Saturday, 18 April 2015

Handy Household hint ....

,,,, here's another in my series of helpful posts.

This time it's how to avoid cleaning/ironing or whatever else you hate to do but have to, for a couple of days.

It's easy.  All you have to do is decide to buy some new garden furniture. A couple of weeks ago, that's exactly what I did.  So, on a lovely, sunny Easter Monday, off I went, on a mission.  Big mistake.  Sunny Easter weekends are a good time to not go to garden centres, but I forgot that. There were queues everywhere.  The first place I went, didn't have anything. The second place, once I finally found a parking space, didn't have anything. Third time lucky though. Once I had queued to get into the car park and queued again waiting for a parking space, I found exactly what I wanted. It wasn't what I had gone out looking for though, so I thought I ought to ask Mr Fixit to come back with me (the next day) to make sure he liked it. Luckily, he did, but he wouldn't buy it that day as he has a pensioner's card which gives him 10% off on a Wednesday so we just measured the box to make sure it would fit in the car and didn't need delivering and then went home. Then, Wednesday morning, bright and early, off he went to buy it. He paid for it, and had a very helpful employee help him to take it to the car. Disaster, even with two helpful employees, it would not fit.  Don't know how that happened (but I'm really glad he did the measuring the day before and not me!). He had to come home a few hundred pounds poorer, but without the furniture. Eventually, that evening, a friend of Mr & Mrs Nomad's, who owned a van, went and collected it for us and brought it to our house. Pheww.  If we had but known it, that was the easy bit!

So, next day, fairly early, finds us outside unpacking the box and starting the assembly. With a brief stop for lunch, it took us from about 10 am till 4 pm to put it all together. Sadly, by then, the sun had gone and the weather was chilly again, so all we could do, until yesterday, was to look at it from indoors. it does look lovely though.

Come back in a day or so for the next of my Handy Household Hints, which will show you another way of not doing the chores you hate.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Craftsy Flash Sale


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(note: this is a sponsored post)

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

I feel old now ....

... Why?  because my daughter (Mrs Nomad) made a comment the other day about being almost 50! Since my brain knows that I am only about 30, what I now need to know is


How can my daughter be older than me?

Sunday, 29 March 2015

That's progress ....

I suppose.
Yesterday I went for a manicure and a pedicure.  When I got there I was stunned to find I had to make decisions!  What?  I'd come for a relax, not to have to do decisions.  I was asked, first if I wanted a deluxe mani & pedi, or express?  Well, that wasn't too difficult.  I went for the deluxe of course. But then came the tricky question.  Would I like polish, colour, vinyl, deluxe vinyl, gel or shellac?  And there was me thinking I just had to choose a colour.

By the way, who stole my hands and replaced them with those of an old lady?

Friday, 20 March 2015

Bertha and I have been busy ....

In the last couple of weeks we've quilted 3 quilts.

 Sadly, I now have absolute proof that Bertha is, as I had suspected, a fabric snob.  The first quilt she did was the pink one on top, and she merrily worked away, forming perfect stitches and we finished the quilt in record time. Then, I put my Country Charmer quilt on the frame, and we set off again.  Well, Bertha just threw hissy fit after hissy fit.  The stitches were absolutely perfect on the background fabric and the red in the sashing, but as soon as she came to one of the other fabrics, which were cheap and not very good quality I'm afraid, she started skipping and forming horrible stitches, then as soon as she got back to the good quality fabrics, the stitches were perfect again.  I am going to have to hope that a good wash will crinkle the quilt enough that it won't show. Then, when Country Charmer was finished, I put Heartfire, which was made with good quality fabrics, on, and once again, perfect stitching.  Anyway, enough of my whinging, here are a few photos of our work.

Here is Country Charmer, designed by Lynn.  I have quilted a sort of curly-loopy pattern in each block.  I did it oversized, so it extended into the sashing and the borders, which I will do on my DSM, will just be straight lines.  I did try to take photos of the offending stitches, but they weren't good enough to show you what I mean.






The third quilt we've worked on is my version of Heartfire, also by Lynn.  This is the quilt that I made after my wonderful holiday with Lynn and Mr Joe in California.  The fabrics were a FQ bundle that I bought while I was there and I have amended the pattern to include some "flowers".  The yellow ones represent the California poppy, and the red ones to represent the red rose of England.  I also made small hexie blocks to go in the corners of the borders, then I quilted it with a lovely all-over design.  I am going to call it Californian Dreams I think cos of all the wonderful memories I have every time I look at it.
Here is a close-up of the front, so you can see the quilting a little better.  I absolutely love the texture this has given the quilt.
I think Scrappy's influence must be rubbing off on me, cos I pieced the backing with leftovers.  The quilting really shows well on the red fabric in this photo.
Just to finish off, here is a close up of the quilting on the back. Can you tell that I love this quilt?








Just to finish off, you remember the quilt that Scrappy and I are making together? In case you've forgotten, you can see it in this post. Well yesterday, when we were together for a playday, we had all the blocks finished, we shuffled them around on the design wall until we were happy with the layout, then took them all off, carefully labelling them as we went, and here they are, all ready to be sewn into their rows and then a top, next time we get together.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Happy, Scrappy ....

... quilting!

A few days ago Scrappy was here for the day, and was going through some scraps I'd just given her. She came to one piece that was so narrow it really had no business being there.  We measured it and it measured 1/2" wide and I made a comment that she would need to be very careful with her seam allowances to use that.  Apparently she both saw and heard the exclamation mark at the end of what I said when I challenged her to use it in something. This is what arrived in the post yesterday.  The piece in question was appliqued on to make the exclamation mark.  I think it is so clever, and she's even personalised it by including her nickname, and the title of my book and I love the result. Thanks so much Scrappy.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

That's better ....

.... I put my latest quilt on the frame and asked Big Bertha to do her best with it, using a lilac/purple variegated thread.  I knew after about an inch that the thread was too dark, but kept going for about half a row before I listened to myself and stopped, undid the purple and started again with white. Before undoing it, Mr Fixit happened to wander past and asked why I'd stopped.  I told him I was unsure about the thread and asked if he thought it was too dark too. He did.  (I was a bit surprised, as usually he makes some fairly non-committal comment when his opinion is asked for -  I think he feels that discretion is the better part of valour!) so out came the seam ripper, out came the purple thread, and off we went with white. Much better.

Yesterday Scrappy and I had a fun day at the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Guild day.  Scrappy finished a quilt.  This was her first attempt at FM quilting and the quilt looks great.  It only took her two weeks from starting the quilt in a workshop run by QuiltHaze from Cotton Cocktails to finish.  

While Scrappy was busy finishing her binding and burying the ends on her quilt, I made some more blocks for our joint quilt.  We've now almost finished making the blocks, and here they are on my design wall. This picture was taken under electric light, and the colours are much more vivid in real life. I think they are just GORGEOUS, even though there are rather more than four fabrics in there!
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