Sunday, 23 February 2014

Knitting WIPS

Hi everyone,

I'm dashing around instead of having a restful Sunday morning. I got back yesterday from my Cascading Logs class and was too tired after a full days sewing to put everything away. This afternoon I'm driving up to my daughter's house in Birmingham to look after my grandchildren one of whom has chickenpox so there's no nursery for them and Grandma to the rescue. I remember having calamine lotion put on my itchy spots as a child but I think treatments have now improved since those days.

This is just a quick post to link up with Wool on Sundays and an almost finish for me, at last!

I have had Isobel's cardigan on the needles for ages and all I had to do was graft the underarms with Kitchener stitch. The problem is that I hate grafting and kept putting it off. I found a video on Youtube showing how to do Kitchener stitch by knitting and not sewing. It's the same technique but with a third knitting needle and not a tapestry needle. The end result is an (almost) invisible graft between the two pieces. I think I'll need to practice again but I was satisfied with the result and finally sewed on some lovely pottery buttons that were made in South Africa. The cardi is now washed and blocked and drying in the airing cupboard to speed up the process. All ready for Isobel's first birthday on Wednesday. I must just remember to take it with me.

Ta Da!!!!

(Please excuse the photo, the light was quite poor)

I have not had much time for Peppa Pig so I am going to hunt out the toy stuffing and some black and white wool to finish off the project before Wednesday. I bought Isobel a scooter for her birthday so she can start to use it in the summer but I want to finish Peppa for Wednesday too so I'll try to finish her in the evenings when the children are in bed. The red is a bit bright but I am hoping that will add to her appeal!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's projects on Wool on Sundays. Enjoy what is left of your Sunday.

Oh, nearly forgot. I thought I'd post some photos of our trip last week with my oldest grandson and his sister to Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at Old Sarum in Wiltshire. If you have children to amuse during the holidays its a great way to pass a few hours. My grandson really enjoyed clambering into the cockpits to 'fly' the planes. I loved seeing the biplane as my dear Grandfather George had joined the Royal Flying Corps (the predecessor of the RAF) in 1917 at the age of 18 and worked a mechanic on these very planes.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Preparation for the Cascading Logs class with Jan Hassard at Busy Bees

As promised I said I would reveal my fabric choices for this class tomorrow.  Jan specified 4 feature fabrics in 4 colours (suggesting green, mauve, pink and yellow) and 3 light and 3 dark fabrics in each colour too.

Cottonpatch in Birmingham has a wonderful selection of fabrics and I was drawn to these Philip Jacobs for Rowan chrysanthemum prints. Each of the prints included a small amount of colour from the other prints and I hope this will tie the whole quilt together.

From the left the feature fabrics are:

  1. Japanese Chrysanthemum in Green
  2. Japanese Chrysanthemum in Purple
  3. Floating Mums in Taupe
  4. Floating Mums in Magenta
The staff in the shop were very helpful and relaxed about the vast number of fabrics I pulled from the shelves until I made my final selection. The instructions were to purchase enough fabric for at least 3 full width strips of 1½" plus a bit extra so I bought ¼ metre of each and ½ a metre of the feature fabric. Not a cheap class!

I have spent the afternoon cutting the strips and cannot wait to see how they will be used tomorrow. 

I am off to Birmingham again on Sunday as my grandson has chickenpox, poor thing! I suppose that means his baby sister will catch it too. 

Jan Hassard makes the most wonderful and colourful quilts herself, Check out her website for some great photos and amazing quilts. Keep your fingers crossed I can cope with this class. I'll take lots of photos! 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Manic week

Talk about slow blogging! It's been no blogging for the last couple of weeks. I seem to have been so busy with crochet and patchwork classes, weekend visitors and family commitments. Time to catch my breath, sit down and write a few words down. I'm linking up with "Proud to be a Slow Blogger" over at kettleboiler.

Last weekend by sister-in-law and her husband came to stay. Lovely to catch up, eat some good food and drink some wine.

Yesterday I drove up to Birmingham to buy some fabric for a class next Saturday and to visit my daughter Jenny and her family. I stayed over so that they could go out for a Valentine's day meal and I stayed in to babysit my two lovely grandchildren.

The fabric is for a class next Saturday with Jan Hassard. It promises to be a challenge for me! The title of the class is Cascading Logs. Jan's quilts are full of colour and I had to buy a total of 28 fabrics in 4 colour ways; 3 light greens, 3 dark greens and a feature fabric. This is repeated in pink, mauve and cream/brown colours. I also purchased the fabric for the back and binding of my Hummingbird quilt.
I'll blog about the class and keep the fabrics to show then.

My Medallion quilt is coming on too. I managed to finish these three this afternoon when I got home.

Last Tuesday was my final crochet class and I am really missing it. I started the Nordic Shawl and enjoyed it so much I just kept going. I am so pleased with it.

My very dear friend Sue is having a significant birthday at the beginning of April and I have decided to make her a Blooming flower cushion as part of her present. I found the pattern on Attic24 Lucy's website is an amazing crochet resource and I hope to go up to Skipton sometime to do a course with her. I've chosen pastel tones in sugared almond colours so fingers crossed it turns out well.

I've also started a fun quick knitting project for Isobel who is one in a couple of weeks. My friend Liz sent me a link for a Peppa Pig knitted toy. I'm not sure if Peppa Pig is on TV in the US/Canada. She is a slightly bossy little cartoon pig on children's TV. The pattern was in Womans Weekly and is also available as a free download from their website. You have to sign in to the shop website but the pattern is free.

I'm linking up to Wool on Sundays to show off my shawl!
My husband is cooking a Valentines Day + 1 special dinner so I'm off to enjoy!!!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Amethyst block

Well, it's February and the second block in the Classic Meets Modern QAL was announced by Erin on Saturday. She chose the Amethyst block.

It looked easy enough I thought.

….So why have I struggled all day???  Those Y seams, thats why. I have done Y seams by hand on my sampler quilt but never on a machine. Erin suggested two tutorials to help.

I followed Elizabeth's method and really struggled. I sewed, snagged, unpicked and almost threw them in the bin. I tried with a second block but I'm not totally happy. The Y's are really lumpy and I would be ashamed to show the backs of the blocks.

first attempt
I've run out of steam this afternoon so I'm going to leave it until next week when I will have more time to try again. I'll try Faith's method then.

If you have any thoughts or tips they would be appreciated. I'm off to crochet!


Saturday, 1 February 2014

My first crochet project- the Nordic Shawl

the start of the shawl

I'm linking up with Janine's Wool on Sundays party this morning at Rainbow Hare Quilts.

My beginner's crochet class is finishing next Tuesday evening and I've chosen the pattern and wool for my first project. It is the Nordic Shawl by Annette Ciccarelli at My Rose Valley  I'm making it in Bergere Ideal as you can see above but adding in one or two balls of DK from my stash. Until I started quilting and crochet I had not realised that purple tones were my favourites.

Initially I had thought to make a blanket but the prospect of such a lot of work before I had something to show you was too much to contemplate. Annette's blog is so pretty and full of gorgeous photos. I am so envious! 
The finished shawl looks amazing on Annette. I only hope I don't look too grannyish in mine when it is done. (so, what's wrong with that, I am a granny!)

Nordic shawl

I have finished the blue card I had blocked and I am pleased with the result. The bluebell colour really suits Isobel so I'm sure Jenny will love it. It is knitted in Sirdar Snuggly.

My yarn arrived and I made a start on the Spate fingerless mitts during the week but need to go on Youtube this weekend to master the Magic loop method of knitting in the round. 

So, that's all my yarn doings for now.


Focus; or not!

There is only one thing wrong with being a Newbie and that is I feel pulled in all directions to try new ideas and techniques. I need to find my quilting niche. Will I be a traditionalist, a hand quilter, a modern quilt fan? EPP or FPP?  I would love to say I have a quilting finish but I don't and it may be some time before I do.

Here's what I have on the go at the moment:

  • Hand quilting my first patchwork sampler. Ongoing-  I've finished 8 blocks, 4 to go and the borders. I really enjoy the quiet time but I am very slow
  • Machine patched sampler for my beginners class. Ongoing for the next 2 months or so. I have completed 2 blocks and need to cut the next this weekend

  • Hummingbird quilt: Ongoing and need to crack on with this before Lexie's new bed is delivered! LOVE FPP!!
  • Classic Meets Modern QAL  Just got the second block instructions for February from Erin. This months block is called the Amethyst block. It looks very simple apart from the "Y" seams but I'm hoping to do a few variations with the middle square. I might attempt a wonky cross or porthole - watch this space. 

Sew at Home Mummy

I've also got numerous knitting and a crochet project on the go but I'm saving them for another post tomorrow to link up with Wool on Sundays at Rainbow Hare Quilts

It is raining yet again in South Wales and it looks as if February is going the same way as January. Spare a thought for all those who are living in the areas of the South-west, especially Somerset, that have been devastated by the flooding.

Off to quilt my sampler,