Sunday, 31 October 2010

Quilting class fun

Yesterday I took an introductory patchwork & quilting class, organised by The Skep Knitting and Quilting Shop in Farsley. Although I have taught myself the basics from books, there were a few things I'm not very good at (cutting out, matching corners and getting consistent seams for starts), so I thought the absolute beginners class would be a good idea. Plus although I've made a few blocks, I've never actually done any sashing, quilting or binding!!

The day started with a near miss for me - as I was backing out of the drive I remembered that I needed the cable and foot for my sewing machine. Shall I just say I wasn't the only one!! When we arrived we all had a cuppa, and Maureen, the teacher, gave us all a present from Clare, who runs the Skep - a lovely pin cushion complete with a few pins, a needle and a wonderful 10% off voucher... more on that later ;)

We all made a simple 16 patch block, and I chose not-very-typically-Jo colours for mine. The green fabric with bright pink berries really caught my eye - and the plain cerise pink was a perfect match!! Once I'd made the first 4 small units, I tried arranging them in different ways, and decided that they looked fabulous as a Puss in the Corner design. Maureen was very taken with my choice of fabrics and design, and suggested that we should quilt through the plain pink using a leaf motif, using a lovely variegated green thread. The sashing was surprisingly simple, as was attaching the binding, but the mitred corners were really tricky... By the end of the class I'd got everything finished apart from 2 mitred corners and stitching the binding to the back by hand. I did 2 corners and some hemming last night, and finished it in front of the TV this morning:

I had a blast yesterday, and learnt LOADS - Maureen was a great teacher, and very funny. I can't wait to sign up for quilting 2. Plus Louise and I fancy the crocheting class that they run. Pam even kept the Skep open late for us so we could go shopping after we finished. I only bought 2 fat quarters, as i have plenty in my stash already and no real idea of what I want to make next. But I picked up some more wool to make another cable knit scarf (I like the one for Cancer Research UK so much I'm making one for me!!), and some lovely ribbons for finishing Christmas ornaments:

Oh, and I forgot to say - at lunchtime we were treated to homemade apple pie and/or mince pies made by Pam. Thankfully I don't like mince pies, so my ww week wasn't totally trashed ;) And that reminds me of another thing - I had a major victory at ww this week - I passed the 50lbs mark - I can't believe I have lost 50.5lbs since January!!!

Last time I posted I promised a photo of Peacock Firescreen:

I've made quite a bit of progress on it this week since the last time I shared a photo (which is exactly where it stood when I picked it up), something else I'm really happy with.

Anyway, I have to say I am having a wonderful weekend on my own (Eddy's at a conference, and is on his way home right now). I'm planning a nice tea tonight with apple crumble with our own apples for pudding. Hope your weekends have been just as lovely.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Never posted this finish!!

Not long after we got back from the States (probably in May), I stitched this ornament from the 2009 JCS magazine:

Oh Christmas Tree
(c) Charlotte's Web Needlework

I really enjoyed trying all the speciality stitches, and learnt quite a bit from it.

This week I've been working on Peacock Firescreen by Barbara Thompson. If you recall I really wasn't enjoying it much, but now I've started the peacock I'm getting quite into it. I'll post a photo at the weekend.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Christmas Sea Otter

Last night I finished the sea otter ornament from the JCS 2008 xmas ornaments magazine. I'dwanted to stitch him as soon as I saw the design, as he's so cute, and he reminds me of our fabulous trip to Alaska a few years ago (in 2006 I think). I didn't get the buttons until we were in Vegas at Easter, and I honestly thought I was one of the wool colours short... until a couple of weeks ago when I checked my stash to work out which colour I needed to order... and realised I had all 3 shades. So I started him right away!!

Snowdon, (c) Jemini Designs
Stitched in GAST simply wool, Esatz glissen gloss and DMC

The photo is a little washed out - the fabric is a 28 ct linen by Jane Greenoff called tansy, and is a lovely blue-green IRL. I really, really enjoyed stitching this little guy!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

FT Happy Dance!!

Yes, it's finally finished:

Fantasy Triptych, (c) Teresa Wentzler

I really slowed towards the end of this project. I think subconsciously I didn't want to finish it...

Last night we watched Wallander in Swedish - so once again I did some knitting so I could read the sub-titles!! I started my second scarf for Cancer Research UK:

After finishing FT tonight I picked up Pooh and Eeyore and finished the xs. And yes Avivah, there were a few more stitches in that gap!!! I've just started the bs, and will share another photo in the week. I seem to be having a very productive October, which is lovely... wonder how many things I can finish before the New Year!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Stash shopping and stitching

This week has been particularly busy, and I've not had a huge amount of time to stitch. When I have had time I've not felt like using the large frame FT is on, so I've still not quite finished - just the beads to go now!! I had a sudden emergency on Wednesday when I realised I didn't have enough beads, so I put in an order to sewandso for the beads and a few skeins of speciality threads, for ornies in the JCS 2010 ornament magazine.

I've done quite a bit more of Pooh and Eeyore, but still have some xs to do, before all the detailed BS, which really brings this piece to life:

I also started an ornament, for the 2008 JCS magazine. I bought all the stash for this in Las Vegas back at Easter... any idea what the nondescript brown blob might be?

Today was the Pudsey Not Just Lace Fair, which of course I had to go to as it's just up the road!! Phyllis stayed with us overnight last night, as she was organising the Lace Guild's stall. She went to the hall at about 8.45 this morning. Sonia came over at 10.30 and we headed over, missing the doors just open rush. Eddy came along too. I bought myself some lovely bobbins, one antique leopard (left), three from Margaret Wall (middle) and five from Stuart Johnson (right).

I also got lots of spangles (beads) - enough for all the bobbins I have that are unspangled, including all of the ones Eddy made in May. Both Stuart and David Springett asked Eddy if he was still wood turning (we don't have a lathe - or room for one - though!). Eddy bought me a pretty bobbin for Christmas, and I got him a wood turning book by David Springett. I also bought myself a 24" round pillow (much more suitable for Bedfordshire Lace than my current pillows), and this adorable little duck pin cushion:

All in all, great fun!! And now I am going to drink my cuppa (which will have cooled down perfectly while I was writing this) and pick up FT and get those beads on. I fully expect another Happy Dance today.

Thanks for popping by!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Two knitting happy dances :)

Last night I finished the scarf I was knitting for me - it's a basic lace pattern, in a pretty variegated double knitting wool. This afternoon I finished the one I was knitting for cancer research UK. It's a very basic cable (pattern from the Skep knitting and quilting shop - my new local haunt), in a chunky magenta wool. Not as bright as in these photos... I love the cable so much I may have to knit it again for myself... I have about 1/2 ball of wool left - it took 2.5 balls, and is over 1.5m long!

The lighting at home is dreadful tonight, and don't do either scarf justice... but I really wanted to share these with you today!!! The ones with me wearing (I won't say modelling, as that's a real stretch) just didn't come out. But it is fabulous - lovely and long!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Knit the York Walls!!

As I mentioned in my last week, I'm knitting scarves for charity...

One of my colleagues, Julia, was in York over the summer and met a group aiming to get enough pink scarves to hang them around the walls of York. Apparently they had a scale model - a small scarf or two wrapped around a Barbie Castle!! Inspired by this, Julia asked if our stitch and bitch group at work would join in...

On Monday, Julia, Sonia, Chrissie, Emma and Louise came over to mine and we started knitting. Emma and I chose chunky wool, which was VERY CLEVER...

I'm hoping to knit 2 scarves. The first is bright magenta and has a cable. Not having knitted a cable since I was 18 this proved to be a bit of a challenge at first... I spent much of the first hour swearing and ripping out the scarf. Now I've got the hang of it, it's coming along nicely (just under a metre at present).

The scarves have to be sent to York, and will be wrapped around the 2.5 mile walls on 21st November. 2832 scarves, measuring 15 x 150cm are needed. Afterwards the scarves will be sold in aid of Cancer Research UK. So I'm spreading the work - pull out your knitting needles, find some pink wool, and help knit the walls of York!!! Details are here.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

October goals

well I knew finishing the xs on Fantasy Triptych was a long shot. I might have managed it, but Thursday night I helped a friend move house, rather than coming home and stitching, which completely kyboshed any attempt to get it done! Last night I did the maiden's hair and dress, and now just need to do the over 1 (I'm going to convert her hand to over one) and the speciality stitches - which technically means I've now completed the xs!!!! Woooooo!!!

Anyway, it's time to recap September's goals:

1) Finish the xs on Fantasy Triptych - close, but no banana...
2) Work on Pooh and Eeyore - yes
3) Stitch an ornament - nope
4) Make good progress with my lace - I made progress, but I wouldn't call it good!!
5) Finish my scarf - nope
6) work on another WIP - not that I remember...

Now term has started, life gets hectic again, so I need to be a bit more realistic... yeah right!!! So here are October's optomistic goals:

1) Finish FT
2) Finish my scarf
3) Knit 2 chunky scraves for a charity event - for Cancer UK a group of knitters are trying to knit enough scarves to fit around the walls of York... more on this to come!!!
4) Stitch an ornie
5) Work on another WIP
6) Buy my 3 stone lost stitching treat

Lets see how I get on!!