Friday, 29 February 2008

Recycling

Lately there has been a huge drive to recycle, supermarkets are reconsidering offering free plastic bags and some even offer small bonuses or discounts for those who choose to recycle. Personally I have a few 'bags for life' and also a small but growing collection of fabric shopping bags.
I've long been one to collect my jars and the odd beer bottle and take them to the recycling banks here in town, also available are collection points for paper, aluminium cans, batteries and clothing.
Many of us have found our own ways to recycle many items, I know many bloggers recycle old clothing either family owned or purchased from op/charity shops and make them into some beautiful quilts. I've used an old blanket as wadding in the past and have read of others doing the same.
Well this time, it's a pair of threadbare old towels! LOL They really are no use as towels anymore, but Hunney suggested they might be useful as the 'filling' in a quilt.


And why not? They will add weight and warmth to a lap quilt.
I had a hunt around and a think about how I could use them and what pattern would suit the dimensions of a large bath towel. I came up with this.


This morning I cut and pieced this 'Hit and Miss' it's a simple row based quilt which I found in this book. The binding will be made up from off cuts. I do like my scrappy bindings.

I've used some of the fabrics I've collected from the scrap club I subscibe to. I've ordered some new fabric for the backing. As soon as that arrives I'll be busy basting and quilting. I plan to make a second version of this quilt using different fabrics. So that will give me something to be getting on with while I await the backing fabric. Then in a few days Hunney and I can have his and hers lap quilts. LOL



Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Ready to Fly.

The problem with being so single minded is that I get things finished very quickly!

Yes thats right I finished it. On Monday night I left it all laid out on the floor ready to baste.


So on Tuesday morning I got on with that then, quilted in the ditch. There was no way I was going to try anything fancy which might spoil this beauty. By the time Hunney came home looking for his dinner I had the binding on and ready to close.

It took me 5 hours to close it up and bury all my quilting threads after dinner last night. Hmm, Hunney still has a problem with burying threads, I've explained and shown him how it's done, he's listened to the knots popping through the fabric, but still insists that they will come undone! LOL


These pictures really don't show it in it's full technicolour glory. It is beautiful. At 70x87 it's the largest quilt I've made to date. I think in future I'll stick to the quilt as I go method for larger items though, as this one gave me one or two problems working with it as a whole. No pictures of the back you'll notice. ;-) No truly huge mistakes or disasters but there are one or two small folds which should not be there. I'll work on my technique during future quilts.

I have quite a bit of the batik fabrics left. There was more than enough to have given the stars their middles, but I didn't want to risk out weighing the butterflies. There was also enough of the upper wing fabrics to have made the lower wings with the same stuff, but I went for the scrappier look of all 40 fabrics! (I don't think it's right using the word scrappy when discussing this beauty, but it would be a good one for using scraps. Imagine all those beautiful butterflies made out of all your favorite little bits and pieces.) I have a half baked plan for all the off cuts and left overs, hmmm........

Have a great day.


Monday, 25 February 2008

Playing with batiks.

Hunney lived up to his name and bought me a Cindys Butterflies kit for Christmas. Last week I pulled it out and started to play. I forgot to take pics until yesterday. Here it is with all the butterflies appliqued in place.
I don't have one of those fancy machines which embroiders, so my stars will be blank. There was more than enough of the batiks to make the whole stars but I thought they may outweigh the butterflies.
There was a little shuffling around after this point.



Hunney came along and looked and suggested one or two moves. It's amazing what another set of eyes will see!
I've started construction now and have the first 4 rows completed. I have the backing pieced and ready to go, the wadding is out of it's packaging and being shifted from pillar to post. I have two days off work and don't have to be in until 3pm on Wednesday. Plenty of time to get it finished, question is, do I quilt as I go, one row at a time, or do I crack on and get the whole top done, then worry about quilting?

Have a great day.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

In response to some questions.......

It would seem that my recent replies to certain memes and games have provoked yet more questions, seems I should perhaps let you all know a little more about myself.


I'll start by expanding on my single word answers and go from there.

I have a love hate relationship with my cell phone. I HAVE to carry it at all times when I'm 'oncall' for work. I love the convenience of it, but hate having to tie myself to it once a month.

Hunney and I are not married we are engaged though, we met 8 years ago in an internet chat room and became almost inseperable almost immediately. After a short visit here to the island to meet me in person he went home to New Zealand, sold his house and car, worked his notice and came back here to be with me. I love him to bits, he is the best thing that ever happend to me, I had never met anyone who was prepared to give as much to a relationship as I was. 8 years later we still share everything, still support each other, still surprise each other, still discuss everything, still focus together on joint goals and help each other to achieve individual goals. He is my everything.

My wild hair? LOL My hair goes from one extreme to another, long, short, long short! Right now it's on it's way to being long again, it's at that inbetween uncontrollable stage, too long to keep tidy and too short to fasten up. It was naturally red, these days it's an auburn colour, no not dyed, it just changed colour! It's naturally curly, wavy and straight, everytime I wash it something different happens! It's wild.

I love my parents, but they also drive me nuts! They are divorced, and behave like a couple of teen agers, avoiding each other and sniping at each other! Thank goodness I have 3 sisters and a brother to share all that. There is no other word for it, Mum is a fuss pot! She fusses over everything. And Dad, well, what can I say, there is his way and there is the wrong way. No discussion will be entered into! LOL Like I said, I love them.

Life is my favorite thing right now. I love my life, I have a wonderful home, a Hunney who loves me as much as I love him, loving kids and I enjoy my work. 10 years ago things were a lot different, looking back makes me really appreciate just how rich my life is right now.

Yes my favorite drink is tea, I practically live on the stuff. My colleagues call me the teapot. My boss can't get over how often I'm at the kettle but I still manage to achieve all the goals I have in a day and help others to do their work too! First thing it is Tetley tea with milk and one sugar, then all drinks after that are Twinings fruit infusions. Still classed as tea. I do like regular glasses of red wine though. ;-)

My dreams and goals. Right now our goal is to save the airfare to New Zealand, it's time we went for another holiday. Ultimately though we want to retire there. I have been for a visit, just once, it is a beautiful country, I love it. Hunneys family were warm and welcoming, I miss them terribly and can only imagine how it must feel for Hunney to not see them for years on end. A slightly more drastic relocation than the latest house move! LOL

I recently posted pictures of the new place. My sewing machine and laptop both live in a corner of the dining room, I have my stitchy stuff spread out in here too. My radio is close by I have it on when I'm sat here using the laptop or doing my crafts. It's also convenient for the kitchen. Music plays a huge part in my life, Hunney and I both have a great love of music and our CD collection is vast and ecclectic.

My ex? Like I said, 10 years ago my life was very different. Nuff said.

I fear loss, I wonder when it will all go wrong, when this idyllic life of mine will all fall apart, I fear that something will happen to cause me to loose Hunney, or something or someone will come between me and my kids.

In 6 years time I want to be either in NZ or well on my way. My youngest will be 18 by then, school will be finished, he will be a young man and able to make his own decisions. Hunney came here because I have kids, he doesn't, if he had, things may have been more difficult for us.

Cosy? On any given evening I could be in any of 3 places. At work until 10pm. Alone downstairs while Hunney is studying for his degree in the office, or we could be together cozied up on the sofa. :-)

Since quitting smoking together almost 2 years ago, Hunney and I have both put on rather a lot of weight! We both admit we need more exercise but both lack the dedication to get on with it!

I'm not much of a one for cakes and sweets. Can you pass the sausage rolls please?

I was born here on the island, I've never left except for holidays. My parents owned a house in Lezayre, I grew up there, went to a school less that 2 miles from home. I once spent a year living in the islands capital city Douglas but hated it, I came home to the north of the island and ever since I have lived in Ramsey. My childhood home is still less than 3 miles from my present home, I can walk there in 30 minutes.

Housework is a necessary evil. If I don't keep the place clean and tidy my crafts would get dirty! LOL Hunney helps a lot though. He say cleaning oven and grills is mans work! He says cleaning bathrooms and toilets is mans work too. See why I love him so much?

I'm a jeans girl, I love them, they can look smart or casual, they take years of punishment and still don't wear out.

Hunney and I do watch TV, but during the day I leave it switched off, I have better things to do.

We have no pets at the moment.........We both grew up with pets, cats, dogs, rabbits, the usual collection. We would both love to get a pussy cat and this new landlord will allow a cat. Well we live above his ventinary clinic! LOL But because we plan to be gone from here in a few years we don't want to get a kitten. We are looking to adopt a middle aged cat. We couldn't bear having to say goodbye. Hunney did that when he left NZ. The cat left it's new home and was never seen again, it broke Hunneys heart to think she had wandered looking for him and had possibly died somewhere alone.

Hunney and I use our computers to keep intouch with friends and family all over the world. Hunney uses his for his degree studies and submits his assignments online. I use mine to shop for crafty supplies, there is not much to offer here on the island. We met through our computers.

I do not, nor have I ever owned a car. I have had a few driving lessons but didn't enjoy them, I have no intention of ever learning to drive, I have feet on the end of my legs and I can see the bus station from my sitting room window! Hunney drives a Subaru.

I very rarely wear make up, when I do it's usually something very subtle and only people who know me well would be able to tell.

My favorite store is online, it's where I purchase my quilty stuff.

Summer will be here soon. Right now we are having an unusually warm winter, or is that an unusually early spring, the temps are dropping well below zero at night but the days are very warm, last week we were in shirt sleeves! Winter isn't done with us yet though, she'll be back.

I like some of my colleagues, some of them I just mosey on with, can take them or leave them, some I really like, I get on great with.

I've always loved the colour green. Blues come in a very close second, in particular I love a certain shade of royal blue, but I love all greens. I think thats in part because of my love of nature, it always amazes me how many shades of green there are in a garden or forest.

Hunney makes me laugh, my colleagues and clients make me laugh. I love to laugh.

I cried in January. I stubbed my pinkie toe! Oh it hurt so much, Hunney was at work, I was all alone and my pinkie was sore.

I think I'm ambidexterous because of Mum, she is also an ambi, but she is a partially converted leftie, I think I learned to do some things both ways and no one corrected the things that came out lefty because I had learned them from Mum.

My father taught me to sew. Mum is not great with a needle, besides, she was busy on christmas morning way back in 1970 something! So Dad stepped in and helped me to get started on a tapestry kit I had recieved. Dad is quite accomplished with a needle. He often repaired his own sails and still does his own basic clothing repairs. My maternal grandmother was also a massive influence on my early sewing years.

I work for Leonard Cheshire Disability. I love my work. Leonard Cheshire was a member of the Damn Buster Squadron, he was an exceptional man and I am proud to be associated with his name and the foundation.

I don't know how I know who is on the phone, no other family members seem to have the ability. I try not to let on but just occasionally I answer by saying ''Hello.....whoever'' It's good fun sometimes. LOL

Yes, 3 tattoos. They all came along after I left my ex. I have a phoenix at the top of my left arm. It's meaning should be obvious. On my right arm I have a seagull. Many years ago I read a book by Richard Bach entitled Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He is there to remind me to continue to strive to do the best that I can, to be the best person that I can be. The third tattoo was actually the first, it was my cry of freedom! The real Loulee was released, my sense of humour and personality started to re assert themselves. It was the most painful of the three and is definately the funny one.

What? Oh! You want to know what it is? and where? LOL Its a huge shiny red apple, about the size of my palm, it has a stalk, and a leaf and one bite gone! And it's on my bum! LOL And no, it would not be improved by the addition of a wiggly, wiggly worm! A colleague at the time did her best to get me to add that detail. LOL

I have 3 children, the oldest, my daughter is 19, she is an art student. My boys are 15 and 12. I love them all.

Living on an island I grew up loving the sea. It's difficult to get away from. Dad has always had boats, always wooden boats, and we had our family holidays on those boats. His current boat is called Master Frank and was built here in Ramsey.





Tuesday, 19 February 2008

One Word Challange.

One word answers only!

(It's not as easy as it looks!!)

1. Where is your cell phone? Upstairs
2. Your significant other? Hunney
3. Your hair? Wild
4. Your mother? Fussy
5. Your father? Himself
6. Your favorite thing? Life
7. Your dream last night? Weird
8. Your favorite drink? Tea
9. Your dream/goal? Relocation
10. The room you’re in? Dining
11. Your ex? Arrrrrgh!
12. Your fear? Loss
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Relocated
14. Where were you last night? Cozy
15. What you’re not? Skinny
16. Muffins? Nope
17. One of your wish list items? Relocation
18. Where you grew up? Lezayre
19. The last thing you did? Ironing
20. What are you wearing? Jeans
21. Your TV? Off
22. Your pet(s)? None
23. Your computer? Necessary
24. Your life? Wonderful
25. Your mood? Happy
26. Missing someone? Nope
27. Your car? None
28. Something you’re not wearing? Make-up
29. Favorite store? online
30. Your summer? Soon
31. Like someone? Yes
32. Your favorite color? Green
33. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
34. Last time you cried? January
35. Who will/would re-post this? ????

Thanks Jeanne, I enjoyed doing this.

Who else will give this a try?



Thursday, 14 February 2008

Twisted Strips is finished.

I didnt quite finish it yesterday before I had to go to work, so took 20 mins when I got home to finish closing the binding. Hunney was amazed. Not only by it being done so fast, but also, like me, by how the addition of the blue flowers as sashing and border and the black binding changed it.


If you remember I had selected a group of fabrics I particularly didn't like and wanted to use up. Once I had them made up into blocks I liked the result even less! LOL Then came accross the blue trousers and chopped them up. It started to look better at that point, and better still with the addition of the black binding. I quilted it with a very simple in the ditch around the blocks then an X accross the blocks and finally up the sides of the strip of strips in the middle.

Now I'll have to come up with something else to do. I'm itching to do some more stitchery. I enjoyed the little pieces I made as Christmas cards and fancy having another go. Can anyone suggest a good site for patterns and inspiration?



Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Busy, busy, busy.

Not me, my latest quilt! Well I've been busy too, making it. LOL


I set off loosely following Bonnies Strip Twist instructions. Where she uses light and dark values I am using large bright and small drab prints! They are a collection of fat quarters which I bought by mistake! I fell for the cheap cheap price tag, a mystery bundle of fabrics. I hate them all, but won't waste them. Lesson learned. LOL


I really don't like this one, it is marginally improved with the addition of the sashing and border. That navy blue with flowers was a pair of trousers a couple of days ago! They were given to me in a bag of fabrics and odd bits of clothing, they were the only thing in the whole bag that was made of cotton!

I'm going to back it with a piece of fleece, don't know what to bind it with, I think I have some black somewhere. The sooner I'm done with this one, the better, I really don't like it. Did I say that already?

Have a good day all.



Tuesday, 12 February 2008

7 Things About Me

Well as you could guess, I've been tagged! Tracey over at ozcountryquiltingmum got me.

THE RULES:
1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

The Facts.

1. I'm ambidexterous.

2. Hunney and I met online, he was in NZ and I was in GB, now we're both in GB!

3. My father taught me to sew.

4. I can't drive, nor do I ever intend to learn.

5. I work with disabled people.

6. I usually know who is on the phone before I answer it. (That freaks people out. :-) )

7. I have 3 tattoos.

OK, thats the easy bit done, now I have to find 7 people to tag.

1. Jeanne over at Spiral.
2. Rose Marie at Applique and Patch.
3. Tazzie Quilts.
4. Anne at Quilting Bebbs.
5. Evelyn at Scrappy Happy Quilts By Starfishy.
6. Lisajo at Blackbear Cabin.

Last but not least, a non quilter, but a lady who has taken on a huge challange and I wish her all the best of luck with it.

7. Janet at My home, my problems.

The selection process was in danger of being even longer and more drawn out because I wanted to stop and read all the new posts! So I'm off to do that now, and to let all the ''victims'' know they've been tagged.

I have a new project on the way, I'll post pictures of that soon. I must admit to struggling with it though, I'm using up all the mistake fabrics! You know that lesson I learned when I let someone else choose a bargain bundle of fat quarters for me! LOL DD was watching me the other night and saying how nice it all looked, I guess she just earned herself a quilt!

Have a great day all.


Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Trailing Hearts.

Finally some quilty content! I finished my little Trailing Hearts quilt.

All I needed to do was decide which fabric I wanted to use to add those extra panels on the sides then quilt and bind it.
I've made this one for a colleague who is due to have her baby in just a few weeks. Of course we don't know what she's getting so I wanted something unisex, this has blues, pinks and greens, I think it's a safe enough mix, especially as the blues and pinks are in pastel shades. I do have some of that blue inner border fabric left, I could have done the extra side panels in that, but felt that would have been too muc blue if she were to have a girl, so stuck with the greeny, bluey, purply colour.

I've wadded it with a piece of fleece and boy is it cosy, I was lovely and warm when it was in my lap last night while I closed up the binding. I've stuck to very simple quilting, following the line of the borders and one simple line around the large heart in the centre panel. I know it's not as flat as it could be, I read on someones blog yesterday about a trick which may help me to overcome that.
I don't do those big fancy labels I've seen some of you use, but it does have a small tag style label, (Just out of shot) which says 'Handmade With Love By Loulee'. I put those on all of my handmades. I do hope my colleague likes it.

Not sure what I'm going to do next. I haven't touched my scrap club stuff for a while, my Katies choice has two new blocks all cut waiting for my attention and the kit Hunney bought me for Christmas is calling to me. Oh! Yeah! DD wants a quilt, I could put together a quick charm or turning twenty (Nine) style top and back it with fleece.

Decisions, decisions.............



Monday, 4 February 2008

More Pictures.

As promised, more pics from the new place. Some of the walls are still a bit bare we need to get some picture hooks. Our previous landlord was set against us putting pictures up, this guy is much more understanding. He is willing for us to make the place our own, so long as we leave it in good order as and when we leave.

That said, in the picture below, the CD cases are still empty and waiting to go up on the wall! Oh, and I'll be trading out the not so lovely mustard coloured leather effect sofas. The curtain on the window is one of the great bargains I found in the charity shop next door, fully thermal and blackout lined 100% cotton velvet. No alterations required. And it was cheap, cheap, cheap!

The rest of the entertainment and electronics gear, in time it will all be hooked up to a surround sound system. Right now I'm typing away on that little laptop. That TV seemed huge in the old place, but here it seems so small, Hunney wants one twice the size now! This sitting room is about 15x15 foot, really cozy, I love it. We really need to get some pictures up in here though, it's bare.

In our previous apartment the kitchen was a little box, with no windows so it was dark, and felt crowded in there if you had company at the door! So this is bliss, it's not much bigger really but because there is a window and you enter through a very wide hole in the dining room wall it feels much bigger and brighter.

The sink is hiding just around the corner on the right. I'm still working on de cluttering the worktops, nearly there. :-) I love that I can ask for help in there without feeling crowded.


Turn your back on the kitchen and there is the dining room. Great for entertaining.
Hiding in the corner behind the plant is some of my collection of crafty stuff, the big sideboard is full of games and tableware.

If I stand in that corner, by the plant you can see my sewing table in my little crafty corner, the blue chest is full of some more of my crafty stuff. You can't really see them in these pictures, but the curtains in this room were another bargain from next door. One HUGE curtain got chopped into three to fit a small bay and one flat window, I'll get a pic another time. Again, there was nothing wrong with it, not even faded really, fantastic quality, black out and thermal lined.
This table was another bargain. It came from another charity shop and had been donated because the previous owners grandchild had leaned a little too heavily with his crayon! Not so's I noticed.

The master bedroom, it's tucked into the eaves at the top of the house, hence the lack of sleep listening to the weather. It was the most economical use of space to tuck the top of the bed at the lowest point in the ceiling, right under the skylight. I'll get a velux blind for that, and one for DDs skylight too. There are two black folders over there on my side of the bed. One has my Aida and evenweave fabrics in for cross stitch, the other one is Hunneys easel, like a technical drawing or architects desktop. He uses it when he is doing his calligraphy. They will both find better homes in time.
Before anyone asks, no I didn't make the quilt, Hunney bought it for me. There is a smaller one underneath which I did make! I did make the bolster however, there are better picturs of that in my Picturetrail if you want to have a peek.

Last but not least, the as yet totally untamed dressing room. I want some rails in there and some shelving! Oh! And hiding round the corner beyond the laundry basket is the last of my crafty stash! There is an entrance to the shower room from the dressing room to.


I haven't taken pics of DDs room yet, it's already a pigsty! It would break the camera. And you've seen the study! There you go, grand tour over! Thankyou for visiting.



Saturday, 2 February 2008

Pictures at last.

I finally found the elusive cable for the camera, and I've uploaded tons of pics! LOL Don't worry I won't be posting them all at once.

Most important things first. This is how far my latest little creation got before I had to pack up and shift out! The two fabrics on the side there are auditioning for the part of side panels. I think I'm leaning toward the blue flowers, the one farther away from the camera. As always the pic looks very pale.




These next two are just pics of the dozens and dozens of boxes I packed and moved here in the car.

A lot of this stuff is my crafty collection, I was very good and thinned it out a LOT!


It still doesn't have a home here. The chest of drawers I had hoped to use is not big enough, I'm working on Hunney, hopefully I'll get my hands on a merchants chest. Well, I'm aiming high.

These next pics are from our first night here at the new place. They were taken in the new study, as you can see we took care of the important things first.



The Southern Cross and the Silver Fern were the first things to go on the wall. The PC on the desk is 'Deep Thought', Hunneys super computer. My little laptop still lives on the coffee table!


As there had been no heating on here for a few months it was very cool that first night, we had to put the vino on the storage heater to get it upto drinking temperature. The mad woman with the wild mop of hair is me, the grim sleeper below is my DD, typical teenager! See's a camera and pretends to be shy! Mind you, I think Hunney caught her better side. LOL


More pics next time.
Take care.