Thursday, 30 May 2013

The weekend that doesn't end - Part 2

So, I don't know if you've realised but I can go on a bit.....

So I'm going to try and write less words and post more pictures (a picture paints a thousand words?) for one post at least.

I know that it's now Thursday but we really did have a fabulous time.


After the boot sale we made our way to a seaside village around 20 minutes from home. And were met by Marged and Dadi -

Marged's first dip in seawater - she loved it of course!
It was a beautiful day
And we all got our feet wet!

We did the usual

Fish and Chips

and Ice Cream

and spent a lot of time smiling!
We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world - if only the sun shone a little more often....
And wait for it, the day wasn't over yet.

On the way home we stopped to pick up an old friend.

Library photo - you'll see why later
We own half (I'm not sure if it's the front half or the back half) of this 1966 Morris Minor 1000. The other half is owned by my husband's friend and Morris lives with him as we don't have a garage (and we wouldn't want Morris catching a chill would we?)

I drove him home and Anwen came along for the ride

I think Mami was going a little too fast for someone's liking!

The reason why Morris came to stay with us is so that we could attend a local vintage rally. Unfortunately Marged's car seat isn't compatable with Morris' 1960's design so her and Dadi needed to find an alternative mode of transport.

God job we have one of these
Library shot again I'm afraid.
She's a 1979 Leyland Leopard PSU3/Duple Dominant II (apparently). My husband has known her since he was three days old (although he's only owned her for a year) and she holds a very special place in his heart.

Unfortunately the unusual sunny skies of yesterday had left us and had been replaced by rain. Lots and lots of rain :-( 

So although I did get some of this done

Binding on Cara's quilt

And the girls had some fun playing on Dadi's bus
The rally was cancelled and we did this

 A lot sooner than we'd hoped.

Some more pictures of me and Anwen having some fun in Morris.

So the weekend didn't end there. In Wales we have a youth organisation called the Urdd and every year they hold a national eisteddfod. (click on the link to get a better explination of what this is) The Eisteddfod moves around every year and as it was only around 30mins from home this year we thought that we'd spend a day there.

Unfortunately Dadi couldn't come as a phone call at 7.00am confirmed that his colleague/best man/joint owner of Morris wouldn't be in work for two weeks. (WHY?)  So it was just me, Anwen, Marged, my MIL, SIL and niece!

We met lots of our heroes!
Took some funny pictures
Watched a show
And met the lady of the hour - Dona Direidi!
We even got a signed poster and all I heard on the way home was "Can I put Dona's poster on the wall in my bedroom?" and "You are going to print out the picture of me and Dona aren't you?"

And then we did some well deserved

And that was the end of our (very) long weekend.

In future I hope to keep family posts to a minimum but this weekend we did so many things that are very 'us' so I thought that it would give you a rough idea of where I'm coming from etc!

Anyway it's very late in the night early in the morning and I should be following the girls lead.

Hopefully a WIP post will come soon (and maybe even a finish!)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Yet another quilt to add to the list

This one's got to go to the top of the list - we got a phone call this morning to say that our friends have had their third little girl!!!! They didn't know the sex until she arrived so I haven't even started on it yet (although I did have an inkling that it would be a girl so I have an idea what I'm going to do).

We're hoping to visit tomorrow night and I'm out all day today so the girls will have to look after themselves tomorrow - do you think it's acceptable to ask a four year old to change an eight month old's nappy?

Some Madrona Road that from my stash that will star in the quilt. 
It's going to have to be quite a simple one!

The weekend that doesn't end!

Well we've had a very busy weekend! It started on Saturday morning when my mum phoned and asked if I fancied a spin to a car boot sale held around 30 minutes from our house. We'd already arranged to go to a big car boot sale on Sunday morning but I knew that my husband wouldn't be home all day so I thought getting out of the house would be nice.

We had a lovely time and I got a few bargains. I got a few items of clothing in pretty prints that I'll most probably up-cycle into clothing for the girls I haven't got any pics of them yet (they're at the bottom of the laundry basket!) but if they do turn into clothing I promise there will be before and after pics!

I also got a bedding set for my daughter:

My husband 'had' to wear a monkey costume on his stag do. Anwen has seen some (carefully selected) photos. Add this to the fact that Dadi takes a banana to work with him every day and that he made monkey noises whilst fixing the shed roof:

Another awful picture but I didn't have
any shoes on so had to take the
photo from the back door
and you have a four year old that calls her dad a monkey and is obsessed by all things monkey! So far she's bought him a pair of monkey print boxers for his birthday and a pair of banana print boxers just because (Hubbie and I shared a quiet chuckle as they also had 'peel me' written all over them - highly inappropriate as a gift from a daughter to her father but you try explaining that to a four year old!(I didn't even try - just handed the money over))

So this bedding set doesn't go with anything in her room, she already has two spares so really doesn't need a new one but at £4.00 I couldn't resist it!

I also bought some bedding that will be going into my fabric stash but I haven't taken any pictures yet so you'll have to wait until my next Sunday Stash post!

We were home in time for lunch as I'd suddenly remembered that Anwen had a swimming lesson at 12.30. Only problem is when we got to the pool and Anwen had changed into her swimming gear her teacher said that her lesson was actually at 12.00 and that she was now on lifeguard duty so no lesson for Annie. She was very disappointed but I didn't have my swim suit with me (and wouldn't have taken Marged in so soon after her bug) so she had to change back without even getting wet :-(
(This is nothing new - I once turned up to a birthday party 24hrs late! I really to pity my husband and daughters)

To try and make up for this I asked her friend over to play. It was quite a nice day so they wanted to go to the park.

Only pictures I had without someone else's kids in it
As this was just about the first sunny non-school day this year there were quite a few of their school friends there as well - they really enjoyed themselves. It was also Marged's first time on the swings. Needless to say she loved it.

Sorry for re-using a picture but again only had
one without someone else's kids in it!

To crown the day hubbie phoned - he was in the village and did Anwen want a spin on the bus? I explained that we had her friend with us as well so he just took them around the block.

It's always fun to do something different!

I tried sewing the binding onto Cara's Quilt
but the road was too bumpy!

So on Sunday we went to another car boot as planned. This is always quite a good sale but on a Bank Holiday with good weather? It was heaving. The only picture I got was this one.

I'd left Marged at home with Dadi so it was just me, Anwen, my mum and my step-dad (I hate calling him that - he's not my dad. He's the man that moved in with my mum when I was 19. I have a dad. Don't get me wrong - we get on really well and he's definitely my daughters' granddad but just not my dad, we're more like friends?) Oh and the dogs!

Not the complete set - it's late and I couldn't
be bothered to unwrap all of the set
Anwen and Datcu* spent most of the time playing with the dogs in-between going back and forth to the van for some shelter from the sweltering sun whilst Mamgu and I did some bargain hunting! Again most of my haul was fabric related and I don't have any pics yet but I did get a lovely coffee/tea set for a £1. Now I love to haggle at a car boot sale but when the elderly seller said £1 I felt slightly guilty about taking it! It is missing a few saucers and side plates but for £1 I'm not complaining! I don't think hubbie's feeling the love but I'll work on him.

I also found another little monkey!

He could do with a really good clean - look at those hands!
You just wind him up and he moves using his arms. Neeless to say Anwen loves him!
Not bad for 20p

I can't believe how long this post is already and I'm not even half way through the weekend yet! Considering this is supposed to be a blog about quilting I'd be really surprised if anyone's reached this far but if you have and want to hear more I'm afraid you'll have to wait as I'm off to bed, It's day four of our weekend tomorrow (or day two of half term?) and I need my sleep. x

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Progress - a quilt top!

So....I did say that I would have a quilt top to show you last Wednesday. It's now Saturday (or most probably Sunday by the time I click "publish"). The thing is I did actually make the quilt top on Tuesday (come on it was only three seams! ) and I was going to link up to WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced but she didn't put the linky up! So I didn't bother posting. Bad me.

So, hey! better late than never:

I've just remembered how awful these pictures were - I'm sorry, I live in Wales and the weather's terrible. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. (it's got nothing to do with my useless photography skills honest!)

As I said it only has three seams - I decided that I would keep the piecing simple and go mad on the quilting!  This is really stupid considering I've only ever quilted three quilts! (One by hand and two by machine) I need to appliqué the baby's name under the houses and then I thought that I would quilt a sun using yellow thread, some clouds using white thread and a blue meander in between for the sky! (I might throw in some black birds as well) I've read a lot of blogs in the last few weeks and I haven't seen anything like this on any of them;  I don't know if this is because it just isn't fashionable or because it just looks incredibly tacky!

I've also realised that although a lot of quilts end up being gifts for new babies hardly any of them have the baby's names on them! Again why? I love the things that my daughters receive with their names on them (love spoons, money boxes etc) but most of them are things that stay up on a shelf, don't get used etc. My daughter has enjoyed watching me make her quilt, coming home from school to see another little bit done but nothing got the same reaction has seeing her name on it!

The reason why I wanted to make the quilt top was to see how big it was so that I could order the backing fabric. It ended up being 35" x 44" but this is mainly because I found a spare piece of wadding of that size and 'waste not want not' and all that! So I went on to order the Summersville print for the backing (but from fabricHQ in the end as they had an even better sale on!) and decided to go for stitch square orange from Micheal Miller for the binding. (A few other bits might have found their way into my basket but shhhhh don't tell anyone!) I placed the order very late on Tuesday night and was very pleased when the fabric arrived on Thursday morning - good shipping time!

I had some help opening the mail!

mmmmm that looks tasty (everything goes in the mouth these days - don't worry I rescued the fabric just in time!)

left to right -Stitch Square in Orange by Michael Miller. Coastal Flower in Cornflower Blue, Bella by Lotta Jansdotter.  Happy Home utensils by Robert Kaufman and Town in Seafoam by Lucie Summers
But I've put all these away and am going back to my WIP list and going to try work through them in the right order!

I've done some work on Cara's quilt and Get Shirty but you'll have to wait for another post for pics of these as it's a Bank Holiday weekend here and I really should go to bed so that I can do more of this kind of thing tomorrow ....

First time on a swing - loved it!

More on this on Monday (or maybe Tuesday)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend (I understand that it's a long Weekend in America too) and I might see you next week! (no promises though)

**Edited to correct typo's that show you really shouldn't click 'publish' at 2.30am!

Linking up to Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth.

Please note this is the first time that I have linked up to a linky party and I can't for the life of me work out out to add the button to my blog post (not the side bar) If anyone has managed to read down this far I would really appreciate any advice you could give me regarding this.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Still no sewing!

So do you remember this post where I hoped that listing all of my WIP would shame me into getting some sewing done?

Surprise surprise it didn't work.

In fairness since getting back from our holidays I have mainly been doing this-

Yes that is a blue sleep suit and no she is not a boy!

and this

('library photo' - baby has been to sick to watch the washing machine go around and around)
Cuddling a sickly baby on the sofa and washing, washing, washing. We saw the on call doctor on Sunday and she says that it's gastroenteritis (insert very unhappy face here). There was one point on Saturday that I thought that I was going to run out of clothes for both me and Marged as the washing machine just wasn't fast enough to keep up with the level of vomit (Sorry if tmi!)

My lovely mum came and helped yesterday and did some (ok, a lot) of ironing for me whilst I sat and watched from the sofa (the plan was that I would iron and Mamgu* to do the cuddling but only I would do).

So today she's a little better and is willing to take her naps in the cot but is still only drinking half her feeds and is hardly eating at all. (I think that I must have been very lucky with Anwen as her bugs only ever lasted 24 hours and she is hardly ever poorly (touch wood) so I'm not used to this!)

I'd also hoped that she would spend two days this week with the child-minder as settling in days. I was really looking forward to these days - two whole days of sewing! But when we got home from our holidays one of our neighbours said that she had been in hospital all week. My first thought was of course concern - our child-minder is a neighbour and family friend first, child-minder second. We knew her for a few years before she started looking after Anwen. Her family were guests at our wedding and we attended her son's wedding a year later. After my initial concern I must admit to thinking 'my sewing days' but then that was before the vomit started and it would have been a no go anyway. I'm hoping to call over to see her but will have to wait until Marged is 100% first as the last thing she needs now is to catch Marged's bug as well!

Any way that's the end of the excuses! I should really be sewing now as Marged's having a nap minds on other things. All sewing related of course.

Katy's going to be hosting an impromptu-quilt-along complete with flickr group.

I am sorely tempted. Remember I won this? Well since I won it on Katy's blog it would be rude of me not to use it to quilt along with her right? Only thing is the pattern calls for a layer cake or 42 x 10" charms. I reckon that I would get 24 charms from the micro mod fq's but that leaves me needing and extra 18. I think that it would look nice with 18 charms in coordinating solids and the lovely Annie from The Village Haberdashery has suggested some beautiful Kona colours

Glacier, Citrus, Berry, Tangerine and Iron
But I'm supposed to be living on a budget and as well as the coordinating solids I would need 6.5yards of backing fabric without mentioning the quilt back, waddling and binding! 

I think that I've decided to mull it over for a little longer. I will most probably join in the quilt along but might be a little late getting to the party!

But looking at these lovely fabrics on the interweb thingy has awoken the fabric buying monster inside me and he wont go back to sleep until I've bought something! Remember the house quilt I mentioned a while back? I was thinking of buying some Architextures Blueprint in Blue for the backing but whilst looking for a British website that had some in stock (I found one - click on the link above) I stumbled across some Summersville Town in Seaform on sale at Backstitch. Thinking about it the Blueprint was great because it referenced my bosses job (the quilt is for his son) and I thought that this was quite funny (I have a strange sense of humour) but the little houses and cars in the Summersville print seem a lot more appropriate for a baby quilt don't you think?

Because I'm not following a pattern for the quilt top I don't really know how big it's going to be so I've decided that I'm going to make the quilt top today so that I can order the backing tomorrow! So please check back tomorrow in the hope that I have a new WIP pic to show you.

Wow that was another really long post! I'm off now to blow the cobwebs off my sewing machine!

*Mamgu - Grandma in Welsh. (It always feels really odd calling her Mum or Gran when I'm speaking (or writing) English coz them ain't her names!)

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Sunday, 19 May 2013

A week away?

So we're home from our yearly family holiday. We spent four nights in Butlins (Minehead) and had a great time. Butlins might not be everybody's cup of tea but when you have a thrill seeking water loving four year old (fun fair and swimming are included in the holiday - she could go on as many rides as she wanted as many times as she wanted - Dadi was looking a little green by the end - and go swimming everyday!) and a seven month old water baby it's ideal.

Fun at the fair!
The first time we went to Butlin's Anwen was just over a year old and we got a lovely picture of her in the swimming pool (taken by an official Butlin's photographer). We were looking forward to getting a similar picture of Marged this year but were told that they didn't currently have a CRB checked photographer so wouldn't be able to provide this service! The world has gone mad.

This is the fourth time that we've been to Butlin's and Anwen has been excited for months. Last year she was really excited about seeing characters such as Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina, Mike the Knight and Thomas the Tank Engine, this year not so much. This time it was all about the DISCO! She would change into a different dress every evening, wear some of Mami's make up and   insist on having a funky hair do!

There was even some Dadi dancing!
Last year Katy Ashworth from CBeebies' I Can Cook was there and we watched the show. Members of the audience were asked up on stage to help Katy cook and Anwen was really disappointed that she wasn't picked (I wasn't - we're a Welsh speaking family and at the time Anwen could just about answer "What's your name" in English).

This year Katy wasn't there but her friend Julie (one of the red coats) needed help with the cooking and this time Anwen was one of the lucky ones!

She spoke really clearly and didn't get frustrated when Julie didn't hear her 
name properly and went on to call her Ann for the rest of the show! 

She really thinks that she's been on TV and can't wait to tell her friends in school and show them the name badge that she got.

The weather was far from brilliant and definitely wasn't beach worthy, however we've had pictures of us on the beach from all out past holidays so we had to get some this year too!

We literally ran onto the beach, took these pictures, and then ran away again. See those clouds in the background? It started raining around five minutes after we took these pictures! It's a pity as the beach in Minehead is really nice.

Marged had a pretty chilled out time which mostly consisted of eating lots and generally relaxing in the pushchair! 

One thing that I'm really glad that we managed to get was a family photo. In the seven months that we've been a family of four we've only managed to get two photos of all four of us together. The first was a few hours after Marged was born. I had just had major surgery and was still wearing my hospital gown - not a pretty sight! The second was at Marged's Christening. We were all dressed up and you'd think it was the perfect photo opportunity - if only Anwen had been in the mood - not a single shot of her looking at the camera. So when we saw that we could get a group shot one evening we jumped at the chance - and yay! everyone's looking in the general direction of the camera - RESULT!

I would have preferred it without the 'Butlin's' in the background but beggars can't be choosers right?
All in all we had a great time just spending time together as a family without work/laundry/dishes etc getting in the way.

Now the eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed the question mark in the post title. I may have had a week away from home and my sewing machine but sewing wasn't far from my mind! When looking through my bag of past patchwork projects I came across these -


Hundreds of little shapes wrapped in fabric ready to be hand pieced. I think that the original idea (all those years ago) had been to use up scraps and sew them together in a completely inprov kinda way.

Anyway as I was heading out the door I grabbed these, a spool of thread and a few needles thinking that I might get a little sewing done whilst we were away and I did:-

I set myself up in the car and did a little hand piecing when it wasn't my turn to drive and the motorway scenery was boring me!

I didn't get much done just a few pinwheels (no pictures I'm afraid) but it was really nice to do some hand sewing for a change. I think that I'm going to carry on with this until I've got something big enough for a cushion or something. As for the rest of the ready basted shapes in the bag? I can't believe how much fabric I used to waste when I used this method so I think I'm going to rip off all the Sellotape press the fabric and keep them in my scrap bin.

And just to prove that you never know when inspiration for a quilt is going to strike look at this -

I couldn't believe it when we drove past this just before Bridgwater. (Not the statue - the building in the background!) I think that it's a distribution centre for Morrisons supermarkets. My husband thought that I was mad as I scrambled for the camera and cursed when it hadn't 'woken up' before we'd driven past and the opportunity for a photo had gone. I did try and get a pic on the way home but there was a hedge between our side of the dual carriageway and the building do I couldn't get a clear shot. So I Googled it when we got home and found the picture above here.

I'm really into green at the moment and when I saw the above building it just shouted QUILT at me. I've got a really long 'to-do' list at the moment but would love to make a quilt based on this building one day. Isn't it refreshing to see an industrial building that isn't the usual grey or mock brick? This really cheered me up on what could have been a really boring journey.

Wow. I can't believe how long this post has ended up being! I'll try to keep the next one shorter and less about the family and more about the sewing!