Monday, December 15, 2014

The gift of flowers

Last week one of our Sweet Pea friends popped in to see us and brought a gift for Christmas.

These lovely gerberas have been placed near our front door to add a touch of colour for visitors.

Last year another of our Sweet Pea ladies gave me these lilies as a gift for my birthday.  They have really come into their own this summer.

This Christmas Lily is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

My sons gave this to me for Christmas when they came to visit in 2007.

It has had a few changes of location but it keeps coming back each year - never fails.

In addition we have been given a number of other plants over the past five years and they have all enhanced our surroundings.  We have been very fortunate to be beneficiaries of the gift of flowers.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Our friend, Bailey

We have a new cat at our place, at least new to us.

Bailey is about two years old and the youngest cat we have had around in a while.

He has been very timid but gradually getting used to life at our place. 

From the photo I think it would have to be said that he must be pretty happy here to be so relaxed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

A pleasing result

Yesterday I put the binding on this quilt and the end result was quite pleasing.

It was July 2013 when I made this quilt top.

It has been maturing like good wine in a cupboard and now it has been transformed by Linda into a lovely quilt top.  She also wrote about this quilt on her blog.

One of the good things about the time lapse between completed quilt top and machine quilting is that it feels like you are being reunited with an old friend.

The stars she worked into the border area are so appropriate, and, once again, I felt this was a good opportunity to use Magic Binding.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Our Sweet Pea Group

This week we held our last Sweet Pea meeting for the year.

Linda made a Christmassy centrepiece for our table with chocolates in a crystal bowl surrounded by Dublin Bay roses and angelica.

I made the most of showing off the cake that Debbie made for my birthday (or what was left of it) and managed to get a better photo this time round.

We have had quite a bit of 'secret sister' business going on this year.  We all participated in a row by row project - each making rows for the others in themes and colours of the recipients choosing.  These are just two of the projects that have come together so far.  Haven't even started putting mine together yet.

Much chatter and laughter throughout the morning and a fair share of show and tell.  These two items are what I managed to capture.  Both projects are by Andreena.  The one on the left has an oriental theme and is going to hang in her home.  Andreena loves all things Christmassy and has completed an Advent Calendar in time for this Christmas.

We have had some great meetings this year and look forward to more to come in the New Year.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Ice Cream Swirls

There's more to share about this quilt but I just wanted people to be able to see the lovely quilting Linda has been doing for me.

The feathers and swirls on the white background make me think of lovely creamy ice cream - so beautiful.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Birthday Surprise

It is my birthday today but, as sometimes happens, I was invited to a birthday lunch by our friend, Debbie, yesterday. 

Lunch was lovely, shared with friends, but  the surprise of the day was this lovely birthday cake, made and iced by Debbie. 

My photography does not do it justice but the detail on the cake was pretty amazing right down to threaded needle and thimble. 

The 'relaxed' cat represents my cat CiCi. 

My congratulations to Debbie on a job well done and for contributing to a very special birthday, thank you. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Napkin ring tutorial

We like to use cloth napkins and napkin rings at our place.

The ones we were using were beginning to look a bit tired and I had it in mind to make some new ones.

They happened this week.

The napkins are easily achievable with a a few small pieces of fabric, some braid, if you wish, and a scrap of batting.

You will need:-

2 pieces of fabric 6 inches x 3 inches
2 pieces of braid each 6 inches long
1 piece of batting - I find cotton batting works best for this project - 5 7/8 inches by 2 7/8 inches
1 piece of matching fabric 2 1/2 inches by 2 inches

Take one of the larger pieces of fabric and mark across the length two times at one inch spacing.

You can use a permanent marker as this will be hidden.

The braid can be pinned along the line if you wish but I found that putting a strip of stick glue along the reverse side of each strip was effective for me.

Place the braid along the marked lines and top stitch either in a matching or contrasting thread.

I knew I was going to stitch the rest of the napkin ring with a variegated thread so I used that for the braid as well.

The smaller piece of fabric (2 1/2 x 2 inches) is needed as a tab to assist with joining the napkin together.

Fold it in half lengthwise and stitch at each end.  1/4 inch seam allowance - lock seams at beginning and end.

Turn out the tab to the right side and press.

Time to layer up all the pieces.

Place the braided piece on top of the batting, right side up.

Place the tab at one end of braided piece raw edge to raw edge.

Lay the last piece on top right side down.

Sew right around through all layers leaving a 2 to 2 1/2 inch gap.

Clip corners and turn to the right side.

Once turned out press.

For texture and firmness I stitched across the length at 1/4 intervals with variegated thread.

Fold and make a ring shape and pin together using the tab to secure.

Hand stitch from the edge of the napkin ring, around the tab and then  to the other end of ring.

After stitching tab in place, turn out and slip stitch along the right side seam line.

Secure thread and your napkin is ready to use.

We have these napkin rings in daily use. You may like to make them for yourself, other members of your family or to give as gifts to friends.