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


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
Claire at
Gun at
Carole at
Wendy at
LucyAnn at
Jess at
Sue at
Constanze at
DebbieRose at
Christina at
Kathy at
Kate at





9 thoughts on “SAL August update”

  1. Such a beautiful diamond pattern, I can’t wait to see more! The variegated thread is very lovely. I’m also so so so impressed with your Beeutiful QAL embroidery blocks! I look forward to seeing your completed quilt. So sorry for the pain and stress you’ve been enduring, but glad to hear you have some help on the way. Stay strong! I’m sure stitching offers you some relaxation and enjoyment during hard days.

  2. Susan, you have got so much done this past month. I am still in awe of all your “timed” projects, keeping up with so many. You are one determined and organized lady!

  3. As someone a few years ahead of you on the cancer journey, I applaud your decision. Ultimately, no one can dictate how you ‘should’ be feeling or coping, and sadly, a lack of understanding and support is all too common. Sometimes putting on a brave face can be counter-productive, because everyone assumes you’re fine. You must first look after yourself and your own needs.
    Your stitchery is really very beautiful, and I look forward to seeing you plunge into the quilting on both your projects!

  4. Wow, you have been busy. Teaching is so time zapping, I’m half way through the summer break already, so just starting to plan for next year, this will be my second year of new exam courses in 3 year groups. I am so glad I made the decision not to become a head of department & work part time instead. Luckily I work with 2 other people willing to share & we have the decision to buy in the resources this time. I’m so glad we’ve just got to review them. Big problem is 3 weeks to go, text book & recourses have not been published yet. Hope it is soon or panic will set in.
    Good luck with your planning & teaching

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