29 March 2012

Finding the time…

…for blogging isn’t easy is it?  I’ve been trying to find something interesting to talk about – other than my quilting – but it has been rather a boring week.  Work, work, work.  Everyone wants their orders by the end of this week – we supply logoed (horrible word, it never looks like it’s spelt correctly) garments and workwear, much of it to local tourist attractions.  And guess what?  The weather is amazingly beautiful.  We all know what will happen next week though don’t we? School holidays mean rain, cold and wind – probably snow, hail and hurricanes too L

I have found some time to work on my New York Beauty Quilt Along though.  It hasn’t entirely gone to plan but I’m more than happy with it.  This was my colour palette for Block 1.

Which resulted in this…

NYB Block 1 Complete 26-03-12

The colours aren’t an exact match but are a little closer than the photo would suggest.
Then this was my palette for Block 8.

Now, I thought this one would be easy.  My stash is full of these lovely bright pastels.  Hmmh!  They all seemed to be very small prints and were a little too flat for my liking.  I also thought that lovely spring green second up from the bottom was yellow – thanks to my laser printer.  The blue looked more like duck egg blue and I didn’t seem to have just the right shade so substituted a bluey green instead.  This was what I started with.

Block 8 with colour inspiration

Not bad is it?

So how did I end up with this?

Block 8 - WIP 26-03-12

That pinky/yellow stripe that I had in mind for the centre looked awful so had to find an alternative.  This fabric seemed made for the job but it doesn’t look much like my colour palette does it?

I think I’m still learning to love this block.

Block 8 complete 28-03-12

Although it’s not time for Block 7 yet, I’m really motoring now.  This is the palette.

I don’t possess many browns in my stash and the ones I do have didn’t really work so I think I shall be leaving this colour out.  I really want to go heavy on the green in this one so, at the moment, these are my fabric choices.

Block 7 colour inspiration

However, watch this space…! It will probably be pink, orange and yellow tomorrow.

The old man was plagued with sciatica on and off (mostly on) for most of 2011 but was pain free from October through to March this year but now it’s back (how come I’m the one with a pain in my backside then?).  It is truly debilitating and he must be feeling really low as he thought it had finally gone.  If anyone has any magic cures out there, I’d love to know about them.

My youngest daughter passed her driving test last month and we have insured our old Mini Cooper for her.  She must have been as proud as punch driving on to the school car park – apparently it’s the coolest car on the block.  Shame the engine blew up yesterday…

Do you know what riles me most about it though?  We’d just filled it up with petrol.

None of the filling stations round here have any fuel today – not that I was planning to fill up.  The panic that prevails over news stories like this really irritates me.  If people stopped panicking there’d be enough for everyone.

I'd better start planning dinner.  What can you do with a packet of fish fingers and eight pints of milk?

19 March 2012

If you’re feeling peckish…

… you might want to stop reading now.  This is a sugar-heavy post!
It was Mother’s Day in the UK yesterday, so daughter #1 and boyfriend headed down the M2, son #1 drove across the Kent countryside and daughter #2 just about managed  the trek downstairs to spend a lovely day with Mum.  This called for a bit of home baking.  Now cake has a life-expectancy of minutes in our house but I did  just manage a quick snapshot before it disappeared.

Choc Cake 18-03-12

Sunday turned out to be a much lovelier day than forecast so we all set off for the seaside (minus daughter #2 who had to work – much to her disgust).  Not only do we live about 4 miles from the sea, but we only have to travel a few miles north, east or south and we fall off the edge and straight into the briney, so we are spoilt for choice.  Yesterday we decided on Broadstairs and I can categorically deny that our decision had anything to do with the ice cream parlour.

Broadstairs 18-03-12

We all managed a lovely walk along the seafront.  Actually, we tolerated the walk while we dreamt of chocolate gelato and frozen yogurt, so it wasn’t a very long walk.  It was, however, a fairly fast one once we spotted the sign…

Morelli's 18-03-12

This was the picture we took to send back to daughter #2 while she was at work…

Gelati 2 18-03-12

Walking into Morelli’s is like stepping back in time.  Pink leatherette seats, pink and white formica table tops and light fittings that look like Mr Whippy cones.  This parlour has been in Broadstairs since 1932 and I don’t think it has changed in all that time.

And just to complete the sugar overload, I have three large boxes of chocolate to demolish –all by myself.

And now I want to say a big thank you for all the lovely comments you’ve left.  It seems more than a little strange that anybody would want to read my ramblings.  And… a big thank you to my lovely friend Carol who has blogged about me over at iStitch.  We’re not just blogging mates but we live within a short drive of one another and regularly meet to stitch and bitch along with four more lovely friends.  I intend to tell you all about Carol and her gorgeous cross stitch designs another day.

16 March 2012

My last post…

.. with hindsight, was rather text heavy.  So, I promise a few more photos this time.  I’m still new to this blogging lark and it is taking me a while to get to grips with all the technical stuff.
OK… I love quilting but I’m not very productive.  I run my own business with my husband and I still have one child teenager living at home, so stitching time isn’t exactly abundant.  I dream all day of what I’m going to stitch at night but by the time I get there, I’m too knackered so don’t always bother.  But, having always promised myself I would make a New York Beauty quilt one day, the NYB Quilt Along was meant for me.

Sew Sweetness

I decided the fabrics for this quilt would come entirely from my stash (I always say that – never succeed), which meant going for the scrappy look.  So, for a while now I’ve been following the daily posts at http://blog.photocardboutique.com/ and have been waiting for the right project to come along and put the lovely colour combos to good use.

NYB Block 0 with colour inspiration

I won’t be too slavish to these colour palettes – I couldn’t get the pale buff colour at the top to work with the other colours, so substituted green.  And I certainly don’t have enough fabric in my stash (who put that picture down there?) to exactly match every combination.  But I’m going to have a blooming good try!

Fabric Wall

Anyhow, I’m really pleased with the way my first block has turned out.

Block 0 Close-up 2

I really hope it’s not beginner’s luck – the next one is more challenging. 

NYB Block 5 WIP zoom

The first attempt isn’t too bad although the flowery pink and white fabric in the middle didn’t handle as well as I would have liked.  I kind of stuck a pin in my Pinterest colour board for this one.  The colours were almost identical to my first block, but after another stab, I picked the same again so I was obviously meant to do it.  The next block will be entirely different colours though – I don’t have enough pink, orange and green in my stash to make a whole quilt.

NYB Block 5 with colour inspiration

OK, I'd better get on with some work now - only 20 minutes to coffee break ;)

Chocolate biccie anyone?

12 March 2012

OK, I’ve been hovering on the edge…

…of blogville for years. I love reading lots of other magnificent blogs but have always avoided starting my own. I don’t really have enough time and I’m rubbish at taking photographs, but the urge to share just becomes too great doesn’t it?

What is it about quilting in particular that makes it such a social pastime? I’ve recently joined theNew York Beauty Quilt Along (my first) and I am watching ladies (and maybe a few gents) all over the world stitching away and producing beautiful pieces of work. I think it takes one quilter/embroiderer/knitter/etc to truly appreciate the work of another. It wasn’t too many years ago that these skills were passed from mother to daughter but for lots of different reasons that doesn’t happen so much anymore.

I was taught by my Mum and she was taught by her Mum and Dad before that (they were both tailors for Eton College), so my siblings and I were always immersed in a house where the clatter of the old Singer sewing machine, the smell of jam or something else delicious bubbling on the stove (mind you, it was hankies being boiled up in a saucepan that sticks with me – yuk!) were part of everyday life.

When a sheet became too worn to use, Mum would split it into panels, repair the rips and put it back together somehow so the seams didn’t leave impressions in your back overnight. She would scour the hedgerows and bring back bowls of lovely blackberries, elderberries and sloes that she would magically turn into pies, preserves and strange bottles of liquid that only came out at Christmas. There was always homemade cake for tea, except on Tuesdays when she went shopping and came back with a swiss roll (we loved Tuesdays!) and our tea came out of a teapot. I always wore handmade dresses, coats and jumpers – and knickers believe it or not. All of these crafts were passed on to us but, sadly, life is different now and few of us have the time to give that old-fashioned homemade upbringing to our children. Although I can still make a pretty decent cake.

Now Mum is long departed and I really miss the advice that was always on hand when I didn’t know how to alter a dress pattern or hold a crochet hook the right way…and this is where I think this abundance of lovely blogs is so wonderful. People are sharing their knowledge and creativity so generously. Technology has changed our lives immensely, especially in the last 20 years, and love it orhate it, it has given us the ability to communicate with others all over the world in a way that has never been possible before. You could be stuck in the middle of the desert and still find someone willing to show you how to sew a French seam or stuff a soft toy (does anyone remember gonks?).

……….now, will someone show me how put this on my blog……