Thursday, 28 February 2013

Stashdown#2: Feb 2013

Oof. Crafting activity right down in February, I'm afraid. Too much energy having to be expended on employment-related work. Well, I didn't buy any yarn, so yardage in: 0.

Yardage out:
  • 13 yards on portable pine tree, made for quidditch match:

I also continued to knit on my sweater and am now at the half-way point.

Count for Feb: -13
Overall YTD: +84

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Half Term Report

Busy half-term. I took dd down to Exeter to scrutinise the University there. As it was so far, we had to stay overnight (ds stayed at home with his dad. He wouldn't have enjoyed it).  I took this pic on the accommodation tour, as the parents went to a different Hall than the prospective students.

I have to say, my overriding impression was that it will be very expensive. Of course, I already knew this.... :-( We might have to forego holidays for the next three years, if she goes.

The best things about the trip were:
  • historic Exeter. I loved the look of the cathedral, and the roman walls. Dd was more interested in the shopping. 
  • having dinner with friends who I hadn't seen for 20 years
  • delicious breakfast in the Jury's Inn
  • train travel involving four hours each way of unremitted knitting time. Although unfortunately, I was too tired to do any on the way home.
I took ds out on Friday to buy his scout's uniform, as he is graduating from Cubs. We stopped off for a drink; here's the lovely vintage pot my tea came in:

I also found time to finish off my quilt on Friday afternoon:

My nephew has been born this week, so it's very timely. I think this quilt will work well for a little boy, and I'm pleased to report this is a fabric stashdown success, as all the materials I used in it were on hand. In the end, I used red gingham for the binding, cut on the bias.

I enjoyed sewing something so much, I think I'll do some more.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Woodland baby quilt

This weekend, my decluttering eye fell on my fabric stash. I have three plastic boxes with lids, stacked in the dining room, sadly (we just don't have enough cupboard space) plus one of those under-bed boxes on castors, which mainly contains quilt wadding and fleece material.

My SIL is expecting a baby and I wanted to make a new baby gift. It's due quite soon, but she has been very secretive over whether it is boy or girl. So I hope this will be perceived as a unisex crib quilt. I chose a woodland theme - since there seem to be a large amount of related fabrics in my stash. I didn't really use a pattern for this, but I read the tutorial at Cloud 9 fabrics. My quilt has smaller squares and more of them, though, really just because I had eight fabrics I wanted to use. I'll also be adding a binding to the edges, as I like the finish it gives to a quilt.

On Saturday afternoon, I cut out 42 5 1/2 ins squares, laid them out in rows on the table, and pinned:

Then on Sunday, I sewed 7 rows each of six squares, attached the rows, made a quilt sandwich with a piece of batting and some green gingham for the reverse, and quilted the pieces together.

I can still only do straight line quilting. I really MUST take a class or something, as I would quite like to improve my quilting skills; I feel like I'm at a bit of an impasse.

I still need to bind this quilt. That might be a task for next weekend, after I've looked in my fabric boxes again to see if I have any plain red or plain dark green fabric.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Out of this world

Last night, it was Light Night in Nottingham, so we ventured out in the February cold. After a trip to the pizza restaurant to make sure we were suitably fuelled, we walked up to the Royal Centre to see these special visitors:

Ds is a huge Dr Who fan. There were two Daleks in this installation and they had sound and movement - although a very limited vocabulary. It was just one word! Our Dr Who operation game is more fun from that point of view. We couldn't get close enough to see if the T.A.R.D.I.S was bigger on the inside!

We didn't have tickets for the light performance at Nottingham Castle but we were able to visit one of the shows at the inflativerse pop-up planetarium inside the Nottingham Contemporary. We went to the show about myths and legends in constellations and really enjoyed hearing the stories of Orion the hunter, Hercules and Draco, and Cassiopeia, Andromeda and the sea snake (story sounds like a variation on Snow White, only this one came first, I think). Ds was really interested because he just read the Percy Jackson books.

It's difficult to really see the stars from our house, owing to light pollution from the city, but next time we go up to Grandma's, we'll have to take a night walk and see if we can spot any of the constellations referred to.