Sunbonnet Sue

Every Monday at lunchtime, a group of us meet at school. We embroider, knit, crochet, smock- whatever we feel like doing. Sometimes we just chat and have lunch. This year I am working on a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. Instead of doing it in red, I have been embroidering the blocks in blue. So far I finished four blocks, number 5 will be finished tomorrow and then I’ll start on the last one.

Because I am so close to finishing I have been thinking of the fabric to finish the quilt. The local fabric shop have a sale at the moment (40% off all fabric) and I went to look. But I couldn’t find anything I really loved in the quilting section

Had a look at the cotton fabric, but again nothing. Then I walked past the denim!!!!! And there it was……..exactly what I was looking for. The fabric came home with me. I’ll wash it a few times to make sure it doesn’t run and then start assembling the blocks I have finished. I am one very happy quilter today

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Sunbonnet Sue quilt fabric
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Bee-utiful QAL

I survived the first week at school! This week went so quickly, it is unbelievable. I didn’t do much in the afternoons after school as I was quite tired, but I managed to finish the two latest blocks released for the Bee-utiful QAL. The latest block was the one I saw when Pamela talked about this QAL the first time and when I saw the block I just had to join. I still love this block with the bike and basket filled with flowers. Definitely still my favourite

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My favourite Bee-utiful QAL block

3 rows

I now have three completed rows, two more to go before the quilt is completed

SAL update

Sunday morning here in New Zealand and time for my first SAL update. I recently joined the SAL group and honestly – it is very motivating! Since joining I wanted to make sure to work on some of my projects to make sure I have something to report on 🙂

My biggest project and the one I enjoy most is the Bee-utiful QAL. I ordered the fabric and started assembling the completed blocks this week. Eleven blocks have been released and the blocks are beautiful, but look even prettier with the little border and the sashing. When joining this group I finished five blocks and was ready to embroider block six. Just look where I am now!!!!! If you enjoy embroidery and quilting this is the project for you. The designer, Pamela Morgan from Sweet Little Stitches is very talented and I hope she creates another quilt after the Bee-utiful QAL

I am also up to date with the Splendid Sampler, except for two blocks which I decided not to make. Hopefully I will have time to start assembling the blocks this month, and to start working on the hand quilting. I plan to do the quilting row-by-row. At this stage I don’t think I am going to make all the blocks, but rather make a smaller quilt with what I completed so far

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Latest SS blocks completed

I made a quilt quite a few years ago and did it all by hand. But I would really like to machine quilt the Bee-utiful quilt and it is in the back of my mind all the time. How do you get it neat and tidy, without the backing ‘moving’ or without any puckering in the top layer? Do you pin it together? Do you start in the middle and quilt to the sides? Lots of questions and I will have to watch a lot of YouTube videos. But please, if you have any tips and tricks please share it with me.  I am quite nervous about this part of the whole process and I really want to be proud of the completed quilt

To practice a bit of machine quilting (and also because I really liked the little bag!!!!) I made a bag after following a tutorial by Pat Sloan for a Bumble Bee pouch or zipper bag. But I am really not happy with the quilting as it is not nice and even, which makes me even more nervous to quilt the Bee-utiful quilt 😦

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Zipper bag

The two knitted baby jackets I worked on has been completed. Hopefully the knitting bug won’t bite for a long time because I really do not enjoy knitting at all. I cannot explain this need to knit every now and then at all 🙂

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Knitting

Friday evening I relaxed by working on the crochet fusion quilt. I completed the crochet around six of the blocks a few weeks ago and prepared a few more blocks by finishing the blanket-stitching around it Friday evening. This means I can crochet whenever I want to relax and not think or concentrate. This is definitely a longterm project and I am not rushing to finish it. Though I might start blocking as soon as I finished 12 of the 36 blocks, just to see what it will look like eventually

Term 3 starts on Monday and it means back to school. As a teacher I suppose I have to go back to work. But this will mean that all the needlework will slow down, until the next holidays. It has been a busy holiday

Please have a look at the lovely projects everyone in the group is working on:
AvisClaireGunCaroleWendyLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbierose,
Christina and Kathy. So much talent and such beautiful projects

End of holiday :(

I cannot believe it is nearly the end of the school holiday – where did the days go? I visited my youngest son in Adelaide. He is moving to Hong Kong in August and it was great to be able to spend some time with him before he moves further away. We had a lovely time, with good food and exploring Adelaide. We visited an animal farm where we could hold koala bears. All the animals at the park were very friendly and quite tame. My son is graduating next Friday and the going to fly for Cathay Pacific – a dream come true as he always wanted to be a pilot

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My youngest holding a koala bear

It took me forever to get back to Wellington after the flight was cancelled because of an electrical fault. I basically spent the whole day on Monday at the airport in Adelaide, and then travelled to Melbourne (and missing my flight to Wellington), spending the night in Melbourne. The next day I travelled to Wellington and another day was wasted at airport and on the plane. I was exhausted by the time I arrived home Tuesday evening

Wednesday I paid (yes!!!!! Paid!!!!!) someone to clean my oven. It was worth every single dollar and the oven is sparkling clean. I don’t think I am going to use it ever again

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A sparkling clean oven!

Today I was sewing the whole day. I am taking part in the Bee-utiful QAL and finished 11 of the 20 blocks. Before travelling to Adelaide I managed to purchase the Bee Creative fabric from three different shops, and when I arrived home the fabric already arrived from the USA and Australia. Mollie claimed it, but this morning I decided I really wanted to start assembling the completed blocks. What a rewarding day! It took me the whole day, but the blocks look so beautiful with the sashing. I love this quilt and cannot wait for the rest of the blocks to be released

I also did some embroidery for the Splendid Sampler, although I am about four blocks behind at the moment. Hope to catch-up on the blocks tomorrow, or at least prepare them for the applique work, as there are a couple  to be stitched. A new one is released tomorrow. I better get heaps done tomorrow 🙂 But I also decided I am going to start stitching the blocks together and do the quilting row by row. I don’t think I am going to complete all the blocks from now on, but just make a few more and then assemble the quilt. I don’t want to lose interest and then never finish the quilt, it might be better to quilt and assemble while I still am interested in this quilt. It is going to be pretty and I am so happy with the blocks I have made so far. I forgot to take a photo, but will post an update as I join the blocks

SAL group

Thank you to Avis and the SAL group for allowing me to join your group. The idea of the SAL is simply to motivate everyone to get projects finished at their own pace and after my previous post I thought it would be an excellent idea to ask if I could join.  Until I posted about all the projects I am working on I never really thought about all the needlework I am busy with, and suddenly it became a bit scary. Now I am not stitching alone any longer 🙂

Please have a look at the lovely projects everyone in the group is working on: AvisClaireGunCaroleWendyLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbierose, Christina

 

 

 

Different projects

I decided to take stock of the projects I am working on. This is similar to reading – I am always reading about five books at a time, because I like reading what I feel like at that moment. Same with needlework, it is much more fun to be able to pick and choose what I feel like. But when I am close to finishing a project I am normally quite keen to get it done.

Yesterday I made two bags. I have a friend who is always knitting for everyone. I can’t remember her ever knitting something for herself. She carries her knitting around in a supermarket plastic bag. So I made her a bag. I made myself one as well, because I can never leave my knitting or crochet on the table – the cats think it is for them and will carry the wool around. I also have one more bag cut out and ready to sew

I don’t really enjoy knitting much, but every now and then I feel like it. I knitted a baby jacket, just needs buttons and then it is done. Then started another one this week, as I really liked the pattern. All the pieces have been knitted, just have to start sewing together and do the neck and front bands. I have some wool left over and might knit some bootees to go with both when I am done. The baby jackets will be finished this week as I am so close now. Actually quite proud of myself for knitting these

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Knitting

I cannot crochet, so decided it is time to learn. And when I found this beautiful High Tea Crochet Fusion Quilt tutorial I knew that was the perfect way to learn. It is so beautiful and a whole  production process. I have some blocks sewed together, just need to be turned inside out. On others I have to do the blanket stitches and I also finished the crochet on six already. It is a fun project and I am enjoying every minute

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Crochet fusion quilt

I am doing the Splendid Sampler quilt. Pat Sloan releases two blocks a week and this quilt-a-long will continue until January 2017. I am actually up to date with the blocks and bonus blocks, except for the one which came out on Friday, as I was sewing the bags and didn’t have time to do this block. I am also adding borders as I complete the blocks and will start the hand-quilting soon. This is a fun project and I am learning so much

The other quilt-a-long/embroidery I am participating in the Bee-utiful Quilt-a-long. Block 6 was released yesterday and I will embroider it tomorrow. Block 7 will be released later today and this will also be done this week. (It is Sunday here today and I don’t do any needlework on Sundays – something I inherited from my mum and the way I was brought up.) This QAL finishes in August, and then the quilt will be assembled and quilted. Love this project so much!

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Bee-utiful QAL

On Mondays, during lunchtimes, a group of us meet at work and do needlework. Some of us knit, others crochet. I usually do embroidery or smocking. My current Monday-project is a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. I plan to embroider 6 blocks and then sew the quilt and the progress is good. I am really itching to finish this and it is sometimes very tempting to work on the Monday-project at home too. My past projects were cross-stitch afghan blankets and I just have to add the binding for the last one – which means I completed three since last year by working on it during lunch time once a week. Love these, they are so beautiful, although I really have to give it a good ironing

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Sunbonnet Sue quilt

When I feel like working on small, but quick projects I smock little vests for babies and embroider bibs – these are fun and easy baby-shower presents to use as and when needed. Just gave away a few of these and must get some more done soon. I also have a few pairs of frilly socks and I want to embroider little roses on these

And then my main hobby – smocking. I love smocking baby dresses and love giving it away to mums or dads who do not expect it. I usually smock several and then make the dresses as I need them. Or spend a holiday making dresses. At this stage I have quite a few smocked and will start binge sewing dresses very soon 🙂

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Smocking

And another big project which I want to have finished before December is the Sylvia’s Bridal sampler from the Elm Creek books. I have 7 more blocks to finish and then I can start assembling and quilting. This was started last year in April, after I saw a friend’s blocks. I hope to visit my daughter in Canada the end of this year and plan to take it with me as a present for her

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Elm Creek quilts

A lot of sewing happening at the moment, but it makes me happy. Work is stressful and I am still struggling to get over the breast-cancer journey – this took a lot out of me, physically and emotionally; with the emotional issues of this journey being very difficult and ‘up-and -down’, and hard to handle. This is such a horrible disease and I never thought it could affect someone this much, until I was diagnosed with it. My biggest desire at this stage is to be healthy again, physically and mentally, and to get my energy back. I often feel a sense of rush to finish all the projects I am currently working on, to tidy up before starting anything new. And that is where I am with my life at the moment. Thank goodness for needlework!