Sunday, June 26, 2011

The hexagon patch

We have loads of patchwork covers that my my mum made years ago so I've never bothered doing any.

Then, the other day, I was rummaging around and I found the old templates complete with some ready cut and already used paper pieces. I played around with the shapes and I was hooked!

So I cut out lots of hexagon shapes using the front and back pages of The Times magazine, looked in my fabric store for suitable bits and I was off!

I chose fabrics that would tone in with the colour scheme in the music room and found some of the curtain material (the blue/cream pattern), some odd and ends of red furnishing fabric and some cream curtain fabrics.

People say that English paper piecing, as this method is known, is very time-consuming but I didn't find that at all. I was completely absorbed in cutting the shapes, basting them over the paper templates and then playing around with them to make a pleasing pattern.

It's going to be the front of a cushion cover.

Now I've got to sew each hexagon together, which will take some time, and I think I might outline the red and blue hexies in either cross stitch or herringbone to give them definition.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's a hoot

At last, a photo of my Owls sweater! Please excuse my just-washed hair-do but this was a very hurried shot.

I decided to only give alternate owls their eyes and I quite like the effect (although I do have enough to give the other owls their eyes if I decide to).

It's such a clever and simple design, as all the best designs are and a very quick knit indeed.

On the training front, this week saw the start of my 16 week schedule for the Liverpool marathon and it is radically different from usual high mileage plans. This plan has less runs but each run is much more focussed. On the non-running days I have to cross train doing something such as cycling (I use a static bike), rowing or swimming (I haven't swum for about 15 years and am absolutely rubbish so I may not be doing this!). The idea is that you are not just running 'junk miles' for the sake of clocking up lots of miles and the cross-training keeps you fit whilst giving your running muscles a break.

As I've always ended up injured when I've done speedwork plus high mileage it has to be worth a go. We'll see anyway.

At the moment I'm playing around with patchwork hexagons for a cushion cover and I must take some photos of them. It's great fun and uses up those small bits of fabric that you can't bear to throw away but are too small for a major project.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I just had to snap these little darlings before they got too big.

Mrs Duck didn't bring them to show us until they were quite large this year.

I think the threat from magpies, crows, rooks etc etc has been worse this year as there have been several nests raided.

I love watching them grow!

I started to cloud prune this conifer a couple of years ago as it was getting too tall and growing too close to the overhead telephone lines.

One morning, several weeks ago, I noticed a pair of Woodpigeons doing a reccy on it and I wondered if they were looking for a nest site.

Sure enough, yesterday was a hive of activity with Mr and Mrs Woodpigeon going back and forth with beakfuls of nesting material.

I love this one with the little head peeping out from the undergrowth!

I must make sure that I don't trim the tree until their little ones have fledged.

They do seem to nest slightly later than other birds as I remember last year we were cutting one of the hedges in August and had to stop as we found a woodpigeon sitting one her nest (probably a second brood).

I must take a photo of the Owls sweater which was finished in April! In my defence, I was waiting to find just the right buttons for their eyes and I've only got a few more to sew on then it will be ready to make an appearance.

At the moment I'm spending every moment I can in the front garden to get things planted plus, yesterday I started my next marathon schedule for the Liverpool marathon. It's an 18 week schedule and it's very different from what I usually do. I'll write about it next time.