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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

A learning curve (or not so curved!)

Shock, horror...... the sewing machine had its cover dusted off and I got three little finishes made up recently.

The monthly challenge designs that Christine chooses for us at Needlecraft Haven are always fun.  I am was behind and missed the deadlines of the last Sunday of each month for making sure your finished picture is with Christine for the gallery for both August and September.

Here's August, a free chart from the Kreinik site.  A little pincushion for the festive season.

Septembers was such a fun design, I love this little chap from Aliolka

I can safely say, that Octobers is done in plenty of time, my picture has been sent.  Easy finish for this month and it will make a nice gift too. You'll have to wait till the end of the month to see it though ... what a tease!
The third finish is my Wednesday SAL, a design from LHN, CCN or Sampler Girl.  Happy Skater is all jingly with his bells on.
Saturday i took my sewing machine and went off to a quilting day with 5 other local ladies.  Great fun was had as always.  This time we were making a quilted wall hanging for Christmas.
Mines not finished yet, still got the quilting bit to do and the border to add. Here's how it looks so far.
What a fiddle sewing around heart shapes is with all those curves.  It took forever and mine are nowhere near perfect.  Lots more practice and learning needed in curved sewing on the machine.  Anyone got any tips?

Here are all 6 of them together, no one finished there's.  But there is still plenty of time before they need to be hung.

Here's the tutors finished one she brought along to show us how it should be done.
Such neat stitching, hers is only a couple of millimetres from the edge of all the hearts and follows the edge to perfection - I guess that's why she's a quilting tutor!
A new start for the Wednesday SAL last week.  Merry and Bright by CCN from JCS ornament edition 2010. 
Stitched on a scrap of 28ct something from the bit box.
The fabric is actually a nice purple colour, perhaps it will show better next time. 
It certainly lives up to its name with the nice bright colours.
I've been blog reading and all caught up again.  I've seen lots of lovely things you are all making, some wonderful things ready for the festive season along with lots of Halloween stitching of spooky and scarey as well and down right funny designs and some new types of finishing that I need to try.  It's always nice to pop along and see what others are crafting and making and leave them a little comment of encouragement.
Quite a few are away on autumnal trips enjoying the last of the seasons sunshine and I've been learning about places they are visiting.
Thank you for stopping by here to see what I've been up to.  It's so nice to read a little comment from you if you have time.
Blessings to you all

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Summer becomes Autumn

Autumn has arrived...

Wee Autumn by Heart in Hand was finished and has now replaced Summer in my little frame and sits nicely on the table, such a fun looking scarecrow!

We experienced the super blood moon on September 28th, it was so huge and bright as it rose in the sky during the evening.  Unfortunately, my later pics didn't turn out :-(
Such vibrant colours as the leaves turn to their golden autumnal hues.  DH and I had a woodland walk at the weekend.  It was such a warm and sunny afternoon and this caught my eye.  A new sapling that was so bright green only a couple of weeks ago.   Many of these tress are planted in memory of a dear loved one.
Lots of crab apples on the older more mature trees and plenty of windfall on the ground too.  The dogs were having great fun playing catch with them as we wandered around the meadow.
A big birthday has been celebrated by a friend and a knitted bunny went to a new home ...
Thoughts of Christmas at the craft group and the children's event that will be held nearer the time.  Time to get busy with little items.  A dozen colourful little stockings i've knitted, each will hold a small chocolate bar.
The day of the autumnal equinox we were not a home.  We had a few days away at the seaside that week.  A trip to the north west of England and we were based in Morecambe Bay.
Home of the famous Eric Morecambe

Morecambe was very popular many years ago with travellers who used to use the railways.  You could get your train from most places and disembark for a night in a Midland Railway hotel and then continue your journey the following day by ferry over to Ireland or the Isle of Man.  You can still get a ferry to the Isle of Man just down the road in Heysham which is also now a commercial port.
Due to the decline of railways, the old station building now houses the information bureau and also The Platform - a venue for concerts which has been restored beautifully and is well used. Lots of famous people have performed there in recent times.

A plaque is situated on the old stone jetty building that was the departure point stating it was built it 1853.  The pier has had some new works done to it and the building has undergone some tidying up.
DH had his railway fix when we went off to Carnforth.
 The famous station that was in the film Brief Encounter.
There's a mini cinema that you can watch the actual film if you care too ...

Lots of memorabilia from the filming in 1945......

The refreshment room from the film has been refurbished as it was then and is open for a nice treat. 

The famous clock is still there, keeping good time for all those that use the station as it is still in use as a regular station for locals.
Not far down the coast was Blackpool with its famous tower.
and of course this is where the tower ballroom is .... we just had to go in there.  What Strictly fan wouldn't!   The Wurlitzer organ was playing and there were many people enjoying afternoon tea and having a dance around the floor.

A great atmosphere and fabulous to see. 
No, I didn't dance, but I did stand on the hallowed wooden springy floor.  It was not a nice day, the weather was bad and I wasn't wearing suitable footwear!
Later the rain stopped, the wind died down and we sat outside along the promenade eating chips from the famous Harry Ramsdens. 

and watched the sun setting out to sea .....
We stayed late into the night as we were there to also see the famous Blackpool Illuminations....

The big wheel on the pier, but it was very hard to take decent pics as you are slowly driving along the very long stretch of the promenade watching the wonderful spectacle.  A shame that the wind and rain had started again and we had to be inside the car.

Morecambe Bay is beautiful, it stretches for miles and you can see across the bay.  The promenade itself is 5 miles long, and is part of the Bay Cycle Way.  

Morecambe is not a beach for playing on in many parts, there are areas of quicksand and lots of warnings not to venture on the sands.   There is a monument to the cockle pickers who lost their lives there, a poem has been written for them.  I'm sure many of you remember those headlines in the news in 2004. 

They have two lifeboat stations as lots of people get stranded in the bay when they don't heed the warnings.

Lancaster is popular for its university students and close to Morecambe.  It is steeped in history and full of very old buildings. 

Williamson Park houses Ashton Memorial.  It stands 150 feet tall and dominates the skyline as you travel the area.

The butterfly house at Williamson Park is spectacular ...

so many paths to wander and take in the views from high up ....

Lancaster Castle was still used as a fully functioning H M Prison until 2011.  It's on the site of 3 roman hill forts and sits high on another hill right in the centre of town.  

Until 1800, condemned criminals at Lancaster were executed at a place called Gallows Hill, on the moors close to Williamson Park

The Judges lodgings ..... the sign outside made grisly reading.

One of the most famous and dramatic events to take place in Lancashire occurred over 400 years ago in 1612.  The Pendle Witch Trials.

We followed the journey of the Pendle Witch Trials and took the driving trail,  a journey of 45 miles through the Forest of Bowland.  This has been awarded a certificate as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an honour richly deserved.

The local wildlife keeps an eye on who is driving by ...

 Wonderful sights in the Forest of Bowland.  The scenery was amazing.  Roads that were so narrow and high up and then dipped so quickly, a feast for the eyes as we drove along.


It was sad to see a memorial to those who lost their lives in air crashes in the Forest of Bowland between 1940 and 1949.  All those different nationalities listed, so many men.

I treated myself to a little pendle witch as a reminder of our trip from the Pendle Heritage Centre.
As with any holiday, the days pass quickly and its soon time to have a final evening stroll along the beach and watch the sun set and say a thank you to the place that has shown you its treasures and given you some wonderful memories to dip into in the future.

On the way home we stopped off in the Peak District in Derbyshire and visited an English Heritage site. 
Arbor Low stone circle and gib barrow.    You enter through a working farm and climb the hill to see the stones that have been left by ancestors from years ago.


It's been on our 'want to see' list for a while and as we were passing by just a few miles away it seemed a good idea to stop for a cuppa and a breath of air after sitting in the car for a while.

Back home safely, and everything back to normal again.
A little stitching and Happy Skater is finished. 
The knitting group have been asked for hats/scarves/blankets for children as they make their way to school and are out and about in the coming cold weather.  It's for those who are experiencing hardship.  Lots of different cultures living locally so differing colours being used.   Not so practical the lighter colours in the winter months! 
This recent free pattern from Deramores online site looked perfect and was printed off and started...
I now need to have a blog reading catch up and see what you have all been doing these past couple of weeks.
Thanks for visiting and blessings to you all