Sunday 28 September 2008

The last wedding of the year?

Firstly, thank you all so much for your kind words after my last post. B is back to full fitness and is currently constructing a compost heap in the back garden.

It has been a good week, we have all had colds, and are feeling fairly run down - is it the time of year? But we ploughed through and got to the other side without any major injuries!

I had my quilting class again on Thursday piecing together the centre of my quilt, and sashing around the edge. I am really pleased with it. I am slightly annoyed about the configuration of the centre panel. I had arranged it so that there were no two pieces the same touching each other and it looked very nice and balanced, but something along the way went wrong and there is a little bit of an imbalance in a couple of places. But, I don't think it has really affected the overall impression so I am going to put it down to learning.

We had another wedding on Saturday. This time one of my cousins was getting married in Carmarthenshire. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful location. We were up and down in the day, so there was a fair bit of driving but it was lovely to see the family.

My mum was there and for her birthday, which was last week, my brothers and I got her a digital camera. Until now she didn't have a camera at all and has been clearly frustrated at not being able to document her growing and changing family. We knew she would never splash out for one herself so we clubbed together and bought one for her. And I made a case...

I love the fabric combination, and it fits the camera perfectly. It is really nice and snug. I was going to put a button on as a closing devise, but then thought it would be a bit fiddly for mum and she would never bother doing it up, and it might also damage the camera in time. I didn't really think this through and what would have been ideal is Velcro. It was too late by the time I realised, but I may make another on for B's camera and get it right second time.

In fact, the buttonhole that I have put in to feed the cameras strap through does hold the camera nicely in the case so it serves its purpose.

Finally, I had a good haul in the charity shops this week and among other things, including a couple of tablecloths for 'The Wedding', I got a few more pillowcases to make into flags for the never ending bunting project. I now have 70 flags, so almost half way to the 150 that I need for 50m of bunting... Hoorah!

Monday 22 September 2008

Jam and Lawns

We had an exciting weekend. B's folks were here to visit providing welcome childcare and enabling us to get on with some jobs in the house. I was due to finish decorating the bathroom, a job that has been dragging on and on. I am down to the woodwork and only have one more coat of undercoat and then the gloss finish, but I HATE painting with oil based paints and have been stalling for weeks and weeks. B was going to turf the lawn, to finally finish transforming our pile of mud (picture below taken 2 years ago) into a garden... exciting stuff!

However, dramatic events occurred...

B was taking some last bags of rubble out to the car to take them to the tip and with the sun (wasn't it beautiful this weekend?) in his eyes walked straight into the tail gate of the car and gashed his head open. He came back into the house clutching his head with blood running down his hands and face saying 'can somebody call an ambulance, I've just brained myself' (!).

Well it was all rather frightening, but the cut was not too big and once it had stopped bleeding (profusely) the paramedic was able to glue it up in the front room. So, as B was instructed to take it easy, I didn't paint the bathroom (it is still hanging over me), I turfed the lawn instead.

It was hilariously easy, rolling out this lush thick turf and rather like patchwork cutting it up with big scissors and piecing it together like a jigsaw. We had over-ordered so I was able to turf right up to the back wall in places and tidied up all that mess at the end there. B's parents had brought us some cuttings from their garden which B's mum kindly planted for us, and hey presto, suddenly we have a garden... and it seems that brown chair hasn't moved!

It feels so nice out there now, a transformation.

I also made a small amount of jam on Friday. I lent somebody our wallpaper pasting table through Freecycle and when they returned it they brought us some blackberries that they had picked from near their house. How kind is that?! So, having just finished the last jar of (rather too runny) strawberry jam that I made at the beginning of summer, I turned them into to (rather too thick) blackberry jam. It was yum despite the consistency, which one day I will get right.

And my quilt is coming along - homework completed six days ahead of time (I am a smug swot this week)!

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Chili and Lemon

So, it has been a little while since my last blog. It is hard to find the time to do all you want in life isn't it?! I wonder and marvel at those who manage to stay abreast of all their commitments, and still find the time to relax.

We having been haring about being busy as usual the last week or so. We had a wedding where the skeleton suit was much admired and appreciated, and at which I had the slightly nerve-wracking responsibility of taking the official photos. It was actually all very relaxed and the most terror inducing part for me was having 150 people watch me clamber (in a most unladylike manner) out of a tree in full wedding garb. Imagine hanging over a branch with bum in the air and legs kicking and you'll understand.

But, there has been some crafting too! - Warning! The next picture is ofsomething that I did NOT make.

For the said wedding couple I thought a handmade gift was appropriate. There was a bit of a theme to the invites, being lemon (for her) and chili (for him). So I thought a shopping bag that they could both use appliqued in that vain. I have a lovely orange bag that I picked up in a charity shop an age ago (see above), which I have recently been using as my hand bag. It has a lovely shape and feel, so i thought a same but larger would be good.

This is the end result. It wasn't a total success, with the tension on my sewing machine going all screwy at the end, and I don't like the base of the bag being a different fabric. I thought a more hard-wearing fabric on the base would be good, but I don't think it works - there is too much colour variation. However, I am pleased with the applique and it is the first time I have made my own pattern, so it can't be all bad!

I have also started a patchwork quilting course, at Millie Moon in Frome. The first class was a joy. A smashing environment, lots of smashing people and a whole solid two uninterrupted hours to snip and sew... joy! My second (of six) classes is tonight and I have been trying to sneak snatches of time to do some homework... I am, of course, not as far as wanted to be, but look at all those lovely triangles!!
I am enjoying the patchwork. It is very therapeutic. Much more so than I had imagined. I think this is partly to do with the fact that you don't, thus far, need very much space, and you can do it in snippets of time too. Perfect for someone who doesn't have much of either, time or space!

I'd like to finish of with a pic of this lovely piece of fabric I picked up for 50p in a charity shop last week. I was initially thinking of it for the endless bunting project, but I think it is far too good for that. As it has a lovely soft crepey feel I think it needs to be used for a more tactile end. Any suggestions on what I should make with it?

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Making clothes?

Last week B and I both took holiday from work, but stayed put. We were in Cambridge for the weekend, but then we just hung out at home - lived a little. It was marvelous, and I had a good amount of time to spend sewing.

Firstly, this hat out of snuggley red fleece for M. Again, it was from (an increasingly well thumbed) Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing. I hadn't realised that the fleece had one side that sewed well and one side that didn't. So, obviously I only got one of the four pieces of the hat the right way round! Ah well, there is always next time, and anyway, it looks cosy! At first, disappointingly, M wouldn't have it anywhere near him, let alone on his head, but we went for a lovely walk this evening and the hat remained in place for the entire journey... it made me very happy.

Then, after a good friend of mine directed me to this book in Oxfam, I suddenly had notions of sewing him an entire wardrobe of cute dungarees and jackets, and away I went. Now, I have never made clothes before and as a novice sewer I was a little nervous, but hey, the only way to learn is to get it wrong.
It was all going marvelously. Who couldn't get excited by a blue corduroy autumn jacket with yellow lining? In an evening, I got this far:

And this is where I am stuck. The shape seems very wrong, and as it is too big for M at the moment I am struggling to work out how the proportions are wrong. The arms are long and the jacket is short and wide. It is a very sorry sight! I will come back and conquer, though. Even if I have to start over!
And to finish, a couple of pics of the next round of bunting... as requested by Kitschen Pink! I love the mix. I can see it coming together... flags flapping in the wind. It's going to be brilliant. There's nothing I love more than bunting! And look at those all stacked up neatly. Lovely.