Monday 29 February 2016

I didn't mean to ....

... but it was too tempting
Yep, I swapped the bronken car (which had been mended) for this beautiful brand new, shiny version. The showrooms made me the sort of offer I found it hard to refuse, and by the time I'd finished negotiating with them, it would have been really rude of me to refuse. So I didn't. Let's just hope the old car has given the new one a warning of what happens if it messes with me!

Friday 19 February 2016

I've gone ....

.... travelling. Yep, I packed my little suitcase and sewing machine and popped over to visit Amy at Amy's Freemotion Quilting Adventures, here.


Well OK, I haven't really gone travelling, it's just pretend, but I am a guest on her blog today, talking about the fun I've been having quilting with rulers.  Amy is the tutor of a great Craftsy class on the subject, and she also has an online shop where you can buy the rulers and quilting feet you will need. You can see more about the class by clicking on the Craftsy logo on my right sidebar and then searching for Quilting with Rulers on a home machine. It's a great class to get you started. and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Why not join me, give it a go, and have some fun?

Thursday 18 February 2016


Just look at all these lovely, happy colours. I am really going to enjoy sewing these blocks with all the gorgeous thread colours I've pulled out to use for the appliqué (aka app-lee-kay)  stitching.

Monday 8 February 2016

Yep, it's definitely ....

It's gone off to the dealer this afternoon and let's hope they can find the problem and fix it for me.

Sunday 7 February 2016

It's bronken*, how Bizarre ....

.... What's bronken?

My car, that's what's bronken.

Why is it bizarre? Well, read on and (eventually) you'll get to that bit.

Yesterday was the meeting of Yorkshire Modern Quilters so I set off to the local station to pick up Scrappy so we could set off for a day of fun with friends, fabric and food. I got there, in the pouring rain and left my engine running as Scrappy's train was just pulling in. She climbed in, and as she was settling into her seat we were both saying how excited we were cos one way and another it has been months since we last went to a meeting. Anyway, once she was safely strapped in, with her bags all securely tucked in too, off we set. Except ....

... I moved about two yards, Just enough that I was more than half way out of the parking bay and the engine died. I tried restarting, but, nope, nothing doing. I tried swearing, but that didn't help either. As I was a bit (major understatement there) in the way of other traffic coming and going, we thought we'd better push the car back into the space I'd just left, but the car had other ideas. Because it was an automatic, and because I'd put it into Park before trying the restart, it was effectively all locked up and wasn't going anywhere. So, back in the car for us, and we became a human (or automotive) roundabout and all the cars had to drive round us! at least we were out of the rain, and I called the breakdown service. It was going to be about an hour and a half before they would get to us, so we settled ourselves in for a good natter and even did our own little show and tell in the car. We had food if we were there a long time, so we knew we weren't going to starve although we might die of thirst cos we didn't have any drinks. (I must remember next time to breakdown near a Costa or Starbucks and not in the car park of a small, unmanned train station.).

Mr Breakdown arrived a bit earlier than we expected, which was good. He found that my battery was totally, completely and absolutely flat. He was puzzled for several reasons and our conversation went a bit like this:
Mr Breakdown: How bizarre, Honda's don't just cut out like that.
Me: Well this one did
Mr B: Honda's are one of the most reliable cars there are, it's very bizarre.
Me: I know, that's why I have Honda
Mr B: it shouldn't have just lost power while it was running.
I shrugged my shoulders.

By this time I had come to the conclusion that Mr B was in one of these challenges where he's given a word for the day and he has to use it in every sentence and the word of the day for yesterday was "bizarre". Anyway, he jump started the car, Scrappy climbed on a train and went home and Mr B followed me home. When we got back the battery had fully charged - in less than 3 miles. So, no sewing day for us and I'll be on the phone to the garage on Monday. The breakdown guy did say it was probably a one-off that will never happen again but if it did then I should contact the garage. Hmm, I don't think I want to wait. I was just thinking that if it had happened 10 minutes later, I'd have been driving along on the motorway and I don't drive at 50 (or even 60 or 70) on the inside lane as a general rule, so it could have been worse.

* Bronken: the word Chatterbox used to use when he was just starting to talk when something was not working. It's just one of those words that the family adopted and still use, just like we eat chinken!

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Handy Household Hint number something or other....

.... When you put leftovers/spares in the freezer, always label them.

Why do I say that?  Well, one very cold morning this week I pulled out a bag of puréed butternut squash, intending to make a nice warming soup. Unfortunately, it wasn't butternut squash in that bag, it was actually Snickerdoodle dough! Oh well, we enjoyed some nice biscuits (cookies to my American friends) even if they weren't as warming as soup would have been.

Monday 1 February 2016

Book review

I was recently offered a copy of the book called Machine Quilting with Style by Christa Watson to review. Since I already had the book, I passed the opportunity on to Scrappy, so here, in her own words, are her thoughts.

As an apprehensive machine quilter, I found the introduction to this book both positive and encouraging - "don't get hung up on perfection" along with " the most important tool for successful machine quilting is a can-do attitude."
 The book begins with good advice about the choice of batting, threads and work surface around the sewing machine before starting the topic of machine quilting by using the walking foot. The author acknowledges that this is where most of us start and it is good to be encouraged to think beyond stitching in the ditch. Quilt designs and machine quilting suggestions then follow with clear instructions, diagrams and pictures. The pages and pictures on continuous spiral quilting were very appealing and I was glad to note the tips for avoiding spiralling out of control!

The second half of the book tackles free motion quilting favourites with useful tips for getting started. Of particular note is 'Quilt Daily" - that encouraging tone throughout the book is exemplified by the suggestion that fmq should be practised for just 10 minutes a day in order to see improvement. Different hand positions are illustrated so that the novice machine quilter can see which feels most comfortable when guiding the quilt under the needle. Quilting designs then follow such as simple stipples, loops and spirals all illustrated on beautifully designed quilts with clear instructions where to start. Freewheeling vs Precision is highlighted - the choice between marking out the quilting diagram or going for "free-form and somewhat imperfect".

For anyone who is seeking to become more adventurous with their machine quilting this book is an excellent place to start.
I will also point out that the book includes 8 designs using your walking-foot, 10 free-motion designs and 12 quilt patterns.
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