Sunday, 28 August 2011

Grape Success!

Is this it?  What's this got to do with grapes?  well, actually, nothing - but it is the only piece of sewing (yes, a 4" x 6" post card for a birthday swap) that I've finished in the last fortnight, and I've hardly made progress on anything else either.  The DD's have been keeping me on my toes and too tired / time poor to manage anything else!

However, I did find time (about an hour) on Friday after we'd realised that we would be going to the Kew Horticultural Show on Saturday to make this necklace - and was quite pleased to win Third Prize.  (I forgot to take a photo of it properly 'staged' - it obviously got man-handled a little during judging and disarrayed.

I also got a Third Prize for this cushion, once I'd secured DD2's agreement to loan it to me for the show, as it was her birthday present.
Apart from that, DD2 got two Highly Commendeds, and DD1 got a Highly Commended and a Second Prize (and I understand that it's quite satisfying to beat Mummy......even if in a different class) however, our family star of the show this year was DH, who won a rosette for his First Prize winning outside grapes!

He also got a Highly Commended for his Chillies.  As my big sister pointed out, so long as he keeps growing things that are either above the hens heads or not to their taste, he should do well.  This follows the summer where he planned to enter carrots and two types of shallots, only to have a hen escape from the run whilst we were on holiday and grub up all of them, somewhat before their time!

Congratulations on a great win, DH!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Blink and you'd miss it!

The cyclists came to town!  or at least, they passed through Twickenham, fleetingly, on a trial run for the London 2012 route....  Roads closed, neighbours out to watch, a parade of police motorcycles (and Yes! we got a couple to wave back to us!), cars with judges, guests, spares, before the peloton streamed past.  Such fleeting excitement baffled my camera skills, clearly!  Still, it was fun and all over by 9.30am for us, so plenty of the day left to get on with!

I've not managed quite as much personal crafting time as I'd have really liked this week.  However, I did produce this

so that the packet of variegated embroidery silks I bought will no longer slide out and bump me on the head when I open the cupboard (all I need to do now is to sort them into number order and 'file' them in my threads drawers.  I store fabric by colour, but embroidery silks by number catalogue number - unless they are 'non-Anchor threads', when they have a separate drawer and are stored by colour!  I wish my machine threads so were so well organised!).  All wound whilst supervising / being present for a DD's crafting session, so that was good!

I also finished this little quiltlet for the BQL skinny challenge.  Hand sewn in the middle and not much quilting, to be honest....

And I made a brooch, experimenting with Friendly Plastic (softens in hot water or with a heat gun).  I saw the idea for impressing wooden blocks into it and made this brooch one morning.  I think that the girls would like to have a go at this too..... and I could see it being a fun thing for a 'girls night in' crafting evening too.

Oh, and I finished the binding on the baby quilt that I'd mostly made on holiday, and a couple of blocks for my C&G course, so I suppose that I've made more progress than I thought!  Hand sewing is quite handy for taking to the playground or when we all get so tired that the TV goes on and we watch back-to-back kids science and art programs....

I hope that you are managing to achieve more than you think you are too!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Card Cases.

After such a productive week you might have thought that I'd be on a roll and sewing merrily away. Not a bit of it. Lack of time and energy meant that I only plugged the sewing machine in to make two small card cases this week.  It all starts to sound a bit Regency heroine, doesn't it, when your girls need cases to carry their cards when visiting friends?  Sadly, nothing Georgette Heyer about my two, and the card cases were for 'trading cards' rather than something to leave to say that they'd called.

On the plus side, my big sis and I did our best to shrink the girls by leaving them out in the rain all day at a fab place called 'BeWILDerwood' near Norwich. It didn't work (the shrinking that is) but they had a great time building dens, climbing up into tree houses, coming down giant slides and all the rest of it.  It nearly tired them out....  If you are in Norfolk I can also highly recommend the RNLI Henry Bloggs lifeboat museum at Cromer and the MO at Sheringham.  My DD's aged 6 and 8 were very enthusiastic about both.

I'm hoping to squeeze a few more minutes sewing into this week - despite working hard on UFO's last month I've still got nine projects to complete on my list before I start anything else (or at least that's the theory!).

Happy summer stitching, everyone!

Monday, 1 August 2011

My type of holiday!

Last week we had our main family holiday - an extended family, with nine of us from 73 down to 6.  Lovely.  Even better, whilst the others go surfing or cycling I'm left in peace to sew - yes, my sewing machine comes on holiday too, along with plenty of fabric and ideas!  This year was quite productive, and this is what I made:
 I started with a pen roll - the only way that I can think of to show my DD's that these are Mummy's pens, not theirs (really, I'm not being mean, after all they do have a gazillion drawing implements of their own, and I'd just like to know that I can pick mine up all in one go and find them still where I left them).  Actually, I suppose that it isn't quite finished yet as I hadn't taken any ribbon to fasten it when it is rolled up......

Then I made this little quilt (about 26" x 38") using two orphan blocks, four blocks made from Liberty style scraps (left over from when I made bunting for a friend last month), some polished chintz and a little of my fave Fabric Freedom range.  An eclectic mix, but I think that they have come together quite well and will make a small girl happy at some point.

Then I should have finished this - it just needs binding - a 30" square quilt (or thereabouts, I added a couple of borders to fit the bit of wadding that I had) for a little boy.  I think that the beach team came back earlier than I was expecting so this will be one to finish this week.

Instead I concentrated on finishing this cushion cover - another pattern from Kellie of  Don't look Now - which I made for the recently arrived baby girl of the people we were renting the holiday house from.  Very subtle personalisation - just a first name and a year quilted between the two birds.

I'm pleased with this.  Although the little bits for each flower are quite fiddly they are easy (and quiet!) to make during evenings.  They are the only time consuming part of the project, and once they are fused onto the cushion front you can zip along with the machine stitching and produce something very pretty indeed.

So, quite a productive holiday, especially as I made a couple of blocks for my C&G too!

I'm hoping to make a couple more little quilts over the summer with the other orphan blocks that I've got littering my 'design wall' (I use the term loosely).  The trouble is that I only have tiny amounts of them - and that the fabrics don't play together in any way - so I think that it will be three small quilts and pulling out the same sort of fabrics to construct other blocks to complement them!

I hope that your summer is giving you time to sew too.