Monday 23 November 2015

Weigh to Go

I've been going to Slimming World for about a year, and I've lost a stone; its not a fantastic weight loss, but I was pleased with it, and it's a lovely group so I enjoy the meetings.

We do a raffle, and every week we used to flaff around looking for somewhere to put the money and the tickets, so a while ago I made two drawstring bags

My consultant's line manager saw them and asked me to make her a set too

And could I make a set of weights as well?

The idea is that if someone is despondent that they've only lost 1 or 2 pounds in a week they can pick up the appropriate bag and realise how much less they are carrying around - they add up to a stone, so I made a 1 stone bag too - and, now that I've had to carry it all to the car for the meeting,  I'm feeling much better about my weight loss, flipping heck, 14 pounds is heavy!!!!
So this week, if you'll excuse the pun (which only works in the UK), I've made pounds, I've earned pounds, and hopefully I've lost a few as well!!!

Sunday 22 November 2015

Woolly Weekend

Today I'm going to link with Janine's Wool on Sunday posts. I have finally finished my crochet fingerless gloves

But let's compare them to the ones that Jackie knitted for me

I think *one* pair can go to the homeless, and the other pair I'll carry on using in the car every morning, you don't need me to specify which pair is which do you?

Another woolly wonder - the girls pulled Alice's hood (snood? Cowl?) down yesterday, and discovered even more attention to detail - look at this fab plait,

And look how I often wear my hair!

And finally, my thermofax screen arrived yesterday, so as soon as I clear some other work (preschool uniforms, tshirt for a friend, weight bags for slimming world, two I spy quilts, etc) I want to have a play!

Friday 20 November 2015

Weekend, Workroom and WOW!

It's the weekend, yay!!!  I've hardly managed any midweek sewing, so hopefully the weekend will be more productive!

My new workroom is almost finished.  I still have lots of Lisa's stuff in here as she's decorating her 'new' room, so mine should get better, but here are a few photos for now.

Although the room is bigger I've got less storage as there is more low level stuff rather than to-the-ceiling stuff.  I've gone for a standing workbench so I don't need to plan in space for a chair.  I spend much of the time at school slumped at a desk, so this may improve my posture too!


And this (rather gorgeous) fabric arrived today, wrapped around my WOW.

Actually that's wrong, it was wrapped around my

 No, still not right, one more try ... wrapped around my  

Meet Grandma Alice Fawkes!  She has been created by the amazingly talented Janine who blogs over at RainbowHare and has been entrusted to me to be loved and looked after!  Oh Janine - I do and I will!!!

Alice was blogged about here - which happened to be on Janine's Grandmother (Alice)'s birthday, and Guy Fawkes Night here in the UK, so you can see she was easy to name.

As well as being incredibly well made, she even came with a knitted cardigan and socks and hat, and a beautiful dress made of cotton with needle and thread design on it!

My photos clearly don't do her justice (I should have paid more attention to Katy's online photography lessons) but I have found some trinkets that are about her size

And I even found her a rocking chair and some EPP she can be getting on with!

Janine - you are awesome!!!!!!

Thursday 12 November 2015

Devious Daughters

These two are scheming little minxes - and I love them more than words can say!

Niki worked from home on Tuesday, but had to go to the post office early.  She'd told me she would cook me lunch - home by 2 please!  

I walked in to find not one daughter by TWO!!!!  Lisa had made a spur-of-the-moment decision on Friday that she was done with Australia, but only told Niki!  Niki booked a day's leave (so not working from home) and went to get Lisa early from the airport (rather than the post office) and the two of them sat in the car hiding until they saw Brian and I both leave for work!!!!!

So - disbelief and tears and hugs!  

And then Lisa mentioned the state of her room . . . 

and despite claiming I was promised 24 hours notice so I could clear up, I can see she does have a point!

An hour or so later and she's decided that she wants the box room as a dedicated bedroom and I can have the bigger room . . . so we all got down to work

I see a lot of organising in my future - and a shopping trip to IKEA!  (And Jackie, it's OK, she says you can use her room too!!!)

Saturday 7 November 2015

Fortunately Unfortunately

Are you ready?


Unfortunately mum wasn't well yesterday: she fell and took far too long to be able to get up, and scared herself

Fortunately I was home when she called

Unfortunately I couldn't drive over as we'd had a drink

Fortunately she then called NHS direct

Unfortunately they couldn't send a doctor, but

Fortunately they made her an appointment for today

Fortunately I was free today so I could go with her

Unfortunately the appointment was delayed by an hour

Fortunately the Dr thinks it's just a version of the flu


Fortunately I had my La Pass kit with me:

And fortunately there was a glass of wine and an Indian takeaway menu waiting for me when I get home

Hope you had a more productive Saturday


Friday 6 November 2015

Great Gloves and Happy Hearts

I love my first Fridays of the month! Not only do I get to play with fabric but with a great bunch of ladies, and they love trying new things!

Today's project was gloves: pretty easy. Cut two squares of fleece 10 X 12 inches (with the better stretch along the 10" width). Fold in half (so now 5 X 12) and pin along the long edge. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, you'll need to stitch two inches from one end, then leave 2 inches, then stitch the rest. You can then call them done, or you can decorate and / or hem the top and the bottom.

Here's mine


And here are theirs:


We also had a bit of show and tell - A grades for all homework!!


Susan brought a patchwork book, and one of the quilts depicted Christmas hearts that I immediately recognised.


In Norway children make these hearts every Christmas - I guess the British equivalent would be snowflakes or paper chains, something every child makes! However there was a problem with the book's patchwork depiction - you can only get the chequer board effect if the two curved sections are different colours, not if they are the same like this


I know, not easy to understand, so I made one to show the ladies!


Then another and another . . .


. . . and soon they were all at it!


They are baskets, and would be hung from the Christmas tree with chocolates in. Conventionally they are made of paper, but you see we tried felt too. Also, conventionally, the cuts would be regular, resulting in the chequer board effect like the green and whites ones, but different cuts give different results!

I can't explain how to make them, but if you ask Mr Google about "Norwegian Christmas hearts instructions" he'll tell you. It's a method of weaving; weaving in 3D! I'm happy to post one to anyone who is interested!


Tuesday 3 November 2015

New York Geese!

A few months ago one of the ladies at Richmond and Kew quilters brought us a whole load of Thermofax screens and inks (see their web site here) and we had great fun printing
I have a few of these screens myself, and have had great fun with them. I got really excited when I read they make custom screens . . . What could I have custom made?
One of the ladies at Chertsey museum asked if they could do a circle of flying geese. I tend to think of circles of geese and New York beauty blocks as belonging together (but as the proud owner of this you can see why!)
Eventually the idea of the geese, the NYB and the thermofax screen all merged and I designed this.
(EDIT: my plan is to print the lines onto the fabric then foundation piece on using the lines. A bit like the "foundation by the yard" you can buy, but with a design *I* want! By having a screen the students (and I) can print themselves several sections and build up either a full circle for a mini quilt or a larger design, knowing each foundation will be the same size and shape)
But before I get it converted into a thermofax screen I ought to try making it. I'm not very good with EPP, but I do like foundation piecing; my plan is to print this into a fine cotton. For this trial I traced the details onto the cotton.
The New York Beauty block worked well
And the flying geese went well too
But have you seen the problem?
So I've remade the NYB, and although it's a bit messy, I think they are looking good together -


I think I'm ready to spend some money on a new screen!




Long List

Despite having had a week off from my 'day job' I have been busy and have suddenly realised there are things I need to finish even though school has started again and I have much less 'free' time

So in the last few days I have embroidered sweatshirts for the pre-school, and made a glove sample for Friday's class

And finished curtain tiebacks for a friend

I also had a go at a circle of flying geese and a New York Beauty - with limited success . . . I'll show you next time