Thursday, 29 September 2011

Books to films

I am always a bit dubious watching films of books, even the best ones sometimes change things or add stuff that isn't in the book and that always bothers me.

But, if you haven't read the book in ages and are not obssessive about it (like I am with Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter) then it is easier to just enjoy the film without comparing all the time.

The other week I saw Jane Ayre and it was beautiful. Slow and steady with passsion bubbling under the surface. Tonight I went and saw Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy. Again it is slow and quite methodical. It isn't a crash bang thriller but it works because of that. It gives you time to think. And I loved the staging of everything. London in the early 70's forms my earliest memories and the colours and clothes and home furnishing was amazing. So much attention to detail.

Brown and gray, the colours of London!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Grumble, grumble, grumble

I've been getting loads of sewing done, I finished my pay it forward gifts (although not posted yet) and have been doing a lot of work on scraps, but I can't show you anything.

For some bleeping reason, the screen on my new laptop (a month old) has died so I need to get that sorted. I had only just got the bloody thing set up with software etc and files transfered. I am using my old back up which is really crappy but gets onto the web but I never set up copying photos onto it to upload and I am so pissed off with the whole thing I can't be bothered doing it now.

I won't be able to take the other one back to the shop until the end of the week so god knows what they are going to do to sort it out...

Grumble, grumble, grumble.... bah!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Wonky madness

I pieced the centre of this top sometime last year using a load of bits and bobs - it was a wonky quarter log cabin.

However, it was very small and I always knew it needed some sort of border to make it a bit bigger (it still only ended up just over 40inches square) and I found the perfect wonky triangles in Gwen Marstons Liberated Quilted II.

So far, so good. Then I made a fatal mistake - to quilt using straight lines in a 1 inch grid. Well in theory it should have been fine but it all went horribly wrong.

Doing the first 4 or 5 rows I managed to break 3 separate needles. Well considering it was months since I last changed one (I know, I know, you are supposed to change them every quilt but who really does that) and it seemed a terrible struggle to even sew in a straight line and that the top and back were getting very distorted even with my pin basting I had to stop and take stock.

I looked at my walking foot - it was the first time I had used it for ages but it was also the first time I had used the quilting guide. Could that be the problem? Well it wasn't the guide but it was the foot. When the needle goes up it pushes the arm thingie on the foot up, then when the need goes down the arm is supposed to go down. My arm didn't go down - it got stuck up! So no extra help from the foot and my forcing the fabric through was what was breaking the needles.

I took it off and fiddled with it - then I thought, maybe it needs oiling? Do I have oil? Well not the sort for machines, only olive oil! Yes I did - I dabbed a tiny bit of olive oil on the end of a cotton bud and stuck it into the foot. I swished it around and around and it came out black and grimy. But it worked a treat.

I then was able to carry on the quilting nice and smooth, but being lazy I wasn't going to unpick what I had done so it still ended up pulled out of shape a bit. It isn't so noticeable on the front, but you can see on the back.

Here this strip was straight across the bottom but you can see how much off the horizontal quilting line it ended up.

So instead of being a nice simple little quilt - this became one of my most troublesome ever. But I'm happy enough with it now it is all over....

The backing was pieced using leftovers from the border triangles.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

First ever zip

I forgot to post about this cushion before I went to the spa - I guess all I could think about then was what treatments I was going to have.

This is the first needlepoint I've finished in ages. I used to do a lot more before catching the quilting bug. For some reason, even though I love hand stitching I don't ever want to do it with quilting (especially for binding).

The cushion was from a kit I got ages ago and what makes it extra special is this is the first one I've ever finished off and turned into a cushion. I have a whole bag of stuff at the top of the wardrobe of various needlepoints that stretch back 25 years! None of them have been framed or turned into something useful. I have framed embroideries and cross stitch but it is expensive and I keep putting it off.

The other reason I never make a cushion cover was as I was scared of messing it up. I finally decided to go for it as I found a load of material tucked away that was leftover from some curtains for my Mum made about 18 years ago! I realised it would be perfect backing for the cushions. I also decided to tackle putting a zip into it.

Well, from the picture it doesn't look too bad, but I got into a dreadful pickle with the zip. I read the instructions that came with the machine but it was total gobble-de-gook. I looked online for tutorials which I thought made sense, but it all went horribly wrong. However, in the end it looks okay and I think I learned some lessons so the next one should be easier. Now to start working through all the old pieces....

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Being pampered

Well last week I dropped out of sight as I had a special treat lined up.

As I don't have anyone else to spoil me I spoiled myself and took myself of to a spa for a 5 day break. Lots of massages and treatment. Very little exercise, but I did some and lots of good food.

The only treatment I didn't like was the fish pedicure - you know, the little ones that eat the dead skin of your feet! It was horrid, never again. I like to try all sorts of things, but that was the worse ever.

I had a wonderful room - yes, I did pay for the best. Sometimes, you really need spoiling..

And this was the view from the balcony. I spent a lot of time out there with my book totally relaxing. Wonderful. I need to go back already....