Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 20, 2018

Wedge Quilt Workshop – a book by Christina Cameli

I came across Christina Cameli on an episode of The Quilt Show which is an online quilt video show which I subscribe to,  that has new episodes each fortnight.  She was showing her free machine quilting.

Then I found that she was teaching on the Craftsy platform and bought some of her classes which I found very helpful.

When I discovered she had brought out a new book on wedge quilting, I contacted her to find out if  out would be available as an e-book. She very kindly  sent me an  e-copy which I am reviewing. If you recall, I have made a  couple of wedge quilts a couple of years ago and the ruler is hanging just waiting to be used again.

She starts the book with wedge basics including the history of wedge quilting and about the different rulers that are available. Through reading I discovered that the rulers are available in different angles 15, 10 and 9 degrees and these are all divisible into 350 degrees, a  full circle. She shows different ways to cut wedges and the paper book also includes a template to apply to a usual quilting ruler if you want to try a wedge quilt without the expense of new wedge ruler.

The best thing I probably learned in this first section was how to make sure your round will actually meet up successfully without either being too short or too long resulting in a circle that will not lie flat. It involves trimming up at the 45 degree stage so that you can have a perfect 90 degree angle . Four wedges will them make a complete circle. What happens if you use a 10 degree ruler ? Then trim at 30 or 60 degree stage using the likes on a cutting mat.

The next section  deals with how to have a great centre as you need to put in a circle or even a square because you cannot successfully have so many seams meeting in the centre.  These include ways to applique and machine stitch in a circle. I have used both of these methods previously  but still found a review useful.

There are then 10 beautiful quilts  that she has made to show just how modern they can look  unlike the grandmother’s fan of yesteryear. Christina shows how to change the shape into squares , octagons, diamonds and makes stunning quilts. If you like  to follow patterns all you need for 10 fabulous quilts is all there for you to follow. However, if you are more like me, and improvise a lot of the time, this will spark some wonderful ideas.

This is one of my favourites as in the book it is displayed with a bicycle!!

There are ideas on finishing and machine quilting ideas.

Christina writes a blog  called “A Few Scraps” if you want to  see more of her wonderful creations and buy this book from her.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 18, 2018

Beware of Horses

Cycling on Monday , was not a good experience. We were riding along the river, when an illegally fly grazing  horse suddenly bolted . The chain tethering it to the fence , alongside the river, would not allow it to go any further and it swung around feeling my DH and then myself. We have been very lucky not to have been too seriously hurt . I have extensive bruising on my arms and legs.P1010400

This is the horse that did bolted. I don’t blame the horse but the person who keeps these horses in such bad conditions. No shelter from the elements and kept to graze with water when they come along and fill a tub.

We went back on Wednesday to find the other horse wandering along the path trailing 20 feet of chain behind it. One of the tubs was empty and the other looked as if it had been filled with dirty water.

It is unfortunate but I cannot seem to get anyone to help. The police say it isnt their responsibility to remove them. The council haven’t yet replied to my telephone call to my email complaint. As it was half term week , I was very concerned about others walking / cycling with children along the track. A child could have been garrotted or decapitated by that chain. It doesn’t  bear  thinking about.

I haven’t cycled every day , as you can imagine  but I have managed to get in 72 miles which I am very happy about.

On Saturday, we were going to try a longer ride but the rain started about 7.30 am and got heavier. DH decided to bake bread. He says the larger ones would be good for taking on a cycle ride  and the others for home.

The  rain cleared about 11.30 am so we did get a ride in. It was cold and windy and I just didn’t seem to have any energy so once we got over to Preston Park , we decided to ride a fairly new cycle track that we haven’t been on before. At least that way we had the wind on our backs for a bit. We  got across to Hartburn  which we recognised and then rode along to Long Newton. Here we went into  a cycle tourists dining room (bus shelter) and I fired up the stove for cheese toasties and we had a hot chocolate from the flask. Feeling a bit refreshed we had a bit of a ride  around the village and then took the road to Urlay Nook. There has been a lot of building of houses  and so we couldn’t get across the old road to Egglescliffe and so had to ride around and pick up the A67 into Yarm . Then we went back through Preston Park and along the river to home clocking up 30 miles. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so couldn’t snap the emerging spring flowers. I have to say , that out of the wind, the sun felt warm.

We decided to go back through Stockton and along the river path but when we came near the horses, diverted up and along though the industrial estate until such time as I feel more confident again or the horses are moved.

Mileage this week 72 miles   YTD 299.1 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 11, 2018

Little and Often

I am a member of a Facebook group called Fat Lad at the Back, and one of the other girls said about going out everyday despite the weather. Well this week , I decided to be brave and just go for it.

Monday saw us out in the dawn light. It was very windy along the river. I hope you can see how the smoke/steam was blowing away across the river.


On Tuesday, I went out despite the snow falling  and it was relatively mild but by Wednesday, the temperature had dropped and there was ice about but not too bad.

So by Friday, little by little my mileage was at 45 miles . On Saturday morning , it was raining and really windy again so we delayed going out. I played on my sewing machine and DH went across to put up a screen at church.

So by 1.00pm , we were having a discussion on where to go bearing in mind that there were still gusts over 30 miles an hour.  I said I only wanted to ride about 15 miles. We headed off as though we would go along the river but turned off at Newport Bridge  and I was so surprised to see gorse blooming on the side of the road in an industrial area.


We  headed over towards Billingham and then  decided to carry on to RSPB Saltholme, but  we just rode through. It was very muddy on the paths and we didn’t really feel like going back that way.

I suggested carrying on a little further to see if we could see the seals at the Teesmouth reserve near Greatham Creek. The seals often haul out onto the mud banks here. Unfortunately, there is some kind of work going on and there wasn’t a seal to be seen.


DH suggested carrying on to the next roundabout and then turning off for Billingham. I thought the road wouldn’t go that way and I was right. Why did I listen to him?  Instead, at the next 3 roundabouts we just had to continue on so we ended up at Seaton Carew and by then I had my 15 miles in. I was feeling a bit miffed , I can tell you.

No alternate, we headed through the outskirts of Hartlepool and down through Greatham and followed NCN route 14 across the fields until we had passed by Cowpen Bewley nature reserve and then were on roads though Billingham. It was getting late by now and dusk was approaching. As we crossed Newport bridge again , the starlings were making a right old racket as they swept in to roost. We have seen them here before .

Hurrying home, with all our lights on , we arrived home safely and DH made home made pizza for tea. I had already stopped wanted to throttle him and was pleased that he had pushed me to do a bit more as we ended up cycling 27 miles.

So this week’s mileage was a respectable 73 and YTD is 226.8 miles.



Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 4, 2018

Another miserable weather week

Again, the weather has been poor for cycling but we did get out a couple of times during the early part of the week totalling 28.5 miles but then it deteriorated again. They were only rides locally and in the dark and wet.

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I took this photo as I like the way the lights shine on the water.

We were also gifted a treadmill, so I have been using that instead of cycling and I think it will be good to move muscles in a different way.


not a flattering photo but DS1 took on another early morning and yes I have a big behind heehee!

You will probably be aware that we had a blue moon this Wednesday. DS1 went out and got these two photos that I would like to share. I tried later in the evening but my photo was rubbish.




I have been continuing to stitch away and the quilt I was working on last week is almost finished. I am hand sewing the binding down .

I also took a little time to play with rulers for quilting. Patsy Thompson, a well known USA quilter, has been running a free on-line blog  posting to guide people with a bit of experience through. I came to it late so did lessons 1 and 2 yesterday and here is the result.

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The lowest triangle was me doing my own thing but you get the idea. More to follow I hope.

Sorry this is a short post  but there’s not much to write about.

cycling this week 28.5  and YTD 153.3 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 28, 2018

More of a Stitching week

The poor weather continued last weekend with more snow coming down but then it turned icy and then by Tuesday morning , the temperature shot up as winds increased from the south east.

We were fooled into thinking that the snow had all gone as there was none near us. So in the morning about 8.30am we set off to ride up to Ladgate Lane. We had only got about a mile from home when we discovered that  although the roads were ice free, the cycle track wasn’t. Since my fall last year, I have become much more careful and when we got the area where people had walked and compacted the snow , which turned to bumpy ice, I got off.

Mothers were taking children to school and the ice was also wet as water was draining off a small hill across the ice. They too were afraid of falling. After a short way, DH also got off and we walked across the grassed / now muddy area to get to Glendale road and decided to ride back down to Albert Park. We kept on the road and could see the paths in the park were all clear so went in and road around in a figure of eight to increase the mileage and then went the longer way home past Linthorpe cemetery. That amounted to 8.7 miles and is the sole amount of the week. High winds and a cold stopped me from riding the rest of the week.

However, that did give time for stitching and I have completed a quilt I started in 2016 and has languished as a top . It is finished now. The stitching isnt perfect but I decided finished is better than perfect. Here it is.


with a close up of the appliqued centre from a workshop with the talented Philippa Naylor. ( as a note I am taking another workshop with her in February.)

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I have also been working on another quilt that I pieced a week or so ago from a free pattern by Leah Day an American quilter. My DS1 took a few photos to share.

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We covered the quilting table with vinyl cloth last week and it is lovely and smooth. Its held underneath with duct tape so is very secure and hasn’t moved at all. This time I have been using the dual feed foot to quilt in spirals. Its a good job I have the space to get it through the harp of the machine.


Just thought I would share a couple of photos my son took yesterday. The first one is in Scarborough and the second in Saltburn. You can see that there was an off shore wind ( a westerly) that was blowing the tops off the waves. Brave people out there surfing.



Cycled mileage YTD 124.7 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 21, 2018

It’s Winter brrrr.

It has  not been much of a week for cycling I am afraid and I only managed just over  15 miles in 2 rides all week. We had high winds and icy rain at the start of the last week and then in the latter part we had heavy snow – well for us.

Our Norwegian friend Kj contacted us on Tuesday and Oslo had about 50cms (20 ins) of snow and everything was fine. We had about 15cms (6 ins) and the place was in chaos with schools closed and motorways at a standstill for over 8 hours.

My son took a photo of me walking at the shopping centre and called it extreme shopping.



Now its cold but the roads are clear but the paths are very icy and slushy.

Yesterday, we did venture out but kept on roads that were clear. We made our way down to check out the river path but we deemed it too bad. However, the road in the industrial estate was ice free so we continued along to Newport Bridge and then crossed over to ride along what is locally called the Wilderness road. It follows the course of the railway line and river. Once in Thornaby , we had a ride more or less the way we went last week before heading for home. only 12 miles but it was good to get out.

DS1 went out in the car to get some photos. The west of the country didn’t have too much snow but on the high ground there was enough. He took this of the Carlisle/Settle rail line and the famous viaduct. Those who have watched the Harry Potter films may recognise it as the one Harry and Ron flew over in the Triumph Herald magically modified to fly.


I have been able to get some sewing done though. I have had a struggle quilting the borders on a quilt top I finished a year ago. For what ever reason , it just will not stitch out well. The rest of the quilt is reasonable. I decided to unpick borders and then I tried everything I knew . Different needles, altering tensions top and bottom, different thread and even a different machine. I have come to the conclusion that it is something to do with the combination of fabric and wadding. That particular fabric was not used anyway else in the quilt, so it may be the source of the problem. Anyway, the upshot is , I am not well pleased with how the quilting looks and in future I will use the same colour thread , top and bottom.

I can foresee a trip to the sewing machine shop for a tune up but as its about 60 miles away ( nothing for those in the US)  but  then it means 2 trips as it wont be done on the spot. We have only 1 shop nearer but I like this particular shop in Whitley Bay where I bought it.

I will show you the quilt next week when the binding is completed.


so this weeks mileage a paltry 15.5 miles YTD116.1 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 14, 2018

Mixed Weather


Monday morning started out very cold and even at noon there was still hoar frost on the privet leaves, so I didn’t go cycling although DH did.

Tuesday was quite different after a very cloudy night and much higher temperatures. We couldn’t see any frost on the roofs across the road so we set off about 6.30 am and cycled a little over 10 miles.

Wednesday was similar , so again another we got out but as time was short due to work , there was only time for a 5 miles.

I couldn’t get out at all on Thursday and so when Friday afternoon arrived, I managed to squeeze in another 6 miles. On Friday we also had a new gas cooker delivered and DH has had to alter the units and so on Saturday he was still busy from early on.

However, by 10.30  he had got a unit built from scratch. This was needed because the new cooker was a different width to the old one and by moving a draw unit he has been able to sort another one. its not the same but uses up some of his stash of wood. He collects wood like I collect fabric heehee.

So off we rode along the river to Stockton and hoped to buy eggs from our usual supplier. No luck though because he was on holiday  and will be back next week. By now it was very cold because of the wind chill factor. I put on an old pertex top that I made many years ago and it helped me feel a bit warmer. If it hadn’t been so cold we would have extended the ride but the wind was coming from the North East and so we just returned home back along the river. At the barrage there was a lot of foam on the water. I was told years ago that it is because of the water running off the peat in the hills. I don’t know how true it is though.


It was building up to over 3 feet high( about a metre)  and the wind was blowing it about.


As we approached Albert Park I suggested we ride around as I was trying to get 40 miles in for the week. So that is what we did. As we approached home, my cycle computer showed me a few clicks off, so I road past the house and up the road until I saw the magic 40 come on. Daft I know but that means YTD is 100miles.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 7, 2018

A good start to 2018


Well, lots of bloggers seem to be choosing a word for the year. I came across a verse in the New Testament from St Paul and decided my word for the year would be STRIVE.

This means I will try really hard to achieve more than 4000miles this year. I wont only be using this for physical things but for trying to improve in all areas of my life.

New Years day saw us having a first cycle ride of the year and the weather wasn’t too bad. It was cold but at least it was bright without any rain – that is until we got home so that was good.

We chose to ride across through Ingelby Barwick and then through  Hilton and Seamer  before the lovely descent to Stokesley.  The roads were ice free and there wasn’t much traffic on the roads . The views across to Roseberry Topping and Captain Cook’s monument were clear and we could see others had taken the opportunity to get out walking.

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We then had a brief stop near the weir in Great Ayton and had hot chocolate and a biscuit before returning home under increasing dark clouds.


I got out on my own on Wednesday for a short ride and every mile adds up.

On Friday, due to a last minute change of work schedule, I got the opportunity to cycle again. I have been avoiding the early morning rides due to frost and that combined with the darkness makes me a bit wary.  A friend came from Australia to visit her parents over the holiday and she said she had forgotten just how short the days are here.

So I wanted a specialist pillowcase. Yes I could have made one but the amount it would take to make being a large V shape, I wondered if I could get in the sales. Now,  I could have ridden there and back in 5 miles but extended the  trip up into Billingham and along the A19 cycle track before heading into Stockton and back along the river, extending it to 21 miles.

It was getting to be dusk and I could see many birds circling near Newport Bridge where they roost. I got this photo of the sun reflecting off the river which I am quite pleased with.


Foolishly, I didn’t get into the shower on our return and even though I had changed my clothes i could not get warm. In the end I resorted to putting on my old Buffalo gear that I use for camping. I can tell you that soon warmed me though , even if I did look a little “chubby.”  Well more so than normal. ( we have finished most of the chocolates we were given.)

Saturday’s weather was very windy , wet and cold  first thing , so we delayed going out until the afternoon and only cycled a few miles. Returning home , I spent the rest of the day sewing making another quilt top.

So the mileage this week is 59.9 miles. Not too bad in a wet cold January I think.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 31, 2017


It’s that time of the year when we review what has gone and decide what will we do in the future. For me, I realised I would have to rethink my target for 2017 when late in 2016, I came off the bike and sustained a clavicle fracture. I would no longer be able to achieve 4000 miles as I wasn’t able to cycle for the whole of the 12 months.

So I set a lower target of 3000 miles. In September, I developed a bladder infection that laid me low and off the bike for another of those months. Now , as you know I am not in the first flush of youth, and healing takes more time now. Would I be able to achieve the target. Well, those who read the blog know I managed the 3000 miles about a month ago so I reset the target as 3250miles.

Well , this week saw me a bit short and so I needed to get out and ride, if I was going to make it. Here in the NE of the UK we have what can only be described as YoYo weather , and so it proved again this week. Boxing Day, 26th December, was bright and sunny but cold.  So we decided not to go to far from home and rode along the river into Stockton and back wiggling around a bit to get another mile.  I was nice to see the cormorant ( hope I got it right) drying its wings. There were 2 of them fighting over this perch.


As it was so bright I put on my new FLAB top. It reminds me so much of traditional Norwegian costume (bunad) that I couldn’t resist when I saw it on sale with 20% off.



In the afternoon, we went to visit family by car so it couldn’t be a full day ride. I got some lovely cycling gifts from my sons and a friend.


The 27th was wet and cold in the morning  and thoroughly miserable. I had spent time sewing and looking for new ideas. I decided to spend some of my present money on a new quilting ruler and had a ride across to Teesside Park. Now it was only 4 miles, but every little helps and I did manage it in short no precipitation patch. Then later in the afternoon, the sun came out so I had a short walk. I really should walk more often as my thighs were aching surprisingly but I took a few photos.


By the 28th, I was stitching away but the sun was out and I was just getting ready to ride when a patient of mine phoned needing help. ( I am a chiropodist/podiatrist.) I explained as wasn’t working but if he didn’t mind I would call around and see what I could do. He was worried about an infection. I was pleased to tell him it looked OK, applied some padding to relieve his pain, and then got another 10 miles in.

It was cold though  then later in the afternoon, the sun was still  out so I had a short walk. I really should walk more often as my thighs were aching surprisingly but I took a few photos in or near the cemetery .



The best laid plans and all that—- SNOW came so now riding on Friday. I totted up the miles and was 17 short for the goal. By Saturday morning , most had gone – on the main roads anyway – so out we went. It was fine until we got onto the river path , where there was piled up slush, so once at Newport bridge ( I was walking the last 100 yds) it was off  up the ramp and then using the clear path we went up to Billingham, Norton and through Stockton to Thornaby and home. I think the paths near the main roads , must have benefited from the road gritters being out.

So I am pleased to report that in 2017, I achieved my revised goal of 3250miles.



Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 23, 2017

Solstice Sleep Out

There hasn’t been much cycling this week before the Christmas weekend but I have been camping. Yes in December.

The idea started a couple of months back when Alastair Humphrey , who advocates  micro-adventures suggested sleeping in a wood, one night in each of the four seasons. My friend C owns a field and a small wood not to far from here. I sent her a message to see if she fancied taking up the challenge and she said ” OK. How about 21December, the solstice.” Well that suited me just fine as the next day was my birthday.

Then later DS1 suggested he come along too as he hoped to get some photos of the stars. I was working during the day so DS1 and DH went over during the day and put up our large tarp to sit under and my tarp for me to sleep in.  During the pervious week DS1 had asked if I could make him a bivy bag  which I make very simply from cordura and pertex so that he could use it in his tarp. These are all items I made a few years ago and have been well used.

So it was well after dark when I arrived. ( the sun dropped at 3.45pm).   My tarp had been decked out with fairy lights by C.


Not a great photo but you get the idea.

DS1 had a fire going , having made a firepit from paving stones that had been fly tipped on the field and he had a BBQ just ready to cook steak and chicken for our evening meal.


P1010296C had been to the Hub for Christmas lunch for the cycle volunteers which she makes a great job of.


We spent the evening tending the fire and talking and laughing but the  mist rolled in and it was probably fog by then but we didn’t mind. It was a great evening and we didn’t go off to sleep until after 10.00pm. That’s late for me.


We had all prepared for it to be cold but in fact it was really warm for the time of year and all of us said we had to throw off sleeping bags except just before dawn it cooled off.. I heard DS1 stir and I could see that he had rekindled the fire, as you can see under the edge of the tarp and there was definite fog.



sorry this photo is a little blurry but you get the idea.

DH arrived just as the light came up – you couldn’t see any sun – and I cooked us all a hearty breakfast of turkey bacon and eggs in bread rolls that I heated through on the stove. If it had been colder, the gas wouldn’t have  burned  well but as it was about 9C , there wasn’t a problem. So after eating , we packed our things and were home by 10.30am. Then it was Christmas shopping.

Today, I needed a few last minute things and I don’t shop on a Sunday, so it was today or not at all.  I decided to use the Dahon folder to go for these couple of last minute things. DS1 suggested  that I fold the bike and put it into one of the trolley lockers in the café of the supermarket. It was heaving with shoppers but I got the  bike into the locker  after asking the security guard who had no problem doing that. Its a great idea for future trips. It was only a short trip but  good to get out.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope to get a few more miles in before the year ends.

This week 5.3 mls   YTD 3201.3mls

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