Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Stiff upper lip

Illness has been lingering on here. My sneezing viral infection has lead into a sore throat, enlarged glands and loss of voice viral infection!! It feels as if I haven't felt 'normal' for over a week now. My sons have stepped up to the mark on the home front, but then I  cannot shout at them, let alone speak in more than a whisper.

I have been feeling miserable, but yesterday I got my sewing machine set up in the dining room and over the course of the day, made a couple of blocks. I am Queen Bee in Bee a Brit Stingy in April and I felt that I should be posting what I want my bees to be making, as April is less than a week away.

I have actually found it really difficult to decide on a block. Our bee is a scrappy one, so this needs to be taken into account when choosing a block. 

We have already made feathers for Lucy
Feather for Lucy
Emily asked for + and x blocks. Check out how awesome her finished quilt is.
+ and x for Emily
Jan had us make these blocks 
 "Road to Tennessee"
Over the last week, I have trawled through Flickr looking for a block that would work well in a scrappy bee sort of way. I came across a block called Scrappy Sprouts and knew that it was 'the' block for me. The leaves will be made in different rainbow colours by my lovely bees.
Scrappy Sprouts
don't quite know how this quilt will turn out, but as part of the plan I thought that I might put some flower heads on some of the stalks. I don't think I have the final plan sorted yet but there is still some time to tweak my ideas.

Di x

Friday, 22 March 2013

From my sick bed

This week was going to be such a good week for me. It started off well as I had meetings all day Monday and then drove over to Sibsey, near Boston, for the Cross Country Road Quilters group on Tuesday. I really like a trip out to the east coast as the countryside is so different to what I'm used to. It is flat, very agricultural, with dykes and windmills. I always return thinking that I have had a taste of Holland!
Sibsey windmill
I was supposed to go northwards to spend some time with my parents for the rest of this week, but finally I succumbed to the flu type bug that is prevalent around these parts. I have watched each of my men succumb to the deadly virus and was feeling very smug that I had escaped. Unfortunately my smugness caught up with me, along with the virus! I have spend the last two days in my sick bed feeling poorly. Today I woke up and the sneezing has diminished, my ear is still sore, as is my poor nose, but I am feeling better… Just in time to do the course that I am booked onto tomorrow. There is always an upside to every down.

My world...
It is amazing how time, paracetamol and fluids can improve the situation.

Di x

Monday, 18 March 2013

Happy news

I took my ill sewing machine over to the Sewing Machine Fixer Man yesterday afternoon. I was driving in sleet and fog. The weather really doesn't know that it is March, and Spring, not winter!
The good news is that he has fixed my machine. He did enquire whether I used it a lot as he had only serviced it last October. I was laughing in my head as I said 'nearly every day'. Poor man just thought that I was a little weird! I am very grateful to him for fixing the problem so quickly and if you live in Lincolnshire I would highly recommend him. 

I am picking my sewing machine up from his caravan tomorrow morning before I head over to Boston for the Country Roads Quilters meeting. Hopefully the kettle will still be on when I get to the Quilting group as it is a bit of a trek across the Lincolnshire countryside. So tomorrow I will be back to this... I am so nearly there with the quilting. 
Finish is in sight
Thanks for all the advice about my machine and to Trudi for the generous offer of a loan of her machine. You are all so kind.

I am trying hard to get my FALs completed. I don't think that I will get all of them done but 3 out of 4 would be good. Watch this space

Di x

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A Day of Two Halves - The good and the bad

My day began well. I met up with other sewists for the first meeting of the East Midlands Modern Quilt Guild. There were ten of us from across the East Midlands. We met in a pub on the edge of Nottingham for coffee (or tea) and cake as we started our inaugural meeting.  Moira has been instrumental in getting this venture off the ground so it was very easy to vote on who we would like to be our president. Moira is now officially our leader! Yay! If you live in the East Midlands and would like to join us then this is our Flickr site.

EMMQG with Moira on the left (Chief quilter/Extraordinary Leader)

Trudi's quilt being used!
I then went onto Grantham to visit Stitchcraft with Trudi. It was nice to have a little gleek at all the lovely fabric. When I got home the men were watching the rugby so I thought that I would do a little more quilting of this quilt. 

Disaster has struck though. My feed dogs are stuck in the down position and no amount of tinkering has helped get the mechanism to work again. I was getting really hot and bothered as I am doing a sewing course next week and I need to take my machine  up to Cumbria with me. My lovely hubby encouraged me to phone the man who mends sewing machines at 7.30pm tonight. After a complicated and long winded discussion, my machine will be left in his caravan tomorrow (it is a sort of postbox for sewing machines) and hopefully I can collect it on Tuesday, just in time for my journey north!!! So in the end, the problem is on the way to being solved. It just means that my quilt won't be finished this weekend.

Instead of sewing tonight, I have decided to have a bit of a swat up on what to use once Google Reader goes. I have decided to follow the crowd and move to Bloglovin'. If you want to follow this blog in Bloglovin' the link is here...

I have no idea if the link works, so if you try it, would you let me know if you were successful. Cheers!

Enjoy St Patrick's day tomorrow. We are partying with the local Irish exiles!

Di x

Thursday, 14 March 2013

More blocks, chatter and quilting

My final set of orphan blocks that were hanging around, were a couple of +&x ones that I had made for Emily in our Bee a Brit Stingy hive. If you look closely you will see that they were not that perfect so I just put them down as practise blocks. In my bid to tidy up my sewing area I decided that I would make them into a bag that was big enough to fit my iPad into. This is what I came up with.
+ & X zippy bag

The blocks aren't perfect but they have made a roomy bag that I just love. Please note the lining is another man's shirt (Came via a friend as her hubby was having a clear out - yay!).

Last night I went along to the 'Stitching it Together' evening at Tanya's and met up with Moria, Trudy and of course Tanya. We were going to do a bit of QAGY and I was meant to be showing everyone how to do it. I took this job seriously and made a couple of samples up and even did a handout!

QAYG samples

We were so busy chatting,laughing, drinking tea and eating cake that we really didn't get started. It was a fun evening despite our lack of sewing!

I have also been pinging emails back and forth to this lovely lady. We have challenged each other to get on with our FAL list. I know that I have been avoiding mine! So here is a photo to prove that I have started on a long abandoned quilt. I decided to quilt this in straight (ish) lines across the quilt and to date, I haven't got very far with it.
Getting down to business

I have lugged my machine downstairs and set up in the dining room as the table is nice and big. I do hope that the boredom of going up and down this quilt won't get to me. Lets hope that the play on Radio 4 will be good today!!! Now I am off to find out!

Di x

Monday, 11 March 2013

That's better...

After my sizing issues with these blocks...
Too small blocks

I spent yesterday morning making them up into something useful. I added a border of 'Sketch', used a sleeve of one of my hubby's old shirts for the lining, to turn them into this…
Orphan blocks no more - zippy bag

Front of the zippy bag

The inside

It feels so much better not to have these two bright blocks sitting on a shelf, unloved.

Di x

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Bee-ing slow

So to keep to my pact that all bee blocks would be completed before I do other sewing, I made the blocks that Bee Blessed have asked for. This month the request is for Happy Zombie's Funky Wrench block. Easy enough. I bought three, half metres of fabric especially for Bee Blessed blocks at the Duxford Quilt show yesterday. Look at how nice these blocks are...

wait a minute…these blocks aren't 12 1/2"! I inadvertently followed the instructions that were on the Happy Zombie blog. I think that I was the zombie!!!

So I started over, to make the 12 1/2" blocks. I bet you can identify the fabrics I bought yesterday!

Hopefully these blocks will be what the Bee Blessed team are looking for. As for the little blocks, well I think that they are destined to become another zippy pouch!
Di x

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Bee-ing busy

I made a pact with myself that the first makes of the month will be my bee blocks. First up is my hipBee block for Rachel. Rachel wanted us to use her Liberty prints to make a  variation on the block called Puss in Boots. I think that both Rachel and I have put the hipBees off flying geese for a very long time!
Puss in the Corner variation with Liberty fabric accents

I have also done the Bee a Brit Stingy blocks for Jan. Jan had asked for 'Road to Tennessee blocks'. I have to say that I did these two blocks in one sitting and never again!!!
Road to Tennessee - Block 1

Road to Tennessee - Block 2

On my 'to do' list are an extra trippy block for the Siblings Together quilt that the Bee a Brit Stingy gang are making, along with the Bee Blessed blocks (fabric shopping for that one tomorrow at Duxford). So in fact although I have been busy I haven't been busy enough!
Di x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A Grand Day Out

Last Friday evening, Trudi and myself set off from Lincolnshire to go to deepest East Sussex for a Brit Bee and Friends (I was a friend!) get together on Saturday.

It was a brilliant day full of friends, laughter, fun and good food. There is something special when a bunch of women get together to share. I was especially thrilled to meet my bloggy friend, Liz, in person.
Brit Bee get together with interlopers!

Awesome quilts
It was truly a Grand Day Out.

Friday, 1 March 2013

February makes

Today I am linking up with Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day. I think that every month goes round really quickly, but February especially so, as it is a shorter month and has the school half term smack in the middle of it. So what did I make this month…

My biggest make was a quilt for my Elder Son's 18th birthday. We had a family party and then ES had friends around for a meal and also went out for a meal with another set of friends. We were all pleased when half term arrived as we were all partied out!
Birthday quilt
I also made my bee blocks (and received blocks as I was Queenie of the hipBees).

Bee blocks
It was my blogging anniversary and I decided to make a triple zippy purse for a giveaway. In fact I have really enjoyed making these little pouches, especially the QAYG version. In February I made three. I think that these pouches are finally out of my system!

Triple zippy pouches 

Finally I made a little mat out of scraps that was started at the January's Stitching it Together gathering at Tanya's. I also got down to completing a QAYG tote for a dear bloggy friend, Liz.
Tote and mat

So that is my sewing line up for February 2013. When I look back on what I have accomplished I am pretty pleased with what I have made.

This weekend is going to be busy as Trudi and I are going to drive down to Kent tonight in  order to meet up with her Brit bee. I think that it is fair to say that there will be a lot of  chatting and eating going on. We also have a family friend staying with us over the weekend so I think that I should go and start getting things organised before I leave my family tonight!
Di x