Monday, 31 March 2008

A Nice Weekend

Monday, 31 March 2008
Anything would have been better than last weekend but even without that fact we had a great weekend. I'm not a huge fan of the clock change in theory but one can't ignore the fact that longer, lighter evenings really make one feel like summer is coming (even if it is gloomy again today LOL).

Yesterday was a gloriously sunny day so we went out for lunch in town and took Lia for a walk around town and the park. I also indulged my inner child with some toy shop shopping and bought her some fuzzy felt, poster paints, glow in the dark ceiling stars and a mini space hopper (the space hopper is in the cupboard for her birthday present pile).

The only blip during the otherwise great time was that I had to do some serious frogging on The Big Zipper but I did that outside of my usual stitching time (I generally only stitch in the evenings after Lia is in bed) so even though it was a pain, I didn't feel like it had taken up precious stitching time. Basically I miscounted on the 'house' section and everything was one stitch up - I did look at it re fudging it to fit but I decided it wouldn't really work so out it came. I stitched more of the border last night to avoid looking at the blank patch but I'll get on tonight and try and play catch up.

I have also decided what I'm getting as my birthday stash from Needlecraft Corner (thanks to their birthday discount). I'll get Shepherd's Bush 'Happy Haunting' (this won't be discounted but I promised myself it as I fell in love with a friends WIP), Carriage House Sampling's Alphabet Blocks Whole Kit and Caboodle and Raise the Roof's The Wrong Side of the Tracks.

Yes I know I've linked to Stitching Bits and Bobs but the pictures are much better on that site.

I think that'll be all my stitching stash, there's actually not that much I want right now, even though I am still enjoying stitching. I might get some cash from the in-laws in which case I'll probably get some quilting fabrics but they might wait and give it to me when we're in Greece in a few weeks in which case I'm sure it'll get spent out there.

Another nice thing that happened this weekend was confirmation that my cousins from Oz are going to be visiting in August. I haven't seen them since our wedding in Greece so it'll be lovely to catch up - they'll sure notice a difference in Lia from being 1 to being 3!

For folks that wanted a quiet 2008 we've certainly got a hectic social schedule this year - two holidays as a family, a long weekend stitching retreat for me, three weddings, three christenings, a 40th wedding anniversary and plenty of visits from friends. We're free next weekend but after that we're booked until 8th June!

March Roundup and April Goals

March Roundup

March Stitching Goals
1. Have at least one finish (probably Redwork) - Yes
2. Work on Sleigh Ride - No
3. Work on Cirque des Cercles - No
4. Start and finish my Monthly Small Start (Coeur de Brodeuse - Tournicoton) - Started but not finished
5. 'Finish' an item from the list below - Yes Alyssum Scissor Pocket is done
6. Work on Red Threads - Yes
7. Work on Grandma's Thread Minder - Yes

Stitching New Starts:
Couer de Brodeuse - Tournicoton (monthly small start)
Wedding Sampler - Dimensions Daydreams Kit (gift)

Stitching Finishes:
Rosewood Manor - Red Threads Redwork
Wedding Sampler - Dimensions Daydreams Kit

Other WIPs that had some attention
Bent Creek's Big Zipper

Books Read
The Nanny - Melissa Nathan
The St Clare's Series - Enid Blyton (7 books)
The No1 Ladies Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Tears of the Giraffe - Alexander McCall Smith
Morality for Beautiful Girls - Alexander McCall Smith
The Kalahari Typing School for Men - Alexander McCall Smith
The Full Cupboard of Life - Alexander McCall Smith
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies - Alexander McCall Smith
Blue Shoes and Happiness - Alexander McCall Smith
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive - Alexander McCall Smith
The Witch Trade - Michael Molloy

March Quilting Goals
Finish second Jungle Quilt - Quilting and Binding needed
Start third Jungle Quilt - Yes
Make two squares for the Monkey Buttons Star Quilt - Yes
Finish one of my current WIPs - Yes
Make up the Log Cabin Squares from my last class - Yes

April Stitching Goals
1. Have at least one finish (probably Coeur de Brodeuse)
2. 'Finish' an item from the list below
3. Work on Grandma's Thread Minder
4. Work on The Big Zipper
5. Work on Sleigh Ride

Projects Requiring Finishing

Redwork Bourse
Redwork Pinkeep
Eliza Jane's Needlekeep
Bird's of a Feather Accessories - Needlebook, Scissor Pocket and Fob

April Quilting Goals
1. Finish the first three Jungle quilts as they all need to be gifted this month
2. Finish some of my other WIPs so I can start something new in May

No course this month as we're on holiday for two weeks

Current 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. Brightneedle - Garden Party
17. DMC - Wild Ones Alphabet*
18. Michael Powell - Handmade Houses 4
19. Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Fairy Hill
20. Millhouse Designs - Charlie is Born
21. Dracolair - Dawn Awakening*
22. Bent Creek - Snapperville Series
23. Long Dog - St Germain
24. Noah's Sub*
25. Just Nan - Four Wishes
26. Stitchin'Spirations - Lost in a Blackwork Maze
27. Coeur de Brodeuse
28. Spring Lineup - The Trilogy

Photos to follow - we went out and had lots of fun in the sunshine with Lia yesterday so all my Sunday plans were abandoned...

Thursday, 27 March 2008

The Lurgy

Thursday, 27 March 2008
Ugh, both DH and I had the flu last week - something I've never suffered from before and I'm still trying to recover.

I was supposed to be on a course last week - I did two days and then, when I got home on the Tuesday I felt so rotten that I went to bed early and ended up staying there until Thursday! DH was about three days ahead of me recovery wise which meant that he did most of the childcare. Amazingly, Lia remained bug free and thankfully so did my mother who was staying with us to look after Lia whilst I was on the course. We sent her home as soon as we felt able to cope though because I didn't want her catching it.

This meant that Easter was pretty much a wash out for us as we had to cancel pretty much all we'd planned. We did manage to visit friends on Easter Sunday as we were both feeling much better but Monday morning I woke up with and ear and throat infection that meant I was in agony every time I swallowed. However I'm three days into a course of antibiotics and am much better now - today is my first day back in work.

The downside of being sick is that no stitching or quilting has been done for about 10 days so I'm rather behind in my March goals. However I have been reading quite extensively and have managed to finish sixteen books so far this month! See, always a silver lining LOL.

We had a bit of a disaster early on this month as our boiler stopped working and the nice man who came to fix it informed me it is 26 years old and on its last legs. It hasn't been serviced or looked at for years and, although he did manage to get it started, we need to replace it and overhaul the system. Cue some expensive quotes from plumbers!

However my Mum has come up trumps with some cash to help us which means we're not raiding our savings quite as badly as we might have. We're collecting quotes for both the boiler and the garden and I'm hoping we can stretch the cash we have to do both. Mum had planned to give us the money so we could get the garden done completely but obviously the boiler is more important. I'd be happy if we can get the whole garden rotivated and the part we want as lawn turfed. Anything over that is a bonus really.

Also, I'm looking forward to creating the garden myself and learning a bit as I go along, if we get the whole lot done for us I'm not sure it would be anywhere near as much fun. The rotivating and turfing is the boring bit LOL. I'm also hoping we can get the garden done for the beginning of the summer as it'll be much nicer for all of us if we can enjoy it rather than spend the nice days looking at the mess it is now.

The clocks change here this weekend which means lighter evenings so if the weather improves I shall be out in the garden tidying up. We've got to weed kill round the patio slabs again as there's a whole bunch of new shoots coming up and I have to clear out four more beds so I can do some planting. Also, if we can paint the outside of the garage and clear up and paint the fence then the garden will look much better (plus it'd be a good thing to do that before they come and lay new turf right?)

So I imagine my stitching and quilting will slow down a bit for a while. I don't mind that as I do enjoy gardening, my only problem is that my bigger WIPs just won't get much attention. However, we're off to Greece for two weeks next month and I intend to take Sleigh Ride as my only stitching so hopefully I should get plenty done. I moan a lot about it not being a real holiday when I'm out there but I do at least get spare time when I can sit and stitch.

That's pretty much it I think - I can't believe March is almost over, to me I'm still somewhere around the middle of the month. Still, the best thing about March being over is that April is my birthday month so I will get a birthday discount order from Needlecraft Corner as my present. I'm already listing what I want but I shall reveal all in a later post when I've double checked with DH just how much I can spend!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

One Small Finish and One Huge One!

Sunday, 9 March 2008
I finished my redwork piece on Wednesday night - now I just have to make it up into a Bourse. Sorry it's a bit blurred but it's a tiny piece - each block is an inch square.

Also I finished my log cabin quilt top yesterday evening and I'm enormously proud of myself :) It's the biggest thing I've done so far and I'm going to have to save up for the backing material and wadding. Originally it was going to be 6x4 blocks but it's ended up as 6x9! It's single bed size so I'm going to need 4.5m of backing fabric and 2.25m of wadding (hence the saving up).

Here's the finished item and some close ups of the blocks

And finally because I can't get the camera out when she's around without her wanting her pic taken here's a pic of Lia looking a bit wild (methinks it's time for a haircut)

One final thing, Kate of Sparklies has some new hand dyed fabrics, one of which is named Thalia in honour of the little wild thing above. No affiliation (we haven't copyrighted the name LOL) but Kate's fabrics are lovely so check them out...

Saturday, 1 March 2008


Saturday, 1 March 2008
I promised these ages ago but the memory card was awol from DH's camera.

Anyway it's back so here are some WIPs and finishes.

Firstly here's a sneak preview of the first jungle quilt. It's not quite finished yet...

Here's the current stage of my Log Cabin blocks - we learned to make them using strip piecing so you work on all your blocks at the same time.

Here's my finished pieces

The Santa Cushion (my first blanket stitching!)

The Cat's Whisker's Tuffet

Bent Creek's First Moon Colony

And some WIPs

My redwork

Bent Creek's Red Threads

Tournicoton's Couer de Brodeuse (I started it a little early)


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