Monday, December 03, 2012

-18 anybody?

I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. I could feel it was really cold outside because it was chilly inside our house. We have such a crap heating in this house I cant believe they even put it in! Every time it gets below -17 the heating just ups and goes away. We got to get this sorted and change systems, I do not like getting up and feeling like you live in a cold store. Brrrrrrr! I got the portable heaters on while eating breakfast because there is no point in starting a fire since I am off out soon. To freeze some more! Only thing I don't like about winter is this.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Eire, fair and green

Oh it was lovely to be back in Dublin and Ireland. James did very well in his marathon, he improved his running time so much it was unbelievable! From running London Marathon in 2005 in 4.42 he now ran Dublin marathon in 3.17!! So very proud of him and it seems he is no worse for wear after it either managing to walk properly already...

Mary came to meet us and it was so nice to see her again. She hunted us down and made the journey back to the hotel so much better giving us a lift, I think Jamie was very thankful even though he said he didn't mind walking it back after the race. We spent a few days at Mary's, loving the views on our car tours and even managing to take a few pictures at Kinnity Castle and the surrounding forest. Even got the house building bug back again from seeing Mary's lovely new house that they added on to an old cottage.

Posting a few pictures from our trip

And finally one of Jamie that I managed to take before he had passed me!

My hero looking fresh at 10 miles.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Autumn recap

We had the first little flurry of snow today. Me and Jamie were walking back from the supermarket when we saw this very dark and low rolling cloud. I thought either it will pour with ice cold rain in a minute or if we are lucky it will snow. Thankfully it was snow but mixed in with it was hale. Which was no nice when the wind picked up so we had sideways hale pelting down on us mixed with a bit of snow. It didn't last long but now it has cleared up and gone clear and cold outside. All leaves are but gone after the chilly night we had. I stood watching a beautiful orange maple just across the street lose all its leaves when the sun rose. It took about 2 hours and there wasn't a leaf left on the tree, just a thick golden carpet on the ground left to be raked up. I do love autumn for all its color and the first frost covering everything with white sparkly crystals.

I am  on my second week of sick leave after my operation and I am getting to be a wee bit bored and frustrated that I can't do anything! I had an operation on my right hand, carpal tunnel syndrome, and am now supposed to really take it easy and not lift anything heavier then a milk carton with my right hand. It is tempting to do too much too soon since there now is very good progress and it doesn't hurt other then when I forget and do too much. Hopefully my sick leave (8 weeks) will be approved so I don't need to go back to work too early and mess everything up undoing the whole operation. I might have to do the same operation to my left hand as well as that one is showing the same symptoms. But that will have to be done later. I really want my right hand to be back as good as normal before doing my other one. You just don't think how much you do with your hands until you cant...

Sewing isn't happening at all at the  moment. But before the operation I did try out the Giant Dahlia template I bought in Birmingham and me and Mette also managed to try her Double Wedding ring rulers out. They were fun but frustrating at times since I am not used to sewing curves. But it turned out pretty round anyway and I have started to quilt it. I made a single row of rings as a table runner in Christmas colors, red, green and gold. I should be able to finish it before Christmas since it is simple quilting in the ditch. Haven't decided yet what I am going to do with my Giant dahlia mainly because the colorway doesn't 'sing' to me and inspire me to continue. Even though I thought the fabrics I chose would  work together, they didn't. Well almost did. I might take my seam ripper out and take the last petals off and see how that makes it look. A work in progress..

I've celebrated my 40th birthday as well this autumn. I don't think I feel any different then I did before. Bit more thoughtful  about life and how I want to be treated at work but that has been simmering in the background for quite a while now. We went out for dinner on the actual day with my mum and sister and her fiancĂ©e. It was lovely to just sit and talk and eat lovely food and then go back to mum's place for coffee and birthday cake. I am a bit overwhelmed by my presents though and slightly embarrassed I got so many. Is that odd? In among all the lovely gifts there is a greenhouse that will be delivered next week when we are in Ireland. My fool of a husband is going to run another marathon but cleverly he has chosen to do it in Dublin so we get to meet up with the fabulous Mary again! So looking forward of seeing her again and maybe this time there won't be any trips to the er in the middle of the night... ;)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Helloo..... ?

I know its been a long time since I wrote anything substantial but I just have had a very boring life. Work, sleep, eat is the main things that have been occupying my time recently. But at least I have managed to finish the two heart bargello quilts!!!! And I delivered them on Wednesday to my  client and got PAID! Well now they are finally out of my way so I can get going on other new stuff or finish some of my other projects that have been lingering in the background since I felt I really couldn't sew something of my own before the clients quilts were done.... They could have been done ages ago if it wasn't for my machine starting to behave very oddly when FMQ. It still isn't like it used to be and there are very poor response from the manufacturer Janome when I have complained. It all came back to me, ie it was user error even though it worked perfectly fine for the previous quilts I've made.... well it made me so mad I am never ever going to buy another machine from them. Ever. Sadly I will need to hang on to this one since it was a very VERY  nice Christmas present (cost a fortune as well) and try and work around the problems and issues.

We went to Birmingham and  The Festival of Quilts this year again.  But this time my friend and quilter companion Mette with husband tagged along. She was well impressed by it all and we had a super time looking around and buying fabric and rulers and notions. I took so many pictures of the quilt exhibit  and all the lovely quilts. There were so much to take in and a lot of inspiring quilts to look at my head is overflowing with ideas of what to do next.

Monday, April 16, 2012


THIS is what  I could see out my bedroom window this morning

It almost melted away during the day but as I type this it has started to snow again. Just got to see how much of it has come tomorrow morning. I thought I'd take a walk to the garden center tomorrow to see what new geraniums they have and also buy a few spuds for pregrowing inside. Got to get spring going even if the weather isn't playing nice

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sew or not to sew

My machine is back home. I got it back last Tuesday and tried it out a bit at the sewing course. It seamed to be working sewing straight anyway. But I am a bit apprehensive in trying it out more. What if it still mucks up when FMQ? I hate the thought of yet again battling my dealer. Every time I have had it sent away it comes back with a note of user error... But what is it I am doing so differently from before I cant understand. Nothings really changed, still the same thread the same quilt, I've changed needles so many times in case it was them that made it all go pear shaped it is costing a fortune in needles! I will have a test drive in the weekend when I am off from work and have more time and patience to figure it out. Plus I have signed up for a Janome help group on yahoo and have been going through all their advice and hints to what I can try out. But obviously it isn't only me having trouble with this machine. Makes you wonder why they started selling the Horizon so quickly if there are all these kinks and problems with it....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Home alone

So, what to do with yourself when home alone with a cold? I am still going to the quilting meeting tonight of course. Got to see if there is any news at all on my sewing machine! It will be very interesting to say the least to find out what is wrong this time around if any.... Lately it feels like they cant seem to find anything wrong with it so it has to be an user problem.. I am so sick and tired of this now I want to chuck it out the window so there will be a genuine user problem!!

I have been sewing a bit of other stuff with my old sewing machine. But oh how I do miss the option for free motion quilting or to have a few nice stitches to choose from when finishing a border or a binding. One of the things we did at the quilting course was a handbag. I made a very bright and springlike one first with loads of inside pockets. I liked the model but not the fact that the pockets end up on a different level on the outside so I went and made a more subtle one in black as well... Note that the side pockets on the black one are matching up better with the big main pockets. In the original pattern the pockets don't line up at all which I thought was a bit odd so changed it around for the second one.
First one, nice and bright with loads of pockets inside and out.
Second one, bit more muted and not so many pockets on the inside but a better match on the outside ones

I've also done a Serendipity quilt... You get two baby quilts from sewing one block together and cutting in a special way. I made mine with blues and a light yellow. I quite like it but have not finished them off yet. You can see the one that needs sewing together at the top.
Also Mette and me got into making small purses on one of our sewing weekends. This is what I've done so far. I quite like the blue and gold one, not so sure any more about the bright red button on the black one. But at the time that was what red button I had at home.
The last project that I started in the weekend was trying out the pattern called Texas Braid  from one of Bonnie Hunters books. It was just meant to be a little try out block to see if I liked it and if it was easy to sew....But look what's happened!
It sort of ... grew
It has been a while for me to post what I have been up to but this maybe has made up for the lack of posts.. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sewing update

I have been busy sewing a bit on my old sewing machine. The Janome Horizon has been sent away since it started playing up sewing normally. The latest news is it could be the circuit board? After a sewing weekend with my friend Mette it started skipping stitches and the zigzag was all over the place. It didn't help changing needles or thread so off it went to my dealer with a note that I am getting very tired off this and want a new machine. And this is without even trying to FMQ. It is a very expensive sewing machine for just sewing straight I'll tell you....

I did finish some projects using my old machine and resolving to do some straight line quilting on a handbag and a tote I was working on just so I could finish them off. I must say the more the Janome is acting up the more I am impressed with my OLD Husqvarna Viking. It is a mechanical one with no chance of FMQ on it but it stitches beautifully and can cope with thickness without starting to skip stitches.... If I have the option at some point I will ask for my money back on the Janome and look into a different brand sewing machine because this is getting ridiculous! To top it off I read the latest sewing magazine from Janome in which they proud themselves on their excellent customer service.... I've never laughed so much!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


So... I tried out to quilt on the bargello heart and yet again the thread started to break. I am puzzled at what this is all about. It worked fine on the star table runner, It did quilt lovely and the thread didn't break once. When sitting there thinking I thought what if I turn over and quilt from the back since it is an over all pattern I am doing. So I did and quilted it without a hitch. Am now wondering if it is the backing giving me so much trouble. I have a fleece backing on both of the quilts but the one that quilted nicely the fleece is a softer and shorter fleece then the black one that is on this one. But still the center part of this quilt went together without a hitch so something must have happened to my machine but what? I really don't know what to do with it. I am going to quilt some more and then try it out on some other projects as well but if it still is fussing with other backings and batting then I will want a new machine.   But somehow I think that will be a huge struggle with my dealer, since she wasn't very helpful before.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quilting yay...?

I tried my machine out and so far so good..... I will tackle the big beast tomorrow and see if it still is so far so good...

Here is what I finished today, quilted and bound in the same day, wow!

Keep your fingers crossed will you?