Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
"It's the Cub Leader here, Louise isn't feeling very well, could you come and collect her please"
When we got there Nick, who'd been give the option to stay or go with his sister, had decided that he also felt exhausted and rotten so a night in a warm dry bed was preferable to being kept awake by the vile weather.
Back home, into a nice warm bath and then straight to bed.
In hind sight this morning they probably could've both stayed, they weren't poorly just totally shattered - in fact I think they wished they had stayed.
However, when Nick eventually surfaced just after 12 noon, Nigel headed back to the camp with them to salvage what was left of the afternoon, collect their belongings that had to stay there last night to avoid disturbing their sleeping beauty mates and to help pack up camp.
Despite Louise getting stuck in a portaloo because the privacy barrier that had been constructed in front of it got blown across her door with her in it - she had to scream and shout until some other passing scouts came to her rescue (thank God it happened with her in it rather than just entering it);
Despite coming home early last night, they both had a brilliant time and can't wait to go again next year.
Sarah and I stayed at home instead and after nipping to the supermarket for bread, milk and some other basics I decided I'd have a go at something I spotted on Anne-Heidi's blog
I've got quite a few of these jars left in the garage - think I can feel some more conversions coming on
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
The Headteacher and my colleague Trish are both out on a course all day so I'm manning the office on my own from 8.45 to 3 instead of my usual 9.30 to 1.30
Nigel spent all yesterday evening organising the two youngest getting their kit ready for a three night scout/cub camp from tonight with ... wait for it ... 1800 other marauding youngsters!
I'm just not even thinking about the prospect of them getting lost etc - please God keep them safe. I don't doubt the leaders and organisers will have it all really well organised (fingers crossed)
It's all in aid of celebrating 100 years of Scouting all around the world - this linked article is from South Africa for example
I know one thing for sure it should be lovely and quiet here at home with just Sarah 'til 3pm Monday afternoon (we have a Bank Holiday on Monday)
We have to get them to the site about 30 minutes from here by 6pm tonight - can you imagine the organisation needed to get all those kids there at the same time?
Nigel's the 'retired' scout (of long standing) in the house - so I'm afraid I fully delegate all responsibilty for getting kit together to his superior knowledge and experience. Can't you see my shoulders sloping as we speak? Well I do do lots of other stuff for them - honest!
As for stitching - in and amongst the frenzy of packing last night I did get my hand dyed confetti top sandwiched and started the quilting
Don't look too close at the 'in the ditch' around the confetti triangles it is a bit wobbly in places. Plus I'm using a variegated thread with some bright yellow in the colour changes which is showing the odd black dot (or seven!) from the under thread - I'm not pulling it back though - I shall live with that! So there!
It'll be okay - I won't be entering it into any competitions and I don't allow the quilt police through the front door :o)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tanya showed a picture of her daughter going out to her prom the other day, so I'm in proud mum mode now - if you don't want to look at pictures of teenage girls dressed up to the nines click away now :o)
Last night was Sarah's rugby presentation dinner and as a lot of the girls are around school prom age they opted for a formal dress code. Sarah's prom isn't until next year so we had to go out and buy a dress for this but it was worth it, thank goodness for good old TKMaxx.
So lots of tarting up and getting ready before having to be out of the house for 6.45pm
Here are the proud parents and daughter leaving the house (thank you Wendy next door for kindly pressing the button on the camera) Ignore that rather large bump on the mother's derriere it's an optical illusion - I'm actually a tall slim sylph like size 10 really (I wish - in my head I guess) Why do cameras never lie. And please do ignore the very elegant wellington boot rack by the open door too :o)
And this is of the whole group on that pitch - they just about managed to resist dragging each other to the ground on the way to a try. I guess the groundsman got a good deal getting his grass spiked with all those stilletto heels for nothing
And this is one of the other larger than life characters in the team with her rugby shorts on under her dress ?!?!?!?!? Sarah said she'd intended to do the same but her shorts would've spoiled the silhouette of her dress.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Thats how I feel about this little log cabin piece.
Friday night I sandwiched and quilted it continuing the leaves theme.
I'm pretty confident with free-motion quilting - it's just like drawing with the needle as the pencil and moving the 'paper/fabric' instead of the 'pencil/needle'.
However following lines is a whole different ball game to me - one I certainly need lots of practice at.
I was always under the impression it was best to do 'in the ditch' straight lines with a walking foot and had never had particularly satisfactory results. However last summer I had a conversation with a very accomplished machine quilter who told me she does all her quilting whether free-form or in-the-ditch with a darning foot and using her hands to guide everything as you would with any normal free-form work.
I tried this around the stars on Spencer's Stars with mixed results - most of it was okish but I did wander off my lines now and then.
However on this log cabin I could tangibly feel the improvement on each of the four log corners and by the end wasn't wandering too badly at all.
Now I just have to bind it, adding in a hanging sleeve, and I think this one might come to work with me for my notice board above my brand new desk to remind me now and then why exactly I do actually go to work.
The old adage rings true again - 'Practice makes perfect!' - mine may not be perfect but we're getting there slowly!
Friday, May 18, 2007
Our new desks arrived - Yippee!!!
Yes I know this may sound very sad to you but when I tell you that since September I've been managing on a flat topped table measuring less than 5ft wide by 2'6" deep with no drawers and having to share that space with my monitor, keyboard, mouse, pen tidy, stack of trays and several of those plastic stand up magazine racks to contain all my ongoing paperwork and belongings you can see why a new desk is such a delight. To have drawers to put away my pens and stop any itinerant teachers picking them up and walking off with them will be joy enough!
By moving the photocopier and relocating my colleague to the other side of a short supporting wall I've managed to fit in a corner desk and adjoining set of drawers that's big enough to hold a party on!
Learning a new job is always difficult but this particular one has been made doubly so by a rubbish work station and the constant fear of having so little surface to work on that the risk of losing a vital bit of paper due to it becoming accidentally clipped to the back of something else has been very real indeed.
Hopefully my new area will mean I can do the job much more efficiently and finally get a bit of a grip on things :o)
So having spent the morning helping our handyman remove the old furniture and install the new I came home fired up full of enthusiasm to get straight on with the applique on my log cabin piece.
The top is now ready for sandwiching.
Also in the post yesterday was my final Autumn block - I hope she won't mind me saying it but the lady who made this one was very reluctant to join the swap as she felt she was too much of a beginner.
Well I reckon for a beginner or any other level of quilting she's made a pretty good job of these flying geese and I'm delighted to have them in my quilt
So that's the Autumn quadrant done
Now to wait for everyone's winter blocks - so long as they're not accompanied by wintry weather :o)
PS - I did promise to hold the draw for the purple bag I made to celebrate my first blogiversary. When I was stitching the pink buttons in the middle of the yoyos never did I dream how far it would have to travel.
It's been won by Lori aka Elkhoundmom who is currently in Macao so if she'd care to email me with her snail mail address I'll pop it into the post to her at the beginning of next week.
I only wish I'd had 32 bags to give away - I'd have liked to send one to each of you but even at the speed I sometimes work that would have been a bit of a tall order :o)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
First of all let me apologise for using this picture and not crediting the source. If it's yours I'm sorry for not giving named credit where it's due - please accept imitation as the sincerest form of flattery.
On both of our computers I have a file of pictures that I've collected from all different sources to use as personal inspiration for my stitching. I'll often save an image from someone's blog or something I see on a website purely for personal use but don't give it a meaningful label.
This is one of those photos and judging by the fact it's on the older of the two computers I might have saved it well over a year ago.
Nigel was away in Spain again on Wednesday night and, as Sarah's rugby training has broken for the summer, once I'd got the three children in from school and fed them the night was free from taxi duties.
Just the opportunity to play.
The plaids I'd bought in the form of all those charity shop men's shirts were calling my name so I set to and tried to make something similar to the above.
Here is my effort. Some of the plaids are from the shirts, some are from yardage in my stash and yes, for those of you sensitive to wobbly checks, all of them could be offensively crooked so if that applies to you don't look too closely I wouldn't want to be accused of causing undue suffering :o)
However I've really enjoyed playing with something a little more traditional and will probably applique/embroider some leaves in the centre along the lines of the inspirational quilt I saved the picture of up above. Overall my own effort measures about 17.5" square - the logs are 3/4" wide.
Oddly enough in all the years I've been stitching this is the very first time I've made log cabin blocks - can you believe that?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I will then enlist the help of the three 'musketeers/wise monkeys/ little pigs/ errant children' (you take your pick and delete the least applicable - no only kidding!) to carry out the draw so I can try and get it arranged to take to the Post Office on my day off next Monday
After showing you my 'four seasons' blocks so far and then completing my winter block I decided it was time to take up that gauntlet (or should that read Sword of Damacles) - the Sashing Challenge!!!
Right from the start, as there were to be four seasons meaning four sets of four blocks, I had the germ of an idea about arranging the quilt in quadrants - one for each season.
So I then decided I wanted each quarter of the quilt to have its own identity - hence four different sets of sashings and corner stones
But to try and give it a little bit of uniformity I decided that I'd like all the corner stones to be green, but a different shade of green in each quadrant - each being most suitable to its own season.
Winter was the trickiest - my initial thought was a dark christmas/fir tree green but it just didn't work with the other three paler ones - so in the end looking at the reverse side of the greens in my stash I came across a green that reminded me of a pale dusting of snow or ice on grass and so went with the one in the picture
Then having so many different fabrics in each quarter I decided on the unifying theme of checks for each set of sashings
Once I have all the blocks in I'll put it all together and then put a 2" border round in 4 seasonal colours - one to each corner, but repeating the same green corner stones
Finally I think a 4" border with four separate darker/stronger fabrics again with matching green corner stones and I intend to applique the four corresponding words 'Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter' on the relevant border sections using each of the central sashing check fabric possibly along with relevant motifs ie flowers, autumn leaves, snowflakes etc
Does that all sound as clear as mud! Yeah thought so - sorry! Read it again once you've had a cup of coffee :o)
Then binding....... mmmmmm........ Anybody's guess really!