and chatty post, but I hope you enjoy!

Going back about a month ago, the lovely Lin from St Victor Quilts sent me a gorgeous parcel due to her blogaversary give away. I love getting post, and it had a bag of lavender in it, which I could smell before opening the parcel.

Look how lovely it all looked wrapped up!

Upon very careful opening, I found lots of lovely things! A beautiful sewing pouch containing some different threads and a very neat needle pod (with needles); some beautiful material (I didn't get a good picture of this) that coordinates so well with the thread; and a beautiful wall hanging, that is yet to go up but I think I have the perfect spot for it. I just need to work out a lovely thing to make with the material - I'm sure it will come to me!

Thank you so much again Lin - I feel very lucky!

Last weekend, one of my closest friends from university, Becky, and her husband Martin came to stay. They'd never been to Cambridge before, and it put on a good show and was gorgeous and sunny for their visit. We walked into the city centre, and I showed them a fair few of the colleges; unfortunately most weren't open to the public that day, but we sat in the grounds of one and enjoyed watching people punting (with varying degrees of success!). It was a really lovely day, and it was nice to show off Cambridge - although I think I need to work on my tour guiding!

I haven't been sewing as much as I would like, but I have managed to finish one page of the cross stitch pattern! I even got to use some shimmery thread in a tweed effect, and it looks lovely (can't quite catch it on camera).

That corner of the cross-stitch suddenly feels much more solid, and weighty if that makes sense? So pleased with how it's looking!

I chose to carry on with the top right corner - basically because the pattern for that is on the back of the pattern of the corner I have just finished! Keep working on the sunset in the evenings, and getting distracted by the non-sewing sunsets going on around me! Here's a bit of a before and after:

Planning to do some sewing this weekend, but not sure if it will be cross-stitch or something else...

In another bit of exciting (for me) news, I got myself a lovely little car! And we have managed to get some Yankee Candle into Claudia the Cleo! Already loving the freedom (we managed to go to Aldi for food shopping - how exciting!!!); I definitely think Claudia will help with the sewing habit too! I made sure there was plenty of boot space for material...

I think I'll leave it here for now! Thank you if you made it to the end!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A Yarny Weekend

I didn't quite manage to take part in Friday Night with Friends, as I was in Nottingham visiting my step-sister. We did sneak in some crafting, as she too has got the bug.

Saturday was Love Your Local Yarn Shop day, so we visited her local yarn shop in the centre of Nottingham. It was a really lovely atmosphere, and there were lots of ladies set up and knitting. There were also a few being tempted by the wool surrounding them. And yes, I was tempted. Although I also feel I was very restrained!! I am planning on using this wool for some gifts, but we shall see! It is so soft to touch, and the turquoise-blue one is my favourite colour.

We also spent the afternoon at Hardwick Hall. This is a Tudor home, that housed Mary Queen of Scots for some time. It was built by Bess of Hardwick, and her granddaughter Arbella lived there. I learnt that Arbella could have inherited the throne from Elizabeth I, but James was named and seemed to have a slightly stronger claim (although they were both descended from Henry VIII's sister). It was quite fun to learn something new from that period of history. I also learnt that the Dukes of Devonshire are the same family - their more famous home is Chatsworth House, which I love visiting and is worth going to if you're ever in that part of England.

I also learnt that tapesteries were used as table coverings (like table cloths!). Not sure how I feel about all that work at risk from food spillage. There were tapestries everywhere at Hardwick Hall, and it appears it is quite famous for them. Bess of Hardwick made a lot, using material from priests robes. Some have been restored really carefully; the last owner of Hardwick Hall even painted some tapestries where the pattern had gone. It was amazing to see things that were at least 500 years old still there, mostly intact. And in some cases, it was hard to believe such intricate things were handmade so long ago.


                                                                 Mary, Queen of Scots

                                                                    Queen Elizabeth I

                                                                    Amazing tapestries

                                                   A really giant (and yummy) scone!

                                                       The back of the house

The evening was spent cross-stitching. I'm ever so close to finishing the first page of the pattern (or the crosses anyway!). Will manage that by Saturday morning (fingers crossed!)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A Friday Not-so Sewing

See what I did there?? Tee hee

I managed to get a bit of cross-stitch done this weekend, but not much at all (it wasn't noticeable on a picture).

It's been the first week back in school, so a bit of a shock and felt quite sleepy each evening!

I have managed a couple of non-sewing, yet perhaps interesting things. I went to see Aladdin last Tuesday night (tut tut, a school night!) with a lovely friend of mine. It was really good! Cleverly done, sticking to the Disney movie with some new bits and pieces. I recommend! And the theatre was stunning! I ended up with a t-shirt and a programme (a tradition when I go to a show) and they gave a free mug with the purchase. Perfect size for me!

I also did a day of revision for my students on Saturday (less exciting) as their exam is next week. Made an information page for them about Photosynthesis - it almost counts as crafty as it is beautiful in my opinion and took a lot of work and planning!

Also, the lovely husband went halves with me and I got the beautiful handbag version of my purse (or the summer version). So it's half treat to myself and half wedding anniversary gift. Really love it - and going to make sure I read any books on it that I haven't already (which aren't many).

Hope you all had a more productive FNSI!

Monday, 17 April 2017

And Back to the Cross-Stitch

After my grand plans at the start of the holidays to get through lots of projects, I only finished one and managed to add one to my pile!

This second week of the holidays saw me in school for 3 days helping students revise, and lots of socialisation with people (which was lovely). I even managed to get to the cinema to see Beauty and the Beast - which wasn't bad at all!

As I was busy most days, I ended up just cross-stitching in the evenings. The photos below are yesterdays progress (there is more off the hoop, but I didn't move it as both times I took a picture I was halfway through some stitching). Seeing lots of gaps filling now!


I also managed to try a new recipe - lemon and blueberry skinny muffins. Very tasty (according to the husband and his friend). Just need to refine my icing skills!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

I Couldn't Help Myself

So in a month that I have decided to use to finish projects, I managed to buy more material! (bet you're not surprised!)

It is some gorgeous pirate material that I have seen the past couple of months. I bought these fat quarters from The Little Fabric Stall in the Cambridge market; the advantage/disadvantage of nipping to town in the holidays, as she isn't there at weekends! And this material does have an intended use!

I was also tempted by this gorgeous purse from Podarok (another independent shop). It sort of fits into the sewing theme. It also has a matching bag...

Sewing has been a little more on hold the past few days, as I have been doing revision school (I have one more day) and I made another attempt at a driving test - my final attempt as I actually managed to pass this time! Now I'll be able to get to more and more material shops and crafting events - or will be less limited by what I can carry....tee hee!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

FnwF April - and a finish!

I have spent about 3 and a bit days this week working on a crochet cushion for my big sister (she only asked for it about 3 years ago!). The pattern I used was from CrochetSpot - they have really clear patterns, but you just have to remember the stitches are American, so can be named slightly differently to what you are used to.

I also made copious use of stitch markers this time - I can see why patterns recommend them (!)

Poor Darren this week kept thinking I wasn't listening to him; it's just very hard to count and respond to questions!


Friday was spent finishing off the flower and sewing it to the main cushion. It went slightly off centre but I'm pretty chuffed with it. It's also weirdly surprisingly weighty (thinking about it, it shouldn't be surprising that it is quite heavy but nevermind!)

And that is one of my April projects finished! Pretty pleased with it - and not sure why it has taken me so long to get around to it as it was very quick to put together in the end!

I hope you all had a lovely Friday evening sewing.