Friday, 9 April 2010

Pooches and Patchwork

Ok, so I haven't been around much this week and I offer my sincere apologies for that, but do not fear - today you're getting a bumper post to make up for it!

I don't know about where you guys are, but in my piece of sky the weather really picked up yesterday. The sun shone bright, the crisp bite of the wind mellowed into a languid breeze and the air took on that particular quality that it has at this time of year - you know, that....that...thinness whereby sounds seem to carry much farther than normal, to bounce back from the horizon. The world felt, in short, more open.

And I, of course, was stuck in the office!

No matter! In an effort to seize the moment (something I'm trying on for size at the moment!) I had both of the dogs and Hubby packed into the back of the car within about ten minutes of getting home and off we dashed to Bedfont Lakes. I don't quite know how to describe Bedfont Lakes - it used to be a gravel pit about twenty years ago when my Nan would take me for some fresh air in my pram. She would push me along the gravelled paths while her Spaniel, Digby, charged about and tried to pinch my sweets. Since then it has been radically altered and now stands as a public park, nature reserve and heavily landscaped beauty spot.

It is deeply unfortunate that the whole area has a fixed boundary and entrance is only possible through one of the several gates. These get locked at specific times throughout the year so yesterday evening we only had about 45 minutes to enjoy the weather and the surroundings. Nonetheless, I felt pretty perky, elated almost, afterwards and the dogs loved it too, as you'd expect. My dogs mean the world to me, so I guess I ought to introduce you!

This here is Denny, my Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She is about 4 years old now and a very good girl:

And this is Bruce, Hubby's Dobermann. We've had him for about 18 months now and he is a very naughty boy! He spent the first couple of years of his life on a puppy farm being used as a stud, so he came with plenty of baggage and a deep distrust for other dogs. He's getting better but is still a bit of a nightmare:

I'm not really the outdoors type (I know you're all going "ya don't say - a 23 yr old guy who likes to knit, crochet and sew and he's not outdoorsy?") but even so I genuinely enjoyed our brief walk yesterday. Sometimes, I think it's good for the soul to just take a moment, however short, and just 'be' in nature.

Here are just a couple more shots that I took and think are nice enough to include here. Humour me!

Feeling energised and enthused, the first thing I did when I got back home was pull out my sewing machine and all of the pre-cut fabric pieces to make the next blocks (Block C) for my Mod Sampler Quilt. Within about three minutes I was already regretting the overconfident comments I made earlier in the week regarding matching seamlines! It was so much harder on these blocks (they are, afterall, made up of 16 mini squares). Plus, they take a hell of a lot longer to finish! I only managed to get two done:

The one on the left is my very first. I'm not entirely happy with it. Indeed, if you look closely at the paisley squares you'll notice that I messed up and now the top ones lean in the opposite direction to those beneath. I'm debating whether or not to engage the use of my stitch-ripper, but I really don't like doing that as it can make things look scrappy and worse than before! My second attempt, the one on the right, seemed to be a slight improvement on the first! I must have been feeling brave last night - I tried chain piecing for the first time and, despite my doubts, it really is a quick and easy way of doing things!

The instructions tell me to use my rotary cutter to square them up as I finish each block, but I've decided to leave that until right at the end when ALL of them are done. Hopefully I'll get these finished over the weekend and then I can move on to trying something else! Like all good things, practice makes perfect!  That's it for now - I have so much more to tell/show you all but that will simply have to wait until the weekend now!

I hope the sun is shining wherever you are... xxx


  1. The blocks are looking good, I have been making up some 9 patch blocks and the chain method is so much quicker. Your walk looked fun, my little pooches get to plod alot of pavements.

  2. Do you really think they look okay? Very kind! What pooches do you have? x