Am I crazy or am I crazy?

Started two new projects since yesterday – yes, two in two days! What on earth is wrong with me?

After finishing the lovely little cardigan the other day I was tempted to try another one. But I suppose………who can blame me? Both are so pretty

The one I finished last week:

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The one I started yesterday:

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Isn’t it just delightful? I also found this cross stitch in the Homespun magazine (May issue) and couldn’t resist:

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So during a break from knitting today I gathered everything I needed and made a start 🙂

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Recovering mode and needlework

Two weeks after my surgery and I feel so good. I am now at the stage where I have to stop myself from doing things, as I feel so well. It makes me feel guilty not to clean the house and help with the painting, but although the external wounds are healed I have to be conscious of what is going on internally and make sure I give that enough time to heal properly too. So I am still focussing on needlework and resting for the rest of this week

I haven’t work on the Neverending sampler for quite a while and were 9 bands behind. But now I am all caught up again. I didn’t embroider the full last one as designed because I didn’t enjoy doing the little flowers, so did only one row instead of two. Still looks pretty though. (and becoming very hard to photograph)

This is where I was up to ages ago:

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Before

And this is where I am now:

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Now!

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I also completed another knitted baby jacket and booties. Going to start on the little hat today. It is a lovely pattern and although it has not been blocked yet I couldn’t resist taking a photo. The little baby girl is arriving in November. It is lovely to knit for a specific baby

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And the fabric for my new project has arrived!!!!!!! Can’t wait to start. I have made a Crochet Fusion quilt before but decided to make another one in blues. I might make this one a little bigger too

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This is the one I have made already:

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Lavender sachets

I now know what my first fast project for 2017 is going to be! Little Lavender Sachet bags. I read about it in another blog today and immediately ordered some dried lavender to be delivered at my new address. I am also going to embroider a pretty cross stitch design before assembling it – knowing me a cat of some sorts 🙂

If I embroider several for myself and friends I can basically assemble quite a few in one go and it can make a lovely ‘thinking of you’ gift

Luckily (for my packing) I have send all my fabric and sewing machines and needles and thread off to the new house already, to make sure I don’t start a new project when I am supposed to be packing and cleaning

But I can plan and be prepared. And it is nice to know what I want to start on 🙂 And lots more ideas here. Suddenly I can see the unpacking, after the big move, is not going to be very high on my list of priorities

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 🙂

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

 

 

 

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!