Saturday, 31 October 2015

Thought For The Week

Sewing Room closed for Essential Maintenance

OK I'm going to be honest here. There are some horrific photos to follow, those of a nervous persuasion should look away.

Today I serviced and cleaned my sewing machine.

The tools I use are a couple of screwdrivers, a cloth, a set of cheap makeup brushes and some tweezers.

Look at all the lint build up around my light bulb and tension hooks.

And in the bobbin compartment

 You'd never believe I clean this part out every week.

Anyway after 20 minutes of brushing and tweezer work it's all clean, or is it?

You see the little man who normally services my machine once showed me something horrific.

Look what happens when I remove the base of my machine

The lint on my cutting table just fell out as I removed the base. This hasn't been cleaned for about three months.
A good 45 minutes later my machine is completely lint free.

Like a good engineer all the screws and bits are laid out so I don't lose anything. Something taught to me by my hubby who's very methodic in his work. 

She's now back together and in her home

 And, if you are sure you can cope, here's all the lint I removed from her

Now that's enough to give you nightmares this Halloween.

And the moral of the story? Your machine may not be as clean as you think. Something to wonder about if your tension is off and you don't know why.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I think I may need an Intervention

Hello my name is Gina and I'm addicted to making mug rugs. Does anyone know of a 10 step programme.

Having already made a few this month I finished two more this week.

The first is made from the scraps of  one of the blocks shown HERE

I used pebbles to quilt the background and straight lines with pebbles for the spokes of the wheel. 

 The border was quilted with two parallel ( ish) lines filled with a line of bubbles/pebbles

This will sit on my emergency present pile.

The next mug rug was to add to a goody bag for a Birthday Swap. The person in question liked vintage style things so I managed to make this out of what was left from my Liberty fabrics.

I made up squares of two fabrics and sewed them together so the seams went horizontally and vertically.

 I quilted vertical and horizontal lines in the squares and a swirl in the border. I used a pink for the binding.

These will not be my last mug rugs though, I'm making one, maybe two, for my Golden Age of Hollywood Swap partner. Plus I'm doing a one on one mug rug swap with Leanne.

In my defence  I do love making mug rugs. They are quick and an ideal option to try out new techniques or use up some special scraps.

Sites I will be linking up to are HERE

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Natures Palette

We've had some fabulous skies here lately so I thought I'd have a bit of fun with some pics I've taken.

There are some great sites around that will pick out various colours of a photo to help you build up a palette. Some will even pick out the exact solid fabric match. These are a great idea if you are never sure if some colour combinations will work. I tend to use them as inspiration if I see flower colour combination I like so I can pick out my own choice of fabrics.

The one I found will not only pick out the colours but match them to  Moda Bella Solids. It can be found HERE. I have seen ones that do the same with Kona aswell.

So a bit of fun with some sky pics.

First up Sunset

Next up dawn

And finally a full moon pic from the night before last. I was hanging out the bedroom for this one. 

And finally because you know how I love bright colours

I quite fancy a quilt in those colours.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

why do the small things take so long

So Sunday I decided to start a table runner for the Golden Age of Hollywood swap from Instagram. Amongst my partners likes was the film Holiday Inn. She didn't want a wall mini but said she liked things she could use.

I decide that one of her items ( we have to make 2) would be a table runner for the winter

I had a play on EQ and came up with this, printed out the patterns and headed up to the sewing room.

I can't believe that a few 4" blocks took me all day to make. I must have been on slow speed or something.

Six hours in my room and all I did was two rows.

I hadn't even drawn out the words to embroider or sewn the applique down.

Hopefully that can be done today as it needs to be finished and out the door on Friday.
I have a few ideas about my second item but it has to be black and white and I'm struggling with fabric placement.  I'll be spending this evening on EQ to play I think.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Still Stitching Slowly

I'm still stitching my mammoth Heaven and Earth cross stitch. I haven't given up yet.

Two weeks ago I was here

 This morning I'm here

This represents just under 600 stitches as you can see from the chart

I haven't done as much as I wanted but I've been waiting for a frame. I don't normally use them but this is so big ( 2ft x 2ft) and will be such slow going I thought I'd better use one. I was lucky enough to find a 40" frame on Amazon.

It currently occupies it's own chair at the dining table. The big black mass on the floor is Stan photo bombing.
I'm following in quite a few footsteps and I've put a pic of the completed cross stitch and a stitch counter on my sidebar so I can see how I'm progressing. I just need to remember to update it.

The blogs I'm linking this up with can be found listed HERE

Thought For The Week

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Starburst Table Runner

Remember the table runner that I pattern tested for an Instagram friend

I've finally quilted and finished it.

This was my original quilting plan

But because of all the seams my machine wasn't happy about doing as many bubbles as I had originally planned.

I did them in the centre of the star as planned, in a toning blue.

The background I split into sections using a pale blue to give the effect of the star bursting

I then quilted parallel matchstick lines outside the starbursts. The lines are parallel to the borders so go horizontal and vertical.

I echoed the centre of the quilt by quilting two parallel lines filled with bubbles in the border.

It was bound using the pink from the star points.

The completed runner

This is one of my finishes for FALQ4 and there is a list to the sites that I'm linking to HERE

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Ever felt you are being watched

As it was such a sunny day yesterday I decided to get out in the garden.  My summer pots are all but spent so it was time to renew them for the autumn/winter.

As I feed the birds there is always bird song in the garden. They don't show any fear of me or Stan and carry on at the feeders even when I'm quite close

 As I busied myself changing over the plants in the tubs by the big pond to the sound of bird song

I suddenly realised there were no birds and no bird song. I looked around and finally spotted the reason. Can you see him at the back of the arch seat.

A closer look with the zoom

It's a young sparrowhawk that visits once a week. An ambush hunter, he will hide until he spots his prey and then launch himself to catch them. He's learning his trade and misses more than he catches but he looks healthy enough so must be doing OK. We used to have a huge female visit who I assume was his mother. They came together a few months ago but we haven't seen her since

She was a prolific hunter who also wasn't that bothered about us being in the garden. My closest encounter with her was when I was pegging out washing and she dropped off the shed roof after a sparrow. She flew so close to me that I felt her wings brush my cheek. It was one of hose moments I felt very blessed.
I know, as I've seen the letters in the gardening/wildlife magazines that many people don't like these birds as they take the "pretty" birds. Some people are even calling for them to be shot. I am not part of this. I love my sparrowhawks. Yes they take the birds out of the garden, but that's nature for you. Somedays they win and somedays, like yesterday, they go away empty handed. I feel  extremely privileged to have them hunt in my garden.