Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Did some more work today on the blue string squares - there are a lot more which are nearly done - just one or two strings left to go. Hopefully I will get most of them done tomorrow. Alex wants to make something from his fabric, so I may have to devote some time to that - I'm going to try to talk him into something small like a quilt for eagie (his toy eagle).
Monday, December 29, 2008
I started out today with the intention to run a few errands and then work on making this top (made a while back from block lotto winnings) into a baby quilt for my new nephew (for those of you wondering just who had a baby, technically, he isn't my nephew. He's the new son of my former step-brother Robert and his wife, but hey, even in today's world, calling someone an ex-step-nephew is just plain silly...) who was born on Christmas Day, but I got sidetracked, because when I went to see if I had a piece of batting the right size for a small quilt I realised that apart from a few leftover samples (i.e. 20x20" or so) I am totally out of batting. This hasn't happened in years, as I have been living down the road from a longarm quilter, who keeps rolls of it on hand, and sells to me at cost whenever I need it. As some of you will be aware, she moved to India for a few years, and off went my source of batting! How dare she!
Anyway, so the point of this is, I had to make a trip to my LQS today to get some batting, for the first time in probably about 6 years. I ended up with a full size batting, despite needing only enough for a cot quilt because a) she didn't have any cot sized ones in the 80/20 I like and b)I can always use it anyway. While there, I resisted nearly all the fabric in their yearly sale, but decided to grab this snowman fabric for the back of the baby quilt - it's cute, and as he's a Christmas baby, it seemed appropriate. And a spool of bright, variegated thread, to quilt it. Somewhere, there's also a FQ with racing cars on it which the small boy chose, but I think it's gone off to his stash. (Yes, my 5YO son has a stash!
With all that, and trying to get through Kingston on the way home (the whole universe went out shopping today, apparently), I didn't really have time to quilt the baby quilt today after all. I had an hour this evening before dinner (leftovers, so no cooking) in which I finished sorting some scrap strips and stuff from my scrap basket (which was full again) and started making some blue string squares for another baby quilt. I have two friends who are expecting in the spring - at virtually the same time - I am going to make 3 baby quilts - one blue, one using florals from my Japanese taupe stash and one neutral - that will cover both babies and leave me with a spare. Anyway, here are 3 string blocks - more are in progress. I have an amazing number of blue scrap strings - I haven't even got into the strips which are 2.5" or more wide, yet...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
So, today I actually felt like doing some sewing - this cold may finally (touch wood) be going away - actually wanted to work and didn't feel like I might slice my hand off with a rotary cutter or anything like that. First thing I did was add the final arc to the NYB block from the other day. Then I had a tidy up of my sewing area - lots of people have sent me bits and bobs either for Christmas or with swaps, etc and they were mostly just in a pile (ok, several piles) on the table, etc. Which is fine for a while, but then it begins to take over the work space...
And then, I decided to do something new (because of course, I have nothing hanging around waiting for me, right?) - this is a little mini quilt (top) - inspired by a pattern in the QNM which Toni sent me with my Holiday Booty Quilt, only much smaller, and I decided to do it more free pieced - that is, not trying to get the points in the centres of the pinwheels (the maths conversion was doing my head in - plus working with small pieces - the 60 degree triangles were cut from 2.5" strips - I didn't feel like doing all the fiddling it takes to get the points right. Hey, I'm still not 100 per cent well :) I'll quilt it up with my orange variegated thread, should be fun. It's going to go off to a swapper whose quilt appears to have been lost in the post. Sigh.
This photo is actually not very representative, either - the grey bits are actually all different shades of blue. The orange is pretty much right, but the blue is way off. Digital cameras are odd things, aren't they!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Despite having a whole day to do nothing (that's what Boxing Day is for, right?) I didn't do any sewing, as I still feel a bit run down with my cold - which has now moved into the sinuses around my left ear, so my ear is a little stuffed up and achey. Boring. Instead, I lazed around, played computer games, helped Alex work on a tiger puppet, played DS games with the girls, tidied up a bit in the living room - putting things away - had a bath with some of my lovely bath goodies, played board games with the kids and Pictionary with Geoff & the girls (Alex is too little), read my book and some magazines - and so on. Did laundry, of course !
But I have been doing some cross stitch in the evening lately, so I will show that - this is the angels - this isn't progress over the last week or two, but rather this year's progress - I have decided to put it away for the year. As long as I have this cold, I won't feel like working on it (too much counting) and by the time the cold is gone, I won't feel like working on it as it will be January... Anyway, it's fairly decent progress, especially given how little I worked on it this year. I'm happy.
And here's the Snowman update - this one will definitely get finished this year, as there's not much left to do - some snowflakes and another swirl or two. I've actually got another lovely little winter scene - a house in the snow or something like that (it's in this photo here - just found it while looking for something else) - which I might tackle next. And of course, I should go back and finish the birds. Then there's the schoolhouse sampler for Cathi and someone sent me a great little heart I should work in Februrary. Plus... Ok, ok - I confess - I do have enough cross stitch patterns to last a lifetime - which is not to say that stops me from buying more!
Speaking of which, would anyone like the pattern for the NOEL piece or the Hallowe'en alphabet or the little house sampler or the waterfall sampler? Oh, and there's this autumn sampler as well - I'm sure I have the pattern for that tucked away somewhere... The NOEL piece was a kit, and although there's a little left of the colours (not the white, which I put in my general stash) there won't be enough to stitch it again - still, there were only a few colours, so I'm sure you could easily just buy the 4 or 5 you'd need - they don't have to be precisely the same as the ones I used (it's not a DMC chart, so I've no idea what the numbers would be). The others were all just patterns anyway, so you'd have to buy thread and linen/aida. They are yours for the asking - I never sew the same thing twice, and I'm too lazy to put them on ebay. They cost next to nothing to mail, of course... Anyway, leave a comment and I'll get them out to you sometime in the next few weeks...
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Last day of Advent, technically, though we will still place a square in the calendar tomorrow, on Christmas morning! Don't think I'll be doing any work today, so as this will probably be the only post from me today - I hope you all have a lovely Christmas...
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Quite a good bit, as it happens - the kids slept in and I did some sewing while waiting for the boiler guy (who, as it turns out, was apparently booked for the afternoon rather than the morning, which is what I picked when they asked my preference and what I had written on the calendar - touch wood, the boiler seems to be working properly again - perhaps 3rd time's really the charm?). I made this little mini quilt top, which will go to one of my ALQS participants whose original quilt may or may not ever arrive. I may even quilt it tomorrow, who knows. It's actually more blue and less grey than it appears in the photo, for what it's worth.
On the right is most of a New York Beauty block - I need to put the final arc on, but ran out of time (Alex had a friend round to play, so I had to wind down - not that they needed me, but I wanted to have a cup of tea and a chat with his aunt, who was dropping him off). Anyway, the block is just laid on top of the orange floral, but you get the idea...
Monday, December 22, 2008
Nothing of my own to show today as the kids and I spent the day up in town doing Christmassy stuff, but came home to several lovely parcels - which is fun. On the left, from Judy in Canada, my December arch - hard to photograph, but it has snowflakes on it - really lovely, and very seasonal (in theory, anyway - it was about 12 here today, I think!) - I have it up in the living room where it adds to the festive air. She also included a few bits and pieces - some fabric with a Canadian theme and a bag of buttons (yep, that does look like a moose!). Can't believe this arch swap is over - it was a great swap. I am still owed one arch which I know is done or nearly done and will be on the way before long, so I'll have one more to show. Might collect the photos up together just for fun...
On the right, a surprise package of stuff from Kandy, the list mom (she hates being called that!) on BQL, which I co-moderate. Totally unnecessary, but also very fun. I especially like the pink bird brooch - might have to attach it to my bag or something!
Tomorrow is a lazing around the house day (though a friend of Alex's is coming to play for a little while, so not sure how much lazing will be accomplished with two 5 YO boys around) so I might actually sew. I know, I know, don't go dying of shock on me!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Well, just for fun, here's a good meme - I saw it on Amy's blog and couldn't resist.
1. Started my own blog (duh)
2. Slept under the stars (in college, down by the beach)
3. Played in a band (band, orchestra mainly in high school, a little in college)
4. Visited Hawaii (no, though I've been invited several times)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world (yes - the one in Florida)
8. Climbed a mountain (well, a small mountain - in England!)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo (no, though I have sung with very small groups - 4 or 5 voices)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch (not really - as a mixed media artist I am largely self-taught (read: I muck about a lot), but not entirely)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (bad oysters - yuck)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (when I was a kid we went as high as you were allowed - I think that was the brim of the hat, rather than the torch, but I do remember a lot of steps)
18. Grown my own vegetables (bits and pieces)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (not an ambition, either!)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (no, but I did stay in the Venetian in Las Vegas, once)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (not quite, though we've been through the outskirts many times)
36. Taught myself a new language (does HTML count?)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I wish I could say yes to this, but really, I'd like just a littl more...)
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (a couple of times when I worked in DC I bought a cup of coffee & a bagel for homeless people - nothing more than that)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (no, but I've been on telly!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (more than I can count)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (no, but I've tried - I have really difficult veins, so it's not really viable for me)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar (but not the posh kind)
72. Pieced a quilt (just one or two!)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (I think maybe I broke a toe once, but it was never diagnosed)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (mostly, at one time or another, but not quite all of it - some of it is really boring!)
86. Visited the White House (with Girl Scouts - back in the day when you were allowed in on tours)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I'm counting fish here)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (most of them scientists - like Jim Watson of Watson & Crick fame)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant
Here's the December block for Terri for the birthday block swap - she wanted 12" blocks in blue and yellow only, with a yellow background which she sent us. I decided not to use any other yellows, but just a variety of blues. Have to take the paper off, but the block is more or less finished. Normally a block finished on the 21st of the month would get to the person in time - even if going to a foreign country - but you never know with Christmas! Still, I should think it won't be too late, even if it's a little bit into January when it arrives.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Realised this morning I forgot to blog the advent calendar yesterday (I did take photos, but after blogging two other things...) - so today you get one big photo and two little ones:
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Anyway, here's how I've decided to parcel them out - some of this is by sheer chance (drawing a name); a few are using other criteria. I think they will all be going to good homes, and that's what's important. I'll contact you all individually about postage (or whatever we work out). It always amazes me in situations like this how the distribution works - you think you might end up with everyone wanting one set and no one wanting another, but it didn't work like that - it was fairly split down the middle. Anyway.
These String Squares on the left above will be going to Colorado to live in a log cabin with LisaJo - that's really appropriate in many ways - I think they're very suitable for log cabin living.
The Jacob's Ladder blocks will go to Margaret in Maine, who will turn them into one or more charity quilts.
The baskets will fly off to France to live with Ann, who offered me a mini quilt in exchange in lieu of postage - now there's an offer I couldn't refuse!
And the 16 patch blocks will go to Karol-Ann's house in Yorkshire, where they will meet up with some other orphaned blocks from the same swap and be made into something with their bretheren. They may travel there with some rather well worn but still cute skeleton pyjamas, in a small boy size, if the interest is still there!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A star today - in honour of the Christmas play at school (last show today) which was called Little Blue Star. I got to be on stage today, with the nursery - at the back, making sure the shepherds didn't stand up and block all the angels. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it (actually, it IS a tough job - especially on the knees)...