Thursday, 28 February 2013

3 things - February's report

At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to do 3 things this year. How did I get on in February? Let's see.

Thing 1 - do not buy magazines.
I've managed to do this thing in February mainly because I don't allow myself to go down the magazine aisles when I go shopping. I have picked up a couple of free magazines in the supermarket but, to be honest, most of them are, in my humble opinion, just a waste of paper.
February Result: Thing 1 done.

Thing 2 - use what I have.
I did buy this text fabric but I have now used some of it to make this pincushion so it's not as if I've bought it and piled it in the piles not to be seen for years. (Does it sound like I'm trying to justify that purchase?? :oD) Other than that, I bought some fabric from a sale roll in my local shop and have already listed 2 pinnies made from it in the tartan bee shop which is allowable according to my "rules".
February Result: Thing 2 (sort of) done.

Thing 3 - I'm going to do the "52 weeks of happy" thing.
I have been keeping up with this. You can catch up on all my "52 weeks of happy" posts so far in the page tab at the top of the blog.
February Result: Thing 3 done.

And for this month's funny photo - here's Molly caught in mid-shake after she'd been digging in the garden. She really needs to learn to stop doing that - the digging, not the shaking!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

making labels and making progress

I was down to my last few tartan bee labels so I made some more today.

I made my labels in Photoshop and printed them out on to t-shirt transfer paper, cut the paper into strips and then ironed them on to some cotton tape. Then, after they're cool, I cut them apart.

I made 96 labels so that should last me for a wee while.

When I dug out the fuchsia fleece last week for Joanna's quilt, I remembered the green fleece with red hearts that Santa Claus brought me. My head starting whirling with ideas of what I could use it for and one idea took root. Why not use it on the back of the Christmas quilt?

Perfect! So, today, I pinned the patchwork top and the fleece together ready for quilting.

I decided that diagonal lines were the way to quilt this one.

Then I wondered what to use for the binding. Then I remembered that I'd only used 36 of the 42 squares from the layer cake so I took 4 of the ones that were left and cut them into strips and joined them together in one long strip.

Now the quilt is all trimmed and ready for binding. Go me! :o)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 8

Here are my happy photos for the last week.

1. I made myself a new pincushion using the words fabric I showed here and some tape measure fabric I had in my stash. Very appropriate fabrics for a pincushion!

2. Sleeping dogs! Peace at last!

3. Sunshine! I took advantage of the sunshine to wash some fabrics and hang them on the line. They were out there blowing for about 4 hours and they still weren't dry but I liked the look of them from my sewing room window.

4. Some bags I made today. The girls laid claim to the two with birds on them and I'm keeping the other two for myself.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

not one but three!!

I was delighted this week to be given the Liebster blogging award by not one person, not two but three! Wow! So chuffed!

The "rules" of the Liebster award are that I have to tell you 11 random facts about myself. Then answer the 11 questions that my nominators asked. And then nominate 11 blogs that I read for the award.

As you'll see from number 4 of my random facts about myself, I don't obey rules very well so, I'm going to change things slightly. I'm only giving you 11 random facts - not 33! (I bet you're quite glad about that. I know I am! LOL) I'll answer all 33 questions because that was fairly easy. But I'm not going to nominate any blogs. Not because I don't think the blogs I read are worthy of nomination by any means. I just couldn't choose so I'm leaving that part undone.

Okay, here we go.

Eleven random facts about me.

1. I LOVE my spiky hair.
2. I wear coloured or patterned socks. Plain black socks are not for me!
3. I collect salt & pepper sets.
4. I don't obey rules very well.
5. When I was young I wanted to be an archeologist. For my 12th birthday, a friend of my mum's bought me a "Teach Yourself Archeology"book. To say it was as dry as dust is an understatement so I gave up that idea pretty quickly.
6. If I had to eat only one food for the rest of my life, it would be potatoes.
7. I've been married for 33 years - 34 in September. As one of my cousins said to my Mum and Dad on their golden wedding anniversary "you get less for murder"! :oD
8. I collect cookery books - mostly I just look at the photos!
9. I can't drink alcohol because of the medicines I take but it doesn't bother me in the slightest.
10. In my 5th year at high school, I dropped the cymbals at a school concert - the leather tie came undone so I didn't really drop it. The trumpet player started to laugh then the rest of the orchestra joined in and so did the audience but the conductor was not amused.
11. I laugh at silly things. My comment on this photo from our holiday in Paris in 2008 always makes me giggle. The comment? "does size matter?". I'm sure these guys are checking out their - em - wares and are not impressed. tee hee

* * * * *

My first Liebster award came from Softie who blogs here. Go visit her. I know she'd be delighted to see you.

Here are the 11 questions from Softie.

1.Where would you travel to for your dream vacation?
Somewhere warm (but not too hot) with some interesting museums to visit.
2. What is your favorite dessert?
Vanilla ice cream - but the one made by a local Italian family. It's so delicious!
3. Do you prefer mountain views or ocean views?
I love both.
4. In how many different places have you lived?
I've only lived in Scotland but I've lived in 6 different towns/cities.
5. Which do you prefer a wedding band or wedding set?
I have an engagement ring and a wedding ring - is that a wedding set?
6. Did you have any input in choosing your wedding ring or was it a surprise?
I was there and tried it on with my engagement ring to make sure it looked okay.
7. Saver or spender?
A wee bit of both.
8. What is your favorite film or movie?
I have so many but, if I had to choose, it would probably be "You've Got Mail"
9. Vintage or Modern?
I don't mind vintage as long as it's not shabby but I wouldn't choose to buy it myself.
10. Do you have a favorite quote?
Yes. It always makes me laugh. "Don't criticise someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away ... and you have their shoes!!". :oD
11. What made you laugh or smile the most this week?
The antics of the dogs. They're like children egging each other on and hoping they won't be the one caught in the act!

* * * * *

The second Liebster award came from Gilly who blogs here. Again, I know she'd be pleased to have you visit her.

1. What's your favourite animal ?
Rosie, our dog.

2. Sweet stuff or savoury ?
Sweet.
3. Where in the world is the best place you've been to ?
The Grand Canyon was a-ma-zing. I'd love to go back for another look.
4. Do you still live in your country of birth ?
Yes.
5. Which of your hobbies/crafts/talents is your favourite ?
Sewing although I love singing in a choir as well but I don't do that as much as I sew.
6. Hot & sunny or cold & snowy ?
Can it be warm and sunny, please? Not too hot.
7. Dogs or cats ?
Dogs.
8. What simple things make you happy ?
Drinking a cuppa whilst reading a book.
9. Town, country or by the seaside ?
We live in a town by the seaside and I love being in the country so all of the above.
10. The book or the movie ?
Usually the book.
11. Are you an Adventurer or a Homebody ?
I do like adventures but I'm always happy to get home.

* * * * *

And my third Liebster award came from Plain Jane who blogs here. Again, go and visit her blog. She'll be happy to see you all.

1. If you could only have two courses of a three course meal which ones would they be?
Main course and dessert. Can't resist desserts!
2. Choose three words to sum you up.
Caring, crafty, cuddly.
3. Which film last made you cry?
Apollo 13 always makes me cry when we're waiting for them to come through the earth's atmosphere. Even though I know they do - sorry if I just gave the game away!! - I'm always sitting there with tears in my eyes!
4. What animal would you most like to be and why?
A dog in a loving family because they don't have to do much and they get fed and cuddled regularly.
5. Is there a smell that takes you back to your childhood?
Peat fires. We didn't have them but my Granny and Grandad did and now, when I smell a peat fire, I'm instantly back in their house.
6. What would your Desert Island disc be?
Elbow's "One Day Like This".

7. Where do you most like to be?
My sewing room or my kitchen or anywhere I can sit and read a book.
8. Potatoes - chipped, mashed or roasted?
Yes please. And baked too. I LOVE potatoes.
9. What quality do you most admire in others?
Good manners.
10. Sky dive or bungy jump?
Good grief, no! Never ever ever!
11. What 'words of wisdom' would you pass on to others?
Be polite.

* * * * *

Now, if you're still here, I think you deserve an award! Thanks so much to Softie, Gilly and Jane for giving me these awards. I really do appreciate it. :o)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Great Granny Square quilt - all finished!

I got the Great Granny square quilt finished today. Yay!

I took some photos of it on our bed but then realised that the light would be better over the chair in the window. The colour of the fuchsia pink fleece I used on the back shows up much better over here.

As does the matching pink polka dot binding.

And the meandering lines I used for quilting.

I'd never attempted quilting like this before - I've always been a straight line kind of quilter - but I wanted to try this meandering line thing after seeing it on Freda's blog here. (I just noticed that that post was dated last July. Well, it took me long enough to get around to trying it, didn't it?)

I have to say that I had more fun quilting it than I thought I would. To be honest, I'd usually much rather do the patchwork bit of a quilt than the quilting bit but I did have fun trying this and I'll definitely do it again.

Joanna is away home with the quilt and is very pleased with it. I don't blame her! I kind of like it myself.

Quilt info:
Block is the Great Granny Square as tutorialised by Lori at the Bee in my Bonnet blog here. (Tutorialised isn't a word? Well, it should be!! :oD)
Size: 149cm/58½" square.
Backed with polar fleece (from my stash) in a fab fuchsia pink colour.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

the end is nigh!

I'm nearing the end of the Great Granny square quilt that I'm making for Joanna. I've spent the last few days putting together the last 7 squares:

I then arranged them on our bed with some blue for sashings and some blue flowery squares for corner stones on the middle 4 blocks.

After I'd finished sewing those sashings on, I decided that I wanted cornerstones on all the corners so that's what I spent this afternoon doing and this is what I've ended up with.

When it was laid on the bed without the blue sashings - no photos of that stage, for some reason - I must admit I thought "meh". It really wasn't anything special at all. But now? I *love* it! And, more importantly, so does Joanna!

I've got a nice piece of bright pink fleece in my cupboard that I'm going to use instead of wadding and a backing - got to love being able to use something else that's been lying around for years (and years and years)! The end of the quilt is most definitely nigh. :o)

Monday, 18 February 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 7

Here are my happy photos this week. I don't know if I should be worried that 3 out of the 4 show food!!

1. We went out for snack on Saturday and this is Jo's granary scone and cup of tea. In the background you can see Debbie's krispie cake and hot chocolate. Douglas and I had fruit scones with coffee and tea respectively. Yummmm.

2. This was the apple pie I made for last night's pudding.

The pastry was Douglas's mum's recipe and it was the first time in over 33 years of marriage that I had used one of his mum's recipes. It didn't turn out quite the same as hers but it was very tasty nonetheless.

3. Debbie made some doughnuts today which were delicious. We have tons left but it won't be a problem to eat them up!!

4. Our new bath taps.

This might seem a bit of a strange thing to be happy about but, after nearly 11 years in this house using a pretty useless electric shower, Douglas fitted in these temperature controlled taps which run off the hot water supplied instantly by the boiler. Oh. My. Goodness. The difference in the power of the water is amazing. So this set of bath taps makes me very, very happy. :o)

Friday, 15 February 2013

9 bags, 1 quilt top and 7 blocks

Today I got the 9 shopping bags finished. When I ironed them, the iron left a very slight mark on one of the owl bags so I've decided to keep that one for myself - don't want to sell anything that I'm not 100% happy with. The bags aren't in the tartan bee shop yet but hopefully I'll get them loaded in this weekend.

Then I sewed all the rows together of the Christmas quilt top. This is it all neatly folded up as I don't have plans for doing the quilting of it any time soon. I'll do that nearer Christmas.

And next I got more blocks ready to make Great Granny Square blocks for Jo's quilt. I have 9 already made and reckoned that I could make a decent sized quilt with 16 - if I add sashings and borders to them. So, here are the next 7 blocks ready and waiting to be sewn together.

All in all, I had a fun sewing/cutting out day today! :o)

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

it snowed!!

Whilst the rest of Britain has had way more than its fair share of snow, we have had next to nothing. We've had the odd shower of snow but then it turns to rain and the snow disappears. Even last Tuesday when it was really snowy and icy at 9am, it turned rainy by lunchtime and we had nothing to show for it.

Today was different. It snowed all morning.

Molly came to visit me in the sewing room and, being from Canada, wasn't too impressed with our piffling little amount! :oD

I have no photos of the snow as it is now because it's dark but it started raining about 4pm and the road was fast turning to slush so I expect it'll all be gone by morning. I'm not complaining about that. Thursdays are my busiest days for being out in the car and I really don't want to drive in that stuff! All I'm really hoping for is that it doesn't turn icy because icy slush is not fun!

Here's the result of my day in the sewing room. 9 shopping bags just waiting to have their linings attached.

I haven't quite made up my mind if I'll list all of these in the tartan bee shop or maybe keep a couple for myself. I'll see how I feel about them when they're done.

Monday, 11 February 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 6

Here are my happy photos for this week -

1. My first daffies of the year bought for all of 95p!!

2. A new salt & pepper set.

Joanna spotted them online and asked me if I wanted them. Of course I said yes! Aren't they adorable?

3. My new pinnies.

I know I showed this exact photo last week but I love my new pinnies and they make me happy so ...

4. Now this made me REALLY happy. I read Karen's "Sew Many Ways" blog faithfully and love everything she posts. Last week she did a post about how to make your blog show up as the web version on an iPad or similar device. (If you read my very first 52 weeks of happy post, you'll know that having to read the mobile version of blogs was driving me potty so I solved it by getting the Atomic browser.)

Anyway, in the comments section of Karen's aforementioned post, someone asked how to unfollow a blog so I replied to her comment telling her how to do it. Karen then e-mailed me asking me if she could use my comment and make a tutorial out of it. I, of course, said "go for it" - or words to that effect. She told me she'd link to my blog and give me credit for the advice. How exciting!!

So, today, my name is in Karen's blog post and I am sooooooo happy about that! This is just a reduced screenshot of the post - doesn't she say some lovely things about me? I hope you'll click on that link in read and go and read the whole post. I'm famous! :oD

If you've come over here from Karen's blog, welcome! I am so happy to see you! :o)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

new pinnies and bags

I decided to make myself a couple of new pinnies (aprons) the other day and I wanted them to be just plain ones - no flirty frilly pinnies this time. I dug through my fabrics and found one which I thought would be ideal. I then dug out some pinny straps which I had removed (years ago) from some old pinnies and attached them. As the pinnies are for me, it makes no difference that the straps are bright green!! :oD

Next I got on with my prototype shopping bag and this is how the first one ended up.

I've used it a few times on my shopping runs and it holds a lot of stuff.

I then made one for Debbie to take to her friend, Laura. Laura's baby, Anna May, was the recipient of this baby quilt I made way back in September last year. Anna was born in November so I was well ahead of the deadline with that quilt. Here's the bag I made for Laura. Debbie took it to her on Friday and she loved it!

After making those two bags, I decided to use up the rest of the fabric I'd used for the pinnies to make some bags for the tartan bee. The linings are also from my piles of fabric so that's another tick for my "use what I have" thing I'm trying to do this year. (The bag on the left is lined with a dark red - not orange as it's showing up in the photo!)

I've only made 2 so far but there is another one cut out and ready for sewing. I hope to get them loaded into the shop very soon.