Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Bertha's been a busy bee ...

... she's also been a pain in the you-know-where, and kept having tension hissy-fits.  I've taken the tension thingies apart several times, cleaned and oiled everything I can get to, changed the bobbin, changed the top thread, changed the needle and even tried swearing at her, all to no avail, so, tomorrow Mr Fixit is going to take her apart to see if he can see a problem.

Anyway, this is what we've been doing.  Do you remember a few posts back I showed you a quilt that Scrappy and I had made together as a charity quilt?  We both loved the pattern so we decided to each make another one.

This is Scrappy's version.  I quilted it with a pale pink thread, and think it looks great.











and this is mine.  I love how we both used different layouts, and they are also both different to the original version we made.










Here's a close-up of mine, showing the quilting that I did in pale yellow thread.










Finally, this is another charity quilt and I used a quilting design that I think is fantastic as it gives a 3-D effect to the quilt.










All-in-all, I'm feeling quite smug that I finished these, despite Bertha's attempts to put the kybosh on it all.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

It's been ...

... a good week.  (I can hear you thinking "thank goodness for that, maybe now she'll stop moaning.)

Let's start with the en-suite.  It's finished (almost) at last and everything works. Pheww. The decorator is starting on Tuesday.

Then, last Tuesday, Scrappy and I took off to the seaside for the day.  We didn't see the sea though, but we did see lots of fabric.  This is what I bought
and they will be used to make two quilts. The jelly roll just jumped into my basket and insisted on coming home with me. Scrappy bought about four times as much fabric to also make two quilts. When we got off the train, the first thing we did was visit Costa, where we had lovely coffees and cakes, after our shopping we had yummy sandwiches at a Thornton's coffee shop, then we caught the train.  I had a 40 minute wait for a connection at Scrappy's home station, so guess what we did?  Yep, we went to Costa.

Then on Friday my friend Mrs Flum came a-visiting for the weekend.  Bilbo was supposed to be coming too, but sadly, could not make it at the last minute.  They were going to be here for the weekend.  Scrappy came for the day too on Saturday, and the three of us spent a lovely relaxing day hand-sewing and chatting, only interrupted by food at regular intervals. In the interest of total disclosure, I must admit that Mrs F actually sewed down the bindings on two quilts for me, and even buried all the ends. Thank you.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot.  Scrappy has got her own back on the challenge I gave her earlier this year, (you can read about that here) and issued a challenge to me: make a quilt with NO WHITE in it.  I can't even use a fabric with teeny weeny bits of white in the pattern.  This is not going to be easy for me.

Tomorrow I have to face the music, well all right, the scales, at fat club.  Wish me luck with that.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Hmm ....

.... more practice needed I think!

In my own defence, I hadn't touched my machine since my last post, so maybe it's not too bad?  One thing's for sure, it can only get better!

On another topic altogether, about 2 months ago we (OK, I) decided that we should really have our en-suite revamped and made a bit safer for Mr Fixit, so, design agreed, quote agreed, start date agreed, what could possibly go wrong?  Well, if I tell you that 6 weeks from the start date, it's still not finished, you'll understand why I'm tearing my hair out.  It all went well on week 1 and the first couple of days of week 2. By the way, this is only a small en-suite and the whole job should have taken 8 days. Then, we had to wait for a plasterer.  Really?  Sorry bathroom company but should you not have got this job scheduled better than that? 6 days we waited for the plasterer.  Then the electrician had to follow on to do his thing with the shower pump, the new lights and the extractor fan.  When he left early in the afternoon he said the plumber would be in later to connect the water and then we could use the shower.  Whooppee, we thought.  Silly us.  The plumber didn't turn up so Mr Fixit turned the water back on and went to have the inaugural shower.  Bit of a problem here - it leaked from the water flow control, and I don't just mean a bit of a drip I mean water under pressure. Still, we were both determined to have showers that night so we carried on.  Next problem - we could only have either hot or scalding water, the cold didn't seem to be working and the water would only come from the small hand-held shower head and not from the lovely big rain shower fixed head. Oh, and by then I had realised that they'd fitted the wrong extractor fan. Next morning, first thing, guess who I was on the phone to?  To give the company their due, the boss was with us within half an hour. He fixed the leak, he fixed the cold water but what he couldn't do was fix the flow from the large shower head.  It turned out that we needed a different pump so off he went to order one.  A couple of days, he said and he also promised that the extractor would be changed when they fitted the new pump.  Two weeks passed with almost daily calls from me to them until finally, yesterday, the boss called to say the pump was being delivered that day and he's be up on Monday to change it himself. We'll see.  I can tell you I'm not holding my breath though.

I had planned to have our downstairs cloakroom revamped next, but right now I don't think I can face that!

Monday, 22 June 2015

FMQ progress

I can definitely see progress here.  I bought some gloves at the weekend, as several of you suggested, and I think they helped. The first photo is the front, and the second shows the back.  My stitches are beginning to be a more consistent size, shame I can't say the same about my loops!  All in all though, I'm feeling optimistic today that one day I might become almost a passable quilter.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

More playing ...

... does this woman ever do any housework/cooking/etc?  How come she gets to play so often?  That's what you're all wondering isn't it? Well the answer is that when you've got the builders in it's not worth doing things like dusting or vacuuming and it's best to plan meals for the slow cooker that do two days.

So, now we've sorted that out, let me show you what I've been doing. Yesterday was our monthly meeting of the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group that both Scrappy and I belong to, and I decided to carry on with my ideas for the slice and insert block that I've been playing with lately.  This is what I came up with


By the way, they're not really all puckered, they're creased from where I had them all scrumpled up in my bag when I came home last night and I couldn't be bothered to iron them before taking the photos, sorry.  I'm not sure I like either of these versions, but I had to try them didn't I?

Oh, and Just in case you think I've given up on my free motion quilting, here's a little pile of sandwiches I've just made

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Today's playtime ...

... resulted in this block which is a variation on yesterday's.  It uses 14, yes 14 different fabrics.  I love it.
I made it by cutting strips from different fabrics, sewing them together and then sewing them into a tube, cutting rings from the tube and opening them up at various places on the rings and then slicing and inserting them.  I really had fun with this.
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