27 May 2013

Another Bank Holiday Weekend

This weekend is another long one, this time for 4 days as David and I have both taken an extra day off tomorrow.

Following last week's visit from the plumber, we have decided on a new toilet and washbasin unit for our bathroom, so after visiting local bathroom suppliers we've found something we like and will order it tomorrow.  So from having white furniture with pale pink (very 80's) basin and toilet we'll have dark brown units with white basin and toilet.

Sunday and today have been pottering around days and it's been lovely to have some sunshine and to take advantage of this with a barbeque yesterday evening.  This week I have been doing some sewing though the ribbon weaving didn't work very well after the large piece was cut into sections and the ribbons frayed or unravelled.  Suffice to say I think this will be ditched.  So I've made some different ribbon and lace cards

The top photo shows the ribbon weaving split into 6.

The next two photos show the individual cards that I made (there are 5 signed up to this group so far,

I also made some birthday postcards for ladies whose birthdays are in June - Irene and Marion

I used some squares of the Japanese charm square pack that I've had so quite some time and dig into now and again.  I dug in a bit more and made a couple more postcard tops and will add some shashiko stitches to them.
The one on the left has a crane, I've just realised I arranged the photo with this upside down, oops.

I also had a go at this article that I saw in a Sewing World magazine from last year using sheer fabrics and free machining. The base fabric had fusible webbing and snippets of sheer fabric trapped under a sheer layer and in rows.  There is some free machining on the top row, though you can't really see it here as well as what you can see from the blue bells and leaves.  Didn't take too long to do, must be getting better at this free machine malarky.

I decided that I'd make this postcard sized too.  I quite enjoyed doing something different. So a productive weekend.

20 May 2013

Saturday Sewing and Other Bits

On Saturday I joined some ladies for a sewing day where we work on our own projects and have a lot of natter!  A really enjoyable and relaxing day. Choosing a project to work on I needed a book cover for my paperbacks that I take to work to read of a lunchtime.  I's wanted to make the bookcover from Susan Briscoe's book "130 Little Quilt Blocks" which I've found quite a useful reference for quilt blocks.  I used an applique Retro Bird and fused that on a background, ready to stitch.  I used my own block for the back 3d Bow Tie block and the blocks matched in with some really bright Australian fabric that I've had for some years.

Heres the front
 And the back
Just a bit bright!

I thought I would share with you the postcards that I received last month in the Doodling swap.  Some lovely postcards indeed. They were all stitched doodles one with the addition of piecing too.

Now I've started on a new set of postcards for a swap next month called Using Up Ribbons and Lace. So yesterday afternoon I got out my jar of ribbons and bags of odd bits of lace and made a mess

 And below is some weaving pinned at the edges waiting to be ironed onto a fusible background (calico with fusible webbing face up) which I'll do later
I said in my last post I was getting hooked on crochet.  This is what I did during the week, a mandala.  No purpose to this, I just liked it and wanted to have a go.

This was from Simply Crochet, a pattern by Dutch crocheter and blogger, Wink. Her one is in lovely soft colours, mine is just a bit bright. I thought it was an easy pattern to follow, but as the circle became bigger my counting went awry so it's curling upwards, but never mind, I enjoyed making it.

13 May 2013

Bit of Catching Up

You would have thought that with a week's holiday I could have caught up with things, but not a chance.  Back to work today and really busy at present.

The beginning of my holiday on the Bank Holiday weekend David and I went to Seaton in Devon, only about an hour and half's drive away, but meandered and stopped in Dorchester and West Bay (famous now as the setting for Broadchurch drama series on the television recently), then onto Axminster for tea at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Canteen.

While at Seaton, we visited the Seaton Tramway and Pecorama in Beer on the Sunday then onto Killerton on Bank Holiday Monday before returning home.  I'll post more about our trip later.

The rest of the week was taken up with a little spring cleaning but by the end of the week I went to the Quilters' Guild Area Day near Wimborne, where the speakers were Penny Armitage, a member of the Guild and the Contemporary Quilters and Anja Townrow, a well known Dutch born quilter. Both speakers had interesting stories about how they went into quilting.  I wasn't able to do the workshop that Anja was teaching, but I had purchased a pattern and will make time have a go at her style of foundation piecing.  A really enjoyable day, thanks to Chantal and Jenny's organising.   I made a small quilt 12.5" square for the Coast challenge

Unlike my We Are Sailing challenge of last year I managed to get a photo done and I was quite pleased how this turns out. The next time I'll see this will be in September for the Creative Crafts show in Exeter after it goes for a tour around with other challenge pieces in Devon.

On Saturday we had friends staying with us and Sarah came from Bristol and stayed too, so a house full!  David and his friend Brian went to watch diesel engines at Swanage Railway, while enjoying the beer at a beer festival at a pub in Corfe Castle village.  Briony and I meanwhile went to Kingston Lacy in Wimborne.  The acers in the Japanese garden looking absolutely fabulous.
Yesterday David and I visited Jamie, Carly and the boys and met Jamie, Leo and Freddy at the local park for a game of crazy golf in the rain while looking after their puppy, Brian.  This was while Carly was doing a photo shoot and just as she was packing up Brian sat on the backdrop so I had to take a photo while he was still (he's very scatty so doesn't stay still for long).  Sweet, isn't he.

I found I am starting to get hooked on crochet.  I've made Granny Squares before, but could not resist this magazine and tried out the free flower kit and had a go at doing a hexagon granny until the pink yarn ran out.  Then made another

09 May 2013

Netley Abbey

The second part of the Sunday out, this is a couple of weekends ago now and I had hoped to post earlier than this, but that's time for you.

Here are some photos that I took of this quite atmospheric ruin.  Netley was quite a big abbey until Henry VIII dissolved the Catholic religion, after then it was first ruined it then became a large Tudor mansion house hence the brickwork around the ruin. More about this site here.

The wallflowers were growing wild in amongst the ruins
Looking through the arches from the main church
Trying a "Carly style" tilted photo
More wallflowers a lovely splash of colour against the grey stone.

Bluebells are just appearing at this time so took a photo of those around the base of the tree
Just across the road from the site is Southampton Water
What a contrast from historic site to the modern commercial port, this car transporter ship just leaving the docks.

03 May 2013

Out and About

This last week I've been out on a few occasions going from one end of Dorset to the other and even heading into Hampshire.  I went out Wednesday last week with my friend Brenda to Bridport to enjoy lunch then onto Eype and a former church which is now an arts centre to see Kate Dowty's exhibition there.  A lovely small church but really cold and Kate was hand sewing a quilt binding with fingerless gloves on, that's how cold it was!  I didn't take photos, but she does have a web site here.  Her exhibition is now at the National Needlework Archive in Newbury, Berkshire, which I hope is a little warmer.

I did manage to buy some fabric to make a skirt from a fabric shop in Bridport (hopefully on my week's holiday next week) and we had to visit Pauline's Patchwork in Dorchester on our way home.  Here are my purchases

 Sixties fabrics (blue) and sewing pattern fabric
The flowery fabric for my skirt

Last Saturday I went to the Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta, with my Mum.  She stocked up on patchwork fabric for a quilt she'll be working on, but I didn't get very much at all there just some ribbons from Simply Sequins
On Sunday David and I went to Manor Farm in Bursledon, near Southampton, which is run by Hampshire County Council.  This was the setting for BBC2's Wartime Farm, which was shown last year.  Definitely a place worth visiting, though aimed at families, we had an enjoyable time seeing the farm animals (and their babies too), chickens everywhere.  Part of the main farmhouse building was in Victorian style and part was in a wartime setting.

The ewe was more interested in us than the poor little lamb trying to have a feed!
This chicken is a Silky, its feathers look more like soft fur. One of many varieties of unusual chickens.
Not a very good photo but it was the best I could get of my namesake, Sue, with her piglets born at the end of March.
Inside the parlour of the Wartime farmhouse.
Small sewing area with treadle sewing machine
I liked this little embroidery which hung in the bedroom on a cupboard door
And this elaborate piece of crochet. That must have taken some working out!

We went on in the country park to walk by the River Hamble, which borders the farm.  Didn't realise just how big the Hamble is

The top photo shows looking upstream and the lower one downstream towards the boatyards and the M27 motorway bridge.

I'll blog next about our visit in the area to Netley Abbey. Lots of pics of old ruins.