Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 11, 2018

More unspring like weather

The weather did warm up a little in the early part of the week but unfortunately, more cold frosty early mornings where followed up with wet days and nights. All this to say I only rode 21.7 miles during the wee.

We did ride along the river and all of the trees and bushes are being torn out to make way for 2 factories to be built. The horses have disappeared as well.

The violent storms along the east and south coasts have led to many sea creatures including  crab, lobster and octopus being washed ashore. We saw television reports of fishermen sorting through and rescuing  and returning to the sea those that could be saved. This may well lead to a reduction in catches later.

One of the things that became apparent is the appearance of an old “petrified” forest on the sea shore at Redcar. Hundreds of people have been going down to see it. DH remembers seeing some of it about 50 years ago but not to the extent that is showing.

We had intended to cycle there but heavy rain put us off an we drove over. Here are some of my photos. It felt a bit like walking on a peaty surface but that’s not surprising as  Redcar means the Reed Marsh or Red marsh and it is said that the old forest extended for miles up the coast,P1010498

This is the southern edge where the fallen trees give way to sand.

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Tree root systems are clearly visible and could easily come off. To be honest , I was surprised that it had not been cordoned off.

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Areas of fallen trees could also be clearly seen and wooden ribs from old wrecked ships.

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/crowds-flock-ancient-forest-redcar-14375305

If this link works it will take you to a write up in the  local press.

It was a grey and damp/wet afternoon. It looked like the offshore wind turbines were floating in the air.

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We do hope for better weather soon but shall just have to be patient.

YTD 373.8 miles – must do better.

 

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Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 4, 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like

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the first day of the meteorological Spring but its been more like a white Christmas. We have had about 8 inches of snow and the country has just about come to a standstill.

Europeans must be laughing their socks off. My friend in Norway says they have about  5 feet of snow and things are normal. When I was a child we had snow like this but the schools never closed. Now some children have had 4 days off. I know my next door neighbour works in Leeds and tried to get there but the A1 was closed due to jack-knifed lorries.

Needless to say. I have not been out cycling in this lot, except for Monday when it was very cold and I only cycled 5 miles. The coast has been very wild and  rivers have frozen too. We think it will thaw very quickly but have been warned this will result in flooding.

I have spent my time stitching away , when not working but many people postponed  my services until next week. I finished the Curved Piecing quiltlet and am vey pleased with it.

P1010463I made a piped binding with bias cut fabric and used the green fabric cut at 1 1/2 inches with no5 Pearl cotton as a filler. The binding isnt perfect but acceptable.

I was very pleased with the mitres. I cut 4 separate binding strips and then mitred by stitching  at the angle that I though would be right on a longish (3) stitch and then trimming and turning through. Then I pinched in and could see just how much more was needed. It worked well when I restitched and trimmed and turned. All four mitres worked well and each was at a  different angle.

The other stitching was playing with my rulers on some scrap fabric. I didn’t have an accurate plan – I hardly ever do – and this is the result.

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I have managed to remove the pencil marks and have plans to make a cushion cover as I like the results. Again, not perfect but none but God is  perfect , so why worry.

DH did venture out on his bike yesterday sticking to the main roads so he could help clear the snow at church. I was glad to see him home safely but he wanted to ride as he hadn’t been out all week either.

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I like the setting on my camera so I can take photos through a window.

So YTD 352.1 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 25, 2018

A Sewing and Cycling week

We had a very mixed weather week, but that was just as well as I had sewing things planned for the week too.

Monday was wet all day causing some flooding that was still evident later in the week. However. on Tuesday there was no frost or rain and so I was up before the larks – well it was still dark at 5.45 am when I rolled out of bed. DH didn’t bother as I said I was just doing a short ride. When I got back in after nearly 8 miles , he was on the treadmill working up a sweat. He cant do that if cycling with me, as I am too slow for him.

He did cycle with me on Wednesday though but I forgot to take my camera out,

I had a real treat on Thursday. Philippa Naylor , a quilter from Bridlington, who is renowned for her beautifully precise work, came to my quilt group to run a workshop on curved piecing.

She is such a great teacher and this is the 3rd time  we have been blessed to have her.P1010408

She gave us a pattern to work from and showed us techniques to get smooth stitched curves particularly concentrating on accurate cutting and stitching by machine.

 

She showed us how to use a short quilting ruler and a 28mm rotary cutter to smoothly cut and accurate quarter inch seam.

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It takes a bit of practice to guide the rotary cutter and the ruler at the same time. I found it difficult to keep my eye on the 1/4″ line. Some people decided to draw in the line,

Then it was on to the piecing.

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Using fine pins is necessary to match up the pieces.

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We also learned a technique for accurately ( well when you practice) line up seam lines and how to pin so that they don’t move under  the needle. She also recommends a very fine needle (no.60) but you cant use a needle threader  so good eyesight is helpful.

I have managed to get the central part pieced and hope to get the borders done soon. Here is her sample.

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Look at her exquisite free machine quilting.

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Another sample of her lovely work.

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Friday saw me travelling to Harrogate in North Yorkshire for the Spring Northern Quilt show. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and invested in a new light as I find as I get older , it is more difficult to work on dark fabrics in the evenings. I also got some of those fine needles to try out. Sorry, I can’t show any photos of the quilts but I was very taken with  Gillian Travis quilted socks and mittens inspired by her travels in the Balkans.

It was lovely and sunny on the way home, I have cycled over this way many times and decided to use the quite roads , rather than travel on the late Friday afternoon traffic on the motorway. I could see traffic queuing to get down to the roundabout . I have to say , I felt a bit smug that I knew the backroads which were really quiet.

Saturday dawned crisp and cold. We decided to go out for a ride and got everything ready. Out to get the bikes and DH found his rear wheel was flat. Nothing for it but to change the   inner tube before we could go. I got some washing in , while he was doing that.

We went across to collect some wallpaper paste so DH can do a small repair for an old friend and then we headed off up to Hilton through Ingelby Barwick.  The spring flowers are blooming and I just had to stop to take this shot of the snowdrops and crocuses in Hilton.

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We decided to ride along towards Hutton Rudby and then turned along the very minor road/farm track to Seamer. I had a bit of pain in my low back but by dropping gears I was still able to get up all the hills. Since the horse incident my sacral area has been a bit achy if I push myself too much.  In Seamer , the village pond was frozen.

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We dropped down into Stokesley and then road along the back road through Easby to Great Ayton. My lovely friend J had baked date and walnut cake  for us , so sitting near the river Leven, well wrapped up, we enjoyed it with hot chocolate.

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The ducks were happily playing  on the river below the weir.

Then , it was off to home. I was so surprised to see this lovely colour in a field outside the village. I wonder if it is red willow?

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So this week I only rode 47 miles but my YTD is 347 miles . The weather forecast for next week is not good  with snow coming from Siberia apparently. We will see what happens and if I can cycle .

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 25, 2018

A Sewing and Cycling week

We had a very mixed weather week, but that was just as well as I had sewing things planned for the week too.

Monday was wet all day causing some flooding that was still evident later in the week. However. on Tuesday there was no frost or rain and so I was up before the larks – well it was still dark at 5.45 am when I rolled out of bed. DH didn’t bother as I said I was just doing a short ride. When I got back in after nearly 8 miles , he was on the treadmill working up a sweat. He cant do that if cycling with me, as I am too slow for him.

He did cycle with me on Wednesday though but I forgot to take my camera out,

I had a real treat on Thursday. Philippa Naylor , a quilter from Bridlington, who is renowned for her beautifully precise work, came to my quilt group to run a workshop on curved piecing.

She is such a great teacher and this is the 3rd time  we have been blessed to have her.P1010408

She gave us a pattern to work from and showed us techniques to get smooth stitched curves particularly concentrating on accurate cutting and stitching by machine.

 

She showed us how to use a short quilting ruler and a 28mm rotary cutter to smoothly cut and accurate quarter inch seam.

P1010410

It takes a bit of practice to guide the rotary cutter and the ruler at the same time. I found it difficult to keep my eye on the 1/4″ line. Some people decided to draw in the line,

Then it was on to the piecing.

P1010415

Using fine pins is necessary to match up the pieces.

P1010417

We also learned a technique for accurately ( well when you practice) line up seam lines and how to pin so that they don’t move under  the needle. She also recommends a very fine needle (no.60) but you cant use a needle threader  so good eyesight is helpful.

I have managed to get the central part pieced and hope to get the borders done soon. Here is her sample.

P1010418

Look at her exquisite free machine quilting.

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Another sample of her lovely work.

P1010421

Friday saw me travelling to Harrogate in North Yorkshire for the Spring Northern Quilt show. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and invested in a new light as I find as I get older , it is more difficult to work on dark fabrics in the evenings. I also got some of those fine needles to try out. Sorry, I can’t show any photos of the quilts but I was very taken with  Gillian Travis quilted socks and mittens inspired by her travels in the Balkans.

It was lovely and sunny on the way home, I have cycled over this way many times and decided to use the quite roads , rather than travel on the late Friday afternoon traffic on the motorway. I could see traffic queuing to get down to the roundabout . I have to say , I felt a bit smug that I knew the backroads which were really quiet.

Saturday dawned crisp and cold. We decided to go out for a ride and got everything ready. Out to get the bikes and DH found his rear wheel was flat. Nothing for it but to change the   inner tube before we could go. I got some washing in , while he was doing that.

We went across to collect some wallpaper paste so DH can do a small repair for an old friend and then we headed off up to Hilton through Ingelby Barwick.  The spring flowers are blooming and I just had to stop to take this shot of the snowdrops and crocuses in Hilton.

P1010439

We decided to ride along towards Hutton Rudby and then turned along the very minor road/farm track to Seamer. I had a bit of pain in my low back but by dropping gears I was still able to get up all the hills. Since the horse incident my sacral area has been a bit achy if I push myself too much.  In Seamer , the village pond was frozen.

P1010442

We dropped down into Stokesley and then road along the back road through Easby to Great Ayton. My lovely friend J had baked date and walnut cake  for us , so sitting near the river Leven, well wrapped up, we enjoyed it with hot chocolate.

P1010448

The ducks were happily playing  on the river below the weir.

Then , it was off to home. I was so surprised to see this lovely colour in a field outside the village. I wonder if it is red willow?

P1010451

So this week I only rode 47 miles but my YTD is 347 miles . The weather forecast for next week is not good  with snow coming from Siberia apparently. We will see what happens and if I can cycle .

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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