11 January 2019

Finish A Long 2019 - First Quarter

After a solo finish a long last year as I couldn't find the links in time to join up, I've made sure that I'm linking up with the 2019 Finish A Long this year and posting the finishes I hope to achieve this year.  Sandra from Studio Sew of Course had a useful list to write down projects to help keep track.  I will also put the projects on a list on my sidebar too.

As I've written in an earlier post we had problems with our shower which meant that the cupboard in my room needed a clear out and tidy (which has sort of, ahem, happened) and it also gave me the opportunity of listing quilt projects that need finishing.  Most are tops that have wadding (batting) with them though need backing.

So here goes

1 Kingfisher Quilt - this is an intentionally slow quilt with EPP hexies sewn onto diamond shaped background pieces and these have been joined together with a neutral narrow border.

I would like to attach a coloured border with neutral hexies, but haven't found a fabric that would suit as yet.

2. Hearts Quilt. I made this as a strippy quilt some years ago!  But have found the top and it has a backing too but will need wadding. Once thats sorted then I can get to work on that one and I will machine quilt this to go to Linus.  Its a cute but not too cute a quilt that would suit a teenager so I will endeavour to get that done this quarter.

3.  Ups and Downs Quilt.  This was a variation on Delectable Mountains which was done as a 'secret' workshop about a couple of years ago at Pauline's Patchworks in Dorchester.  The top has turned out to be a long thin top and looking at this again I think a couple of rows could come off the bottom and placed at the sides to make wider.  Decision to be made on whether to border or not.  Not sure what to do when finished.

4.  I'll call the this quilt The Long One.  This is an old project which was to be made for the house we rented in Yorkshire (we've been back in Poole for 8 years now so it is going back a bit!) which had a deep drop in the stairwell and thought would brighten the passageway.  Of course its not needed now but would be good to get finished off.  I started to quilt it but needs more detail in the quilting so I am hoping to finish this quarter.

5.  Dazzling Diamonds quilt.  This is a quilt top at another workshop at Pauline's Patchworks taught by Jan Hassard and a brilliant workshop it was too, really enjoyable.  It has left me with another quilt top though so I must get a backing and wadding sorted on that.

6.  Tubix Quilt.  I tested the pattern out for Sue Abrey QuiltSue some years ago and it had been in a magazine (can't remember which one) a few years back.  The top has been lingering in the cupboard and I bought backing (which I didn't like so that may be why I didn't progress this) so this must be progressed. It does look good, in spite of the plain fabric, which I wouldn't normally go for, but it is colourful and fits on top of our bed quite nicely, so if I can find a backing fabric I do like then finish off.

7.  Carry All Tote.  I made this originally as a gift to Marie, my room mate at the Sewing Shindig but it was one of those projects that kept going wrong no matter what I tried and in the end I made her other choice of a Sewing Date Traveler, which went together a lot better.  It has got to the point where I need to attached the binding all the way around the bag and even though I have got denim/jeans needles the machine (which is a Juki!) still protested.  I watched a You Tube video with hints on how to make this bag and the lady on that said she would put on the binding by hand.  This bag is going to be finished, not sure how but it will be!!

So these are my proposed finishes in this quarter as far as sewing and quilting goes.  At least two will be certain but others will roll over.  It gives me something to aim for for the year.  I am also taking part in making Siblings Together blocks and I've got a few knitting and crochet things to do too.

Linking up with 2019 Finish A Long

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03 January 2019

Happy New Year 2019

A bit belated but

Its good in a way that Christmas and New Year are done and can get back to the normality (whatever that is) of everyday life.  New Year's Day was celebrated with a family dinner at my sister's house and was followed later by going to Bournemouth in the evening to see the Christmas Tree Wonderland in the Lower Gardens which lead down to the seafront.  The first pic below is in the town Square

We walked down to the seafront and even though it was dark the coffee shop on the Pier Approach still had ice cream for sale, which we could not resist, it had to be done!

Walking back to the town centre I noticed by the Pavilion theatre that glass doors had reflections of the Christmas trees - gives them a ghostly look, especially as the theatre was closed.

Not only a New Year but a new month too.  I've had some tidying up in my room and done an 'audit' of quilt tops that have been lingering for and need finishing off.  It has been easy to pick up a small project or make a few blocks here and there and not tackle the large projects that require more attention.  I've decided to join 2019 Finish A Long list and will post about these larger items when the link up opens on 10th January for a week.  Sandra of Sew of Course is one of the hosts and has details and a useful project list, which I will post about in the link up.  Will there be at least one finished quilt?  Wait and see.....

Of course a New Year would not be complete without new projects and I posted here about the jumper that I'm starting and have already started the Little Box of Crochet amigurumi Cockapoo dog - it's tiny!  Along with that David has asked for fingerless gloves which I made a start on today at Knit and Natter.

Any resolutions?  Well mine will be to make use of what I have if at all possible and to be mindful of what I buy.  I can't (and shouldn't) go buying stuff - yarn and fabric - without there being purpose.  Having retired last year my income is not what it was! So Mindful is the word for this year - I hope I can stick to that.

31 December 2018

End of December Round Up

I hope your Christmas went well and looking forward to the New Year ahead.  David and I had a quiet Christmas Day at home, though Boxing Day was a family gathering at my youngest son's so that was a busy one.  All over now for another year but it was strange having to think what day of the week it is between Christmas and New Year and it'll be good to get back into a 'normal' routine!

Apart from the cruise, which has been the basis of my posts this month I have managed some crafty stuff.  On the days at sea a growing knit and natter group gathered in one of the bars in the afternoon and while going to this I got a second sock knitted for me for Christmas.

You may be able to see that I've done an eyelet pattern of a Christmas tree on one side of each sock.  Unfortunately I didn't record the pattern that I made on the first sock which got me into a bit of trouble knitting and un-knitting the rows on the second sock. So I had to wing it and hope that I got it right but it doesn't look too bad.  The yarn is King Cole Zig Zag and the colour way is Summer but when I bought the yarn it said Christmas to me.  They fit well so I'm pleased and they were worn at Christmas!

Another thing I was working on was the November Little Box of Crochet which had this gorgeous Mandala designed by Amanda Williams (which you may have seen on my Christmas Day post part done). The photo below shows the finished article. Isn't it just gorgeous?

The design is worked into the front and back stitches so it gets dense with the layers of crochet stitches, but you should see the back and I love that too.

There was also a little sheep wooden decoration and he had a little Christmas coat.  I really liked this pattern and I might possibly have a go at another mandala in the future.

No sewing happened at all in December until yesterday and I made a postcard - black and white and .. (one other colour).  I haven't done fabric weaving in a long time so I made this

Its ok, a bit boring, but it got me back into sewing again.  I wish I put a bit more effort into it.  I'll have to think about something a bit more exciting than this.

Anyway, New Year, New Projects.  I decided to make myself a jumper from watching Tina from Simply in Stitches starting a KAL (Knit A Long) on You Tube.  I ordered yarn and needles from Wool Warehouse and I wasn't worried about getting the package until after Christmas but it came the Friday before on Christmas!    The jumper is to be knitted in Drops Alpaca yarn which is lovely and soft.I've started a tension piece for the jumper and need to go down one size of needles which now means a search for the correct size circulars! Hey ho...

On the Saturday before Christmas the Little Box of Crochet arrived for December.  We were out that day (which usually happens) and it looks lovely with a really cute Amigurumi puppy designed by Kerry Lord of Toft.  As I've recently finished the mandala and got to finish the Tunisian crochet pouch from October's box I will start then when the pouch is finished.

My room was in a mess over the holidays as our shower decided not to work.  The other side of the wall from the built in wardrobe is the bathroom and there is a pump for the shower boxed in at the bottom of the wardrobe. I closed the door on all the mess over Christmas!  But I will have to get things back in order and that can wait just a little while longer...

I hope you have a fab New Year! 🎉🎉🎉. (I'm pleased that Blogger now has emojis!)

30 December 2018

Madeira and Canary Islands Cruise - Part 4 - Lisbon

This is the last part of our cruise adventure and it now seems long ago as we've been back over 2 weeks now.  The last leg came after a day at sea and the weather was noticeably colder as we headed north from the Canaries.  Approaching Lisbon the ship, Oceana, had to sail in the River Tagus and go past a few recognisable landmarks that I recognised from in Lisbon back in 1970.  The bridge that crosses the river, had been renamed being the 25 April Bridge.  There was also the Belem Tower and the monument to Henry the Navigator. The last two are now UN Heritage sites.

 Belem Tower
 Henry the Navigator
 25 April Bridge looking towards Christ the Redeemer statue
Another view of the bridge with a plane flying over

When landing in the port we were booked on an excursion around the city by coach with a vintage tram tour.  The old trams are quite short as the streets in the city are very small and twisty with only just enough room for the tram and no other vehicles! While we had our ride we had the traditional sweet custard tarts with a small glass of port.

The end of the tram tour took us to the Basilica da Estrela, a really large, impressive church.

Around the corner at the coach pick up, we saw a lot of other tram services coming and going but this tram (below) wasn't going anywhere - its an ice cream kiosk! That's not too bad a photo seeing as it taken through a glass window.

Another stop was this Cultural Square which has a museum and art gallery amongst its buildings and we were free to explore for a short time.  On our wanders we came across this Oriental structure (arch, pergola?) and waited for the young couple to finish taking photos before I took some

 And we took a silly selfie just to show we've been there!

We loved the mosaics on the pavements and walkways, and this was just a small bit of the mosaic in the square 

 And some in the city centre
Our coach dropped us off back at the terminal but we walked into the city centre and had a wander around.
 We didn't go inside as there was a long queue for the Santa Just a elevator, the back leads out to streets at a higher level
 St Nicholas Square with its Christmas market
A last look as we headed back to the ship. By now the blue skies from earlier in the day were replaced by dark clouds as the weather was changing.

After 2 rather rough sea days we came into the calm of the English Channel and disembarked at Southampton.  This was the photo that I put on Facebook (from the buffet restaurant on the ship so excuse the reflection) of a really dark and wet Southampton which continued that way for the rest of the day.

So that's it - for us a cruise is a good way to 'dip a toe' into places and to be able to explore a little later.  David and I would like return visits to Madeira and La Palma in the future and would probably not do another holiday so close to Christmas though, but then that's because of our anniversary being in December which is what we wanted to celebrate.   Trying to get ahead before we went and the catching up after we came back was a bit stressful, but we got there in the end.  

As you will probably guess I like Christmas decorations and it was interesting to see how other countries have the same recognisable Christmas icons (tree, baubles, lights, etc.) but put their own way of displaying them.  It was a pity the ship sailed late afternoon from each port so we couldn't see the lights.


This is my 700th post since starting the blog, which I've reached just before the end of the year! 

Next month is New Year so I hope to do a reflective post and look forward to my aims for the year ahead.  

25 December 2018

Happy Christmas to all my readers

I hope you have a lovely and peaceful time.  

See you soon

Best wishes

Sue x

(Above photo is Little Box of Crochet mandala and I will post about this very soon).

24 December 2018

Madeira and Canary Islands Cruise - Part 3

Our next stop was La Palma and another trip booked, this time to the Silk Museum and (what was) Sugar Plantation (now a hotel).

It was another trip from one side of the island to another and the tour was led by an English woman who is married to an islander.  The western side of the island is well known for growing bananas and could be seen as far as the eye can see!  Our first stop was a the silk museum in El Paso in the middle of the Island between Santa Cruz de la Palma and Tazacorte.  Being Sunday morning it is normally closed, but the museum was opened just for the tour.

A mural on the building's walls showing the silkworm. By the town hall on the opposite corner was a small Christmas display.
Another stop on our tour was to the Hotel Hacienda de Ajabo which has a lot of antiquities and tapestries and lovely gardens and we spent time in the gardens with tea and cake.  David took a lot of photos but I didn't take many.  There is a small chapel in the grounds which is used by the hotel as a meeting/function room but what a place it was.  I've found a link here to have a look.

Not far from the hotel is a small village, La Manchas, with a plaza called La Glorieta.  If you think this is something you would see in Barcelona inspired by Gaudi, but it was designed by Luis Morera and a fantastic display of mosaics, basalt stones and lava flow rocks. We took several photos of this so here are two collages.

It seems I put in one photo twice - sorry!

On our way back to the port it was explained that going through a tunnel in the mountain that there are two different types of weather before going in it was sunny, coming out of the tunnel it was misty!

We explored the town briefly and as it was Sunday things were a little quiet.  I could not leave the island without taken a photo of these giant baubles on the roundabout.  I put a comment on Facebook wondering if there was a tree big enough for them!

On the Monday 10th we docked in Lanzarote. There were no trips booked this time, so we walked into the town, Arrecife.  There is a newly developed area from the cruise ships to the marina and crossing the bridge into the town itself.  We walked through the town to a cobbled bridge and a fortification, which was a museum.  It turned out the museum was letting visitors in but couldn't collect entrance fees because their internet and till wasn't working.  Being thick walls we couldn't use a mobile signal for our phones to use the QR codes that would have given us an English language guide, so David and I muddled through reading what we could of the Spanish language (our knowledge of Spanish is very minimal!).  Not a lot to see in Arrecife itself so eventually we went back to the ship and enjoyed the sunshine on the deck instead,

 The ship can be seen in the middle of the pic
A view from the fort across a causeway with Fire Mountain in the distance

That was Lanzarote - much more touristy and very arid compared with the lushness of La Palma.  Before leaving we went through the marina on our return to the ship and took Christmas photos, though there was a huge shadow which made the photos difficult.  We had to go for it.

Next stop after a sea day was Lisbon.  More about that in another post.

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