Monday, 31 August 2009

I've done it again!

The Quilting Bloggers site competition also has a small quilts category, so I've entered this quilt in that category. Don't forget, you can go and look, you can go and vote, but you can't go and enter cos I don't want any more competition than there is already!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

I've entered a competition.........

..........on-line at the Quilting Bloggers' site. They are having a competition on the theme of nature's best, so I entered Leaves around the Cabins - well now, there's a surprise isn't it? If you want to go see the entries, or enter it yourself, just use the link on my sidebar. If you all enter, by the way, I shall sulk cos it'll reduce my chances of winning!

Friday, 28 August 2009


I heard this afternoon that I can collect my new car on Monday morning. So it's really been a good couple of days for me.

Who's a lucky girl then?


Postie came today with this parcel for me.

I was expecting some special popcorn from a friend in the USA,
but when I opened it look what I saw:

Rather more than a packet of popcorn.

In fact there were 4 boxes of popcorn and other things.

There were 3 boxes of CrackerJacks, all in really nostalgic type packaging,

There was also this box of a different type of popcorn.

Of course, I opened one box of the CrackerJacks straight away. (Well, it would have been rude not to, wouldn't it?) It was delicious. Mr Fence tried it too, and between us we demolished half a box in seconds. I took one box into my father, he opened his, tried it, and did exactly the same as us. It's VERY more-ish.

As well as the popcorn, were these gorgeous gifts:

This lovely little notebook will be going in my bag with me wherever I go. It will be so much better than scrabbling round for a piece of paper whenever I am out and want to write something.

The other thing is a brilliant gadget for hanging your bag from the edge of a table when you're out. I don't know about you, but I hate putting my bag on the floor, not just cos of dirt and germs but cos I don't like it being out of sight, so normally I end up cuddling it when trying to drink my coffee or whatever, but no longer.

So now you see why I say I'm a lucky girl. Thank you very, very much Ms Red Geranium.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Alls well.........

........ that ends well.

You will all be very pleased to hear that this morning the postlady appeared on my doorstep with an envelope from the publisher with two copies of the magazine in it. So now I'm happy again!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

So, just how stupid can I get?

The answer seems to be:
very stupid indeed.

This morning I made a special trip out in the wild, wet, windy, wintry weather we are "enjoying" here in the UK this August, to buy a copy of the magazine where my pattern has been published. I came home clutching said magazine, made myself a cup of coffee, sat down with the magazine and the coffee, and realised.....
I had bought the wrong one.

Not bad really, since there are only 2 P&Q magazines published here!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

A well-deserved rest.........

.....after all the excitements and exertions of the past week, I think we all deserve a rest, so, ever mindful of the fact that this blog is called "Quilt" Times, I thought I'd give you a chance to see some more of my quilts.

This was made in 2004 for my sister, who loves my quilts. Blue and yellow were her favourite colours at the time. Because she uses them all the time, she actually reckons that she wears them out (!) and therefore needs a constant supply of new ones. She's not daft is she?

This was made in 2004 (I think) for Mr and Mrs Teacher. It is cotton fabrics on top, backed by a gorgeous soft brushed fabric. Very snuggly. The design was my own, and it is hand quilted.

I think I made this for myself in 2002. It is another of my own designs and it is made entirely with brushed cotton. I think it was also my first attempt at machine quilting. Nothing adventurous, just straight lines, but it did tell me that I do not like machine quilting!

I adapted this from a commercial pattern because I wanted to try using fusible bias tape. It is a centrepiece for a table which I called Going Round in Circles. It was made in 2004.

I liked the pattern, so then I made this one in Christmas fabrics. Showing great originality, I called this Going Round in Christmas Circles!

I was in Christmas mode by now, so then I made these placemats. The design was my own, and they are all the same, and all made from a collection of 6 or 8 christmas fabrics. All I did was to make one with 3 fabrics, and then make another with the same 3 fabrics in different places. The "reversed" mat can be seen underneath the original. The 2 mats at the left were made for The Professor and Chatterbox with children's fabrics. This year I'll need to make another one so that Little Person has one too.

Luckily I finished all of these by mid-December, because by the 18th I was in hospital having my gall-bladder out! I vowed then never to leave my Christmas quilting till the last minute, but guess what? I still do.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing these quilts, because I've got loads more for you to look at in the future.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Well, guess who won?

.....and it wasn't the dealer!

When I didn't hear from them by lunch time, I rang to tell them to forget it, but the salesman was with a customer, so I left a message to call me. Then I sat and waited. (sounding familiar?) 2 hours later, he hadn't called, so I left another message. I was pretty cross by then. Oh, OK, that's an understatement, I was VERY cross by then. I rang another branch of the same company and was told they had exactly what I wanted (you remember, a certain spec, that dealer 1 told me the company hadn't got, and if I ordered it, delivery would be December, at the earliest?) So guess where I went this morning? An hour after arriving, I had bought the car I wanted (oh yes, and I even had a choice of colours), for the price I wanted, paid the deposit and was on my way home again. I felt that I had been treated like an adult this time, there was no posturing. The salesman came up with figures, I said no and told him what I wanted, he checked with his manager, and said OK. Simple! So by this time next week, I should have a new car. Whooppee. Guess which garage I'll go to in the future?

See? Told you I would not be beaten!

PS Tomorrow I'll post photos of more quilts, just in case you're thinking I might have forgotten what this blog is supposed to be about.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

How to Waste Time......

........ as I promised yesterday, here is a lesson about how to waste half a day!

Go to a garage and try to buy a new car.

I don't need a new car. Mine is less than 2 years old, with a mileage of 5500. BUT I wanted a new car. Actually I wanted this particular new car;

I already have a Honda Civic hybrid, and this is the Insight hybrid. I had A figure in my mind, as the maximum I would pay so, yesterday morning, off I went to the Honda dealer. Luckily, I had put dinner in the Slow Cooker before I went.

When I got there, they had 2 available. One was a very top of the range demonstrator, and the other was a brand new almost bottom of the range one. I wanted the model that was one step down from the top. So now begins the pantomime.

Salesman pops up and finds out what I was looking for. He knew my current car - well he should, he sold it to me 18 months ago! But, we still have to go through it. I tell him what I'm looking for. He shows me what he has. I don't listen - I know what I'm looking for. In the end, I know that really either of the cars he had might be OK, so I ask him for a PX valuation. That's when it really starts. Up till now we've just been playing. He goes off to look at my car. I sit in showroom and wait. He comes back and returns keys and goes off to work out figures. I sit and wait. He comes back with figures, having added in all sorts of things I didn't want, like extended warranty, internal and external "scotchguarding", etc. I don't like the figures. He goes off to talk to his manager. I sit and wait. He comes back with his manager and slightly revised figures. I don't like them. Manager and salesman go off to try and do better. You know what I'm doing. They come back. I still don't like their numbers. I tell Manager in words of one syllable exactly what I am prepared to pay, and that if we can't get to that I'm walking. Manager goes off to phone his area manager. I.. well I'm still sitting. He comes back, having got close to my figure, but still not there, so I walked. That all took three and a half hours.

Why, I ask, can't we cut out almost all of the silliness, they tell me their "well-it's-worth-a-try-someone-might-go-for-it" price, I say no, they tell me their real price and that's it. It makes me so mad.

I think the garage were surprised when I left without buying! Ha, don't mess with me! This afternoon I had a phone call from the salesman to see if I'd changed my mind. I told him I hadn't, especially as neither of their cars were actually the model I really wanted. He's going to talk to his manager tomorrow and see if they can find anything else within their group. I told him which of their group did have what I wanted and suggested they follow that up.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Choo, choo...........

.....well, I left you reading the menu for breakfast, so here I am to tell you lots more about the day.
Here's Mr Fence sitting at the station, waiting for the train and probably dreaming about breakfast.

Here comes the train, hurrah.

Only kidding. This was at Carlisle station, isn't it cute?

This is a look at our carriage as we walked in, and a picture of breakfast (well some of it anyway)

Off we went and were happily eating our way through some great scenery in Yorkshire on our way to Carlisle. Unfortunately, there was a problem. They must have been giving us all too much tea and coffee, because we stopped as the engine had run out of water. We were only about 5 miles from our scheduled stop to take on water, but there was no way we would get there. There were lots of groans when we were told we might have to be pulled the rest of the way by diesel. But, no, the fire brigade came to our rescue. They came out with sirens and blue lights, and. most importantly a hose and a pump.

Our driver had very cleverly stopped on a bridge over the river, so the firemen ran their hose from the water to our engine and got enough water in to get us to the proper water stop. We were delayed for about an hour and a half, but why would we mind? We were comfortable, and we had plenty of food and coffee or tea on board, and some beautiful scenery to look at.

Then we were on our way again, and it must be lunch time by now? Lunch was a Ploughmans which was tasty and not too heavy.

The scenery was beautiful, but it's impossible to get decent photos through the window of a train, so you'll just have to take my word for it I'm afraid.

When we arrived in Carlisle, we didn't have much time, and so went for a short walk. I must say I was less than impressed with what I saw of Carlisle!

After an hour it was time to get back on the train. I managed to get a photo of the chef in the tiny area where he worked to produce this superb food for us.
Now we're off on the homeward journey with more stunning views out of the windows and a fabulous dinner to look forward to. We saw loads of sheep and cows on both journeys, and on the way home we had a good view of a herd of deer and loads of flocks of geese.

This was the main course for dinner:
as well as the chicken, the starter was crabcake with a chilli sauce, pudding was sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce and this was followed (if you had room) by cheese, biscuits, grapes, coffee and chocolate!

Now I'm on a diet - well I'm not actually, but I jolly well should be!

And this is the engine that took us on this great journey:
Tomorrow I'll tell you how I wasted half a day at a Honda dealership!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

To everyone who is waiting to hear about my trip....

..... I apologise for the delay in posting. Life has just got in the way for the last couple of days, but I hope to post tomorrow.

Just to whet your appetite: breakfast was Bucks Fizz, choice of porridge, cereal, melon or muesli. Followed by either kippers or a plate of cholestrol (!), toast, tea or coffee.

We still had lunch and dinner to eat.............

Saturday, 15 August 2009

All Aboard!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow is our steam powered train trip to Carlisle. Does anyone know of any quilt shops there? (One track mind? Me? No.) I think we will have about 3 hours there so I am wondering what else there is to do that won't involve Mr Fence in too much walking. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Friday, 14 August 2009

It's F R E E!

Who wants a free digital subscription for 6 months to Down Under Quilts?

I can't see any catch in it, and I've just signed up for it. The link, for anyone who is interested is I'm off now to read my first copy.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Yippee, and a question for you all..............

I've just heard from the Editor of Popular Patchwork that Leaves Around the Cabins has made it into the September issue, which will be available at Festival of Quilts from next Thursday.

Being a bit of a big-head, I LOVE seeing my work in a magazine like this!

Now for a question: next month my daughter, Mrs Nomad, is having a significant birthday, and no, I'm not telling you how old, cos it makes me feel ancient. She has decided to have a 1980's themed party (leg-warmers rule OK?) and wants 80's food with it. She doesn't want anything with chicken or prawns in case we poison the guests and so far we've come up with vol-au-vents (but don't know what to put in them, cubed cheese and pineapple on sticks stuck into foil-covered grapefruit halves, cocktail sausages, also on sticks, garlic bread and Black Forest gateau. Can anyone else think of anything else that's appropriate?

Monday, 10 August 2009

Cinnamon Snickerdoodles.

It seems there is some sort of a problem with the last 2 posts, so I have deleted them both and will re-post the recipe again here.

300 gm or 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
450 gm or 2 cups brown sugar, packed
225 gm or 1 cup softened butter
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla

For the topping:
2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon (not sugar, as I originally wrote, sorry all, and thanks Ms QuiltingProlifically for spotting it) mixed together

500 gm or 2 1/3 cups cinnamon chips. (Note: I did not add these as I don't think we can get them in the UK. The recipe did not seem to suffer from the lack of them.)

Preheat oven to 180C or 350F and lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. (Note: don't use a very shallow pan as the mixture will rise during cooking.)
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar then beat in the eggs (one at a time) and vanilla until smooth.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, add it slowly mixing until well blended.
Stir in the cinnamon chips if using.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and evenly sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon topping over the batter.
Bake for 25 mins or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. The mixture will rise during cooking. Stay around to enjoy the wonderful smell!
Cool slightly. While still warm, cut into squares and remember to reserve one for me.

These are delicious served warm or cold, with or without cream!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Did you miss me?

Well, I'm back now. I haven't actually been away, just busy with visiting family. Mr and Mrs Teacher and Little Person arrived on Monday afternoon, so we didn't really do much. We made up for it the rest of the week though.

On Tuesday we made some cakes. I had found a recipe online for Cinammon Snickerdoodles (love the name) so we tried them.

Little Person enjoyed the mixing,

but oh dear, look what happened when Mummy and Grandma both turned their backs at the same time. You'd think we'd know better, wouldn't you?

When he saw the finished result he was convinced it was chocolate cake, and couldn't get enough of it. Mind you, we all loved it. They were sort of like a cinammon brownie, and were wonderful.

On Tuesday we went to a place nearby called York Maze. which is a great place to take 3 energetic boys. There is a large maze planted from, would you believe, maize, and I think they do a different design every year. It had been raining (yes, again) overnight, so it was very muddy. We took the other 2 grandsons with us, and all enjoyed ourselves. We were all rather muddy when we got home though!

This is a picture of the boys at lunch time.

Blogger is obviously getting bored with me and my pictures now though, so I will leave the next part until tomorrow, when you can see us at Diggerland.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Here's a question for you..........

............can anyone explain to me why the state of Kansas in the US is pronounced can-sass, but Arkansas is pronounced R-can-saw?

Amazing the things that float through my mind when I'm not busy isn't it?



Today, Little Person is bringing his Mummy and Daddy, Mr and Mrs Teacher up to see us. I think they are staying until Friday so we'll have to find lots of things to do. I hope the weather is OK as I've already thought of several things, but they all involve being outside, so please, would everybody STOP doing their raindances until next weekend? Thank you very much.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

OK, so who's an idiot then?

The answer has to be ME!!


I have done something so stupid it is almost beyond belief.

"What have you done?" I hear you all cry.

Well, I'll tell you.

It all started earlier today when I was downloading a zip file which contain ed several different files (some text files and some diagrams). Somehow I have changed a setting so whereas before I would automatically save anything as it downloaded, then go back, double click and the zip file opened so I could extract everything, now when I try and open the folder the computer (which obviously thinks it knows better than me) is trying to open in Adobe and says it can't do it which is fair enough. So then I try to change the default program it uses to open my files and it's all gone horribly wrong. I have wasted almost all day trying to sort it, so nothing constructive has been done and I am not happy.
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