Saturday, 20 October 2012

Something completely different! a quilting way anyhow!

A couple of Christmases ago, John bought me a lovely fat quarter bundle of flannels. They sat happily waiting in my stash until I had a plan for them and a few weeks before we went on holiday I decided it was time to slice into them. Stupidly I didn't do the maths properly and cut the strips just a little too big to fully utilise all the fabric but never mind, I improvised and here's the result!

A snugly lap quilt made as a 'rag' quilt - because I couldn't find, even in America, a backing width flannel. Luckily when I was trawling through Pinterest one evening I found this pattern which gave me the idea of how to finish mine! I'm pleased with the result - apart from the bits that keep falling off!

Now I just have one more WIP which just needs binding, I have promised myself that I'll finish it before I start anything else...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Greetings from California!

So here's a little blogette form the good ol' US of A! We've spent the last couple of weeks with our very good friends in Santa Rosa, California (the same friends who lived in Missouri).

We have had a wonderful time with sightseeing at both the coast and inland. We've been through forests, mountains, valleys and beaches. And of course we've shopped! Not a lot, just a little. Honestly. We promised that we wouldn't buy any extra cases to bring the stuff home in this time.

And yes, of course I've bought fabric! Not a lot, honestly. I bought mainly yardage as most of the stores I've visited didn't have much in the way of precuts which was a little disappointing as I'd got some things in mind. Most of the stuff I bought was in the sale so yards of Moda for $5.99 (about £4) just had to be bought! The non sale stuff worked out about £8 a yard which isn't bad either!

Ooh, nearly forgot! I bought a new seam ripper! Battery operated which will save me so much time as I am forever unpicking and restitching - it will also avoid those little accidents when the ripper gets caught in the fabric!!

You'll have to wait for the pics of fabric as it's all neatly packed away but for now here are some scenic shots!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The house used for the film 'The Birds'!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Mid morning sun, no trickery or edits

>>>>>>>>>>>>> Clam Chowder in a sour dough bread bowl!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Across San Francisco from the Coit Tower.

All good things come to an end, home on Thursday, back to the boys and Ben. We've Skyped a couple of times with Matt and Ben hasn't been in the slightest bit interested, I don't think he's missed us at all!

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Saturday, 4 August 2012

A dogs tale...

I feel I need to blog! And this post is something I never thought I'd write!
A few weeks back, I started to think about suggesting to John that we should get a dog to keep him company when he retires in a few weeks. Just thinking, you understand, I'd had the odd google for rescue dogs, but was disappointed that they were nearly all Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Not a breed I liked at all. I said nothing until last weekend when we were in Dunelm and I was trying to think what I wanted to buy. We were standing near all their pet stuff. John said 'a cat basket?' I said 'do you want a cat then?' 'I've seen one on the notice board at work and I thought about it' 'what about a dog?' 'really, a dog? But you've never wanted one!'
And so to today, after a week of looking longingly at lots of cute dogs online only to find they'd already been rehomed and my absolute resistance to a Staffy, we've committed to picking up a Staffy tomorrow. His name at the moment is Patch but we are going to rename him to Ben. He's approximately 2 1/2 yrs old and was taken as a stray. Rehomed in January only to be returned to the kennels in May. and since then nobody has shown any interest in him.
When we arrived we were warned that he would be bouncy when he came out and he was - for all of five minutes! After that he ignored us and sniffed his way around the ground.
We took him for a short walk, each of us taking it in turns (Matt & Amanda came with us, David was at work) to walk him on the lead. He walked well, constantly checking back to see if we were still there, obeyed instructions like 'sit', 'down', 'paw' and 'roll over' (which wasn't a good idea in the mud Matt!). We decided there and then that he was the dog for us and I still can't quite believe it!
So, to the pet superstore on the way home to by him a bed, a crate, food, collar, lead and toys in readiness for bringing him home tomorrow. He's in need of a bit of TLC and fattening up, he's been stressed in kennels but he is otherwise in excellent health.
And now the fun begins. John will have a loyal companion to keep him company when he retires and Ben will have a loving home - a forever home as the kennels call it.
I know most of you will have seen the pictures on Facebook and Twitter but here he is anyway.

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Finally I can reveal....

What I was working on for so long! This is the first time I have made a quilt for somebody else, normally I make them and they sit in the cupboard!

I started this quilt last summer and got a bit frustrated with it, I'd bought it as a kit and have to be honest, it wasn't the best quality cotton I've worked with since I started quilting. It got put away but I knew I wanted to give it to Amanda for her 21st birthday. So in March I made a determined effort to persevere and finish it. I had to tweak the pattern a bit because the original instructions meant the diamonds weren't central, which was a bit strange. But finish it I did and with trepidation took it off to be long arm quilted. After all, I'm new to this, I wasn't sure if it would be good enough, what Janette would think about it, would she be able to work with it? Anyway my fears were unfounded and I was really pleased with the result.

I duly took took it home and bound it and can honestly say I'm so pleased with the result. I managed to keep it a secret from her - was caught out only on one occasion when they came round unexpectedly and I had to run upstairs to hide it. They were in Las Vegas for her birthday and only came home yesterday, so I'd waited so long to give it to her.

When I it home from work she was asleep on the sofa curled up under my first quilt so we woke her up to give her her present - I think she liked it!

She went straight back to sleep under it!

Thankfully she also found out yesterday that she has a job as a radiographer following completion of her degree course, we're all very pleased for her!

Anyway, here's a few more pictures of said quilt - posting this from the iPad doesn't give me quite the flexibility with the photos so I hope you can see them properly!

Before it was quilted


We opted for a blue thread and a swirly, Spirograph type pattern which really lifted the white.

A Moda cream for the backing!

A rare ray of sunshine!

That's all! For the first time since I started, I have nothing in progress - apart from the quilt I'm collecting tomorrow that I'll bind over the weekend - I need to get going again!

I can't work out how to link to Janette on here, but she works as J Quilts, in East Bergholt - give her a look on Google!

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Saturday, 26 May 2012

Memory bags

Just thought I'd share a few of the bags I've made so far!

When I made the first batch, I made the bottom of the bag the fold and stitched down both sides. That was fine for the plainer fabrics but not for those with a pattern! I had some lovely fabric with buses and cars on - sadly they are upside down on one side of the bag :( never mind, lesson learnt!

I've also created a Facebook group called Bags and Blankets - quite a catchy title I thought, please feel free to add yourself if you'd like to join us!

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Just a quick post....

....I know that some of you who read this are crafty types so hope you don't mind me putting out a bit of an appeal for the neonatal unit where I work ( I don't work in the neonatal unit but you know what I mean). They are asking for people to make 'memory' bags for the newbies that will be placed on the incubators for parents to place things like name bands and other bits and pieces in, as a memory of the time the baby spent in the unit, sadly some babies don't survive and for their parents it is helpful for them to have something to remember their littles by.

So what am I asking? Could you make a bag or two (amazingly we need about 500 a year) to help the unit out? Ideally they need to be about 9 inches square with a short drawstring along the top - like the slipper bags the kids take to school but smaller.

They don't need to be fancy - just a simple one colour/pattern fabric would do, perhaps a bit of appliqué if you feel the need, with a ribbon threaded through as the drawer string.

I'm going to have a go at the weekend and I'll share pictures then!

Thanks for reading, let me know if you can help!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 21 April 2012

My Vodafone woes - again

I know I haven’t written for a while and I come back with a gripe! Sorry…

At the end of February I took the brave step of upgrading my mobile to an i-Phone. Gulp. A big step but I had just about had enough of my HTC wildfire S so I thought it was a step worth taking.

As my contract was only a short while in, I had to ‘buy’ myself  out of six months worth of contract – and I had to do that before the change could happen. I duly paid over the phone and received my beautiful, shiny, gorgeous i-Phone.

Move on a few weeks and I get my first statement for said i-Phone. Which included, yes, you’ve guessed it, the fee I had already paid to Vodafone in advance of the upgrade. So I phoned them on 191 and spoke to somebody who clearly thought I was stupid. I’ll confess that I lost my temper with him – big time. Poor chap was probably working in a call centre on the Indian sub content – I did apologise to him, honestly.

Moving on I used my favourite tool of contacting those companies who have p’d me off – Twitter. Usual response, log on to the web site, send us an email, blah, blah, blah. So I did. The response came back addressed to Mrs Apkle which I simply grimaced at. Oh yes, you’ve been charged twice so we’ll arrange a credit back to your account and then refund to you back – simples? You’d think so wouldn’t you. This was on 2 April. I kept checking to see whether the money had been transferred but no, so back to Twitter/emails the response was it takes 7-10 working days which absolutely astounds me in the technological era we are now in. After many a rant I gave in and waited. Now, it was Easter at the end of that week so we lost two working days. I accept that so, being generous I thought it must be with me by Monday 16 April, or Tuesday 17 or – you get me? You know where this is going don’t you – yep, I still haven’t had my refund. I’ve Tweeted, been retweeted and emailed again this week. I think this is a totally unacceptable service – don’t you? I’ve now sent about 7 emails to get my refund all of which are replied to in a very patronising way. I’m now tied into this company for the foreseeable future as I can’t afford to buy myself out of my contract in it’s entirety.

Am I angry – you bet I am, watch this space! My next step is going to be a snail mail to their head office in Reading, maybe that might get a better reaction!

Anyhow, apologies for the lack of blogging, if their is anybody left out there to care! Matt is now home from his travels and firmly ensconced in his old bedroom. I did miss him. I didn’t miss the mess. That is all.

In the words of Arnie – I’ll be back!

By the way – I love my i-Phone, it’s the best, it truly is…….

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Just testing!

I know, it's been a while and now I post with a stupid title. Well you see I've got this new toy that has then over my life and I've been so preoccupied that I haven't even thought about blogging!

Anyway, before I write too much and find it hasn't worked, I'll stop to check. Watch this space there'll be more to come!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad