Thursday, February 22, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
These are initially for Fiona but they serve to remind us all that thankfully Spring is just around the corner albeit a miserable chilly one.
I couldn't believe my eyes when we returned to the car and spotted this vinca (periwinkle) bravely flowering away too
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sadly I can't show you what an absolutely beautiful baby she was as all the pictures are still in boxes in the garage (only 18months down the line) and I couldn't get the scanner to work even if I could find them.
Of my three she is the most arty crafty. The eldest is a very competent cook and very practical but not particularly inclined towards fabric/yarn/paints etc. The middle one (the boy) is as bright as a button and a whizz at maths and sports but the least practical child I've ever met - it makes your eyes water to see him trying to cut an apple up for example - in fact it's a minor miracle he's never had to visit A&E with any amputations.
So it's down to my baby to follow me in the craft department. One of her presents for her birthday was a knitting set with a pair of what look like 15mm knitting needles and a large ball of 'Icelandic' type yarn in glorious variegated colours.
Saturday morning I casted on 12 stitches and set her going on just plain garter stitch. By about 2.30pm she's used up all the ball of wool and the scarf was only about 24" long - well the pattern did say 5 stitches so you can imagine we used up the wool over twice as quickly.
As we were going to the cinema later in the afternoon to see Charlotte's Web for her birthday we just managed to fit in a mercy dash into Taunton town centre and bought a couple of balls of similar weight wool to set her off on another scarf - hopefully long enough this time :o)
And Voila!!! here is the result this morning. Ok along the way she's managed to gradually increase from 10 stitches to 12 but it will make a very fine scarf.
She is so taken with the whole concept that when I headed into town this morning to go to my quilting group I bought two more lots of yarn, one cream in the same thickness as the picture above and the other a dusky pinkish mauve in a more icelandic type yarn but slightly finer. So I purchased a pair of 10mm needles in the hope that this will slow her down a bit - otherwise she will bankrupt me before long!
A few days ago I asked for everyone's ideas on another colour for the soft white/pink/green applique I'd started. I decided to go for a cornflower blue and had a good hunt through my two light blue boxes. I could find loads of greyish blues, aqua blues and purplish blues but this was the only one that really fitted the bill. I did momentarily consider using the right side of the fabric but soon changed to the wrong side. I shall only use it as occasional accents throughout.
Here is the first applique block completed
DH headed off this morning at 4am to catch the 6am flight to Brussels and then a connecting flight to Marseille for work until later on Wednesday. I'm more than a little envious as I do love to travel but now we have a larger house with its accompanying mortgage etc etc then you can't have everything. However I did smile this morning when he texted me on my mobile with the message: 'In hotel, weather wet'
What a tragedy eh? Can't help but feel a little glad he's having the same as we are here :o)
Friday, February 09, 2007
No big deal I hear you Canadian and Scandinavian girls............... well probably not in Canada or Norway but here in the UK you might recall that our favourite topic of general conversation is the weather, too cold, too hot, too wet, etc etc etc and we see all varieties of weather but seldom any real extremes. To hear the media you'd think we'd had 8ft drifts not a measly 2 - 4 inches at most!
Much to the disgust of my two youngest particularly, Taunton had precisely none. Gloucester, where we used to live and it's neighbour Cheltenham near where Siobhan lives had a good covering. So much so that a lot of the Gloucestershire schools were closed for the day (probably because the teachers couldn't (be bothered to?) make it into work) and the kids had an impromptu holiday.
My two were appalled........ 'It's not fair, in all the time we lived in Gloucester we never had a day off school because of the snow, I'm not going to school then!!!!!!!'
Of course my reply was 'Oh yes you are, I have to go to my school, you will go to yours!'
As is usually the case over here the minute we have a sniff of snow everything grinds to a halt. The BBC headlined the 'adverse weather conditions making travel hazardous' . You Canadians must be laughing into your thermal knickers at us! Jane in Rugby is a Canadian and can't believe how all our systems grind to a pathetic halt at the first flake.
However as you can see from the picture above at least the post gets through and this postie still has his shorts on. My little lad always wears shorts to school each day regardless of the weather - he just detests hot legs, but he will get an incredible shock in September when he goes up to senior school and is not allowed to wear them. Maybe he's destined to be a postie!?!
The quilting group I go to each Monday morning is held in a converted victorian warehouse next to the river in the centre of Taunton - we have the use of an upstairs room with skylights which make the lighting excellent for stitching. However as we're a small and chatty group we wouldn't dream of taking machines in - it's a strictly 'hand-stitching' zone. Therefore on Sunday nights I usually have to pull together some hand work to take in and do the next day.
This week I couldn't lay my hands on anything specific and just cut a square of white-on-white that my friend brought 5yds of back from her last trip to the States and some bits and bobs of mauvish-pink and pale green to have a bit of a play.
Here are the results so far along with some matching pieces I flung together once I got home. I might make a whole quilt with these eventually including various applique blocks and pieced sections - we'll see. I do think the white/green/pink a little restrictive and would quite like another colour to pop in here and there to add variety but can't make up my mind which to use - any ideas???I particularly like the chevron effect with these flying geese.
And I even tackled a QST - (which I hate) for the centre of this star block. Getting brave eh?
Tomorrow marks the second weekend of the Six Nations Rugby championships here in the Northern Hemisphere. After our dreadful efforts under the previous manager Andy Robinson (8 losses from nine games) a new era has dawned under a new manager. Jonny (Sarah's hero) Wilkinson is back injury free and we comfortably beat Scotland in the Calcutta Cup match last Saturday. This weekend England play Italy at Fortress Twickenham. The men kick off first at 1.30pm and then the ladies team, who currently hold 'their' Six Nations crown, follow afterwards at 4.15pm. For anyone wishing to watch only the Ladies game entry to the ground is free once the men's game is finished. Some friends of ours whose daughter Cat (short for Catherine) played with Sarah at Regional level last year have kindly taken Sarah for the weekend and will head off down to London tomorrow with the intention of watching the men's game in a convenient bar and then watching the ladies game live in the stadium. Sarah has never been to Twickenham before (what mean parents we are) and is so excited. She found out today that her best friend had beaten her to become Head Girl at their school and she was very disappointed so this will give her a real lift as well as the opportunity to watch some really class ladies rugby.
This little fellow (taken from the BBC website pictures) certainly hopes we beat the Italians in both games too :o) (Or at least his dad does anyway!) And so do we - GO ENGLAND!!!!
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
As you would expect our first blocks have to be made on the theme of Spring
This is the block I received in the post yesterday. I love the crocus fabric. I am expecting two other blocks from the other two people in the group eventually before the end of the month.
These will be coupled with the crocus block and my daffodil block you see here to make the first quarter of a Four Seasons quilt. If you look closely at the bottom green piece you will see that I have had to put a seam along its length. I only had a fat quarter of this spring green shade and had to cobble together the last of the four blocks which was the one I kept. I reckoned that once I'd pieced and quilted the whole thing you'd never notice that little seam. Now I just have to think what to do for my summer block - I'm kind of tempted to make exactly the same block for each season using different fabrics but I'm not sure - we'll see.
Finally it was our monthly quilters group meeting on Monday night where we listened to a talk from a male quilter entitled 'A man in a woman's world'. His name is Roy Dickinson and he has been awarded 2nd, 3rd and finally 1st over three years in the Hoffmann Challenge which is run here in the UK. I forgot my camera so sadly didn't get any photo's of the handful of his own quilts he brought with him but this is the prize I won in the raffle - a pattern for an applique 'Steam Train' - very fitting as Nigel's first love is just that. Not sure when I'll get round to making it for him - but I think it would look lovely on the wall of his model train area - when he gets it sorted out in the garage! Who can tell what will come first - the quilt or the train area :o)
Sunday, February 04, 2007
The worktop measures 3ft deep by 8ft wide in one big area - the only minor annoyance is it is so deep that the foot pedal lead for my machine isn't long enough to thread up the back and still enable me to reach the pedal - mind you that could also be the fact that I am a tad vertically challenged with very short legs
In addition, as the only light in the room is behind me when I'm sitting here, he's rigged up a temporary spotlight fitting above the work area so I can see what I'm doing after dark
I have no excuse now I can quilt to my heart's content - just have to find a magic fairy to do that sandwiching first ;oP
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Firstly this morning Sarah had the results of her regional squad trials last Sunday.
Unfortunately she wasn't selected which she was bitterly disappointed by, but in our eyes she's still a real star and she gave it a full 110% - for example during those trials she tackled a girl twice her size, pulled her down on top of her and ended up in A&E this week with severe abdominal discomfort from soft tissue damage. Nothing permanent thank goodness but it doesn't stop her or put her off playing her beloved game.
It is disappointing for her not to be selected for the third year running but she has moved up this year from U14s to U17s which is a big leap and we think she was actually the youngest girl trialling - there will always be next year and indeed two more after that. England's decisive win over Scotland in the 6 Nations this afternoon, coupled with Jonny Wilkinson's impressive return, hopefully helped a little to ease her disappointment.
On Tuesday Louise was awarded the trophy and necker for cub of the month, much to her surprise. One of her brother's friends goes to cubs with her and is a bit of a 'teacher's pet' and she was convinced he would get the award.
Nick was invested as a scout having moved up from cubs on his birthday in November.
The conservatory people came and sorted out all the last bits of snagging to complete the job on Thursday. Hoooorayyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!! All we need now is the radiators plumbing in, the carpet tiles down and the skirting on to make it fully useable. Today was a beautiful sunny springlike day and it was lovely in there, so roll on the final finish.
Last but not least, in a week where precious little stitching has got done as work has been very demanding, I completed the stars on the charity quilt for the Women's refuge. I decided to shorten the whole thing by taking about a foot off the bottom, sort of squaring it up. I'm very pleased with the various stars - much nicer than the white from before - that frog stitching was well worth it.
Lots of stars all round!