Wednesday, 23 June 2010

New Blog Picture

This new picture is how I see my hut in my mind's eye. It took some time to make as it was mostly embroidered when Elf son was having swimming lessons and while travelling on train, which does not happen that often. Also the design changed several times over. I am not very experienced in embroidery, so I seldom know exactly what I am aiming at. This time I was fine with my hut, but had to redo the tree trunk once. After getting into swing with the details of my hut and the tree I had to remove three flowers from my picture, because they just looked odd.

Anyway, I was pleased with the result!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

So Pretty, So Appreciated

Look at these roses! They make my heart sing just when I am on my way to our kitchen. The colours just are lovely: the roses, the candles, the teatowels on the radiator and the bowl full of bananas. All pretty and fresh in my newly painted kitchen.  I got the roses from a lady who is on the Kinesiology course I am running, so Thank-You P!

And Happy Father's Day to all Dads!

Friday, 11 June 2010

I could eat these

Look at this loveliness! It dropped in with mail a couple of days ago and has been stroked and admired constantly since. These lovely fat quarters came from here. I really have to regulate my visits to their site as it is very tempting to buy. Anyhow, this time I have a project in mind and feel justified spending a bit to make it perfect. It is as usual a present, so won't be discussed into detail before I have given it away.

Even the Husband said that the fabrics looked good...

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Quilty Pleasures

Here it is, THE PRESENT. Again, apologies for the picture quality. I had to send this away and light at the moment is rubbish. It is just gray and cloudy all day long here in Northumberland. The present has now been received approximately three weeks after the birthday and the recipient was well pleased.
This is my first bigger quilt and certainly a first patchwork one. I started easy just with squares. It was hard enough to get them cut and pieced precisely. If you look closely, you can see I was not entirely succesfull. This owes to two facts; I used one material which was considerably thinner and stretchier than the other ones and that I did not have a walking foot for my machine. I knew that using a thinner material was not a good move, but could not resist from the colour point of view. I just had to have that deep rusty orange in this quilt.  You might know everything about walking foot, but as I am a  newcomer to patchwork sewing, I did not have a clue. The foot helps your machine to feed both the top and bottom fabric at the same rate. Otherwise the top is fed just a tad slower. Often this does not matter, but in patchwork, where every millimetre counts, it is just what you need. And of course now that I have my new machine I don't have to worry anymore, it has an integral walking foot.

Here is the back of the quilt. I made it before the front as I was waiting for some materials to turn up in mail.


All the appliqué was machine sewn. The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted. I enjoy the hand quilting bit, just a perfect evening job. I don't much watch the telly, often going without for weeks, but if there is something on which can be "watched" with half an eye like "QI"or "Have I got News for You" this is the perfect accompaignement. The quilting pattern is a total free-fall. I like the look of irregular pattern and as I used fleece inside the quilt, I was not limited by minimum distances between my quilting lines as you might be with an"official" batting.

My quilt had the "dedication" embroidered in one of the back corners. I like using real handwriting, rather than doing "nice" lettering. And our embroidered signatures add a nice personal touch in my opinion.
The patchwork and appliqué were made of mixture of up-cycled and new fabrics. The white back is an old sheet, which gives it a lovely "antique" soft and snuggly quality. The material also looks much more like the antique quilts do; wrinkly in a special way. I would make an entire quilt of this type of material if I could find it!

Friday, 4 June 2010

I Cannot Sleep Tonight

Do you remember the feeling of excitedness for Christmas when you were little? You know the absolute hearty-skippiness and being totally incapable of sleep. I am like that today. Elf Husband was laughing when I refused a second cup of coffee today middayish as I was afraid of not being asleep anyway...don't need any chemical help for that.
The kitchen has now been painted and all the boring jobs finished. I will show pictures when I have done some of the nice stuff. Doing that won't be any hardship. I have my head buzzing with ideas for several projects and can hardly wait. I will though take it easy and SLOWLY and enjoy the fun.
My excitement knows no limits because a couple of days ago my husband bought me this:

I hadn't been able to really try to work with it before today when I did a little job with it and what a joy! It's greatest secret is here:

Can you see the black arm behins the presser foot? This is an integral walking foot and makes precision sewing absolutely a doddle. It feels lovely to work with and I am in sewing heaven. My first sewing machine was bought for me by my Dad when I was 13. It was a second hand machine from 70s and I had it until five years ago. We were then moving between continents and I decided to sell it as it was not in the best shape any more. I then replaced it with a very basic model as at that point I was only doing an odd repair job and sewing some cushion covers and alike. I was not doing any creative stuff, nor sewing clothes.

Now that my machine is in use constantly I have noticed its limitations. I was quite hankering for an overlocker, but actually I needed a good regular machine much more. And this is in my mind the ultimate Limousine of the working horse machines. I love it. It's sort of my next Christmas and birthday present - we are not fussy about the real dates, we do the presents when we need them and not necessarily at Christmas time.

Not enough with a new kitchen and a Limousine of a sewing machine, there was a present dropped in our front yard this morning. A local builder J, who also is my client, dropped off some iron stakes, timber and pipes for us to build a polytunnel. I am slowly building up our garden and this has been on my wish list for a while.  In general the biggest cost is the soil, because I have to buy all the soil save the stuff we get from our compost. The soil in our garden is dire; clay and building rubble under a 5cm layer of topsoil, which is bound to grass roots anyway.
J was offering to come and build it with us, but Elf Husband did it with me as his assistant. Look at its frame, it's HUGE.

Its measurements are just shy of 5m X 3m. We are not finished with building it, but not far to go. Then I have to think the best way of putting beds and shelves in it, so I can optimise the space.

I am absolutely hopping of excitement thinking of all the veggies I can now grow! I have a good amount of "outside" bed space as I added a couple more this spring to my existing ones. The polytunnel enables me to grow tomatoes and cucumbers and stretch my season longer for other veggies like broccoli and spinach.
All this wonderfulness means I don't know how I am going to sleep. Maybe copious amounts of wine?