Friday 29 January 2021

Euphy and Babs

The day after the Zoom Sewcial, so Tuesday,  I unexpectedly received a message to let me know that I had a parcel coming from Babylock the next day.     I wondered which of the two machines it might be, and felt unready for either.

It was my Euphoria, Euphy!

We unboxed her straight away, but then I had to leave her untouched while we waited for the Dishwasher repair man.  I needed to wait until I could give her my undivided attention.

Towards the end of the alloted 2 hour slot, his van pulled up.   He came, he saw, he fixed.   Well, there was a bit more to it than that,  he was here for an hour.    But the important thing is, he fixed it.  Thank goodness for that!  A tiny little rubber "o" ring was the apparent cause of our woes. Such a small thing, such a big impact.  To quote Firefly "It's a nothing part" "Yeah, it's a nothing part until you ain't got one")

Euphy and Babs on my kitchen table
I then threaded her up and had a go.  

She sews beautifully, just like her smaller sibling.  She's huge, unlike her smaller sibling.

The needle threading is different to my Acclaim overlocker, which I hadn't expected,  but it seems to work OK.

I've moved her upstairs on to my workbench,  DH commented that she'd been moved upstairs quickly.  I guess he wasn't sure if that was a sign of acceptance or rejection, lol.


Tuesday 26 January 2021

Cat Bed

Last night I attended a Zoom Sewcial, along with other members of Baby Lock UK Owners Facebook group, learning how to make a triangular knick knack bowl on my overlocker.  

I needed directional fabric, and out of the stash came one of the first pieces of fabric I ever bought. I folded the remainder of the fabric up this morning,  and thought that it would make a sweet duvet cover for my cats Ikea bed.   I've been meaning to make another one for years.    

My overlocker was right there, on the kitchen table, waiting to go back upstairs.     I decided to just "run one up".   If nothing else, t would make my husband's eyes roll.

I retrieved the old duvet from the corner of the guest bedroom, cut out a piece to fit my cats' Ikea cat bed,  then cut out another piece because the first one looked a bit small. 

The cats thought it was Christmas.  The duvet was opened out on the kitchen floor, and they were chasing each other and leaping on it and skidding. It kept me amused while I snipped and sewed.

Once I was happy with the size of yhe duvet, I overlocked the edges (and the now raw edges on the donor duvet).   

Then I made a duvet cover to fit, which was really quick and easy on a small thing like this.  i even pressed everything, which made me chuckle.   I  finished it with a couple of kamsnaps.  

It looked quite good. I realised that the bed needed a pillow to make it look like a proper bed.  I cut the failed piece to an approximate size,  and then sewed a pillowcase to fit.

I really like it.  It looks a lot better made up than it did in my stash, and I'm a little bit envious. 

I've just had word that my new coverstitch machine is due to arrive tomorrow!  That's 2 weeks ahead of the most recent expected date!  

I need to go and do some clearing up now.  Dishwasher repair man is due tomorrow.

Total crafty things this year: 10  (Sewing based makes: 7;   learning activities: 2;  Non sewing based craft makes: 1. )


Sunday 24 January 2021

Going potty, and scanning.

We finally got round to painting our butter dishes today.  

The Studio is open on Saturdays for drop off of painted work for firing, and collection of materials for paint at home.    It's another 6 days until we can take it in,  but if I waited until later in the week to paint it,  Saturday would be rounbd before I knew it and I would have missed yet another week.

I'm not sure our efforts will win any beauty contests,  and  the design I had in my head failed with the first slosh of paint.      But I don't mind. One or other the butter dishes will be in use every day, and they will mean something to us.

I might have a go at a jug.

So, I've done 6 sewing based makes this year so far,  had 1 learning session, and done 1 other craft activity.  That's 8 things,  so I'm well ahead.

I still haven't tested the scanner.  I cleared the small box room A0 desk, got the scanner out,    went and founs some little USB sticks and checked their contents,  found the carrier sheet in case the scanned items look fragile and..... that's it.    I've been in there a few times to think about actually having a go,  but I haven't actually done so.      

I suspect I'm concerned that, when I try, it'll either eat the pattern or it won't quite be the right scale and all that money having it calibrated will have been wasted.

I realise that I might as well do it.  I'm obviously worrying about it.  If it turns out to be OK then all this fretting will have been a waste of time.  And if it's not OK... well,  at least I'll know.

Or maybe I'm stressing that if I do it and it is OK, I'm going to have to actually get on and scan my home made patterns.

I will get on with it.  Just not today.


Thursday 21 January 2021

Gut Health

Back in October I read a blog post from Shann at Chuckling Goat.  It mentioned biofilm in the gut, and how this can stimulate and exhause the body's auto immune system, leading to auto immune disorders.  

I've been dealing with a few auto immune issues, and trying to identify the cause.  Her post resonated with me, so I sent off for a biome testing kit,  bought the tinctures (Chucklng Goat doesn't sell them), and started.

 For various reasons it took a while before I was able to send off my sample.  I'd been using the tinctures at a really low rate, less than 10% of the recommended amount, but after I sent my sample off I increased the dose over time.   I'd been mixing it in with my cold-foamed milk, which I have (or had) each morning.  It was a quick and easy way to take the stuff.

I had my call a few days ago to discuss my results, and this required a change to what I was taking.

I ordered the prebiotic from Chucjling Goat.  The other recommendations they don't sell, so I ordered them somewhere else.  The Turkey Tail mushroom tincture I could only find in powedered form (no idea why that should be the case), and I got this from Indigo Herbs.    The linseed oil I got from the Linseed Farm.

I can't stand goats milk kefir.   I've tried Chuckling Goat's twice.  I've managed to drink it, but it was a reall strggle and I gagged all the time.    The reason is that, a few years ago, I had very serious food poisoning from goats cheese.    Since then, I can't stand the smell of goats cheese,   and the goats milk kefir has a very goats-cheesey smell.

I do have my own kefir, and I keep bringing it back from the brink with all good intentions, then not drinking it.    After my call the other day, I revived it once again in readiness.

Today, everything arrived.

I made my first gut health smoothie. 

It doesn't taste awful.  It doesn't taste good.  It looks vile.

The two powders (prebiotic and turkey tail mushroom) are very fine,  and remind me of diatomaceous earth.   Both powders are very grey, so the reulting smoothy was grey.  

I added in some natural yoghurt to try and help, and I used almost a whole very small banana. 

At least it wasn't gritty.  And it didn't smell horrible.    I expect I'll get used to it.

I'm currently having: 170ml Kefir,  2 teaspoons prebiotic powder,  2 teaspoons turkey tail mushroom powder (for 90 days only, so my last day will be 21st April), and 10ml of linseed oil.  I also put in some natural yoghurt.  I'm supposed to have some marine based collagen powder in there, and I will probably add that at some point. Not just yet.

The report was interesting,  both in terms of what was good with my gut and what wasn't. I'll probably take another biome test owards the end of April to see what difference it has made.   Hopefully I'll be able to see the results by then anyway. 

It was recommended that I stop taking the other tinctures while I'm taking the Turkey Tail mushrooms.   That's a bit of a shame as the Reishi Mushrooms are good for menopause symptoms.  However, both have a blood thinning effect, so I'll do as the experts have recommended.

Monday 18 January 2021

More first world problems

Our friend, JT, sent me a video the other day. It was in a scandinavian country, although they spoke English.  It was about a chap who had a fully automated, voice controlled,  house, which included his laundry, ironing, music, breakfast, schedule, and the opening and locking of his front door.

He went to the dentist and had some fillings, which meant his gums were numbed.  It was raining on his return.  The house couldn't recognise his gum-numbed voice and wouldn't let him in.(It was a bt more nuanced and a lot more funny than my synopsis suggests).   Meanwhile, his neighbour came home and got straight into her house using a key.   

The message was that sometimes simplicity is best.  

I didn't phone Miele when the dishwasher errored.  I tried the online system, which gave me 19th January as the first available date for an engineer.    We tried the suggested remedy from an online search (from a sensible site), and got it working again.

A week later, the same thing happened.    We wondered if it was our stacking technique causing the issue,  so DH did the fix again, and the machine started working again.  We took extra care in fillin gthe dishwaher, and we never left it on while we went to bed.

On Saturday morning, it did it again.     Today I phoned Miele to book an engineer visit.     The  chap on the phone was really helpful, and it was quite painless.  I'd amassed all the relevant info and dates, but he had it all on file.   If I'd realised it was going to be so easy, I'd have called them the first time it happened.    It's certainly made me reconsider my "effing Miele" stance.    I gave them a score of 8 on their post call survey.  I know it's not fixed yet,  but the score was about how I felt as a result of the call I'd just made.


While I was sorting out stuff that was not working,  I decided to contact SimpleHuman about my sensor soap dispenser.

I bought a really lovely dispenser last February.   It is USB rechargeable, not too big, and worked really well.  You can adjust the amount of soap dispensed just by where you put your hand: the nearer the spout, the less is dispensed.  I liked it so much, a week later I bought a second one so we had one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom.  We were very happy with both of them.

A few months later,  we started having problems with the first one.      It wouldn't turn on again after charging.  It became erratic, snotting out soap when we hadn't asked for it.  It would pretend to be turned off, and not want to turn on again after charging,  and then it would snot on the table.   We went through the suggested remedies,  but no change.  Eventually, it woudn't turn on at all after being charged, and I contacted Simple Human.    They were great,  and replaced it (with a different coloured model).

Recently, the second one has started playing up.  We put it on to charge, it charges,  and then it discharges rapidly.  I have to make sure it is turned on before I take the charger plug off, otherwise it won't turn on.       I thought it might just be that we use it a lot -  it's in the kitchen so is used many many times a day -  but the one in the bathroom goes aaaaaages between charges. 

I tried putting it in the downstairs cloakroom, to see if it was that we were just using it too often in the kitchen.  But no,   it died in there after a couple of days as well.

So, I've contacted Simple Human to see if I can get it sorted out.

In the meantime, I've bought a battery operated version to use in the kitchen. It's a bulkier unit, not as pretty, holds less soap, but it works really well.  When the other one is fixed or replaced, it won't be going in the kitchen.  

Of course we could just use a normal, manual, contactfull pump.   The idea was to reduce disposable plastic use and, of course,  superior hygiene in the current climate.

If I hadn't been sorting out the dishwasher, I'm not sure I'd have bothered contacting Simple Human.  Or maybe I would have done, when the unit failed completely.

When I was looking for the Simple Human inf relating to my last claim,  I noticed the name of the lady who had responded to me.  I wondered if it was an invented surname,  a generic name used so that the user feels like they are chatting to a specific individual but actually it could be abyone from the help desk replying,

When I got the auto response today, I was interested to see that the surname had changed, although the first name was the same.   I wondered about sending a friendly "by the way, congatulations on your marriage" message.  Common sense prevailed.  Maybe she's got divorced instead.

I've got more calls this week which require me to consolidate a lot of information, so I'd best get on.

Hope you are doing OK?


Sunday 17 January 2021

Dressing Gown

I finally made a dressing gown!

I've had the fabric for 2 years. I was spurred into action by Love Notion's release of a pattern.  Actually, it isn't a great pattern.  It's easy enough, but not very refined.  It had a full bust front piece, which is why I bought it.

I used my projector, which worked well.  The set up in the nearly-tidy gues room worked well.  My lovely overlocker, and my outgoing coverstitch, worked beautifully.  I used some of the birthday present attachments to do the hemming and to make the belt loops. 

Now I've done it once, I'll probably look at making another one, an even better one.  But not for awhile.

I've got plans for the old dressing gown.  I'm very attached to it, which is why it's taken me so long to replace it.  Even the holes hadn't put me off wearing it.  I need to take some pictures of some of the sewing details on it, so I can try nd replicate it in my next dressing gown.

I've got a small amount of fabric left. Not enough to make anything, but mybe I can colour block something. Later.

The overlocker shavings will be great for using on the Embellisher.At least I imagine they will.

I've saved them all to see.

The dressing gown constitutues my 6th make this year, and i'm happy that Iam making an effort.

Monday 11 January 2021


Some years ago, I quite liked the idea of trying a felting machine, peoperly known as an Embellisher.    I looked at what machines were available, and decided that I'd like a Babylock one. 

There were two versions doing the rounds.  An older moder, which had 7 needles,  and the current model, which had 12.  I decided I'd look for a 12 needle one.

They come up occasionally, rarely actually, and the couple i did see were snapped up before I could get them. 

Each year, I thought I'd get a new one for my birthday, if I couldn't get a second hand one.   But for the last 3? birthdays,  something else sewing related came up and I bought whatever it was instead.  I don't regret those decisions.

The lovely Jane White, from and who runs the baby lock UK owners FB group,  was doing another day long Zoom with Katy, the Babylock Educator.    I noticed that one of the sessions was for the Embellisher,   and I couldn't pass up an opportunity to see it in action and to ask questions about it.

The machine was even better than I expected.

I'm still patiently waiting for last year's birthday present to arrive (Covid has caused issues for all the sewing machine manufacturers), and I thought I'd buy the embellisher.  I had a mental image of it arriving on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.    I have a bag of scraps,  I have lots of cat fur available at the flick of a brush, and  I could see me playing around with it a bit while waiting for the Euphoria to finally arrive.

Jane delivered the bad news that the Embellisher is likely to be April delivery.

I chuckled at myself when I heard that.   It didn't change my mind to get one,  I'd finally decided to buy new (and get the benefit of the 2+2guarantee etc ) ,  and April isn't that far away really.

I could, of course, have looked elsewhere to see if someone had one in stock.   But the truth is,  it was the demo on Jane's Zoom that helped me make the deicsion to buy,   and it's only fair then that  I buy from her. 

I've waited 3 years or so.  Another 3 months won't matter :-) 

I haven't mentioned to DH that I have another machine coming.

Update:  It's going to be mid Feb, so 2 months sooner than expected!



Saturday 9 January 2021

More little bags

It's MIss T's 13th birthday next week,  and DGD K's 13th the week after. 

I made some little bags to wrap their presents (not the cushion, that was a bit too big to wrap in fabric).  Once again I was eternally grateful to the lovely Jane White from  for her sewalong Zoom to members of the  fb group baby lock UK owners.

 I actually made 4 little bags, but I managed to not photograph one of them, and it's all packed up for posting now

Bunnies for the DGD,  and ponies for Miss T.

 I'm going to count these as 1 make, rather than 4 (although I might revise that decision later, lol).

So that's 5 makes this year so far.

Deja Vu all over again

The dishwasher failed again, so I'll have to phone them on Monday and see if we can get an engineer.

And tonight I went out to check on the chooks and found 3 of them uncooped.  Two of them were huddled together on the mezzanine, and one was on her own on the arm of a garden chair.

I opened the purple cube, which has an Omlet opener on.  I opened the back, and put my torch in.  I walked back round into the run, picked up the lone chook, and showed her the steps.  She refused to go up.

I went back into the house to put a coat on and to get my phone - and another torch. I came back out, and opened the orange coop door using the App.    While I was waiting for it to open,  I had a quick look in the red coop. This is the emergency coop, which no one uses unless they have to.

There were 4 girls inside. And not 4 girls from one coop.    I assume that the coops closed before they were ready this evening.

When the App had finished opening the orange coop, I set it to opening the green one.     The two Mezzanine girls had gone in to the orange coop by the time the door was fully open.   The lone girl was raising the alarm (well done her!)

I left the lone girl to sirt herself out, and focussed on emptying the Red coop.  Big Bird was at the back and first out.   She was not happy.  I carried her round to the green coop.  None of this is as straightforward as it sounds, it's just not possible to walk directly between coops.   There is a huge Jostaberry bush between the red and green coops, which doesn't affect the girls but it does mean I have to go ot of one door,  walk round the outside, and go in another door. 

Anyway,   I put her on the steps so she could walk in,  and she jumped off and hid under the coop.    I guess she figureds that if her abductor wanted her to do something, she'd be best doing the opposite.    

I left her under the coop, and went and got the other 3 girls, one at a time.  In and out of the run,  it's done my steo count a world of good.    The screeching lone girl came up to the steps of the green coop, and I made way so she could get up.  She didn't, instead she wandered off back to the cother coops.     I realised she was probably trying to find the orange coop, so I walked over and shone the torch up the ladder to light her way.  She climbed up.  I set the door to close.

Big Bird was now outside, as in outside in the garden, so I rounded her up and attaenoted to catch her.  She did not want to be caught.  I had to wrestle her, for which she raised the alarm (well done her!),  and I bundled her into the green coop. I shone the torch inside so she could see that some of her friends were in there, and then I activated the door closer.  I changed the closing time on all coops.

I walked round locking the run doors,  and then it occurred to me that I should just check one more time. I looked in the three overflow nestboxes, which are usually ignored by the girls especially when they all want to lay at the same time.

I decided I'd just pop her through the pop hole of the purple cube.  She wasn't too keen on that idea - the hens were all over the place and not with their usual night time cliques.  I probably should have put her in the orange cube,  but at least one of her friends was in the purple cube. 

My final headcount came to 15, so everyone was in somewhere.

Good job I checked.

Friday 8 January 2021

Another make

I had a blood test at a local hospital yesterday and had to get up really early (for me, anyway).   It all went smoothly, and I was in and out quickly.     I was out of synch for the rest of the day,and the best I could manage was farting around in preparation for making a cushion cover for Miss T's birthday. 

I didn't have the energy to actually sew it though,  so I made it a priority for today.

A year ago I'd bought a cushon panel for her.  I found some fab fabric in my stash, which echoed the colours of the panel really well.

 I decided to make an envelope version, rather than a zip version, as these are supposed to be easier.

I made it today.

I even went to the trouble of threading both my overlocker and coverstitch with purple variegated cones, and white cones,  so that front stitches were white and the back stitches were purple.   

I tried to blend the pattern for the fold at the back, and that took forever.   I ended up doing it seam by seam, checking and rechecking after each seam to make sure it was going to work how I intended.

I'm really happy with how it turned out.  Of course I can see improvements for "next time",  but I'm happy with it. 

It's a horse. Yje panel was bough especially for her, and the cushion It was made just for her. No one else will have one the same.  And  I made it for he.

I'm pretty sure she'll like it.  She's lovely to make for.

So that's 4 makes this year so far (foot muff, cover for foot muff, top and tail old duvet, and this).


Wednesday 6 January 2021

Thank god I checked

We had dentist appointments today.  
It was getting dark as we drove homee, and I commented on how long its been since we've driven anywhere In the dark.  Then we realised it had been a long time since we had driven anywhere.

We got home.  I hesitated about going out to check on the Girls.  I check every day, in case someone hasn't been able to get in the coop. I've also been  checking that Nora, our oldest lady, hasnt been forced into sleeping on her own in the emergencu coop. There hasn't been an issue, even Nora hasn't been on her own for weeks.  It was bitter outside, I wanted to get on with dinner.

But I went out anyway,  just in case.

Before my torch conked out, I saw that there was one girl,  no, 2 girls, sitting on the mezzanine outside the orange cube.   I wondered what had gone wrong.

I went back in to the house to get my phone: i need to use an app to open the coop door. I also needed a working torch.

Back outside, I activated the coop door opener. . While it it was opening,  I opened the back of the Cube to see who was in there.  I put a torch inside,  and three girls scurried in.  They were all Purple Cubers, so I realised something must have gone on with the other Cube.

I walked to the free side of the Cjbe Run,  lifted the rain cover, and realised there were 3 more  purple Cubers still on the mezzanine!

These 3 would not budge.

The next 20 minutes were farcical.

To get them go move, i had to squeeze between thd two cube runs, which are side by side.  Each one is attached to the main run, and the gap between them is real tight.

We have a door on the side of each fun, just in case we need to get in.  Regrettably, the door for tve orange cube opens in to the alley between the  cubes 2 tbd door js so wider than the alley, so it doesn't open fully.  It's also very tall, so I cant step over it. 

So. I had to shuffle between the  cubes,  undo the door pins,  open tvd door,  the squeeze round so the door can open. 

If j bend over I can reach inside,  but j can't reach the mezzanine.  I cant bend over fully,  there isn't enough space behind me.

The stick id brought was too short.

I had to reverse the process to get out and get another stick. Then go through it again

They were huddled together for warmth. It was dark, and they didn't understand.  Evdntuly I managed to separate one of them and tun her round.  She saw the light shining from the doorway,  and scrambled in.

The last 2  had their backs to the door, and were as far away from me as possible.   I tried squatting, and I'm amazed that I managed to get down at all (Thank you 21 Day Challenge!)  Unfortunately,  it was agony, and I panicked as I wasn't sure I'd be able to get up.  I thought about phoning DH, but I realised that it would take him too long to understand and reach me.

I scrabbled up,   putting my weight on the sides of the two runs.   There was no way I could move the girls from there.

I extficated myself,  closed the door, wiggled round,  and went back to the doorless side of the run. I took the cover off that side and I was able ro 'poke' the girls through the bars.  I managed to get one of them to turn around so she was facing the open coop door.  I then  pushed her and pushed her until she walked forward and eventually went in.

The final bird was hunched in the corner, and I really struggled to get her to move at all.   She wedged nursery in the corner, and would  not respond.  I couldn't poke her very hard,  I didn't want to risk hurting her. She took about 5 minutes to get up,  and I could have cried when she went in.  It was one of the 3 older girls, just one year younger than Nora.

When she went in, I activated the coop door closer,  retrieved my torch from the back of thd Cube,   put the covers back on both sides and checked all was safe.

I then looked in the purple cube to see what had happened.  

There were 2 girls in it.  My lovely Elizabeth, who is the daughter of Annie, hiding in the nest box.  And Fleur,  blocking access to the door.  That was it.  

Fleur had obviously denied them access, and the door had closed.  There wasn't time for them to get in to the other Cube before that closed,  and they had either chosen to stay on the Mezzanine...or it was too dark for them to find their ways down to the other nest boxes or to the emergency coop. 

I'm so relieved that I checked them.   Three of the stopouts are elderly,  and the freezing weather would not have done them any good.   It may even have proved fatal for Gloria, who has slowed down a lot over the last few months.   

Even the youngsters might have been unwell as a result. Its very easy fkr hens to get a respiratory issue in winter,  these are often contagious,  and being unwell in winter just makes them susceptible to other issues.

I'll give them all a good check over tomorrow. 

And I'll adjust the closing time of the emergency coop so that they have the chance of going in there if they are denied entry to the others.

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Kimchi, II

Well, the kimchi is fermenting in its new container.

It arrived a couple of days ago.  My vegetables arrived in yesterday's supermsrket delivery,  so I started the kimchi then.

The inner "plate" thing is fantastic.

The vegetables were in brine overnight.    This afternoon I drained the brine (reserving it), and made a spice mix from ginger, garlic, turmeric and some korean pepper (which I'm a bit concerned about.  I thought it would be koreach chili,  but it looks like it might be red pepper.  My body realli really doesn't like red pepper).      

I tasted some of the brined vegetables, and it was already rather good.    I put gloves on, and massaged the paste over the vegetables.  My recipe book didn't quite say to do this,  but I remember seeing Kimchi being made once, and it was definitely a hands on thing.

I put some of the brine back,  put the plate on, and pushed it down as far as it would go.

Now I just have to wait for it to ferment.  I'm going to leave it out of the fridge for a coupl of days, then put it in the fridge.  

I'm wondering if I should habve got a bigger container, and increased the amount I make.

Maybe next time.  Let's see how this goes, first.

Monday 4 January 2021

Dishwasher woe

First world problem.

The DIshwasher isn't working.  I googled the error message (and then checked the manual) and it says "Turn off stopcock. Call Miele Service Deartment"

We bought Miele for their reliablility.  Ha ha ha.

It first broke down when it was a few months out of warranty.  It was potentially a catastrophic failure.  We were fortunate that we were offered - and took up - their option of Platinum Care.  The fix wouold have been more expensive than a new dishwasher.

When we saw the error message needed an engineer, my heart sunk.

But, we've still got a couple of weeks of cover left!

I'll phone them tomorrow.


We took the tree down last night.  All the decorations, and the lights,  are back in their boxes, and the boxes are waiting to go in the loft.  I wait a couple of days because I usually find things lying around.   

I carried the tree round to the tree drop off point at the local Recreation Ground., leaving a trail of needles behind me.  DH hoovered the needles up from the floor in the living room. And the kitchen.  And the hall.  I was back before he'd finished.    I hadn't thought to take a torch,  and the car park looked a bit different in the dark. There was a hedge I didn't recall seeing before.   Then I realised the reason it looked odd was because there were so many christmas trees stacked like soldiers,  it wasn't a hedge at all.    I added ours to the ranks,  and thanked it, before heading home.

It's bitterly cold today. No snow, just a harsh biting wind.

It was time to wash and refill the cider vinegar drinker today.  The outside tap is frozen, so I brought it into the kitchen.  This gave me the lucury of using hot water to clean it, but meant my hands were ripped to shreds when I took it back outside.

I gave the Girls extra corn today, but they aren't impressed.  The Allotmenteers have long since forgotten that Corn was a treat, and they used to love it.  Now they just want the simple deliciousness of sunflower seeds.  

Sunflower seeds are a bit fattening,  so I line the treat feeder with them (they don't fall so easily through the holes),  then I put in the other smaller bits,  then some corn, then some more sunflower seeds.

No vegetables today. They ate most of yesterday's veg, but there are still some unloved bits hanging up.  I've got fresh veg ready for tomorrow.

No crafting today, although I did have an online chat wth the lovely Jane from Jane White Tuition.  She's running another Babylock Demo day on Saturday. 

 My brother popped over to give me some cheese, and to collect his half of the most recent loo roll delivery.  We've been buying bamboo toilet rolls from Who Gives A Crap for a couple of years now,  and we've been on a regular delivery for just under a year. 

I was also delighted to be able to give him a bottle of Mr Fitzpatrick's RootBeer Cordial.  When added to sparkling water (thanks to SodaStream) it makes a really acceptable Rootbeer drink.  Not too sweet and cloying, and with a good rootbeer flavour.

We had a chat on my driveway,  spaced about 3 metres apart, and it was good to catch up.  iI was freezing cold and it took me a while to warm up afterwards.

The Opticians rang to cancel our appointments.  I'm pleased about that, as I'd been thinking about cancelling them myself.  I hadn't done so, because it seemed that if people are working, then we should be supporting them.   I'm happy that the decision was made for me.

I phoned the Dentist and, currently, that's going ahead.  I guess they wear full PPE so that's OK.

I need to phone up to check about my blood test.  I'll do that tomorrow,  when we've seen what today's announcement says.

 We had a supermarket delivery including some bits for a neighbour who is shielding.  I droped her bits round as soon as the deivery man had gone.      I'm just about to chop the veg for Kimchi.  I put water in my new Kimchi container earlier, and left it open for the water to sort itself out.    My supermarket delivery was minus the Mooli, which was a shame as I really like that when it's brined.  I prefer it to the normal pink radishes.    Still, that was the only missing item, so I'm not complaining.

Other than that,  and our exercises,  I've done nothing today.  It''s only 3pm, but it feels like it's early evening.

I might have to light the fire in a minute.


Sunday 3 January 2021

Repurposed duvet

I was now ready to tackle the old wool duvet.   

I had originally planned to slice off the top and bottom to
(a) get it down to King Size, and
(b) neaten up the worn edges

The whole plan had to be rethought when I realised that it had already shrunk considerably.  The ends really needed dealing with.  The problem is that the wool was sewn in,  so it wasn't possible to just trim off the old fabric and sew on some new.    I also had experience from the pillow, so I knew that just sewing it was not going to work.

 I decided to make some "caps" to cover the two ends.    I had the bright idea of using an old duvet cover, as that would already have two sides sewn.    

That turned out to not be such a timesaver.   I had to fart around with getting it the right width, which meant I had to add some fabric.  I'd also picked a duvet wihich had patchwork on one side, and a contrasting back.   The error of judgement became apparent later.

After a lot of farting about, inclding coverstitching the hems, attempting to match the patchwork, blah blah,  I had two caps.

I now had to fix them to the duvet.

It was late on the 2nd January,  and I decided that this was a suitable point to stop,


Today I wanted to get it finished.  I have enough UFOs (UnFinished Objects), and I really want to get the gues room/sewing room  cleared to the point of it being useable as both again.

I considered sewing the caps on.  I considered trying the quilting stitches on my sewing machine.

I decided to use fusible webbing instead- Wundaweb to you and me.    Even that was a challenge! 

I had the quilt on the kitcgen table,  on a small collapsible ironing board.   I used miles of the stuff.

It's done now.

It's not a disaster.  It's not as great as I'd intended,  my enthusiasm waned a little, fairly early on.

But, it's OK.

The bed is ready to be made, I'm just waiting for the linen to dry.

I'm taking this as my 3rd project of the month.

Foot muff, continued

Well, that ended up a bit more involved than I expected.

The wool pillow I was using had 4 sections. (It's like a mini dovet in 4 sections that are folded over to make a pillow).   I'd ecpected to just cut it in half, so two sections,.  Make a slip cover, like an Oxford pillow case,  put poppers down the Oxford bit, and fold it.


Except when we tried it - before cutting- we agreed that it would be better being wider.   So I ended up cutting it in half one way, and then resewing it so it was wider.   It was much harder to sew than I expected.  I ended up having to cut the ends off to remove the old seam,  I had to pul out some wool as it was too thick to sew/overlock through,  and then to overlock the edges together.      I took the time to use matching thread, so it looks quite good.

I then had to cut down a brushed cotton sheet to make the, frankly enormous, cover.  And I had to use more of the sheet to make the Oxford trim.   I put matching thread in my Coverstitch machine so I could make beautiful hems before sewing.  I then used the same thread in my Overlocker, and created the cover. Then I put in one Kam snap on each side, so DH could test it for depth.

He really liked it!

On reflection, it would have been easier to use some quilt batting, wool or otherwise, instead of the wool pillow.   But, I suppose that wouldn't have been so easy for him to slip his feet into, and it might have moved around at night.

1st January, 1st project of the year done!