Monday, 28 February 2011

February Roundup

Monday, 28 February 2011
So I managed another full month of posting daily!  I am pretty much out of WIPs to show though so I am going to have to get productive if I'm going to keep up the posting in March.

My goals are currently looking like this:

1. Blog more - Yep, a post a day
2. No stash purchases - nothing interesting came through the letterbox this month so that's a yes
3. Reduce my stitching WIP list - made great progress on Birds of a Feather - hoping for a HD soon
4. No new stitching starts in the first half of the year - check
5. Find the quilting bug again and reduce my quilting WIPs - Not really but I'm itching to get going and have 40 gift bags to make in March!
6. Read at least 50 books - 7 read in Feb
7. Reduce the clutter in the house - yep stuff has gone
8. Lose weight - ah, well this'll be a no but can I have some points for thinking about it?
9. Stick to the household budget and find ways to reduce expenditure - budget got a bit mashed at the end of the month but we didn't go over it so that's good
10. Work on the garden - nope

I also had the additional goal of selling stuff this month.  I didn't put that much effort into this (I was sick, Connor was sick) but I did get my finger out in the last week and sold enough stash to pay the second half of the money for my stitching weekend away in June so that is good

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sick boy!

Sunday, 27 February 2011
Well what was supposed to be a fun half term week with the kids has been taken over by one sick boy.

Tuesday afternoon his temperature shot up to 41.1 degrees so as you can imagine I took him straight to the Drs who diagnosed an ear infection with a perforated ear drum and both his tonsils up.  He was prescribed a course of antibiotics and we were told to keep a close eye on him.

Cue several days of rocketing temp - it never got quite that high again but was often hovering around 40.  Thankfully he slept well but has been extremely whingy and clingy during the day.  His temp dropped to normal on Friday afternoon and has been okay since but yesterday morning he came out in a rash.  Another treck to the Dr and it appears it's one of two things, the last throws of whatever virus was causing the problem or an allergy to penicillin.

We're now waiting to see whether the rash gets better (and is therefore the virus) or gets worse (and is therefore the penicillin allergy).  Dr reckons we'll know one way or another by tonight.

So instead of all the fun things I had planned I haven't actually left the house for six days and have spent most of that time with an extremely hot and extremely grumpy small boy attached to me.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Cottage Garden 2

Saturday, 26 February 2011
I love Michael Powell designs and I probably have 80% of them in my stash and usually at least one WIP...

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Brightest Star in the Sky

Friday, 25 February 2011
by Marian Keyes is the 11th book I've read this year and I totally loved it.  I have read several of her novels before and really enjoyed them and this was one of those 'can't put it down till I've finished it' books for me.

Review is a teeny bit of a spoiler so be warned

It tells the story of a group of people who all live in flats at the same address.  A 'presence' appears that the reader comes to realise is a baby waiting to choose it's parents.  This presence flits in and out of the lives of those at 66 Star Street and gets to know them through their current activities and their memories and, at the end of the novel it picks the couple it wants.

It's an interesting idea and, in my humble opinion, a good way of pushing the narative along.  The characters are all really well drawn and likable and there are some unexpected twists that keep you guessing till quite near the end which revolves around an event that I really didn't see coming.

So this one is a definite recommend for me - Keyes is a fab writer and I am now looking forward to the next novel from her.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Santa's Journey Afghan

Thursday, 24 February 2011
A Margaret Sherry design that was serialised in a stitching magazine.  Again there's quite a lot left to do but the footprint and writing blocks are obviously quite quick so it's not quite as bad as it looks!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Baby Sampler

Wednesday, 23 February 2011
I can tell you why this is still a WIP - all that hideous backstitching required on Tatty Teddy designs! Still I must get this finished as said baby is now heading for a year and a half old...

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Hand dyed fabric for sale

Tuesday, 22 February 2011
All Sold!!!

9 x 13 (all £2.50)
Abaracadabra 28ct Lugana
Blue Fusion 28ct Lugana
Inspiration 28ct Opalescent Lugana
Mystic Glow 28ct Opalescent Lugana
Rock Quarry 32ct Lugana
Cashmere Glitz 28ct Opalescent Lugana
Mountain Rose 28ct Lugana
Treasure Trove 28ct Opalescent Lugana

13 x 18 (all £5)
Monarch 28ct Cashel Linen
Ametrine 28ct Opalescent Lugana
Frosted Pumpkin 28ct Cashel Linen
Jamaica Sunset 28ct Lugana
Tiger's Eye 28ct Lugana
Summer Sunset 28ct Lugana
Desert Sky 32ct Lugana
Jungle Boogie 28ct Lugana
Mystic Night 32ct Linen

18 x 26 (all £10)
Desert Sky 32ct Lugana
Mountain Rose 28ct Lugana
Autumn Sunrise 32ct Lugana
Inferno 28ct Lugana

Custom Cuts
22 X 16 Autumn Breeze 28ct Lugana £7
31 x 21 Sparkling Promise 28ct Opalescent Lugana £11

Monday, 21 February 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 21 February 2011
- managed to get Lia to swimming lessons
- didn't take her to ballet due to her having a tantrum over her hair being done
- finished a book
- started another one
- celebrated a friends birthday
- had a great curry
- was amazed by a gift for Connor from friends
- organised the bombonieres for the Christening
- drove 150 miles
- stayed out till midnight!
- had a fab lie in
- discovered Connor has another two teeth through
- taught Connor how to use his shape sorter
- got told a secret I'd rather not know
- tidied the boys bedroom and put some clothes aside he's too big for

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Dragon Virtues afghan

Sunday, 20 February 2011
Oh how I love Dragon Dreams designs!  I was even lucky enough to win their limerick competition a number of years ago now and this was one of the chart packs that I won.

As you can see it's a long way off finishing - from memory there are 14 dragons, 14 stars, 4 moons and a sun and I've done 1 moon and 1 dragon.  I think I can safely say I'm a long way from finishing this one!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

A Weekend with Mr Darcy

Saturday, 19 February 2011
AKA book number 10 read this year.

The book is by Victoria Connelly, another new author to me and is well and truly in the realm of chick lit.

The story takes place at a Jane Austin conference and focuses on two women and their love lives. I have to say there is absolutely no surprise as to the outcome of the book but it was a fun quick read. The characters in the book are obsessed with all things Jane Austin and I did find myself moved to read her novels myself (I read two or three a long time ago but so long ago I don't really remember them).

The author obviously has a love of Austin herself (it is very well researched) to the extent that her next novel is called 'Dreaming of Mr Darcy' and it would appear from the taster chapter that is included at the end of this novel that the story is likely to be very similar.

A recommended read only if you like your fiction fluffy, girly and ever so slightly predictable.

I should also say that I can count, books 7, 8 and 9 read this year were the final three Harry Potter books.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Halloween Sampler

Friday, 18 February 2011
Lizzie*Kate's Halloween Sampler - one of the WIPs I'd totally forgotten about! Apologies for yet another crap pic - I don't know why some come out so dark!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Wild Ones Alphabet

Thursday, 17 February 2011
Yet another design I love - I had plans to finish this for Lia but now they've slipped to finishing it for Connor and, more than likely will end up as finishing it for Grandchildren along with Noah's Sub LOL.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Beaded Heart Biscornu

Wednesday, 16 February 2011
A Polstitches kit

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Noah's Ark Quilt

Tuesday, 15 February 2011
This really shouldn't still be a WIP. I literally only have the backstitching on the elephants left to do but it's so unpleasant to work on I have to force myself to pick it up LOL.

Monday, 14 February 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 14 February 2011
- enjoyed watching my son walking round the furniture
- took a very excited 5 year old to see Tangled
- did some colouring
- found the bottom of the ironing basket for the first time in 2011
- finally confirmed the time for the boy's Christening
- caught up with old friends
- entertained new friends
- had the first proper meal out as a family of four
- failed to take Lia swimming for the second week in a row
- had a lovely lie in
- finished two books
- picked up my stitching for the first time in over a week
- introduced a friend to my fabric stash
- played Angry Birds a bit too much
- invited even more people to our party in April
- did the food shopping online
- sold something on Amazon
- bought my husband a whole pack of Rolos cos I love him more than just the last one*
- ate out twice in the same day
- cut my son's hair
- enjoyed a peaceful hour with the sunday paper while the family was either out or asleep

*for anyone who didn't grow up in the UK in the 80s Rolos are chocolates with soft toffee centres that used to be sold with the advertising slogan of 'do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo?'

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Table Topper

Sunday, 13 February 2011
This design is from a magazine - I'm just not 100% sure which magazine now as it's been so long since I started it LOL. I believe the original was a lot more subtle than mine (not hard) and I'm sure it had some applique in the spokes.

I've just got to finish quilting the spokes (if you squint you can probably see I've sewn three of them top middle of the pic) and then sew on the binding round the centre circles - again so near and yet so far from finishing. I must get better at seeing a project through!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Spring Fever quilt

Saturday, 12 February 2011
Another one where the blocks are made I just haven't put them together.  The fabric range is a Me and My Sister design for Moda and I bought a fat quarter pack, a Jelly Roll and two Charm packs as I thought it was just lovely - very fresh and light.  Oh for the days when I could splash out on stash LOL.

I saw this block design somewhere on the web and the quilt will be made up with 2" white sashing between the blocks.  I have used the jelly roll and charm packs making this top (well half the jelly roll anyway as the other half is making my bag pictured yesterday).  I'm thinking to back the quilt with some of the fat quarters but that will still leave me with quite a few fat quarters for other projects.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Jelly Roll Bags

Friday, 11 February 2011
Yet another 'hang my head in shame' post.

The summer before last we went on holiday to a wonderful set of cottages in Devon that happen to also include a quilting shop on site.  We went with my Mum, DH's parents, my Sister and BIL and my Niece and her husband and little girl - a really lovely family holiday (apart from the rain!)  So my Mum saw the pattern for this bag and asked me to make her one and my MIL wanted one too.  They chose the fabrics (spookily they both wanted the same ones) and I said I'd make my Mum hers for her birthday.

My Mum has had two birthdays since the fabric was purchased and I still haven't finished the bag.  My MIL did get hers which is even more shaming.  Anyway I am determined that this is to be the first project I work on finishing and I also started one for me that I was making up in parallel so hopefully I'll get both of them done this month.

You can probably guess that the top one is hers and the bottom is mine.  I think my biggest issue with it has been that I really don't like her fabric choice so haven't enjoyed working on the bag (hence the idea of making mine in parallel).

Oh and if you're at all interested in the cottages it's Villavin Farm on the Devon/Cornwall border.  The cottages are super and Jo who runs them and the quilting shop is just lovely, I can't recommend them enough.  Again the website isn't great and certainly doesn't do justice to her stock but if you're looking for something do give her a call as her service is fantastic.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Silly Safari Quilt

Thursday, 10 February 2011
This again is a quilt I started a very long time ago.  I should add that I made four quilts out of this fabric collection and gifted them to various baby boys so I was kind of 'safaried' out after that.  I also knew that it wasn't something that Lia would appreciate so I'll admit that I put it aside in the hope that I would have a boy myself at some point.

So now I have I need to get it finished up.  I've got all the blocks made and all the strips for the border cut so I just need to get my finger out and put it all together. Here's a taste of the fabrics:

The backing fabric is the centre fabric of the bottom left hand block and I also have a fat quarter of labels (not sure if that's the right term but they're little squares each with a pic of one of the animals in) that I'm thinking to applique on the blocks with the plain colour squares in the centre (bottom right)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


Wednesday, 9 February 2011
You may remember I lost my blog list last month well on my quest to repopulate the list one of my blog discoveries was 'Stash Manicure'.  This may well be the start of my downfall LOL.  And if it isn't, this one certainly is: DIY Bag Lover.

There are so many drool-worthy projects shown on these blogs and I want to do them all!  I haven't had a chance to look into archives but just the projects shown in the last month are enough to keep me busy for the rest of the year.  It is because of this that I added the 'tutorials' tab on my menu - it's a way of me keeping track of projects I'd really like to try one day when the rest of my life gives up some free time.

The good news is that the sewing bug has really come back with a vengence so this weekend I will have the sewing machine out and dusted down so it can have a good workout!

In other news Connor can now stand himself up and shuffle around the furniture, Lia got a literacy award at school and my ear hasn't popped yet...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Heart Quilt

Tuesday, 8 February 2011
So I finally did a thorough sort out of my quilting WIPs and here's the first to show - it's a 'heart' quilt for Lia that, for some reason I totally lost track of (something in my brain is suggesting this was originally planned as a fourth birthday present which is terrible as she'll be six in June LOL)

Most of the blocks are made so it is just a case of putting them together and then doing the quilting

Monday, 7 February 2011

Witches Hollow

Monday, 7 February 2011
The Primitive Needle's Witches Hollow - another design I love but haven't done much on. It's 1 over 1 on 40 count!  Oops!  That should be 36ct.  I'd edit it properly but then the comments wouldn't make sense!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

We Interrupt the Usual Schedule

Sunday, 6 February 2011
To let you know that the lurgy monster has well and truly lurched back into existence and has dumped a shed load of lurgy in my ear!  I have never in my life had an ear infection but I sure as heck have one now.

I woke up on Tuesday last deaf in my right ear and basically every time I attempted to get vertical I threw up (which made the trip to the Drs extremely interesting).  I get extreme travel sickness and even a normal head cold can leave me throwing up for days so you can imagine anything going on with my ear has the same effect.  I have been taking antibiotics for five days and the underlying infection seems to be cleared up but the ear still feels it needs to 'pop' and until that happens I guess I won't stop feeling really nauseous.

The good news is that I can just about stay upright and, as long as I keep my head perfectly still, I can surf and read.  Not that I've had the energy to read anything much so, whilst I have finished books 5 and 6 of the year I have reverted back to Harry Potter (books 3 and 4).  Still, given I haven't managed to stitch anything at least I should be grateful I can do something to stop me going totally mad with boredom (TV makes the sickness worse and radio doesn't work due to my current wonky hearing).

So thank you all for your recent comments on my WIPs (scheduled blog posts I should add) and I apologise to Lesleyanne - I haven't forgotten I said I'd get that code to you I just haven't gotten around to it.

Once this annoying ear sorts itself I will be getting the sewing machine out as I have set myself a crazy task of stitching 'goody bags' for the family party at the end of April - I think I need to do about 100!!!!!

ps - a quick look at Wikipedia tells me that a 'Dilly bag' is a traditional Aboriginal bag worn around the neck to transport food in.  The design is from The Cat's Whiskers, an Ozzie design company, so I guess that's why they picked the name.  This one comes with a needlecase, scissor keep and fob and I can't see me ever wearing it round my neck!

Here's a pic of what it should look vaguely like when I get it made!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Birds of a Feather Dilly Bag

Saturday, 5 February 2011
I've stitched all the accessories for this design (but haven't finish finished them). I have to finish this panel and stitch a second identical one too!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Sleigh Ride

Friday, 4 February 2011
This has been a WIP for a while - it's one of those icky Dimensions colour charts that's a nightmare to follow plus there's loads of blends and it swaps between full and half stitches all the time. Oh and it mainly uses just slightly different blues which is a nightmare. But other than that it's a dream to stitch LOL.

I do love it though so it's worth the effort. I picked it up at the beginning of December with the idea that it would be my Christmas focus piece but then I was ill for three weeks and not much stitching got done - I mainly worked on the left hand side house which was no more than a roof when I picked it up

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Snowman Trio

Thursday, 3 February 2011
Stitching Kitty's Snowman Trio stitched on an unknown piece of Polstitches fabric with the recommended DMC and Weeks.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Thine is the Trick and the Treat

Wednesday, 2 February 2011
This was my last start of 2010 - I put the first stitch in between Christmas and New Year as I knew that come 1st Jan I wouldn't be starting anything else...

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Butterfly Cushion

Tuesday, 1 February 2011
I got this wool tapestry kit in the sale in John Lewis a couple of years ago - it appealed to me because it's so bright and cheerful. It's currently the only tapestry I have in my stash but I love the way it looks (and feels) stitched up so I'm sure there'll be more in the future (although stitching the wool through canvas has knackered my thumb!)


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