Monthly Archives: August 2013

finally….i can reveal……


my special project!.

please note, i’ve never made a quilt before in my life, and if you are an experienced quilter/sewer, dont concentrate too hard on the pictures!!.

for a last few months i’ve been working on a quilt made of baby clothing for the child i cared for for the first 5yrs of her life. her mother and i talked about this a few years back and she liked the idea so we piled a heap of clothing into a bin and i tool it home.


there the bin sat for a few years – i’d look round for inspiration and ideas and tried a bit of hand sewing but it just wasnt working for me. then a year ago i looked after the young lady for 3 nights while her parents were away and with the money from that job i treated myself to a sewing machine. from then, things looked up. i found an idea and template i could work with. then other projects and holidays got in the way!. finally, once i finished work in feb i made a mental note to crack on with this before the sewing machine was packed up to send to NZ in May. that spurred me on. i unpicked all the hand sewn stuff, brought a proper cutting mat and rotary cutter, and had all the pieces cut in a day. i then had strips flying off the machine…..



until i had enough to cover the backing. the backing was made from a blanket the young lady used to play on as a baby, with another blanket she used inside for warmth.


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once the top was in one piece i felt it needed a boarder, so made one from a pair of old jeans of mine that i’d kept ‘just in case’. see mum….’just in case’ does eventually happen!!.


i also felt it needed the denim board to balance the denim in the quilt.

then things stalled again, as i’d hoped to start binding and joining it all together in the 2mth job i had, but that never happened due to an unsettled baby. so, that left the house sittng time i had. this worked out great, i could lie it on the floor – same floor she used to lie on the blanket on and play 7yrs ago!.


in the end i tied knots thru the layers to secure them, with a clear button holding it in place on the underside. i had had a go at hand quilting, but i didnt like the outcome, so went for something simpler. in the above photo you can just make out the buttons, and below you can see the tied off thread evenly spaced across the quilt.


and finally………ta dah……………



the before i ironed it photo, which is why it looks a bit uneven!. i forgot to photograph if after i’d ironed it!.

tonight i gave it to the family, and the parents and i are all feeling emotional about it, remembering her in the clothing. she was aged 1-3yrs when she was wearing these items – shes 8yrs now!!.

at some point over the weekend i’m going to take some more photos of her with it, as well as her parents, but may not share many of those.

i’m very proud of what i’ve made – it may not be a thing of beauty compared to whats out there, but there will be few that this many memories wrapped up in one piece. please be gentle on my beginner sewing abilities!!.


new eyes and projects!


well, my eye tests proved i did need glasses for close work (which i’d already figured out!). the good news is that’s all i need them for and the optometrist said i wasn’t to wear them all the time, just for close work – stitching etc!. yay!. but he now recommends, due to age!, that i get checked yearly.

so ladies and gentlemen, here is my first pair of glasses at age 45!. considering the 3 other members of my immediate family have had glasses for years, i think that’s pretty good going!.

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they are purple with a turquoise design thru them and the best of a boring bunch. i wanted red but all the frames i tried didnt suit my face, and man!, it was hard adjusting to clear glass when finding a frame being all i’ve ever tried on before was sunglasses!.

now, with these new babies, i can work on one of these……

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i’m not used to buying the fabric you stitch on yet and when i was placing this order i was a little concerned at the price, but now the order is here i see there is going to be plenty for other projects so i feel much better about that! means i need a few more charts!!.

i’m already stalking the website i buy Santa’s Village from as it appears part 10 has been released now, so another order is brewing!!.

cross stitch and more art!


I’m determined as much as possible to photograph and log progress of the cross stitch. so this is where i’m at today – i had a few good days of stitching at the weekend when there was sport on the telly (my favourite creative time!). but i’ve had to stop for now in order to finish the secret project by thursday!.


mostly just working on the house this time. i am struggling with the size, and have booked myself an eye test tomorrow, so hopefully glasses will help!!.

I have also been looking on ebay at the self representing artists and came across this guy, a Scottish artist called Bobby McDermitt. i nearly lost this as it was popular, but i won it in the last 10secs!. including postage, it was less than £20!. its 8×8” in size.



this morning i have been to some charity shops in Southgate finding some items for an online swap i’m in – ermmm….i came home with more things for me than my swap partner!. and what i got for her i love!. oh dear!. think after my eye test tomorrow i will head for the charity shops in Enfield to see if i can find something more for her.

i’ll share my finds tomorrow after tomorrows expedition!.



i have a bit of a problem as i like to collect tins – cant tell you why, but i end up falling for a pretty or unusual tin. Marks and Spencer’s manage to feed my addiction on a yearly basis with their Christmas tins, and anything in between that i fancy – like this year with one featuring a map of the UK!!.

i was having  awander round my local M&S this week and came across a stand with foods and ingredients from abroad and there on the shelf was this…..


ooooh…..pretty, french, different shape to usual UK tins!. there were 2 variety – chocolate and salted caramel. i chose chocolate – playing it safe – you cant generally go wrong with choc chippies can you?!. when i opened the tin, this is what i found…..



little individual packs of 4, and OMG – for mass produced biscuits/cookies, they are devine!. so much so that i’m considereing getting the caramel ones or more of these!.

i should also say i have been to Mont Saint Michel – albeit about 20 yrs ago, so i felt justified that i could use this as a souvenir – clutching at straws?!!

should be pointed out, they are not cheap, but well worth the money!

being a tourist!.


today i took myself off to photograph the statues in Westminster Abbey, and decided to hop off and take some photos of the ANZAC memorial at Hyde Park Corner.

**picture heavy post**

i had thought there was one monument to honour the ANZACs, but i discovered there are separate New Zealand and Australian ones. so here are a few photos of the NZ memorial….

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i fell in love with this wee fanfail below and took loads of piccies of her!.



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then i jumped back on the bus and headed to Westminster Abbey.

i’m afraid i dont have positive reviews of the abbey itself – yes, its full of history and amazing things, but… cant take photos inside the abbey itself!. this i did not find out until i had paid £18!! to enter, after queuing for about 20mins!. to say i was unimpressed is an understatement – the whole reason for the trip was to take photos of the amazing effigies and statues inside. after i had walked round, i spoke to someone offical about this and was told it was for H&S blah blah blah and you’ll fall and sue us!. i said that’s fine, but i hadn’t seen any signs until after i had paid my money. i was told its on my ticket – errr…. no its not, i checked my ticket on bus later and there is nothing on it to say you cant take photos. i said i had researched on the website to check the abbey was open today and nowhere on there was there anything about no photos. i was offered my money back and leave now (nicely), but i said no, i will finish the outside cloister areas.

so, i have some photos of the carvings on the outside of the abbey, one from inside before i got told off and informed you cant take photos inside!, and then from the Chapter House and cloisters.

the West Front – this was cleaned a few years back which is why it looks so fresh.


detail above the West Door


and on either side of the door


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detail above the North Door


the one and only photo from inside, just before i was told you cant take photos!.


Original 1400’s paintings on the walls of the Chapter House.


detail above the door as you leave the Chapter House


original medieval floor tiles.


a stunning portrait of the Queen painted inside the Abbey


billed as Britains oldest door – said to have been made in the 1050s for Edward the Confessors Westminster Abbey. its just outside the Chapter House.


i was lucky enough to go on one of the 3 days a week the gardens are open to the public. this idea appealed to me – an apple has been espaliered a few feet above the ground and used as an edge for this garden bed.


a view across the Cloisters to the back of the West front.



there ends todays tour!.

Progress and sneak peak #2464!


this weeks progress on the cross stitch – i stitched a sheep!!. its cute!.P1090484

i have almost finished the special project – just one more, albeit, large thing to do, then its finished and can be given to its new owner!.


not alot else to share – i have started house sitting and been watching a few movies in between craft time!. its very nice having some quiet time.

might do some touristy things this week, so there might be more photos to share!!. (yeah, i know i say i’ll share photos and never do – think Devon!)

Xstitch progress, wk1


This is where i’m at after one week of working on my cross stitch. I’ve worked on it 4 of the last 7 days. i’m struggling with the count size and may need to get hobby glasses (or suck it up and get proper ones!) to help me. with that in mind, there are a few mistakes in the tree, but not enough to have to pull it out and start again. i’m loving it though!.