Sunday, 27 March 2016

Chocolate for breakfast

Chocolate for breakfast so it must be Easter. It's nice to keep some of our childhood traditions alive  :)  Classic spring weather with high wind conditions keeping the clouds moving fast so bright sunshine alternating with spitty rain showers.  We're enjoying having a four day weekend thanks to the two bank holidays, and for me it's five days thanks to having Thursdays off anyway.

On Thursday I put the first coat of primer paint on  the outside window beading and the first coat of gloss white on my dollshouse porch, which totalled about four hours of painting white onto white.  The porch looks good but needs another coat. It was incredibly fiddly to paint thanks to all the nooks and crannies around the railings.

Friday we headed up to Peterborough in brilliant sunshine, really looking forward to a day at the Peterborough Antiques Festival. Unfortunately it turned out that thousands of other people had the same idea. We were stuck in a stationary traffic jam for 30 minutes before finally escaping at a roundabout. We took ourselves off to do some shopping for an hour then tried again coming at the fairground from a different direction. We got trapped in another traffic jam as all the roads were still choked for miles.  DH was getting extremely grumpy so we gave up and were headed home - I heard later that some people were in the jam for 2.5 hours before they made it into the fair. Luckily I remembered reading about a big antiques centre in Ely, the Waterside centre, so we diverted that way instead and ended up having a very pleasant afternoon in Ely.  After touring around the centre (and picking up a brass toasting fork, an Edwardian cut-glass drinks glass, a Victorian wrought iron lantern frame and a book) we had lunch in a cafe then enjoyed a stroll in the sunshine around Ely cathedral grounds and the attractive town. Lots of lovely old buildings and a few more antique shops and bookstores to poke around in.

In the evening I finished my dollshouse bell pull, adding its sterling silver end (which miraculously hadn't disappeared in all the years I've been working on this project) and a little tassel. It looks good in the dining room of my Vict-war-gency house.

Yesterday I spent six hours at a 'bring your own projects' day at a quilt shop. I took along what is probably my oldest quilting UFO (although I've got older projects that aren't started yet).  This is a Bear's Paw quilt using a white on white batik background and indigo dyed African fabrics, which I think I started about 15 years ago.  I needed to make 20 blocks and a sawtooth border, and I soon discovered that making a kazillion half square triangles and repetitive blocks was not my idea of fun.  In fifteen years I managed a total of three blocks! Pretty disgraceful really, although I did sew up most of the half square triangles using Thangles papers and I had previously made up some block kits. So yesterday I just got on with it and managed to produce five blocks before I got bored, so a huge improvement on the last fifteen years.  It felt good to be tackling this particular guilt burden. I think I will save it to take to future sewing days, but meanwhile I could prepare more block kits.

I showed the ladies there my Let it Snow quilt and the consensus was that it does need a border of the red sashing, and then blue binding. So I need to do a bit more work on it. In the last few hours of the day, I stitched on another older UFO: my Hawaiian applique quilt which I think is about five years old. I hadn't worked on it since we were living in the rental house a couple of years ago and it took me a while when I was getting ready for the sewing day to remember where I had stashed the thread and tools that go with it.

Also on the hand applique front, I finished what I think is Block 19 of my Grandmother's Last Quilt 25 block applique quilt.  Quite sweet this one.  I've chosen fabrics for the next block, having my usual laugh at my ambitious list for 2007 which proposes that I would make two blocks every month and be done in one year.  Just 10 years or so off the count. The next block is a Rose of Sharon variation and I've traced most of the templates but still need to make bias stems.

I have actually done several rows on my Hooked Rug Kit while watching TV (resulting in several battles with the cat on whether the rug is in my lap or she is - she has grudgingly settled for crawling under the rug canvas to curl up to one side of me). There are just over 100 'stitches' in a row so it is pretty slow going and of course it is using up knitting time.  I have done some more rows on the next GAA Afghan square, and I've started a little baby item. I finally sewed the ties onto the Rowan Summer Tweed Cardigan so it is actually wearable now - I will probably give it an inaugural run at work next week.

Today I spent an hour or so painting the inside and outside of the window in the shed which we had repaired back in the Autumn but the weather has never been nice enough since then for painting on a day when I was available to do the painting. I did the first gloss coat on the cellar windows Friday morning but they will need another coat and so will the shed so more painting next weekend I think. We also headed over to Lamport Hall for their antiques show which is always a pleasant venue. We've got some nice things in the past, and came away today with a 1930s oak-framed barometer, a print of a hunting scene, and a 1940s oak gateleg side table. DH also managed to find a plastic Napoleonic model kit which I don't think is technically an antique but he was pleased. The side table is for the lounge and is a cheap placeholder until we find the perfect table.  Although it's pretty sturdy so we will probably own it for years now.

Just waiting for the roast lamb to finish cooking for our Easter Sunday dinner.  Happy Easter everyone!


Mairead Hardy said...

Happy Easter Sharon!

Daisy said...

Love the bell pull - looks really intricate!

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