Scraphappy Day November – Sort Of

Ages ago I bought a ball of horrible cheap acrylic yarn from a street market because it was bright orange and I wanted to make a beanie hat from it.

‘Wanted’ might not be the right word but, around these parts, you need to be on the look out for hunters.  They are forever shooting each other by accident and I don’t want them to shoot me when I’m out walking my dogs so an orange hat is what’s needed.

I kept putting it off as a bright orange beanie hat is definitely nowhere on my list of desirable fashion accessories but the other day I pulled that yukky yarn out and crocheted a quick and not very attractive hat which will not serve to make me look very chic but will,  hopefully, keep me from getting my head blown off.

I blocked it in an effort to improve upon it

*shudder*

I was going leave it looking like a hideous orange flower pot but Scraphappy Day was fast approaching and I hadn’t had time to do anything for it this month and I do like to join in if I can.

So, I had some of the yukky yarn left and in a leap of faith which some of you might think was a leap too far I considered I could call it scrap.

I decided to make a pompom.

So, I still hate it and hope I don’t see anybody when I’m up in the woods with the dogs but at least – as tenuous as it might be – I got something in for Scraphappy Day and, more importantly, shouldn’t get mistaken for a wild boar .


Should I?

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate (first name on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

 

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It’s Blanket Time

Around this time last month, I attempted to show you some autumn colour but it hadn’t really started turning yet here.  We’ve now had a bit of rain and it seems we have gone straight from Summer to Winter at least up on those peaks.


Time for lots of blankets so just as well I’ve finished all 48 squares for the ‘Natures Walk’ crochet along – albeit a week late

I’ve laid them all out and now it’s time to join them together  😱

The colours look a bit ‘muddy’ here because I made the mistake of laying them out in a room without much natural light  – see above photo for more accurate colours.

The rogue off-white square is there because I found the last square design given to us a complete nightmare to do and couldn’t face another one so I’ve put in my test swatch as a substitute.  I call it my ‘signature’ as it will differentiate it from all the other blankets made in this colourway and it’s also a good excuse.

Although I’ve fallen behind by a week (will soon be two) at least I’ve managed to actually get all the squares done which was the important thing as far as I was concerned.  I’m not going to rush to join them together just to keep up so it might be some time before you see the finish.

Plus there’s quite a fancy border to go round the edge which looks as if it might occupy more than a few evenings when I suppose I will be forced back into my addiction – watching Greys Anatomy on Netflix – I’m up to series 3, only 14 to go.  It’s not got any better – the lead actress is still as lachrymose as ever and her erstwhile beau is a match for her in tear production.  In fact, last night, I wondered whether watching this series is possibly bringing out the worst in me.  When our leaky heroine was dragged from the water half drowned by her wet- in both senses of the word – boyfriend and taken to hospital where they tried their utmost to revive her for over an hour and a half – I’ve never hoped so much to see a flatline.

But, what can I tell you? I’m ho😉ked

 

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Tight Lipped Tuesday

After the success of ‘the Constellation shirt’ you knew it wouldn’t be long before I got another one on the cutting table didn’t you.

Having discovered the last Liberty fabric design was actually called ‘Kevin’ and not ‘Constellation’, I was relieved to find that this one, which has long been lurking in my stash,  is called ‘Pepper’ – aah, that’s better.

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The Return Of The Quilt

My superking sized quilt has arrived back in France having been on a journey to Yorkshire via Bournemouth for its appointment with a longarm quilting machine.

It measures something like 98 x 88 inches and, although I could have done it myself using the quilt as you go method as I have done with my previous sampler quilts, I really fancied an edge to edge design for this one and there was no way I was wrestling that bulk under my domestic machine.

The light isn’t very good at the moment – bad weather has descended – and the backing fabric is a richer cream than you can see here with a sort of feather pattern but you can see the quilting quite well.  The design is called ‘hearts on a string’ and I chose it because it’s nice and ‘flowy’ and I felt it wouldn’t overpower the sampler blocks or make the quilt too stiff.

 There are so many patterns to choose from and it was difficult to visualise but I’m really pleased with my choice.

Here it is, on the right side of the quilt, across one of the blocks.


That’s all I’m showing you at the moment because I need to decide on binding and then attach it so I’ll save the big reveal until after I’ve done that.

I’m unsure about the colour of binding to use as the back of the quilt is a deep cream colour, which also features in a lot of the blocks, but there is quite a lot of charcoal and other greys on the front, especially in the border.  I thought about dusky pink but, as the pink is mostly a highlight colour amongst the neutrals and greys, I think it might stand out a bit too much.  Ideally, I want to use stash fabric so I’ll have to have a rummage and see what I can come up with.

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The Liberty Constellation Shirt

Warning:  This post contains very slightly derogatory remarks about the name ‘Kevin’.

 

Remember I told you I was making a shirt for Mr. Tialys – using the Liesl & Co. All Day Shirt pattern and some beautiful Liberty of London tana lawn fabric?

Well, it’s done and I’m as chuffed as a chuffed thing  with it.

It was such a pleasure to make this.  The pattern instructions are clear and thorough so the collar went together easily and I only had a slight wobble with the cuffs – even though they were made in the same way as the collar. It also helped that the tana lawn is so lovely to handle and sew.

I took it step by step.  I’ve now tackled faux felled seams again, plus collar stiffener pockets, a two piece sleeve placket and already want to make this pattern again plus, possibly, the ladies’ version.

Here’s Mr. Tialys doing rather a good job of headless modelling.

He’s 6’4″ and quite broad so I made the XL size and didn’t make any adjustments.  The only thing I’d change next time is to do felled seams around the armholes instead of finishing them on the overlocker as I did this time because the inside of the side seams look very professional and I wish I’d done the same with the armhole seams.  Also, there’s a tiny bit of fullness at shoulder level that I could work on next time.  Other than that, he’s very happy with it and took it off to the U.K. to wear to work this week.

I’d been calling this Liberty fabric design ‘Constellation’ but decided to search for the correct name.

It turned out to be Kevin!

 Apologies to anybody (including my cousin) who is called Kevin but it’s one of those names that have fallen out of favour (in Europe at least) and is usually given to characters on T.V. who are definitely not the hero in the plot if you get my drift.  More than that, however, it just seems a very prosaic name for a beautiful design.

This is what Liberty had to say about it on their website.

    Kevin Liberty London fabric was based on the celestial ceiling art in the hallway at Mount Stuart in Scotland. The constellations in the print were hand drawn in white and grey chalks on black paper to create a conversational starry night.

Yes, that’s all very well but were those constellations drawn by somebody called Kevin? I need more information.   In any case, it will always be known to me as ‘the constellation fabric’.

Just a close up of my collar complete with stiffeners – remember I showed you the ones I made using a cut up Liberty store card? – and my sleeve placket and cuff.

Mr. T. is so pleased with it he has asked for another one .

I’m not telling him the fabric design is called Kevin – he need never know.

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Waiting for Hermes

The F2F3 quilt is on its penultimate stretch.

You may remember that I had decided to send this big girl off to a longarm quilter as I’ve made it to fit our ginormous bed and couldn’t face such a mammoth quilting task.  This will actually fit our bed with borders hanging down either side instead of being more of a bed topper and I will never (as much as I ever say never) make such a big quilt again – I wouldn’t be able to afford it for a start. This will be our ‘forever quilt’.  In future there will be throws and baby quilts only – probably.

Firstly, I had to rid the back of loose threads.

This took quite a while although 27 of the 30 12 inch blocks were made by the community of very competent quilters who contributed to this quilt by way of Kate’s Footsquare Freestyle block swap so nearly all of the loose threads were due to fraying rather than untidy ends.

Once I got the back looking neat and tidy, I folded it up ready for mailing to Yorkshire for its ‘longarm experience’.

I chose this fabric for the backing

It also came in grey and I was torn between the two but I thought the cream would give a more gentle effect for the bedroom.

I chose a wool batting, which I’ve never used before so I’ll be interested to see how that feels and I chose a simple quilting design as I didn’t want to overpower all the beautiful blocks and also wanted a nice drape.

I’ve just been told that the courier company in the U.K. (the Hermes of the title) is in possession of my quilt so I’m hoping it will arrive here in France by early next week, if not before.  I am more excited about it than a grown woman has a right to be when it’s not even Christmas.

I’ve asked that the quilt be trimmed ready for binding as I quite like attaching binding and it will serve to ‘re-connect’ me with the quilt, especially as I always hand sew the binding down to the back.  This ‘re-connection’ airy fairyness of mine might prove to be less attractive than it sounds as it’s a bloomin’ big quilt and I might wish to be ‘disconnected’ sooner than I fondly anticipate at the moment.

I think my quilt might be the first ‘finish’ to appear in the 2018/2019 gallery which is only right and proper because my name was drawn first to receive blocks from the other participants when the swap started in Summer 2018.

Then I’ll be able to get on with this next project. If you remember,  I bought two panels with all the circular designs on them and asked you for your ideas about a different border and cornerstones a couple of months ago as I’m not overly keen on the border fabric in the pattern.

I have all the appropriate fabrics already to make a lovely border.

I’ve cut out the circles within squares and attached sashing between them.

Now, however, I’m in more of a dilemma because I really like it as it is and don’t know whether to continue planning a border or just to quilt and bind this for a wall hanging.

What do you think?

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Yuki’s Ears

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a cat

 and not care when nature has played a mean little trick on you like giving you hairy ears

even though you’re a girl.

It would be of no concern at all.

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Playing Catch Up

Phew! Week 3 of the Nature’s Walk crochet along is over and I just finished the last of the eight squares last night whilst watching the hospital drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on Netflix.  Why I watch that show I don’t know.  I’m extremely late to the party and am only on series 2 and there are, apparently, 15 series to go.  I sort of like putting it on while I’m crocheting because it’s not something you have to concentrate on over much although, if I’m honest, last night’s ‘man who had an explosive device inside him‘ episode caused me to have to look up from the hook and yarn a few times.  My main complaint is the central ‘love story’ which is completely stupid.  I want to scream every time their eyes meet wistfully across a crowded operating theatre or yearning is expressed over their surgical masks above some poor patient’s opened body.  Is it really possible that, in a large hospital, every time the elevator door opens the object of your desire will be inside or waiting to get in so that even more barely held in tears can be shown welling up in the eyes of one or both of our wet couple?  If you have watched this prolonged story of hospital folk – please tell me this mooning about doesn’t go on for the whole of the seventeen series or tell me it does and save me before I get deeper in .

Anyway, I digress.

WARNING:  Following photos are an attempt at being arty farty but, you know, a square of crochet is a square of crochet so I’m trying to liven things up a bit for you.

On our Nature’s Walk in week two we had a design called ‘Berries’ to do.

I’m glad it was in this colour as I’d have a job thinking of those holes as berries otherwise.  See I have kindly given you a visual clue.  Something exciting must have been happening in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ while I had this one on the hook as the sides are a bit skewiff but nobody will know once it’s sewn in with all the others.

The bonus square in week two was called ‘Wheat’ .  I can’t tell you how many moans and groans and hate mail there were about this pattern but, although it took almost twice as long as the others so far, I found it fun to do and love the result.

Lord knows what that lookie likie plant is – I plucked it out of one of the planters on our balcony and it will be the result of seeds dropping off the bird table so it could be anything but you get the idea.

Week 3 bought us a gorgeous little square called ‘buds’ which reminds me of little baby bottom cheeks.  Some others said cleavages and yet others said something rather more ‘masculine’.  You never know who you might meet in a Facebook support group.

The bonus square was called ‘Sunshine’

So, they’re stacking up nicely and, if I don’t manage to keep up, at least I have another 15 series of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ to see me through.

 

 

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Scraphappy Day October – A Close Run Thing

Can the 15th of the month really have come round again?  What with striving to get all my crochet squares done to keep up with the crochet along, and trying to get Mr. Tialys’s shirt finished so that I can start on making stuff for Christmas, it took me a bit bit by surprise.

It’s not as if I’m short of scraps as you can see below.

But I had not transformed anything from either the cotton fabric  or jersey scrap bins nor even the selvedge bin this month.

I hate to disappoint however.

Remember the shirt I’m making for Mr. Tialys out of Liberty of London tana lawn?

Well it has nifty little pockets in the collar for stiffeners – you know those little plastic doodahs that slide in and keep the collar of a more formal shirt  looking neat.

Like so

I was chuffed to bits with those little bits of tailoring – the thread is such a good match you can’t even tell those little diagonal slots are there at the end of the collar but I’m going to show you anyway.

So, instead of using ordinary plastic I wanted to make these collar stiffeners a bit different so that they would be instantly recognisable by Mr. T. as belonging to this particular shirt.

I searched the house hoping to find an old plastic folder the girls might have used for school as I often used to buy them ones with patterns on – spoilt rotten they were  – but I had no luck.  Then I caught sight of a store fidelity card in my daughter’s room which was made of nice thick plastic as used in credit cards and the like.  So, I had a lightbulb moment.

I had a look in my purse and, yes, I still had it.

I don’t have much occasion to shop in the actual Liberty store in London at the moment and I have Liberty fabrics galore in my stash so can’t think I’ll be using it any time soon even if it’s still valid.

So, the answer was obvious

I managed to cut them around the Liberty name and the crest for this shirt and still have some of the card left to use for future shirts – and there will be some because, strangely, I really love making them.

So, no fabric scraps used this month and the jury is probably still out as to whether an unused store card counts as scrap but you can’t say I didn’t try.

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate (first name on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

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Autumn Round At Our House

I thought I’d join in with the obligatory autumn colour posts even though it’s happening fairly slowly here and I was eating my lunch in the garden earlier this week in beautiful sunshine, however, I’ll have a go.

Proof – if proof were needed – and, although that is a wine glass, it contains coconut water. Honest.

I don’t have that much in way of a routine these days (hoorah!) but the dog walk every morning is obligatory come rain or shine.

I set off with my phone in my pocket this morning as I mean to do every morning in case I break an ankle or something up the hillside and have to call for help before my dogs take advantage of my prone position and do me damage.

What actually prompted me to take it this morning was I needed to send Mr. Tialys a photo of the quince we have growing on our little tree halfway up the hill.  There are only four of them but probably enough to make some quince jelly with.  I’m not sure they are ready to pick so had to ask the gardener of the family.

On our way further up the hill we spotted the rarely seen Octobericus Tabbyrean Catticus (or common moggy)  up a tree.

Then we noticed how the colours were starting to change on the hills and peaks.

A drop in temperature and some rain and there’ll be snow on those peaks before too much longer.

I finally managed to take a decent photo of a spider’s web with water droplets.  Usually they are too busy glinting in the sun and, although that looks pretty, it doesn’t photograph very easily.  I know I should have done a bit of ‘housework’ and cleared some of the fallen leaves off but that would be cheating – this is ‘au naturel’ and I’m keeping it real.

Looks a bit like frog spawn.

Back down in the main garden and the figs are still fruiting …..

…….which means the dogs are still foraging which is followed by farting. (sorry but I couldn’t resist the alliteration).  I can’t wait until the figs are all gone and my evenings become more pleasantly scented again.

A more conventional autumn colour photo

Our metal chicken – made (though not by me) using recycled oil cans – in his last bit of free-ranging before putting him in a more sheltered spot for the Winter.

Keeping it real again with the garden this time – those weeds really got the better of us this year.  I say ‘us’ but, really I mean ‘him’ as I don’t get involved too much in the gardening side of things.

Maybe next year Mr. T. will let me call for help and get a gardening service in.  Trouble is, he’s so fussy that, if they do anything that isn’t to his liking, I’ll be to blame.

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