Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Intricate piecing of Kasse Fasset quilt . . .

Let myself in for more than I bargained for. . . . so many pieces for this bright coloured Kaffe quilt. Not sure I'm going to like the end result. Marking, cutting out, pressing, piecing . . . but will 'press on' until the end. . .

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Polly's post Olympic visit to Morecambe . . .

Polly was entertained by our ukulele band playing " SIX foot two eyes of blue . . ." when she entered the room. Everyone was thrilled to meet her and she thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Later we were treated to one of The Midland Hotel's famous Afternoon Tea's where Polly met Wayne Hemingway . . we had a lovely time . .

Proud Grandma of Olympian Polly Swann

A proud moment when my granddaughter Polly Swann won a silver medal at Rio earlier this year!
Here she is celebrating at the closing ceremony.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Still making quilts . . .

I have been quietly working my way through a bunch of UFO's.

I aim to piece or applique one quilt on my old Bernina whilst machine quilting another one on my Juki, so I never get bored.

Here's a blue applique quilt I finished a few weeks ago and an old fashioned style quilt being machine quilted on my Juki.

I am also piecing a very bright Kaffe Fassett quilt on my Bernina. I am finding this a tad tedious as there are so many tiny pieces to cut out, press and then stitch together. . . . . I keep going . . . . .

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Long time no Blog . .  but looking at my latest photo you will possibly wonder what has happened to me over these months. Facelift? No, no!
It's amazing what a wig, a boater and red lipstick will do!! This is my gear for ukulele gigs. Do not wish to look like the grey old bird I am when surrounded by young chickadees on stage.

Wig is cheap. £15 from Amazon. So there you are ladies . . . .

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ages since I posted any news. . .

Have started learning the ukulele . . . .enjoying it tho finding fingers a bit stiff when accessing some of the more intricate chords.
Here is a group that my sister and I joined last year. We are at the rear in the window with large reindeer antlers.

Monday, October 26, 2015

MEMORIES - now that bacon etc., is off the menu!

Statins.. . .

Been quite I'll these past few months. Suffered a TIA on 1st August whilst on new Rivaroxaban drug prescribed for AF. Prescribed Atorvastatin following hospital release. Ten days later small itchy rash appeared. Shingles? NO. Bedroom and bed fumigated +new bedding purchased.Bedbugs? NO. Scabies? NO. Dust mites? NO.  Finally the rash (and accompanying deep itch) covered my whole body. The itch is relentless. Nothing seems to touch it.
One GP said it was dry skin, second GP diagnosed Eczema. Resembled a trifle at bedtime, covered in lotions, emollients and steroids. Antihistamines and paracetamols helped me to sleep for an hour or two before the itch started with a vengeance. Finally after six weeks of pure desperation I asked my GP to refer me to dermatologist - but told I had to pay as certain services were no longer accessible under NHS. Costs for a consultation range from £120 to £240. Please take note all you Tory voters!
The consultant dermatologist took one look at me and said it was drug related condition - with Atorvastatin as probable culprit. Took all of 8 minutes!!
Was told it takes quite some time for drug related rash condition to cease. It has lessened somewhat but at 4 pm each afternoon the itch starts up with a vengeance and remains so all evening until I get into bed exhausted covered in said creams, antihistamine and paracetamols, Up in middle of night again to add more E45 anti itch cream - fall asleep then find itch lessens at about 8am.

I regale you with all this in case you are prescribed statins or blood thinners. Do read the literature online about any high powered drug you have been prescribed. And whether they are compatible with anything else you have to take.
To reduce my cholesterol I put myself on a very strict diet for three weeks, cutting out all fats including my favourite cheeses. Cut out biscuits, cakes etc.,and  ate lots of fruit and veggies. Very little meat but plenty of fish.
Lost a stone in weight which has brought my cholesterol down. Now waiting for itch to go away . . . Hope it buzzes off before Christmas though one lady at ukulele group said she had similar problems with a Statin and it took 18 months to recover!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

my old imac has finally given up the ghost!

Silence from me is due to my reliable old imac giving up the ghost with hard drive having gone walkabout. Its over ten years old said Apple people which to me is quite young having had a 25 year old cooker and washing machine.
Am using Sony laptop which is ghastly and fiddly by comparison to imac but having said that have used macs since 1990 so unused to other stuff. Still have 2 old ones in the loft. A turquoise jelly coloured one and an ancient Performa from 1994. You might be right in thinking I am hoarder supremo not only of old Apple computers but also of fabric. Am reluctant to venture into loft which is awash with fabrics, wadding and now realise - a bit late - it is far better to buy lovely fabric for each new project. Buying fat quarters and suchlike willy nilly can be a waste of money. Fabrics date too.
Am fed up twiddling with this damn laptop. Off to put kettle on for some recuperative tea. Not green or herbal I might add. No, Its a proper cup of black tea with guts in it. No sugar.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

BiRangle arrived this afternoon as did a lovely postcard from Jan.

Many thanks to Jan. Her generous offer of a BiRangle which arrived today is very much appreciated. Expecting one from the US but it may never arrive so am glad of Jan's.
Plan A is to use a quilt pattern from Mary Hickey's The Joy of Quilting book. Its an old book but contains some interesting quilts.

Jan you naughty gal - no address for me to send you a personal thankyou.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lost BiRangle and Janet to the rescue!!

Ah! Janet has come to the rescue with offer of her BiRangle. Many many thanks Janet. Have sent email to you.

BiRangle ruler is not one that is used a great deal but does save time and trouble when making long thin triangles. Not much use for anything else.

Am about to start a wedding quilt for one of my grand-daughters who is getting married in October so I have plenty of time - says she!!!

Will keep you posted as I work on the quilt. Other than that do not have a lot to say. . . .for a change.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Greetings! It's been over a year since I last blogged. Much has happened this year- some lovely times and some not so nice.

My sewing machine has not seen the light of day since January 2014 but I brought it into the kitchen this afternoon and plan to tackle UFO's which have languished in the loft until now. Shocking!

Has anyone got an unwanted BiRangle ruler by Mary Hickey to sell? I have the instructions but the ruler is missing. Probably lost at a workshop.

That's all for now folks. Will keep you posted regarding work in progress.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Marmalade to make men's knees tremble!

Made a few pots of marmalade using my tried and tested recipe - think you'll find it earlier on this blog.
It's a very strong and bitter marmalade which I'm told can make men's knees tremble! Can't guarantee that - but you know what I mean.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Stormy weather!

What dreadful weather!

Returned from Lanzarote a couple of weeks ago and ready to go back. Had lovely time celebrating my birthday and family accompanied me for first week - returning to UK - leaving me in Lanzarote for another glorious week with blue skies and sunshine. Fantastic bouquet awaited me in my room and view was wonderful.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


It's that time of year - new resolutions - here's mine for a start!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Finished at last!

Goodness. Thought I'd never get through it. Not my best effort. The thick curtaining material with which the quilt was backed caused problems with tension on my wonderful Juki. Ended up merely quilting curvy lines. No feathers - pebbles - meandering - vermicelli etc., Removed borders which were puckered and just bound the edges. Been a 'disaster' as Craig on Strictly would say.
Will be OK for dog blanket or as a spare when camping!

Onwards and upwards . .  have 5 more UFO's from which to choose. . .

Monday, November 11, 2013

Newly discovered 20 year old UFO quilt - ready to go under the Juki!

Shocked to discover this 20 year old UFO stuffed in plastic bag under a pile of clutter in the loft.
Had forgotten all about it . . used to demonstrate curved piecing at workshops I organised in 1990.
Called it my 'purple monstrosity' - fabric £1 a yard - bought from local market - you can tell it was/is cheap by the feel of it.

A lesson to be learned here. What is the point of putting a lot of work into a quilt using cheap materials?  Had I used some of my lovely stash would have liked the quilt and finished it years ago.

Quilt is backed with curtain fabric from Standfast factory shop in Lancaster.  Too thick for decent sewing but I'm determined to finish the quilt as I made a promise to myself that I would not begin anything new until all my UFO's were completed.
Had the quilt not been layered and backed a few years ago (see my article at Popular Patchwork online) I would probably have set it aside and worked on more interesting items like a cockerel 'stash and whack' quilt top for example - waiting in the wings.

I'm using cheap navy polyester thread - 5000 metres for £2.99 (you can see the spool on my Juki). Bought the thread from a new haberdashery shop -  "Bows and Bobbins" or Bobbins and Bows - on Princes Crescent. Lovely girl owns it -  deserves to do well.

Finished and on the bed - at last.

This is my 7th UFO completed this year.  Colour doesn't go with anything in the house so will join the pile of quilts stored on bed in spare room.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Jumper for Dave!

Have knitted 25 jumpers since my husband's death. Thinking of sending the last one - see pic - to Downing Street where I'm sure the CH will have been turned down in accordance with David Cameron's speech on putting on jumpers if we feel cold. Might send a few.
I knew they would come in handy sometime. . .

Leander pink ladies win golds at National Rowing Championships.

Winning W4- with grand-daughter Polly at stroke.

Winning W8+ with Polly at stroke.
Leander girls - otherwise known as 'pink ladies' - won two Gold medals in their races at the British National Rowing Championships this weekend.
My grand-daughter Polly (Swann) stroked both women's four (W4-) and women's eight (W8+) boats0.

Friday, October 18, 2013

8 year old sampler quilt top . . . lilac time - under the Juki

8th UFO - 8 years old
Flower basket - machine applique

Applique heart 'n flowers

Under the Juki . . all set to go.
I began this quilt top 8 years ago to use as a teaching aid at classes I ran at Fabrix of Lancaster.
I loved the japanese themed fabric at the time but now realise how dated the fabric looks.
Used the quilt blocks at Lancaster & Morecambe College where I taught patchwork and quilting - finally completing the top having used it for demonstration purposes at my Heirloom Sampler Workshops for Garstang Patchwork Quilters at Bilsborrow Village Hall. Set it aside until now . . . backed it yesterday - neatened the edges - hope to finish unquilted areas tomorrow and get the quilt blocked and bound by the end of the week when it'll then be onward and upward to the next UFO waiting in the wings . . .

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Winter version of Singing Garden quilt series finished at last!

Am I glad to see the end of this quilt. Took ages. Put the last stitches in about an hour ago. It's been blocked and bound. Only a label to attach and that is THAT!  Have now completed the three Singing Garden Quilts - spring/summer - autumn and this winter one.

Now to the next UFO - an old lilac sampler quilt top begun years ago and half finished.
Watch this space!