Tuesday, 30 June 2009

June Roundup

Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Stitching Goals
1. Work on Sleigh Ride - nope
2. Work on Tempest - a good start made
3. Complete Alphabet Baubles E - nope
4. Complete Boo Club - yes
5. Work on Snapperbets - a teeny tiny bit
6. Work on Cirque des Cercles - nope

Stitching New Starts:
Teresa Wentzler - Tempest

Stitching Finishes:
Lizzie*Kate Boo Club

Books Read
Stephanie Meyer - New Moon
Stephanie Meyer - Eclipse
Stephanie Meyer - Breaking Dawn
Enid Blyton - The Circus of Adventure
Enid Blyton - The Ship of Adventure
Enid Blyton - The River of Adventure
Enid Blyton - The Mountain of Adventure
Enid Blyton - The Sea of Adventure
Freya North - Secrets

Quilting Goals
1. Complete lots and lots of Baby Jane blocks (I'll have 30 blocks arrived by the middle of the month and only 2 done!) - 8 done
2. Finish up the outstanding flannel quilt top - nope
3. Finish up the outstanding jungle quilt top - nope
4. Sort out all 'current' projects and get a plan in place to get them finished - I made a start

New Stash Arrivals
Heart in Hand Christmas Markings
Picture This Plus - FOTM
Baby Jane BOM

I didn't manage so well with my stitching goals but I did re-organise my rotation in recognition of the fact that I just can't stitch as much and get on with quilting and having a life!

Monday, 29 June 2009

What's in a name?

Monday, 29 June 2009
We had a lovely weekend - we were back in the bosom of my family as it was my nephew's Naming Ceremony yesterday.

Here he is in all his smiley glory - not from yesterday I should say, he didn't get named in a 'Menace' shirt and a silly hat, this is from a couple of weeks ago. DH didn't remember his camera yesterday so we didn't get any pics of him in his finery.

He was an absolute angel, very good all day and the party was a real success. My Bro and SIL organised a clown/magician who was great - there were loads of kids under 10 there and she kept them entertained for a good hour. Lia is now obsessed with doing magic and announced last night that she wants to be a magician when she grows up!

Wednesday this week we've got Lia's new teacher visiting for the first meeting, paperwork, etc, etc so I've taken the whole day off so I can enjoy the men's quarter finals at Wimbledon in the afternoon. We're off next Wednesday too as Lia will be going to school for a couple of hours in the morning and we'll be going again in the afternoon to meet more of the teachers, buy uniform, etc. It's all getting very close now - just nine weeks till she starts! Thankfully she's very excited about it now and telling everyone that will listen that she's going to school in September.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Wednesday, 24 June 2009
I've been pushing on with this one to get it finished this month and here it is, Lizzie*Kate's Boo Club stitched on 32ct Lugana 'Monet' from Picture This Plus using the charted Weeks and GAST:

Monday, 22 June 2009

Monday Monday...

Monday, 22 June 2009
We went to see the 30th Anniversary Show of War of the Worlds on Saturday night and it was spectacular! DH is a huge fan but I'd never heard the whole thing, I just knew the most famous bits, so I'd got the tickets for him really but I loved it! Not only was Jeff Wayne there conducting the whole thing, Justin Hayward and Chris Thompson reprised their original roles. I was totally blown away by Justin Hayward - I've always liked The Moody Blues but boy that man can sing and what a beautiful voice! I've told DH that if the Moody Blues tour the UK again we're going.

The downside of attending the show was the trip home on public transport which took 3 1/2 hours! It was 1.45am when we finally staggered into bed and I was up again with Lia at 7am. Consequently I didn't achieve much yesterday... If we ever go back to the O2 we'll drive for sure.

Today is a new week though and apart from coming down with the cold that Lia had last week I'm not feeling too bad, I caught up with some sleep yesterday. Plus it's Wimbledon and that always cheers me up - my only sorrow is that I'm stuck at work and not able to watch every minute of the TV coverage but I will see as much as I can - Lia's well trained and knows that when the tennis is on, CBeebies doesn't exist.

In other good news I emailed the lovely lady running my Baby Jane BOM yesterday to ask if there's any way to track my parcel and she said no but she would immediately make me up another kit and send it. How fantastic is that! I cannot recommend this BOM highly enough - it's posted on time, the kits are extremely generous (I could make at least two quilts from the fabric I've received so far) and the instructions are really clear. So if you're at all thinking about doing the Baby Jane and you like the rainbow version sign up at Twiddletails for the next session that starts in October.

Of course now she's sending a replacement, my first package is bound to turn up!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Jelly Rolls

Friday, 19 June 2009
For Erin, and possibly some confused English people!

A jelly roll is a collection of strips of fabric cut the width of the fabric (so about 44" long) and 2.5" wide. They come rolled together and tied up in a bundle so they resemble a Jelly Roll, or what we'd call a Swiss Roll in the UK.

I don't normally like jelly rolls, too much fabric not to my taste in them, and obviously they can be quite restrictive given you don't have any fabric more than 2.5" wide but this roll jumped off the shelf and into my arms screaming 'buy me Joy, I was made for you' LOL. There are tons and tons of books out there with jelly roll designs in and you never know, I may end up doing another one at some point, it'll take an equally lovely roll to entice me again though...

Here's a link so you can see some

Thursday, 18 June 2009

More quilty things

Thursday, 18 June 2009
So I have been doing some other projects as well as the Baby Jane quilt. Here's a Bento Box quilt I did with my first ever jelly roll:

I made this cushion cover from a kit:

This cute halloween lap quilt was also a kit:

And this is my last quilting class project finished as a 'roll' that I can keep my stitching wips in:

I'm still motoring on with the Baby Jane quilt - three more blocks completed and lots of the applique pinned and ready to hand sew. I've now got just seven blocks I haven't started - five of them the dreaded triangles!

I'm impatiently waiting for my next package to arrive too - it was posted last monday and they usually take a week but we're now on ten days and I'm starting to sulk!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

C1 - Trooper's Green Badge

Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Nice and Simple Foundation Piecing

A5 - Cathy's Campfire

Foundation pieced...

A2 - One two buckle my shoe

Foundation pieced all the way!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Baby Jane

Tuesday, 16 June 2009
I've added a progress widget to the right hand column of the blog so I can keep track of my completed Baby Jane blocks. It's a little sad looking right now with only one entry but I have completed three more blocks I just need to photograph them (yeah I know, my usual 'pics will follow' laziness!)

I've also done the preparation cutting and sewing for a further five blocks, I just need to locate my freezer paper so I can sort out the applique and cutting.

I'm pleased with my progress speed at the moment, if I settle down to it in an evening I can get one block completed and another to the point of applique which means that once I'm caught up I can easily get my ten blocks a month done and still manage my revised stitching rotation. Obviously some take more time - I'm certainly not looking forward to the triangle blocks! - but given how simple others are I guess it all evens out.

I also made the executive decision not to knock myself out to reproduce the blocks as exact copies. Often a block will require you to start by cutting four squares and sewing them together to make the background block just so you have seams in the same place as the original Dear Jane quilt. To be honest, life's too short, so I won't be going that far. I'm also not going to worry about reverse applique to get elements set as the original, all applique will be done as simply as I can using the needle turn method. I did toy with the idea of machine applique but I decided to go with hand sewing just because I prefer the look. I may change my mind at some point though LOL.

My game plan is to go for one foundation pieced block a session because some of them are so teeny tiny that they can drive you insane - each finished block is 4.5 inches square so when you have 27 pieces in a block you're working with some seriously small bits of fabric! At least I've finally got a real reason to love my Clover mini iron...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Wall Hanging

Thursday, 11 June 2009
As I said in my last post, we've been going to the same set of farm cottages for our weekend GTG for the last three years and they're fab - absolutely perfect for our needs. Anyway, the woman who runs them commissioned us to make her a wall hanging that reflected the farm and their animals.

We all worked together to produce this:

My part of the process (other than co-ordinating it all) was the finishing along with another member of the group so we put the blocks together, added the border, quilted and finished it.

We worked hard to make sure that we reflected the real animals - the cats are all the right colour, the rabbits and hamsters are the same as the children's pets, etc, etc and also one of our number designed the middle block so that is actually the farmhouse and cottages together with the family themselves.

It was extremely well received and will now hang in the conference room at the cottages so we'll get to admire our work every time we go back!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

So, where have I been?

Wednesday, 10 June 2009
I haven't really dropped off the face of the earth, honest. It's just that life kind of speeded up a bit around me and I had less free time to post.

The biggest reason for this is that work is finally actually giving me work to do. Most of my surfing and posting is done from my desk so less time to do that means less time to write blog posts. Still, it's a good thing as it means my job is a little less unstable. I'm also working out of a different base quite a bit which adds another 60 miles to my daily commute - it's not so bad as I get a mileage allowance for it and the travel time comes out of my working hours but it's still a contributing factor to me feeling much more tired than usual.

I have also been really busy on lots of sewing / quilting projects in a bid to get the pile of things lying around in our living room down to some kind of managable size. I've done lots but I still have three largish quilt tops to put together before I can declare myself free to start new projects. I have lots and lots and lots of bag patterns I want to play around with as well as many other small projects but I'm determined to get the big stuff finished first. Of course there's also my Baby Jane quilt which I need to focus on - I have only completed two blocks and the next ten (making the total 30) are already on their way to me so I need to get moving with them.

I've also come to realise that if I want to get on with Baby Jane and other sewing things I really do need to tweak my rotation schedule as there is no way I can do everything. To this end I have removed two items from every month between now and Christms - a week of stitching on a current 'small' wip and also the alphabet baubles. I'm hoping that this will free up enough time for me to get the 10 Baby Jane blocks done a month (although this month I have to more than double that number to get back on track).

Hopefully this will do the trick as I was starting to find that I didn't pick up my stitching as much just because of the fact that I couldn't give it the focus I wanted to.

Also this month saw Lia turn 4! I'm such a terrible mother that I didn't post on her birthday but I'm sure she'll forgive me. We had a BBQ for 45 family and friends on the weekend before her birthday and thankfully the sun was shining for us. I loved my house before the BBQ but I love it even more now that I managed to have 45 people around (including 14 kids) and it wasn't crowded or problematical in any way.

The second exciting event of this month was my weekend away with 17 other crafting friends. It's our third time away together and, as usual, we had a totally fantastic time. We stay at a set of farm cottages that has a conference room attached that is big enough for us to all fit comfortably in (which was great as this year, for the first time, we had torrential rain for most of the weekend).

I can honestly say that the only other times I have laughed so much are the two previous weekend GTGs. I returned on Monday evening absolutely knackered! Three days of laughing so hard breathing became a real issue really does take it out of one. When I tell people I go away every year with a bunch of cross stitchers, knitters and quilters they all think I'm mad and, if truth be told, that they can imagine nothing more boring. Well that couldn't be further from the truth - very little actual crafting gets done when you can't see the holes on your fabric because you're laughing so hard.

It's the funniest, rudest, most surreal weekend of my year and every time we go we think it can't get any better than the previous one but we manage it. Next years weekend has been booked...

So, it's now just four and a half weeks to our Devon holiday and then after that it's four weeks until our Greece holiday which marks the end of me working full time. In total I have 11.5 more full time working weeks, three of which I'll be on holiday.

I also have three quilting courses in Sep, Oct and Nov, a stitching GTG in Sep and Ally Pally in Oct to look forward to so the rest of this year is likely to fly by. I'm going to have to be careful about my spending too!

So, the long promise picures of WIPs and stuff will materialise soon, I promise. I shall be back into full blogging mode from now on. Honest.

Monday, 1 June 2009

June Goals

Monday, 1 June 2009
Stitching Goals
1. Work on Sleigh Ride
2. Work on Tempest (complete?)
3. Complete Alphabet Baubles E
4. Complete Boo Club
5. Work on Snapperbets
6. Work on Cirque des Cercles

Quilting Goals
1. Complete lots and lots of Baby Jane blocks (I'll have 30 blocks arrived by the middle of the month and only 2 done!)
2. Finish up the outstanding flannel quilt top
3. Finish up the outstanding jungle quilt top
4. Sort out all 'current' projects and get a plan in place to get them finished

Current Stitching WIP List
1. Lizzie*Kate - Boo! Flip Its
2. Bent Creek - Snapperbets

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

7. Shepherd's Bush - Happy Haunting
8. Glendon Place - Murky Manor
9. Tournicoton - Coeur de Brodeuse
10. The Cat's Whiskers - Birds of a Feather Dilly Bag

11. Just Nan - Four Wishes
12. Michael Powell - Cottage Garden 2
13. Bent Creek - Snapperville Series
14. Ink Circles - Cirque de Cercles
15. Michael Powell - Handmade Houses 4

16. Stoney Creek - Noah's Sub
17. DMC - Wild Ones Alphabet
18. Teresa Wentzler - Tradewinds
19. Dracolair - Dawn Awakening

20. Midsummer Night Designs - Heaven Above
21. Shepherd's Bush - Be Attitudes Afghan
22. Dragon Dreams - Dragon Virtues Afghan
23. Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Fairy Hill

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