Blocking

No blocking station/block or whatever it is called? No worries, just use a polystyrene cooler with a lid. I have not finished crocheting the border around the blocks for the High Tea Crochet Fusion Quilt, but was keen to try out the blocking process, thinking that I could start stitching blocks together in pairs and then fours.  It is going to take  along time for me to finish the crocheting and then the border all around the quilt, but I am impatient and want to see what some of it will look like. And it means I don’t just have to crochet, but can alternate between stitching the blanket stitch around each block, crocheting and now blocking and joining

This is going to be such a lovely quilt!

 

Baby blanket completed!

Last year I went through a stage where I cross-stitched baby blankets, using stitch-able afghan cloth. I cross-stitched three, but only finished the last one this past week when I added the backing and binding. I am sure this is the type of needlework I want to do again

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Third baby blanket all done!

This year the craze is quilting, wonder what it will be next year 🙂

Sinus infection and quilting

I am, once again, sick! It feels as if someone sneezes next to me and I am the one catching the bug immediately. As if my body is part of the olympic team and not missing a bug ball

This time a sinus-infection. I have been blaming my headaches on the stress at work, but on Monday my whole head was hurting – face, eyes, top of my head, my brain…..everything. Saw the doctor and he gave me a cocktail of pills; from antibiotics to steroids to painkillers and histamine. I came home with the whole pharmacy. A day later and I am still waiting for the antibiotics to kick in

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Borders added

But I also completed the last blocks for the Bee-utiful quilt and added the borders. As I am a total beginner I simply don’t want to risk making a mess of the quilting, or spoil the work I have done and made an appointment to see a long-arm quilter. We had a quick chat and she patiently answered my stupid questions. I am taking the backing and quilt top in on Sunday and we’ll talk about the batting and the custom quilt. I don’t want anything complicated, just something simple. But I will listen to her advise and make a decision then. For someone who can be very impatient I already worry about waiting 8 weeks for it to be quilted 🙂

What a lovely project this was. And I am so happy to tell others about it – a friend at school has started hers this week after I took mine to school on Monday for a show-and-tell

Smocking

I haven’t smocked for a while, but just woke up the other morning with an idea for a little dress. Bought and washed the fabric yesterday, ironed and pleated it today – ready for a weekend of smocking.

But of course I couldn’t choose the fabric, so bought enough for two little dresses. I am thinking lace and ribbon and embroidered roses, or buttons……..and white broderie anglaise petticoats. As if I haven’t got enough to do 🙂

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SAL August update

I can’t believe it is already time for a SAL update – time is flying. And I am happy to report I am making progress with my projects

It is the middle of winter here in New Zealand and it is quite cold at night. We had heavy frost two mornings this week and it took me a few minutes to get rid of the ice, before driving to school. This is a short school term, with only 9 weeks and the first 3 weeks disappeared very quickly. I am busy at school but not getting as tired as I did after radiation therapy last term. There are days I feel like doing nothing after school and I allow myself to listen to my body, and when it tells me it is time to switch off that is exactly what I do. And those are the afternoons/evenings I watch television and embroider. And that is one of the reasons why I started another project. It is a beautiful cross-stitch design and consists of 25 diamonds. The stitch-a-long already finished, but the designs are still available to download. And quite a few of the FB group members are still busy embroidering. Mine is black, similar to the original design, with blue/pink variegated thread flowers. Each diamond is formed by 23 x 23 cross stitches. It is a lovely project and I relax when I do it

In the previous update I didn’t talk about the Elm Creek quilt (Sylvia’s Bridal sampler) as I haven’t worked on it for quite a long time. And at that stage I had a pile of blocks but nothing else, not even an idea of when I’ll work on it. About a week later I decided it is time! And therefore I have moved from a pile of individual blocks to three sections, with three rows each, ready to be quilted. I am going to quilt these sections separately and then join to finish the quilt.  I am thinking that I will use blue binding, with no border. For the backing I am going to use the left-over fabric. It is amazing what a difference the sashing makes

The Splendid Sampler quilt is also at the ‘section’ stage (what do quilters call this stage in the process?). I decided to make the quilt with the blocks I have made so far, and not to continue with the rest of the planned blocks. I’ve made 50 plus the bonus blocks. The SS project will continue until next year and there will be 100 blocks altogether. I am happy with my decision to stop and will be quilting this one in sections as well, then join the sections with a strip of the butterfly fabric I used in many of the blocks. This fabric will also be used for the binding. I enjoyed this QAL, but know that it is time to move on. I’ll follow the FB group until the end of the QAL, just to see all the beautiful completed quilts

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We are up to block 17 for the Bee-utiful quilt and only three more blocks to do. The finished quilt has 20 blocks. I love this QAL and cannot wait to see it finished

This was a week full of big decisions. I have been very stressed at school for the past few years and it has not been good for my health. Because of the stress I struggle to sleep and have been fighting migraines on a regular basis. I also didn’t feel very supported during my cancer journey this year, which made things really hard for me, mentally and physically. We are in the process of redeveloping resources for the subject I teach and as Head of Department it is expected from me to organise this and take responsibility for the development of these resources. But it also means if another teacher decides they don’t want to write, or do not meet the deadlines, I am the one who has to pick up the extra work. After thinking about it for a long time and lots of ‘yes’/’no’ lists, I told them that I am going to remain in my position as Head of Department, but I am not going to be organising the re-development of resources and asked the school to employ someone specifically for this job. They agreed and I cannot express in words how relieved I am. I am a bit concerned that I might regret this decision next year when my energy levels are back to normal. But in my heart I know this is what I need to ensure I stay healthy in future, or at least try to stay healthy 🙂

I love reading the blogs of the other SAL members. Their work is beautiful and I am happy to share the links to their blogs:
Avis at http://sewingbesidethesea.wordpress.com
Claire at http://claire93.wordpress.com
Gun at http://rutigt.wordpress.com
Carole at http://aslightobsessionwithbooks.wordpress.com
Wendy at http://thecraftersapprentice.blogspot.co.uk
LucyAnn at https://lucyannluna.wordpress.com
Jess at https://everthecrafter.wordpress.com
Sue at http://sewingmagpie.blogspot.com
Constanze at https://textiledreamer.wordpress.com
DebbieRose at https://sewrosey.wordpress.com
Christina at https://petalsandpins.wordpress.com
Kathy at https://livinginrapidcity.wordpress.com
Kate at https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com