Sunday 30 June 2013

Hangover Hexies

I went to a fab 40th birthday party last night, and may have got a bit squiffy!

It was originally intended to be themed Strictly Come Dancing, but got changed to a party at home, however, you'll be please to know that Brucie still attended

Anyway, I wasn't up for much this morning , but I did get some hexies cut ready for basting 

Now I think it's maybe time for a nap!

Saturday 29 June 2013

Lots of Leaves

The first 20 leaves have been completed for the Oakfield Anniversary project:

Looking good - 30 to go

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Sandown Sunday (and Shopping)

I did shop just a bit at Sandown.

Well ok, a bit more than a little bit, but nearly all for specific projects, hardly any for stash, so I think that makes it all ok

This binding so I can finish this Retro Rainbow

This woven tape measures for stash, and heavy weight cats for bags for my girls

Solid Charms for stash, and Snap Pop charms to add to the rainbow charms in the recent swap

These two linens . . . 

. . . To go with these linens that I've been collecting over the last few years, but don't really have enough of.

I did also buy this linen to add to the reds, but it's the wrong red :-( 

Thanks to brain storming with Jackie over the weekend I know what I'm going to do with these.  It does involve half snowball blocks, so I don't want anyone mentioning that snowball corners are related to HSTs.  

However, I have a (horrible) circular table cloth to finish hemming for one customer, and embroidered tabards and calico bags for another two, so not sure when I'll get to play with the new fabrics!  

Monday 24 June 2013

What a Weekend

II hope you had a good weekend, I had a great one!  Fab, but very busy!

It started Friday afternoon, my regular monthly class at Chertsey Museum usually pulls in 6 or 7 ladies - I don't know what was different, but 13 (THIRTEEN!!!) ladies rocked up to learn English Paper Piecing!!!
Then on Friday night Jackie arrived at Heathrow, bringing awesome goodies: super scrummy Liberty fabrics,

and a beautiful sewing basket 
 amongst other bits and pieces.

On Saturday mum joined us and we went to the school summer fete armed with embroidery machine and 30 flannels.

By the end of the fete we'd sold 33 flannels with names on, 

Well, 32 named, and you may have spotted one drama class logo 

And then on Sunday the three of us, and another friend, Jane, went to the quilt festival at Sandown - and that will be the subject of the next post!!!!

Thursday 20 June 2013

Random Thursdsy

I don't usually take part in random Thursday, as Katy over at Littlest Thistle does it so well , but she's on holiday and I've had a random week so I shall have a go!!!

I went to Tescos in Slough last night and a vaguely familiar couple were in the queue behind me, I suddenly realised they were "off the telly".  Yes Britain's Got Talent's bell ringing stars were within touching distance!!!
(No, I didn't ask for a photo with them, or their autographs!)

The hospital in Windsor is just for clinics, no wards or A&E.  it's car park has just been converted to "pay and display" but someone mist have made a mistake on the sign when they made the machine as two extra words have been taped to the outside
Really, was it that difficult?

Having unsewn my hexi top into strips I learnt that you can't turn a hexi strip through 90 degrees and expect it to fit happily, so I have further unsewn the strips into blocks so I can make a border of Hexie flowers with the final scraps of spotty fabric as random hexies in the centre yellow

Well that's me done!  Not much sewing this week: extra hours at work, and trying to find space at home for lots of Lisa's stuff have kept me out of the sewing room, but Jackie arrives tomorrow so there will be lots of fabric and sewing and quilty talk even if not much creating! 

Monday 17 June 2013

Sunday Stitching

As I can't make up my mind what to do with the rainbow charms, and as I was 'stuck' in the sewing room as the embroidery machine chuntered through the pre-school embroideries, I decided yesterday I would chop into a different charm pack.

I was given an Its A Hoot charm pack a few years ago, but felt the designs were so varied they needed to be broken up a bit.
So I cut a whole load of extra charm squares from a plain pink, and cut all the It's A Hoot squares into rectangles

And joined them into strips (no design wall, but a rail with clips will do)

I'm happy with the arrangements, so now I can pin A to N row markers onto the strips to keep them in the right order,  and I'll press the seams next time the iron is on. 

Happy Sunday Stitching - hope you had a good weekend too

Sunday 16 June 2013

Postponed Plans

After my post yesterday morning I planned have a cuppa with Brian and Niki then get on with four customers' jobs while I considered lots of lovely options with my rainbow charms.

But while the kettle was boiling I thought I'd just phone Lisa. On Friday afternoon she had been waiting for a friend to arrive with his 5 year old, autistic sun, C, to arrive - she was going to baby sit C for a few hours. C is 5 and autistic.  Lisa has offered several times in the past, and C's dad had asked if she could do from 4 or 5pm on Friday, to 6 or 7pm. She admits she was a bit tipsy when he asked, but she happily agreed 

However the alcohol had enabled her to file away one significant fact . . . from 4 or 5pm on Friday, to 6 or 7pm ON SATURDAY!!!!

I have child minded an autistic boy before, with significant help from Lisa as well as Niki and Brian.  His obsession was motorways and time: C's obsession is doors, gates and locks.  C has virtually no language, but makes his choices very clear, usually by taking your hand and pulling you the direction he has chosen.  The best doors were on her floor (top floor) of the halls of residence, and the best gates were on the ground -  and they  were separated by 7 flights of 16 steps (no he wouldn't use the lift) so Lisa was getting worn out, so I went to join her - I know how much I appreciated help when I had R.  We had a lovely day spending 15 to 20 minutes at a time playing with doors, locks, gates, locks, doors, locks and gates, with occasional diversions to the lift (C pushing me into it) and letterbox (opening and closing the flaps).

I'm reminded why I have so much admiration for people who cope with autistic children either as parents, through work, or as volunteers - it's exhausting, although he is a real sweetie!

C unlocking one of several doors

So, in summary, no customers' work even got looked at, but on the train to Greenwich I did get to un-sew some hexies (as I've changed my mind about the design)

Old arrangement

Now separated into

and I did get to spend a day with Lisa :-)

NOW I'll start on customers' orders:
* Cushions of the seats on Martin's boat
* embroider logo onto t-shirts for the pre-school
* a circular table cloth for Mrs Rose
* repair a jacket pocket for a friend's husband

Saturday 15 June 2013

Perfect Post

Look what mr postie delivered yesterday.
My haul from Cindy's charm swap. They even arrived perfectly arranged in Rainbow order, love you Cindy!

Sorry, no blogging today, just drooling over my rainbow charms and deciding what to do with them

Thursday 13 June 2013

Project Purchases

Not much sewing this week as I've been working extra hours, but I did manage to get some time to shop!

I've started teaching a new class at a local school.  It's their 50th anniversary and they want a wall hanging.   I've got an afters school class of 14 parents and at least that many school age children, plus a few pre-school children (exhausting!)

At the first session last week they decided to base it on this carved plaque

They want to have 50 leaves, each one embroidered with a suitable word (friendship, honesty, environment, that sort of thing) and add owls - one for each head teacher.

So you understand I *had* to shop!

I reckoned that cutting lengths off the embroidery silks at the class was asking for trouble, so I spent ages tonight cutting thread into 1m lengths and storing it on card, and trying not to get knotted!

We'll find out tomorrow if the plan worked!

Monday 10 June 2013

Create A Cushion

I spent Friday night with a great group of women at Chertsey Museum, and a few bottles of wine, and they went home having made new friends and a fab cushion each

Well done all

Sunday 9 June 2013

Bucks Open Studios

On Saturday afternoon I spent a lovely few hours in the company of one of the teaching assistants at school: her studio and garden are part of the Bucks Open Studio tour this year, showcasing her work and that of 7 others.  

I took photos of Lynn's work as she said I could, but I shall have to describe some of the others as best I can!

A clay house in the garden

And inside one of the rooms

Huge scale knitting on a garden wall

Castles in the air, with lush melted blue glass poured in to create that very tactile floor

And patchwork clay towers

It was a beautiful weather and a great setting.  Some pieces were hidden in a wild garden with a mowed footpath to them
(This was a piece made from crushed cans of beer.  Others were from found rusty things, tea bags (!) and fast food cups)

There were some other great clay pieces, and one lady had done crochet pieces, circular, about 14" diameter, and attached them to car types, over the hole !

The Open Studio event is on for the next two weekends, if you get a chance go and visit, Lynn's is number 299 in the book, so plenty of locations to choose from!

Saturday 8 June 2013

Chemo Quilt

We have a lovely pupil at my school who has had a brain tumour.  Luckily it is not cancerous, and much of it has been removed, but next week he start chemo to shrink the remaining growth.

 Over the last few weeks, the children in his class, and all the adults in the school decorated a square of yellow fabric, and today I had a lovely morning creating this

90 minutes start to finish, then ten minutes to sew the binding on and now I just need to hand stitch the binding down

Thursday 6 June 2013

College Finished!

No alteration today, just happiness!  I have finished the college course, and unless City and Guilds think differently to my tutor, I have passed.  

How funny to think that 40 odd years ago my Mum did the same course and also taught sewing for adult education!  She does 'real 'sewing - following instructions, altering patterns, making hems level, whereas I do far more making it up as we go, but all the same!

I did get Southern Star's binding finished when I got home.  

There is some quilting too, I copied the 8 sided star and turned it into an embroidery machine stitch and stitched it randomly a dozen or so times

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Wednesday Wondering

I'm wondering where the first half of the week went, and whether I *really* have to get up at 7am again tomorrow?

Whoever said "work" is a four letter word is quite right!

So my creative week finished as the school holiday finished , and this is a busy term, with, already in the first three days, plenty of overtime, which means less sewing time 

However, some is essential: I'm teaching an adult class at Chertsey Museum on Friday - Create a Cushion, so I've been to Ikea to get the inserts ( and the purple fleece, and a few other fleeces )

I've made a few cushions for ideas, this one as a sort of lacy rail fence

and this one which are actually HSTs

these are as much to show different construction methods: this one used a man's shirt as the back, with the buttons as the back - thank you Fiona for that idea!

and in case there are some students with no sewing skills, I've prepared some basic pieces that they can sew or glue buttons, ribbon, lace etc onto

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Shopping Success

The new shopping bag had a road test and worked well.  I velcroed it to the handle and then flipped it over so it lay horizontally on the kiddie seat so I could read the list
and I've put the money off voucher i got into the pocket - I wonder if there's any hope I'll. remember to use it next time?

Sunday 2 June 2013

Mystery Make

Let me know when you guess what this bag is for:

1 I cut a piece about 5 inches by 60 from my random sized piece of fabric.  I cut the rest into four pieces about 12 x 16", then cut about 3.5 x 1.5 off two corners on each to create 'shoulders'. (significant detail) 

I stitched two of the four pieces together (rst) around the sides and the bottom, leaving a 4 inch opening in one side.

I stitched the other two pieces together but with a piece of plastic in between at the bottom half (the sort of plastic that clear shower curtains are sometimes made of) (another significant detail) 

2 I stitched the really long piece into a bag strap
(fold length ways, fold edges into fold, fold in half, top stitch - if you want to know in more detail or anything else I'm vague about, just ask in the comments section)

3 I then repeated the first two and forth stages with two of the bits that were taken off to create the shoulders

4 I used the triangles gusset method to give the bag a flat bottom

5 I turned one bag the right way round and put it inside the other

6 I pinned the two together with the straps and the short almost straps in between the two layers

Here is a bit of strap peeping out

7 I then stitched all round the top of the two bags joining them together, and snipped the acute corners, and trimmed the obtuse corners (I think that's what they are called)

8 I then turned the whole thing through the gap, and top stitched along the top edge.

9 Then I added Velcro to either side of the very top of the bag (another significant detail)

Any idea yet?

10 I then filled it with my 'bag for life' shopping bags,

and next I'll clip my trolley coin thingy to the D ring, and put my shopping list in the clear pocket, and Velcro the whole thing to the shopping trolley with my keys and my purse safely inside