Wednesday, 4 March 2015

It's all about the Bees

This week's WIP's are nearly all Bee related. I am currently in 2 Bees, the Fat Stash Brit Bee, which finishes this month and the Siblings Together Quilt Bee, where I am Queen Bee for March.

Regular readers will know that procrastination is my middle name, so you can imagine how hard it was for me to decide upon a block to ask my Siblings Together Quilt Bee mates for! Having considered and dismissed more blocks than I care to count, I eventually decided upon an updated version of an old block.

STQB March block

The block is called Merry-Go-Round and as you can see, is a mixture of HST's and rectangles. I have asked for low-volume backgrounds and scrappy triangles, so I am looking forward to seeing what my lovely Bee mates come up with.

The blocks will be pieced together in fours to look like this!

There were more HST's in my February blocks for Siblings Together Quilt Bee, which I just managed to get in the post on the last day of the month :( In my defence, I had made them earlier but didn't manage to post them before we headed off to France for a couple of weeks.) I did think about taking them with me to post from France, but decided that explaining what they were to the postmistress was beyond my limited French! Is it just me that gets annoyed when asked what is in every package that I send, even the ones that have customs labels on them ???

STQB block Feb 1

The brief was any 10.5" block with fabric in any combination of the following colours;

  • Grey
  • Brown
  • Cream
  • Navy
  • Green
  • Orange
  • Teal 
  • Yellow
We were asked to make two blocks and I promise that I did make a second block in yellow and grey but I cannot find a photo of it, so you will just have to take my word for it :)

It is a very pleasant feeling knowing that I can ignore at least one of the Bee deadlines this month!

 Linking up to WIP Wednesday

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

New to Me in February

Welcome to another New to Me link party, where we congratulate and commiserate on the trials and tribulations of attempting the unknown :)

My New to Me's this month are all about the equipment,

First up, Katy's Camera Challenge meant trying New to Me settings on my fancypants camera. Landscape shots will never be the same again, and anything that moves now is fair game for the sports mode :)

Next up, another piece of fancypants equipment, the Stitch Regulator on my new sewing machine. I was told when I bought the machine that this little beauty wouldn't revolutionise my FMQ'ing, but I think they were lying. It might not revolutionise my quilting but it has definitely improved my confidence in my ability and that is good enough for me :)

My final piece of equipment that was New to Me this month, were these wonderful curved applique scissors from Sew Hot, who just happens to be another of the lovely sponsors of our Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew giveaway prizes.

These scissors are the real deal, they really grip the fabric so that you can cut really closely up to the stitching, which made such a difference when I used them on this block.

I only wished that I had bought them sooner, it would have made this block a whole lot simpler, although it wouldn't have changed the need for the border when I sliced off an extra inch by mistake!

So that's my New to Me this month, now it is your turn to share all the fascinating things that you have been up to in February. As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on February 28th, so you have some time to try something new and link up and join the party :)

Monday, 23 February 2015

Scenery and Scandal

On a rare sunny day in the North East, we visited the grounds of a local estate that was once home to the players in a celebrated scandal.

Gibside Hall

Gibside Hall must have been magnificent in it's heyday, but fell into disrepair when the Bowes-Lyon family scaled back their lavish estates in the 1920's. Many of the fittings from the Hall were transferred to Glamis Castle, childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

Gibside Bath House

It is another female resident of Gibside Hall, however, who featured in the celebrated scandal. Mary Bowes, who became Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne on her first marriage, was the wealthiest heiress in Great Britain, when her father died when she was 11 years old.

Her disastrous second marriage is the subject of the book, Wedlock by Wendy Moore, who describes Mary's second husband as "Georgian Britain's worst husband". Mind you, Mary, who was pregnant with a child who was neither by her first or second husband at the time of the second marriage was no paragon of virtue either :)

Liberty Monument

The Liberty Monument above was built in Mary's time at the Hall, so would have seen some very interesting comings and goings in its time :)

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