Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Finished Quilt!

I can't quite believe it, but I have finished my second quilt, it's only taken about two years but it's such a good feeling to have finished something.

As with any project, there were learning curves and problems..

Second attempt at machine quilting, so I tried to stick with straight lines on the cream sections, which are ok but then I got cocky and thought I'd try some meandering around the border flowers. It just looks messy and I didn't read the instructions about not quilting up to the edge, as when I came to put on the prairie points, I didn't have enough seam allowance to slot them into!
So I improvised and attached them along with some binding, which I slip-stitched to the back as normal.

For the backing I used fabric from the same line which was intended to be made into a cloth book and joined it together with some cream sashing and pieced a border out of all the leftover scraps to be frugal.
I also appliquéd on some paper pieced hexagons, which in hindsight I wish I just done onto a plain one piece backing as it looks too busy.
I also basted it on wonky and when I trimmed the front down to size, I noticed that the back border panels are uneven!

Still every project teaches us something new right?
I have loved being able to use it to warm up on the sofa on chilly nights though and I love the colours.

Well, on to the next one….

Friday, 23 January 2015

Blue Monday

It certainly was Blue Monday this week not because it was in anyway depressing but because of the winter sky.

A time to get out of the house and go for a walk.


Time to notice the small and have random conversations with the 3yo.

Meandering like the river. 

Although we did stop off in town to get my first free Waitrose cuppa ;)
This in hindsight was not thought out well as it ended up slopping out into my buggy organiser on the way to the park, where I had hoped to enjoy it!

I obviously need more practice at the art of having a cuppa on the go!

Time for a run around the playground (to warm up!) before heading home for the school run.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

2014 Review

2014 Places, Faces and Makes

May 2015 bring laughter, sunshine, holidays oh and a dog ;)

Thursday, 8 January 2015


Last summer holidays, I bought a GPS unit off eBay for £40 to start treasure-hunting with the girls after we did a geocache trail at Harcourt Arboretum. The idea is to follow the directions and find the cache - usually a small container with a log book and maybe items to swap.

We haven't done lots, mostly local ones where they're buggy friendly but we've all enjoyed them and they've encouraged us to get out in the fresh air.

Harcourt Arboretum offered a couple of trails using their own units which you hire with a deposit and it was a great way to learn the basics and after we've visited the arboretum quite a few times with the girls, it gave them a renewed purpose for looking around and appreciating the area. The cache boxes also had activities to do inside them.

If you're lucky enough to have a smartphone (and not stuck in the dark ages like me!) you can do it just with this using your phones GPS.
You then need to visit geocaching.com to find locations nearby.
I save these to my GPS unit and as I don't want to pay to upgrade my account (!) I print out or write in my notebook the details, as usually there are clues to find the actual cache. The GPS position can get you in the right area but without a clue it can a little hard to find the object, usually a small container or smaller, that's been hidden.

After the post-Christmas cabin fever had built up and the rain finally stopped, we packed up our small buggy and headed off for one within walking distance of our house. We had three stiles to contend with, which with the folding buggy, was just possible! And then the three year old was content to walk over the muddy fields.
In hindsight, January is not ideal to walk over muddy fields, after it's rained! 

We nearly lost wellies to the mud in one particular field, but we laughed at the sight of a human naked footprint in the mud, so we carried on like adventurers, telling ourselves that this would make a good memory to look back on!

We enjoyed a great view over our town, making the title of the cache - 'View from the top' appropriate and we succeeded in finding the cache, happily.

After we've done a few more, we hope to set our own, TallGreenGiraffe has already been thinking about where to hide it and how it could help get her a Scouts badge.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Festive break

After all the eating and presents are done, I like to laze. Lazy days filled with what ever you fancy, eating up the leftovers and if I'm lucky a new jigsaw!
Luckily I had TWO new ones this year, a fantastic Harry Potter one from my best friend and the above vintage style one from my Mum, both were 1000 pieces and the above I did in a day, I had jigsaw frenzy and couldn't stop!
I then also enjoyed making paper rosettes out of leftover wrapping paper to use as a Christmas garland next year. All you need to do is get a rectangle of paper and concertina fold it it along the short edge. Fold in half and secure with a piece of florists wire, then glue the ends to each other to make a circle. I've packed them carefully away and I'll thread them up next year to make a garland.

I'm not a big fan of New Year's Eve so I spent it listening to tunes in the kitchen and making a HUGE (belated) batch of apple spiced pies - these are a favourite of mine, (bit like mince pies but with apple, mixed spice, a few raisins and apricots) and the freezer is now jammed full of them!
You can see my lovely Christmas present above, the Dorset Tea enamel mug, for my favourite brew, I'm hoping it'll get an airing as a proper camping mug this year, if we can afford a tent! I don't what's happened but when I was little you only went camping if you couldn't afford a caravan, it was the cheap holiday, but now, the prices of all the stuff is extortionate. I spent a lot of time watching tents on eBay last year but with no funds to back it up, so fingers crossed for this year!
My other best presents were from my Mum, I'm finally a convert to the 'onesie' and I've spent way too long in it over the break! That and my new Moshulu slippers, mixed with copious amounts of tea and chocolate, it's been good.

I have also been trying to finish off the above quilt, I spent a good children-free afternoon squaring it up (even if the backing is wonky - that'll teach me for not using a simple one piece of fabric) and ironing prairie points for the binding while watching Miss Marple and the Princess Bride.
It's going to be quite hard to get back to work, I wonder if a onesie is appropriate office-wear yet?!