Monday, 31 December 2007

I'm on a roll...

Monday, 31 December 2007
Yesterday I finished a quilt top. Okay, only a small one, but a finish nonetheless. I don't have any pictures as yet but I will try and get one loaded soon.

It's a small piece, one of the 'Quilts in a Tin' from Moda and it measures 20" x 20". I could finish it as a cushion but Lia loves it (it's very bright) so I think it'll just end up as a blanket for her animals.

It's a step towards my 2008 goals as it was one of the quilting projects I had started (I'd done the cutting) but had stopped when my old sewing machine died on me. Talking of which my new sewing machine is fandabidozi! I had lots of fun over the weekend playing and the best part is that the slowest stitch speed is quiet enough that Lia doesn't complain (she absolutely hates noise from electrical stuff).

I've also made good progress on my WIP 'Ginny' and hope to have her finished by the end of the week. I won't get any stitching done tonight as we have friends over but tomorrow it'll just be the three of us so hopefully I'll get some more done.

I've also been grouping my WIP list into bunches of 5 and thinking about new starts I can include. Can you tell I'm bored at work today? LOL

Group 1

1. Just Nan - Secret Snowdrift
2. Ginny
3. Red Threads Redwork
4. Stitching Shed - Santa Cushion - completed 28/10/07
5. Newton's Law - Keep Calm

Group 2

6. Pulled Thread practice piece
7. Blackwork Maze
8. Row of Christmas Fairies
9. Garden Party
10. Charlie is Born

Group 3

1. Dimensions - Sleigh Ride
2. Ink Circles - Cirque de Cercles
3. Birds of a Feather Dilly Bag
4. Grandma's Thread Minder
5. Victoria Sampler - Lavender Hearts

Group 4

1. Michael Powell - Cottage Garden 2
2. Bent Creek - Red Threads
3. Midsummer Night Designs - Heaven's Above
4. Just Nan - Four Wishes
5. Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Fairy Hill

Group 5

1. Santa's Journey Afghan
2. The Big Zipper
3. Handmade Houses 4
4. Snapperville
5. St Germain

Group 6

1. Be Attitudes Afghan
2. Teresa Wentzler - Tradewinds*
3. Dragon Dreams - Dragon Virtues Afghan*
4. DMC - Wild Ones Alphabet*
5. Dracolair - Dawn Awakening*
6. Noah's Sub*

I'm thinking that, given the size of some of the projects, I'm going to have to include some smaller projects that I can start and complete as a reward system otherwise I'm likely to get bored.

So my current thinking is that I can pick one additional small project to start per month as long as I have stuck to my goals and made significant progress on my WIPs.

The list I can choose from is:

Bent Creek
Cold Snowman
First Moon Colony
Long Winter
Peaceful Forest

Eliza Jane's Needlekeep

Lili of the Valley

The Trilogy
Spring Line up
Autumn Line up
Summer Line up
Winter Line up
Halloween Line up

Teresa Wentzler
Needle Guardian

Barbara Thompson - Around the World
Meineck Design Group - Brockley

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Is this what they mean by Over-Achieving?

Saturday, 29 December 2007
I've completed my first WIP!

DH and I watched 'The History Boys' last night and I got on with The Stitching Shed's Santa Cushion and here he is:

I don't have a before pic but I did his hat, the star, the green border and the backstitching last night. He needs to be finished into a cushion so he's now part of my 'complete finishing' list.

I have now taken pics of the other four WIPs in my first list:

Red Threads Redwork

The Trilogy's Secret Snowdrift

Newton's Law - Keep Calm at all Times

Simply Heritage Cats - Ginny

I also had a small HD over Christmas - the Bent Creek Zipper 'Tis the Season

And finally for this pic filled post, here's our Christmas tree :)

Friday, 28 December 2007

Getting Organised

Friday, 28 December 2007
I decided that, in order to best get on with my 2008 crafting plans I'd better get organised.

So, today I have put all my working copy charts into one display book so I can easily find them when I'm switching between projects. I've also packed up all the kitted WIPs into bags that are labeled and organised the WIPs themselves into a box with a second box for items that need 'finishing'.

I'm in a sorting out mood (it's the New Year, it does strange things to me LOL) so I'm going through all my stash and organising it properly. We've got a garage full of things to go in the loft so we're going to sort those out this weekend and all of my scrapbooking stuff will go up there as there's just not enough space for all my hobbies!

Thankfully the loft is easily accessible so I can zoom up and down and get things when the mood takes me. I will be focusing on my stitching and quilting this year but I also want to get on with putting some photos in albums - I've got none of Lia's pics in albums and I also haven't done our wedding album yet either.

One of the things I received from Santa was a gardening journal so I shall be working on that as we work on clearing the garden. I've got very little knowledge of plants and so the journal will be a good way of recording my learning curve as well as the garden's progress.

And of course all of the above is a sideline when it comes to organising the house and life in general (oh and not forgetting work) LOL.

I also remembered whilst organising my stash that I have an important project to stitch this year as it's my sister's 40th Wedding Anniversary in September and I have Victoria Sampler's Lavender Heart's I want to stitch for them. Typically for me I'm being very ambitious as I've never done pulled stitches or hardanger before so I'm going to have to have some small practice pieces in my WIPs in the first half of the year...

Still, the good news is once I've mastered them and done Lavender Hearts I can then do the Heirloom Christmas Sampler for myself.

So in the light of this I've decided to focus on finishing the following in January:

1. Just Nan - Secret Snowdrift
2. Ginny
3. Red Threads Redwork
4. Stitching Shed - Santa Cushion
5. Newton's Law - Keep Calm

They're all small and should be achievable in January. Once they're done I can include a small pulled thread piece in my WIPs and then get started on Lavender Hearts once I've completed the next five WIPs which are (for the moment)

6. Pulled Thread practice piece
7. Blackwork Maze
8. Row of Christmas Fairies
9. Garden Party
10. Charlie is Born

After that little lot I'll have another look at my plans and see how I'm going. I think I'll then focus on getting Lavender Hearts done (I'd like to finish it in good time and get it framed) as well as Sleigh Ride, Cirque des Cercles, Dilly Bag and Grandma's Thread Minder. Those five are all large projects which means I'll be busy for quite some time (no kidding right LOL)

I think that's all the organising I need to do for now - but at least it's focused me on one of my plans - posting to this blog more!

The only other piece of news is that my new sewing machine was delivered half an hour ago. Why am I here posting instead of playing? Simple, I want to wait till Lia's in bed so I can focus properly which makes this a good diversion tactic

Thursday, 27 December 2007

'Tis the Season to be Jolly...

Thursday, 27 December 2007
So did you all have a good festive season?

Christmas chez Family V was quiet and pretty stress-free. Lia had great fun with the pressies - she hadn't been excited at all up until the day itself (I don't think she'd really grasped the concept of Santa and Gifts) but she soon worked it out when presents were being passed out LOL.

As you can imagine she was very spoiled - we asked the Grandparents for money to put towards a wooden playhouse for the garden but even so she ended up with about 25 parcels under the tree. The parcel opening was staggered throughout the day to make sure she got a chance to play with things. Her two favourites were a junior etch-a-sketch and a dress up dolly (very clever - it has plastic clip on clothes so they a) won't break and b) can be put on by small hands. Now I just have to hope that they don't c) get lost LOL.

Other than those gifts she got a Pingu house playset, several books, some jigsaws, 2 Pingu DVDs, a cuddly polar bear, some clothes, a bracelet, a colouring book, a bath toy and a game.

We also braved the sales yesterday and got her quite a few items of clothing (from the Pumpkin Patch - sales in there bring the clothes down to reasonable prices!) and a few toys that will be put away for her birthday.

DH is happy - it was his birthday yesterday so he had double pressies. His main present was a DS Lite with the accessory kit and three games (Zelda, Hotel Dusk and 42 Classic games). He's just about to start a new job with a longer commute so the DS should keep him happy on the train.

As for me, I was definitely spoiled. I'll admit that I chose most of my gifts (or gave damn good hints!) but at least it meant that I got what I wanted. My gift list was:

A clover mini iron (great for seams)
Bothy Threads Row of Christmas Fairies
Stitchin'Spirations Lost in a Blackwork Maze
Two skeins of Dinky Dyes Illawong
Ink Circles Kaleidoscope
Left handed dress making scissors
Pirates of the Caribbean 3 DVD
A kit to make these two cuties:

They're called 'Too Pooped' and 'Jingle Your Own Darn Bells' LOL

Oh and not forgetting a brand new sewing machine!

After much discussion with DH and the sewing machine man (one of the owners of the shop that holds the Quilting classes) the decision was made that I should get a new machine rather than spend money repairing the old one. The cost of repair was likely to be heading towards half of the cost of a new machine and, given that the old one is seven years old, DH felt it better to get a new machine that is covered by a warantee.

So we have ordered a new machine from Brother. My old one was also a Brother so the extras that I bought from the old one will fit the new one which is cool. The only bad thing about the order is that it is placed directly with Brother and they deliver to me so I'm not sure exactly when the machine is going to arrive given Christmas working hours (we bought the machine on the 22nd). Still, it'll arrive soon I'm sure.

So that's our festive news. We're having a few friends join us for New Year's Eve and then it's back to business as usual.

I intend to use the long dark evenings to get on with my Stitching plans, especially as DH may be home later than usual once he's started his new job. I keep telling him he's lucky to have a wife with hobbies who can amuse herself while he's away ;)

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

2008 Stitching and Quilting Plans

Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Well I didn't really manage to stick to my 2007 plans but hey, who's to say 2008 won't see me more organised LOL.

So my stitching plans are:

1. Stay on the Wagon - I'm only allowed to purchase the last parts of the Bent Creek Series' I'm stitching which means 4 x Red Thread Charts and 5 x Big Zipper Charts.

2. Finish Sleigh Ride

3. Finish Cirque de Cercles

4. 'Proper' finishing of items already stitched and also any WIPs that get finished (See list below)

5. Two new GFJ starts - Stitchin'Spirations Blackwork Maze and Bothy Threads Row of Christmas Fairies

5. Allow myself one new start for every five WIPs finished (see WIP list below) until all I'm left with is the BAPs (marked with *)

6. Okay this one may be a bit ambitious but I'll put it anyway, to work on each of my WIPs at least once during the year.

Quilting plans are:

1. Attend more classes and get lots of practice

2. Make the following quilt tops - Spring Sunshine, Dancing Pinwheels, Ohio Star Medallion, Monkey Button's Star Medallion, Road to Ireland (all of which I have the fabrics for).

3. Finish and quilt the projects I've started already.

Other Projects:

1. Country Folk - Simply Pooped Out and Jingle Your Own Darn Bells

2. Country Folk - Willy Melt

Stitching WIP List

1. Stitchy Kitty - Snowman Trio
2. Stitchin'Spirations - Getting Lost in a Blackwork Maze
3. Bothy Threads - Row of Christmas Fairies
4. Dimensions - Sleigh Ride
5. Ink Circles - Cirque de Cercles
6. Michael Powell - Cottage Garden 2
7. Be Attitudes Afghan
8. Santa's Journey Afghan
9. The Cat's Whiskers - Birds of a Feather Dilly Bag
10. The Cat's Whiskers - Grandma's Thread Minder
11. Bent Creek - The Big Zipper
12. Bent Creek - Red Threads
13. Midsummer Night Designs - Heaven's Above
14. Teresa Wentzler - Tradewinds*
15. Dragon Dreams - Dragon Virtues Afghan*
16. Rosewood Manor - Red Threads Redwork
17. The Stitching Shed - Santa Cushion
18. Simply Heritage - Ginny
19. Brightneedle - Garden Party
20. DMC - Wild Ones Alphabet*
21. Michael Powell - Handmade Houses 4
22. Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Fairy Hill
23. Anchor - Keep Calm
24. Millhouse Designs - Charlie is Born
25. Dracolair - Dawn Awakening*
26. Bent Creek - Snapperville Series
27. Long Dog - St Germain
28. Noah's Sub*
29. Just Nan - Four Wishes
30. Just Nan - Secret Snowdrift

Things that need finishing list:

1. Redwork Pinkeep
2. Alyssum Scissor Pocket
3. Spring Fever Bourse
4. Birds of a Feather Accessories

I can't believe I have 30 WIPs. I'd like to get that down to under 10 by the end of 2008 with significant progress on all five of the BAPs.

Of course that plan doesn't include all the other things I'd like to do such as gardening, reading, cooking, etc but I really need to decrease my stash so I want this list here to focus on.

Oh and the one final plan is to post more progress pics here. Every WIP I pic up with be photo'd before I work on it and after I finish my 'session' with it so I can look back on what I've achieved over the year. This will also help me post more to this blog.

Oh and finally I shall review my progress on a monthly basis

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Christmas is Coming...

Wednesday, 5 December 2007
And I'm getting excited! I love christmas and we're having it at our house this year with my parents. We got all the decorations out yesterday and the tree is going up tonight, it's nice to finally be in a house that we can fit the decorations in without losing a huge chunk of living space!

Last month I made christmas puddings for the whole family (including one to post to Greece!) and will be making mince pies at some point. Turkey is ordered from M&S (pre stuffed and in it's own roasting tin) and I'm busy making a food list for my Mum to check over. Not because I can't order food but because my StepDad can be a bit fussy and I want to make sure there's plenty of stuff he'll eat.

Lia's been singing Christmas Carol's for weeks as they're practicing for a Carol Concert next thursday. I asked if she should be wearing anything particular (stupid me) and they said if she had a white dress because they're supposed to be angels. What parent in their right mind has a white dress for a 2 1/2 year old???? Someone at work says they have an angel costume that might fit, otherwise I'm going to try and find a white nightie somewhere.

She's still not really aware of the whole presents part of Christmas (yes I am making the most of it) but she's loving the lights and decorations, especially the 8 foot inflatable snowman they have outside nursery.

Crafting wise, I thoroughly enjoyed my quilting class and have almost finished my quilt - just two sides to have the binding stitched on. I've been waiting since the class for the quilting foot for my sewing machine to arrive - it turned up yesterday but now my machine is playing up big time and I'm going to have to take it for repair I think. It's eating the thread somewhere between the reel and the needle - basically the thread seems to get stripped thinner and thinner until it snaps and I'm left with a 'spring' of thread where it's been gathered.

I'm not sure if that makes sense but it wasn't doing it before, I've cleaned and oiled the machine, used different threads, different tension, different stitch lengths and it still happens. It's incredibly frustrating as I've got so much I want to get on with.

Anyway, here's two more quilt tops I've finished that are awaiting quilting. Thanks everyone for you kind comments re my first quilt top (here and in the other places I posted it in my finishing excitement LOL). I'm having so much fun with all of this and have just ordered a whole load of fabric having sold some stuff on eBay (so it's not real money I'm using!)

Both quilts are using the colour schemes I chose for the first two quilting courses. My next course is 5th January and I've paid a deposit for another three - one in Feb, one in March and one in May!!!

Stitching wise I haven't done much (I'm sure you can understand why) but I did manage to post an update of my Cirque des Cercles on the Snowbird SAL. At least I'll get some stitching done while my sewing machine is out of action LOL.

Finally here's some pics of Lia


Total Pageviews