31 December 2008

Last blog of the year

Sorry to disappoint anyone visiting the blog - I've got no pics, but will update before the weekend. I arrived back from our Christmas break in Surrey yesterday. Had lots of gatherings with family and friends which was lovely, though I did have an unwelcome present - a flu virus! My brother in law and his partner had it and I got it too so one of the days was spent in bed.

Have had a brief read of blogs this afternoon and have seen that Angela and Helen on their blogs have kept a record of what they've made through the year. It's amazing the way the year has come and gone and one wonders what has happened to it, great to know that there is something to show for where that time went.

From what I can recall I know I made several postcards (of course!), 13 bags (the 12 on the BQL challenge, plus 1 made from the quilt retreat in Devon earlier this year). I'd also been involved with the International Quilting Day in March (a link here for pics) which for next year is being run by Pauline and Sarah of Pauline's Patchwork and did the admin for the Quarterjack Quilters exhibition in August. And Google says that I've also posted 56 entries on my blog this year, so I'm not one for being idle!

What I'm looking forward to in 2009? A job - I'd like to get that sorted as I would feel more settled in Yorkshire - hope that happens soon - that's the bigee! I'm also going to seek out a quilt group to join and I've found an Embroiderers' Guild group locally so hope to get in contact with people there. I've got another quilt retreat in Devon coming up in February so that's something to look forward to and I'm taking part in a 4 Seasons Quilt Swap which is due between February and March.

Wishing you all the best and happy sewing for 2009

21 December 2008

Looking forward to Christmas

Thought I'd post my last posting before Christmas as I will be away from tomorrow until just before New Year. I am escaping from Yorkshire and going down South to stay with relatives and DH will follow early on Christmas Day. Meeting up with parents and children over the holidays, so should be a good time.

The past couple of days I've made useful bits as I'm still sorting through the plethora of stuff, knitting, stitching and other bits, since moving here as I think we may move again, be it sooner or later and just want to thin things down. I've made a roll for my knitting needles which have been in a Hobbycraft carrier bag for ages, which in the end didn't take long to plan and make, so that's one thing sorted and tidied.DH came home with a diary. I'm useless at keeping diaries as the end of the year ends up being as blank as the beginning, but each year I think it'll be useful to have one. It's black - I don't like black - so it had to have a cover. After measuring up and getting it wrong I had to make another, so here it is. The fabric is patterned so didn't embellish it with anything. I'll put that right later, but meanwhile the diary is no longer black!

The bit of needlefelting I showed in the last post I had some bits of painted Bondweb left so did another bit of needlefelting with velvet, scrim, bondaweb and organza on top, needlefelting from the front and back. Quite like this effect, discovering that the velvet base works very well.

Yesterday DH and I spent the day at the National Media Museum in Bradford, which didn't take long to get to. Yesterday was a grim and damp day so this place was good to go to as it's indoors and it's free. They had a special exhibition showing 50 years of Blue Peter. Having grown up with programme and later seeing this when the children were growing up too we had a lot of memories of this programme. So an enjoyable day. But for now I have to get ready for my trip down South.

Here's a couple of views - the top one looking from a mezzanine floor out to the Town Hall and the one below looking to the ground floor and a red Dalek!
And lastly a Christmassy pic from Leeds, where we went to look at the Christmas lights last month - a Champagne bottle underneath a street light, so it looks as though it's fizzing.

Have a

with best wishes from Sue

17 December 2008

Catching up with old stuff

A couple of things have been lurking in the UFO bags. The redwork above I bought last year at The National Patchwork Championships at Sandown (think from Dandelion Designs?) and has been with me to quilt group meetings when there was no specific item to sew so has slowly been sewn. Finished off with a fabric border it looks quite good, just needs somewhere to hang.
I'd promised my daughter Sarah some cushions and I had some blocks made from ages and ages ago and put them together but didn't finish off. Checking that she still wanted them (and she did) I put that right. When I see her at Christmas I'll be able to give them to her. She has a red settee so they will go nicely.

So I've done some sewing

And embellishing too. Just to show that I haven't been out and about I have been doing things. At the Knitting & Stitching show last month I bought a n old issue of Cloth , Paper , Scissors and saw a needlefelted hanging by Beryl Taylor and decided to have a go and this is the result below.I used a piece of lilac velvet as a base with pink/purple scrim. Circles of purple felt were needled on top then painted bondaweb over that. Pieces of foil were ironed in place and felted. I edged this with strips of organza. Bit of stitching and a few buttons to finish off.
For those who like to look at the back (like I do) here it is in the pic above.
On Saturday I stayed in and pottered around because it was pouring with rain. I made a little flip and sew (or is it sew and flip?) purse for my camera (below). They look like a matching pair .

12 December 2008

Been Out and About

Last Sunday I went to Nostell Priory, at National Trust property on the way to Wakefield. There was a craft show and secondhand book sale. The house was also open with the volunteers dressed in costume to celebrate Christmas. Children were given a challenge to collect stars for the magic wands that they found in the rooms. This pic above was the house. It was a cold but sunny day so a good day for a walk so long as one was well wrapped up.

This was the statue in the rose garden.
Outside the gift shop there were some metal doormats for sale. I could not resist taking a picture of this.
On Wednesday I took myself in the other direction, towards Doncaster. On the outskirts of the town is Cusworth House, which is run by the local council. The house was sold to then by the last remaining member of the family that owned this back in the 1980's. There has been a lot of work done to the building. Inside there is an exhibition of Quintin Blakes pictures from the Roald Dahl books. Not sure if pictures could be taken I didn't take any, but took a pic of the house, above.
And of the stables, which houses the coffee shop with a lovely collection of tea pots. Being mid week and again very cold the place seemed deserted.

Whilst in Doncaster I went to The Range. I saw this pink fluffy Christmas tree, together with other pink things around it - whatever next! But I could not resist taking a photo.We've also put our Christmas tree up. A fibre optic one in black (though we hadn't realised it was black until after we bought it a few years back). The bottom branches are little weak now and drooping a bit. So it may be it's last Christmas - ahhh.

05 December 2008

Yet another bag!

Hot on the heels on the November bag in my last post is the December bag - this was finished yesterday (4 December). I had all the bits from my stash, nothing extra to get so just got on with it.

Doesn't look too bad, does it? If you click on the Flickr site on the side bar I'll have pics of all my bags from the BQL bag challenge on there.

Anyway with the awful weather - very icy on Wednesday then snow on Thursday (though it disappeared really quickly) they were days to potter around. As well as the bag making I also had a bash at making felt. I've made needlefelt with the embellisher, but in Sew Hip magazine there was an article about making wet felt. So again I already had stuff on hand so here goes..I had some roving (which a friend gave me a from her spinning days) in 4 layers going across and down laid in a baking tray.The above pic shows the soapy wetted roving (very squishy). This had to be pushed into the tin until the fibres held together. The felt was then placed onto bubblewrap and rolled up and thoroughly kneeded.This shows the felt drying on teatowels, you can see that I also made a cream piece. The felt dried overnight and I was surprised that it didn't take that long to do. I may have a go at felting the some of the pieces I've needlefelted and see what difference it makes to the fibres.

This Saturday will see DH and I going to York. I got a new camera last weekend (which took the above photo's) - a dinky little thing in purple (just my colour). So we'll put it through it's paces there. Hope I'll have some photo's to share.

30 November 2008

November Bag and Other Bits

This is my bag for November, a Messenger bag. This was made of half square triangles pieced for the flap and as alternate blocks for the body of the bag. The strap reached to the bottom sides of the bag to form a gusset. I took the photo during the evening so although it looks blue/purple it is definitely a blue and used this with two other fabrics for the blocks. Turned out quite well though I wouldn't be in a hurry to make this again. I've now got to see what December's bag is, which will be the last one for this year. I'm pleased that I've seen this challenge through with this I've always had something finished at the end of each month. Others that have fallen by the wayside have been adding onto something in progress so never finished off.

Friday was my birthday, but not a good day, less said the better. Having moved I haven't anyone to share it with, so feeling a little down about that. However on Saturday DH and I went out on Saturday to the African Fabric Safari in Meltham, near Holmfirth. Nice small show, bought some fabric, bought a Christmas present, saw a demonstration of free machine quilting and a nice journey through the Yorkshire dales to get there, too.

Sunday saw us going to the Wakefield Model Railway exhibition
which is quite a large exhibition in the area. DH doesn't have a railway at present (it's still packed in several boxes in the garage). Wherever we've lived there has always been a model railway usually in a loft or garage, but this time when it's rebuilt it will have to be portable. It is amazing just how many children and adults are fascinated by the trains and how much detail goes into the detail of these layouts.

That's our weekend done, tomorrow will be Christmas shopping. It has to be done, so it's off to Meadowhall in Sheffield tomorrow.

25 November 2008

Pontefract Castle

I visited Pontefract this afternoon and took time out to see the castle (hadn't been that way before). As it was about 3o'clock the sun was quite low in the sky so some pics are dark as the sun was behind the ruins.

The first pic is of the main tower (or what remains of it) as I went into the site

This one above is the Constable TowerAnd this is the view to the town and the church through the window.
There was a lovely pink sky looking out of the back bedroom window as the sun had set. Couldn't resist taking this, bit wonky isn't it, tried to get as much of the lovely pink as I could

23 November 2008

Magic Carpet

When we moved in I received a Magic Carpet from Jean but of course wasn't online so hadn't posted a picture of it so must put that right. Mine to Jenny was posted a few days ago here. This is Jean's Magic Carpet.It's a lovely sparkly piece with lots of lovely yarns embellished on it, really colourful.

Yesterday at Harrogate

Yesterday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate. The first hall had a giant piece of knitting hanging over the doors leading into the next hall with the question "Have you seen my knitting?"
As a lot of the textile artists did not want photography though it was encouraged with the Committed to Cloth exhibit I then didn't know if I should put this on the blog. So here are pics of an exhibit called the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, organised by the Crafts Council and was still being added to by people sitting and crocheting at the exhibit.

I bought a few bits and pieces though of course it is tempting to spend more. I bought several magazines and looking though this lot it does seem an eclectic mix. Stitch (embroidery), Lets Knit, Cloth, Paper, Scissors (mixed media) and Quilting Arts Gifts. The books were Transfer to Transform (a bit arty) and Easy Does it for Friends (a bit cutesy). I'd also got some roving, an embellishing pack in pinks and mauves, a cross stitch pattern, purple sock wool and threads from Oliver Twists. The only bit of fabric was some calico because I was running short of that!

I'd also had a chance to meet up with Chris and Lesley from Durham in the morning and later in the afternoon, so if you are reading this it was lovely to meet up with you both and hope that you had an enjoyable day.

A really great day out and having wandered from the station through the town I'd like to visit Harrogate again sometime.

21 November 2008

What I've made and what I've received

Last week I received the West Country Quilter from Region 4 of the Quilter's Guild as my new address appeared on their mailing list. Jenny, who organises the mailing of this, sent me a lovely postcard made from a workshop day last month. I've now contacted the Guild and they've now put me in the right region.
I made two of these cards below as a challenge appeared on Arts In the Mail Yahoo group for this month called the night sky - with the fabric that I received from Penny it just spoke to me. So one for Penny and one for the challenge. I used mottled blue fabric, a thin layer of Angelina fibre and the starry organza on top. Although it can't be seen well in this pic I quilted this with some metallic thread stars.
The November bag for BQL is in progress, must get on with that, it's nearly there. Off to the Knitting and Stitching show at Harrogate tomorrow. Wonder what I'll get there.

17 November 2008

I'm now online!

Only into our third week here, but after much faffing about, first to have the phone line, then the broadband sorted I'm now back online and now able to update my blog. I haven't been idle however as my needlefelting machine has made a Magic Carpet which I posted to Jenny in Llandudno (which I mentioned in my last post) and can now show the pic below.

It's a layer of pinky/purple scrim on a felt background, with strips of yarn, knitting tape, organza ribbon and silk fabric (I like the ruffled effect that the silk made when needled down).

I've also started making some postcards, which I'll share in a few days and it's good to get back to making them again. The November BQL bag is also in progress, just the last and difficult bit to do. Then I've also been doing some knitting, I've done the back and most of one sleeve of a cardigan, haven't taken a pic of this yet but I found the pattern on Sirdar's website

At the weekend DH and I were out and about. Went to Leeds to see the Christmas lights there, which were really spectacular and I'll some pics of that next time. On Sunday we went to a Christmas Fayre at Wentworth Castle near Barnsley, then had a drive around the dales and stopped at Holmfirth for lunch at a cafe on the backstreets of the town. Of course it's well known for the Last of the Summer Wine and I could not resist taking a photo of Sid's Cafe below

except it's now Beatties (!). Even though it was a cold, but sunny Sunday afternoon, there are still a fair number of tourists around.

Last of all, many thanks to those who left comments in my last post. It was lovely to hear from you, ladies. We are gradually settling down here, not been easy being transplanted from the south coast, but we are discovering new places up here and getting to know my way around.

05 November 2008

We've moved!

We’ve now moved to Hemsworth, near Pontefract and arrived last Friday 31st. Not had much time to explore the area yet but have got most things unpacked from boxes but of course it’s trying to find homes for our things!

I will get around to getting my sewing stuff out but I have managed to get the embellishing machine into action and made a “Magic Carpet” for a swap by the UK Embellisher Yahoo Group and this will go off to Jenny in Llandudno. Looking forward I’ve ordered my ticket for the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate later this month and also signed up for a postcard swap with Arts in the Mail for the beginning of December.

I’m currently using a mobile internet so no piccies as I don’t want to download too much, but will be online next week, so I may take the time to do a few changes to the blog then.

This is my hundredth post and I feel I ought to have done something special for that, but that can wait until next week, so do bear with me.

28 October 2008

Last posting before the move

I'll be off-line for a few days while our move to Hemsworth takes place. The removal van is packed tomorrow, finishing off and travelling on Thursday, move into new house on Friday. Last bits of sorting and cleaning up is being done.

In my last post from Poole I've put some pics that I took on Brownsea Island back in September, which is appropriate as the nature programme Autumnwatch on BBC this week comes from Brownsea. The first one is of a pheasant that calmly walked past me (at least it wasn't after food, unlike the peacocks), the next one is of some chicks and lastly a piece of wood in a bog covered in fungi.

This is my 99th post so the next one will be my hundredth. I'll have to think about a giveaway for that one (which I haven't done before). But anyway next time I'll post it'll be from Yorkshire.

Bye for now.

22 October 2008

Look what I've got!

Idly sitting and flicking through the channels on Sky on Sunday I came across the Create and Craft channel, on which a rubber stamp collection from the English Stamp Company was being sold. It was mentioned that one could design a stamp and I immediately thought of postcards. I've always wanted to have a "Postcard" stamp to put on the backs but haven't seen anything suitable anywhere so this was just the job. Ordered on Sunday afternoon, arrived lunchtime today so I'm very impressed with the service and as you can see stamps very well too. I'm looking forward to making a batch of postcards (when the move is over) and being able to use this.

21 October 2008

October Bag and More of the Move

I’ve made the October bag, picture on the left, part of the BQL Bag Challenge (link to blog on sidebar) which took a little while to do with the 30 pinwheel blocks to make. I used bright pinks with black and a pink batik lining and handles. Yesterday was wet and miserable so just the right weather for staying in and getting some sewing done. This is the last bit of sewing for now as I’m packing up my machine ready for the move next week.

I can’t believe that it’s getting towards the end of October and the move is imminent. I’ll be going up to Yorkshire on Thursday this week to sign the papers for the rented house. The removal people will be here next Monday and we leave Poole on Tuesday to move into our new house on Wednesday.

15 October 2008

Move getting closer

I finished work last week so now I'm unemployed for the time being. We now move on 28 October, so apart from the continuous sorting out I have taken time out to do some sewing and embellishing.

By chance I had a postcard size-ish piece of black felt with some Bondaweb and a few other threads attached to it. Going through my scrap bag I put on some scrim (in the pink), a strip of crinkle chiffon (green) and silk pieces (orange) with bits of yarn. I ironed the lot down and put some black tulle on top to stop any loose bits moving around . The third pic shows it after treatment with the embellisher. The black circles are from needlefelting from the wrong side. I've got to add some hand embroidery onto this, but that was my fiddling about with the embellisher and a practice for a swap coming up soon.

I've also started on my October bag which I hope may be done before I move but the with little pinwheel blocks (60 of them!) it could take some time. Here they all are after having been ironed on the ironing board. After joining together to make up squares (before being ironed again) I decided to drape the chain pieced "flags" over a cross stitch picture in my living room