Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Crocheting and Other Things

Here's my latest crochet, two potholders, this time new ones for my own kitchen, if I can bring myself to use them!
A potholder is a really fun thing to make if you want an instant gratification project, because you have colour combinations and stitch patterns, all on a small scale.
For anyone who is interested in the patterns, the square one is from Heirloom Thread Potholders by Annie's Attic, except I made a straightforward double-sided one instead of the "pocket" version in the pattern. There are lots of nice ones in that book. The watermelon one is from Kitchen Basics in Cotton published by Leisure Arts.
I used 4-ply cotton for both of these, but I used it doubled for the watermelon.

This is some wool applique I started on last week. It's the Welcoming Heart pattern from Folk Heart Threads by Need'l Love. I'd forgotten how much I like wool applique! Once you start doing it it's difficult to stop.

And I've just taken these muffins out of the oven, made with blueberries from our garden. The recipe is from San at Gypsy Quilter. I haven't had one yet but they look and smell lovely.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

The NEC and Retail Therapy

On Saturday we took a trip to the Festival of Quilts at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. This photo was taken outside the entrance to the halls where the show was held.
It was about two hours' drive to get there, but worth it to see so many quilts beautifully displayed in one place.
Here are just a couple of shots of the exhibition.

There were lots of vendors there, and it would have been wrong not to take the opportunity to stock up on fabrics. Here's my pile of goodies.

The two reels of thread are a shade I use quite a lot in machine quilting. It blends in with mid-tone fabrics and doesn't stand out too "white" against dark colours. (The patchwork in the background is a tablerunner.)

Sometime this week I'll wash them all. Do you pre-wash? It's a process I enjoy. I like to see pieces of fabric pegged out on the washing line.
I'm not usually too keen on ironing clothes or sheets, but ironing fabric is different! I take my time and have a proper look at it, and read what it says on the selvage. I cut off all the straggly frayed threads from the sides and make a pile of them on the end of the ironing board, and then think how nice the different coloured threads look all together.
Maybe I need to get out more:)
Have a great week.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Tagged (not really)

Not much to show you this week, but I did decorate this tag to go on a friend's birthday present. I made her a card last year, so this is the year of the tag.
It was a fun exercise playing with all those different textures. I might make more of these.
The letter K is cut out of wool. I was determined to include some rick rack in it somewhere.

The Laundry stitchery in my last post is one I made a couple of years ago for my utility room (laundry room). It was from a book called The Blue Book by Diane Arthurs. It was intended to be done in blue but I did mine red:) I can't remember where I got my copy of the book from, but Colonial Crafts have it listed in their Stitchery section.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Washing Machine Trouble

I've been waiting in today for the washing machine repair man. Don't you hate that?
The problem was the door lock. A load of washing was stuck in there for four days and I couldn't open the door. Anyway he's fixed it now - apparently the door lock mechanism had come loose. I had to pay an exorbitant callout fee, and within a minute of him leaving I had the machine newly loaded and now it's humming away, after being unusable for four days in the heat. Sigh of relief.

It's been too hot to do any sewing and I've no current project to show you, but I've been taking some garden photos.

A lacecap hydrangea in dappled shade. This moved with us in a pot from our previous house, and now it's planted out in semi-shade.

Globe thistles always attract a lot of bees.

I don't know the proper name for these, but to myself I call them "giant daisies", lol. They were here when we moved in and they are good for cutting.
I've been asked to help spread the word about a new quilt swap. I'm a bit late with it but if you haven't heard about it and think you might be interested, check it out: Four Seasons Quilt Swap

Friday, 3 August 2007

Cookies and Quilting

I've been baking chocolate chip cookies this morning. This is the classic Toll House recipe from here. (Just type Toll House into the search box, and it's the first recipe that comes up.) They turn out perfect every time and it makes a huge batch, but they won't last long in this house;) If you haven't tried this recipe, try it, it's a good one.

Heres my finished star quilt, all quilted and bound.
I hesitated before deciding on that green binding, but I'm glad I went with it. I think sometimes a small amount of an unexpected colour adds a bit of spark. There is some mossy green in the print of the cream fabric, so the binding does relate to something.
If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see the binding and quilting more clearly.
Anyway I like the effect, and I enjoyed making this quilt, especially the quilting. I like working on a small to medium-sized scale, and this is just over a yard square.
The weather's hotting up a bit here. I like the sunshine but not the heat, so I hope it doesn't get too hot. It's nice to have a change from rain though. Hope it's fine where you are!