Monday, January 9, 2012

A Duck Says Quack

Hard to believe its January 9th already, still no snow although the temperature is dropping. We are always getting birds of prey in the garden but this one was so involved with the animal he had caught, he did not notice us. Unfortunately I only had my camera phone with me !

Went to see "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" great movie but not for the impatient. It was slow to get started and was very understated, exactly as it should be. Great performance by Gary Oldman. We would give it 9/10 but only if you like that sort of thing.
We have also been enjoying some free downloads from I have been watching seasons 9 and 10 of "Midsommer Murders". It is a British TV cop drama but most of the photography is from Bucks in the UK  all around a  lot of the places where we used to hike. Its more a trip down memeory lane that anything else.
I have been running a few times and one of my longest was 6 miles so I am pleased with the progress I am making. I ordered some new shoes for running on the trails, I got Asics again as I really like them, they have a thicker sole with more traction and they are waterproof.

Last Wednesday I went to an embroidery guild in Hyde Park NY, they are a great bunch of ladies very friendly and I had a really nice time. They are into all things needle based, so there were knitters, rug hookers and doll makers there as well. There was also a presentation by a Diane Johnston, Diane makes collectible teddy bears. They were adorable but some were so small it must have been a nightmare to stitch.

On the way back I called in to White Barn Farm  to buy some wool. A lot of people have been sporting these twirly scarfs and the yarn comes in a ball but is a piece of already knitted fabric about 2 1/2 inches wide. you then knit along one edge of the yarn turning every 5 stitches. very different but it knits up quickly.

I have been working on my 12 days of Christmas and I have completed the top. I just need to quilt and bind it. It was a lot of fun ans good practice on getting accurate cuts and stitches.

I helped out in the quilt shop on Saturday  (Quilters Attic). We were so busy, I was cutting fabric constantly. Biggest problem with this being I get to see all the fabric up close which makes me want to buy most of them.

I have started on a new quilt, that will hopefully be a class and then I will send the finished result to the UK. It is a Smith Street design called "The Duck says Quack" . the center is a collection of machine appliqued blocks and then the border will include 12inch square pieced blocks. I managed to complete these blacks on Sunday, they are so darn cute!

DH created a top to go on top of my ironing board so that I have more room to iron fabric yardage. Its really great and he used velcro straps to hold it on so that I can use the normal board when I need to.

I have also been tyding up my fabic stash, once it's completed I will share some pictures although even I am surprised how much fabric I have! 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The temperature has dropped significantly today and with the windchill it is in the mid teens. Definitely a good day to spend in the sewing room. 

I decided to make the quilt for the January challenge from my fave Yahoo group (small quilt group). It is from one of Kathleen Tracey's books Prarie Children and their quilts. Once I started I wanted to complete it, although I did make it with 4 blocks not the 9 that are in the book. I was really pleased with the way it turned out. I also think that the decorative stitching added some nice texture to it.

I still had time for my day 10 of my 12 days of Christmas. Going to miss this daily block once it's done. I might have to start my own daily block.

I finished the binding on my Autumn quilt last night, so I have put it on the bed in our guest room. Tonight I am knitting. I have been knitting blocks from Nicky Epstein's book "Knitting Block by Block". I am using Berroco Ultra Alpaca and I have completed 14 blocks. When I get to 21 I am going to make them into a cardigan that is pictured in the book.

Tomorrow I am up early and going to have a look at an embroidery guild that meets on a monthly basis. I will let you know how I get on.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Managed to get a few more runs in before the end of 2011, including one very funny one for anyone watching! I think I mentioned that Gil had made me a special lead to run with the dogs, well new years eve I decided to give it a go. Lacey my labrador mutt thought it was great fun and took off at full tilt. I was running as fast as I could calling for her to slow down to no avail. After about a mile and a half we unhitched Lacey and added her to Gils group ( so he now had 5 dogs on his lead) and I tried with just Cagney. With Lacey in the forward group, who now decided to run backwards so she could make sure she was not missing anything, Cagney was pulling to catch up with them. 

All was resolved by running with Cagney and me in the lead with Gil and the gang behind us. I think I am going to have to take the girls to training classes though and teach them to walk and run alongside me. Maybe they think they are Huskies!

Still no snow here as as you can see from the picture and surprisingly mild so far. New years eve I cooked a lentil curry and a chicken curry followed by a chocolate lava cake. Gil and Sara brought some great garlic shrimp, homemade guacamole and I had also made some red onion relish and Indian style mint sauce. Add a few skinny margaritas, some good music and you have a recipe for a very nice evening.

I have been busy sewing the past few days. Still working on my Cotton Theory 2 quilt, 21 blocks quilted 4 more to finish off then on to the connectors. If I have any new years resolution this year, it is going to be to finish that quilt.
I am still following on with the "12 days of Christmas" at Temecula Quilt Company. We are up to day 9 now although I may change the fabric I used in block 1. I will make that decision once I see the final layout.

 As a break from the Cotton theory I also started on a foundation paper pieced block. I am going to make 9 blocks each will be 3.5 inch finished. I have created them in EQ7 and I have trees, leaves and log cabins. Here is the first block.

Last and by no means least - I just found out I was selected as the final Blog of the Week for 2011 by the American Quilter's Society. Woo Hoo and welcome to any of you that have found this blog via the AQS. I hope you will stick with me.

Happy New Year