Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Disney Halloween

With half term and getting ready for the holiday I've not got much done and the camera is packed so I can't even post pictures of the little I have. The string blocks have been finished and sashed and it is waiting for it's borders. The quilt thinks it would like flying geese so I'm waiting out hoping that it will change it's mind. :D

The Steam a Seam came and so I've finished fusing all the dog blocks. They still need to be blanket stitched and of course with the Brother out of action I'm a bit stuck so that's on the back burner again.

The Speed Control for the Pfaff finally arrived. It replaces the foot pedal with an on/off switch and speed dial so that I don't have to squeeze the foot pedal by hand when the machine is on the frame. I've not had chance to properly trial it but I think it will be a godsend, I was getting awful pain and cramping in my hands after about 20 minutes and was having to stop and take a break. Hopefully this will make a difference.

I'm praying the weather in Disneyland Paris won't be too rainy. Cold is OK but wet would be horrible.

MIL is in charge of the dogs for a week. Hopefully they will all survive the experience. She does have a tendency to forget things like walks and food but they are pretty good at reminders!!!

This is Y trying hard to pull the same face as the pumpkin on our previous visit 3 years ago.

The boys looking slightly self conscious with Pooh Bear.

The fantastic face paint at the Halloween Party.

See you in a week.

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Presents from Japan

I was so busy yesterday that I forgot to put up the pictures of the presents hubby bought back from Japan. He didn't get any actual shopping time so grabbed some boxes of cakes and crackers from the airport.

They do look very pretty but most of them are very dry bean curd things or weird jelly stuff with things inside it. I've been cheerfully handing out samples to everyone who expresses an interest. Well, it's polite to share and we're certinly not going to be eating them. I haven't found anyone who likes them yet.

The different sorts of rice crackers were really nice so I'm keeping them. Except for the cracker shaped things with the green and white top, which turned out to be strongly anchovy tasting... but sweet, with sugar on top!!! I have never spat anything out so quickly in my life. Drop me a line if you'd like to try these amazing delicacies and I'll send them to you. :)

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

The Fair came to town

The fair is here so my poor husband got home from Japan, exhausted and jet lagged and was immediately dragged out by the boys. It's cheesy but lots of fun. We spent lots of money on the side shows and the kids won some nasty plastic guns and a bottle of coke (??). We tried hard to get a fluffy seal but failed to throw a single straight dart between us. Being total wimps we avoided the scary rides, E went on the helter-skelter, Y played on the bouncy castle and we all rode the old fashioned Merry-go-round.

Mmmm Candy Floss!!!

Look out, a thief!

Helter Skelter

Carousel Horse

Urban Warfare

Friday, 13 October 2006

Good news and bad news

On the good news side, hubby has just phoned from Japan to say that he'd made it OK. Connections had gone smoothly and he'd been upgraded to First Class so the horrible long flight was way more comfortable than he'd expected. Obviously my advice to dress nicely and not look like he'd just staggered, stoned, off a beach in Jamaica paid off! It's sad he's not going to get much of a chance to have a look round while he's there. The inside of one hotel is much like any other whatever country you're in.

On the bad news side, there's something wrong with my sewing machine. The Brother one, not the new Pfaff. I had half an hour to spare and so I was sewing a couple of Mended Heart blocks while I had a cup of tea. The satin stitch just didn't seem to be feeding through properly and I was getting the stitches piling up on top instead of laying next to each other. I thought maybe the walking foot was faulty so switched to the wide one but that did exactly the same thing, then I tried with an ordinary foot and it was still doing it. I stripped the machine down but there wasn't much in the way of fluff and lint and everything looks like it's working fine. I suppose I'm going to have to take it in to be fixed. MIL is away for a week so I might 'borrow' hers while she's away.

The block I was trying to sew is a complete mess but here's a couple that I did earlier. :)

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Dogs on Quilts on Dogs

Well we've had stuff on cats, now I've got Boys and Dogs on Quilts on Dogs.

Catching up

I've been very lax in updating this blog lately. In my defence I have been really busy. I finished MY quilt. It's the first one I've made for me. I love the way it looks but what the pictures can't convey is the feel of it. It's made on flannel and backed with fleece so it's heavy and really cuddly. There are a few threads to clip and then it needs washing. It's been dragged round by kids and dogs and then folded up small and crammed into a bag for nearly 6 months... and you can tell.

I've also been playing with patterns for a quilt for my brother and sister in law. I really liked this block so I made one up to see how it worked out. It's made up of 2 inch squares and the block finishes at 16 inches so it;'s slightly fiddly but not too bad. Their bedroom is dark green but I don't really fancy making the quilt in that colour. Any suggestions for a colour scheme?

I also found my Curvemaster presser foot. I'd bought one and got it home, only to put it down 'somewhere' in the chaos that is our house... never to be seen again. It finally turned up in a bag in the back of one of the kitchen drawers. No idea at all as to why it would have been put there but it meant that I could try again with the Strips and Curves templates. The MIL had bought me Louisa L Smith's book (Strips n Curves) and the templates to go with it and I proved very quickly that sewing curves was not to be my strong suit, hence the Curvemaster. This go went a little better. The two big blocks went together really well and lie flat. The small curves are going to need a lot more practice though. They are a bit wonky and there was about 1/2 inch extra on the top piece when I got to the end of the seam. Even these junky tries look pretty though, so I think I'll persevere.

As a bit of light relief I also made a pile of string blocks with all the strips I cut last week.

I also did lots of cooking and had a girly night out with Ally. We went to see 'The Devil wears Prada' which I surprised myself by enjoying and then ate too much pasta in Ask.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

It's been a funny sort of a day

I'm failing miserably at settling down to anything today. There a tons of things that I 'should' be doing but so far I've only suceeded in reading the new Pratchett book and keeping an appointment at the hospital to complete yet another questionaire. We agreed to take part in some major research project into ADHD and lately seem to have spent an inordinate time filling in the most boring questionaires possible. Ah well, maybe it'll help someone eventually.

Things are odd at home too. my husband is away working, Y is away with the school, MIL is away on holiday and E is home with a cold. I've been lying on the setee reading while he sits on the floor playing Ratchett and Clank. Cozy and domestic or what?
I'm thinking that he got sick just so he could stay home and cuddle his new quilt.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006


Well, all the quilting on E's snuggly is finished. I just need to sew in some ends and it's ready for loving. It feels really warm and nice on my lap so it's going to be just the thing for chilly nights.

On Sunday I was dragged, by my friend Ally, to the Cardmaking and Scrapbooking Show at Alexandra Palace. To be fair I did owe her one as she'd come to Sandown and Malvern with me but lordy it was boring. At least at quilt shows there are the quilts to look at. This was just stalls, rows and rows, all the same. I got quite excited by the few stalls that had something out of the ordinary. On the plus side I managed to find some buttons for the doggy quilt and Ally bought me an early Christmas present. I really don't know how to describe it. This is what it looks like.

It is on a turntable and spins round for easy access. It has tons of pockets and loops and I've put all my odds and ends in it. I can't praise it enough, it's brilliant.

Boys quilt too

After a huge delay, for which I feel very guilty, I'm finally putting the polar fleece on the back of E's quilt. He did a wonderful job on making his quilt. He chose the fabric and pattern himself and sewed it. I did the cutting and after he stuck himself with a pin, I did the rest of the pinning when required.

I know the picture is on it's side but the quilt looks much the same either way and Blogger doesn't seem to like the 'turned round' version. Too weird.