Saturday, 22 March 2014

I'm back!

I've just checked and it is 3 weeks since I last posted. Manic time with childcare and putting the house on the market added to the mix. Now I've had a few days to recover and feeling myself again.

I decided to really push and try to finish the two quilt tops I was working on so……

Firstly, it's the Hummingbird quilt for my grand-daughter's bed.

This was a free pattern from Rita of Red Pepper Quilts and I am super pleased with how it has turned out. Lexie likes pink but I decided against a pale baby pink and used a tone which is nearer to the Pantone Radiant Orchid so very on trend but there is also lilac, green, orange, beige and red. A real riot of colour. The backing will be one of the prints from the fat quarter bundle of fabrics I bought; Nel Whatmore's Secret Garden, Hedgerow in Linen. It's super bright!

I am having the quilt professionally quilted so I will take some better photos when it is finally finished.
I'm linking this to Quiet Play's Paper Piecing Party

Paper Piecing Party

I've also been working very hard on my Medallion Sampler quilt and all I need now is to add the border. I added the sashing today but started to make a few mistakes so I have left the border for class next week. I have also redone a couple of blocks to make the colour balance better.

Finally, I have finished and wet blocked the waistcoat I am making for my Mum for Mothering Sunday (March 30th). I'm linking up with Wool on Sundays with this. 

There was a bit of sunshine this afternoon when I took this so I apologise for the shadows. The waistcoat is an edge to edge design from Sirdar and knitted in Sirdar Softspun. This yarn is now discontinued and to be honest I did not enjoy knitting with it, However, the finished garment feels soft and looks good after blocking. I hope she will be pleased.

My new crochet project is another  shawl for summer evenings. This time it's the Ricicles shawl I found on Cherry Heart
I'm using the Rico baby cotton soft yarn which is a 50/50 cotton/acrylic mix. Lovely soft colours too!

I think that's about it! Supper is cooking and delicious smells of a lamb tagine wafting through the house. Time to go….. have a good weekend,


Monday, 3 March 2014

Peely-wally and great service

I really did not sleep too well last night and feeling a bit under the weather this morning. My ex mother-in-law who lived in Northern Ireland used to refer to it as "feeling peely-wally". Wiktionary defines this as 'pasty, pale, ill looking' and it is a Scottish phrase that fits how I feel very well.

I decided to take it easy and do a bit of gentle cooking up of whatever was in the fridge. My SiL Tom grows vegetables on the family farm in Wiltshire and had given me a stack of beetroot, both red and golden varieties. After a quick google for recipes I decided to cook Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's version of beetroot soup with feta. Its all blitzed and in the fridge for lunch tomorrow.

That left a cauliflower and various oddments in the veggie drawer. I had picked up a leaflet in the supermarket when I was shopping last week for a Pea and cauliflower frittata so that was lunch for today decided.

I am not a natural vegetarian and I like my meat too much but every now and then I just want something simple and soothing but with good flavour. This was delicious! The recipe calls for eggs, cooked cauliflower and peas, spring onions or scallions (depending on where you live), feta and ground toasted cumin seeds. The warmth of the cumin was off set by the tang of the feta and I shall definitely be cooking this again. We ate half today hot and I think it would be equally good cold with a side salad or coleslaw. So thats tomorrow sorted.

When I laid out my blocks yesterday for the Medallion quilt I did a quick calculation to make sure I had enough material to finish. Instant panic set in as I did not have enough of the dark plum colour in the centre star. I looked through my scraps and could not even find a selvedge with the name. However I had jotted down a few of the fabrics when planning the quilt and found the name of the designer but not where I had purchased it in the UK. The fabric was Plum twigs by Renee Nanneman of Need'l Love for Andover fabrics and I found the fabric on her website. She is based in the US. I googled to see if there was a supplier in the UK and no-one had the fabric so yesterday I emailed Renee's company to see if they would ship a small amount over. Within a short time Renee herself emailed back with full details. That was a Sunday afternoon too! Hopefully I should get the fabric to finish the quilt. Panic over and thank you to Renee.

And the moral is……. calculate before you start!

I'm off for a nap,


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Catching up at last

Thank goodness that's February done and dusted. It must be the most miserable, if shortest, month.
Hopefully now that half term holidays and chickenpox are behind us I can get back to my hobbies at last.

I have a couple of knitting finishes to show and a few blocks of my Medallion quilt so without further ado……Meet Peppa Pig!

Peppa was finished the evening before Isobel's first birthday. I bought her a scooter for later on in the summer so I wanted to give her something else to open on the day.
Peppa cost nothing but a bit of time and effort but she turned out to be a favourite present.

The birthday girl looking a bit bemused.

and the final ta dah is Isobel's Playful Stripes cardigan which she wore for her birthday lunch. Looking quite solemn in this photo.

Since I've returned from Birmingham I have started a waistcoat for my Mum with wool I bought at a show. The yarn is Sirdar Softspun and I'm not sure if I like it at all. I love yarns at the more expensive end of the spectrum and usually choose 100% wool. They tend to be softer and cuddly. This is a mix of 51% nylon, 25% wool and 24% acrylic. The colour is lovely- a silvery grey. It's a DK but knits up less chunky. I'll have to see how it goes.

I'm linking up with Wool on Sundays with these.

Yesterday I had to catch up my Medallion quilt blocks. I had neglected my homework from class last week because of my childcare duties and we were given the pattern for our corner blocks and the central medallion on Thursday. I had a wonderful quiet day cutting and sewing in the conservatory. I am lucky to have a Victorian boardroom table in there and it's a great height for cutting.

Each block set by our lovely teacher Sue has a new technique to master. The corner blocks featured lots of HST practice.

These were the fabric choices for the central medallion. The paler plain fabric in the middle is an Oakshott cotton from the Italy range called Perugia. I love the slight sheen of this fabric and it makes my star look slightly twinkly!

The main background to the quilt blocks is a plain grey but the central medallion and corner blocks have the Lynette Anderson pale grey print. I laid the blocks I have completed so far out on the table in the conservatory to see how it was coming together. There will be two blocks between each corner block. I have decided to re-do the Lily block with a grey background to balance the quilt. There is quite a bit more to do on the central medallion. I have shown Sue's quilt with the middle detail below my layout.
Please excuse the photo. I should have removed the table cover first.

Sue's quilt
Right, I'm off to do some more FPP for Lexies Hummingbird quilt. Sunday lunch is in the oven. It's Jamie Oliver's 6 hour roast pork and smells delicious in the kitchen. The photo is Jamies, not mine!
 Only another 3 hours to go so I should get a few blocks done.

Enjoy your Sunday.