Crafting, fun and friendship

Crafting, fun and friendship

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


It's definitely getting autumnal out there.  Oh, the leaves on the trees may still be green but the air is different.  Even when it was warm yesterday, it wasn't the same as high summer heat - onwards then, into my favourite time of the year.  Conkers, crunchy leaves on walks, bramble jelly making - these are a few of my favourite things - tra la la :)

Ok, things desk-wise have been somewhat fraught.  The tension on my machine went belly-up, especially from the bobbin.  So the innards were taken apart, a disgusting amount of fluff and gunk was removed from underneath, a little light oil was massaged into the important bits and... it's still not quite right. Damn. I'm going to have to play around until the upper and lower tensions are happy again.  Any tips???

During the recent trip to Winchester avec Madame Dunnit, she spotted this red and white floral oilcloth which she rather liked.  Having seen the prices of oilcloth bags in Cath Kidston (faint....) I rashly offered to have a go.  I worked out a rough pattern/measurements as Julia didn't want the bag to be too big and am basically going to make it up as I go along!  Story of my life really....I either end up with amazing successes or glorious failures :D

I'm undecided whether to use the spots or gingham as the lining...  herself has yet to see either.  I had to buy some heavy duty machine needles to cope with the oilcloth - hopefully my machine will be tamed again by then!  I also invested in a bias binding maker - yahoo!!  Thanks for all your tips on this little beauty - (Elizabeth, I had a look at the automatic Singer one but couldn't justify £70!!)

And as many of the desks are featuring Christmas ideas - I had to show you some fabric I found in The Cotton Angel in Monmouth (thanks for the info Sam!).  I know it's too early yet, but have found through bitter experience that if you don't buy it when you see it.....well, you all know the rest!!  Anyway, these will make some fine Christmas bunting a little further down the line!


Here's a pic of The Big O, taken on holiday a couple of weeks ago.  He did really well in his A Levels and is off to Cardiff University in September to read Computer Systems Engineering.  I'm proud of my boy - it's the next chapter in his life (and mine..).  I'm so happy for him, but shall miss him like crazy.

And finally, here is the latest shot in the Mad Moggy Moments.  Ron is in love with the net on our ping-pong table - I mean, WHY??????

But whatever the attraction, he just can't leave it alone...!!

Do we get a 'let' if we hit the cat during the game, do you think??  

Have a great week!!


  1. Morning Jan
    I had to get on early to say a huge FANKOO for the lovely parcel which arrived yesterday! It is featured on my bloggie today! It looks soooo cute.
    As for your desk, gotta love Christmas fabric at any time of the year! And as for Ron - very funny.
    Well done to Ron for passing his exams. I hope he has a great time in Cardiff. Perhaps we can now meet up!

  2. Oops! I mean well done to the Big O for passing his exams. Not sure what exams a cat could take - A Level Being Daft maybe?

  3. Firstly a huge congrats to your big boy :-)
    I hate it when the machines start to play up ...and doesn't it always happen when you need it most? Good luck with getting the tensions right again [I'd send it to have a service if it was mine]. Have fun with the bias maker....wouldn't be without mine at the mo with all these little dresses.
    A x

  4. Love your post full of colour in both fabric and life1 Golly Uni - get ready for the big washes each month! My tensions go AWOL too and it seems endless fiddling and lots of blowing into the bobbin case are the method of madness that works. Luuuuuurve the spots and the gingham - I say all three!
    Thanks for sharing today. Sarah (at 1)

  5. Congrats go to your son. I'm sure he will do well in college. And that oilcloth looks hard. Special needles, bias tape maker, and all. Of course, that Christmas fabric is awesome. I can't wait to see the buntings and other goodies you make from all that lush color. Happy WOYWW.

  6. Love the fabric and I would choose dots of the liner. What a mad cat! :)

  7. ROFLMAO @ Ron..... oh, cats, how we love 'em.

    I'd use the spots for the lining.

    Can't help with the tension thing on your machine other than to suggest twidding a few knobs and dials and see what happens.... *grins*

    And as you take such fab pics - ACE one of Big O, you GOTTA scrap that! - I'm looking for a cheap wedding photographer.... wink wink.....

  8. Just read your question on my blog. Yes, our winters can get brutal. I live in Kansas, which is in the geographic middle of the contiguous US.

    And I forgot to mention how funny Ron is. Even Bleubeard would get a laugh at that. Looks like he's going for the LOVE ALL. (OOPS, that's tennis).

  9. Love all that fabric! If I were Mrs D I would have the gingham inside. but I am not so who knows!! Well done to your son and good luck in his new venture.

  10. Awesome that your son has done so well. You will miss him but holidays come around quickly. Love the christmas cloth and the fabric that you are making Mrs.D bag out of. Good luck with that. I am clueless about tensions...if the knob doesn't do it I go to the shop. WOW now that is some fetish that Ron has! Thanks for sharing. Have a great week Jan. Vickie

  11. Hi there Lunch Lady Jan . . . just popped over from Hetticraft's blog . . . after admiring the bunting you made for her!

    Great pictures . . . Congrats to your son . . . and, well, your cat is hilarious!

    Hugs, Sandra

  12. Oh Jan that red fabric/oilcloth made my heart skip a beat!!!! The measurements for the tablecloth are you ready for this is - 1.5mtr square!!! Congratulations on the A level results well done him.

    Lovely to see you at crop on Saturday I expect to see you every month now!!! x x x


  13. First of all congrats to your son, what a lovely boy he looks to be and what a great picture.
    Love the red and white material chosen and would go with the spots if it was me for the lining.
    Can't help with the tension query - not a clue but
    Thanks for the good wishes and the look around your workdesk. Hugs, Neet #2

  14. Congrats to the big O. Fab fabric for Miss D's bag, and lovely fabric for Christmas. Hope you get your machine sorted.

  15. Another Christmas the bunting fabric. Also your cat, they just sleep where they like and do what they like, that's why we love 'em! Enjoy WOYWW!

  16. YOU're proud of the big O? I am's about basking in reflected glory! Seriously, Ron is a bit well, not right. If I were me, I'd have the gingham inside. Did you read!!!!

  17. Hi Jan
    great piccies, congratulations to your son, did laugh at the pussy cat, hope the machine is now behaving well!! lovely material,thanks for the mooch, happy WOYWW, sue,x

  18. Congrats on the son. Now the cat is another matter. I think ginger cats are just quirky and I am a proud owner of one. Ours likes to lie on her back (legs in the air) while we do the dishes. Never does it anywhere else! So maybe the net is one of those red hair moments.

  19. Gorgeous fabric Jan! I am with Wipso on your machine tension - maybe a good service. Otherwise... a new needle, matching thread top and bottom and make sure not too much oil around your bobbin case (sounds a bit cheeky!) Hope you fix it. x Jo PS well done to your son - what a great time of life!

  20. Hi there Lunch Lady Jan, I always enjoy your comment on my blog, thanks! :D - and I think gingham and spot inside and out ... now why do I want to complicate things ie one side gingham and other side spot and then on outside reverse them with floral and gingham one side and floral and spots other side, now howzat!! that will confuse everyone!
    And well done your boy!! we have one software engineer in our extended family and he cleverly won a scholarship which saved some pennies for mum and dad! Trust your very jubilant son excels,and lurve the cat antics!! Shaz in oz.x

  21. I'm too excited about Halloween to start on Christmas just yet, but I know that will come quickly! Congrats to your son! Oh...and as for that squirrel in Over the Hedge - he and I have a lot in common. Just say'n. HA!

  22. I do so love your blog Jan - always colourful and lots happening. So funny about the feline 'ball boy' and how proud you must be of your son. Good field to go into as well! Di xx

  23. Congrats to your son. The dots have it every time for me. Does puss play with the ping pong balls too! Hugs Mrs A.

  24. Congrats to YOU! I always accept applause when my kids achieve. Makes me feel better about myself somehow ;) Love the fancy oilcloth. It's gonna look great no matter which goes where as long as the stitches are not basted. Good luck with the tension - that always causes me stress.

  25. What a great post ...really enjoyed the read ...well done to your son ...I bet he is looking forward to this next step in his life. What is it about cats and their love affairs with objects....5 of ours have fallen for DD flip-flop sandal ...just one of them ...and she keeps finding it in different places !!

  26. Congratulations to your son. Hope he loves his new adventure. What a fun post. Love the oilcloth color and patterns. So glad you joined in with the WOYWW, it feels like fall here too. So many wicked storms lately. Good luck with fixing your machine. It is a real frustration when you want to get something done.
    Love your cat..they have a mind of their own and give us lots of laughter. Enjoy your week and Happy WOYWW.

  27. Jan- Sorry about the tension issues with the sewing machine. That is my worst problem with one. I just cannot speak its language or doctor it enough to relax *LOL*! I vote for red lining. Love the christmas fabrics...and I totally know about not buying it when you see it! Love the pic of O! Good luck for him. Happy WOYWW- Amanda

  28. Sewing machines and computer, two things that are very frustrating when they go wonkers! I love oilcloth and your color combo will make an outstanding bag!

  29. Proud mum moment is well deserved, but buy the boy a pair of shoes before he gets to uni! Love the red spotty fabric as a liner, and Christmas? Already really? You'd NEVER find Christmas on my desk this early!!!

    Brenda 71

  30. thanks for the visit and comment to my blog.
    I like the gingham for the lining. Love the floral patterned material. very pretty.
    as to the cat well... here's to another chapter. BIG GRIN
    Have a great day and hope you figure out the tension thing on your machine.

  31. Hi Jan, thanks for popping over to my blog and leaving your lovely comment, fab, fabby, fabric, love any fabric any time of year and you have lots of lovely goodies on your blog too, love your handiwork it gorgeous. Well done to your lad, my big Sis lives in Cardiff
    lots of rain!!! so a mac will be ideal! love those furry friends too, oh and tension grrrr
    it always happens just when you think everything is running smoothly!!!
    Happy Crafting, Sue xx

  32. LLJ?

    I have your cat on my table - not the one posted to which you commented since that was yesterdays blog and I linked an unpublished woyww that no one could see until I got home and realised my (unlike your clever one) school boy error,

    regarding the tension - don't lose the spring when you undo the knobs in desperation - it will flirt mercilessly across your room, never to be found again - my best recommended course of action is to have Jo of Jozart over for dinner - she will get your sewing machine doing stuff you never imagined it could, and she leaves you a beautifully scripted set of notes to continue to exploit your machine to death...

    if i can persuade her to I'll get her to do a video tutorial for machine upper and lower tension housekeeping when I see her this weekend... watch her space...

    what make is your machine?


  33. Hi Jan

    Ooohhhh those oilcloths look delish can't wait to see the finished bag - can we all form a queue behind Julia for one????!!!!!!! LOL (the Xmas fabrics also look gorgeous - Xmas bunting now there is an idea....)

    Well done to your boy and best of luck to him at Uni.

    Well the cat on the ping-pong table did make me smile!!

    Thanks so much for your comment on my blog.

    Take care


  34. I haven't made any bramble jelly yet but my Blackberry jam is yummy!! I think Autumn will be here very quickly, everything thing seems to be rushing towards it! Love the cat, and I could make a joke about a net, but I won't...Rubbish at sewing so have no idea what tension is! When it pulls all tight I'm guessing, yes...I remember that! And they need oil? (well I never!) My mum's letting me borrow her new machine...oh what fun! Happy WOYwW

  35. I too love Autumn and for some of the reasons you quote.
    I think that's really a big backscratcher for Ron BTW!.
    Congrats and good luck to your son... the World awaits!
    If normal tension adjustments don't work I always make sure my needle is still good and sharp and the correct one for the fabric. Good correct thread and I take a light oily cloth and swipe it through the tension discs and springs. Hope I'm not teaching you to suck eggs but I used to work for Janome and I really have a "feel" for the machines. I've always managed to service any I've handled that haven't been actually badly damaged and thus in need of an engineer. I'd love to get my hands on your's!
    JoZarty x

  36. lovely pictures but where's the desk?
    well done to your son, hope he enjoys Uni, you'll miss him.
    It's not to early for Christmas,it is in the Winchester fabric store's window this week, it's great with all the stockings we made.
    thanks for sharing

  37. Gorgeous fabrics it makes me want to dust off my machine! Congratulations to your son you'll miss him like crazy I know I missed mt two when they went off to uni - good luck xx

  38. Congrats to your is so exciting to see them become your adults! I think your kitty is waiting for the ping pong ball! LOL

  39. If ever you touch the bobbin tension you should only do it a quarter turn of the screw at a time and mark whether you have moved it left or right. eg., Write down "2 left" or" 4 right" so you can gauge which way is making it better or not and then return to the original setting before going the opposite direction. Hope you can understand this?? There may be thread stuck under the spring of the bobbin so look at it with a magnifier and you may be able to use fine tweezers to remove it. I take my spool to pieces and oil and clean underneath but I don't want you to get it completely banjaxed. !!!
    Good luck and let me know how it goes!
    Jo x

  40. Gorgeous fabric. Is your kitty sun bathing, maybe he knows you have a ping pong ball to play with. LOL.
    Your son has done well and I hope he enjoys uni.
    Carol C

  41. What great fabric. The "polka dot" (as we say in Texas) is my favorite. And I love the pics of your yellow kitty! dix---

  42. Great post this time. Love the oilcloth fabric. I find out that heavier fabric works a little bit easier (see my cusions). I'm sorry I don't have a clever recipe for your üpper and lower tension. Happily my machine gives some advise :-D
    Congratulations with your son. xFranka

  43. Sorry I can’t offer any suggestions re. your sewing machine but I hope it’s sorted soon because I can’t wait to see what you do with all those gorgeous fabrics……… lush!
    And you have every reason to feel proud of your boy……….congrats Big O!

    Happy Sewing!
    Aww, Ron looks so happy laying there!

  44. Lovely fabrics dont blame u getting them now. Congrats to your son. Ron the cat is very cute. Ax

  45. Hi LLJ, You will be very pleased with the bias binding maker. I haven't used mine in years, but I remember how handy it was, when I did a lot of sewing. Love your ginger kitty! He is tres cute!

  46. I think the bag is going to turn out fab! What a pretty combination to start with! I know about missing, my son was away for just 17 days and sometimes I couldn't sleep! Oh well, that's what mothers are for!

  47. Sorry can't help with the machine...I don't have one and can't use one, so pretty useless there! I hope you get it sorted. it looks as though the bag is going to be fab. Well done to your son. I have to say the cat was my favourite made me laugh out loud!

  48. OOOHH thet red fabric is to drool over! Hope the machine is fixed really soon. Congrats on your son doing so well, it is very scary when they leave home, but also very exciting!
    Happy very belated WOYWW

  49. I am sooo late this week! Thanks for your comments, and LOVE the picture of Ron- what is it with cats? They can be so daft! Happy (late) WOYWW, Shaz

  50. Congrats to your lad I bet your really proud. Gorgeous fabric for the bag and I can't wait to see the christmas bunting with the fab fabric you got. I also love the autumn, it always smells fresh and has beautiful colours. Love the pic of the cat. Kezzy x

  51. I reckon the table itself is lovely and warm... as for the net... well cats are infamously bonkers!

    Love all your gorgeous fabric, shame about your tension on the machine though :( And shush your moosh talking about the C word! You trying to make me cry or what? :)

  52. Oops and massive congrats to the boy. Coversation round the dinner table last night Devon (aged 14) saying don't we realise she is the new generation that never leaves home and Phoebe (aged 10) counting down the days, weeks, months till she's 18 so she can be off! Talk about one extreme to the other. I was much like Pheebs - moved out the week after I turned 18 ;)

  53. Loved the bag fabrics! So fun and cheery. I'm a bit behind; I'm catching up from last week and moving on to today's. :) Cats are funny people, aren't they?

    Congrats to your boy! Great picture!

    Angi [at] Making Mayhem