Wednesday, 28 January 2015

where did all the holidays go....

Two days back at work so far and I must say I am sleeping like a baby...
It's quite tiring having to think- remembering passwords, where you put things last year that you need now, where did my pen stash go, who was that again? etc etc.
Definitley a mojo killer!
Lucky I worked so hard on the weekend and Australia day that I got the Boy's story top all pieced together.
Phew! that was a job and a half...
would you like to see it?
the photo doesn't quite show the oomph of the bright fabrics as it was a gloomy grey day when I snapped the pic.
Just need to piece a backing and it's ready to go to the quilter.
 Second sweet william block appliqued too. It has a little lean but that is a minor concession I can live with!

 Maisie checking out the dolls in the girls' room!


hope you are having a lovely week.... Hope  I survive it. Craft group on Saturday, which I haven't made it to for a few months. Looking forward to catching up.
happy stitching.
Marina

Friday, 23 January 2015

last hurrah...

This is the last week of the holidays and I have been trying to cram it with lots of loveliness to ease the transition back to work.
There was a wonderful catch up with the City girls on Tuesday. A day of stitching and chatting and of course eating lovely food . I managed to get all my stitching done on my boys story blocks so that I could make a start on putting them together.
Wednesday it was to the movies with a friend to see 'Into the woods'. Not quite what I expected but not a bad movie.
Thanks to the hot weather we have been having, a lot of time has been spent indoors, which means lots of sewing time...
Two blocks done.....only seven to go....




Sweet William hasn't been neglected during this week.
I have a total of 19 basket blocks pieced ready for applique. (all the blocks are on my sweet william page) Last night I thought I should make a start on some applique too. If I can do at least two per month I think that will be a steady workable pace.
This block was the first one I appliqued when I first started the project but it has turned out smaller than all of the early ones. It has now been remade in the correct size. Loved making this block (twice).

Each basket has an excess of 1 half square triangle unit and also another when I make the basket base. I have been frugal with these and trimmed them up to use later on in a mini. They will be a scrappy reminder of this quilt. Aren't they sweet?

Now there has also been a squatter moved into my room. Someone who seems to have claimed it as their own!!
Maisie has discovered that there is a lovely comfy single bed with a snuggly woollen blanket on it in my sewing room. Of course it must be there just for her! She has been keeping me company while I sew some days and other times she just takes the room for herself as I often find her sleeping in there on the bed.
It's officially the 'girls' room'
Have a wonderful weekend
cheers
Marina

Sunday, 18 January 2015

sewing merrily along..

Well the relationship with Sweet William seems to be ambling along perfectly now. Those difficult times seem so long ago.......
I have a grand total of 13 baskets sewn so far and they are all of a uniform size. I am quite over the moon about this! A new 'Sweet William' page on my blog has all the photos of each block. There are another 8 to be made up in this batch then I will start to do some of the appliqueing. On Friday I got very organised and sorted all the patterns and applique bits that I had started to prepare, into a folder so that I will be uber-organised with this project now that I am in love with it once more.  (I think Elyte may have unleashed a monster)
Lesson-Never underestimate the power of the light bulb moment. Sometimes you just need someone to flip the switch.
 here are the latest blocks...

 On Friday I had a day out to Gisborne with Liz, Rosalie and mum. We had a great visit to Patch and Quilt, lunch at the new cafe a few doors up which we can happily recommend, then afternoon tea with lovely Karin from Kilmore quilters. Karin couldn't make the road trip so we detoured to visit.
Liz brought me two lovely gifties- one was this gorgeous pin cushion. It has already found a special place on my pincushion shelf. I love it and the colours are perfect, Liz knows my love of blues well.
 She also made this beautiful little angel ornament. It is so pretty. It has joined my treasures from crafty friends. It may go on the tree next year or just stay in my sewing room all year round.

Yesterday I had a great day with three of my nieces. 11 y/o twins and their 16 y/o sister. They are such wonderful girls. We made gnocchi together and then they asked me to teach them to crochet.
Well three students at once was a bit full on but I got them started with chain stitch. I told them once they perfect that we will move onto the next part of crocheting. They happily took yarn and hooks home to practice. I'm so happy to pass on some craftiness!
Needless to say once they went home I needed a big rest..... I did enjoy the girlie time a lot.
Well the sewing machine beckons, I need to make as much use of this holiday time as I can as it will end soon.
happy sewing!
Marina

Thursday, 15 January 2015

relationship counselling...

Things were getting desperate and it was time to take up the offer of a caring friend.
Sometimes you have to grab help when offered, don't be too proud.
Lovely Elyte came over yesterday to help me and Sweet William to try to reconcile our differences and forge a new relationship. As my crafty friends will attest to it has been a rocky relationship. Almost hitting the rocks as hard as the Titanic hit that iceberg!
I am very happy to say we are back on track, after both admitting our faults and even though we're not back to our honeymoon period I'd say it is a relationship that will continue into old age with that slow steady spark of affection.
Elyte and I started from scratch and went over each of my steps and thanks to my clever friend found a way to achieve the desired size, correct matching of top and bottom pieces of the blocks and without the addition of too many grey hairs on my part. Will have to make sure I haven't given any to Elyte next time we meet.
The original blocks that are too small will be put aside for a smaller project and it is full steam ahead with the correctly sized ones. I only managed to salvage one of the appliqued blocks but that's ok I am in a happy place  now.
I got one done yesterday with Elyte, one last night and I bolted into the sewing room this morning to make another one, just to make sure I was doing the right thing still.



As the song goes...... You got to have friends!
I'm so glad I do.
have a wonderful day
Marina



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

some starts, some finishes, some stuff...

Well the silly season has passed and we managed to survive it by keeping it low stress.
The year started off with a lovely get together with the Gisborne girls and City girls, with Melody thrown in for good measure. And what a super day it was!!
I have had some lovely time to myself in my sewing room, even though I had to share it with no 2 sone while he was in transit and staying here. He was amazed and said 'what happened to my room?'
I just let him know that it's my room now and while he can visit and stay in the room it must be left in a reasonable condition so that I can pop in and out as I wish to sew. That seemed to work ok. He did seem to move out quite quickly though? Hmmm
The best part of having my own space has been that I can leave the machine and mess out and just pop in  even if it's for just a few minutes and just leave it there till I get the chance to do some more.
Be prepared, this slack blogging makes for photo heavy posts when I do decide to post...

I thought this challenge was a great idea, similar to what I have done myself before.
You list your ufo's and each month you pick a number and that's the project that you work on for the month.
If you play along with the blog site they select the item number to work on.
I have one project down.....
can only give you a sneak peak! My shirt challenge is now a top. I need to work on borders but there is plenty of time.
Something new......I started a new Boys story quilt for a friend at work... Thanks to my 'new to me' machine it does beautiful applique stitch so I don't have to do it by hand. The hand stitching needs to be done. Excuse the threads everywhere, the fabric is fraying mercilessly.





Some progress..... I managed to complete the last row of my novelty hexies and then got so excited I did all the hexies needed to even up the sides. Just need to get some backing and decide how to quilt it. Was toying with borders too? It can sit like this for a little till inspiration strikes.
Of course I had to have some hand stitching on the go....
These two designs are by Urban threads. I love their quirkiness.
Such a great price too for a quick download.
Of course some time in the sewing room means some rearranging... I have been reshuffling and repurposing bits and pieces. I can get lost in there for ages.. Some of the hangings got shuffled around, I reorganised my pin cushions after rediscovering this little shelving unit (got to use that stash of little doilies that I have too) and put a crochet blanket on the bed after no 2 son moved on. My grandmother made this and I just love it. Even though it is old fashioned and daggy. The boys throw quilts got a wash yesterday while it was so hot they dried so quickly in the shade. Perfect!
The two that have moved out don't seem to want to take them with them and no 3 son still at home doesn't want a dinosaur quilt on his bed, he much prefers cars? What is with that, just because he's 19?? Whatever... so they will stay folded up on the bed in my room for now.

Hope everyone has kicked off the year well... Some more social outings planned for this week with crafty friends. Perfect!
cheers for now & happy crafting
Marina