Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Next Week

Monday 28th July dawned bright and sunny - again.  This is like Madeiran weather, you can't fault it.  I went to my patchwork class as normal in the morning.  I was on tea duty so was provider of biscuits and milk.  You don't pay subscriptions when you do this, but it does cost you considerably more than £2 for everything you buy!  We have a lovely bunch of ladies.  A mixed selection of ages from a young 50+ to a middle aged 87 year old who does the most exquisite embroidery on her patchwork.  We have a wonderful morning admiring each others work, oooiiinngg and aaahhhiiinnnggg at other people's finished projects and sometimes putting a stitch or two into our own work.  All in all we have a wonderful time and just wait for next week.

On Tuesday and Wednesday Peter (My DH) goes to work so this week I have set too with the aim of doing a goodly load more to the shawls only stopping for necessities.  The only thing I will say is that it makes the muscles you don't use very often shout out loud that they are not amused.  Apart from doing the washing in between times, that was it for two days.

On Thursday a 'phone call from our eldest son put the blue light to the touchpaper.  He announced that he and his family were going to see the two new arrivals in Scotland travelling up on Monday and coming home on Wednesday.  Well, you can imagine can't you.  No postage to pay and a guarantee that they will arrive.
"Oh I will have them finished by Sunday, thanks" - did I really say that?  The knitting needles started to spark as I raced down the last 10 rows of pattern and then onto the 25 rows of single moss stitch on the border.  The muscles screamed, but I didn't listen (wish I had).  Any way, at 10.38pm  I cast off the last stitches and
YES the knitted shawl was finished.

 The Finished Shawl.  It measures 35" x 36" and was very warm on my knees whilst I was knitting.  Just what you want with the outdoor temperatures in the low 90's F, 25degC

 A little closer look at the border and the pattern.
A simple pattern of 2 rows, one of which is all purl, but you would cringe at the number of times I got it wrong.  The second row works in blocks of six stitches and then every ten rows you change the open blocks over with the garter stitch ones.  After 20 rows you knit one complete row and start again.  The original pattern has a nice lacy border but you end up doing 4 1/2 M of border pattern so I altered it to include the single moss stitch border.
 Another view showing the pattern a little more clearly.
 After the success of Friday and finishing the knitted shawl, following our mandatory visit to Peter's mother on Saturday morning, I sat down with my crochet hook at the ready and began.  I had finished sewing all the squares together on the Wednesday so just the borders to add.

 I had already made the 25 squares for the main body of the shawl.  Each square measures 6" x 6" and they are sewn together.  The squares just in white looked so bland I found some multicoloured yarn to edge them with - an improvement I thought.

The last stage was to go round and round the border until it looked OK and finish.  In the end the number of rounds was determined by the fact that the yarn ran out at the end of a row so I called that done.  It was 6.49pm on Saturday!!!!!!!
I packed them into their boxes and made the gift cards on Sunday morning and DS and family collected them Sunday lunch time.  They will be winging their way to Glasgow on Monday morning.

And so my friends after a very busy weekend rushing about I am going to do very little for a few days until I start with the finishing of the bed runner.

night-night, God Bless and sleep tight
Needle Maid.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday 27th July 2014

My Dear Friends

Well, I am sorry to have missed out last week.  Unexpected visitors throw spanners in the works!  It was lovely to see my friends, but .........................

Anyway the news for last week :
Monday 14th July :-  Our first great nephew arrived to the proud parents Vicky and Neil.  He is to be called Gabriel.
Tuesday 15th July :-  Our first great niece arrived to the proud parents Catherine and Jay.  She is to be christened Constance but will be known a Connie.

The shawls have been worked on constantly during this week and I think I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully by the end of the month they will be on there way to Glasgow.

The next serious problem was my dying fridge.  It fought to the last moment but sadly was beyong repair and I now have a nice new fridge purring away in the kitchen.  Magic!

The last bit of news for this week is that my new Gardenis taking shape.  My dear husband and youngest
son have worked so hard and made miracles happen.  I am going to make a separate posting complete with pictures from start to finish.  Watch this space!

The weekend was a bit of a non starter.  Parts failed to arrive in time for one piece of the projects and I just sat knitting and crocheting.

Monday 21st July.   Went to Pentrich (my local patchwork group)  and had good conversations with the other patchers there;  admired the finished quilts of those there and discussed our Bi-Annual Show this coming October.  Once again, any work done has been on yes - the shawls.

Tuesday followed the usual pattern of Peter going to work and I carried on were I had left off the night before.

Wednesday - a repeat of Tuesday except for the name

Thursday - Today I ordered my Summer House - my new hand crafting and reading retreat.  This will be the crowning glory of the new Garden - I am Sooooo looking forward to it being finished.

Friday - a normal day, nothing exciting happened.

Saturday - once again, hubby and son were working on the garden until son took his children off to the carvival for the afternoon.  We went to see Peter's mother this morning.  At 96 she is really amazing.  However she is starting to lose the plot and we started with cold coffee because she tried to boil the kettle on the worktop instead of on it's base.  I think this may be start of another saga.

And finally to today.  As  with the last two weeks, the sun is shining down and keeping everyone really warm.  The garden has advanced quite a bit today and I have only four squares left to sew into the  crochet
shawl.  Hope by tonight that will be in one piece so I can sort the border.

Well, it is time for a cup of tea and then start again.  Soon I will be able to report on the new project I am waiting to start.  At the moment I am just collecting the fabrics ready to start.  Yeah something different!

So Goodnight my friends,
until next Sunday


Sunday, 13 July 2014


Good morning my friends

Well, looking back on my list of "to do's" I can only say it has been a total failure with regard to the baby shawls.  I am working just as fast as my fingers will let me but it jst isn't as fast as it used to be.  I am continuing a pace fitting a bit of both in most days.  They have to come to an end soon!

My one accomplishment has been to finish my quilt swap.  In the end I made a replica of one of my favourite little quilts to send.  I have even made a label for it!  Hopefully when I get used to my new sewing machine I will be able to set a label template on there. I made the original for a small quilt monthly challenge in 2012 and I love it. It is one of my favourites.  I only hope my swap partner likes it.  I have so little knowledge of her likes and dislikes as she has not communicated with me.  Anyway it will be on its way to the States next week.

Regarding my niece's bed runner, that is on hold until the shawls are finished.  It is her first wedding anniversary today.  OOOPPPPSSSSS.  Sorry Cat!

The trouble spot of the week has been my fridge.  It is fact it is screaming!  The milk  is going off but more to the point, it is not keeping my chocolate cold!!!!!  I have been promised that tomorrow afternoon we will go and shop for a new one - at last.  Still it hasn't done bad for 13 years of service.

Well my friends as you can see, I didn't make Friday publishing so have decided that a Sunday will be a better day as I have more time.

I will wish you all a happy week.
My work list will be to finish the two shawls.  I think that will be enough.

Bye for Now


Friday, 4 July 2014


First of all I would like to wish all my friends in the US a wonderful Holiday.  Enjoy yourselves and perhaps a little quilting on the side?

Chinese Coins
This week has been reasonable and I have managed to complete
another of my UFO's from 2013 little quilt challenges.  The on
line group I belong to, Small Quilt Talk, has a monthly challenge.
I have only managed to do the June small quilt and finished that on
time.  I also managed to finish my Chinese Coins from 2013.

This was the quilt made for the June 2014 monthly challange.  I enjoyed doing this as it was quite small and went together easily.
All the fabric was used from my stash.  I refer to it as my "Guilty
Secret" quilt because the four patches are pre-printed fabric and
there was no fiddling.  Well, just once in a while perhaps?
Both these quilts are from Kathy Tracy books.  They are wonderful.

I had hoped to be further on with both my baby shawls and with my swap partners quilt.  I am making this rather blind as she has given me no indication as to her favourite things.  Still, I like it so hopefuly she will too.

Well, that's it for this week.
Next weeks challenges are:
Finish crocheted shawl
Move on with knitted shawl
Do lots more to swap Quilt
Do something to Bedrunner.

Tall order but we will try.

Wishing you a goodnight, sleep tight
Happy Quilting Dreams


Thursday, 3 July 2014

1ST JULY 2014

Dear friends

I cannot believe where the time has gone since May of this year.

I will do a quick run through of things that have happened in the months in between then and now and start again with July.

MARCH 2014
My friend Angela and me.
This year saw our 40th Wedding Anniversary and we decided to
spend our time on the Isle of Wight.  DH has visited there before
but I have never been.  We found a child free hotel for the older
generation and had a wonderful week.  We were unable to see the
historic sights because of the previous bad weather having caused
road slips and bad flooding  However, I did meet up with an old
friend of both DH and I.  We had been through Grammar School
together and then on to Road Rallying and Motor Sport where I
met my DH.  It was as thoughe had  time had stood still and we
picked up where we left off on my wedding day. A lovely week.

APRIL 2014
This month brought us Easter and my youngest sons 36th birthday, I can't believe it!
My eldest son and his family spent time in Wales on holiday  and the weather continued to be wet and wet and still wetter.  My two nieces came down from Scotland to see their Grandmother and stayed for a few days.  When I saw them they mentioned they would like something for their babies, both being not only sisters but both pregnant at the sme time.  I am going to do them a baby shawl each.  No pictures yet until they have been sent.

MAY 2014
May 2nd was my MIL's  birthday and a family party on Saturday 3rd.  Sadly I missed this as I flew to Madeira on the 1st May with Maria to see the flower Festivaql in Funchal and meet up with some of Maria's family.  It was a sight to behold and the scent blew your brains out. I met up with friends from our trips out at Christmas and look forward to seeing them in November/December.

May also saw the Small Quilt Talk group I belong to doing a Small Quilt Swap.  Being a gluten for punishment I signed up to take part.  Pictures will follow but I have to send it to my swap partner by August 1st so nothing until after she has received it.

This month also saw my beloved Bernina become too much for my hands to cope with.  I had to get Peter to change the bobbin for me because my hands wouldn't turn enough.  I also  had problems with the attaching the feet.   In place I now have a Husqavana Topaz 50 with a super embroidery Unit.  Will show photos later.

JUNE 2014
The first few days brought the name of my swap partner for the small swap quilt.  I have designed a quilt for her on the medallion basis.  I am waiting for some new feet to arrive for my Topaz 50 and then I will be sewing for England to meet the deadline of 1st August.

Well my friends this has been a very shortened version of the months since my last post but now I am back into the swing of things I will  try my best to post of Fridays each week and make things a little more interesting.

For now Goodnight
Sleep Well


Thursday, 15 May 2014

January 2014.

January came in cold but snow free.  I belong to an online quilt group by the name of Small Quilt Talk.  The ladies of this group are a wonderful inspiration to anyone who loves quilting, be it small or large.  As you might tell, they make Small Quilts.  This month it was decided to hold a Pincushion Swap.  Approximately 100 ladies signed up and we were all paired off and given a date by which our swaps were to be posted.
Some beautiful and unusual designs appeared on the photograph album and I have posted a photograph of the pincushion I sent to my partner, and the one I received, which is presently in use in my sewing room.
This is the one I sent.

This is the one I received

I was also working on my nieces bed runner wedding present (photo later)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Christmas with the Beardshaws

Having arrived home at 10.30pm on the 23rd December, Christmas Eve arrived suddenly.  Preparations for Christmas were minimal as we were going to DS 1 and family for Christmas Day.
First thing to do was put the washing machine on and start the process.  There is a LOT of washing after a four week holiday.  Next was open the post and all the Christmas Cards over coffee.  There was a lot of coffee drunk today just to keep us going.  Last minute Christmas presents were wrapped and then bedtime.

Christmas Day dawned cold and bright.  After breakfast I continued with minor things until it was time to leave for Dinner.  Loaded up with presents for the two boys we went over through the cold but thankfully no snow.  Apparently it was warmer than it had been but very cold compared to Madeira.  Santa (Grandad) arrived with the sack and was cheerfully greeted with the "More Presents, Can we open them now?) from 4 year old Hayden.  A mountain of paper grew in the middle of the floor.  Boxes were stacked high in two places - His and Mine (Brendan and Hayden)  Finally dinner interrupted the fun. Our son had cooked a beautiful Christmas Dinner and I had made the traditional Christmas Pudding, finishing the last steaming before we went.  The childrenate a good meal as there were more presents after dinner.  My  DiL had made some Christmas biscuits for later on with a cup of tea and we sent home very well fed.  Below are just a few photos.
I got a space suit
I got a T-shirt

A remote control car. Thanks!!
Haden was determined he could fit into the box that his remote control car came in.  In the end he had to settle for only getting in this far.

And finally Big ~Bro got to open his present.

A remote control stunt car.  Thanks Grandad.    

The next question was -Can we take the cars down to the park to try them out.  Of course the answer was Yes so whilst Dad, Grandad and the two boys went to try the cars out, DiL and I made headway into the pile of wrapping paper.  There appeared to be rather a lot and one or two present that had been missed to boot.  Still it was a brilliant day and everyone went to bed very happy.

Good night

Boxing Day
Morning came very quickly.  We had been invited to DS 2 and family for the day. We arrived for lunch, a buffet fortunately so eat as much as you like was very much appreciated.  I was still full from yesterdays feast.  Today proved just the opposite of yesterday.  The boys, Rees and Devan, had new whatevers for their play stations or whatever version they are now, I can't keep up with all this stuff, and so we hardly saw or heard them.  Coffee and food was on offer all day and adult talk about how to put new lighting in the bathroom, bedrooms and kitchen; how to alter the kitchen to use the space more economically; how they had had the conservatory altered to make it into another living space, etc.  You get the drift don't you.  I never got my camera out of its' bag, so no photos here then.

Mid afternoon and we made our departure for home, total peace and some sewing.  I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms.

A small glass of Madeira wine to celebrate the passing days and bed.

Good  Night
God Bless


Saturday, 22 February 2014

Good Afternoon my friends.

Well I will start back in November 2013 when we left the UK for a four week holiday in Madeira, Funchal to be precise.  We love this place and treat it like a second home and have been coming back for 11 years now.
The first week we were there was warm and we had a couple of very nice days but we also had rain, not too surprising for the time of year.  We visited our usual cafes and shops and had a lovely chilled out week.  Peter decided not to bother diving, after all he was there for 4 weeks
The second week started rather nice but the rain, although still warmish, was a little more frequent and the sea was becoming a little rougher and starting to roar.  I don't know what it is that makes it sound different, but it does.  We could see White Horses starting to prance on the water a little bit further out from the bay. Not a good sign.
The jetty was starting to take a pounding and the "BOOM" as the waves hit the bottom of the walls before showering down on the top was quite impressive.
By this time the attendants were removing all the sun beds from around the pool and taping off the way down to the jetty.  The red flags for no swimming were all around but I think only a suicide case would try the sea in that mood.  We stayed in and I got quite a bit of work done, the sewing was taking shape, I had taken hexagons and diamonds to make a small lap quilt.  I had also taken some knitting to make myself a cardigan.  Both progressed well.
I felt sorry for those on the cruise liners arriving in the harbour.

The tongues licking the heliport.
Later the second week the sea decided to show its power and for two days we had waves starting out in the bay at 15 mtrs high.  They crashed on the rocks and sent their spray over everything, landing and running back into the sea like hungry tongues grabbing what they could to take back as a trophy.  They also left their calling cards in the shape of large boulders from the sea defences.

 You can see the boulders on the red tiled surface to the centre left of the picture.

They don't look very big do they?  It took three large strong men to lift them back over the low board into the sea.  Some had to be returned by a bucket on a digger.  These boulders had also been thrown from the jetty, over the walk way around the swimming pool and into the pool itself causing considerable damage to the pool floor and taking with them some fishes.  Fortunately it also left some water for them to swim in.

Week 3     The  storm proceeded to increase in strength and by the beginning of week three we were warned that the whole island was on Purple alert. No-one could remember this ever happening before.  Not even in the terrible floods.  Boats were moved to what was hoped to be safe anchorage.  Liners already in port had to stay where they were and others were told not to come.  People due to fly home were brought back from the airport and returned to their rooms.  There was no way in or out of Madeira for 3 days.  It was the worst storm the island had seen in 60 years.  The damage was extensive.  At our resort alone they were counting damage in the tens of thousands of euros.  The new indoor pool and been  trashed with the glass windows just fragments lying around the pool area and in the water.  The roof was badly damaged and boulder were sitting in the coffee area waiting to be served, in vain.  The new coffee machine was totally demolished.  Served them right.
The jetty is under there somewhere.
Just a small part of the damage
to the 1st floor roof

We are on the 6th floor and this little beauty soaked us through
This lasted for 3days.  Hotels had their swimming pools broken away from the swimming area and left hanging in the sea where the water had eroded the sand and pebbles from underneath and the whole  area  just collapsed.  I felt so sorry for the islanders.  Their main source of income is tourists.                                                          

 On the Sunday morning of week 4 I was awakened by the silence.  The roaring and booming had stopped, the patio on the balcony was covered in sand and sea salt but there was no water.  The white horses had returned to their stables for a well deserved rest and the waves had returned to being gentle swells onto the beaches.  The ships were moving out of the harbour and others were coming in, apparently having run the gauntlet as the storm headed over to Tenerife and the other Canary Islands, its ferocity causing them considerable damage too.  It took another two or three days for the water visibility to clear and then Peter along with the other divers went to see if they could find some of the items the hungry waves had taken.  The boat divot's were found and a crane had to be arranged to lift them out of the water.  A piece of concrete about 25ft x 20ft which had been torn from the end of the jetty was found scattered around in quite small pieces.  It was over 10" thick.  But week four continued as usual, sunny and warm and we were able to visit the town where the Christmas festivities continued apace.  My lasting memory was sitting OUTSIDE our favourite cafe on the 21st December with no coats or cardigans, the sun shining for all it was worth, drinking coffee and eating Christmas custard tarts, listening to the local school choir singing carols in Portuguese, English and German whilst the finishing touches were put to the Nativity Display.  MAGIC.

 The end of  an interesting holiday and what did I do?  Well, knitted and sewed and taught patchwork to two new friends.  Now that is special.

                                                      Until the next time -

                                                       If you can dream it, you can do it.