Saturday, 17 November 2018

Angels with a message


Lots of ladies at church are knitting little angels. Very simple basic pattern but they look quite effective. They are knitted in bright colours instead of the traditional white for a reason. Each one will have a Christmas message tag tied around their neck.  They will all be dedicated at a service on 9th December and then on the following Wednesday we are going to put them around the town along our Main Street for people to find, read the message and take the angel home as a little Christmas gift. We hope our brightly coloured angel and her message will have meaning for the recipient.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Two finishes - Twin Quilts


I've been working hard on finishing these two baby quilts. 
The one on the left is "Sailing By" and the one on the right is called "Zooming Along" as it features rockets, planets and cute little space robots. 
I'm really pleased with them both. I machine quilted along the sashing and  hand quilted around the blocks.
Both backings and bindings came from stash so I didn't have to buy much new fabric for these projects. I have used quite a bit of stash this year which feels good.


Tomorrow I'm going to embroider labels for them -  minus baby name and date of birth as babies have yet to be born!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

So many projects.... like juggling plates!

I always have several projects on the go ( plus those UFOs lurking in the cupboard of course) But at the moment there are more than ever that have deadlines.

Four baby quilts, two of which need to be ready by the beginning of December when twin boys are due in The Netherlands. Two more need to be ready for me to take to New Zealand at the very beginning of January. One I know is for a boy, the other the parents have chosen not to find out until baby is born. Really I need to take two for that baby, one for a boy and one for a girl.

One Dutch baby quilt is finished, the second one has the binding on and tomorrow I'll slip stitch the back at my Patchwork Group.

I have completed a flimsy for a girl quilt and I have a plan and have a bit cut out for the NZ boy one.  So, it's a matter of ploughing on with the quilts.

Then  I am knitting angels! My church has asked for a simple knitted angel (pattern and wool provided) as we are hoping to have lots and lots which will have a tag tied around the neck and will be secretly left all over our town in the run up to Christmas.  Whoever finds one can take it home and enjoy the Christmas message on its tag.  That's the idea anyway, we haven't done this before. They have to be done by 9th December. I have knitted four so far, two of which have been sewn up and are ready to be gifted. I hope to make a few more before the deadline as they are quite quick to make.

This year I have taken part in the Sunshine Guild blocks for charities. As the blocks are sent to the USA the postage is rather prohibitive so I decided to send two or three months of blocks in one packet. For what I feel is a reasonable amount of postage for me to pay I can send 10 blocks in one little packet.  So today I posted 4 "Brights" for October, 3 "Fall" blocks for November and 3 "Potluck" ones for December.
                                                        
                                                               October blocks

                                                          
                                                                   November blocks

                                                              December blocks


A very grey day here, rain too so I'm afraid the blocks all look too dark.
The centre square of each of the Potluck blocks is one of the string blocks I made a few weeks ago.
I just have one String square left now. Nice to turn those gifted scraps into finished projects straight away.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Trio of small String Quilts





I used all those vibrant gifted 0.75" strings to make 20 x 4" String blocks.
I used many of them to make 3 small String Quilts.
One measuring 14" square which is intended for the lilac teddy which is going into my Christmas 2018 Shoebox Appeal.
The second one measures 14" x 18.5" which I'll give to our local hospital's Premature Baby Unit.
The third measuring 18.5" x 23" which will be gifted to 2 year old Libby when her expected baby brother/sister arrives towards the end of January.
And I still have a few left which I will probably include in Sunshine Quilt blocks.
Oh I do enjoy using scraps!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Lest we forget

 




 


Yesterday my husband and I visited the most wonderful Exhibition of Poppies commemorating the end of WW1 which is being held at St Mary's Church, Warwick. Over 11,000 Warwickshire men were killed in the dreadful war and a couple of years ago 4 couples from St Mary's suggested to the  vicar that the men should be remembered and  hounoured for Remembrance Day 2018. They put out articles, messages through Facebook, contacted local organisations etc and the word spread far and wide. Knitted, crocheted, crafted poppies were sent in from all over the world, including South 
Africa and Australia. 80 poppies were sent from Warwick in Queensland, Australia as apparently the town was named after people from Warwick UK who went to Queensland to settle. The original idea was to create an exhibition containing the same number of poppies as there were Warwickshire lives lost. When the exhibition was put up a week or so ago the team counted over 60, 000 poppies! We managed to speak to one of the ladies who was one of the eight who had the idea and she said everyday more and more poppies were arriving. She was holding three beautifully made poppies with leaves attached which had just be handed to her. The work involved in making the  poppies, the unbelievable effort made to create the displays is mind blowing. There is a whole section of work done by children, schools, Brownies, Cubs etc. 
Displays featuring poems are also included, some I knew like "Do not stand at my grave and weep" and a most moving poem (new to me) called "Naming the parts" by Henry Reed. This was actually written in WW2 in 1942 but is very apt for this exhibition. If you live near or can visit Warwick I can't recommend this marvellous Exhibition enough. We will certainly go again. The length of time the Exhibition is being held has been extend until after Christmas. Thank goodness, after the mammoth task of putting it all together!

I never cease to be amazed at the ideas people have and their expertise in putting them into practice.

But above all I am humbled by the loss of life caused by this war. How can we ever thank those men for laying down their lives?

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Sailing By, a finished baby quilt

I am making a few baby quilts for babies due in December and January.
This is the first for a pair of boy twins due to be born in The Netherlands in December.
Most of the fabrics came from stash including the lovely seaside themed backing which I bought last year at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. I bought a pack of 4" squares mainly for the little boats and also the under the sea fabric was bought especially for this quilt so I could create a Nautical themed quilt. The Dutch have always been known for their sailing abilities so I thought it was apt.
The finished quilt measures 48" x 38".

Sunday, 21 October 2018

The Magic of Leftovers


When I am sewing I love to use every scrap of fabric and when I'm cooking I like to make use of those food leftovers.
Last night's dinner was one of those Magic Leftovers meals.

A couple of days ago I cooked up a batch of beef mince as our granddaughter was eating with us. She doesn't like spiced food so I kept one portion separate for her and added diced courgettes and chilli flakes to the rest. Served with pasta tubes and of course I cooked far too much pasta. We had two meals from that and I had a portion of mince and cooked pasta left over. So last night I stir fried thin strips of courgette and parsnip in olive oil, added salt, pepper and a sprinkling of cumin. When the veggies had begun to soften I added the cooked pasta, stirring all the time until the pasta was reheated, then added lots of baby spinach, again stirring until the spinach had wilted slightly. Whilst this was happening I reheated the mince and the result was a really delicious meal.

Don't usually take photos of food but did last night as a reminder for myself. I'll certainly make this again - my husband would be happy to have it again this evening! 

Isn't it great to use up those leftovers straight away?