Sewing room update

This is a very cold winter and we have found that heating this old house is turning out to be a very expensive experience. We mostly use a woodburner upstairs, which means it is lovely and warm there and still freezing cold downstairs. It is the same on the days we decide to use the heat pump instead of making a fire, but although the heat pump does the job upstairs it is very expensive to run

At first we considered installing a heat pump downstairs too, but when my husband retires we will be on a limited income and definitely would not be able to afford to run it upstairs and downstairs, it will simply be too expensive

So we decided to get a second woodburner downstairs in my sewing room. Of course I am very happy about this because the is my ‘hang out’ space with all my needlework stuff, a comfy chair, television, books and sewing machines and fabric. A very expensive one-off expense, but the payoff will be cheaper living costs in future winters.

The negative is that, because the sewing room is downstairs, immediately below the lounge, the flue had to be channeled through the lounge and we now have this big round black pipe running through the lounge area. On the positive side – when the woodburner is going downstairs the lounge will automatically be heated a little bit too. And because heat rises this could mean that we will only have to light both fires on extremely cold days. Or that is the theory 🙂

Does it look good with a flue running through the lounge, where there is already a woodburner? No, not necessarily, but we have to heat this place to have a comfortable and affordable life and the sacrifice had to be made. If this is where we will be in the future we had to do something about heating it and this was a good solution. I even think it could be a positive point when we eventually sell the place as it would suit a big family and they can use the sewing room as a children’s place. There are still plenty of other bedrooms left to fill with said children

I love my sewing room even more now as I can see myself all snug and warm, sitting in my chair with hand sewing, in front of the fire, watching perfectly good rubbish on the tv. With the cats enjoying the warmth with me (the sewing room turned out to be a ‘no man, no dog’ area)

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We will be hanging blinds in the window next to the woodburner as curtains could be a fire hazard.

The woodburner wiil not be used this winter as I am leaving for my trip to see the children in 3 sleeps’ time. Still can’t believe this is happening as it was a very late-minute decision to take the trip now. Friday we will drive over to Christchurch we the airport is (about 3 hours over the Southern Alps), then fly to Sydney, then Hong Kong and at this stage it seems Japan! After a few weeks in Japan and then Hong Kong it could maybe be New York, before leaving for Canada to visit my daughter. According to her I will be there for at least a month

I am potentially planning a little detour when in New York – maybe fly to Tampa, Florida and surprise an old primary school friends who lives there. We haven’t seen each other for nearly 50 years and I think it could be time for a catch up. We’ll see if this plan comes together

I have packed some hand appliqué blocks to sew a my daughter’s. This is for a cat quilt I was tempted to make. Once a month a block is released of this mystery quilt (The Little Red Hen’s Wooly Mysteries)  and the layout will be released in December. Seven blocks have been released already but I joined quite late and haven’t made a single block yet. In preparation to my trip I prepared all seven blocks, packed thread and needles and hope to come back home with completed blocks. The face details will be embroidered and the plan is to use small buttons for the eyes (Can’t believe I am making ANOTHER quilt!!!!!!)

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In the meantime I am up to date with the Splendid Sampler and the Sweetest Little Things QAL’s. I have made all the blocks released up to date. When I come back there will be two Sweetest Little Things blocks to make and quite a few for the Splendid Sampler.

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Baby present

I find it difficult to make boy things and therefore it is always a challenge to put together a gift for a baby boy. Decided to make a nappy/diaper bag with lots of pockets and just add some diapers, knitted cardigan and booties (yes!!!!! I knitted those!) and a smocked romper.

Next time I will make the bag a bit bigger, but in general it is very practical. Hope the new mum loves it

Several years ago I bought a sewing magazine with a lovely smocked dress on the cover – I specifically bought the magazine because of the dress. At that stage I just couldn’t find the perfect fabric to use for this dress and the magazine was put away. And I totally forgot about it. A few weeks ago someone posted the cover photo in a smocking FB group and it reminded me that I always wanted to make the dress. Found the magazine and realised I now DO have the perfect fabric. And yes, it has been made and I am so glad I waited for the correct fabric. And so glad I bought this fabric last year because I wanted to use it for another dress, but it wasn’t right for that dress and I put it away. It all came together in the end 🙂

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Labels……..

label bag

I feel like a grownup, although I have been one for longer than I can remember. The reason? My own little logo and labels!!!!!! Yes, I now have a label to sew on the smocked dresses – with my own logo, the care instructions and ‘made in New Zealand’. I also have a smaller label with only my logo, to use on bags and other needlework. Oh, and I nearly forgot – teeny weeny little size labels for the dresses. No, I am still not going to sell the dresses, but it will be nice to get my name out there – a little girl will be wearing a smocked SP dress!!!!!

labels

This is not important to me, but it is nice to have it and I have been thinking about getting labels for a while. Shelley, at Labels by Shelley, designed the logo from a very basic idea I had. And I love what she has done. The good thing is that I can also use the logo as a watermark on my photography. See……. grownup stuff!!!

 

Cat quilt done

The cat quilt is done, and it even comes with authentic cat hair! It is lovely and warm with the cuddly minky backing. I had to order the fabric for the backing online and, of course, did it without measuring the quilt first. It was a huge relief when it was just enough! I am planning to use the quilt as it is freezing cold here in New Zealand. We are definitely experiencing a very cold winter this year

Also had a lazy day in front of the embroidery machine today. Decided to make myself a needlework bag. The eight blocks which will be used for the front of the bag are all completed and ready to be turned into a bag. And because I am making it for myself I could go into blue overload!img_0582.jpg

Knitting (what??????)

It is no secret that knitting is not something I enjoy very much, but every single winter I take out the knitting needles and knit – and the moment I cast on the stitches I think ‘why on earth am I doing this again?’

Yes, I bought wool. It wasn’t an impulse buy. It was carefully planned and I even made a list. What is wrong with me???????

This is what I bought. And the colour combination looks a bit weird but I am actually planning two little cardigans. No, not one…….TWO!

I am also planning a new smocking project, something I have never done before, but it should be fun. I have the fabric for the dress and I also sorted the fabric for the butterfly wings. Now just have to pleat, tie it off and smock. At the moment I am planning to change the flowers on the waist to a ribbon with embroidered lace butterflies but I will decide as I make the dress.

fairy dress

We are still battling with the toilet training of the new puppy. It is hard work and I am not sure we are very successful yet. I am doing everything Mr Google told me to do……but as I say, no success yet. She is, once again, nameless as we decided she is not really a Bonnie and the name didn’t suit her at all. I call her Gogga in the meantime (which means bug)

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