29 September 2009


Sorry, had to say it - it's only just 12 weeks - less than 3 months to Cbristmas (and I apologise in advance if this depresses anyone!). So I have started early with some ideas for presents, but before that I had a stocking to make for my youngest granddaughter Isobel. As her dad, Alex, stayed with us this weekend, I made one for her ready for Christmas. A few years back I bought a panel of 3 of Nancy Halvorsen's "Peppermint & Hollyberries" Christmas stockings fronts from the Quilt Room, 2 of which have been used for stockings for the older two grandchildren. As we are expecting no. 4 at the beginning of December I needed more stocking fronts and found a similar panel from the same designer but slightly different designs which I bought at the Skep Mill in Pudsey. So I can get a 4th one in progress to a point where I just need to get the name embroidered before finishing off.

With each of the stockings that I've made I've outlined the shapes by hand on the fronts and machine quilted the backs before joining the fronts and backs with bias binding. I liked this design as it is cute enough a design for a youngster and hopefully will still be cool enough for when they get older.

21 September 2009

September Challenge Quilt

Some sewing to show on the blog for a change. If you have been following my blog I have been making a 12" quilt each month as part of the BQL challenge (see a link to the challenge quilts on the sidebar. This one has taken a little while as there were 16 x 3" log cabin squares, which given their size I found easier to foundation (paper) piece. These blocks were an exercise in colour value having the coloured centres against a light or dark background.

It was another opportunity to use my black and white fabrics as I love the contrast between both and the bright coloured centres add to the contrast. I used Stitch 'n' Tear for the foundations, as although I had to draw on the stabiliser took time I could leave that in and not have to tear it away so saving time that way.

Here it is in its glory - and yes I did know that 2 orange centred blocks were next to each other - never mind.This last weekend we went to Saltaire as David went to a model railway exhibition in nearby Shipley. As part of Saltaire's Art Week, where there were open studios, there was also a festival taking place, with market and live music entertainment. A very lively place and it seemed that best part of West Yorkshire were there it was so busy.

I then met up with David at Salts Mill and a chance to see the arty stuff there. David Hockney's paintings have a display there and it is a nice place to have a meander.

Sunday afternoon we decided to make the most of the warm sunshine (why didn't we have any of this in summer?) by going to Old Moor RSPB Bird Reserve near Barnsley to have a wander. Above is the totem pole near the entrance and there were more wood sculptures at the reserve. Not only did we see birds but there were a lot of dragonflies, one of which landed on this gate. Think I should have used macro mode to take this, but it turned out ok.There were several bird nesting boxes decorated by children dotted around the reserve and couldn't resist taking a photo of the de-luxe accommodation.

14 September 2009

(Grand) Day out in London

It's a very rare occasion that we go to London. Find it far to hectic, but a suggestion earlier this year that my daughter, Sarah, reminded us of was to see the Wallace and Gromit exhibition at the Science Museum, which we were keen to see. David and I went down to London by train, just one and three quarter hours from Doncaster, quicker than had we gone there from the south coast where we used to live, even though Yorkshire is further from London.

So arranged with my sister Wen and Sarah we met up with them, Wen's husband George and son Tyler and the six of us went to visit the London Eye as well as the Science Museum. We hadn't been on the London Eye before but before going on this there was a 5 minute 4-d film show, which was quite impressive with a flying seagull appearing to fly just in front of us.

Here's some pics from the London Eye (a mix of mine, David's and George's photo's). Below is the London Eye (from the Golden Jubilee Bridge after our ride). Following this is the view of Big Ben, then St Paul's Cathedral - now dwarfed by the office blocks that surround it.

Charing Cross train station is above with the BR Tower behind it. I remember the BT Tower once being the tallest building in London.And a time for family photos. This one above of David, me and Sarah taken by George.
Then Wen, Tyler and George taken by me.

We were quite enjoyed the Wallace and Gromit exhibition and also had a chance to see a few other exhibits within the Science Museum.

As we returned to Kings Cross and our return to Doncaster, David and I went to see the newly refurbished St Pancras rail station, which is the new terminus for the Eurostar trains. It is now a very sophisticated place to start a journey to Europe with designer shops and bars on the forecourt. There were also some notable features like the large clock, previously abandoned and now restored and in it rightful place. Also found a bronze statue of Sir John Betjemin, who wrote quite a few poems based on railway journeys.