Friday, February 29, 2008

Squeaked in by the skin of my teeth

I did it!

I got my February bag done yesterday afternoon when I came home from work. Yippee!

Tomorrow the instructions come out for the March design which I really like from looking at the sneak preview pictures.

I enjoyed making this one from the February design even though I decided against embellishment as suggested in the instructions.

Of course I can tell I rushed it - the handles are on the wrong way round (with the seams showing to the outside) I didn't try to match up the doll levels on each side so they're a good inch or so adrift and I didn't think about placing the pattern very cleverly so the dolls' legs fold under the base of the bag - probably saying a prayer or two for people to use less plastic carrier bags.

But it was good fun and the instructions were so straightforward I might make it again sometime.

Nigel went back to work yesterday for a big get-together of all his suppliers and was absolutely fine.

He's left already this morning but will endeavour to get an early bath today and not push his luck too much

It's a rugby weekend for us this weekend - no 6 nations matches to watch on the tv but Sarah has regional training in the morning and then we have free tickets to watch Exeter Chiefs v Pertemps Bees in the afternoon.

Sunday will be very busy, again with the rugby, but this time I'll be less watching and more catering as our club has thrown us off the ground for our home fixture as the Boys tournament they organised after we had already booked the club is deemed more important - still a great deal of male chauvinism in the rugby world but we're converting them slowly or trying at least.

We've hired the pitch at Sarah's school instead and I'm doing Jacket Potatoes and fillings for about 80 as we have two visiting U15s teams and one U18s team to play hosts to as well as feed our own girls.

Wish me luck - I'm working all this magic in the Domestic Science (or should that be Food Technology nowadays) classroom - hopefully with lots of assistance from some of the other parents.

I shall be going back to work next week for a rest!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dear Jane progress

Well Nigel is recovering wonderfully from his contretemps with the surgeon's scalpel. Apart from a ridiculous looking mown patch across his midriff, a neat horizontal scar of about 2" in length beneath his belly button and some pretty spectacular coloured bruising you'd never guess anything had been done. However he is being very careful about what he lifts if anything and so is making an excellent job of directing proceedings (especially with the kids) from the sofa. He's been a lovely patient actually - not at all demanding and is returning to work tomorrow albeit only for shortened days for the rest of this week.

I've been pretty busy with work and also with Sarah's rugby over the past week or so (she played on Sunday and they beat the opposition 22-10 with her scoring the first try and a conversion) - but in the evenings I have managed to get a little bit of stitching done whilst sitting on the sofa in front of the tv.

I'd forgotten, in the thrall of my new-found stitchery addiction, just how much I enjoyed hand applique

Dear Jane reminded me - these five blocks are all 'freezer paper on top' hand applique and were quick and a pleasure to complete

I think now I ought to look at some of the pieced block patterns now to intersperse between them.

I honestly can't see me making a full DJ but I do have a bare patch of wall in my lounge behind my Singer sewing machine table which is crying out for a wall hanging - this might be just the project. Hence the turquoise, sand and cream colourway.

On the other hand I may just pick some more applique blocks and do my very own Applique Baby Jane - who knows?

However I do have a BQL February bag to drum up from somewhere before the end of this month, which basically means tomorrow, although I'm not sure the hearts will make the final design in my case - so Jane will just have to have a little patience.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Baby Jane anyone?

Anina over at Twiddletails laid down the gauntlet the other day.......

She's going to make her very own Dear Jane quilt

Cathi at Celtic Knots is in the middle of hand quilting her beauty.

I've had the book for several years now - I take it off the shelf, stroke and peruse it and then put it back again.

Anina has challenged us to join her on her Dear Jane voyage

Last night I made a start...........

I may not make the full quilt - I might only make a nine or twelve block Baby Jane but I'm going along for the ride - because I need another project like a hole in the head!

Here's last night's attempt - untrimmed I hasten to add it will be a bit smaller than this when cut to size.

In the comments on my last post Clare asked why you weren't allowed to see the wonky house I've made for Bonnie. No reason other than I was too bone idle to get off my butt and take a photo of it before I posted last time.

Remedied now! The house isn't that wonky in itself - just the setting but it'll add to the bunch no doubt.

This morning I had to be up by 6.30 to drop Nigel off at the local hospital for 7.30am. He's in as a day case for an umbilical hernia repair. I stayed with him until they wheeled him off down to theatre at about 10am. That felt very strange - with the various operations I've had over the years it's usually been him sitting at the side of my bed - I'd rather have been in the bed taking his place. I now have an edgy morning waiting until I can ring at around 1pm to make sure everything went okay. No reason to suspect it won't - it's a minor procedure but the sitting and waiting game isn't a comfortable seat.

Now do I finish off those embroidered hearts or decide on another DJ block to work on?

No it's a quick trip into town to take his passport renewal to the Post Office - he's left it right until the last minute to renew (forgot to look at the expiry date more like) still with a sore tum I don't suppose he'll be swanning off to foreign climes for a week or two

PS - His Lordship rang me on my mobile phone at around 12noon while I was in the Post Office queue to report he was 'dry as a bone, a little bit sore, very bruised and although he can probably be collected at about 2.30 has decided to sleep the afternoon off in there and summon me to collect him when he's ready later in the afternoon'

There's gratitude for me worrying my socks off all morning!!! :o)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?

I just can't believe it's ten days since I posted - how the time has flown
Lots of reasons.........................

Sarah had a deadline of last Friday for her Food Technology project - so she monopolised the computer somewhat up to then - it's an enormous relief to her to complete this project - and to us now that we can stop nagging her to come off MSN and do something productive. I guess the mad rush at the end, albeit a painful experience, might well have taught her a little bit about the importance of pacing herself and making regular progress - let's hope so :o) Btw thanks to everyone for the good wishes about her elbow - she's had ultrasound on it from the club physio and it's much better - she might not be quite back to playing for her club on Sunday but should be fit for regional training again the weekend after.
Also I was proper poorly at the end of last week ( a nasty gastric flu type bug which really laid me low) - I even ended up taking Friday off work and leaving my Finance Officer to finish off the budget calculations alone (with her encouragement I might add - she could see how ill I was on the Thursday) - so I virtually lost three days sleeping the time away in bed.
Then of course it's been half term holidays this week.
What was intended to be a week chilling and recuperating from a busy term has turned into the usual 'Lets fit in all those jobs we don't get done during term time' melee. Dental appointments, haircuts, shopping trips, Lou's birthday celebration on Saturday etc etc etc - the list goes on..... However we did manage to buy Sarah's prom dress in readiness for her School Prom in June so that's another major task off the main list for the year (Phew!!!!!!!!!!!)
I have managed to slip into one or two of your blogs along the way and comment but not managed to write in my own.
Supermom who organises the Four Seasons Quilt Swap is also running a Spring Fling Round Robin which I've signed up for
Here's my centre 8" square
I'm looking forward to what I shall have to work on next
Speaking of Four Seasons Quilt Swap - the swap is now open for those of you who want to sign up for the Spring round - I've sent in my email
Although I've not been on the computer much I have been stitching away in the evenings and here are some of the results
The two hearts are surprises for two little girls whose mum reads this post so I've covered their names
And the 'bless this house' stitchery is just for fun - not sure what I'll do with it yet but I'm sure I'll find an application for it somewhere
I also drummed up a wonky house and three string blocks for Bonnie - so I'll pop those in the post over the next day or two
And last but not least we finally got round to joining our local lending library (after only two and a half years at this address) mainly at Louise's behest so we've now all got something new to read - another mission accomplished
If only I could find a few more hours in the day really!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Birthdays, Rugby and yet another new project

Yesterday my baby was 11
I can't believe all those years have gone by - at birth she was the sweetest little doll you can imagine and is still a blue eyed blond haired little doll now
Unfortunately her birthday just happened to clash with Sarah's first regional rugby match so having to go along and watch that, or rather sit in the car for several hours reading a book, wasn't really how she wanted to spend her birthday - still next Saturday will be the day she actually has her birthday treat - we're taking her and a friend to do grown up things like Hot Chocolate and cakes in Starbucks followed by a visit to a 'paint your own pottery' studio - right up her street, arts and crafts, - then home for tea and videos for a sleepover. She is very understanding thank goodness.
Sarah had a very mixed day at the rugby yesterday! I'll apologise to those of you who this is all complete Greek! If you're not into rugby scroll on down to the pictures again
She got to play as replacement second row for most of match 1 against Thames Valley which her team won 10-5 (two tries to one all in the corners so no successful conversions)

Sarah found playing at 4 very frustrating as she couldn't easily get out of the scrum and munch whoever of the opposition had the ball - a skill she has when playing 7 (flanker on the side of the scrum) or 9 (scrum half behind the scrum) - she can often snipe out and tackle one girl and be back up and tackling the girl who the ball's been offloaded to before any of her club team-mates have even got there - she's a natural flanker to be honest although seldom gets to play it at club level as most of the opposing teams can't put out a full 15 so the 6 & 7 flanker positions are the first to go.

Then when they went straight back on for their second game against South West North (her old regional side which has lots of girls she knows and with whom she has old scores to settle from club matches) she asked the coach if she and another Sarah who was at 7 could swap as the other Sarah is usually playing at second row! - Go figure why they weren't put in their comfortable positions??? - but of course all the coaches were Devon and Cornwall coaches so don't know the Somerset girls as well as their own - they were even playing a Devon winger as first on flanker before putting out my Sarah who plays that position often - no wonder the poor winger didn't know what to do in that position

All fine and dandy until 10 minutes in when she tackled someone near to her own try line and one of her own players came in behind totally accidentally with her knee against Sarah's right elbow and dislocated it. Fortunately as the elbow was up against the tacklee it popped straight back in again but she was understandably in great pain and came off to miss the rest of the match. However they did win by 14 points to 7 which was a very sweet victory against this particular side. The girls she has old issues with all play for club sides which Sarah's club have never managed to beat yet - it's been pretty close a few times but not quite so as you can imagine the girls and particularly Sarah and her Taunton team-mates were ecstatic at the close with this victory.

Dosed up to the eyeballs the pain didn't seem too bad after the match but she's very bruised and sore this morning especially when she extends her arm to reach for something like turning on a tap - it's also her right (writing) arm - but thankfully isn't too bad when she writes and uses the computer mouse which is a blessing as she has a very important GCSE Food Technology project to finish (remember all those gorgeous food labels lots of you sent her) and hand in by this Friday with a substantial amount of work still to do. Oddly enough she finds it really difficult to use a pair of scissors - must use certain muscles and tendons in her arm - so guess what? Mum was doing the 'Blue Peter' cutting and glueing bit for her on the project last night! Not strictly acceptable but as I wasn't actually adding any input to her work and was only sticking things where she told me to we won't worry about it.

She won't be training this Wednesday or playing on Sunday for the club side and I think her elbow might need strapping up for a bit to stop a repeat 'pop-out'

Still it's only the second real injury she's had - the other was a sprained ankle in almost 4 years of playing so I guess it's about her time

Hey-ho - the joys of being a 'supporter mum'
As the camera is particularly unhappy at present being separated from its umbilical cord (the power cable) as it's unable or unwilling to keep a charge for very long I didn't take any photos which is a shame as it was a beautiful mild sunny day - I can feel a major capital expenditure purchase for a new camera coming up rapidly on the horizon!
Here's a picture of her (she's the one with the bun with her arm outstretched awaiting a kick off) at her last County match - she's not going to be stretching that arm out like that for a few days that's for sure.
And onto something quilty - Nick's off school today after being violently sick at 11.30 last night from the top of his loft bed to the floor - you would not believe how much clearing up that took us both - fortunately Nigel's stomach is considerably stronger than mine - so I'm at home with him today and didn't get to my usual quilting group.
This morning I had a quick look at the Four Seasons Quilt Swap blog and I found that Margaret is running a 'Spring Fling Mini Quilt Round Robin'
I've emailed her to ask to be included - hopefully I'm not too late.
Anyway - filled with inspiration, coupled with a morning staffing Emergency Ward 10 here I set too and made my centre. If I'm too late to be included I'll use it for something else but it was fun to do
This is a sneak preview.
Back to work tomorrow, Nick should be okay by then - budgetting for two days at the end of the week so lots to do in preparation and then Friday sees us all (well apart from Daddy that is) breaking up for a week's holiday for half term - yippee!!!!!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Four Seasons Winter Quilts

I had an email this morning from Lily in Australia to say to say that my 'Dancing Snowflakes' winter quilt had arrived safely - always a relief to hear something has reached its destination especially over such a long journey
Then after a trip into Taunton this morning for various shopping essentials like new rugby boots for DD1 and her impending regional match and birthday jeans for DD2's special day, both happening tomorrow, I came home to find a parcel on my doormat from Linda who is another Australian but now living in Oklahoma
And here it is my beautiful Winter quilt
I love the redwork (or should that read blackwork) snowmen and the snowflakes in metallic threads with tiny little seed beads worked on them
It's a delight and I shall treasure it
Now to keep a look out and sign up for the Spring leg

Friday, February 08, 2008

Spot the deliberate mistake!

I'm a great one for sneaking a little bit of stitching time in the odd five minutes here and there just before I have to go out somewhere.
This morning I had one such small window of time before I was due to leave for work.
I've not done anything much on my Plaids and Proverbs quilt this week as I'm at a piecing stage and have felt more like hand work so I've been working away on other stitchery instead.
However the components for this flying geese round were sitting on my sewing table just waiting the assembly process
And of course what do you suppose happens when you go down the 'more haste, less speed' route in that small window of time?
Yep - you've got it - now I've got some reverse stitching to do - that'll teach me - I should've unloaded the dishwasher instead!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Using up leftovers

I was wandering round the web and looking through my saved pictures the other day for a bit of inspiration and came upon a block pattern for a pretty star that I'm sure most of you are familiar with
In one of those 'Eureka!' moments I realised that four sections of the star were made of three quarter square triangles and lo and behold I had some left over from my plaid and proverbs quilt (which is still ongoing I might add)
So here we are a little bit of trimming and a bit more stitching - three plaid stars
I think these may become a table runner using the blocks on point and the blue check they're laid on to separate them
Still not tired of plaids...............