Saturday 31 October 2020

Helping the DBEM

Tonight I got a plantive call from the bedroom, "there's a big black spider on my wall".   This from the DBEM who has known for the past sixty six years of my almost paranoid aversion to spiders!!   Indeed, on the memorable "Spider Day" when I was but four years old, she was cleaning out a top cupboard in the kitchen and tossed a small supposedly empty cardboard box down at me.   It fell on my head but not  before I had glimpsed the Daddy Long Legs Spider living inside it.   I yelled and rushed out the back door and fell head long down the back steps.   On that occasion the DBEM was filled with remorse and full of loving comfort.  BUT not so tonight.   I, the daughter who hates spiders, had to go to her rescue :-)    She's now soundly asleep so all good.

I have begun construction of the Hardanger Apron and the bib insert is almost completed.   So far so good. Cutting around the hardanger piece seemed to take forever as I went fabric thread by fabric thread so as to avoid any nasty mishaps.   The wider band to go along the bottom will be even more stressful to cut out but slowly slowly...

My next project is a Christmas gift - a notebook cover for which I dyed the fabric, a 40 count linen which was Persil white and therefore totally unsuitable for a book cover.   Google came to the rescue and a coffee dye bath later the linen is a much more satisfactory and practical colour.   This will be surface embroidery rather than counted as my eyesight couldn't cope with counting 40 threads to the inch!  However before I start I need to consult at Embroiderers Guild as to the colours I have chosen from stash.  Several of the members are really expert at that sort of thing so I will seek their advice.   That's Monday night so I should be able to make a start early next week.

Wednesday 28 October 2020

B Day

Today the DBEM was determined we would celebrate so after her INR blood test we had a late start and drove to a cafe in a nearby village.   The lunch hour was well over by the time we arrived so choice was a little limited but below is my 2020 Birthday Cake -  a Dutch Apple Tart.   It was delicious and I savored every morsel without a thought as to how this would affect my determined efforts to shed the unwanted Covid Kilos!  (That is yogurt rather than cream though)

Home again and I decided to do some of the sewing that has been sitting in the pile.   An old sheet was sacrificed to make a toile of a summer top pattern and wonder of wonders, with minimal alterations it fitted well straight from the packet.   So I proceeded to cut out some wonderful rayon Navy and White polka dots purchased on my day out last week to Whanganui.   Tomorrow's planned morning activity has been cancelled so I shall sew myself a new top and with each stitch hope that the temperatures will once again warm up and summer will truly come.

I think I forgot to record on my blog my trip to Whanganui.   These "street art" pencils have recently had their points sharpened and were looking particularly attractive so were the perfect place to have my Subway lunch.   A day out on my own felt really liberating but the DBEM did fret a little and I had to phone her several times to assure her of my wellbeing and whereabouts.   But the cobwebs got blown away and I do feel refreshed for the mini-vacation.

The hardanger is almost finished and I have collected the ingredients for the next stitching project.   More of that next time.

Saturday 24 October 2020

Check first!!

The hardanger for the apron is completed and now for construction.  I did not plan out this hardanger for the apron - merely began stitching and then did a general measurement.   Now of course when it comes to construction.....well, let's just say that the lace heart motifs for the top of the bib portion have not been well thought out by moi:-)  Lesson learned.   An hour or two spent in detailed planning is not wasted time and saves aggravation further on.    
The broad lace band for the bottom edge of the apron is perfect and can be attached easily.   But for the bib I will have to restitch a single heart motif and then measure carefully to make the triangle in which to insert it.   Fortunately I have sufficient linen left in this piece and can easily stitch another heart.   The DBEM laughed at me!   She has commented several times today that she thought she had taught me better than that.   "Did I not recall her lessons on the value of preparation", she asked.   Well of course I did but I just didn't want to spend the time!!   Anyway I will have to spend the time now won't I?

In the space left on this piece of linen I have stitched yet another hardanger tassel.   These always sell well at sales table so it will not go amiss.

One of my must-have flowers in the garden was to be Lily of the Valley.   I had the most suitable position; the climate here is perfect - just cool enough and just damp enough; so off I went to the garden centre several weeks ago and arranged for them to get me some to plant.   Sure enough at the appointed time a phone call came - they had plants but these were pink.   Did I still want them?   Well, yes.   Even pink was better than nothing so I planted pink.   Then the next day the garden centre phoned again.   They now had white.  Did I want those too?   I sure did.   So planted some of those too.   Such obliging little plants.   They all rooted well and both the white and pink ones produced one flower each.   Then surprise, surprise.   In the small garden at the foot of a rose bush out the back of the house I spied.....yes!   At least a dozen plants of Lily of The Valley, all obligingly coming into flower right now.   

I am pleased to have them but wish I had checked first and saved myself that money:-(   But the pink is cute, don't you think?

Wednesday 7 October 2020

President's Challenge

 Each year the Embroiderer's Guild has a challenge, issued by the president, and displayed at the AGM at the beginning of December.   My current Guild in The New City has only around 30 members so an absence of participation would be noted.   But I am not a creative type of person to design my own piece of work; nor did I want to spend a lot of time on something I didn't really want.

The challenge was "Inspired by a Book" so after a lot of thought and the production of several new grey hairs I settled on this after having read the book The Chocolate Tin by Fiona McIntosh.

And inside the tin I will have a stitched explanation.  This is currently straining my eyes and my patience as I stitch all the lettering over one on 32 count fabric.   Hopefully this week I will finish this and put it in a bag to await the great unveiling at Guild meeting on 7 December.   You will probably hear my cries of anguish in the Northern Hemisphere if Covid lockdowns mean that meeting has to be cancelled.   Currently we are at the quasi-normality of Alert Level 1 and long may it continue.

But on the good news front the temperatures are slowly rising and we have had seven days in a row where green has been the colour of choice for my Temperature Chart.   It is good to get out in the garden and feel the warmth of the sun.   My seeds are germinating and I do daily checks to ensure that marauding snails and slugs do not get to them!