Friday 25 January 2013

Tartan post

Happy Burns Day!

Thanks so much for your helpful comments about the Siblings Together quilt (yes, what does my husband know?:-).  Opinion was mixed about the yellow and black combo and I have decided to persevere. Does anyone but me find it really hard to work with big prints?  They seem so difficult to use without waste as I think they'd look odd unless the pattern is centred within a block.

I haven't made any progress though as the children have been doing "Scottish Week" activities at school which is when I realised that they needed tartan and the only stuff we have in the house is my husband's kilt.  I went uptown and had a look in the tacky tourist shops - the kind that sell ginger wigs attached to hats - to see if I could find anything suitable and cheap (I probably felt more shameful slinking in than I would the Ann Summers shop next door.)  No luck there but  I did get a very fine McSween's haggis from Marks and Spencer.
I wimped out of one made in a sheep's stomach, which is traditional, but if you're not familiar with haggis I thought you might like to see the ingredients.

I promise it is very good!  My children won't eat it though, and our friends have cancelled because of illness so my husband and I will be living off it for days.

In the end my local fabric shop came up with a metre of polyester mix black watch tartan which made two skirts (one which had to be delivered to the school as I was still getting the waistband on at lunchtime.)  This was the first time I've made french seams - they turned out a bit whiskery and so I learned to sew a very scant quarter inch first seam, and a generous quarter inch second seam to make sure to conceal the raw edges.  They look ok though and apparently the performances of "The Gruffalo" translated into Scots and "Heid, Shooders, Shanks and Taes" (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) went down all right.

Haggis, tatties and neeps on a background of homemade tartan skirt - only needing to be photographed in the rain to complete the picture.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday 20 January 2013

"Can't think of a snappy title" post

This was the view in our local park yesterday. The photo is taken from the top of what was once a canon emplacement in the 16th Century.  The soldiers couldn't have imagined the families (including us) having fun sledging down the sides of it and building snowmen.

This morning it has all melted which was a bit sad though I suppose if you have been snowed in for the last few days you would be grateful!

Over the weekend I looked at what fabric I have for a quilt for Siblings Together, and thought it could be a good challenge to make something for a teenage girl.  Unfortunately, apart from being one once, a long time ago, I don't really have any experience of teenage girls (looking forward to this in a few years) but I thought my Joel Dewberry Aviary giveaway winnings from Rita would make something a little grown up.

I can't decide on a pattern as most of the prints are directional and I have only got as far as considering a checkerboard with white.  Also, though I think that the black and grey is vaguely goth-y, my husband's opinion was that mustard yellow might not appeal.  Any thoughts? I'd be so grateful.

Tiny happy mutant snowman

Thursday 17 January 2013

A "no pictures" post

It seems to be taking a while to get in gear after the Christmas holidays and it's been a sad start to the year - a friend's brother was killed in a car accident, and a relative has died very young of cancer.  New Year already involves a bit of reappraisal of priorities, and things like these make you realise that you have to concentrate on the many ways in which you are fortunate, and seize the day.

Anyway, with this in mind it seems particularly timely that Lynne has just posted a plea for quilts for the charity Siblings Together. Last year's appeal was an incentive to make my first two full size quilts (if you want to read about them just click on Siblings Together in my Post Categories list in the side bar) and this year it's just what I need to escape the doldrums and I've signed up.  It's a great cause, and you can read more about it here.

I'm trying to stick to my New Year's resolutions, though the aim of doing something creative every day has so far consisted of adding and painting a wood trim to our new bathroom which took aaages.  I seem to be spacially challenged and kept cutting the mitres wrong.  Am I the only person who has to lay HSTs on the floor and rotate them until they are in the right position?!

So far as getting fit goes, I have now actually got as far as adding running shoes to the sports bra and in the hope that this is not going to be like college textbooks where somehow having bought them seemed enough (maybe if you have them on the shelf you can absorb the contents by osmosis), tomorrow will be the first day of the Couch to 5K program.  Wish me luck:-)!

Quilts for Siblings Together

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas.  We managed to escape all lurgies, and lots of turkey, chocolate and red wine was consumed - Hooray!  The homemade festive bunting was hung...

and I actually managed to make something new too. This table runner was in use on Christmas day and somehow managed not to get gravy spilled on it straight away.

It is backed with cream sheeting - no binding, just placed face to face and sewn all around, leaving a hole for turning.  I was really taken with the cranberry/natural combination and imagining a quilt in these colours in the future.

I also like the wonky straight line quilting, which I sewed at roughly 1/4 or 1/2 inch intervals.

The first resolution for this year is to lose the extra half-stone put on over the holidays.  The others are:
  • If it's going to take no more than a couple of minutes, do it right away.  (For some reason I pulled an old management book off the shelf during the holidays and some of it actually applied to real life.)
  • Do one creative thing every day.
  • Get fit.  I have made a start by buying a sports bra - hopefully it will get some use as I'm going to try this Couch to 5k program which is ideal for the lardy sloth I've turned into.
I am not going to sign up for any finish-alongs.  I am in awe of all the fantastic lists of WIPs I've been reading, but what I really need is a Start-along.


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