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!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013


On the podium as National Anthem plays at Chungju

Interviewed by John Inverdale for BBC2 programme 3pm today and tomorrow.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

World Rowing Championships, Chungju - Polly and Helen win semi-finals.

It's very HOT and very HUMID at Chungju - South Korea.
Helen and Polly try to cool off before their race - which they won.

Finals on Saturday - 7.03am our time.

Click on link below to access world rowing site and videos of races:

WOMENS PAIR W2- semi race at world championships.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Latest jumper - 24th!!

Same jumper pattern - same needles - and some free wool - but am getting clever - cos I've added cabling on the front, back and sleeves. Makes it more interesting. Knitted a matching bobble hat with leftover wool.
Will knit one more jumper - as I still have some free wool - making it 25 jumpers since Stephen died three years ago - and that's IT!

During the winter instead of knitting whilst watching TV - I plan to have a go at making an old fashioned quilt - mostly appliqué - wait for it . . . . by hand!

Meanwhile have nearly finished the 3rd (winter) Singing Garden quilt but still have a couple more UFO's to tackle before bad weather sets in.    Brrh . . .

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Golden Girls won Gold medals at Lucerne today!

Hugs after the race - we did it!

Polly (Swann) and Helen (Glover) have won Gold medals at all three World Cups this year :
i)  Sydney, Australia -
ii) Eton Dorney, UK
iii) Lucerne, Switzerland.

Helen was a 2012 Olympic Gold medallist, partnered at the time by Heather Stanning who has returned to her duties in the army. Polly is Helen's new partner, and my grand-daughter.

You can see them row on BBC2 tomorrow - Monday -  at 3pm BST.

Then it's back to training for the World Championships in August at South Korea. It's all go go go, but how exciting. Only young once - got to enjoy and make the best of it while they have the chance!

Sunday, June 23, 2013