Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Cup of Tea and a Catch-Up!

It's so long since I last blogged, I hardly know where to begin, so I've made myself a large mug of tea and will just get on with it.  Please excuse me if it comes out in a bit of a ramble as it's all unrehearsed and I'll write it as I think of it.

My last post was the November Round-up and I was busily making a crocheted baby blanket for my daughter to gift to a friend.  This was completed and posted off up to Yorkshire in time for Christmas.

I then had to turn my attention to finishing the hand-quilting on my grandson's Disappearing Nine-Patch quilt and getting the binding on so I could gift it to him on the big day.  It very nearly didn't get finished as my eldest daughter asked me to do some invigialation for exams at the school where she is Vice Principal, so instead of spending two weeks leisurely stitching away I was spending my time 'watching paint dry'.  Well, that's what it felt like.  I just had to watch a room full of students beavering away at their exams, hand out spare pens and more paper, and give a bit of TLC to a few nervous pupils.  I don't think I've ever been so bored in all my life.  No reading, talking, writing or anything, just watching.  I spent my time making lists in my head of everything that needed to be done for Christmas but promptly forgot them as I couldn't write them down.  The one saving grace is that I will get paid for it at the end of January, so a bit of extra cash to spend on some fabric!

Harry's quilt did get quilted and bound, washed on Christmas Eve, dried overnight and wrapped on Christmas morning whilst the turkey was in the oven.  I asked, in a previous blog post, for names for this quilt and Kelly over at My Quilt Infatuation suggested 'Boys at Work' as the orange reminded her of construction workers.  I changed it slightly to be 'Man at Work' to reflect the grown-up nature of my nine year old grandson.   It's made from old shirts, orange fabric from a charity shop, backed with a fleece throw from Ikea, and bound with strips cut from an old bed valance.
Needless to say, he absolutely loves it and it's getting loads of cuddly time on the sofa in the chilly weather this month.

Christmas came and went in a flurry of activity.  Tree and decorations were put up on Christmas Eve, gifts were wrapped on the same day whilst watching 'It's a Wonderful Life' and contingency plans were made for cooking the turkey in case we were without power due to the bad weather.  I have a gas hob with an electric oven so would have been well and truly 'stuffed' if I had had a power cut.  Youngest daughter has a gas oven and would have cooked the turkey and potatoes for me and transported it over, but we were lucky and didn't have to use the back-up plan.  Two streets away from me weren't so lucky and were without power for four days. I went to Midnight Mass, bed at 2am and up at 6am to put turkey in oven.  Lunch at 1pm for nine went off well, pressies opened and choccies eaten whilst watching Downton Abbey. The post-Christmas Turkey soup was made and was a huge success on Boxing Day.  The tree and decorations came down the very next day, as I was getting too stressed out trying to keep Molly (daughter's 10mth old puppy) form eating it all.

Now that we're into January I've started sewing again.  I've made two blocks for the Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt.

#1 - Attic Windows

#29 - Economy

I had got a couple of week's behind with the Quilty Fun Sew Along but I'm all caught up now.

Week 5 - Flying Geese

Week 6 - Mini Chevrons

Week 7 - Coffee Mugs

Week 8 - Trees

Week 9 - Quarter Square Triangles

I'm continuing to hand quilt my large Starry Sampler quilt in the evenings.  At the rate I'm going it will take me all year so I really must overcome my reluctance and learn to FMQ on my machine or I will never get another quilt finished this year.  So my next job is to review 2013's New Year's Goals and set new ones for 2014, but that will have to wait for another post.  My tea's getting cold.


  1. you have been busy whilst absent. The quilty fun sew along looks interesting, might have to check it out. Like you I am not into FMQ yet, about top hand quilt a stack and slash hanging as I would not know where to start with the machine Happy fabric shopping with your salary from the exam days.

  2. Your grandson's Man at Work quilt is lovely!! I have often wondered about using the fleece throws for backing.... Now that I know it works, I might have to go shopping!! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. your hand quilting looks wonderful! so does your crochet!

    thanks for linking up to finish it up Friday!

  4. Love how the orange sets off the rest of the quilt. Great hand quilting

  5. HI, I'm visiting some of the blogs from finish it up friday, it's always fun to find new blogs. I really like the quilt, such nice colors, it's warm and cozy looking,

  6. Your projects are wonderful!!! I wish I had purchased Lori Holt's book! I'm going to have to get it! Your hand quilting is wonderful!! I can FMQ on my machine (it's easy peasy) don't be scared - just takes a little bit of practice - and I took lots of FMQ quilting classes online at Craftsy which helped a ton!!! I wish I could hand quilt! I can't hand quilt straight even stitches if I tried!

  7. Your hand-quilting is lovely and I love the farmers wife blocks too. I have that project on my back burner as I build up enough of the right kinds of scraps for it. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I was a proctor once for test taking and it is quite boring! We don't get paid either,but maybe because it was for 1s graders?! Well we both got through so that's all that matters right;) hehehehe

    Hand quilting does take a lot more time as you have learned,but I think it makes it that much more personalized. Although heck I do really enjoy some FMQ too most of the time even though it is far from perfect!!

  9. I LOVE your Men at Work quilt. Your quilting looks amazing. I'm sure it is well loved! Also, your blocks are so much fun!

    Thanks for partying at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  10. What a wonderful post. I LOVE the boy quilt. I love the stripy masculine quilts like this and the stitching is nice. I love how the English use the word "whilst" so much. I'm going to start using it too. LOL Happy stitching!

  11. I just love your Man at Work quilt!! That is a really neat pattern and I love your fabric choices (and sources)!