Needleworking

First blog post

My Life.

When I told my daughter I was going to start a blog about things I remembered and things I had done she said “Oh good!!  You will be able to go back and read all about it when you go senile.”  KIDS!!!

So here is my life in short bursts of whatever comes to mind at the time.  Hope you enjoy.

Love Gill. xx

 

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Needleworking

Eggs & Bunnies & Lambs & Hot Cross Buns

Hi everyone, hope you all had a Happy Easter.

It has been a busy month so far. After my fall I did ache but I heal quickly and by the time I went away to Nidd Hall near Harrogate I was almost back to normal. Nidd is a Warners holiday hotel, a beautiful mansion and grounds with lots to do and fantastic food. I swam each morning before breakfast, tried my very best at various quizzes, played shuffle board and curling, had a game of putting and danced as much as I could. I also played at being Robin Hood but it was a good job he didn’t have me on his team as I only hit the target twice!!

We went from Monday to Friday and on Thursday morning we woke up to this!

By dinnertime it looked like this!

Before I went away on the Monday I had middle grand and her mum from Thursday to Sunday as she had a diving competition at the John Charles Centre in Leeds which is just 10 minutes from my house. She came half way in each section which is not bad when you take into account that there were 25+ girls taking part and about 2/3 of them were a year older than her and in the elite class.

Then came Easter and they came back to spend it with me bringing eldest grand with them. We did a lot of shopping and TV watching and went out for a couple of days when the sun came out.

This is very good as they are 16 and 14 and have become bedroom cave dwelling teenagers and I didn’t expect to have their company that much. It was lovely, I only get to have them for 10 weeks a year and I suspect it will not last much longer!

My TAST work is running a bit behind this month but I will catch up when I am on my own again.

I have another two blankets ready for their fancy bits to be added. My knit and natter group took 9 blankets to the Nursing Home last month and they were so pleased with them they asked if we would mind if they kept them for Christmas presents for their guests. We thought it was a wonderful idea and as they have 32 people I am sure we will be able to make enough by December, we already have another 5 in the cupboard.

Hugs and love, Gill. xxxx

Needleworking

Spring Flowers

Hi everyone,

It is really feeling like the dark days are gone and joy is returning. Unfortunately the snowdrops are now gone and the winter jasmine is on its legs (one flower remaining), but much more is now promised. Last week my forsythia had just one little yellow flower right on top but today the whole bush is one beautiful frothy yellow mass, absolutely gorgeous. The daffodils and mini iris are also looking very pretty, I must get some more of them. The heather is a superb mound of purple, my white daffs are coming along nicely and I have a couple of blue flowers trying their best too but I don’t know what they are called.

I took my two finished blankets to my knit and natter club, they were very pleased with what I had done and said “Carry On”!!! One more is complete and I have just the fancy bits to do on 4 and 5. Only another 5 to go.

TAST stitching is coming on and I am managing to keep up so far. Some stitches I like some I don’t. I have to say that the more I do the ones I don’t like the better they will get and the more I will like them, I hope!

I did something truly stupid today. I had to go to the health centre for a diabetic eye test and they put drops in your eyes that make them very sensitive to light and it was a lovely sunny day! So, there I was, coming out of the centre to go for a coffee and some lunch before going dancing, had just crossed the main road and down I went full length on the ground. I was so embarrassed and a lovely gentleman picked me up and made sure I was OK – nothing broken – before he went on his way. Such a nice man. There was a chemist shop on the corner so I went in there to get some wipes and plasters for my scrapes. The super receptionist helped me and found me some dressings etc., helped me put them on and only charged me 50p. Isn’t this life just great to find that there are such wonderfully kind and thoughtful folks around? I can’t thank them enough!!! Anyway I had lunch and went dancing (not too much) and thoroughly enjoyed the rest if my day. My eyes are still a bit weepy and I guess I will ache tomorrow but I will cope with that then. I am still on a high from the lovely kindness.

See you all next month.

Love and hugs, Gill. xxx

Needleworking

That Was the Month That Was

Well there was I, triple jabbed and a flu jab too, and guess what!!! Yes I got the dreaded Covid. I knew there would be a risk but when my daughter asked me to go to London to help celebrate her 50th birthday but I just couldn’t say no. Yes it was all my own fault but I so enjoyed myself seeing friends I hadn’t seen in over 2 years. It was a great night, good music, lots to talk about and 20 inch pizzas.

I had a week with my two eldest grands and came home on the train 1st class – how extravagant! The day after I got a call that daughter and son-in-law had tested positive and two days later I joined them. I am pleased to say that I only had light symptoms, just like a cold, runny eyes and nose and a bit of a cough. I must admit to being worried because I have diabetes and asthma but not too bad, I was really, really lucky. Only thing is 12 days later and I’m still testing positive!

One good thing came out of me having to hibernate for this time is I didn’t have to go out in the cold, frost and rain we have had for weeks now, I really can’t wait for a bit of sun and warmth.

Second good thing was having lots of time to devote to sorting out my “knit and natter” squares. I decided to take them back to the original knitted square then add crochet rounds until they measured 36″ approx. I have used up quite a bit of my odd ball stash which is a third good thing. Two blankets are now finished with pretty flowers on them and two more are in progress as I need some more yellow and grey wool.

I am up to date with my TAST block

and still enjoy taking part and seeing what everyone else is making. It ranges in size from luggage tag size samples to fabric books, to quilts, to wall hangings and pictures, all so very beautiful and from absolute beginners to professional artists. I really love it when folks who have never embroidered before and are very hesitant to show their work have the courage to post what they have done and it is pretty and neat and imaginative and everyone tells them so. It makes me so happy!

My next Christmas ovals are half way done and I have decided what I am making the family as gifts. I am quite excited about this as it is something I haven’t tried before, I hope it goes well. Sorry no photos till December!!!

Middle grand is taking part in her 1st diving competition of this year at the weekend, her last one was in 2019. They have to go to Portsmouth for it. Can’t say what I think the outcome will be as she has changed clubs and missed out on so much training with having to isolate as her class members got Covid. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that she doesn’t get it before Friday. She has another contest at the end of March up here in Leeds so they will come and stay with me for the weekend and I will get to go and watch her dive. That is exciting and very, very scary when she throws herself off the 10 meter board. I am so proud of her, I don’t know how she does it, I certainly couldn’t.

Best wishes for the rest of February and I will see you in March.

Love and hugs, Gill xx

Needleworking

Birthday Season Starts

Hi everyone, hope you are all well and safe and a wonderful New Year.

Firstly I must apologize for my late post this month. I have had a return of my sciatica which affects my right leg and the middle of my back. It has begun to fade today but it means I have not been able to sit or stand comfortably for 6 days now. It could have been much worse so I’m not complaining!!

Well Christmas did come and my daughter and 2 grands came for the holiday weeks and my son and grand 3 managed a couple of days after his in-laws went home. We had a great time and managed to finish off a jigsaw we have been doing for three years now, my daughter threatened to set fire to it if we didn’t finish it this year!!

I have been busy since the family left, washing, taking down the decorations – I don’t like that – putting them away for next time and generally tidying up. It all seems so quiet when they go home but I am going to London at the end of the month for my daughter’s 50th birthday bash so I will be seeing everyone again, isn’t that nice? Birthdays start off in a big way this month, my son’s on the 5th and others on the 16th, 28th and 29th, then 4 in February, 2 in March and 3 in April. Luckily then I have a break until August.

I have begun TAST 2022 and decided to make a crazy quilt square with the stitches. Here is weeks 1 and 2

and the last ones of 2021.

Back at my knit and natter class we have been sorting out all our bits and pieces, balls of wool, embroidery cottons and donated items for our local nursing home. I have been tasked with adding to a collection of small knitted squares to make some lap blankets so we will see what becomes of them next month.

I also finished my last #52 tags the day before New Year’s Eve, I am quite pleased with myself that I managed to make all 52 tags in 10 weeks!

As always I like to get my Christmas ovals and presents started early so I am also going through my books for cross stitch ideas, sorting my threads out and trawling through Pinterest for pressie inspiration. I will make a start on them in February, they will help me get through that month. Then, come November, I can be really smug knowing all I have to make are my cards which I do so enjoy doing.

See you all next month.

Love and hugs, Gill. xx

Needleworking

Christmas is Coming (I Hope)!!

It all depends on Boris.

Well things are starting to look festive now. The tree is up, lit and I had a great time hanging the decorations and remembering the who, what, when and where they all came from. This also includes the ones I have made for my family and friends over the years. The quilted trees are this years.

My oval for this year is a gingerbread man, these keep getting more and more each year as people keep saying ‘can I have one’. I am just so pleased that they are liked so much, I made 20 this year.

The anticipated Christmas snow came at the end of November and lasted two whole days.

The weather forecast is telling us that we will only get clouds for the next 2 weeks!! There have been some beautiful sunrises and sunsets though before and after the miserable parts of the days set in.

My tag creations are up to date now, only two more to go. I am loving making these and I will enjoy being able to look at them over the next year and practicing the new things I have learned.

I have begun a new blanket in some chunky wool that I was given with some added colours from my stash. Chunky is not a wool I use much at all and I am finding it difficult to crochet with. I have had problems with tension that has led to a dip in the middle of my square but, being lazy, I have left it there and will add some pompoms for folks to play with. (Oh yes it was definitely meant to be there – it was quite tricky making it like that – no I don’t think I will do it again)!!!!!!!!

Alas I haven’t got very far with my new hoop so it will be next year before I finish it. Never mind, it will give me something to post next month!

ONE WEEK! I have 1 week before my daughter and her girls (grands 1 & 2) come for the Christmas holidays and I am busy working to finish writing my cards to deliver to my dancing and crafting friends and my neighbours. Grands usually come with me to post my street cards, I wonder if they will be too old and grown up this year.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I will be back in the New Year.

Love and hugs, Gill. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Needleworking

Guy Fawkes and Poppies.

Hi everybody, this has been an awful month so far as the weather is concerned. Don’t let them dare tell me there is a drought for a least three years!!!! I live near the top of a big hill and I was beginning to wonder if I should build an Arc. Things are not looking too good for the rest of November either. I am hoping for some snow for Christmas but not before the grands get here.

We have celebrated Guy Fawkes/bonfire night with rather damp bonfires and fireworks. Mind you the fireworks started in October and have been going off most nights until a couple of days ago. Next lot New Years Eve but will be continuous from mid December onward. I love fireworks.

There have also been many, many celebrations for the end of World War 1 and acts of remembrance for all who gave their lives so we could live ours. Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London was wonderful, uplifting and emotional.

The blue ‘Tunisian Tile’ blanket, as I have named it, is finished – Hoorah!! It will be next year before I will be able to get it and the other blankets to Linus UK though.

I am nearly caught up with my TAST stitching

and just 2 days behind on the #52tagshannemade, here are a few for you to see.

My doors are all hung and working properly, Mark is a very nice and helpful man. He is coming back next year to build me a shed.

The gardener has cut the lawn for the last time this year and done the annual massacre of the bushes around the lawn. I can now see out of the kitchen window! This celebration comes every year but I can guarantee that by May everything will have grown twice as high again. Good to know some things stay the same,

I have just begun my last Encrusted Calico hoop and hope to have it ready for next month’s blog. Here is a teaser!

Saying that has just reminded me that I only have 2 weeks left before I need to get the Christmas tree etc. out of the loft and begin to decorate the house. I love doing this but hate taking everything down and putting it away again.

Grandd 2 and I had a very busy half term week as all the workmen came while she was here (she was supposed to come the week before but that got cancelled), so my planning backfired on us. I forgot to say that the tree man came to cut down a couple of trees that week too. I also persuaded her to make Christmas cards for the family.

And IT RAINED!!!!!……………..

See you in December

Love and hugs, Gill. xx

ps. Sorry I am late in publishing but, for some reason, my photos wouldn’t load. Will try to better in future. x

Needleworking

Dinosaurs Etc.

Hello Everybody, it is a lovely sunny day today and I’ve managed to get some washing out on the line and dry. We have had an October heatwave this month, up to 21/22 degrees C, what is the weather doing?

At last I have made a start on my Christmas tree skirt, I only cut it out in February, how’s that for instant action!!?

With things like this I like to stitch down the applique before I begin to embroider and embellishment comes last. Then it is time to sew together, add the backing and closure pieces and stick on any glitter and/or raised items. Shall we see how far I’ve got by next month?

By that time I shall have had my middle granddaughter (my daughter’s youngest) coming up from London for a week, all by herself for the first time. I shall meet her at the station and her Dad puts her on the train in London. During that week I am having 5 new doors fitted to replace 1960’s, very dangerous, glass doors. It will be fun!!!

My TV went wrong on the 17th September and has been back for repairs 3 times now for the same thing, no sound. Have you ever watched the news etc. with only subtitles? You get some very weird words come up and by the time you’ve worked out what they should be half the interview is over. Very frustrating – I have a much deeper understanding of what a deaf person must go through now. Well today I got a voucher from the company to get a new TV so gd. will be glad, she was thinking about not coming if I didn’t have one!!

I have managed to complete ‘Red Fire’ hoop. I was looking to make something very different from my other two hoops so I went for bling, glitter and sparkle like fireworks. The principle is the same for the first part, sandwiching the found pieces between two layers of fabric, its just the embroidery that makes it zing.

Here are the other two to compare.

Blue blanket is just waiting for the last 2 rounds on the 5 remaining squares before I can crochet them together then add the border. Sorry the photo’s terrible, I don’t know what happened!

TAST is coming on OK, I have only 2 weeks catch up left.

And I’ve just begun a new challenge I came across on FB, 52 Tags. We are given a list of suggestions for each week then share and see how everyone got on. I think I am perhaps, a bit late for the sharing part as it started in January this year but I shall be interested in what I come up with, will you?

Gd. wanted more dinosaurs to go with Daisy Dinosaur so she wouldn’t be lonely so I have cut out a husband (Dave Dinosaur) for her and a son (Tyrone TRex ). Unfortunately I don’t think I will be able to finish them before she comes, it will more likely be Christmas, we’ll see.

I have finished making my Christmas cards, here are a few. I really enjoy doing this each year.

So it has been a very busy month along with dancing beginning again (Hooray) and next month doesn’t seem to give much in the way of a let up either.

Hope you all have a good month and I will see you in November. Looking forward to other folk’s fireworks as well as mine!!!

Love and Hugs, Gill xx

Needleworking

Autumn’s Here

Hi All,

Its September again, where has the last year gone? You may remember July’s project, Encrusted Calico, well I enjoyed making it so much that I decided to make some more but very different from each other. Here is my Blue Neon hoop, I hope you like it – look out for Red Fire next.

All the family are now home and back to work/school. I miss them so much but am resolved to looking forward to Christmas and seeing them again.

September’s project is my shirt seam seascape using seams from cut up shirts that belonged to my husband. I think it turned out well but was very hard work on the fingers and I will definitely be using the sewing machine if I make any more. This was all hand embroidered on to a backing fabric and I included some some felt scraps for houses and bits of lace and beads for the sea foam. I have attached it to an old painting canvas box frame. Please let me know what you think of it and should I make some more.

The fuchsias have been glorious again this year, I really love them, so blousy and in your face but wonderful colour at this time of year.

It has been a strange year with the weather, we have had summer in spring and spring rains in summer. Now its getting dark so early and the temperature is starting to go down I wonder if we will get winter in autumn – we shall see!!

I have resumed my TAST embroidery and am about 5 week behind so there will be some catching up to do.

My holiday blanket now has 10 out of the 15 large squares needed so I think I need to concentrate on this this for a couple of weeks if I am to finish it this year! Should I join them with dark blue or light blue?

Card making is on my mind just now as I have bought some new stamps from Lavinia Stamps and have been watching lots of ‘how to’ videos. So I may have some to share with you next month.

Bye for now. Love and hugs, Gill. xxx

Needleworking

KIDS

August arrived like a damp squid – rain, rain and more rain but, thankfully, we have had some really nice days since. My two eldest granddaughters came up from London on the first and I had a week with them before my daughter arrived. Talk about ‘Kevin and Perry’ teenagers!! One word answers to questions, disappeared into bedrooms with electronics and only appeared when hungry. The eldest was a bit better and would help out with meals and dishwasher duty. I took E for an eye test and some new glasses and I for a hair cut as instructed by their mother and a trip round the supermarket for some treats afterwards.

Needless to say my crafts have mostly been put on hold but I did manage to finish my August project hoops, I hope you like them.

I didn’t like the bare hoop so I cut some 1″ strips from thin nylon fabric my mother-in-law gave me in the 70s and bound the outer ring, I think it makes a nice edging. The back I finished with a circle of felt slip stitched to the crimplene (50 years old) that I used for the main pictures.

My TAST stitches have not been touched and I will have some catching up to do when everyone goes home next week.

The same has to said for the blue blanket as things are set to get quite hectic in the next few days.

On Tuesday two very dear friends are coming to see us, they are godmothers to the girls. One is coming from Lancashire the other from Scotland.

Thursday sees my son, daughter-in-law and youngest granddaughter come to stay for a couple of days from Cambridgeshire. It will be wonderful to have the family all in one place again.

During July I deconstructed some of my husband’s shirts that I had kept for crafting. There were lots and lots of seams in a big box by the time I finished. I couldn’t think what to do with them until the light bulb in my head flashed and I have decided to make a seascape picture with them for my September project.

See you all then. Hugs and love, Gill. xx

Needleworking

Encrusted Calico

Hello to one and all – 6 months into yet another year!!! How does time pass so quickly these days, especially when so many things we took for granted are no longer available to us? Well next week dear old Boris is going to remove all our restrictions and rely on everyone to be sensible and use whatever means we have to safeguard each other. FAT CHANCE!!!!!!!!! Sporting venues (particularly football) have seen our covid numbers rise to what they were in January despite supposedly having to have negative tests to get into games. What chance do we have now??!!

I have been busy with my new project and have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I loved making my encrusted calico hoop and will definitely make some more. I began with some cotton sheeting in my hoop and scattered the things I was going to use to make my picture on the top, moving them around to where I thought they would look good. There were buttons, beads, rings, a pebble and a buckle.

I put a stitch or two into a few items to hold them where I wanted them to stay and left the others free so I could move them later. The whole hoop was then covered with another piece of material. Then I went round each item with small running stitches, sewing through both materials and trapping them between the layers (encapsulating). It does not matter if there are wrinkles in. the top fabric as they are used in the design. I use a spoon to push the free pieces around to where I wanted them. When this was finished the hoop was released from the base layer and re-hooped over my work.

Then the real fun began – choosing the stitches I would use and the colour and type of threads to embroider over my captured picture.

Do have a go at this, I would love to see what you make.

My TAST stitches are keeping me interested as all this month’s are new to me.

I have another 18 small squares of my blue blanket ready to be joined. This will make 4.5 large squares, 11 out of the 15 I need, not far to go now then joining and edging to do.

August’s project is 3 small 4″ hoops to do with the night sky.

The garden is decidedly soggy at present, we seem to have had 1 good day followed by 3 or 4 days of rain, torrential rain, more rain and clouds like lumps of coal. Most of the colour has gone with just some yellow showing now.

Soon it will be fuchsia time and all will be glorious again. The weather man has just announced that we will be having a week of wonderful sunshine from today. Hoorah!!! I wonder what the the following week will bring.

I am so delighted to hear that my daughter and two gds are able to come and stay with me at the beginning of August and my son and family are coming on the 17th. How wonderful it will be to have the house full again and all three granddaughters together again, I can’t wait. I skip around singing to myself ‘1st August, 1st August, 1st August. I know I’m mad but I can’t help it!!!

See you all next month. Love and hugs, Gill. xxxx