Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Jam Sandwiches and Red Lemonade

Jam sandwiches and red lemonade, does this warm the cockles of your heart or make your taste buds shiver? We were reared on jam sandwiches. Well, not literally, but my brother may as well have been. My brother was a picky eater. He ate his dinner ok, but for lunch all he ever wanted to eat was jam sandwiches, white sliced bread of course. My mum was quite concerned about this, but at least he was eating. She made sure all the jam in our house was homemade, strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant and blackberry. He wasn't fussed on the seeds either, so technically our homemade jams were homemade jellies, strained through muslin bags into a basin.

He also didn't like milk, or any dairy. In fact he still doesn't. As a way of getting some milk into him, mum used to mix the red lemonade with milk for him. This suited me too, I loved all things dairy, still do, but I also loved these homemade milkshakes.

 Remember these blocks? These were my stash bee blocks from last year.  The plan was to make a calm collected red and white plus quilt. When I laid them all out, it just didn't feel right. Not calm enough, not sophisticated enough.

 A lot going on in these all individually lovely, but when together  a little too shouty for a quiet quilt. So, what do we quilters do when unsure?  I cut them up into fours and muddled them all up.

Now I like it. The different patterns are dispersed throughout and the shouty low volume just shouts out loud now and is perfect.

The overall look just reminded me of those long ago picnic, white bread jam sandwiches and the newspaper spread all over the grass. I know exactly where I am going now with these blocks, in fact I would say I am crushing these blocks (red fruit crush, geddit?)

It is absolutely lashing here today, but I will leave you with thoughts of lazy warm summer days, bees buzzing and those strawberry jam sandwiches, sponge cake and milk shakes.

Helen x
linking up with Beth Cooking Up Quilts and Main Crush Monday
linking up with Lorna and Sew Fresh Quilts and Lets Bee Social

Sunday, 19 March 2017

When We Were Very Young

When We Were Very Young was one of my favourite books when I was a  child, a book of poems about childhood written by AA Milne . Every night at bedtime, my Dad read me a story, and every night I wanted a poem. Not again, he used to say. But he did read it, because he was special like that my Dad.

And now I miss my Dad.

My Dad, the quiet man, died two weeks ago today after a long, short illness, sudden death type of thing. You know, the thing, 85 great years, 1 year of illness, lots of serious illnesses which he adapted to and lived with, and then, bam, that was it.

I'd like to share a little bit of him with you, if that's ok. He was the middle child of 11, he was number 5 amongst 8 boys and 3 girls. We used to joke, 7 brides for 7 brothers but there were 8 of them. My grandfather had come from a large farming family, and believed in good bloodstock! In every big family each child tends to take on a role, and in my Dad's case this was so true. Dad was the quiet man, as my husband said in his eulogy, my dad was the Gary Cooper character. Dad was quiet, he didn't say much, but when he did you listened. Dad was also very clever, my grandparents were ambitious and believed strongly in education being the way to a good life. Now, my grandparents weren't on the breadline, but nor were they super duper rich. They ensured that Dad had everything he needed for grammar school. Indeed they educated all of their children, and that they had everything for Scouts etc, not easy with 11 children.

Dad then branched out and went to live in the Big Smoke, in London. Depending on his mood, he either had a great time, going to the rugby, listening to political speakers and philosophers of the time, (told you he was quiet!) or he was terribly homesick for family in Belfast. Anyhow he met my mum in London, came home to Belfast and "sent" for her. And the rest is history. Or it should have been, but my mum died when we were young. My father stepped up, as Gary Cooper would have done, and was both parents to us. He taught himself to cook, to bake, to work the washing machine and all the things that needed to be done. The man done good.

He encouraged me, or perhaps humoured me in all my many hobbies, whether it be a houseful of fuschia cuttings, bonsai trees in orange peel pots, quilting or knitting. He even wore the fair isle knitted slipover which went wrong, albeit he wore it in the greenhouse. Perfect for the greenhouse apparently. And, being an accountant, it is probably still in his wardrobe.

My father gave me a love of literature, gardening, country walks, well both my parents did. As an accountant, he also advised me if it looks to good to be true, it usually is; it is a lot easier to spend money than to earn it; keep enough put by that if it all stopped tomorrow you would survive; yet that you are also a long time dead. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, don't eat yellow snow!

ps I tried to read When We Were Very Young to my own children but they hated it.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Feeling Buzzy

Every year I always think I will do ~"loads of charity stuff"~ and of course with the best will in the world I don't. Real life tends to intervene, plus I take on too much "stuff" every year. A good cause though I do try to support is Bee Blessed, a local quilting group that makes to give quilty hugs to those in need.

It is strange, it was as if Bee Blessed 2 found me. I may have told this story before, in which case I apologise.

I used to sew. I stopped sewing. End of story.
I made four small lap quilts for my daughter and her flatmates before they all finished university.
I stopped sewing. End of story.
Fast forward an older lady I knew, came into my work (a library) and asked me what she could do with her fabric off cuts, she was clearing out.
I told her I didn't know. End of story.
Sheila came back and asked me again. I still didn't know.
Sheila came back again, brandishing a piece of paper. She had found a quilting group that met in church on the far side of the city. Couldn't I just deliver this for her.
It was easier just to do it.
Another even older lady, Dolores came into the library, on her zimmer frame, looking for the "girl" who would take the surplus patchwork and quilting to fabric to the group. And no, she couldn't possibly deliver it herself, sure I knew where the church was.
Next thing, I am at Dolores' house, collecting and delivering fabric.
And then my friend's mother died. You guessed it.
She had bags of fabric and a  couple of unfinished quilts looking to be rehomed.

By this stage I had got to know Judith and Sarah in Bee Blessed rather well it seemed. I made some blocks, basted and quilted a couple of baby quilts and sewed down some binding.

~This I have continued to do, latterly for Lorraine and Ros, in Bee Blessed 2 who I have never met, but seem lovely. I have always intended to actually sew with them, but "my Saturdays" never seem to coincide with their Saturdays.

So, here are my January blocks for Bee Blessed, I forgot to post,

And here are my February blocks for Bee Blessed.

If you would like to make some blocks for the girls, check out their blog posts, they seem a lovely bunch.

Those of my friends who are more in contact with "the Big Man" than myself, have a stronger faith than myself, always nod knowingly when I tell them this story. God it seems works in mysterious ways. All I know is I enjoy making these blocks, and they are for an excellent cause.

Helen x
for Bee Blessed 2

Sunday, 26 February 2017

A Bird In The Hand, Is Worth ... Well What?

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, or so they say. I disagree, this week, a bird in the hand is worth a squirrel.

Its squirrel time again this weekend. The time we tell our squirrel moment, (I'm still trying to grasp this!). Its our moment when the squirrel suddenly runs off after something, when we suddenly get so enthusiastic about something previously unplanned. Dreami - Drop Everything And Make It moment.

For me this was last week, surreptitiously, at #unravel2017, the yarn fest, knitting show, to you and me older folks, that my daughter in law took me to. It was in Farnham, SW England, and is a yearly event, luckily coinciding with our visit. And it was great fun. I may just well be cramping Mrs C's style and going again with her next year.

And my squirrel moment?

The moment I walked in the door and saw the "aviary". The display of knitted birds on display in the entrance hall. I'm not twee or cutsey, but I fell in love with these immediately. Love at first sight.


I wasn't the only one. At cup of tea time, we shared a table with a lovely lady who told me she had knitted three of the display birds. She had won the book in a Love Knitting competition and was addicted. A BOOK! There's A BOOK! And the BOOK IS ON SALE HERE!

My squirrel moment of January.  My own book. The book is lovely, lots of little birds, proper birds, like robins and blue tits and exotic birds like flamingos.

And I could buy a kit too, for only £5.99 with the accompanying little book. Another book. I am in love. The wools in the kit are actually tapestry wools, a 4ply would do, and I can't wait to try this.

What else did I buy? Well, I set myself a budget, which disappeared very quickly. I bought one skein of green four ply wool from Knit By Numbers at Ben Acton Mills. I treated Mrs C, the younger, to some fluffy stuff she calls fibre. Some white fluffy stuff and a bargain bag of multi-coloured offcuts.

I bought some white buttons, which when reversed make the perfect black buttons for the green aran hoodie.

 I bought a bee ceramic button, just for fun, it would be rude  not to.

All of a sudden my budget was gone, and I hadn't really bought anything! I loved the wool, sorry yarn, from Daughter of A Shepherd, the Welsh Cambrian wool, some beautiful angora bunny wool, Big Wigs Angora Mrs C, the younger, bought and loads of beautiful of hand spun variegated sock/4ply wool, sorry yarn. Having tackled the green aran, I would like to knit a sweater for the husband. I was a little reluctant to commit myself to wool, sorry yarn, without prior discussion as to colour and pattern, sorry design. I maybe didn't have so many purchases, but I came away fizzing with ideas and web addresses. And a great love for knitted birds.

I also learnt something. My daughter in law spins. She has both a proper Cinderella's wicked godmother type spindle and lots of little spindles that look a bit like old fashioned sock darners. I must admit, the spinning thing I didn't really get. Why go to all that effort and not be sure what you'll end up with, when you can go to a nice wool shop?  If you take that further, why bother knitting a jumper when you can go to a nice cheap department store and buy a mass produced jumper for pennies?  Well, she bought another spinning top thing, and I watched her spin the bright red fluffy stuff from the bargain bag. I'm hooked! Now I get it.

 Though I am not about to start keeping sheep in the back garden and start spinning my own fleece, I am open to one of those spinny things and a bag of fluff!

Helen x
PS the next day we went to Winchester, very interesting city and I may have bought some Debbie Bliss eco baby yarn. It was a bargain, wish I had bought more.

Oh, and a weird ball of sock yarn with yellow string around it popped into my shopping basket too!

Linking up with Sandra and her Squirrels

Friday, 24 February 2017

Snow No Show

Another self imposed deadline passed yesterday. Storm Doris came and went. We in Belfast were feeling rather windy but missed the snow in Glasgow and Scotland, our near neighbours. Great - a reprieve! Is that the snow gone for the year? Am I safe until next year?

You see, it is a matter of pride that Snowflake Shimmer is finished before the snow comes. If the snow doesn't come, well its not my fault. This hasn't been my longest finish by far, but I would like to be finished before snow comes. And really, a quilt a long should be finished within an approximation of the time of the quilt a long.

So what is the state of play as of today? As I'm not linking up with TGIF Friday, I'm once again linking this quilt with Myra of Busy Hands Quilts and her Nearly Finished Friday.

The main cross hatch quilting is all finished. (I spotted a little today I missed but we will fold that bit over!).

I have trimmed the edges, all it makes a little more respectable looking.
Most of the threads on the top from the cross hatch are sewn in.
I have a little blue quilting on the snowflakes still to finish.

 My pfaff was puffing at this, I need to get some bigger needles, or hand stitch the remainder.

The binding is on. I like to hand stitch the back, and plenty of threads to sew in here too.

The white squares will be embroidered. They will be done in white perle cotton at leisure. In other words, whilst snuggling under the quilt watching tv.

And there we have it. Or rather we don't.

My other almost finish is my green aran sweater. To be more precise my daughter's green aran hoodie cardigan. As of this afternoon the knitting is all finished!!! Ta da! Even the dreaded bands, 122 stitches each side.

 The sewing is a daylight hours only jobbie. I'm afraid I left it too late to get a photo, so here's a photo from earlier. After all, the other sleeve is just the same! I'm feeling very proud of this so far, I feel a real sense of achievement with this.

Sewing time is difficult some days at the minute. I have got a few more grey squares stitched, but they are just more of the same. I'll keep you in suspense here.

There's still lots more to blog about though, a visit to #unravel2017 and yarnfest, another 1hr basket made by myself, another 1hr basket made by Mrs M, bee squares for Bee Blessed and bee squares for beeabee2017. I'm not in any bees this year,  honestly, I'm just sort of joining in a bee as it happened to be passing. And, oh yes, I have nearly finished a baby aran. I have been knitting this whilst visiting my dad. Horrible wool but lovely wee pattern and hopefully a lovely cardigan, just the sleeves and hood or collar to finish.

I nearly forgot - The New Quilters Blog Hop is on the go again this year. Great fun, I can thoroughly recommend it. Check out Yvonne or Beth for details if that's what you are, a new quilter of less than 3 years.

Helen x
linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Myra

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Getting A Move On

I set myself two main targets for my selfish sewing this year. A quilt for myself and a quilt for my daughter. Both were going to use grey as a main colour. Is a grey a colour?

Talking with my scrapbooking friends, I love grey, they mostly hate grey. We all wear themed colour t shirts for our weekends away, I suggested grey for Halloween. (we plan these things in advance!)
It was a no go, even though there are apparently 50 shades of grey! Or so I been told, I have no personal knowledge of this book, or the follow ups. Having worked in a library, it was amazing the number of seemingly "respectable" ladies, mostly older, who returned it, said it was filthy, offensive and oh so rude and then ordered the next one! One lady in her 80s commented she wished she had read this when her husband was alive .... You think you know some people .....

Back to the subject in hand. I had ordered my stash of grey from The Village Haberdashery, an assortment of shades in varying amounts. I was dipping into it regularly  for "my" project. As my pile of cotton and steel and grey half square triangles got bigger, the yardage  of greys for my daughter's quilt got less. So, tonight, I decided it was time to cut up the grey. 

We got through it relatively unscathed. I needed 4" and 4 1/2" squares. I had enough except for one shade of grey where I am 9 x 4" short. Not to worry. Its a chance to buy a little more. Its always fun to go online shopping. My grey squares are all bagged up waiting for me .....

The pile of 213 grey and cotton and steel squares waits for trimming.

I still have a pile of cotton and steel strips to wait for subdivision and pairing up with the grey.

I'm hoping I have enough grey left to work it out. I have no idea how many squares I will need for my double bed quilt.
5" squares made into hst squares
lets say that makes 4 1/2" squares
80" quilt needs 20 squares a row?
20 squares across by 20 rows down = 400 squares
I am about half way already?
Those with an EQ7 computer program or a mathematical mind would have that worked out in a jiffy. Me? I will plod on and hope it all works out. It usually does.

So, I haven't linked up with Beth and her Main Crush Monday for a while. I suppose I will have to say this week I'm crushing on grey. All 6 shades that I have anyway.

Helen x
linking up with Beth, Cooking Up Quilts and her Main Crush Monday

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Mrs M and the 1hr Basket

This is Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.  As I am on multifaceted diet, food, fabric, fun and fizz, there hasn't been much to report since the New Year, apart from the essential 50 shades of grey previously reported on. They were essential, absolutely essential. But you know, you have to break free every now and again.

Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Mrs M. I have previously referred to her as Miss A, Mrs M is her true title. You may remember Mrs M has recently returned to sewing, her last sewing was probably in her schooldays. A year ago, Mrs M took the plunge and bought a sewing machine and has leapt on in leaps and bounds. To celebrate her first anniversary we had a sewing day. Of course, this had to incorporate a little shopping. We went to Windmill Fabrics in Saintfield and this is what I came away with.

The dark grey I really needed. I did. I was about to order it online but was baulking at the p&p for such a small amount of fabric. It was a false economy not to have bought it with my greys. The blue is a snip at any price. A metre for a snip at £7. That's about us$10. Fabric is expensive here. Mrs M bought too, but I forgot to photograph her buys.

The knitting needles? Well. I dream of having sexy carbon needles. I have two sets of dpn for knitting socks. My not so local wool shop doesn't sell carbon circular needles. I have ordered online, the first set snapped when I took them out of the packet! The second set, arrived last week are far too short. I forgot that the measurement isn't just the string but includes the actual needle length. So, these are boring metal but they are what I need. I dream on. It can't be too much to ask, can it? A carbon circular needle, not too long, not too short for knitting hats and mitts.

The other little bit of stash this week is a little itty bit of wool. Some more Paintbox Aran yarn from It doesn't count when its a different genre does it? With my recent successes in the hat and mitt department, I thought I would knit some more. It may not look it, but there is a plan and a method here. There was also a carbon circular needle with this order. We won't talk about that, see above.

Stash out this week was the 1hr basket Mrs M and I made jointly. The outer blue flower is fabric from my stash, at least 15 years old. The blue spotty lining was part of Mrs M's purchase.  I did the cutting  and Mrs M did the sewing. Doesn't it look well? I think there may be more than one basket in the offing. Does it sound sexist if I say the "menfolk" in time honoured tradition went to the pub to watch the rugby? It really wasn't sexist in any way. We did our thing, they did their thing, and brought home a curry for dinner. Usually I would be watching the rugby too. At least when Ireland lost yesterday to Scotland, I had something to show for my afternoon! 

In case you are interested, the 1hr basket is a free download from Craftsy. My first took me all afternoon, this collaboration was my third. It took Mrs M and me 1 hr 20 mins, and that included tea and biscuits.
Helen x

Saturday, 28 January 2017

DrEAMi! Moments

What is a DrEAMi! Moment? I must admit I had no idea. I was told it is when you get a squirrel moment. I must admit I still had no idea. I just knew that if Sandra and Tish were promoting this, I would like it.

Apparently a squirrel moment is when you come across something totally unexpected, and think I must do that, I want that. To Quote, "Snagged By A Squirrel Kind of Mayhem", like when the dog decides he's chasing that squirrel.


Isn't Sandra's button really cool? I can't link up the button, so my link is through the word (duh), hope that's ok Sandra ... You can also check up the link ups through instagram  #dreamimoment

By total coincidence I read about this one day and was still tying to understand the squirrel metaphor when I came across Katy's #supersizeeconomyblockalong and I had my DrEAMi! moment. I saw her blocks and all of a sudden I knew I had to do this, and I had exactly the right fabrics waiting to do it with.

Two years ago, Christmas 2014, my daughter in law, then son's girlfriend got me the most amazing present. I knew it was the most amazing spot on  personal present when I described it in work and got "the Look". You know "the Look". The Look that says, she got you a year's subscription for fabric? So they send you lots of little bits of fabric over the year? And you're pleased with that? And you don't know what this fabric is?  That Look.

Meantime these 144 pieces of fabric mounted up in a drawer. I was never sure what I would I do with them, but I knew I would do something, and it would be as a collection. A couple of weeks ago I had THAT moment and I posted on my Sunday Stash that I was going to use them. That was my DrEAMi Moment, and the first link up was the end of January, link here

The Japanese fabric swatches are mostly child centred/ adult whimsical. They all have that Japanese cuteness that is in vogue, some are kokka and some aren't. They are 5" squares, charm squares and I decided to go with a bold spot to make up to make up the inner square to roughly 7 /15". Well, they aren't all spotty, and I do have loads of spots, but some are related to spots.

The outer squares bring them up to about 11 1/5" or so. For these I am using solids, mostly bold solids, pale where appropriate.

So far I have 11 completed blocks and four nearly completed. That's ok.

This is a slow sewing project. My leader and ender project, I love that phrase. I had planned two major projects for this year. This sort of snuck in when I wasn't looking. I suppose that's exactly what a squirrel project is. Instead of my squirrel rushing through life, my squirrel is rather statesmanlike, the elder forefather in squirrel land. That's ok, the rush was in the concept not the execution of this plan.

I know my squirrel will amuse me. I may even amuse my squirrel.
No squirrels were harmed in the writing of this blogpost, elderly or otherwise.

Helen x
linking up with Musings of a Menopausal Melon

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Not Quite Finished Quilt

Its not quite finished, but we are getting there.  I laid my Snowflake Shimmer quilt out to see how the quilting was going, and I am so nearly there.

 Two sections of blue to finish the cross hatching, and one only a little, well not too much. Some of the fiddly blue intersections to finish. Two pale aqua sections to straight line. The white squares to quilt, I am thinking hand quilting/embroidery here. And the binding to do. Nearly finished.

In that halcyon time after lunch, its either snooze, read or sew, I sneaked off to "tidy" my room.

I finished the cross hatching at one end and made a start on finishing the other end. I have used up my second spool of variegated thread for quilting. I'm hoping the third partly spool will be enough.

 I also did a little of the dark blue offsets. I'm not sure how many of those I still have to do, I tend to do a bit when I come across them, the quilt is under the needle facing the right direction. You see, the plan is there is no plan. It happens as it happens, sort of.

One day I will tease the quilt from under the needle, hoich it round the table, looking for the next bit to quilt. And you know what, it will all be finished.  Soon. I'm afraid all these photos are before today rather than after today. Because,

All too soon my helper, chief cook and bottle washer since retirement, substituted my mug of luke warm coffee for a glass of room temperature Californian red wine.  Drinking whilst operating machinery? Do I need a licence for that? Is there a law against that? Is there really a quilt police anyway? Before I had the chance to find all these things out, it was time to go sit by the fire to watch the USA presidential inauguration.   Hello green aran knitting, goodbye Snowflake Shimmer. I'm up to the armholes now on the back, sleeves next then lastly the hood. I can't believe its gone so well, I shouldn't perhaps count my chickens! Cluck cluck.

This week for the first time I am linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Myra for the Finished Or Not Friday link. Thanks for the heads up Sandra.
Helen x
linking up with Finished Or Not Friday, with Busy Hands

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Two Needles Versus One Needle

These last few months I have been spending more time with two needles rather than one. I have fallen in love with knitting again and alluded to this from time to time, but been a bit low on the blogging. You see, I don't think my knitting blogging is as interesting as my sewing blogging. Some disinterested person, male, definitely male, may have said in the past "don't show that bit of wool on those needles, show me something I can recognise."  Which kind of sums up photos of knitting on needles. Mind you  I suppose you could say the same for photos of fabric!

Anyhow, I started knitting again with the hitchhikers shawl knit a long I and two others, Ali from Creations of Crazy Dazy and  Lorraine who doesn't blog, did in the autumn. Blogged about here. I loved both the community knitting and the actual process, but mine seems a little skimpy compared to the others and I did have rather a lot of wool left.

Next up I knitted this hat and gloves for my daughter. I was on a girly weekend in Derry and bought a ball of tweed aran in a lovely little wool shop. I knitted gloves, and ran out of wool just before the end. Of course that was the last ball the shop had, which was I could only buy one. In hindsight the wool was still full price, usually reduced by that stage. I was able to buy two extra balls online, much cheaper, that old conundrum again.

With the extra wool I was able to knit a hat, the deep cuff hat from Purl Soho, a free pattern from the shop website. As we all have little heads, and the hat was one size fit all, I made it an inch or so shorter. Pom poms are in vogue so of course I made a pom pom which is fun.

Well, she loves the gloves and her hat, but the hat is still a little big with a big heavy pom pom on the top which wobbles about! The jury is still out as whether to remove the pom pom or not.

Next up was a request, a hat and gloves for the daughter's school friend. They met on the first day of senior school and have been friends ever since. In red aran this time. The hat is the same hat, still an inch smaller and no pom pom this time. The gloves are a free pattern by tin can knits on ravelry.

Feeling the love, I felt inspired to knit a whole hooded cardigan! In aran! Easy when you know how but daunting when you haven't done this for years. The pattern, supplied by a work friend was approved, the wool chosen online was approved (I couldn't get any non itchy aran in the right colour locally) and away we went. Actually a heads up here to the wool company, Love Knitting, the wool arrived very quickly and was a great price with the new customer discount. This time I learned my lesson and bought extra. The wool is an aran wool by Paintbox and I love it.

So far I have knitted the two fronts, and up to the armholes, nearly, on the back and no major hitches. Though there may be a first section of knitting set aside for a future hot water bottle cover if the wool holds out! So excuse the bit of wool hanging on the needles photo, hopefully I will have a proper photo to show you soon.

Helen x

Sunday, 15 January 2017

A Little New Year Splurge

Yesterday I went on a bus run to a shopping outlet with 16 others and it took nearly 3 1/2 hours to get there, and 3 1/2 hours to come home. I bought one small Kipling bag, he does make exceedingly good bags.

On New Year's Day, I  bought all this lovely fabric without leaving the comfort of my own sofa. And its practically shopping local,  from The Village Haberdashery in Hampstead, London.

I have 2 major projects planned for this spring, as mentioned before. A cotton and steel quiltalong with Sue. #helensuecottonandsteelquiltalong and the other is a #houndstoothquilt from Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, designed by justjudedesigns,  These greys will form the basis of both quilts and I feel irrationally excited to have them.  The purples are for contrast in the houndstooth quilt.

I dare say some of this stash may well find its way into #supersizeeconomy quilt I am making too as a leader/ender project  (I love that phrase, it is my new buzz word. Teach the parrot a new word and he uses it all the time). I am also coasting along with  the very lovely Molli Sparkles Honey Pot Bee . The Bee that's not a bee. I'm just finishing my first block and will be keeping these greys in mind for future blocks.

Now I have bought and stashed my stash, I can continue with my aim of "sustainability" this year! I will be trying to use only the fabric I already have, in a sustainable way. In this frame of mind, I passed a lot of fabric and magazines to my neighbour. Mrs S is so involved with the WI (Women's Institute) as to be practically immersed. They have a crafting weekend in the spring and I hope my fabric cast offs will be loved, oohed and aahed over or at least cut up and made useful.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Finish A Long, 1st Quarter, 2017

Following on from my 100% success rate last quarter, (Whoop! Whoop!)  I draw up this list with great optimism.

You may recognise a few old favourites here.

1 Snowflake Shimmer Quilt
This isn't so much an UFO but a WIP which is a little behind schedule. The beginning of December, for house guests. Not finished. Christmas. Again not finished. The First Snow, well, we had a few flurries today. Still not finished. I have a little cross hatched quilting on the dark blue to finish, straight line quilting on two of the mid blue stars, and the white squares. And of course binding.
Mmm, just started snowing again, better get cracking.

2 Red Plus Square Quilt
This is my Stash Bee quilt for 2016, we don't really include Bee quilts here unless there has been some progress. Well, there has. I have cut  the blocks into quarters. There has been a change of tack here, instead of calm and collected it is going improve. So, the blocks are cut down the middle of the red plus and restitched together. Before and after photo. I think this will liven things up a little, I might even attack the corners too.

3 Green Aran Cardigan
I have recently been knitting again, a useful whilst sitting with my Dad. I have the two fronts knitted and the back begun of this hoodie for my daughter. It would be nice to have it finished before the good weather comes in. That probably gives me a get out until next September!

4 Green Socks
I must be in a green phase. I forgot I had started these socks last year. Should really finish them.

5 Liberty EPP hexies. This is an ongoing project, a life's work I think. I'm happy just to add to it, but this will help spur me on.

6 Medallion Quilt
There's really not much likelihood of this being finished. Its all wrong. The maths is completely screwed up in the last two rounds and I don't have enough dark red fabrics anyway. I will have to take it back a round or two, to the centre medallion maybe? I will certainly have to brighten it up. This photo was before it all went pear shaped.

7 Liberty Skirt
I started making this skirt last year from Liberty Fabric, all went well until I realised the waistband was a two tier waistband. Why? Why would they do that? Its really only a matter of taking a waistband pattern from another pattern, and then adding the zip, and the lining and the hem. I think if I get that far, I might get the hem sewn professionally. That's allowed, isn't it?

8 Cross Stitch
This is my ringer. The little something I slip in when nobody is looking. The daughter has discovered her "thing". Cross stitch, she loves it and is really good at it. I dug out my old cross stitches and found this very grubby unfinished kit. What's to do? Throw it out as it is..... finish it and put it where .......... keep it on this list for a few quarters ......... put it back in the newly cleared roofspace where it came from.


So, a manageable list I think. I haven't included my current wip, my Cotton & Steel project or my houndstooth project. They haven't progressed beyond the cutting stage yet.   And my supersized economy squares, well they are too current too, I only started it last week. I have to save something for the 2nd quarter!

Helen x
linking up with Just Jude Designs
updated blog post to include photo of worked on bee blocks