30 April 2019

Furtling Around in April

Another month finishes and its amazing how this year is hurtling by.  Very Spring-like here in Dorset with the sunny weather the past few days (though I believe that's set to change as this week goes on).

We've been kept busy with a few days trip away, which I wrote about here and here, David has done several signalling turns at Swanage Railway and I've been sewing and knitting as usual.

This month I made a Twiddle Muff for our local knit and natter group to pass on to the local doctor's surgery

  I used one ball of variegated double knit yarn together with oddments of other dk yarns doubled so it knitted up as chunky.  I put stripes of different yarn as texture, some stitch patterns and added a line of red crochet bobbles.  I found a couple of flowers - one knitted (pink) and crochet (blue) and some buttons.  It was enjoyable to knit, not worrying about following a pattern.

I was also quick off the mark with making my Siblings Together block this month, called Birch Trees

I enjoyed making the first one, then went ahead and made another - it was good for using up strippy scraps.

I finished off my socks, which I wrote in my last post, the first time I knitted stripes and it worked out well, still have some smidgens of the yarns left (but not enough to do anything with!

I made a pouch from some screen printed fabric that was in my goody bag from the Sewing Shindig last year.  I had some purple print which went well with it for the lining.  This will go towards my charity makes.
And I also made a fabric postcard for the Wonky House challenge in the UKQU postcard swap group - now awaiting an address to send to.

Yesterday I decided to make a skirt.  I have the fabric which I bought last year and a pattern for a plain A-line skirt. I've cut the pieces out and put the interfacing on the waist facing (it hasn't got a waistband).  Having now got an invisible zip I hope I can put that together tomorrow. The last skirt I made had a pocket, which I drafted myself, so this one will have that feature too.

I am hoping that for May that I can sew something everyday and record on Instagram with the hashtag #seweverydayinmay but I'm not that organised.  I know I can't do Me Made May as I'm not usually a garment sewer, but if I could at least sew a few stitches, join a few hexies, some hand or machine sewing it will all count.  I will then put a round up of my achievements each week on my blog so those who don't do social media won't miss out.  See how it goes.

Joining with Archie the Wonder Dog for the monthly Furtle Around the Blogosphere.

Archie The Wonder Dog

22 April 2019

April Musings

For ages I’ve not been able to publish my blog from my iPad on Blogger and used the home computer to publish.  Having looked around for blog publishing apps I now using the editing page on my blog,

On Saturday I finished a pair of socks from some 30g mini skeins of yarn that came from last year’s Easter egg of yarn from Lucy Lockett together with another mini from The Slipped Stitch for cuff, heels and toes. I put a ‘sockfie’ on Facebook and Instagram.

I really like how they look and still had some yarn left, which I wasn’t sure it would so just goes to show how far yarn can go. I think the socks have the appearance of sea glass.

Last Friday I took photos of a Magnolia plant we bought last year which is in flower.  The flowers are fleeting so I had to get out in the garden with my phone.

16 April 2019

A Few Days in Devon - Part 2

Before returning home last Friday we went to visit Greenway an NT property between Paignton and Brixham.  We had to decide beforehand how we wanted to get there (you can arrive by heritage train service or by ferry from Kingswear) but in the end went for going by car and booking our place in the car park as parking is limited there.  Greenway House was the home of Agatha Christie whose plots for her books were written there.

It is a very scenic place as the grounds are above the River Dart with views to the small village of Dittisham looking up the river and Kingswear looking towards the coast.  There are some steep paths but worth going for the views if not the house.

There is a  camellia garden in the grounds and the shrubs are just about passing over now, but rhododendrons and azaleas are just coming into flower giving some lovely colour to the grounds

View across the River Dart to. Dittisham

 View looking towards Kingswear 
Greenway House
 Above is the only photo I took in the house!  I just loved the mirror in the library and reflected in it is part of a frieze painted by a US Coastguard captain is reflected in this (see the link here, which give you the history of the frieze). The mirror wouldn't look out of place in a modern house.  The family collected a lot of pottery, china and glass and there were cabinets of all sorts of curiosities which were fascinating.

After a walk around the gardens it was soon time to be revived by cake and coffee (as you do - would be rude not to!)

We had a brief stop at Exmouth and enjoyed the sunshine and ice cream although the weather was really sunny it was really cold, but some brave people enjoyed the beach.

I almost forgot to share my fabric souvenir of our trip away.  There is a wool/fabric shop in Totnes which had just the loveliest seagulls ever.  They look so stylish in their Breton shirts and hats.

14 April 2019

A Few Days in Devon

One Wednesday we went to Paignton in Devon for a few days away. We stayed at a Premier Inn just outside the town which was convenient for Brixham and Totnes. This week had been the 50th anniversary of the South Devon Railway which runs between Buckfastleigh and Totnes and was one of the many small railway connections closed by Dr Beeching in the 1960's.

There was a passenger service using 'auto-train' carriages with driver cabs at each end with a steam engine providing the power in the middle, which means that the engine does not have to be taken off and run around to the front of the train for the return journey.

There was also a diesel loco, called Sea King, which proved useful later when another steam engine service broke down just outside of Totnes station.

The railway runs alongside the River Dart and is a very picturesque ride.

Later when returning to Buckfastleigh and looking at the engines outside the maintenance works there I found the type of DMU (diesel multiple unit) that I would have ridden on when I used to commute from Slough to just outside London, though it was BR blue not GWR green!

Before we went away I heard about a textile exhibition in Totnes, which was held between 7 - 13th April at Birdwood House, a gallery in the High Street.  It was called Dyed and Stitched in Devon and the two textile artists Jan Andrews and Liz Swinbank exhibited there, showing a variety of dyeing methods and stitching through fabric or paper.  The ladies didn't mind that I took photos and there really was some beautiful work

But what really fascinated me also were the fireplaces in the gallery.  I just loved the tiles.

Before finding somewhere for lunch I saw a shop across the road called the Fashion and Textile Museum (sorry I can't link this if there is a website I can't seem to get to it!) which was closed.  In the window was a display of cushions and flowers made by the Machine Encounters group of sewists. I took a few photos, but there is reflection from the glass window.

 I loved the flowers and I found (second picture) that there were some wooden bars on which the flowers were hanging so I wonder if, when working, there is a motor to move them up and down.  As the place was shut I wouldn't ever find out.

After lunch and a short walk back to the station I visited the Rare Breeds Farm near the station.  The train was delayed, as that was the one that broke down, gave me enough time to venture there.

I'll continue with our trip the next day to Greenway in the next post.

Finish A Long Quarter Two

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Time for me to list my pending items for the Finish A Long for this quarter.  Two items are off the list now, which was the Carry All Caddy and the Dazzling Diamonds quilt (in my last post)  I also found some turquoise quilt blocks which were joined, quilted and donated to Project Linus that wasn't even listed in the last quarter.

So for this quarter I have outstanding the following:-

1. Kingfisher quilt - this is a slow quilt so this will be ongoing.  I have started to appliqué the 4-hexagon patches onto the border, 4 sewn so far, which isn't bad.

2. Hearts Quilt - The backing fabric has been joined and the quilt has been layered up and glue basted.  I hope I can have this quilted in this quarter.

3. Ups and Downs Quilt - no progress so far on this as I'm not sure about the length and width of the top.  Seems too long and not wide enough. Thats a 'wait and see'.

4. Tubix Quilt - Backing Fabric to be bought for that as I didn't like what I had for this.

5. Black and Tan Quilt.  I've got backing fabric for this, which I bought at a recent sale in my local quilting shop.  It's a Hallowe'en fabric line, but it has a non-scary print so that will do nicely.  I may nick the wadding from the Tubix Quilt so that I can get on with this.

6.  I have a knitting related finish to do which I started last month, which is a cardigan, knitted top down.  There is a horrendous amount of increasing from the neckband to the top of the sleeves.  Once  the sleeve stitches are held onto waste yarn I can get onto the body of the cardigan and it won't seem quite so bad.  

That's my proposed finishes for this quarter.  I think thats enough to keep me busy for a while!

02 April 2019

Finish A Long Quarter One

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I'm linking this post to the 2019 Finish-A-Long, showing the progress with my quilting so far.  There are a few projects that are being carried forward to the next quarter, however I'm not disappointed with my achievements so far.

1. My Kingfisher Quilt.  This is a slow project which will be mostly made by hand so I'm not worried if this takes all year.  Progress so far has been a top with a border and on the border I'm adding more hexies, this time in groups of four on point.

At my local quilt shop there was a sale fabric in a mid grey with pastel coloured leaves which adds to the soft look of the Kingfisher.  As you can see with the above pic I've placed some hexies on the border.  I originally used offcuts of the background low volume fabrics but realised this might not be enough so I've been looking around in my stash for more of fabrics that blend in.  I think I may run out of hexie papers so I will have to appliqué these hexies on the borders soon.

2.  The long quilt has been part quilted and I've bound the quilt so that I've no bits of fabric and wadding getting caught in the sewing.  I know I've got to do more quilting on this as I've only done basic in the ditch quilting and I know this is not enough.  There is an 'orange peel' pattern in one or the large blocks so I might use that the to quilt the large blocks and a small version for the other square. But it doesn't look too bad at the moment - not sure where I will hang this, though.

The Catch All Caddy was finished at long last which I wrote about in this post.  I just got on which it in January and pleased that it was done.  It frustrated me and I'm not in a hurry to make another.

Another finish - in February was the Dazzling Diamonds quilt.  This was started at a Jan Hassard workshop at Pauline's Patchwork in Dorchester in April 2016, link here.  I found a mauve spray time type print and had enough for a backing.  I used variegated threads and a serpentine wiggly stitch to machine quilt this so its done and hanging up!

It really does look fab, I'm really pleased with this,

There are still 3 quilts in progress (that haven't been touched!) that were on my list that will be carried forward to the next quarter and I will put those on my Finish-A-Long list for next time when that link up opens.  All in all I'm quite pleased with how things are going.

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