Thursday, November 11, 2010

They shall grow not old

As we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them

Nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun

And in the morning

We will remember them

Laurence Binyon

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Twin progress

I've been busily beavering away with lots of pink, pale green and white to get two matching quilts ready for a friend who is expecting twin girls in mid January

The twins are coming up to 30 weeks gestation and giving their mum a lot of grief with false alarms and extremely elastic pelvic ligaments

The midwife is keeping her fingers crossed that they get to 32 weeks but obviously the longer they're in there the better and if nothing else happens in the meantime they should be born by caesarean section on 29th December

However they are a good weight for twins and keep on growing so everyone cross everything for mum while she keeps her legs crossed

I've managed to complete the top of the first quilt and this morning's job is to add the white borders to the second ready for the applique

Here's the centre of quilt no 2 - with the larger stars in green

And this is the completed top for quilt no 1 with pink large stars all done and ready for sandwiching

I thought a swap around of colours would keep them similar but easily distinguishable

And which little girl doesn't love butterflies? Or big girl for that matter :o)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just a little something.............

........... I ran up before the summer break

I was looking through some of our photos from the summer holidays and lo and behold at the beginning of the photos is something I forgot to show you

During the past four years that I've worked at my school several of the teachers have gone on maternity leave

It seems to have become a tradition that I make them a quilt for the impending arrival

One of our teachers finished to have her daughter at the end of the summer term - junior became Enya who arrived on 10.10.10 - they won't forget her date of birth in a hurry

So here we are..........

............a quilt for her

Must be something in the air - I'm currently constructing a pair of girlie baby quilts for a friend who is booked in to have her twin girls by caesarean section on 29th December - however she doesn't think she'll get that far - so I'd better get a wiggle on with them :o)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Goodbye Taunton................

............... hello Uni

Well she's there, she's in and the next phase of her life begins

Lots of hard work - these are her flatmates I hasten to add, not just two random blokes off the street :o)

Lots of partying - more flatmates and new found friends

Lots of rugby - the most important job of the day, inflating the ball!

And all being well a useful degree with good career prospects at the end of three years

But for now lets take one step at a time

ps In a room this size how do you store your spare duvet for when friends sleep over?

Why in a great big quilted cushion cover just right for a back rest when lazing on your bed :o) (Please ignore the lazy lout (Dad) skiving on the bed with Ted - the red white and blue cushion is the real subject of the photo!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Uni quilt is done.......

..........well all bar the label that is!

Bulls eye rough edge blocks but rearranged into curvy stripes and surrounded by a thick plain border and the balance of the leftover blocks interspersed with a few appliqued small circles
I then quilted between the rough edge quadrants but it was a little puffy so ended up with wiggly lines of continuous loops along the centre of each of them - quilting over rough edges is a little tricky but I did it

All it needs now is a label on the back and it's ready to take that journey across the UK to Hatfield this Saturday - I hope she can feel all those hugs stitched into it if she gets the odd pang of homesickness - but with a bit of luck she will be so busy they will be few and far between :o)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Oh my - where did three months go?

Well haven't I been a tardy blogger
The summer has flown by
We managed a couple of weeks away at the end of July in Kent - the kids and Nigel didn't always see eye to eye so it wasn't the most restful fortnight but we managed a break which is more than some people have this year in the financial constraints that are affecting lots of people
Sarah did well in her A levels with an A* and two Bs - this means we drive her across the country in less than two weeks time to start the course of her choice: Physiotherapy at the University of Hertfordshire. She worked extremely hard for these results and we are incredibly proud of her although I shall no doubt feel like I've lost my right arm when she goes
Nick gained an A* in his second maths module to join the one he earned earlier in the year and has now moved to the new Academy to start work on the rest of his GCSEs for the next two years
Louise still has another year until she starts her GCSE subjects so this term is a time for choices - which subjects should she select - I'm sure Art and possibly Music will feature high on the list
As for me I've managed some stitching amongst the large pile of books I've read
These were a couple of little wallhangings I made for Julie at Joe Tulips in exchange for some neutral fabrics
Finally in preparation for Sarah's departure I'm currently quilting her Uni quilt - a bullseye design in various blues - pictures to follow on completion
Hope you're all managing to get a little time to enjoy some stitching too :o)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Off on a tangent

The good weather is holding - well with some monumental rain showers last night which saves us watering the plants this evening anyway
Last Saturday Nick's football (soccer) coach hosted a barbeque at his house which, combined with a communal viewing of the England v USA match, included the team's presentation evening
Much to Nick's (and our) delight he was awarded the trophy for 'Most Improved Player of the Season'.
His footballing skills have improved quite dramatically this season - maybe it's his age - but combined with the fact that his diabetes was diagnosed two weeks into the season, and he's had to factor in balancing all that too, this award was extra special
I'm always very good at shooting off at a tangent, especially when I'm bored in the middle of something.
Caroline's quilt has reached over exposure with me at present, there's only so much cream and pastel a girl can bear - so I've put it on one side and decided to play elsewhere
In my last post I showed you the pale grey, lilac and purple fabrics that I wanted to make a two colour quilt with
I couldn't think of a design off the top of my head so had a little search around the net
I entered 'two colour quilt designs' into google images and enjoyed a little bit of time browsing - well quite a lot of time actually
Finally I spotted something 'doable' without too many horrid triangles or set in seams
Very remiss of me I didn't take a note of the website from where I discovered it - I think it was a picture from a company that sells old quilts but if it's your quilt I apologise. I also have no idea if this design has an actual name - maybe someone could enlighten me
I liked the design but have more of the purple than the grey so I decided to reverse the colour placement - incidentally the lilac check went back into the melting pot of my fabric stash - this is too much of a purist design to complicate it with a third tone value
So here we are - progress so far..........
I keep chipping away at it - the 9 patches measure in at 3" square finished so it has a long way to go to make anything of a decent useable size but I shall keep constructing until I start to run short of fabric - I probably wouldn't be able to get any further supplies as I think both fabrics are quite old - so this will be the natural limiting factor
Surprisingly for me I'm enjoying all this piecing - must be sickening for something I think :o)
I've also made progress on the little heart wall-hangings to offer up for swapping
Here are a couple of tops ready for quilting, embellishing and binding. So far the yellow one is spoken for and will eventually travel to Julie across the pond
However there are lots of others including the pink in the photo - they finish up about 9" square and each one is similar but unique
So anyone who'd like to receive one don't be shy - they are up for grabs to anyone near or far in exchange for some fabric in neutral shades to bolster up my sadly depleted stocks of creams and pale beiges
Who's up for a swap?

Friday, June 04, 2010

and back to stitching............

The weather for half term down here in Somerset has been glorious

Hot sunny days are bringing on the garden a treat

A little rain the other day helped too

We've had many feathered visitors in the garden

Our blackbirds have fledged their second batch of chicks

The young goldfinches and bluetits are being taught how to help themselves to the sunflower hearts and niger seeds in our feeders

and for the first time ever we've had a pair of bullfinches in the garden

Louise's strawberries are starting to fruit
And the other day she and I took the opportunity to indulge in a somewhat wet and messy pastime out on the patio in the sunshine
Here's the finished piece of felt - I can feel some free machine embroidery coming on - the idea's bubbling away in the back of my head - no doubt it will come out sometime soon
I've gradually been working on Caroline's soft and gentle quilt - adding the outer borders
I did have a full photo taken hanging from my washing line in the garden - but some helpful soul accidentally deleted it and it's a big job to re-stage the photo without getting the quilt dirty that it will have to wait for another time - however you can see from this picture a section ofthe outer edge and also that there is still much floral applique to work around it's final plain cream border
I've taken the time to sort out some brown and pink fabrics for a friend who's short of these colours in exchange for some neutrals - Caroline's quilt has almost exhausted my stash of creams, pale beiges and tone on tone pale fabrics, so Karol-Ann offered to do a swap

I also found a piece of pale grey which didn't really fit in with the creams of Caroline's quilt and have a mind to make a two colour quilt using it with possibly just the darker or maybe both of these purples - any pattern selections anyone?

As I am so short of creams and pale beiges I thought one or more of you might quite like to do some trading so I've made a start on some small heart wallhangings in various colours to swap if anyone has a mind to, I will complete one to show you in the next day or two - please just comment or drop me an email if you're interested...................

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The end of an era

How can it be?

Where did all those years go?

Can it really be almost six years ago since she started?
(Can you spot her?)

Friday afternoon in extremely wet Wales

Rain falling in that heavy drizzle that feels like little but soaks you through within seconds

Our girls warmed up outside, soggy in minutes

The opposition decided to warm up inside on the indoor astro - appearing at the very last minute - tactics

Old contests running through everyone's heads

This time it's pay-back time

White shirts turning to grimy grey

Grit and determination shining through the dismal drizzle

An almost immediate lead with a run-away try inside the first minute

Red hands in the ruck - Come on Ref!

Slippery wet ball juggling on the run

Communication - the name of the game

Popping the ball back in the tackle

Eighty minutes of grunt and grind

Flashes of breakaway brilliance

Kicking for territory

A win - we actually beat them!

Sheer exhausted delight at the final winning score of 12 -22

Beating their nemesis in their own back yard

What a fitting conclusion to six years of Junior rugby

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A quiet weekend

It's been a quiet weekend here at Chez Bebbs - so far

Nigel and Sarah headed off on Rugby Tour yesterday morning. I waved them off a little wistfully, as I would previously have gone too, but this year Nick's diabetes and my parents' advancing years made it impractical and unfair for both of us to go with her. A bit of a bummer as I'd arranged and booked it all for them - but there you go, and to be honest I still feel a bit delicate after Monday's day surgery so it's probably for the best.

I did smile when Nigel phoned last night as I'd booked them all into a Youth Hostel on the Cornish coast and much to the girls' dismay there was virtually no mobile phone signal for any of the networks. Imagine the consternation of 15 teenage girls aged between 14 and 18 - the end of the world as they know it. Nigel had to accompany them (in his role as Responsible Adult?!?!?) quarter of a mile up the hill behind the hostel so they could get their fix before bedtime. For goodness sake!!! There was no way on this earth they would settle down for the night without!

So that was us down to three instead of five

Then three became two yesterday afternoon as Louise had a birthday party and sleepover to go to. The party was very exciting as it was a Murder Mystery Dinner Party and all the girls were to be a character and go in costume as though it was a 1930s house party

Here she is in her costume - and who would believe it her character of Mademoiselle Cherie Boot turned out to be both a man in woman's clothing and the joint murderer

They had a wonderful time and I was very impressed with the theme of the party - that'll be a hard one to follow

So that meant it just left Nick and I at home - this gave Nick the opportunity to spoil me with an early birthday treat - he took me out to dinner - what a sweetheart - we had a lovely time accompanied by my parents - brilliant!

The rest of the weekend, apart from catching up with the chores before returning to work on Tuesday, I've fitted in quite a bit of sewing

I'm on the final strait of the leaves and berries on Caroline's quilt - about 2/3rds of one side left to go

So my mind turned to what to do next..........

I had thought about Delectable Mountains a la Bonnie but felt they might be a little heavy handed

So whilst browsing through various blogs I came upon a great idea on Gwen's blog - Scrappy Angel Quilts

I've included a copy of the picture here just in case the link doesn't work

The cream lines are very reminiscent of the border arrangement I've used many times before on my little heart quilts - a bit of a faff having to start off with a part seam especially as the centre is relatively small - but very doable - and no dratted triangles - hurray!!!

So I thought I'd give it a go

And here are the first three blocks each measuring up at 8" square finished - three done, 41 more to go for this round

Once they're all completed that will bring the quilt to 96" square - I think a 6" or 8" wide plain cream final border to applique a nice floral vine onto should finish the job nicely

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pottering along................

............... just spending time resting up post-op (all went well, if a little sore - day surgery is such a production line!) and hand stitching to while away the hours
Yet more leaves and berries

And a reasonably simple applique block I fudged together this morning as the ladies at my quilting group want me to teach them 'freezer paper on top' hand applique
Now of course the boring bit - writing out the 'ingredients list' for them for next Monday's meeting

Friday, April 16, 2010

Quilting I promised you.............

................and quilting there will be

Well piecing and applique as a pre-cursor to quilting anyway

Before you read any further can I just tell you that Blogger is playing some very silly games with me at the moment - this post should have 5 photographs in it - if you can't see them all chances are you won't be able to read the whole post either - please refresh and try again......... okay back to business!

Before I show you the progress I've made on Caroline's quilt I thought I'd show you a different view of Sarah from this one you usually see

The girls in the squad for last weekend had to travel and dine the first evening dressed as SuperHeros

Sarah chose a Thundercat

Makes you wonder how she manages to get all this hair into that rugby-playing bun

Enough of rugby speak - especially as we have another weekend of it travelling to Loughborough tonight to watch her play for South-West in the National Student Games

Here is Caroline's Quilt complete with its latest round of Sawtooth Stars

I am extending my Easter break from school by a week for medical reasons - I have to have day surgery on Monday to check out the interior of my bladder - yeuch - but I shall be resting and recuperating at home for the rest of the week.

So I have prepared lots more leaves and berries (lavender instead of red this time) to while away the hours until I go back to work, on my 50th birthday of all days, on Tuesday 27th - nice birthday present eh?