best layer of the month # February


This is what I like to see, when I check in the nesting boxes!  Three pretty eggs, all different, proof  that all hens have laid.


The gorgeous weather this month means that all gals have been laying consistently well, even old Miss Moneypenny!  Total egg count for February was 62 and hens really have been neck & neck with no clear winner.

Miss Moneypenny laid 20 while Miss Plumpton and Mauricette laid 21 eggs each.  For a month with only 28 days, that’s not bad at all.

F2F Season 3 – Miss February

February is, sadly, the last month of Season 3 of F2F – a block swap organised by Kate.  This swap has been running for 9 months, with 9 participants, world wide, all making and sending three 12” (finished size) blocks to each other, in each person’s chosen colourway.  It’s been a fabulous opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, working with colour combinations I wouldn’t usually think of, and making me extra careful when piecing.

Kate’s inspiration photo was


And here are the blocks I made and sent.  My background fabric is actually white, although it doesn’t look it in the photos.

Kate 01

Kate 02

Kate 03

As with the other months, I made an “Old Fan” block for myself – a souvenir of fabrics used for Kate

Old fan feb

This way, not only do I have all the lovely blocks in my colourway (turquoise, grey, black & white) to assemble into a very large patchwork, I also have 9 “Old Fan” blocks in participants colours, to make a second memento quilt.

Please do go and check out the gallery, updated by Kate, to see the wonderful display of blocks everyone made & received for this swap: F2F.

some sensible sewing (or “Dreamcatcher PJs)

I had something of a clear out in my wardrobe the other day . . . filling several bags with clothes to drop off at the Red Cross bin as I ruthlessly got rid of anything that no longer fits.  And when putting clothes back neatly, realised it was time to set to work and make a few clothes as there’s more going to the Red Cross than being put back in the wardrobe/drawers.

To get myself back into training (as I haven’t done any sewing since well before Christmas) I chose to make a few new pairs of PJ shorties.  The ones I made a few years ago are still going strong, but the shorts were all too tight (bum area being  where the extra weight has piled on).  Anyway, because I’m a bit of a skin-flint at times . . . I wanted to make this project  a “use what you have” one, bearing in mind that the only person who’s going to see me in my PJs is the husband.  Oh and maybe the postman, GLS delivery man and a couple of neighbours. I therefore delved first into my stash of bed sheets.  Yup, have quite a few brand new, never been used, 100% cotton bed sheets that I “inherited” from MIL.  By my way of thinking, if they’re good for sheets, they’re good for nightwear!  Only problem was . . . in a solid colour, all I have is a bright pink or a rather yucky brown.  So the choice was simple:  bright pink please!  Not that I’m a pink gal, but for PJs, I’ll make an exception.

I then had a rummage in my fabric stash, wanting something to contrast nicely with the pink, because I planned on using one of my old faithful patterns:  NewLook 6871.  It’s really for a proper day-wear summer tunic (of which I have made several) but it’s such a comfortable fit, I like it for my PJ tops too.

feather PJs 02

I decided on one of my feather print fabrics and made two tunics.  Cut my own binding in pink bed sheet for the tunic with pink yoke and used white binding for the one with feather print yoke (although facing is in pink on both).

feather PJs 03

I made 2 pairs of shorts in the pink, using Butterick B5432.  The advantage of using a double bed sheet for a sewing project is, there’s just so much fabric!!!!!  The other advantage: I know, from having used this brand of bed sheet before, that it’ll wash up nice & soft, and be really comfortable as shorts.

feather PJs 04

And I just love my bright new PJs!  Can’t wait for bed time!

Next sewing project is going to be less fun.  Our sofas have been totally destroyed by cat claws.  I bought in reams & reams of a sage green denim last year, the plan being to make new covers for both sofas.  Sofas are looking even worse than they were, this time last year, so I’ve procrastinated for too long!  The month of February has seen the husband and myself stripping wallpaper in the living room.  Husband repainted all walls white, while I was up on high, cleaning our wooden beams and painting panels inbetween white.   Now that is done, the scraggy grey sofas really do let the side down.

I also intend to move out of my comfort zone where clothes making goes, after enjoying watching the new season of GBSB.  Up until now, my clothes making projects have been made using just 4 different patterns, which are all in the “easy” category.   I feel it’s time I became braver . . . so I’m gradually psyching myself up to attempting a pair of trousers with zip and a lady’s shirt with long sleeves, cuffs and buttons.  But first, I’ll be battling away with my pattern paper, trying to draft something that will look like a fitted sofa cover.

SAL update–“Bag Ladies” #7

Goodness me!  These last 3 weeks whizzed by rather fast!  And I didn’t do much cross stitching – naughty, naughty.

This is the photo I posted last time

SAL 03 02 19

And here’s what things look like today.

SAL 24 02 19

Not brilliant progress but . . . I have finished the pinkish bag, filled in a little more of 2 cats and begun work on a fluffy white tail, which is poking out of the top of the pink bag. 

Anyway, enough of what little progress I made.  I wonder how everyone else did?  Here are the links to other SAL members and we welcome Sharon to the group today.

AvisGun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

Next update on 17th March.

thank you!

Today I have two lovely ladies who deserve a big “thank you” from me . . .

red hat 03

Thank you, to DebbieRose who knitted this gorgeous red bonnet in baby size, thinking of me and my baby dolls . . . awwww it fits Lily a treat!  Definitely keeps those ears warm!

And thank you to Yvonne

from Yvonne

who sent me lots of goodies:  two hand-made gifts, being the pumpkin pin cushion (with an elastic so I can wear it around my wrist while sewing) and a tape-measure covered in a lovely cross stitched pattern.  Also, a very large piece of fabric with lion and elephant prints, a teeny purse clasp and a wooden letter “C” with cute bear.

I do love surprise packages but especially appreciate the handmade gifts which will be treasured.

a monster happy dance

Back in January (on 9th to be precise) I showed you this photo of a crochet WIP.

monster WIP

Pattern is “Little Ella in her monster suit” by Litlle Aqua Girl, and published in the Monster Amigurumi book. 

I actually started crocheting this a few days before Christmas, just as a small crochet project to keep my hands busy . . . and then it got put on hold (because I suddenly got carried away with knitting).  This month saw me hooking a few hours here and there . . . and after much fiddly sewing together, I am very pleased to share with you my monster happy dance.


Here is “Little Ella in her monster suit”, posing beside a 1 litre bottle of milk, to give you an idea of scale.  I crocheted using a 4ply (I think) and with a 2mm hook, to keep her as small as possible.  That made for a lovely finished size, but didn’t help when it came to crocheting all the fiddly bits.  In fact, my little Ella isn’t quite the same as the pattern photo.  Monster horns didn’t work out identical sizes to start with (no idea how that happened) and I didn’t bother adding stripes to either horns or arms.  I also omitted a few pink spots, because by the time I got to those, all I wanted to do was get this project finished lol. 



I think little Ella is rather cute, and definitely learned a few more crochet techniques along the way.  I love how she stands nicely, with the tail helping her to keep balance . . . and the fact her monster suit has a working hood. 

just loving knitting!

I’m rather a late bloomer in the field of knitting!  As I’ve told you before, I learned the basics as a child, having a mum and a gran who were both prolific knitters.  It wasn’t something I took to though, as I always felt a bit cack-handed trying to coordinate two needles and got discouraged when my knitting slid off the needle, not having a clue how to go about picking up stitches.  Anyway, after teaching myself to crochet, I decided if I could learn crochet from scratch, then I could certainly re-learn how to knit and follow a pattern.

You’ve seen my first attempts which have all been an interesting learning curve.  And I come to show you 2 more recent knitted projects, of which I am quite proud, because I think I’m slowly getting the hang of it!

I showed you a sneak peek the other day of something very bright for Baby Viking.  Today I can reveal all . . . not that Baby Viking has received grandma’s knitting gifts yet, but Mummy Viking has seen photos, so I feel it’s safe to share.  This is the “Cheri” pattern, designed by Martin Storey for Rowan, and is a free download.  This is the cover photo on pattern.



















And my version, knitted, without the crocheted cherries, in a variagated Marriner DK and “Citron” Stylecraft Special DK.

cardie cc 01

I’m calling this the “Candy Crush” cardigan, because of the bright colours, and because of the perfect buttons I bought to finish it off.

cardie cc 02

Speaking of buttons . . . I ordered in quite a few, in lovely bright colours, and don’t they look like sweeties?


After the bright rainbow and yellow version, I cast on to make a second “Cheri” cardie for Baby Viking . . . this time in “Aspen” Stylecraft Special DK for the stocking stitch and another variagated Marriner for the garter stitch bands.

cardie turq

I’m not quite so happy with the way this one turned out.  It doesn’t have quite as much pizzazz as the “Candy Crush” version.

cardie x2

So note to self:  it’s not just about learning to knit and follow a pattern.  It’s also about choosing colours.