Monday, 31 January 2011

Wildlife Weekend

Well inbetween sewing like a woman on a mission (at least on Saturday seemed to get all slowed down on Sunday) I managed to do a little wildlife spotting.

For the second time recently I spotted a Muntjac deer, this time actually in our front garden last time one nervously dashed out from the vicinity of the garden to the farmland over the road (thanks to the snow there was next to no traffic).  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera to hand but do google them they're very timid looking creatures.

On the way into town to pick up some red thread I also spotted a white owl, on further research I have found out that this was a barn owl.  Yet again no photo as I was driving at the time, it flew very low across the road at about 3.30pm - quite amazing.

In order to make up for these missed wildlife photo opportunities I'll try and post a couple of the daft, fat pheasant which wanders round our garden (although don't expect one anytime soon!).

What I have managed to get a photo of is the back of Ganny's quilt now fully quilted and just waiting for me to hand sew on 7 metres of binding and a label.

 You'll have to look very closely as the thread is an almost perfect colour match to the backing.  I'm really pleased with the back - just a couple of minor puckers.  I'm pretty pleased with the front too although I'm a wbbly sticher in the ditch but I'm getting better.  I really got the knack of the squares in the border too, which is good as I have loads to do on the other log cabin.

Barring an epic slip stitching session, this should be all ready to return to Ganny on Saturday, and will be my first ever, totally done on my own, finished quilt.

Oh and to change the theme slightly I am making a real effort with my half marathon training and actually managed a two mile ish run this evening and felt like there was more in my legs except it was going dark.  Will go out again on Wednesday and do 4 miles.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Thank You and My Challenge

Just thought I'd pop in to say thanks for all the encouraging comments on my last two posts and "Hi!" to my new follower. 

I managed to baste the quilt (or at least mini-tag it) and mark it up for quilting the other night and found out that my bedroom floor is not as big as I thought - going to have to find a very large room to baste the neon quilt!  A major session with my walking foot awaits me this weekend as well as some concerted essay writing, I'm sick and tired (not just literally) of working till 3am the night before hand in to get work finished but I seem to thrive on the last minute stress.  Got to stop it though.

Anyway...not working till 3am is not my challenge.  I have recently found myself spending a lot of money on non essential items, as treats, on a whim or purely because they are a bargain (altho one of the dresses I bought because it was cheap and gorgeous will now see service as a wedding outfit so that was a good investment).  So what I have decided is this month I will not buy something just because, just things that are needed - which will include a haircut, car service and MOT.  I'm not going to do myself out of nights out either (already have three planned this month plus a weekend at my sister's and a weekend in Edinburgh), I'm just aiming to curb my spending on stuff.  There's no external pressing need for this challenge, although I would like to have more money to put towards my house deposit savings and at the moment I am seriously considering purchasing a Kindle at the start of March, its just to try and get out  of the habit of accumulating things.  I have plenty of things already and not a lot of space for them!  Anyway going to see how it goes - I can be good when I want to be!

Monday, 24 January 2011

A Slow Start But...

Friday night's efforts may have been pretty unspectacular but I think I more than made up for it on Saturday and Sunday.

I am very pleased to say my aims for the weekend were all achieved.

I went to the shop for the backing fabric for Ganny's quilt at 4.30pm on Saturday (a little late but who's counting)

Not a huge lot of choice but it goes nicely I feel.  I also got the wadding too.

From all this finishing touches purchasing you've probably guessed that I finished the top of Ganny's quilt...

And a close up of a corner...

Very pleased with the overall effect.

I also finished cutting out 120 squares for one of the baby quilts.  So in the end I had a very productive sewing weekend.  Still need to sort out something to listen to whilst sewing - Morse and The Hobbit just didn't grab my attention enough.  Need to look through my audio book collection before the quilting extravaganza next weekend.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

What Did I Get Up To Last Night?

Not quite as much as I'd hoped, just couldn't get myself in the mood for sewing.  Settling to it was tricky and I couldn't find anything to listen to whilst sewing.

Anyway the aim was to transform this...

Into border strips for Ganny's quilt.  What I actually achieved was...

A large number of border component blocks, which admittedly very quickly form borders.  I don't think I'll achieve my aim of a completed top by 4pm today.  I had planned on a trip to the fabric shop for backing and wadding.  Definitely next weekend though.  Right back to the sewing machine.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

First FNSI of 2011

So it's around again and coincides nicely with a weekend I'd already planned to dedicate to a whole heap of sewing.

I'm planning on doing the borders for my Ganny's quilt, would really like to baste it this weekend.  Other plans for the weekend include finishing the quilting on the my log cabin.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Have so many ideas for craft things I really need to get busy with the finishing off.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Mostly Random!

I don't have anything more to show for this weekend's work but I did spend Sunday cutting (it takes ages) so hopefully I can get more achieved next weekend.  I reckon finishing Ganny's quilt top is on the cards and I'd like to get my log cabin one quilted.  If I'm feeling rich I may go and get the wadding for my 'love it, hate it' neon quilt and some suitable quilting thread (if there is such a thing) as I have a plan as to how I want to quilt it finally. 

I feel the quilt will be the final touch in making my room really homely and me-ey.  The penultimate step being the purchase of a second hand chair to make a cosy corner.

I have a really good feeling that this chair is going to be a really big help in keeping me away from my laptop of an evening - it it amazingly comfy.

I must keep myself away from yarn shops online or otherwise.  I have a major desire to knit another Baltic Sea Stole (and happened to find some gorgeous yarn options) but I have a huge drawer of yarn to make a dent in and five (sorry make that six) quilts to finish (not to mention the rather gorgeous sock yarn I happened to come across).  It's a nightmare!

I have started running again, just under two miles and a bit of paddling today.  I have two, four and five mile routes worked out which should be fine for building up to the half marathon in March.

The wrong Bourne movie is on TV and I've cut my finger on the foil from the top of a peanut butter jar.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

So Cute!!

On being told that a second cousin was expecting a baby I decided I had to make a quilt for that baby too (any excuse!).  And so the serch commenced for uni-sex baby fabric which didn't offend my sensibilities.  Luckily I found something very quickly and then umm-ed, ahhh-ed and bothered my sister about it for a few weeks.  I eventually bought it and am glad I did.

Isn't it cute.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Bigger Than It Looked

Ganny's quilt with inner border displayed on my double bed.  Looks like it'll make a fairly decent showing on Ganny's single bed!  I have just noticed, however, that although described as being the same red as the red fabric in the centre of the log cabin blocks it is slightly different.  I am not having a lot of luck with the fabric for this quilt - luckily it matches the rose fabric perfectly so it seems to work (all comments whether this is correct gladly welcomed).  I'm really liking how this quilt is turning out.

Not sure whether I'll get much done this weekend not home till Sat pm and my brother is visiting so I may have to do some of my hand sewn quilt or something.  Though I may sneak in some time on this, got a lot of the outer border cut already.

Added later:

Think I may have to have a look at the colour difference in day light.  Looks better in electric light than it does in the photo.

Monday, 10 January 2011

A Little Variation

As well as enjoying crafting in my spare time I am also a keen reader although currently I seem to take forever to get through books.  I have got 20 odd books in my house that haven't been read and I'm supposed to have read them before buying anymore books - to date this hasn't happened, maybe I could make it a belated New Year Resolution; my downfall is charity shop book shelves.  Anyway, back to the point, over Xmas I decided to start one that has been on my shelf for years, firstly because it finally piqued my interest and secondly to find out if it actually deserved the shelf space (a precious commodity in my flat!).  I am pleased to report I actually finished "Captain Scott by Ranulph Fiennes" this weekend.  I have had an interest in Shackleton and read a bit about his Endurance expedition but I knew next to nothing about Scott.  The aim of this book was to try to repair Scott's reputation.  It was a very interesting and clear written book, that I found kept me turning the pages; although I found Fiennes' sections about his own experiences a little irritating at times on the whole they were a useful comparison.  I can't say I loved this book but it seems a good introduction to Scott and at the moment I think it will stay on my shelf.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Belated Happy New Year and a progress report

A little late but Happy New Year to all.  Thanks to my last minute approach to my OU assignments I haven't had any chance to do any craft or (interesting) cooking.  I am happy to report that I have made steps to rectify this this weekend.

Hopefully you can just make out some of the quilting.  I've done the majority, although I have the fun of quilting round the border squares still to go.  Still getting to grips with machine quilting and how best to set my machine up.  I'll get the hang of it, I have another 4 quilts planned or in progress.  More about them in future posts.