Friday, 17 March 2017

A Day Out

On an (almost) spur of the moment, and after three hard days in the garden, we decided that would would take a trip out. But where to go?  I have quite a number of places on my list, but this week we chose Oxford. Its about an hour run out to this historic city, and we used te excellent Park and Ride system to get into the heart of town.

There are so many beautiful buildings here - we certainly are not about the shopping!   

But one that was on my list to visit was "The Radcliffe Camera" which was built to house the Radcliffe Science Library. 
designed by James Gibbs in neo-classical style and built in 1737–1749
So we rock up to book a ticket for one of the guided tours only to find that they only take place on Wednesday Friday and Saturday 😞 and we were there on Thursday πŸ˜’ so back on my list of "things to see" it goes until we get back, maybe in the summer!

 So we just wandered around the city popping in and out of some of the buildings that were open on a Thursday πŸ™„

Opposite the "Camera" is the University Church of St Mary The Virgin,

 Which was VERY well heated for a church! 

 After a stop for a bite of lunch,  more wandering, this time around the Bodleian Library area.

 Then into another little church - this time the Anglo-Saxon St Michael at the Northgate, Oxfords oldest building, originally built around 1000–1050, with the tower from 1040 still in existence.

Which was charmingly simple. 
 The Lady's chapel a little more ornate

 William Morris (the artist and designer of beautiful fabrics) was married here in 1859.

the original Saxon Tower

the easiest way to get around the city!

A fabulous Magnolia just beginning to bloom
 Lots of the Oxford buildings were used in the Harry Potter films (of which I have seen none!) but I did recognise many sites of foul murder that appeared in the Morse seriesπŸ˜‚

We were there longer than we thought, and rather than get caught up in commuter traffic ( all those bikes)  we stopped at a tea shop for a little refreshment before we headed home

couldn't resist πŸ˜‹

Back at home I have caught up on some sewing - but most of it is a secret so will have to wait for a bit.  I did pull the fabrics for my March Mini Mania  - the colours were chosen for us
 And I have finished my Tessellation quilt with over two weeks to spare!  My math skills were appalling when working out how many pieces of each were needed so the extras were sewn together to make the backing, so I am not unhappy about that. 
 It is quilted and bound ready for the reveal at the end of the month.
Now I will get back to another UFO on my (very long) list . 

Monday, 6 March 2017

A couple of Finishes!

 Well, I did get my Lovebugs quilt blocks all finished and put together, but then there is the problem of "how to Quilt?"

 I layered it all up and waited for inspiration.

After the "jigsaw episode" I knew that all had been forgiven when Mr T spent some time putting this new tiered strawberry planter together ready for Little Miss to come scrumping

just ready for planting

 Our Mini Mania Challenge this month was "Cre8". No quilt blocks allowed 

We had had a workshop at my local group, ages ago, where we added all sorts of stitches and threads to a piece of fabric, so I elaborated on this idea, dying some lace to fit my colour scheme. But what would i actually do with this piece? All of my mini quilts are hanging in the house, but I decided that this months mini would look great as a book cover.

 I am making a few pieces to add to a friends sales table at an exhibition in June. This may well be added to the pile.

 I am making some headway through my stack of scraps ( though I did cheat on the clear out and sent a friend up north a 5kg bag full of scraps) this is a finished quilt ready to go off to Project Linus
A bit of time (when the mood takes) spent putting together the block for my Piecemakers Christmas Challenge. My Block is finished, and now this has to be made into an "item of choice". 
I think I know where this is going
 Piecmakers had a trip to Duxford Quilt Show on Saturday, but I could not go on that day, however, a friend who also couldn't make the date, decided that she would go on Friday and asked if I would like to tag along.
Never say no to an outing !
 We arrived on a very wet and windy day!  The exhibition is held at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.  They had moved the planes out of the area, and there were some lovely exhibits.

This one particularly caught my eye 😍
 Very clever idea. You could only "see" the circles from a distance

Another pretty exhibit 
 So simple but so pretty

 This one was interesting, but after waiting for ages to get a proper pic, I decided that I didn't like it that much.😐
a lot to talk about
 And the finished Love Bugs Quilt has added MORE scraps to the box. But I have downsized the box so not too bad?

 Inspiration did come and a few days of quilting has seen this one crossed off my list of to do's.

 I have even labelled this one, though I'm not sure where it will find a home... πŸ˜•

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Snowdrop Sunday

 In February each year, the church in the next village to us, opens to show a spectacular display of Snowdrops and Aconites.
 The walk up to the church
 It is always a popular event and this year was no exception

 Trust me - the place was heaving!
 There are many varieties including some stunning doubles

 And simple singles

 There are thousands of them

The church was full of people buying pots of the little flowers and having a cup of tea and a slice of cake. 

Mr T treated us to a cup of homemade soup - scrumptiousπŸ˜‹ 

 It was a lovely day for it and I am sure they will have raised a good amount for the church funds

 I think we may venture back again when the church yard is a bit quieter, later in the week

Monday, 13 February 2017

It's Been A Funny Old Time.....

 With our January Mini Mania reveal - this month's theme was House and Home.

I had started an applique piece which I had intended to be vaguely similar to this  

This piece hangs in my local Library, and was worked on over a number of years by ladies at the Library.

But as the deadline drew closer, I was not happy with what I had started, so in the bin it went!

A rummage  in my scrap box and after a fairly hurried day of sewing ...πŸ˜“

 Here is My Street of Houses.

 Nothing like I had planned, but a finish non the less 😏

Because I had been sorting scraps - AGAIN!- I put together 6 Incubator size quilts ready for our Project Linus day at my local group 

For many years I have been chasing the foot pedal across the floor of me sewing space. So much so, that I am sure my right leg has stretched longer than my left 😳 so another dive in the scraps and in less than 20 minutes, I had made a non slip mat for said pedal.
why have I not done this before!?!

It is the season for Seville Oranges - I love homemade Marmalade - I like to make it with much less sugar than any recipe asks for.  So a quick trip to a local farm shop and then the boiling commenced.

And I now have enough Marmalade to last me well into the next century year or so
just need to add the labels

 Last weekend saw a visit from all the family, and on Saturday we all trooped off to a local farm centre.  Of all the animals that were on display, this proud peacock stole the show.

 And on a freezing weekend, playing in cold water is a must!

 Especially after a bit of an "event" 😱

This is the jigsaw that Mr T has spent the weeks since Christmas completing. I mean weeks!!

 He is thinking of actually framing this one. There is a LOT of just plain white.

A few minutes silence...........
Grandpa was not happy
 I say, he shouldn't have left it where it could be found πŸ˜‘

 But after a concerted effort from members of the family and a couple of very late nights.......
 the question I ask myself now - Why Five weeks for the first attempt?

We had some very good news at Christmas... 
 So baby knitting has begun for Darling Daughter. More good news this week as they have had an offer accepted on a house that is much nearer to us, than the hour or so that they live now.

I had the day to myself on Saturday, so I grabbed a bunch of squares that I had cut from my scraps some time ago, and pieced another, this time larger, Linus quilt.

And, as you do , a scrappy pieced back

 Just the binding to go on this one.

 Floating about the internet a couple of weeks ago, I saw something that I thought a friend of mine would like to do when she was away on an extended holiday.  I prep'd the fabric squares for her and gifted them. They have gone off to warmer climes, but as I worked on them, I thought how nice a piece they would make for the new baby.

So I have made some for myself.
Each square has to be blanket stitched before a crochet border worked.  It may be that 80/20 wadding that I have used, but the blanket stitching is quite hard going, so I will stitch them in batches and add the crochet as I go along.

We had our monthly Crochet group meeting on Friday and I got two of the crochet borders finished.

But my third attempt was so much better, ( it helps if you read the pattern right!) so I unpicked the mornings work and have re done those squares.  The pattern is in American terms, and uses an English Double Treble Crochet stitch, but I think I may be a bit loose on my gauge so I have used English Treble Crochet and it looks much neater.
a bit of blocking will  tidy them up

 So 3 down and 33 to go!