Tuesday 24 July 2018

Busy times

 Thank you to everyone who expressed get well wishes. My throat is feeling a lot better and I do finally sound more normal. I was still hoarse yesterday when I popped into work to chat with my boss and we decided that I should have today off work as well, just to get in the maximum rest and hopefully get rid of what ever it is, once and for all!!
Here's hoping.
So I haven't been lax during my time off and find that today, I actually have quite a bit to show and tell. 
First up Jiffys blanket. As you can see, it's a bright sunny day, which made taking photos a little difficult.
I wanted to show the blanket on a bed, to give an idea of how much is done. I think maybe just over a third. This is one very cosy blanket. Here it is without the shadows.
My arms are starting to complaining about the amount of crochet I have been doing. The top of my left arm, and the wrist of my right. Maybe I had better slow down a little.
So the other day I found myself in my sewing room, adding borders to the Carpenters Wheel. I had thought to add something pieced and pretty, but in the end I decided that less is more and added just a simple cream border, with red corner stones that match the wheel itself.
 I'm pleased with how this one is going. 
It's currently waiting on the frame, while I await the arrival of backing fabric and quilting thread. I have set aside fabrics for a scrappy binding.
Today would be a good day to be in the quilting room. It's full of sunshine. Most of the trees are bare and the garden is in winter mode, but it is still a beautiful space to work in.
 I changed the guard in the hall way. My sister in Law recently borrowed a whole bunch of my quilts to put on a display at her place of work. When she returned them I had a tidy up in the cupboard and came across this one. I decided it could have a turn in the hall. I made this one in 2012. Funny, I don't recall the problems I mention in that post, but I have to say, it's very rare that I use anything other than cotton batting these days. Lessons must have been learned.  LOL 
Here is the display. Made up of quilts, crochet and cross stitch loaned by myself and lots more crochet and yarn loaned by another lady.
I didn't get a chance to visit it in person, but I'm told it looked better in real life than it does here, and all who saw it were complimentary. 
Still trying to rest my arms, on Saturday I headed back into my wee room and pottered about tidying up the left overs from the Carpenters Wheel. During that process I came across a wee kit I bought at the quilting shed earlier this year. Before I knew it I was selecting fabrics for borders and cutting up the left overs!  I didn't even get a before picture. LOL
here is where I left it at lunchtime. Mr H took us out for lunch and we didn't make it home until late afternoon. We did a little shopping, (Not something we do together often, so that was nice). We bought boring but necessary items for the home. I did go back into the room yesterday, but got side tracked, maybe today I'll get back to these pieces and make up some flying geese.
Here is what got my attention yesterday.
Spring Queen has been resting in my room for a while.
She didn't say much, just rested quietly on her frame against my sewing desk. Yesterday for some reason, it was her day.
As you can see I took her out of the frame and was using a hoop. My frames are quite old now and not holding tension very well. I brought them with me from GB and have been unable to find the same frames here. I have found others, but struggle to make them work with my stand. I really do need to find a solution. The largest and best alternative frame I can find here in NZ is not big enough to hold a design this size. 
I shall plod on with my hoops and maybe set Tony a mission to find a way to repair the old frames.
Beading really is easier on a frame!! 
And I have lots of beading to do on this piece, and her sisters.
Well that's my news. 
Now I'm off to play.

Friday 20 July 2018

Not Saying Much

It's still pretty quiet in my world at the moment. 
My Doc signed me off work and said to rest. Well, home alone all day I have no one to talk with but the cat, so resting my voice is easy.  But I can't sit and do nothing, so I've gotten on with some crafty pursuits. Jiffys blanket is growing. I laid it over my bed yesterday to ensure it was wide enough. And it is. I just need to make it a lot longer now.
 I am toying with the idea of setting in some more squares, not just yet, but nearer the top. I'll keep you posted on that, meanwhile, I shall keep going with the zigs and zags.
Yesterday I got on and put the other half of the carpenters wheel together. I was planning a coloured border, but now that I see it like this, I'm happy to stop. Just a narrow cream border then a scrappy binding I think.
Yes, I see the mistake and no, I'm not fixing it. It happened back in June, if you look here you can clearly see the same mistake.  I figure that if I didn't see it until the top was finished, then it is meant to be there.
(Belle thinks we can't see her) 
Remember the viking hat? 
I was worried that it was rather small.
LOL I was right. 
I'll have to play about with the pattern and see if I can make it bigger.
And because I have two grand children, here's the the other one.
Floki and Faith. Such beautiful people. 
The loves of my life. 
I'm off to have another quiet day.

Monday 16 July 2018

Slow Progress

As I'm sure you have noticed, progress on my crafting pursuits has been somewhat slow of late.
I showed progress on my Carpenters Wheel quilt top a month ago, almost to the day! It hasn't progressed much. I have half of the rows put together, the other half are hanging around awaiting their turn. I did however find inspiration for a border this morning, so maybe that will speed things along a little.
 I finally found direction for Jiffys blanket too. I came across an image on pinterest. No pattern or tutorial, just an image...
So I've been playing about and experimenting, trying to incorporate the squares I had already made.
It doesn't look like much yet, (not helped by the fact that it blends into the carpet! LOL) but I finally feel like I have decided what to do.
I'm not sure how much progress will be made in the near future. We finally had a weekend off, no commitments and I come down with another throat infection. I'm supposed to be at work this morning, for an extra shift, but had to call my boss yesterday. I guess I'm off to the docs again today. 
I'm off to find something to help my throat.

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Christmas in July

Life has continued to be incredibly busy in the Manxgirl household. With extra shifts and social events getting in the way of crafting time. Recent highlights being a Feelers concert, they played right here in town. That was a good night. And last weekend, Tony and I hosted a Christmas in July evening. Ironically the day turned out to be a very warm and sunny day, rather then the cold frosty day we were hoping for!
Never mind, we didn't let that slow us down.
 I made a start early and fished the last jar of fruit mince filling out of the pantry and made mince pies.
 Two dozen of them.
Then I set about creating a Beef Wellington. I couldn't find a leaf shaped cutter and settled for cherry blossom instead.
 It is only the second time I have made this. There is a whole kilo of beef fillet steak in that pastry case. Yes, I did it properly with the mushrooms and the Parma ham.
Tony helped me to decorate the tree.
He hunted through every single box of decorations, just to find Mums fairy.
 It's not Christmas without Mums fairy.
Next I turned my attention to the table. Out came my Christmas table cloth, which I made earlier this year.
You see just the beginnings here, by the time everyone had arrived the table was smothered with food, there was barely room for plates. And that was just the starting selection. We had three more courses to go!!.
One of our guests made this beautiful silver wreath for me. 
Love it.
 Following our starters there was a shrimp cocktail provided by another guest.
Then it was time for the main event.
The Beef Wellington kept us waiting for about 15 mins, I wanted to be sure it wasn't too rare in the middle. It turned out perfect and lucky you, Tony insisted on a photo.
Everybody contributed to the main course, I made Yorkshire puds and roasties.
I'm rather proud of the yorkies too!!
There was also a stuffed chicken roll that was amazing, pigs in blankets and loads of lovely veg dishes.
I'm amazed that we had room left for a Baileys trifle, a Kiwi fruit pavlova and my mince pies, all accompanied by cream and ice cream.
Sorry no pics of the desserts, but it all looked amazing.
That was my first ever Christmas in July. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and vowed to do it again.
I do have some crafty news and images to share, I'll save those for another day.