Sunday, 30 November 2008

Sleigh Ride WIP and some quilting

Sunday, 30 November 2008
So here's how Sleigh Ride was when I picked it up:

And here it is now:

I'm really happy with my progress - and with how good this design looks viewed at a distance - stitching close up you don't see the subtleties.

Also, here's Lia's advent panel - there's a chocolate penny in each of those pockets!

And finally here's this years Christmas quilt top. It's a bit of a crap pic but I'll try and get a better one when the quilting is done (click for a bigger pic)

Saturday, 29 November 2008

November Roundup and December Goals

Saturday, 29 November 2008
November Roundup

November Stitching Goals
1. Finish the Just Nan Over the Top and In the Tin series - up to date but don't have the last tin yet
2. Work on Happy Haunting - no
3. Work on Scream House - no
4. Work on Murky Manor - a little
5. Make a Christmas Ornament - no

Stitching New Starts:
Sue Hawkins - Thread Keeper

Stitching Finishes:
Just Nan - Boo! Needlebook
Just Nan - Hop! Tin Topper
Just Nan - Hop! Needlecase
Bent Creek - Big Zipper

Other stitching:
Bent Creek - Big Zipper
CCN - Joyful Summer
Dimension - Sleigh Ride

Books Read
Run - Ann Patchett
Down River - John Hart
Class - Jane Beaton

November Quilting Goals
1. Quilt and finish my bargello quilt - no
2. Quilt and finish the two Heart to Heart quilts - no
3. Finish making up the blocks for the final Jungle Quilt - yes
4. Finish making up the blocks for the Heart to Heart flannel quilt - no
5. Finish the advent panel - yes
6. Finish the A-Z Christmas panel - no
7. Finish the Countdown to Christmas blocks - yes

Other Quilting
Quilters Friend Sewing Kit (cutting)
Christmas Quilt

December Goals

December Stitching Goals
1. Work on Sleigh Ride
2. Work on Snowman Trio
3. Complete and make up the Just Nan tins
4. Complete the Sue Hawkins Thread Keeper

December Quilting Goals
1. Finish Christmas Quilt
2. Finish baby quilt
3. Finish Heart to Heart quilts
4. Finish Christmas Panel
5. Quilt bargello
6. Make up Jungle quilt top
7. Sew some more of the flannel quilt block

Current Stitching WIP List

1. Dimensions - Sleigh Ride
2. Bothy Threads - Row of Christmas Fairies
3. Margaret Sherry - Santa's Journey Afghan
4. Stitchy Kitty - Snowman Trio

5. Shepherd's Bush - Happy Haunting
6. Glendon Place - Murky Manor
7. Just Nan - Scream House

8. Brightneedle - Garden Party
9. Millhouse Designs - Charlie is Born
10. The Trilogy - Spring Lineup
11. CCN - Joyful Summer

12. Tournicoton - Coeur de Brodeuse
13. The Cat's Whiskers - Birds of a Feather Dilly Bag
14. The Cat's Whiskers - Grandma's Thread Minder

15. Just Nan - Four Wishes
16. Michael Powell - Cottage Garden 2
17. Bent Creek - Snapperville Series

18. Shepherd's Bush - Be Attitudes Afghan
19. DMC - Wild Ones Alphabet
20. Ink Circles - Cirque de Cercles
21. Stitchin'Spirations - Getting Lost in a Blackwork Maze
22. Midsummer Night Designs - Heaven's Above
23. Teresa Wentzler - Tradewinds
24. Dragon Dreams - Dragon Virtues Afghan
25. Michael Powell - Handmade Houses 4
26. Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Fairy Hill
27. Stoney Creek - Noah's Sub
28. Dracolair - Dawn Awakening

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Stash, stash, wonderful stash...

Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Okay so I've gone a bit mad re stash purchases in the last couple of weeks - call it retail therapy!

I discovered that Picture This Plus are going to start a Fabric of the Month Club next year so I've signed up for the brights (of course). Only a Fat Eighth each month but it'll be good to build up a stock of their colour range - I don't know why their fabrics appeal to me so much but they do and they're fabulous to stitch on. I'm currently waiting for a piece I ordered to do Victoria Sampler's Heirloom Christmas on and I'm also going to order a piece to stitch the new Lizzie*Kate Halloween Flip-its.

I also ordered Blue Ribbon Designs 'Behind the Gate' as my Christmas present from DH. Needlecraft Corner does a special package for the chart, linen and floss which is what I shall be getting (and no, I don't mind knowing what's coming from Santa, I get just as excited).

I've also ordered my own present from my Mum this year. Understandably she's finding the idea of Christmas a little difficult and isn't really inclined to be Christmas shopping. When Lia was born the whole family revised their Christmas purchasing and we all agreed to just buying presents for the children in the family rather than the adults (other than spouses and parents). This means that I only get presents for DH and my Mum plus Lia, Luisa and now Finlay. It makes much more sense as we don't have to scrabble around thinking about what we want or what we can buy adults who have more than enough junk.

For Mum this means she only has to do DH & I and my Bro & SIL plus seven kids (she has four step grandsons). She bought Lia's presents last time they visited us and I think the rest of them are all going to get money this year (two are too young to care and four are old enough to be pleased with cash LOL).

Anyway, back to my Christmas gift, I was looking for a particular quilting pattern when I came across these designs. I immediately forgot all about the quilt pattern I was looking for because Jacqueline de Jonge appears to design quilts just for me! I've ordered the patterns for The Colourful Quilt and Joy (see I said she designed just for me LOL). Unfortunately the fabric kits are way out of my price range but I'd actually rather use up fabric in my stash and supplement that if I don't have enough (unlikely!)

I've also ordered a couple more of the SamSarah Monthly Baubles designs - I've stitched two and have five more in my stash so I've got more than half. They're so cute and stitch up really quickly which is great. So that's my gifts from Mum.

I'm also taking part in a Secret Santa exchange on one of the boards I belong to so I've had a lot of fun buying things for my partner (and of course one or two bits have fallen into my stash too). Even better the gift I receive will be a parcel that I have no idea about.

I'm not going to even try and get on the Wagon again but I'm hoping to make my 2009 stash purchasing a bit more organised. As well as the FOTM club from Picture This Plus I have an automatic shipping on the SamSarah alphabet baubles (approx one a month), the Lizzie*Kate Halloween flip its (6 charts) and the second set of Just Nan Over the Top Tins (four in the year).

None of those are particularly expensive but having a couple of packages a month to look forward to should hopefully mean I don't get stash withdrawal. I'm also thinking that I might add my stash purchases for each month to my monthly roundup posts (I know they're long enough already LOL). It will hopefully make me think more if I see what I'm spending written down!

Oh and I followed a link from someone else's blog this morning (yes you Paula) and just had to get this. It is absolutely my last stash purchase of 2009, even though I adore this one too...

Thursday, 20 November 2008

A Big Big Happy Dance

Thursday, 20 November 2008
I finally finished Bent Creek's Big Zipper. To be fair, it's not my fault it's taken so long - they released the first part early last year and the last part a couple of weeks ago!

I'm pleased I finally finished this one as I didn't feel I could start another large Bent Creek design till it was done. I may well start Snapperbets in the New Year now.

Monday, 17 November 2008

A Christmassy Finish

Monday, 17 November 2008
I saw this at the NEC Festival of Quilts and fell in love with it. At the time I didn't think too much about the blanket stitching (which is just as well as I may not have bought it if I had)!

It's called 'Countdown to Christmas' (no surprises there!) and obviously is meant to start at 25 days but given I've only just finished it I thought this year I'd start counting early (and skip 33 days as I only have one 3 LOL). The frame comes apart so when we get to single figures I can take one part away - maybe next year I'll make another panel that could hang in its place (when I've recovered from the blanket stitching!)

So here's the whole thing:

Here's the rest of the numbers:

Here's a close up of the Santa panel (apologies for the flash, the buttons are all the same colour IRL):

And here's a close up of a number:

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Friday, 14 November 2008

Happy News

Friday, 14 November 2008
Baby Finlay came into the world at 11.50pm on 13th November weighing in at 7lb 5oz. Mother and baby doing just fine.

Auntie Joy is over the moon and Lia is excited to go see her little cousin. Given we've only just come back home we won't be heading down to Kent again till next weekend so I'll have to contain my excitement for a whole week but at least that gives my Bro and SIL time to settle down a bit.

Mum was going to see her first Grandson this afternoon.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

A Sad Time

Thursday, 13 November 2008
It's been a long time between posts I know but I have a very good reason for that because my family have been having to deal with the sudden death of my Stepdad.

He had a massive heart attack on the morning of 28th October and, although the paramedics managed to get his heart beating again, he had been gone too long and all brain function had ceased. He passed away peacefully at 6.15pm on Wednesday 29th October aged 75.

It was a total shock as he hadn't been unwell - he survived a major heart attack 11 years ago but had been in good health since with a miriad of pills keeping his heart functioning. In fact he didn't know anything about it as he had got up, dressed, made his bed, folded his pjs, put his hearing aid in and was heading out of the bedroom to get breakfast when his heart just stopped. He wasn't a brave soldier by any means and if he'd felt even slightly unwell he would have woken my mother before doing any of the above.

He had been a part of our family for 16 years - both my brother and I were at University when Mum met him and we were both glad that Mum found a companion because it meant we could feel less guilty about moving on with our lives and leaving her at home alone. Over the years he became a very important part of our family, the person everyone would go to for advice and assistance and he was delighted when Lia was born as she was his first granddaughter after four grandsons (he had two daughters of his own). I always said that although he wasn't my father he was, without question, Lia's grandad and he certainly never differentiated between her and his 'real' grandsons.

His hobby was stamp collecting and really, most of us dismissed it as a boring hobby done by a quiet, kind of boring, man. On his retirement however he volunteered to work in the archives of the Royal Philatelic Society and spent the last 14 years organising and cataloguing them. He received the gift of Fellowship of the RPS, something that is only given out once a year at most (if they don't think anyone is worthy of the honour in a certain year they don't give it) and the Society held a 2 minute silence in his honour when they heard of his death.

A quiet and unassuming man he may have been but he was respected by all who met him. He was also a published writer of over 100 articles for various stamp magazines, even managing to have an article in all four current philatelic magazines in the same month earlier this year.

Obviously I've been spending time back home with my Mum and family - the funeral was Tuesday and went as well as these things can. I read the eulogy - I'd never done anything like that before but I felt that I could and that it would be nicer for one of the family to do it than a stranger.

I'm back at work now and trying to get back to some kind of normality. Poor Lia has been up and down for the last two weeks as she understands something has happened but, at 3, can't really grasp the events in full. She is telling everyone that 'Grandad is with the Andrials' and she knows that she can't see him now but I've told her she can talk to him on her toy phone and she seems okay with that.

I'm now going to focus on Christmas and making it magical for Lia. I love this time of year and adore decorating the house so I'm on a mission to clean and tidy thoroughly before the end of the month so the decorations can go up on 1st December. I'm also going to totally focus on Christmas projects between now and the end of the year so Sleigh Ride will finally get dusted off and worked on as well as a couple of other Christmassy WIPs and I ordered some fabric from Picture This Plus to stitch Heirloom Christmas on so I shall be starting that at some point.

My previous post about November Goals was posted in a hurry because I had it pre-written and needed to post something after my 'Great Weekend' post before I wrote about all of this so some of those goals might be missed. I have continued to stitch though (long evenings at my Mums) - it seems to be reading that has suffered the most as I just haven't been able to concentrate much.

And of course the silver lining in all of this is that my brother's wife is due to give birth any day. I felt so sorry for her as her due date was Tuesday, the day of the funeral, but Junior obviously felt it wasn't the time to come out and say hi so we're still waiting. The new baby (no we don't know what flavour it is) will certainly be a welcome distraction for us all.

Total Pageviews