Wednesday 31 March 2010

British Summer Time????

What's all that about? 
The clocks changed on Saturday it's official, it should be spring a least!
Look what we woke up to this morning!

I managed to get to work, only just!  I thought about pulling in to let a 4 wheel drive truck pass but then thought that it was safer to let him follow me....maybe he would stop and help if I went of the road???  It's only 6 miles, but mostly on a single track road, I should have stayed home or waited until the road was more used by early morning traffic!

But this is my last work day, I'm off for 2 weeks....'Hooray' what fun, lambing time, tax returns, IACS forms and general farm accounts 'arrhhh....I can't wait'!!

Hope to fit in some quilting time (I have a Yurt panel to quilt, more on that later) and to get a wholecloth designed at least (if not quilted).

This was yesterday...the river is level with the fields!

Saturday 27 March 2010

Quilt Backing!

Don't you just love those charity shops?

I'm always on the look out for fabrics to use for backs of wall hangings and smaller quilts, I don't mind buying a fabric for a bed quilt, I like my bed quilts to be double sided so don't mind spending a bit extra!!!

It's great to find some fabric that is 100% cotton, even better when it's white and can be dyed to a colour of your choice. This one's tone on tone too!  It's a single bed sized duvet cover with matching pillow cases.

I left the pillow cases white for now, trimmed off the seam allowance all around the cover to give two big pieces of fabric....I dyed one solid to match my current project...

The second piece I tray dyed  with two tones of the same colour and got this effect....

I also over dyed  a couple of small pieces from a previous session that were a bit wishy washy and got these, I really the love the multi coloured piece....

There are some really nice pieces of fabric there for £6.00 and they have all been through the washing machine twice already so that's fine!!

It's been a while since I had a dying session but I am already planning another!!!

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Judy at "Green Fairy quilts" is having a giveaway!

Give Judi a visit to have a chance at winning this Happy Camper Jelly Roll
from Moda

Sunday 21 March 2010

Isn't it funny how someone you don't know can influence you!

Well, the first time the question was asked it wasn't directed souly at me, it was easy to say no, "Sorry no, I'm too busy".  I was too busy, I still am too busy!!!
"Anyone interested in quilting a Yurt panel"
I wasn't confused, I knew what a YURT was!
We had a wedding in one of our fields a couple of summers ago, a yurt was put up for the kid's to play in, (I think some guests may have even slept in it) so I knew what a yurt was!
Linzi is the APQS Rep here in the UK, she started a project, a big project to make quilted panels to cover a yurt....the finished project will be shown at the Loch Lomond Quilt Show!!
It's is a BIG project!
Needs lots of time and dedication.... Linzi asked for helpers on the APQS forum.....I am only a newbie to machine quilting with just a humble machine......actually Linzi's old machine....third hand bought off Ebay unseen.....I can't compete with all these wonderful quilters on the APQS forum.....
I've never even met Linzi....don't really even know what she looks like....I am sure that not many people actually look like those avatar photos, no one will recognise me if I am not riding that black
Because I had enquired about an APQS longarm,  Linzi had my address, the panel arrived in the post the next morning....
Did I say Yes?????
Heck, I'm going to be a "Stunt Quilter"!
I'd better practice, quilting practice... designs....oh my!!!
First to get my humble machine to make a good stitch, last time I used it, it drove me crazy, what in the past had been a good thread combination????  This machine is a little temperamental, snaggs on the back, birds nests etc. etc.
I gave it a good clean around the bobbin case, took off the needle plate, blew everything out, got rid of all those dust bunnies, gave her a little oil and a new needle, (she's always oiled regularly anyway)!!!
I put on my best combination of thread, I knew King Tut with any poly blend in the bobbin should work well and did a test run, that was OK no snags or shredding (as long I don't do too much right to left or south to north, how does that work, I know, I know,  feathers go in all directions, but try to go just right to left...arrrhhh???
I thought I'd try some of that Metro thread that Linzi sent, I didn't think it would work, last time I used poly on top it was a a bit carried away.....
What do you know, it has a perfect stitch, it's a long time since my machine stitched so well....that thread is so cheap, I  know we have to pay imort duty and vat but it's still cheap.... 'How many boxes will I order?

You can buy it here Metro Thread 

So I digress, " Isn't it funny how someone you don't know can influence you"???
"Hell... the name Linzi even made my machine stand to attention!!!!

Friday 19 March 2010

I love this shop window?

I just love this shop window.... what is it I love about it?

It's simple in design!

Is it the fabrics?

Is it the oufits?

   Is it the colours?  

Yes, I think it's the colours, they are everywhere!!!! Look!!!!

And here, beautiful dresses (not the best photo), but look at that stonework!!!

And in Nature!

It's not my most favourite colour but it's pretty close.....

Wednesday 17 March 2010

It's Calving time!!!

There is always something going on around here, at the moment it's calving time!

The cows have to be checked regularly throughout the day to make sure there are no complications....
If a cow calves on her own that's just great but often there has to be human intervention, maybe the calf has a leg back or is coming totally backwards, (that's a dangerous situation and has to be dealt with quickly or the calf will die).

Most times everything goes along fine and everyone is happy!!!!!

Sunday 14 March 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope all you mothers out there have had a wonderful Mother's Day....

It was great to have my Sons home for the day......

"Happy Mothers Day Mum.... Can you fix these chainsaw pants"?.....

"Does he not realise, I am an Artiste"...

That's like asking Picaso to paint the garage!!!!!!

Going Public!

So, I think it's time to spread the word and put myself out there.....

So this is me.........right now.......Sunday morning in casual mode, heck I'm always in casual mode!!!

I've had a few thoughts on this and realise that now I am in the public domain so to speak, I'll have to be more careful what I do...... when you are in the public eye, things get blown up out of all proportion and are not easily forgotton!!!!

  • No more late night parties rolling about drunk and coming home with the milk man, (is that a British thing, the milk man)??
  • No more talking on the phone while driving???(never do that anyway)....
  • No more swanning around on the beach on holiday when I know I could loose 10lbs.....
  • No more taking out the trash before I have brushed my hair and put on my mascara.....( you never know when the paparazzi will pop up from behind a bale of hay)....

Hmmm....What things would you change if you were in the public eye?????

Fieron's Hearts!

Before Christmas my beautiful Granddaughter Fieron and I decided to make a wallhanging.... Fieron chose the fabrics from my stash, she wanted mostly pink hearts. Fieron helped just a little with cutting out and did some piecing, (she’s only 7 years old).

It was ready to quilt in February, I have a Husqvarna Viking Mega Quilter (only 9 inches) with Original Inspira Frame. It was a bother from the start, I put it on my humble frame, stabilised the blocks, (perfect tension), and then I tripped over the power cord to my SR, pulled out the little socket from the circuit board, had to send my SR back to the US to be fixed, 3 weeks later, SR back, top back on the frame, tension terrible, couldn't figure out what was wrong, well you know how it is.....something just happens, you don’t know what, it just comes right again!!!

It's a large wall hanging (60”x38”) and will be hung over Fieron's bed

Well, it’s eventually finished and Fieron absolutely loves it!!!
The best part, when it was finished, I draped it over Fieron and she said "Oh Grandma, you did feathers, Wow, that's so cool"!

More photos Can be seen in my Flickr album

Saturday 13 March 2010

At Last!

Freedom at last....

After spending most of the winter cooped up in her stable, Dibbly is pleased to be out in the fresh air..... still no grass to speak of...????

She doesn't mind that she still needs a clip and a new set of shoes!

Don't worry she'll be back at the gate begging to be back in for a nice comfy bed and supper tonight........

My friend Shannon is having a clutch GIVEAWAY, why don't you pay her a visit at.......................... pieceful quilter

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Can you Believe it?

It's mid March and the Loch is still frozen!

View to the east....
Most people think it's wonderful to have a white Christmas, I'm a "Bar Humbug" kind of a person and think of all the extra work for people with animals to tend to. Weather wise Christmas turned out to be not too bad, even with the snow.

January was a different matter, "Brrrrr" we knew it was cold!
In January the temperatures here in the Scottish Borders fell to below -20C in isolated areas!

When the snow came even the farmyard had to be ploughed just to be able to open the barn doors and allow the feed delivery lorries access, (well, once the ploughs had cleared the single track roads). The temperatures dropped night after night, the ice was treacherous and of course the water pipes were frozen..... One cow needs three or four buckets of water a day, carried from the stream, (as long as that's not frozen too), a horse needs the same!! Now we have arms as long as monkey's!!!!
The sheep on the hills are hardy and hang around waiting for the quad bike or tractor with feed! Someone eventually comes!!!

This morning for a short time it was -6C, but now there is beautiful sunshine....

View to the west....

So, I wonder how thick the ice was in January for the Loch still to be frozen in March???

Did you know?.... Honey bees cannot survive a temperature below -20C, one of our neighbours has lost all of his bees, the hives are going to be very quiet........

Sunday 7 March 2010

It's a lovely day in the Scottish Borders, I think spring is just around the corner, the snowdrops are in full bloom and the lime green leaves of the daffodils are poking through the soil.

There are lambs here in our valley, not on our farm... but watch this space!

Did you know?.....This is the time of year to harvest snowdrop bulbs, they are harvested and transplanted in the green or when in flower...the common or garden snowdrop bulbs are ten a penny, but the more rare varieties can cost hundreds of pounds for one bulb....