Monday, 30 April 2012

more FW blocks and a poem

I'm now at the stage where I want to get this quilt finished. You know the feeling - I'm over halfway through so it's time to move on faster so I can get on to the next one - whatever that might be. I was thinking about this today whilst I was sewing the next few blocks and I realised that I do the same thing for a lot of things - crochet blankies, books and holidays to name but a few. Over halfway through any of those things and I'm eager to get finished so I can start the next thing. Do other people do this as well or is it just me?

Anyway, here's the next set of FW blocks:

Linoleum:

How could someone who lives in Kirkcaldy not do the block called "Linoleum"? In case you don't know the answer to that, Kirkcaldy is famous for (long ago) being the centre of the manufacturing of linoleum. Also, because of the linseed oil used to make linoleum, the town was equally famous for being smelly. It was especially true when you approached the town in the train because there were linoleum factories around the station at that time.

As schoolchildren, we all learned this poem about a wee boy coming to Kirkcaldy in the train to visit his Granny. I really hope the children nowadays still have to learn it. :o)

The Boy in the Train

Whit wey does the engine say 'Toot-toot'?
Is it feart to gang in the tunnel?
Whit wey is the furnace no pit oot
When the rain gangs doon the funnel?
What'll I hae for my tea the nicht?
A herrin', or maybe a haddie?
Has Gran'ma gotten electric licht?
Is the next stop Kirkcaddy?

There's a hoodie-craw on yon turnip-raw!
An' seagulls! - sax or seeven.
I'll no fa' oot o' the windae, Maw,
Its sneckit, as sure as I'm leevin'.
We're into the tunnel! we're a' in the dark!
But dinna be frichtit, Daddy,
We'll sune be comin' to Beveridge Park,
And the next stop's Kirkcaddy!

Is yon the mune I see in the sky?
It's awfu' wee an' curly,
See! there's a coo and a cauf ootbye,
An' a lassie pu'in' a hurly!
He's chackit the tickets and gien them back,
Sae gie me my ain yin, Daddy.
Lift doon the bag frae the luggage rack,
For the next stop's Kirkcaddy!

There's a gey wheen boats at the harbour mou',
And eh! dae ya see the cruisers?
The cinnamon drop I was sookin' the noo
Has tummelt an' stuck tae ma troosers. . .
I'll sune be ringin' ma Gran'ma's bell,
She'll cry, 'Come ben, my laddie',
For I ken mysel' by the queer-like smell
That the next stop's Kirkcaddy!

by Mary Campbell Smith

BTW - linoleum is still made in Kirkcaldy but not to the same extent and, I'm happy to report, that the town no longer smells! :oD

sunrise ~ sunset 30 April

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 16 hours and 52 minutes (34 minutes more than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 15 hours and 22 minutes (30 minutes more than last week)

Friday, 27 April 2012

FW block 66 periwinkle - aaargh!!

I was cutting more FW blocks yesterday and decided to put together number 66 Periwinkle because it looked fairly easy. Famous last words. I pinned it, sewed it, unpicked it, re-pinned it, re-sewed it, unpicked it, re-cut it, pinned it, sewed it, unpicked it. What the heck was I doing wrong? I just could not get the sides to be straight at all.

It even got to the stage that I got Douglas involved and we were both convinced that one of the templates wasn't right but couldn't decide which one. We drew it all out on a piece of paper -

- and decided that, yes, something was most definitely wrong. I decided to do a google search to see how others were dealing with number 66. I found tons of people who had managed it just fine - or at least they didn't say they had had any problems with it! I did find a few people who were as flummaxed as I was but they didn't have a solution - or, if they did, they didn't come back and say what they did to sort it.

Then I found this post. Heather points out that, if your edges aren't straight, then the triangles aren't placed correctly. I ran up to the sewing room, moved the triangles around and hallelujah, the edges were going to be straight. Or at least straight enough. Phew!

I've now marked the template and the book to remind myself - if I'm ever daft enough to take on the Periwinkle block again - how it needs to be done.

Here are the other blocks I got made today - with no problems whatsoever!

And, to revisit the post about the Nora Roberts book that came to me with raggy edges - I started reading it. I mean, come on. It's a Nora book. Was I ever likely to send it back and wait for another one? Nope! I'm about 3/4 of the way through it and am loving it. Well, of course I am. It's a Nora book! :oD

Now, let me leave you with a video I took this afternoon. Hailstones! You can see, near the end, what us Scots mean by "stotting". The hailstones are fairly stotting off the flat roof of the utility room!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

a couple of blocks and a new book

I made 2 more Farmer's wife blocks today:

Evening star:

And Windows:

That's me made all the ones I cut out last week so I now need to cut out some more. That'll be on tomorrow's list - after my visit to the dentist. Blech!

I was really excited over the weeknd when I got an e-mail from Amazon telling me that the Nora Roberts book I'd ordered last November - The Last Boyfriend - would be with me more quickly than they'd thought. Instead of arriving on the 1st of June, it would now arrive between April 21 and 23. Woohoo!

I quickly started re-reading the first in the series - The Next Always - so I could remind myself of all the characters and how I felt about them. I knew I wouldn't get it read in time but that's okay. I could tease myself just knowing the new book was here and waiting for me to devour it!

Well, the book came yesterday and I unwrapped it quickly.

But wait. What's this? The edges of the pages don't look very good. Clearly they haven't been cut properly.

I was soooooooo disappointed. I immediately went to the amazon site and clicked through my order to re-order another one so I could send this one back only to find - "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." Drat, drat and double drat. There were other options available but I'd have to pay more and wait longer. What to do??

I sent an e-mail to amazon through their site telling them my sorry tale and asking them what they could do about it. I got a reply saying they would usually have sent me a replacement book but they had no stock. If I wanted to, I could keep checking the site and when they had new stock in, I could get a new copy for no additional cost. Brilliant ... but how long will this take? They have no idea! :o(

The thing is, the book is for me to read. It's not like I'm ever going to sell it so does it matter that the pages are badly cut? Well, yes and no. I do want a perfect copy of the book but I also want to read the book. Desperately! :oD

I'll just keep reading the first one and, if they don't get any more stock in before I'm ready to start the new one, I suspect I'll just accept the bad edges and read it as it is. I can't wait to see what happens! :o)

Monday, 23 April 2012

a few catch ups

When I was sewing some more Farmer's Wife blocks this afternoon, I realised that I hadn't posted the photo of the top I made with the red spotty sheet I'd bought a few weeks ago - blogged about here. Thankfully, I don't think I look too much like Minnie Mouse in it ... or at least nobody has been brave enough to tell me I look like her! Anyway, here's that top - McCall's 5352 as seen here:

Here's another blouse I made over the weekend. It's the same as the turquoisey one I made last week which is just my go-to blouse pattern (McCalls 5359) but with no collar.

I wore it to our Singers' concert yesterday afternoon and it was really comfortable.

For the same Singers' concert, I had to make another bow tie so I rattled this one out on Saturday morning.

And here are the FW blocks I made both over the weekend and today.

sunrise ~ sunset 23 April

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 16 hours and 18 minutes (37 minutes more than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 14 hours and 52 minutes (31 minutes more than last week)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

busy day of sewing and cutting

I had a busy sewing day today. First of all, I made the blouse that I cut out last week. I decided to make a few changes to it and left off the collar. I had to make up a back facing piece but that wasn't too taxing at all. I love the way it looks.

I then made up the last Farmer's Wife block that was already cut out.

80 single wedding star:

I then got busy with the rotary cutter and cut out another 8 blocks. According to my count, I've made 32 so far. I had listed the ones I fancied making way back in February when I started this project and there are 64 on that list so that's me halfway there. If I continue to cut them out 8 at a time, I've only got 3 more lots of cutting out to go. Now that sounds good!

Of course, then I have to decide on placement and sashings and borders and bindings and backings and all the rest of that stuff but let's not go there yet. Still another 32 blocks to make before then. :o)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

another top, another block

Another top using Simplicity 2599. I have plans for quite a few more of these!

And another Farmer's Wife block. Thankfully, the points are matching much better than on the last one. Yay!

End of Day:

Monday, 16 April 2012

sunrise ~ sunset 16 April

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 15 hours and 41 minutes (34 minutes more than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 14 hours and 21 minutes (33 minutes more than last week)

Saturday, 14 April 2012

a mixed bag

These are a few things I've made/finished off in the last couple of days. First of all the pink/maroon/orange/peach cushion on the right of this photo:

The pattern came from one of the books I got from Santa last year. Well done to me for actually making something out of one of them - and we're only 4 months into the year. Not bad at all! :oD

The next thing I did was make another FW block.

I'm not too happy with this one. I really don't like when the points don't match up but I don't think I'll be unpicking it. Did that already. Twice. *sigh*

This is a top I made today (sorry about the fuzzy photo. Must wear my spex when I take photos!!!)

It's the same pattern as I used last week - Simplicity 2599.

And finally, a blouse all cut out and ready to go.

It's my favourite blouse pattern (because I know it fits me!!) - McCall's 5359.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

more FW blocks

I've been playing with the Farmer's Wife blocks again today. Another 4 made:

I got all the blocks I've made so far and put them out on the sewing room table. I'm not sure when I'll stop - long before the 101 blocks in the book, that's for sure - but the 28 so far are looking good. (Even if I do say so myself! LOL)

And here - just for fun - is a photo of the clippings from the cut glass dish block. I know it's silly but I love this photo! :oD

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

raspberry sorbet

I was going to make some raspberry jam today but didn't have enough sugar in the cupboard so I made some of the rasps into sorbet instead. Yummmm!!!

Here's the recipe:

Raspberry Sorbet

1lb rasps
8 oz caster sugar

Put the rasps and the sugar into a food processor and purée until smooth.
Push through a plastic sieve into a bowl to remove all the seeds.
Put into the freezer - in the bowl - and freeze for about 30 minutes.
Take out and beat with a hand-held electric beater and replace in the freezer.
Repeat the 30 minute freezing/beating until you get the desired consistency. (I find that after about 3 times, it's good to go.)
Put into a plastic box and freeze.
Take out of the freezer for about 5 minutes before serving to allow it to soften up.

I usually make double quantity but, as my food processor won't take more than the 1lb/8oz quantities at a time, I just do it in two lots and combine them at the sieving stage.

Be warned - this is very moreish. You have no idea how hard it is to sit here typing this knowing that there's raspberry sorbet in the freezer! :oD

Monday, 9 April 2012

sunrise ~ sunset 9 April

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 15 hours and 7 minutes (35 minutes more than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 13 hours and 48 minutes (32 minutes more than last week)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Saturday, 7 April 2012

tops, a block, spots and a mess

I've been busy making myself a couple of tops this week.

On this one I had cut out the sleeves but, on trying it on before putting the sleeves in, I just knew it wouldn't fit me if I did so I cut my losses and faced the armholes instead. After all, I'm always wearing cardigans so who'd know if the top had sleeves or not?? It fits me beautifully. :o) (Oh and I didn't make any of the fancy flounces. I don't think I'm a fancy flouncy gal.)

On this next one, I knew the top would be too short so I lengthened it by 2" above the armhole shaping so I knew those sleeves would fit.

This one also fits me beautifully. Yay!! :o)

I dug out the Farmer's Wife blocks again. I didn't actually realise I had a few already cut out so I got to it and made this one today.

When I went for my mum's shopping this week, I just so happened to walk down the aisle with the sheets and spotted (ha!) these two. The equivalent of 2 metres of fabric for £7? I just had to have them both for more tops.

It wasn't until I got them home and was unpacking them to wash them that I realised there was a great danger that I'd look like Minnie Mouse in the red one. Mmmmm.

As for the "mess" in the title - that's nothing to do with me. Douglas is steadily getting the kitchen done.

As usual, today's effort was way more complicated than it should have been. He had to make 2 trips to B&Q for plumbing parts this morning but I'm happy to say my new sink and mixer taps are in and everything is draining properly. Yay!!

Not long now until I can get the cupboards all loaded again and get things where they should be. Hopefully, when I do that, I'll find the mushroom brush. It's disappeared into thin air!