Thursday, May 30, 2013

It may be late - but spring has well and truly arrived . .

Lots of colour

Ring neck doves waiting for food

Black bird feeding its young - can just see baby in bushes

Here it is - young blackbird

And again

Young starling

Young sparrow
Pigeons waiting to pounce on food
And here's their relatives . . waiting . . .!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Latest 'ugly jumper' - number 23!

23rd jumper knitted since Stephen died!
Same pattern for all the jumpers - just use different coloured wools.

Got a bit adventurous with this one - added a cable down the front. Have wool for 24th waiting in the knitting basket. 

Perpetual knitting gives me something to do in the evening when watching telly. Makes it less lonesome somehow. 

I quilt in the early morning - paint in the afternoon - bit of light dusting and washing up between times - followed by mindless knitting in the evening.  That's my day, folks. Every day. Sad ain't it!

The spine operation on 12th February - up to present time - is not proving a success - leaving me in pain and less mobility.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Calamity! Lost without my Juki . . .

needle bar thread bracket

I snapped the needle bar thread bracket on my Juki - see above. Now have to wait until I can obtain a replacement. It's only a tiny gadget - but without it threads continually shred.  A bloomin' nuisance to say the least.

Thought: "Oh, no matter, I'll use my trusty old Bernina while I'm waiting for the part!"

This mechanical Bernina 1015 is a great machine - no doubt about it  - and has served me well over the years but since taking up free-motion-quilting with a vengeance I find the Bernina fine for ordinary piecing and appliqué - but no good for the speed and accuracy I require for my work.

I set the Bernina up for fmq and started quilting.  My goodness, how s -l -o -w  and what a palaver!
Not only the smaller 'harp' which means having to push and shove the quilt around, plus without the automatic thread cutter it made quilting ten times harder than using the Juki and I did not enjoy it one little bit.
Bernina 1015
I've decided to set the this UFO quilt aside until the spare part arrives - soon I hope - for my beloved juki. (Angie, please note.)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Anchored and ready to go . . .

Winter Singing Garden Quilt
Sat  at my kitchen table at 7 am and stitched for an hour. I usually spend the first hour of the day at my sewing machine - in my dressing gown - with a cup of tea beside me. Gets the creative juices going and a good start to the day. I paint my pictures in the afternoon and knit in the evening while watching TV. Keeps me busy and prevents me feeling lonely.

Back to the quilt:  have anchored the blocks and appliqué - now ready to begin quilting. No idea - as yet - of how I'm going to tackle the design - so will make a start in the centre of a familiar block  - 'Square Dance' - and just hope inspiration will descend upon me as I quilt.

Failing inspiration I shall have to fall back on good old 'vermicelli.'

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stolen Quilts . . . please help!

Rosy's sampler quilt

Yvonne's quilt
These are just two of the 40 quilts stolen from Empress Mills last weekend. They were to be part of Empress Mills Exhibition.

The sampler quilt was made by Rosy at my heirloom sampler workshops at Bilsborrow, and Yvonne made this lovely scrap quilt for her daughter at my home quilting classes, so I know the vast amount of time and work they put into creating these lovely bed quilts.

If anyone sees either of these quilts or obtains any information regarding their whereabouts please contact Empress Mills in Colne, Lancashire Tel: 01282 863181 - or leave a message here.

Blossom abounds . . but no bees . .

Lots of blossom this year - 2013 - but no bees
Bees nesting in birdbox last year -2012
Am surrounded by blossom in the garden - but not a bee in sight, whereas last year they settled in one of the bird boxes. Very worrying.
Does this mean I have to go round dusting the blossom with a soft paintbrush to ensure an apple crop?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Autumn Singing Garden quilt finished - now for the Winter version . .

Autumn version of Singing Garden quilt

Thought it would never be done . . 
I was fed up of seeing this quilt under my Juki - thought it would never be finished - what with my spine operation coming in between start and finish and unable to quilt for a couple of months. However, here it is in all its final glory and I quite like it tho it was certainly not my favourite of the 3 Singing Garden Quilts of Popular Patchwork fame.

My favourite is next on the starting block - already under the Juki - ready to start . . . . not sure how to begin or the style of quilting or which thread to use. Hoping inspiration will raise it's head whilst I'm anchoring the quilt and trying different threads for the fmq.
 Winter version of Singing Garden Quilt
My favourite of the 3 versions
original spring/summer version featured as BOM in Popular Patchwork magazine.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Fast Diet. Will this really work?

Ate 'fairly' normal yesterday - Tuesday - and did NOT eat Magnum choc bar as planned. Found I was cautious (sort of) in what I ate even though it was an off-diet day.

From what I can (honestly) remember I ate the following:

Tea - 2 bananas - toast - prawns - salad - tomato soup - small tuna/pasta salad - 5 Rich Tea biscuits - numerous cups of tea - one large coffee - 3 boiled sweets. Ah - just remembered - 2 slices of homemade cherry and walnut cake I baked last week. Still edible.

Perhaps with hindsight it wasn't  'cautious' eating. More like eating non-stop throughout the day, but ate NOTHING after 6 pm!

Had cup of tea and a banana this morning (Wednesday) followed by a large cup of coffee with single cream and one slice of buttered toast.

If I lose weight on this diet it will be a miracle.