Monday 30 November 2009

New Sewing Quarters x 4

So this time I really do speak of my new sewing quarters, and there are 4 of them.... This is the cutting quarter. I used to have plastic boxes full of cotton fabric under this (now trimmed) table, but now I have enough alternative storage so I can use this area for other things. That stool you see was my dad's... it is sooo comfortable to sit on, I wonder if it is mine now... hmmmm... Is it Daddy? 

This is the sewing quarter.... where I will do my stitching! The desk you see to the left is not going to stay in the room.  Once it goes to it's new home I will have another table made with a hole in it that is the right depth for my Aurora baby, at the moment I am using my Bernina 153, no problem as I love it! This is a storage quarter... it was the wardrobe when the room was used for sleeping in. The shelves are made out of the doors of another wardrobe which we knocked out... good recycling eh! Don't those fabrics look wonderful, I don't know whether I will be able to keep it all as tidy..... This quarter has this fab cupboard that I bought from Ikea... I am proud to say I built all by my very self, I did mention that in an earlier post....and even with it full, full, full of all these beautifully folded pieces of wonderful, inspiring, colourful fabrics, it is still feeling and looking quite solid.... After making only one postcard ... it looked like this! oh dear, I have some fun fabric to make curtains with.... I need to get my design walls ( yes plural!) put up and maybe some shelving if I end up needing it, I am trying not to need it so I can cover my walls more creatively....... Do you like it so far?

Saturday 28 November 2009

Workshop With Ineke Berlyn

It took Maureen and I two hours to get to Bromsgrove Rugby Club for our workshop. There were 11 of us, some ladies were working on different projects but they all involved Ineke's Landscapes.
This lady had started her landscape in previous workshop and was adding some of the applique embellishment using something like Heat & Bond, I didn't see exactly..... Later in the day she had Ineke help her with some silk screen printing.
This lady was very interested in our Aurora machines but for the day was very pleased with her mini, mini Janome sewing machine... it looked like a toy one actually....
This lady has done many workshops with Ineke and has decided to learn how to make up her own designs. This is the start of her first solo project and is based on a poem, I forget now what it was..... During the workshop she mastered piecing curves.
This lady had also done the workshop before so she was happily hand stitching her beautiful landscape...
This is a closer picture of the centre with the lovely houses, they get appliqued on after all the paper piecing for the background.
This is a closer picture of some of the houses on Ineke's quilts, so you can see in the picture above, the lady had designed her own lovely houses with the chimneys and the cutest windows.... I really like what she did with them.....

You must have guessed by now that I didn't catch any of the ladies' names... he he he... this was another lady's project at the end of the workshop, I don't know how she managed to get so much done AND this was her first ever project..... phew, she did have an Aurora baby to help her though, he he he
As did Maureen... I took an Aurora baby for her to play with. She is saving up to buy one of her own,,,, he he he. Maureen added a pencil border to her landscape, it helps make the colours pop out from the centre, don't you think?
I haven't unpacked my bag yet so there isn't a photo of my project..... These landscapes are made using paper-piecing, not my favourite pastime I have to admit. Maureen says I spend too much time chatting and that's why I didn't get much of my background done.... I didn't have the right fabric colours for the landscape I chose, I needed all shades of brown which I hadn't taken, so now that I'm home I will go rooting through my stash to get this project done... but not today. I've been on three long day trips this week... the cleaning and laundry elves must be on holiday... so guess what ..... lots of catching up chores for me!... maybe on Sunday... I might sew a little?

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Uttoxeter Class

Woooo hoooo, the table runners are almost finished, they need the binding stitching down but the ladies can do that part at home... we ran out of time today... even though they all arrived 45 mins early and left 30 mins over time... I don't know where the class days go... wooooosh... that's it... wooooosh is how it goes.... he he he.. We don't even stop for lunch any more... we work through... these ladies are very keen to crack on... 'tis such fun you see.
This is 'Normal' Maureen's runner... we may need to re-name her because she will soon become the queen of "fudging".... Maureen has learned so many "fix it's" on this project you see.... It is made from second hand fabrics and looks fabulous....She is very happy with it.
Jenni, she's the only lady who was prepared to show herself on the photo..... well more than anyone else that is.... This is actually Jenni's second table runner, she had decided to start again as she wasn't happy with the first one. She has a good 3D effect going on here.
Gillian made her runner in Christmas fabrics, it will be finished in good time for the festive season. She is very excited about starting the next project... she just can't decide whether to bring in her own older, heavier sewing machine or to continue with the luxury of one of my new Aurora babies... I know which one she will choose.... he he he
'Dotty' Maureen had a small problem for the first part of the morning.... she had forgotten her glasses.... she tried to manage but, eventually went into town and treated herself to a new pair... It's quite amazing how much you can get done when you can actually see isn't it?? ha ha ha
Another picture of Jenni. I thought we should mark this occasion with a memorable photo.... this is the last time Jenni will be using one of my new Aurora babies..... but let's not be too sad...... next week she will be using her very own!!!!! It will be delivered on Thursday and, I think it is safe to say... she's well excited!!!!

New Sewing Quarters

Don't go thinking my sewing room is finished now.... when I write "Quarters" I mean this is a quarter... one corner... there are 3 more corners... or rather quarters... but they .....
look like this!!!! he he he, but it is progress.... Baby Steps!!
See the wardrobe in the top picture, with the fabulous baskets for fabric storage... it is from Ikea, I built it all by my very self... woooo hoooo.... tonight I shall fill it with my smaller pieces of fabric, that will take ages because I will be seeing some of them for the first time since June... we will need to bond again, you know... make plans for the future, he he he

We are having an extra class in Uttoxeter today, the ladies were wanting to finish their table runners so that we can move on to the Log Cabin project. The new Bernina Aurora babies, with their new little nephew (Bernina 230 SE) are in the car ready to go...

Monday 23 November 2009

Coat Hangers.... he he he

Does anyone out there know how to control the reproduction of coat hangers???
I swear that the ones in this house are multiplying when I am not looking!!!
Do they do it when the door is shut?
Is it when it is dark outside?
For sure they are having some kind of party because when I need one they are all tangled up... like they have been dancing!!
I culled them recently by sending 40 to my mum... but they have continued to reproduce!!! he he he

Sunday 22 November 2009

Trip To Harrogate

We went to the Knitting & Stitching exhibition yesterday. We left home in terrible weather, dark, misty and raining, but we were in high spirits... so it didn't matter. It took well over 2 hours to get there and approximately 30 minutes to find somewhere to park!!!... this is not good for the mood... anyway, we got there.... In the first of the 5 halls, we found a lace making stand.... of course we stayed a while, they were very helpful ladies, these are the hands of one with a hand from my mum (top right)..., they were trying to figure out how to make the design and agreeing that there was no real need to have used the 'gimp'... don't ask me, I have no clue what it is other than a thread that is a bit thicker than the rest.... My mum really liked this design because it wasn't finished with shells.... again.... don't ask me! This was on the WI stand, they had lots of cool stuff to look at. This is weaving with strips of carrier bags.... good for making carpets and rugs or shopping bags... what a neat idea... I took the picture so that my Dad can see what we need him to make so that we can have a go. we want it a bit longer Dad , please?? and the highlight of my day..... was finding another coiled 'bucket' pot.... just like the one I made by accident! I bought another bag of the cording so I can make another.... fun, fun, fun.... We enjoyed the day, I am happy that we went to the exhibition, but I have no plans to go there again, it wasn't as wonderful as we had hoped it would be. 

Friday 20 November 2009

A Busy Week

We've been decorating this house since July when we arrived. This week saw the end of another bedroom, thank goodness! A very important bedroom really, the one we will use for any visitors.... like my kids! Now I can finally, hopefully, unpack the last of our boxes. I feel like we have been playing 'solitaire' with them for months now. There's shelving in the wardrobe of my slightly bigger sewing room now so I can start moving my stash AGAIN..., I must be on my way to having the most moved fabric stash ever! I have managed to continue with my crocheting though... it is soooo portable I have taken to carrying it in my bag so I can do a bit whenever time allows me to. I know it probably shouldn't be as wavy as it looks in this picture, but, as I'm learning, my tension has been bit uneven, I think I have it sorted now though... for this picture I draped it over a pan, I was trying to make it look like the start of a bag... can you see it will be a bag? I do forgive you if your answer is 'no'.. I'm off to Harrogate with my Mum tomorrow.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

One Very Happy Lady...

Today Maxine came over to my house to play with sewing machines. (did I mention that I have lots of machines to play with???) She had really already decided on the Janome 6600 and after playing on it for a couple of hours.... the decission was final... it was keeper!
We did laugh when Maxine used the thread cutter... she said it sounded like a cup dropping from a vending machine... so I made her a cuppa tea for the full effect, ha ha ha.
This is Maxine testing the Janome for its free motion quilting capabilities, I can't
remember how many times she said "oh, yes, I like this... Ooooh yesssss, I like this" he he he.... I think she liked it!... She actually loved it and ordered one, now she is so excited I bet she won't sleep!

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

All the ladies were quilting today. Gillian was stitching in the ditch following the squares of each block. She did a great job, with the help of an Aurora baby, she tied off most of the ends as she went.... Gillian is the group giggler!! I tried to get her using the knee lift... I asked her to 'open her leg' (to lift the pressure foot) which caused all of us to giggle!!! he he he

Jenni has never 'ever' used an electric sewing machine before. Today she used one of the new Bernina Aurora babies... she found it quite strange using a foot pedal (remember she has used her hand crank in past lessons) ... but slowly, during the day, she got the hang of it, even the knee lift for the presser foot... she took the book home to read up on the machine because she wants one!!! talk about one extreme to the other??? he he he

(normal) Maureen resisted the Aurora temptation and quilted zig-zag lines with her new walking foot. We named this design the 'Auntie Jenni ' as Jenni invented it last week, quite by accident... we love it!
Dotty Maureen, yes we have the 2 Maureens, one normal and one a bit dotty... he he he
Anyway, Dotty Maureen spent the whole day free motion quilting her table runner using the Aurora BSR, she loved it and quilted leaves and vines all over the project......
... this is the back of Dotty Maureen's quilt, the leaves were quite round for the first hour or so and got more 'leafy' shaped as she got more practice.... by the time she did the border the leaves were longer and more elegant, he he he.. she also wants an Aurora baby of her own.... I knew it, this machine is just fabulous!

So, the ladies had so much fun today that they can't wait 2 weeks for the next class so we have booked an extra day for next week, 24th November.

Alton Quilters?

'Twas a funny thing at the meeting of the Alton Quilt Group yesterday... 3 out of 6 of us turned up with wool!! Clare had decided to learn crochet, Jenny was knitting something and I took my crochet! Quilt group???
I did take a pile of squares sewn diagonally to cut in half, and I did do that before I picked up my wool.... I had tried to show Clare how to crochet... but that was 'blind leading the blind', as you know I am only a beginner, so Maxine took over, lucky for Clare!

Maxine attended a workshop this last weekend and made this Christmassy table runner quilt, that's Maxine peeping over the top, she hadn't realised that her jumper and shawl were perfectly co-ordinated to her project until I pointed it out...he he he
the project used the applique method that Eleanor Burns uses a lot, sewing the shape to interfacing and then turning it right side out, there is a video clip that show you how to do it, if I find it I will post it later... anyway, this method is too fiddly for me and my clumsy fingers... he he he
I need to get going, I am taking the Bernina Babies to my Uttoxeter class today... for their first outing...

Sunday 15 November 2009

Janome 6600

I am trying to learn all the 'ins and outs' of this Janome 6600 sewing machine. There is a lady wanting to buy a new machine and she thinks this is the one she wants, so, I got one for her to try. I can only find 3 things that I like about it, comparing it to the Bernina Aurora 440 QE
1. The price. Duh... who wouldn't want a lower price?
2. The wire on the foot pedal is retractable... is that the right word? works like a vacuum cleaner... you know, it goes in to keep it neat and tidy... I am having a duh moment here... so I hope you get it... ha ha ha. I don't like the foot pedal at all, it's slippy and small, but I love that the cable is retractable (?) moving on....
3. The sewing foot can be lifted higher, great for maneuvering quilts under it. It lifts on the Bernina too but on the Janome it will stay up and on the Bernina we have to hold it up.

That's it, 3 things... I know the 'hole' is bigger, but it isn't as big as I was expecting it to be...
I've decided not to share the long list of things I don't like about the Janome 6600, just because I don't like them is no reason to post about them. I shall continue to look for things I do like though.... I remain a Bernina girl!!


Yesterday the knitting ladies met again at the Museum in Hanley. We have been given money by the council (at least, I think it is from the council) to use to encourage people to enjoy crafts using wool. The lady running the group bought 2 weaving looms and is now looking for a teacher to show us how to use them, that should be very interesting.... well, I'm interested, he he
This is the quilt being made by the group as a tribute to Wedgwood, apparently it is 250 years old this year. It will have a backing fabric and it will be quilted, hopefully, in time for a grand unveiling next Saturday. I shall miss that though because I am going to Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show... I still don't know how I am getting there, but I am going, for sure!
When the exhibition finishes in Hanley Museum, Wedgwood have shown interest in having the quilt on display in Barlaston... this information made the ladies very happy!

Thursday 12 November 2009

4 New Babies....

Ahhhhhhh, how lovely they are, all bunched up together keeping warm... he he he.

This afternoon I took delivery of 4 brand new Bernina Aurora 440 QE sewing machines, sewing computers actually.
From this day on, these machines will be going to all of my patchwork and quilting classes for you to try, if you want to, of course.... but why wouldn't you, they are absolutely fabulous!!!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

I Want to go....

I want to go to the Knitting and Stitching exhibition in Harrogate.
I want to... I want to, therefore... I have to go.
I have persuaded my dad to take me, luckily Mum wants to go too. So I have my plan 'B' all sorted out, but it is a long drive and not exactly my dad's 'cup of tea'.

I recently heard that there was a coach trip going to the show, organised by a local company. I called them but the coach is fully booked. They added my name to a list of 'ladies in waiting'..... waiting for a place on the trip, should anyone cancel their booking.
There are 10 ladies on this waiting list... Stoddarts Coaches need 20 ladies to put on a second coach.... do you see where I am going with this??? Obviously this post is aimed at the more local 'to me' ladies, sorry.
We only need 10 more people.....
If you live in, or can get to, Cheadle, Tean or Uttoxeter, Staffordshire and you want/need to go to the Stitching and Knitting show in Harrogate on Saturday 21st November please call Stoddards Coaches on 01538 752253 and tell them??? The cost is £24 which includes the entrance fee.

Monday 9 November 2009

Birte's Been Busy...

Birte made these 3 blocks with the intention of making a table runner... but, once they were made, she changed her mind ... she didn't like them for a table.... not to worry.... we have 3 new Christmassy cushions for Birte's sofa!! They look Fabulous, don't they?

Ocean Waves Progress?

I spent a few hours in my sewing room this weekend. Looking at this photo you probably can't notice any change from this one... there are now more block 'C's, the centre ones. In that last picture they were just gaps showing the design wall fabric... oh I hope you can see the difference??? all that work...!!! It's not even close to being complete, this is about a third of the size I want it to be.... These centre blocks are more fiddly because of centering the triangle each side, I could just "wing" it, but that is not my style... I want accuracy! I did break a little promise.... I was only ever going to make this quilt top as a "Leader & Ender" project, but I forgot myself yesterday and cracked on with a pile of 'half square triangles'... don't tell anyone, they don't need to know that! This pile of darker 2 1/2" square is still from my scraps but I have run out of lights, I'll have to cut the rest from yardage from here on. Which means I will be rooting through my stash for ages deciding which fabrics to part with.... my 'problem' is... 'If I use it, I won't have it any more', ... I know, I'm crackers, I confess!!!

Friday 6 November 2009

Maureen's so funny......

Can you guess what Maureen has been doing???
The glove developed a hole and she didn't notice......
She called me to ask what she could do to get the dye off..... answer.... aside of dipping in bleach... ya just have to wait for it to fade!!!

So then Maureen sent me pictures of her new mask.....
Oh Dear, she couldn't find her new mask, she had to dye, everything was ready...... so she got something from her underwear drawer to use as a substitute, .... it is a wonder you didn't hear me laughing!!!!

can you see what it is?????

update... Mareen's hands are clear now... she used Cillit Bang and a Brillo pad!!!

Thursday 5 November 2009

Not so excited now....

I've been trying so hard, since I came back to the UK, to get an idea off the ground.
I have sent emails to important people and spoken on the phone to people, for hours.
Finally, on Tuesday this week, I had a very encouraging telephone conversation with one guy. All was looking rosey and very interesting....
Yesterday, Wednesday, I had a really fantastic conversation with another guy (same company) who said this company can help me, wants to help me, they wanted to promote my ideas and work with me. Made me believe I could do it,, and some.....
Today, a few hours after posting about my wonderful excitement, I spoke again to the first guy... I hope you are following because there is no point in me naming people....
It seems the guy was saying things, suggesting things and agreeing to things, he hadn't really the power to follow through.... he must have been carried away with my excitement too.

This has to happen to everyone at some time..... someone building your hopes up really high only to have another person burst your bubble.....
I'm not disappointed, well not too much, I still get to go ahead with my plan, but I will be doing it on my own, with no extra help, as far as I can see.
I am feeling a little (very) silly now, wishing I hadn't posted about my excitement, which was genuine, I promise..... I've had lovely e-mails and a few comments... you were getting excited with me.
If I were a dog I would have my tail between my legs to let you know that I am sorry for keeping you in suspense for nothing much at all... but it was fun to get the messages, and I feel better now that I have told you.
My poor mum always says that I "speak now and think later"! maybe she is right ... this time!
But I haven't given up, there are other avenues that I haven't been down yet....
I have a lady helping me to get another patchwork and quilting class started... on Sundays!!
Why should working ladies and Mum's with small kids not have a whole day stitching with their chums??? Saturdays = Daddydays ... Sundays = Mumdays.... ha ha ha
And don't forget, we'll have Bernina Aurora's to use in classes... and, who knows.... maybe Santa might bring them one of their own?????

Way Too Excited....

You know when something is so exciting that your body decides to drop it's temperature.... goes so cold that you can't feel your toes and your fingers can't work?
You know the feeling that you can't eat because you are so excited?
You know how your tummy flips and you can't sleep properly because you are nervous and apprehensive and.... and.... and.... all at the same time....
And when you try to explain what is about to happen, your words all muddle up and don't make sense to the poor listener (my Mum)
You know the feeling when ideas keep popping into your head so you can't think straight????

It is all happening this week.....
I can't get warm, I don't want to eat, I can't think straight, I can't stay asleep and my poor mum can't keep up...... I'M SOOOOO EXCITED ....more later!

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Birte's Lone Star

Birte is very proud of this project and is happy to have me make it famous for her.... as I am happy to show it off, we are 2 happy ladies!
Birte went against her teachers advice to use white fabric for the background and chose to use this cream colour.... sometimes we have to learn the hard way.... Birte confesses that now she can see that the Lone Star would have had clearer lines showing up against a white background... something we need to consider eh!
She says the hardest part of this project was piecing the 'Y' seams. Personally, I think she did a great job! Birte loves it and, at the end of the day.... does anything else matter??? Not in my world!

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

There was a lot of progress and giggling today. The ladies have met a few times now and I am confident that the group will continue, they have 'gelled' perfectly and seem to be enjoying each others company... a good thing!!

Maureen started us off with her show and tell... This quilt, when it's finished, will be sent out to the forces. Maureen made it from a Jelly Roll. She vowed never to buy another Jelly Roll.. she was not at all impressed with the accuracy of it. I don't blame her!

This is Gillian measuring through the centre of her patchwork top to get the correct measurement for the inner border...... you can just see my Aurora there in the bottom corner... Gillian was loving using it... such a treat!!!
This is Gillian's table runner top, finished! For homework she will make the backing and in the next class she will make a sandwich and crack on with the quilting.. on my Aurora... until she gets one of her own!!!! he he he

On the other hand, we also had a treat.... Jenni is working with her hand crank machine, even the quilting... awww I love to see old machines being used... this photo wasn't set up... this is exactly how Jenni left her work whilst going to get a cup of coffee... just begging to be snapped in a photo.
Lizzie made her quilt sandwich first thing today, she got it all quilted and went home with homework... tying of all the thread ends and threading them into the quilt. Not the most interesting task... but very necessary. Next time we will do the binding and a label...

As these projects are coming to an end we had a short discussion about what we should tackle for our next project, we decided on this....a favourite of mine...

The ladies will get more great cutting practice, more accurate piecing practice and venture into the scary world of the 'triangle'.... oooooooo, I promise it is easy!!

For the next class we should have 4 Bernina Aurora 440 QE machines and a Janome 6600 to sew with!!!
Too much fun??