Tuesday 24 February 2015

Playing on my frame.

Well I didn't get everything set up before Debbie arrived on Sunday, but I did have it sorted before she left!
And then I quilted.
 It looks not bad, from the right side.
But underneath was a different story!
Eeek! A birds nest.
I played around with the tension for a while, finally getting rid of the birds nests, only to be rewarded with the bobbin thread showing on the top!
So, I finally got sensible. Tony lifted the machine off the frame and I played with a quilt sandwich until I got things just how I wanted them.
Then it was bed time.
Tony has lifted the machine back up onto the frame. (Janome is heavy and I still have a bad back)
but I didn't yet have another play.
I'll keep you posted. 
While I was swearing setting up the quilt frame Debbie was finishing the last of her machine appliqué. I forgot to take a picture, but trust me, it looks really good.
She had also brought along some other blocks, you can see those on her blog here.
I have also finished all of the appliqué on my own blocks and also managed to piece them.
The only thing remaining for this block is the hand stitching.
That might be interesting, I'm pretty sure I didn't leave enough room on the heavenly choir block!
I have enjoyed making up this first block and it was fun to have Debs working along on it too. Although we shared a fabric collection, we have both added elements from our stash and the end result is the same, but quite different. Hopefully Debs will post a picture of her completed block soon.
The next block has a Christmas wish angel, some stockings and friendship stars. It seems a little smaller, maybe we could get it finished in one month instead of two!!
My plan for today is to play with the quilt frame some more, visit the Chiropractor and then to sit and stitch on the Christmas story, then, if there is any day left, I'll stitch some on sleepy, it's been over a week since I spent time with her.

Sunday 22 February 2015

Today's the day!!

Three exciting things for today.
1) Debs is coming over for a play date again.
She is hoping to complete the machine appliqué on her Christmas story block.
Mine is all done, except for a little hand stitching, more on that next time.
2) Fourteen people commented on this blog post.
I had made a certain promise and today is the day this creature chose a number, any number between 1 and 14. (Don't ask why, just do as your mother asks!)
He eventually came up with number 7.
Please get in touch so that I can mail this table runner to you.
and last but not least!
3) Today is the day I will finally play with my quilting frame. I plan to have the leaders all installed before Debs gets here, so that she can play too!
Nervous and excited about that.

Thursday 19 February 2015

Swap with Janice.

I hunted all over everywhere, for this first picture, I knew I had taken it. Then I went and took it again. Moments later, I found the original.
You guessed it, still on the camera!
So anyway, here you see three of the beautiful place mats Janice made and gifted to me on her recent visit. There are six of them, but try as I might, I couldn't get a nice picture of all six!
Janice also put a pretty boomerang fabric edge onto a tea towel for me. I guess that's one tea towel I'll never lose!
In return I had made this table runner for her. 
I realised right at the last minute that although it was all done in Kiwi ana fabrics, there was no actual kiwi on it, so I quickly cut this dude from one of the fabrics and stitched him on.
Janice was as tickled with her gift as I am with mine. She says she loves runners and uses them a lot.
It was great to spend time with her again.
It's been great also to spend some time with Debs this week, we spent two evenings together working on our Christmas Story quilts. We have both completed most of the machine appliqué for block one.There is however a lot of thread tidying to be done!
I've had two really positive visits with my Chiropractor and feel a little better. Hopefully soon I'll be able to get back to some exercises and start to strengthen my back again, but as the Chiro keeps on saying, baby steps Lou, don't rush. So this evening I'll sit with my needle and tidy threads.

Monday 16 February 2015

Another week!

Here we go again! Another whole week between posts! I do have an excuse though, my back took a backward step and hasn't been so good, and I had me an upset tummy, which meant there was no way I wasn't going anywhere near my Chiropractor. 
So, here I am, late again.
I promised pictures of our recent guests.
Janice and Mick are touring New Zealand and stopped in to see us.
We took them on a day trip around the interior of the South island.
We visited Tekapo, Twizel and all of the hydro electric dam system which provides power to a huge area of the country.
 Although it wasn't the best or warmest of days, the lakes put on a colourful show.
The clay cliffs were a stark contrast. Dry and barren.
 The obligatory photo!
Tony and Mick were trying to catch a less posed, more relaxed picture.
It was great to catch up with both of them, I did wonder how long it would be, before we got a chance to get together again. If you remember, they used to visit me regularly on the Isle of Man, when they visited for the Motorbike races.
Janice and I exchanged gifts, I'll share photos of those next time.
It was after our guests had left that things went downhill for me.
I wasn't so sore that I couldn't stitch though.
 Page one is now complete and I made a start on page two.
I was even able to stitch using some different colours.
You can't really see it this photo, but there is a pretty flower garland down on the bottom corner.
I have a play date with Debs this evening, we'll be working on our Christmas story quilts.
I'd better go tidy up this mess!
I'll try not to leave it so long.

Monday 9 February 2015

A late Christmas gift.

There was a package in the mail box on Saturday, Tony seemed quite confused and didn't recall ordering anything. Then he looked at the return address and a penny dropped! A Christmas gift he had forgotten all about. It must have fallen off the sleigh in Germany! Well thats where it was mailed from.
 She is called Winter Fairy and apparently there are glow in the dark threads included in the kit. So pretty, I wanted to strat stitching her right away, but resisted.
instead I had a an afternoon of stitching with sleepy.
I've almost completed page one, another session should see it finished.
There is another stitcher working on her in a facebook group I'm a member of, she seems to have gotten quite a few others interested in starting to stitch their own Sleeping Beauties.
Next time I'll have news and pictures from our recent house guests And the lovely gifts we exchanged. 
I need to rest today, I think I did a bit too much in the garden yesterday, my back is sore today.

Monday 2 February 2015

Garden changes

 Yesterday, before I headed off for my final extra shift and my last shift before a whole 9 days off, Tony and I spent some time out in the garden again. The front of the house has undergone quite a transformation. We forgot to take 'before' photos, so here you see 'in progress' photos.
That's my sewing room window there, with my blue reflection!
 The tree stumps were pulled out by Father in Law, with his truck after the two men had done lots of digging and chopping of roots with an axe.
Look at the difference. 
There is still a lot of work to do. The soil is in very poor condition and needs a massive injection of nutrients, we will need to lay a decent path along to the side gate and then the replanting can commence.
I did manage to save one huge clump of Agapanthus which I will split and spread out. There are also plenty of other tubers and bulbs in the earth which I plan to replant. There is a clump of Helebore at the side of the house which I will move to the front and the lilly of the valley in the corner by the gate will have a tidy up too. There is a tiny peony struggling to find it's way around the Aggies, I'll rescue that and possibly add more of those as there are plenty in other areas of the garden.  I'll also introduce one or two new items, I want a low maintenance colourful cottage garden out there. We also plan to put a flag pole in here surrounded by a tiny hedge.
In just a few short days my first overnight guests will be here.
Janice and her husband Mick will be visiting during their tour of NZ.
It will be good to see them again.
They are regular visitors to the Isle of Man and we got together each time they visited.
I'm off to bury threads!
Yes, I've been quilting.