Friday, 29 May 2015

starting a new baby quilt

I started making a new baby quilt this week. First of all I drew out a couple of plans. They were basically the same - 4½" patterned squares with white sashings between. The first one had cornerstones in the sashing rows.

I decided to go with the second version without the cornerstones. I felt that adding 81 2½" squares was going to make the quilt top look very busy. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! :oD)

I then dug out my boxes of 4½" squares and chose 64 of them. Taking 64 out of the boxes didn't make much of a dent in my supply! I have so many squares already cut that I could probably make 10 quilts like this and not need to cut any more!

I arranged them on top of our bed and then wrote down the order of each row.

Then I dug into my box of 2½" white strips for the sashings. I had so many of those, I didn't need to cut any new ones! Yay!

Today I started sewing the vertical sashings on to the 4½" squares to make the 8 horizontal rows.

Then I pressed all the seams towards the coloured squares. (Note to self: hoover the sewing room carpet! *blush*)

Then I sewed one horizontal sashing strip to rows 1 to 7 and two to row 8.

That's where I left it today. I wanted to keep going but I knew, if I did, I wouldn't be able to move tomorrow. I should be able to get the top finished tomorrow and I have a fleece already lined up for the backing. Fun times!

I don't know what the weather has in store for us this weekend but all these really heavy hailstone showers and bitterly cold winds are getting a bit old. It's nearly June, for pete's sake! Where is the warm weather?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

starry, starry blouse

I've been making another blouse. It's one of my favourite patterns - New Look 6407, view E. (I don't even need to look up the number any more. I've made it so many times, I know the number off by heart! LOL)

I love this blouse. Love the starry, starry fabric.

I got the fabric in the remnant box sometime last year and paid £4 for it. Bargain indeed for pure cotton fabric! Yet again I had the dilemma of not having the right colour of buttons in my vast collection so I had to go and buy some. I paid 45p each for those (not so special) buttons. Aaargh!

To solve my button dilemma, Joanna has come up with a plan. I'm to go through all the fabrics I have in my stash that I might make a blouse or a dress with. Then I have to buy some buttons from eBay to go with each of those fabrics. If it's definitely going to be a blouse, I need 6 buttons. If it's going to be a dress (like I made for Joanna's birthday), I need 10 buttons. If I can't make up my mind if it'll be a blouse or a dress, then I buy 10 buttons so I can make either. It sounds like a genius idea, don't you think?

Friday, 22 May 2015

back to blogging

Once again, thank you to you all for your kind comments on here and by e-mail on the loss of my Mum. The funeral was on Tuesday and, although sad, we laughed as well. Mum would be the first to tell us to get on with our lives so I've decided it's time to get back to blogging.

But what could I blog about? I decided to see what photos I had on my camera that I hadn't blogged about so here they are.

A couple of pairs of oven gloves for myself.

A red stripey shirt - New Look 6407 - again. :o)

With some matching red stripey buttons:

And then a story of a HUGE disppointment. I had decided I was going to make Joanna the "Walkaway Dress" (Butterick 4790) for her birthday.

I duly purchased 5 metres of pretty navy fabric with red cherries on it.

I washed it, dried it (outside on the line) and ironed it with the right sides together in preparation for cutting it out.

I needed red bias binding and, since my local fabric shop didn't have any in stock (!!) I had to make my own. I think I got about 10 metres of the stuff!!

I duly made up the dress and was in the process of pinning all that bias binding on when I noticed the fabric had fade lines on it. I was so disappointed - and angry. I knew the fabric had faded in the wash but, when I looked closely, there were quite obvious lines all over the dress where the colour had faded more than the rest. I hadn't noticed earlier in the process because I'd turned the fabric right sides together and the fade lines didn't show up on the wrong side!

I took the dress to the fabric shop to show them and I was given my money back. Apparently, someone else had been in complaining of the same thing!! I was offered more fabric in its place but I just didn't know what I wanted to buy. To be honest, after all that effort sewing the dress, I just didn't want to have to start again. I asked what they would do with the dress and the assistant told me just to take it back home and use it for something else. So I did. I took it home and finished the dress. I thought Joanna could wear it to do her garden if nothing else!

I had told Joanna the story of the fabric so the dress was no longer a secret. I finished it off to the stage of just needing to add the front buttons where the backs come around to the front and gave it to her to try on. It didn't fit. The armholes gaped, the neck gaped, the waist was too tight, the lengths of the front and backs were different. Aaaaaargh!!

When Debbie was here a few days later, she tried the dress on. She has more in the boobage area than Joanna so we wanted to know if the armhole and neck gaping would still be there. It was. She did fill the dress out more than Joanna did but it didn't fit her either.

I don't have any photos of the dress finished. I was so angry at it that the fabric has now been assigned to the "I don't know what to do with this" bin in my sewing room where it will stay until I can be bothered dealing with it!

Oh well, at least the dress I did make for Joanna's birthday fitted her beautifully and the fabric was/is adorable. And not faded!

Monday, 18 May 2015

60 today!

Another day of celebration today. For me this time. My 60th birthday!! Wheeeeee!!!

I got lots of lovely gifts.

From Douglas - scarves.

Shoes and a handbag.

A sparkly pink watch. No, he didn't pick any of them, I did. He just paid for and wrapped them! :oD

From Debbie and Jason - soap (made by Debbie), some lemon and lime marmalade (yum), some fudge (yummier) and a copper brooch (also made by Debbie). And a huge cookie made by Jason - it's about 6" across - which I forgot to take a photo of!

From Joanna - a sign for my wall.

And a huge glass jar full of stuff! Oh my goodness, it was fun to dive into that jar to see what was in there.

There were brightly coloured pens - lovely!

And fabrics - lovelier!

And buttons and pompoms and ribbons and sweeties and all sorts of other exciting bits and bobs for me to play with!

The card Joanna made for me made me laugh. Apparently, I'm only 15! Mind you, as I told her, I'd put it on a treble word score so I'd be 45! :oD

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Happy Birthday, Joanna!

First of all, let me say a very warm thank you to all of you who left comments on my last post or sent me e-mails. Your kind words have meant a lot to me and I have read them over and over. It's taking a bit of getting used to but we're getting there. Thank you all so much.

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

Today we went out for snack. My choice: lemon drizzle cake and a pot of tea. (Yes, I spilt that water on the table out of my teapot. It was a really bad pourer!)

Joanna's snack: apple and cinnamon scone with a cappuccino.

Douglas's choice: apple and cinnamon scone with a hot chocolate.

It was a special day so it had to be celebrated. What special day? Joanna's birthday!

She is 33 today. What? How did that happen? My baby girl. My last born. My younger child. Is 33???? No, surely not!!

After snack, we came home and she unwrapped her parcels.

This isn't really a massive can of Coke - it's a "piggy" bank.

I made her a dress - McCall's 6696 again.

One of Joanna's most favourite things are Matryoshka dolls so, when I saw this fabric, I knew I *had* to use it for her new dress. I'm so glad I did. She loves it!

Happy Birthday, Joanna! We love you!!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


E. T. M.

12 May 1928 - 6 May 2015

My mum "slipped away" at lunchtime today. That's how the nurse put it when she phoned me to let me know and I thought it was very appropriate. Needless to say, it's been tough today and I don't expect it'll get easier for a while. Thank you all for all your comments on yesterday's post. They really mean a lot to me.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

the last thing on my mind

I just wanted to let you all know why there's not much blogging going on around these parts lately. My mum was taken into hospital 3 weeks ago having had a slight heart attack. As you can imagine, it was a scary time but 4 days later, mum was back in her care home looking not much worse for the experience.

That was a Thursday. Two days later on the Saturday, she was taken back to the hospital again having had another "cardiac event". They kept her longer this time - 5 days instead of 4!

For about a week, she seemed to be improving but last Thursday, I just didn't like the look of her. I don't know why I thought it but just felt there was something not quite right. Sure enough, that afternoon I got a phone call from the home to tell me she had a chest infection but that she wasn't in pain and was quite content in herself.

I was back in to see her on Sunday morning with Joanna and I remember saying to Joanna as we drove home, "Granny's not well". At lunchtime, the nurse from the home phoned to say that they'd got the ambulance back to take her to the hospital again. Her oxygen levels were low and her blood pressure was way down. It turns out she now has pneumonia. Her breathing is awful. She isn't swallowing and so is on intravenous fluids and antibiotics and heaven knows what else. I have cried every single time I have come out of visiting because I am so scared of what mum is going through.

I was just putting my coat on this afternoon to go to visit her when my Auntie (mum's sister) phoned me for her monthly update on mum. She and I spoke (and cried) for a while and she said a few things to me that I really needed to hear. I felt a bit better after that and actually didn't cry coming out of the hospital this afternoon. (Needless to say, I'm crying as I type this but that's just me. A crier and not in the least ashamed of it!)

It's so hard to deal with my head right now. I want mum to get better - obviously - but, I don't want her to be in pain or uncomfortable. I want what's best for mum and, at the moment, I just don't know what that is. :o(

Anyway, that's why I'm not here much. Blogging is the last thing on my mind at the moment.