Friday, 30 November 2012

pinny's finished, 4 stockings are started!

I finished the pinny (apron) for my commission and posted it off yesterday. I hope the recipient - and her mum - likes it! I do! :o)

Last night at Singers' rehearsal, our musical director asked me if I'd make her 4 grandchildren a Christmas stocking each. Of course I said "Yes"! So today I set to and, first of all, made a cardboard template of my stocking pattern so I could draw around it rather than have to keep pinning the paper pattern on. It's quite appropriately made from some cardboard that was attached to a Christmas magazine I bought yesterday. Here's my template lying on top of the very appropriate fabric I chose for the back of the stockings.

My wee baskets of colour-sorted Christmas scraps all ready to be dug into.

The first stocking front is complete.

And the second front is complete.

I've got until our last rehearsal for the session on Thursday to finish them so I should have them done in plenty of time! :o)

For anyone out there with Scottish blood running through your veins, happy St Andrew's Day. I have to say, the Google logo is a bit strange this year. A lion blowing the down off a thistle? Weird!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

trousers finished and a commission

I finished the black trousers today and asked Douglas to take a few photos of me in them. He usually takes really good photos but not today. I laughed out loud when I loaded them into my iPhoto and called him to the computer to take a look. His reaction? "You weren't standing up straight." Mmmmmmm. :oD

So, here's the "best" photo of my new black trousers. They fit me and they're comfy so I'm happy with them.

My next sewing project is a commission for a pinny (apron) with "blue but no pink" in it. This is the fabric I chose to use.

I should get this finished tomorrow and then posted out on Thursday - or even tomorrow afternoon if I'm quick enough!

Monday, 26 November 2012

black trousers

Thanks for all your lovely comments about Emmy's quilt. I really appreciate you all taking the time to comment. :o)

I posted the quilt to Emmy this morning so she should get it tomorrow or Wednesday. I hope she likes it. Well, Emmy's only a few weeks old so she won't know one way or the other if she likes it or not but I hope the rest of her family like it! :o)

My next task is to make myself some new black trousers. I hadn't had trousers on for weeks - been wearing skirts with thick tights on to keep me warm - but I put them on last Wednesday for my check-up appointment at the rheumatology clinic (all fine) and the trousers were h-u-g-e on me. I could pull them up and down without taking the button out or taking the zip down.

Whilst that is fabulous that I've lost that much weight (and size), I need black trousers for the Singers' concert this Sunday coming and I'd really prefer to have ones that fit me properly. I don't want to be standing there pulling in my lower abdomen to get good breath control (our conductor is always telling us to do that) and suddenly feel my trousers going south! Yikes!

I decided to save myself some time and bought some trousers but the ones I brought home were so low in the crutch that they would have been even more embarrassing than the ones going south so they went back to the shop. I dug through my patterns and found one I liked and cut them out today.

I did a rough fit and they seem to be fine so I'm now sewing them properly and hope to have them done tomorrow. I *really* want these to fit me and then I can relax about that part of the concert. Only the words and music to worry about after that!

sunrise ~ sunset 26 November

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 9 hours and 5 minutes (20 minutes less than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 7 hours and 35 minutes (22 minutes less than last week)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Emmy's quilt - all finished

I finished the baby quilt for Emmy yesterday. I *love* it!

Here are just some of my favourite squares.

Frogs, lots of spots, books and teeny Santas.

Bird footprints, cows, stars and bunting with a kettle.

More cows, sheep, hens, penguins, more spots, stripes and Santas.

Mittens, buttons, bones, snails, flowers and even more spots.

Wellies, apples, Christmas trees, golf tees, more spots and stripes and the very hungry caterpillar.

The fleece on the back and the binding which seemed to match with whatever square it came up against on the edge of the quilt.

I'm very pleased with the way this quilt turned out. I'll get it in the post tomorrow so that baby Emmy can start using it.

And I have to show this off. Douglas made this quilting table addition for my sewing machine. This quilt was *much* easier to quilt because of it! Thanks, Douglas. :o)

Friday, 23 November 2012

baby quilt - top's done

I finished sewing the baby quilt top today. The photo's a bit fuzzy but you get the idea, I'm sure. :o)

I dug into my (diminishing) pile of fleece pieces and found this which is *perfect* for the back.

I'm hoping to get it quilted and bound tomorrow. My fingers are very tightly crossed! :o)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

a quilt for baby Emmy

I had another present to make for a new baby girl - Emmy - and I just kept putting it off. Why? Well, to be honest, I just didn't want to make another owl. I wanted to make a baby quilt instead. So, what was the problem with that?

Well, Emmy is the second baby in the family and I made a quilt for the first baby - Lucy - when she arrived. Anyway, I'm sure Lucy would rather Emmy had her own quilt rather than have to share her quilt with her new baby sister. I talked it over with Douglas and he said to make the quilt - much more useful than an owl! So that's what I'm doing.

The quilt is made of 4½" squares in a 13 x 13 square. It will end up around about 52" square which means I won't need to add borders. Yay!!

Here are the 169 squares I cut out yesterday afternoon and this morning. (Thank goodness for my Go! Cutter!!)

Then I placed them on our bed to see how they looked.

I think I only moved 3 squares before I decided to just go with it as it was! I mean, it's meant to be random so why spend hours rearranging the randomness?

Here are rows 1 to 10 all sewn together.

I hated having to stop with only 3 rows left to sew but I know, if I kept going, I wouldn't be able to move tomorrow far less sew. Here are the 3 rows I have left to do.

I'm hoping to get those put together tomorrow and maybe make a start to sewing the rows to each other. Fun! :o)

Monday, 19 November 2012

2 blouses and a terrible thing

Over the weekend and today, I made a couple of blouses for Joanna. Thankfully she loves them both!

Sorry about the picture quality - we're in the darkest days now so there's not much decent daylight to take photos at the moment. Only a month to go until the shortest day, though, and then the days will be getting longer again. Yay!!

Anyway, I digress. Here are the blouses!

And here's the terrible thing. I watched as my neighbour did this on Saturday. I couldn't believe my eyes! I thought long and hard about contacting the RSPCTB - Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Teddy Bears! ;o)

sunrise ~ sunset 19 November

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 9 hours and 25minutes (23 minutes less than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 7 hours and 57 minutes (27 minutes less than last week)

Friday, 16 November 2012

a few things I made this week

Here are a few things that I made this week. First of the cake variety - our Christmas cake.

The recipe said it would take 4½ to 4¾ hours but it actually took 6½ hours before I was happy that it was cooked. It's a good thing I started it before lunchtime! I've made a note on the recipe to maybe turn the oven up a wee bit - or at least be aware that it took that long! Douglas was quite disappointed that he'd have to wait until Christmas day to eat it!

My next finish was the skirt for part of my mum's Christmas.

As expected, the sewing of the jersey fabric was not the most fun I've ever had with a sewing machine & overlocker so I decided not to add the stretchy lining to the skirt. My mum always wears an underskirt so I don't think it'll matter too much.

I didn't waste the 15cm/6" strip of fabric that was left over. I made it into a wee scarf to go with her skirt. Two presents for the price of one! Not too shabby!

My next finishes are two more skirts that I took in for Joanna. One was easy enough as the zip was at the back.

But this one had a side zip so that had to come out and get replaced.

My fingers are tightly crossed that they fit her now!

Finally, here's something that made me smile this week. So far, I haven't received any underwear from Santa. Says it all really! :oD

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

some sewing and some Christmas jewels

Today I did a little sewing in the form of adding some ribbons for straps to a strapless dress of Joanna's.

Then I made a start to sewing a skirt for my mum's Christmas. This is the material I chose.

It's a knitted fabric so I was kind of dreading sewing it but, so far it's working out really well. Let's hope it continues that way when I make the lining which is also out of a knitted fabric. Eeek!

And here are the Christmas jewels I spoke of - the dried fruit soaking in some brandy overnight to be made into a Christmas cake tomorrow.

I'm not fond of Christmas cake myself but I love the way this fruit looks in the bowl. Very jewel-like!

Monday, 12 November 2012

thinking of Christmas

I had a *really* sore wrist over the weekend so didn't get any sewing done at all. Or anything much of anything really. I got Douglas to take me to the chemist so that I could get a tubigrip bandage to put on it and that made a whole lot of difference. I wore it all weekend and this morning managed to take it off and the wrist is much better now. Thankfully!

When it first got sore I thought - as you do - "it's a good job it's my left wrist and not my right one. I don't use my left wrist for much so it'll be fine". Wrong. It seems that anything I tried to do needed my left wrist to be working properly!

Reading my book, playing on my iPad both required movement from my left wrist. Ouch! Going to the loo involved (amongst other things) pulling up my tights - kind of hard to do one-handed let me tell you! Washing my hands wasn't too bad but drying them was ridiculously painful.

Anyway, I spent most of the weekend on our couch and read my way through a stack of magazines that I've been meaning to look at for weeks. Some of them were Christmas magazines so I found myself thinking of Christmas and planning things (in my head). I *LOVE* Christmas!

Now, just in case you're not in the mood yet, here's my absolute favourite Christmas advert ever. I know I show it every year but I *have* to! It's a classic and I never tire of it! Enjoy! :oD

sunrise ~ sunset 12 November

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 9 hours and 48 minutes (25 minutes less than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 8 hours and 24 minutes (27 minutes less than last week)

Friday, 9 November 2012

more pinnies

I don't usually get into the sewing room on a Thursday - too busy with other things - so, when Friday comes around, I'm eager to get back in there. Today was no exeption and I spent a happy morning sewing some more pinnies (aprons) which had been cut out a while ago.

There are 2 like this:

And one like this:

They're now all loaded into the tartan bee Etsy shop.

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the 5 week anniversary of me opening my wee shop. I'm having such fun filling its virtual shelves. If I'd known how much fun it would be, I'd have done it years ago! :oD

Oh, and I had my first sale last weekend. How exciting is that? I'm now not only an Etsy shop owner, I'm an Etsy seller! Wheeeee!!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

a good day's sewing

I had a good morning of machine sewing today and then a good afternoon of hand-sewing. I got a lot of things finished off and a few other things started. Here are the things I've finished off:

A couple more diary covers for the tartan bee shop:

Two potholders like this:

And one like this:

I haven't taken photos yet of the 3 pinnies (aprons) I started this morning. I'll show those when they're finished.

And here's a funny photo. Well, it made me laugh when I saw it. I asked Douglas to take photos of me "using" the potholders. I just used the pot that had been sitting out on the cooker waiting to be put away. But it didn't work well. You can't just see me in the reflection but you can see Douglas's hands holding the camera too! How silly does that look? :oD

We'll try again tomorrow ... with a different pot! :oD

Monday, 5 November 2012

it was perfect!

Today I've been busy cutting our another couple of diary covers ready for sewing tomorrow.

I also made another round oven glove. It's just waiting for me to hand-sew the bias binding to the back.

These will all end up in the tartan bee - link on the right if you're interested. :o)

And here are the mittens I made myself last week.

Why don't they match? Well, usually I would have made sure I started the second glove at the same place in the yarn that the first glove started at BUT there had been a join in the yarn of the first glove and I knew that, even if I did start the second one in the same place, the chances were high that it wouldn't end up in the same place so why bother? I love them not matching! They keep me just as warm as they would if they did match so I'm happy with that too!

So, what's the title of this post about? Only the new Nora Roberts book - The Perfect Hope.

I had pre-ordered it from South America (amazon) and it was meant to come this Thursday so I had allotted myself enough time to re-read the first two in the Inn at Boonsboro series before it arrived. Well, drat! It arrived last Friday when I was only on page 51 of the second book. I forced myself not to open the new book until I'd finished the second book and, boy, it was worth the wait. I *loved* it! It was perfect!