Thursday, 4 February 2016

Productive Ponderings *** EDITED***

*** Edited**** to add this photo of Ann's lovely February Mini which she has made into a cushion.   

another lovely sample

I have had quite a productive week, I did (eventually) get the elastic threaded through all of the 46 pairs of shorts for the Dress A Child Charity. They are now all ready to be handed over. I think it may have taken as long to thread them as did actually make them!!!

I didn't get the cardigan finished for Little Miss before we went to visit - I did try but it takes longer to finish off than you think doesn't it?

Anyway, that's done now, posted off and received, and it fits - Yay! 
Love a bit of white knitting!
 I have cast on a pair of socks in some bright yarn and on this tiny circular needle
 That is coming on nicely, and is knitting up quite different to what I had expected.
 Many years ago, my mother knitted socks for...... everyone. She was always knitting or sewing and when my two were little, I would say that I had bought a (whatever colour) pair of trousers or dress on a Thursday and by Saturday, they had a matching cardigan or jumper! She was quick.

After she passed, I had put all of her stash of yarn in my loft because I just didn't know what to do with it.  A couple of years ago, a good friend had started to make socks for a camping trip and I gifted her a rather large bag of lovely sock yarn, because I was NEVER going to make a pair of socks - I just didn't have the time !
Anyway, said friend used all of the bag including all the leftover bits. Which is good. But now I have more time I have started doing a bit more knitting and am learning to crochet too, so I am now purchasing some of the same yarns that I gave away!  "C'est La Vie "

 This is my first pair of socks, and we will see how they go.

On Sunday we had our Mini Mania reveal
We had 10 entries this month
mine 8 1/2" sqaure
Dee's (blogged here)
Becca's (blogged here)
Laney's  (blogged here)
Jo's (blogged here)
Carol's (blogged here)
The brief was to make a minimum of 9 blocks and make a Sampler Quilt.

All so different

Didn't we do well?!!! 

February's Mini is Pineapple Log Cabin and we are using this tutorial  from Little Mushroom Cap.  All printed out ready - and you can join us too

all printed out onto tracing paper
We can make as many blocks as we wish, and the Mini Quilt must measure no more than 24" .   The blocks are printed at 3" finished but we can increase that to 4" if we wish
 One of our members has worked out how many pieces per block.

 I may be re-thinking the number that I make..........

 AND..... We have cleared out the garage - Hubby had a fit,  but did as I asked and now there is empty floorspace and tools put where they should be.

HeHeHe!  He won't be asking me for assistance again in a hurry!!

AND ---- Just how hard is it to decide on a paint colour for our hallway!!!

 We have picked one and I do like it, but not sure about the look of the room. 1960's hospital comes to mind..........

Might just go back to "beige"


Saturday, 30 January 2016

Mini Mania January Reveal

 It's a good job that I cracked on with the December/January Mini Mania early on in December because since Christmas, my sewing mojo has deserted me. I have loads to do, just no motivation to get on with it.

I have spent many hours playing with beads and making Christmas baubles in all sorts of colours and patterns and I am sure there will be more where these came from

 It's not that I've been idle. I have made good progress with my crochet blanket and once a week I make myself sew all the ends in

There's a lot of ends......

But I think I only have a dozen or so rows to complete before I stitch a border and then done!

That has been put to one side as Little Miss needs a new white cardigan so that has taken priority. Hopefully I will get the last sleeve finished and the border knitted up before we see her next. If not it will go off in the post and we always have a "thank you" video so that is lovely. How that child is growing!
my lovely Yarn-bowl bought at Fibre East last year
Back to the Mini Mania

I had sorted out some fabrics for this challenge, but I had also sorted out some of the leftover half square triangles from previous Minis and thought that it would be a good idea to use these.  We are making a Sampler Quilt and I was planning on 3" blocks.

My first block went together well, but my calculations were a "bit" awry ! 
Duh!! finished size is one and a half inches!!
 But I have made one block, so I can't waste that can I?

You know when you sew a strip on the wrong side?  And then on the right side but the wrong way round?  Twice ?  Yup. That was me!
still not giving up!
 Well, I got nine blocks done and thought it best to cut my losses and leave it at that.
 Quilting commenced and binding added
but I don't like the binding .......
 So off came the binding and changed for a softer colour.

Nine blocks and a finished quilt size of 8 1/2"

I have given myself a bit of  a kick up the whatsit and pulled a load of fabrics that I have had for a while and am surely never going to use because I have more that I like better.

A few hours using the over-locker

and a few more on the sewing machine has

resulted in 46 pairs of shorts that will be sent off to the Dress a Child Charity 
Just need to finish threading the elastic through all those waistbands...

Oh! And I whizzed up 9 more knitting bags with those bits and now I have a whole empty drawer.

And a "need to think about this" project has begun. I had been given an old faux leather tub chair which I plan to re-cover (hate leather and faux leather even more)
 I have been wondering how best to take a pattern for this when Darling Daughter came to visit.........
One chair "uncovered" and old cover ready as pattern!

Friday, 22 January 2016

A Trip to the Seaside

Great weekend last week. Trotted off to Essex to babysit whilst E&T went house hunting, then went off to have dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant before going to see what turned out to be a great show.

Let It Be  - the story of the Beatles music was on at the Cliffs Paviilion

They get lots of the newest shows there, often trying them out before they go to the West End.

The tickets were a Christmas gift and Mr T was really looking forward to it as he is a big Beatles fan. Me - I like some of the earlier stuff but thought they got a bit weird , but I'm always up for a night out.

It was GREAT.  Mr T - having seen the real thing ( cos he is old enough!) actually thought that it sounded better than the real thing on stage. We did laugh though, as I am sure there were far more bald heads there, than would have been at an original show!!

Sunday morning saw us walk the length of Southend Pier - 1.4 mile into the Thames estuary and the longest pleasure pier in the world! The wind had dropped and it was a really pleasant walk with the sun trying to peep through the haze.

Little Miss walked some of the way, and then wanted a carry and within minutes she had fallen asleep!  

This pic was taken whilst she was sitting on my lap, sparko, and whilst I indulged in a cup of hot chocolate with the obligatory marshmallows,
looks very grey, but it was lovely.
 You can see how calm the water was. I rather fancy having a go at this kayaking business, but it would need to be a bit warmer!
 There is a train that runs the length of the pier, so we hopped on board for the return journey , which was good as the sun had given up and the temperature had dropped considerably.
just woken up face!
It was our All Day session at Piecemakers so I set about using up some lovely Moda samples and made 6 knitting bags that will end up on some charity stall in the future
Not much sewing done other than that. I am trying my best to get that HUGE crochet blanket finished , so I can move onto the next idea. I do have a cardigan to knit in the meantime!

I have drawn up my pattern for my Piecemakers Challenge, and have sorted out the fabrics, but I can't show you just yet.

Its been so grey and miserable that's a bit how I feel, have finished the week with a grotty sore throat and even my eyeballs ache so i am off to huddle under that blanket. I feel a nap will commence before any stitching does!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Getting On With It

 Well, I've got to get on with SOMETHING!
December seemed to be full of interuptions, last minute requests that I can't say "No" to, and generally messing about.

So far January has not been much better - BUT - though I had planned a sewing day on Wednesday, Mr T decided that he was going to tidy the loft!
Now don't get me wrong, my man is a gem. Very laid back, helps out loads with the domestic stuff, and lets me get away with murder, but his idea of tidying will be to move stuff from one side to the other.

So off up into the loft I went with him and two hours later, it's almost done, and dear hubby looking like he had been hit by a wet fish!  One trip to the tip, and one to the Charity shop and we have cleared all of our ..... why do we keep stuff .. stuff.

A small section needs to be viewed by the "children" and then I can happily say that what is up there will be used again ( Christmas decs and Suitcases)

So now we are at Thursday and so I went straight into my little sewing room and started sorting fabrics (from my scraps - why do they never seem to diminish?)
 As I was about to get on with this months Mini Mania, I don't need much fabric, but I had sorted some half square triangles that had been left over from previous Mini makes so decided to go with them.  My maths brain was still obviously laying on my pillow, because I had anticipated the blocks finishing at 3"
 WRONG!  Finished One and a half inches!  But I had done 1 so 8 more couldn't be to hard?
 I whizzed up some 1/4 square triangles but sewed the last row onto the wrong side! Stupid! So unpick and re sew but this time the wrong way round. Unpick and re sew. WRONG AGAIN!!  Fourth time lucky
By bedtime the front was finished and Friday saw the whole thing quilted and bound.
 All will be revealed at the end of the month. We have a new member to our little group, and I know that she has started her so an extra one to see this time. Still time to join in if you are interested.

After the disappointment of how my first "swap" went ( people not generally joining in with the communication and then dropping out at the last minute so having been given a third partner my bag went off LAST in the group, though it had been finished for over 5 months) - well I was asked by a different Instagram friend, to join in the Totes Amaze-balls swap. So I have. 

 I have chosen my pattern, and found some Zombie type fabric ( so not my thing, but it seems my partner favours this theme) quite by chance so I felt that it was a "sign".
 I am using Noodlehead's Cross Body Bag pattern but wanted to increase the size a bit but when I went to my printer (that had worked perfectly the previous day) it would not print anything black!  6 hours later I was still messing about with it but it has died. Just one day after I had put £60 worth of new ink cartridges in it!  Long story later - I have a new (to me) printer that needs the same cartridges so was able to print of the pattern pieces 20% larger, and actually cut my fabric!

Our first "check in" is at the end of January, and I am hoping that my bag will be done by then.
I must remember to take some progress pics as we have two more "check ins" and the final bag is to be posted off in May.

On the crochet front, the blanket that I am making has grown significantly and is quite cosy to work on now that the evenings are feeling colder. I am over half way I think, and seem to be getting a bit quicker.

I must remember that Double crochet does not grow as quickly as Trebles, but it is for darling daughter, and she likes it.

Monday, 28 December 2015

This Won't be a Long Post

 Despite the fact that its been almost a month since I last made it onto here!!

I have been making things - (18 dozen Mince Pies so far this season!) but lots were for gifts. And to be truthful, I can't really remember what has happened in the last month!!

Darling Daughter decided (not QUITE at last minute) that she was going to make a Christmas table runner and 8 place mats, so she visited my cupboard and found this Fat Quarter Bundle that I have been stroking for a couple of years.
  And no more ado but the ribbon was undone and favourite pieces removed!!
 She is such a brave girl!!!

I did play at making a few more of the beaded baubles. This is such a fun thing to try. Expect to see more of these during the year.
 I managed to take a snap of some stockings made for a friend to give her niece.

We have the instructions for our Mini Mania Challenge. December has been combined with January and this month we have to make a Mini Sampler with a minimum of Nine blocks.  Fabrics for that have been chosen but no sewing at the moment.  The group is open to all, so if you fancy a small project each month with NO PRESSURE! then pop over and see what is going on.

 So we say Hi and Bye to 2015 and looking forward to making things on my list for 2016. I don't make New Year Resolutions, if you're going to make a change - start today!! 
I have made myself a promise to be a bit more organised in 2016 so we will see how that goes!

 Happy New Year Everyone - See you on the other side!!

Friday, 4 December 2015

November Mini Mania Reveal

 This month's Challenge was to make 9 Churn Dash Blocks into a Mini measuring no more than 20".  Simple eh?

Well first there was the debate about what is a Churn Dash!!  After much a bit of discussion it was agreed (was there any doubt?) about what constituted a Churn Dash and off we went.

Mine measured 9" including the borders
 But then I made another measuring 19" and still included the ( blocks

 Jo started off really small too, but then wasn't happy with this one
 So she also made another! Blogged Here

 Angie made One block - a Wonky one, which took lots of working out, cutting and trimming - but what a lovely result
 Carole also went TINY with pieced centres  - Blogged here

 Becca used up some HST"s from another project to make this lovely two tone - blogged here

 Dee was up to her usual tricks and created a completely different Mini using up some spare Jen Kingwell blocks too - Blogged Here

always outside the box!
 And SewGentle also used up some spare HTS's and made this lovely gentle Aqua mini 

 All in all a great months contributions.
We are combining December and January as folk seem to be a bit busy at this time of year. Anyway - We are making a Mini Sampler Quilt with a minimum of nine different blocks with a maximum finished measurement of 20" .

At this point minds have started racing. We will have sneak peaks as we go with a reveal at the end of January.

Anyone can join in the fun, fancy joining us? Pop over here to see

On another note, I have made a rather pretty beaded bauble
and LOVED the process so plan to make a couple more. My Mini may have to take a back seat this week!