Goodbye Jess

This week has been a sad week.

Jess

Jess

ūüôĀ¬†¬† Our lovely Jess for whom¬†I made a new bed cover a few weeks ago became very strange last¬† weekend – not eating and having trembling episodes.¬† She was around 15, we are not quite sure as she was a rescue dog.¬† Anyway we ‘phoned the vets on Monday and arranged to take her in on Wednesday.¬† The next two days she trembled and stared vacantly intermittently but inbetween she was ok, although sleepy.¬† On Tuesday evening she spent her time in the garden with DH as he sorted the vegetable plantings, and later went for her usual walk.

By 11am the next day we had learned she had multi-organ failure, was too ill to come back home and the vet recommended she be put to sleep.  Jess had been bought 11 years ago as a friend for our teenage daughter so it seemed only fitting that she be given the chance to be with Jess at the end.  She did want to, and work let her off early so she could make the 3pm dreaded time with me.

We had 5 minutes or so with Jess in a side room before the vet came in.¬† We stroked her and patted her and she nestled into my daughter’s arms as the vet injected the potion into the drain in her leg.¬† Then suddenly, to the words ‘Jess is a good dog’ she slipped sideways onto my daughter’s knee and seemed to be asleep.¬† The vet confirmed she had gone as I¬†asked him if¬†she really was just asleep.¬† There was no sense of a soul departing, no sense of life leaving, for me at any rate she appeared to be sleeping, just as she often had, on her side, legs straight out.

We stayed a few more minutes and then stumbled out, I was crying like a baby and my daughter was the adult, guiding me out and driving me home.¬† I have done some sewing this week, I found it helpful in the quiet house.¬† I’ll have some pictures next week and hopefully feel more normal to share things at Handmade Monday

Handmade Christmas at the 02 anyone?

This week I have had absolutely nothing that I had to do (apart from usual shopping cleaning etc) but no appointments or family to pick up/take out etc so I have pretty much been able to sew sew sew!  It has been really relaxing and enabled me to complete my quilt top ready to start the quilting and binding next week.

I didn’t think I’d be doing any hand sewing¬†on a patchwork quilting course but we did, we learned applique as well, and I¬† found it very relaxing ¬†sitting in the garden doing some hand sewing.¬† Here is the finished quilt top which¬†now needs making into the quilt sandwich!

pink and purple fabrics made into a quilt.

My Wonder Block Quilt Top

I don’t know if any of you crafters who join in in Handmade Monday heard about¬†the Folksy collaboration with¬†the big Handmade Christmas Fair at the 02 in December??¬† Well I have taken a leap of faith and booked a market stall for the 3 day event!!¬† I am sharing the stall and the costs with my sister who is a photographer and so I am quite looking forward to it as a sister road trip as well as the selling side.¬† I am, however, a bit nervous of managing¬† a stall for 3 days on the run and also worrying if we will sell enough to make it worthwhile!¬†¬† I will be selling quilts like the one above as well as my smaller items, the mobile ‘phone cases and Tablet cases and some of my jewellery.

There are concerts on at the 02 and the ¬†fair organisers have agreed to arrange a ‘buy now – collect later’ point in the arena so that concert goers can buy things more easily.¬† 60,000 people are expected to visit so it sounds good!

Anyway¬†I’d be interested to know if anyone else has booked a spot and what you think are the chances of anyone buying something as big as a quilt?¬† Would more smaller items be better?¬†¬† Please share your thoughts – any advice welcomed!!

 

 

Wedding Bunting!!

So last week¬†DD and I went shopping for fabric¬†to make ¬†the bunting for her wedding.¬† As anyone who reads this blog will know, I luurrvvve fabric shopping!¬†¬† ūüôā¬† We spent a happy hour in Calico Laine in Neston which is only a few minutes away, ¬†but totally forgot the time and then had to rush off to pick up her eldest from school! Luckily we managed to find some lovely fabrics to match the lilac and white colour scheme before dashing off!

I made the bunting template really easily by folding a piece of A4 paper down into a quarter so that when opened out again it has folds making a cross.

A4 paper with penciled cross on it

draw lines from the middle side to the opposite top corner.

a4 paper folded lengthwise

draw from bottom corner to point where first two lines intersect on the fold.

bunting template cut out from A4 paper

result is a bunting template cut out from A4 paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I folded my fabric with the right sides together and pinned two templates to the wrong side and drew round them before moving them along.

fabric templates

lay template out and draw round it then move to side

fabric bunting triangle

Cut out the fabric about a inch from the drawn line.

 

You can now easily sew in a¬† straight line and¬† no worry about leaving perfect 1/4 inch seams as these are trimmed later!¬† Don’t forget to leave half the top line undone to enable you to turn the fabric to the right side at the end.

 

 

 

 

sew along the pencil line

sew along the pencil line

IMG_1729

trim away the seams to leave about quarter of an inch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now after turning the flags right sides out, fold inwards the edges of the hole you left  and pin some ribbon or bias binding along the top to hold all the flags together and close up where the hole was.  I also tried top sewing one of the flags to see if I like the look, not sure really.

purple fabric with whiite spots made into bunting flag

top sewing on flag

flags with ribbon pinned on

flags with ribbon pinned on

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously I will have many more of these for the final wedding bunting and will sew on the top ribbon properly when I have decided whether or not to top sew every flag!

Just a few more to make now! First though I am off over to Handmade Monday to see what everyone else has been up to!

Additional Note!

Finished Bunting after the Wedding!

lilac wedding bunting

Wedding Bunting on the Top Table

 

Patchwork Quilting Course

So this was the second week at my patchwork quilting course and I thoroughly enjoyed it again.¬† This course has not been what I expected at all –¬†so far we haven’t used a sewing machine at the course –¬†only at home!¬† We have learnt to cut out and hand sew pieces of fabric which are sewn together to make up 12″ ‘blocks’.¬† ¬†Each block¬†is¬†made up differently using¬†varying techniques.¬†¬† Out of the 6 blocks needed, so far I have two blocks finished and two half finished.

One of the nice things about learning techniques by hand sewing is that it is very relaxing and quite therapeutic to have to sit and sew, away from normal life .¬†¬† It’s also¬† easy to listen¬†to the tutor whilst sewing by hand.¬†¬† I now have several squares, hexagons, diamonds and hearts made up, some of which are to be used as applique on top of background fabric.¬† I have taken some pictures as I sewed at home¬†for putting together a tutorial on some of the techniques I have learnt.¬† I will be uploading these in the next few weeks¬† but for now here is a peak at what I have been doing.

two hexagonal pieces of fabric, one is kight ourple the other is yellow with a purple butterfly

Starting to sew hexagons together

 

As the weather has been so warm and sunny I have been sitting in the shade at the bottom of the garden sewing up all my fabric pieces! РBliss!  Here is the hexagon doily first row after the centre completed

6 pale purple hexagons of fabric sewn around a middle yellow one. The yellow one has a purple butterfly on it.

Hexagon Doily – one more round to sew yet!

We have ‘homework’ each week which has meant a lot of sewing.¬†¬†Before the next lesson I have to buy some more fabric¬†to use as the backing. ¬†Oh the hardship!¬†A trip to buy more fabric :).¬† But more about all that and the rest of the course in a future post, now I am off on my weekly trip round the crafty blogs over at Handmade Monday!

 

River Mersey, Quilts and Wedding Week!

River Mersey and Liverpool skyline on a rainy day

River Mersey -Battle of the Atlantic ships leaving

Been a jam packed week this week!¬† On Tuesday Mum and I went to¬† Woodside in Birkenhead to see the ships sailing off after the Battle of the Atlantic parade.¬† Funnily enough the best viewing point was from inside Home Cafe – so we settled ourselves down with coffee and yummy stuff to watch the action.¬† My Dad, a merchant Seaman in Battle of the Atlantic, died 6 years’ ago and so Mum brough a cutting from his special plant in her garden and we threw it into the Mersey in remembrance.¬† It is still possible to see it floating away on the left on the picute above, although only if you know it’s there!

flower in the Mersey

Dad’s flower just under the water!

 

Here it is just floating away!!

 

 

 

 

Wednesday was my stay-at-home-and sew day!  I finally finished my quilt!! I have been buying Liberty Tana Lawn squares for quite a while and these make up most of the quilt apart from the very centre. It now adorns my settee ready to keep my toes warm at the chilly end of the summer days!

 

patchwork quilt - multi coloured

Patchwork Quilt mainly from Libery Tana Lawn pieces

And here is my latest effort – my jelly roll strip quilt – this is to take camping with me when it’s finished.

Hippy Camping Quilt

Hippy Camping Quilt

Thursday I went to my Quilting class at Voirrey Embroidery.¬† It was a very¬†chilled out¬†morning learning patchwork techniques which we had to sew by hand – very good for making sure you know how to do something properly!!¬† There were only four of us and we drank coffee, sewed and chatted while learning from Maureen, the talented teacher who made the process fun and relaxing at the same time! Oh and¬†I had to buy some fabric too!¬†¬† The choice is fantastic at Voirrey’s as there are lots of fat quarters to choose from and some already made up into project packs.¬† I will say more about the course after my next Thursday session.

To finish off my week on Friday I went shopping for my daughter’s wedding dress.¬† Mum, Daughter’s BFF (who is Matron of Honour) and I went from shop to shop admiring and criticising etc each dress until we found ‘the one’ in the last shop.¬† Daughter looked beautiful and we all struggled not to cry as she¬†perched on a box in the centre of the room looking like a fairytale princess.¬† Why oh Why did I refuse to try on traditional wedding dresses when I got married and opt instead for a cheesecloth dress in true 70’s hippy style? !! What a special time I missed sharing with my mum.¬† But¬†at least mum got to experience it with my daughter and me this time – only 30+ years later!!

Wedding is in August so not long to go ¬†–¬†I better get cracking with the Wedding bunting!!¬† However just for now I’m having a rest and going to check out what everyone’s been up to over at Handmade Monday at Handmade Harbour