Wednesday, 25 February 2015

School bags and horses



Last week was long awaited midterm holidays, so Charlie sat down and played with treadle for the first time. 

After I played a bit with sewing machine embroidery last month, Charlie was itching to try it herself. 

Design ideas were no problem for Charlie as everything needs to be about horses. She made several drawings, copied it roughly on the black fabric and off she went. 

She had wanted to make a bag for herself for a while, and week-long holidays were just perfect for such a project.


The densely quilted bag was a very good project to get treadle motions under the belt. It took several broken threads until she learned the smooth forward motion, but in two hours she was able to put the needle exactly where she wanted at exactly the speed she wanted. 


The bag also has several rather advanced inside pockets, densely quilted (the only black fabric I had at hand was very soft, so dense quilting was needed to make the bag hold the shape and the weight expected from a hard working school bag. 

In some places there are 18 layers of fabric and the batting – thank God for the durability of an old Singer! 

What impressed me – she just kept working, hour after hour, and in three days her bag was ready – exactly the right size, right design and all that. For a 12 yo  it is rather impressive. 




Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Blaming English breakfast



Past few weeks I had been very busy, stressed and tired, so I have done nothing. At least nothing good – I messed up the design colours on my February quilt. And decided not to bother about it. Instead I decided that the faulty bits will be a lifetime reminder of THAT English breakfast. 

It all started two weeks ago when DH rushed the breakfast. The full Monty. Bacon and eggs, hash browns and black pudding, sausages and mushrooms... (See - he is still very nice, not yet out of the honeymoon mode). 

The killer was the black pudding – it slipped and disappeared in the depths of the fridge. DH bent down to find the bugger, caught the lead of the deep fat fryer and spilled the smoking hot oil all over himself. 

Good job that DH is rather hairy and wears glasses thus face got only few freshly fried patches, not even worth mentioning. The right shoulder, hand and knee weren’t so lucky. I burned my hand just by pulling his clothes off (and it was at least 10 seconds later!). 

So he ended up with 6% body burns, some 2nd, some 3rd degree which means hospital and surgery, skin grafts and all other fun. He was bad enough not to be admitted at our local hospital but was sent to Burns unit at Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Birmingham. 

DH being a rather typical man decided that lying in hospital is not exactly his kind of sport, so he insisted on being released... Do you see where I’m heading?

Yes, he has been home since!!! Without functioning right arm...  On Sunday I even needed to change the advanced burns dressings (believe me, it’s not a light experience, for both of us, especially after our nosey cat decided to join the fun in the middle of the procedure!)

Codeine is my blessing as it throws a bit of a nice, fuzzy cloud over his extremely bored brains but anyway – as a result of all this fun I messed up with my design colours. Trust me, it’s so not me. My stitches aren’t perfect but keeping track of patterns in my head never had been a problem. So I blame English Breakfast (you can’t blame your own husband, right?)
What your husbands do when they are extremely bored and restless? Mine picked some shopping therapy (believe me, he is a man!). So... 
Last week he bought:
1)      a new car (Volvo),
2)      a caravan (with aircon and all that),
3)      a new laptop,
4)      a satnav for the new car,
5)      a new TV,
6)      10 tickets for Eurotunnel,
7)      2 Crufts tickets for me.

Actually I’m very happy about the Crufts tickets. Well, as a dog person, going to Crufts is some kind of a lifetime event itself. But the best for me is – it ends on the 8th of March. So DH is planning to drive us to France (for nice holidays!) only on the 9th of March, not this coming weekend as he was planning before ticket purchase. It doesn’t matter that he can’t walk, sit down or stand up properly right now, and his right hand (according to doctors) is at least a monthaway from any driving... He is planning to start light driving this week already (like a light trip to York and another one to Wales). No, he is not suicidal, and he is trying to convince me that codeine is not guilty either, so I can only blame that English breakfast again). It’s such a shame that we married just last year – otherwise I would consider taking really drastic steps to calm him down :D  

Thursday, 12 February 2015

February quilt


This month quilt is just starting to take shape. I had been thinking about this pattern for a while and curious to see the final design. It's still a lot to do but you can see where I'm trying to go.



So far so good, but one thing I learned. The colours. With complicated pattern like this my main two fabrics are too similar in colur.
If I would choose something more bold, the pattern would stand out better. But, oh, well, you make mistakes. maybe this is the time of the year when I look for subtle colours, not so bright and bold as usual. Winter is pale, right? 

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Learning new things

This month I had been rather busy, sorting out scraps and learning new things. Scraps were easy - I love when a pile of leftovers take some shape, and January quilt is a very simple and a no brainer. 60X60 little squares, ending up in about 90X90" quilt top. It will be quilted later this year.

New skills is something I really enjoy. I never learn enough to become an expert, but trying out always feel good. Some time ago I joined a FB group, dedicated to vintage sewing machines and embroydery. People there are making amazing things, and I was curious to give it a try on my old Singer. As I have started to make my first baby quilt, this was the good place to make my first try. Of course, you are supposed to use embroydery threads, but I was impatient and just wanted to try, so I used the ordinary spool (still different colours) and voila! Kitty is there now. When I will find some decent embroidery threads, I definitely will give this technique another try - truly, I recommend you to give it a try as well!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Lone star top

The last day of the last year I managed to finish my Lone Star top.

Weather wasn't nice and my cloth line too low for this one (it's again on the big side) so sorry for poor picture but I must admit that this is the first top which I actually are happy with. It's rather precise, no major mistakes, the true colours are very rich, and it looks great.


Oh, and there are a matching pillow cases for it as well. This is also the first one when I can name the fabric - most of it is Paisley Park by Moda, which I won from Kansas Troubles Quilters, one fabric is vintage SOULEIADO, BY SOCIETE CHARLES DEMERY "TISSU", and the red background is a rich cotton sateen.


On the first day of this year I happily started on rather small by size but my most important project for this year - the first quilt for my first grandchild! I 'll be talking about it a lot (a quilt, I mean!), but a bit later.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmasing up continues

16 sheets of ordinarry office paper and in less than 10 minutes the lamp is dressed up :D Very simple, fast and easy project. I like the outcome and child is over the moon.

Hallway got a bunch of robins - it's rather busy there, so robins can play around in the draft all the time.

Dining room got a touch of holy and a wreath above. I made a proper wreath for the outside door, but inside I do not have the right feel for traditional "holy and ivy"yet, so I'm trying out different things.

It's not perfect but it's one very hearty wreath :D

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Getting ready

Festive countdown started some time ago and I feel already exhausted of all the merryment. But like every year, I'll survive. Among eveything I managed to complete the 12 blocks for the corners of the Lonestar quilt and even the multicoloured strip for the border, but the biggest part of my time had been filled with Christmas cards. DIY cards always had been a tradition in my family so as a devoted traditionalist I just carry on on keeping appearances.

I'm not very well equiped this year - with all the moving around I lost somewhere the box with tempera so I needed  improvise with water colours and a jar of a really crappy white and sheets of chalk paper.

It's like mixing whisky, champagne and mushy peas together in hope to make a brilliant cocktail.

These things happen, you know.

Durate et vosmet rebus servate secundis! 

Whatever, it's time to enjoy! And as this year we celebrate in Coventry then there is special treat - the city's personal carol!