Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Natures Journey...bring on the colour!

After months and months of working on my Natures Journey stitch-a-long quilt, I can happily say that I am finally loving it (phew!)



Amping up the colour was a good decision for me. Working with plain backgrounds for the first few months was challenging, and since the order of construction for this quilt was working from the borders in to the centre, it was really hard for me to visualise how it would all come together.


Once I started constructing the centre block, it all began to look more cohesive (thank goodness!) I was also very thankful at this point that I had opted for the vliesofix/blanket stitch applique method, rather than needleturn...sooooo many small pieces to sew into place!


Of course, my little helper has been overseeing the entire process, testing each part for comfort and durability. Whatever would I do without her?


A red polkadot peeper border just didn't seem enough, so I stuck with the same fabric for the outer border too. I DO love my red polkadots! I may have to go searching for more soon...there are still a few borders to go ;)



Polkadots in all sizes and colours have pretty much taken over the whole quilt, really. Predictable? Probably.


These are the last group of blocks for the stitched border, which means I am ready to start cutting lots and lots of little squares, ready to put the quilt top together....YAY!



Guess I had better stock up on hayfever medication to get me through the first month of Spring...there's a lot of stitching in my immediate future if I'm going to finish this SAL on schedule :)

TTFN xxx

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Keeping up...

...but only just! The April blocks for my Natures Journey stitch-a-long proved to be a bit of a challenge to complete. Not that they were hard, but April was a very busy month around here!


I've introduced a few new fabrics into the mix to try to brighten things up a bit. Working on neutral backgrounds with only small pops of colour is a bit foreign to me...and more polkadots are ALWAYS a good idea ;)

With only one more month of these border blocks to go, I am really looking forward to working with more of Miss Kate for the pieced borders. BRING ON THE COLOUR!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Natures Journey...just in time!

Blocks for March are done and dusted...and just in the nick of time!



I was VERY late starting on these this month...in fact, half the month was over before I even gave them a thought! Luckily, I had all my supplies sorted and ready to go...it was just a case of finding some motivation to get stuck into it :) A bit of late night tracing, some early morning stitching and I'm up to date for March...thank goodness, because Chookyblue is cracking her whip hard!

I probably should start preparing my April blocks ready for stitching, but I have so many other projects on the go at the moment...know the feeling? If only I could stitch all day.....

TTFN xxx

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Scandinavian Rose...in pictures.


Those of you who have been visiting my blog for a while will know that I love to make BIG long-term projects. Especially quilts.

Occasionally I finish one off, and while I was missing-in-action from my blog during 2014, I actually finished off a few!




 A dear friend hinted to me recently that she would love to see a bit more of my Scandinavian Rose quilt, and since she asked nicely, I thought I just might take some photos ;)

Scandinavian Rose is a pattern by the very talented Rosalie Quinlan. It came as a series of pre-printed stitcheries, and I also ordered a fabric pack to match her original version done in pinks and reds.



I didn't LOVE the pinks and reds, so I ended up ditching them altogether and dived into my box of Bonnie and Camille scraps instead. There's a lot of Bliss, some Ruby, and also some Tanya Whelan Delilah pieces in there too. It really was just a mash up of my favourite colours...pink, turquoise, red and apple green, with lots of polkadot goodness as well.  Go with what you love, right?



The stitching took me months and months, and the piecing took me even more months.

Then I decided to quilt it myself (what was I thinking???) and it sat for a fair bit longer.

Totally love the back of it...which is probably the only thing that kept me going!


 I learned just how much patience was required to cross-hatch all those tiny little squares...and it turned out to be a real test of mine! I bit off sections at a time, and just kept at it....and at it...and at it!


My cute little assistant offered lots of encouragement along the way...she is just SO helpful!



I didn't think I would EVER get to the end, but one day, I did! I finished it off with a solid turquoise binding, which I think really made the colours POP.

 Funnily enough, I really miss having Scandinavian Rose to stitch....long term projects are definitely my thing :)

TTFN
(ta ta for now)
Susan xx

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Enough

One Little Word...it didn't come easily for me this year.

Usually I have word possibilities swirling around in my head for several weeks leading up to Christmas. By the time New Year rolls around, my word is already becoming part of my everyday.

 Not this time.

Seeking inspiration, I revisited my One Little Word choices from previous years, and one thing was glaringly obvious to me. Although the words had changed, the overall sentiment behind those words was always the same...do more, be more, lose weight, get fit, eat healthier, be a better mum ...blah blah blah.

At that point I abandoned the whole concept, dismissing it as just a clever repackaging of the old New Years Resolution.

Then I got to thinking about the constant self improvement that we all seem to be striving for, which led to the question...what if I am, in fact, enough? 




What if I am exactly who I am meant to be right now? I'm good enough, strong enough and I try enough? I work enough, care enough and am fit enough? I spend enough time with all the important people in my life, and my best is good enough?

To be honest...I LOVE that I'm learning to let go of my (often very high/unreasonable) expectations of myself, and letting myself just BE....giving myself permission to call it good instead of pushing myself too hard (and the inevitable disappointment when I don't achieve what I set out to)...accepting that I can't always be everything to everyone.

I'm even learning to recognise when enough is ENOUGH, and that it's ok to step back from activities/relationships/commitments that no longer make me happy.

This One Little Word has definitely given me lots to think about so far!

TTFN xxx


Storytime Sampler

Cross stitch was one of the very first crafts that I ever attempted...and my love for it was instant :) 

I loved the pretty threads, the evenness of the stitches, and the thrill of creating something beautiful on what started out as a plain piece of fabric.

I completed quite a few pieces, collected quite a few kits, and then moved on to other crafts....until I discovered The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery late in 2013.



This small business is run by two very talented friends, who design the cutest patterns! I started with a couple of their Christmas designs (which are currently at the framers...yay!) and then signed up for their 2014 monthly program called Once Upon A Time.


Each month, a new part of the design is emailed direct to your inbox, and you have all month to work on it. Nothing like a deadline to keep me motivated! Once Upon a Time is based on children's stories, and I thoroughly enjoyed stitching it...although i'll admit I still have about half of December to complete ;)

I wasn't planning on signing up for the 2015 program....hahaha...no, really! The theme is classic literature, and I honestly thought I could resist. And I did for a while...until I saw sneak peeks of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, and then I was hooked!


February's block is the Secret Garden, and it is just as cute. The frames are stitched in Weeks Dye Works variegated thread, which gives them a lovely antique look. I'm reading the books as I stitch the blocks...a great excuse to reread some of my favourites, and maybe even add some to that list.


I'm resisting the urge to stitch up the title banner and all of the frames...as I really should finish off Once Upon a Time.

That's what I keep telling myself, anyway ;)

Thanks so much for visiting!

TTFN xxx











Friday, February 20, 2015

Natures Journey-a new project!


I probably didn't need a(nother) new project to work on ;) 

In fact, when Chookyblue announced on the stitch-a-long blog that she was planning a new project  for 2015, I mentally reassured myself that I would not be joining up. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed working on the previous stitch-a-longs...and even managed to complete them all according to schedule...I figured that I had quite enough to work on right now.

Then the project was announced, and I was powerless to resist....I love Anni Downs patterns!



I had signed up before I had the chance to reconsider, and set about choosing some fabrics. The pattern lends itself to scraps, but after lots of auditioning (and mess-making!) I decided to use Bonnie and Camille's Miss Kate as the basis for my colour selections.


It wasn't until I pulled the matching threads that I realised I had reverted back to my standard colours....red, aqua, candy pink and apple green, with some navy and burnt orange to add some pop. Oh well, at least I know I'll love the finished result!

Part One of our stitching schedule was to complete 4 large blocks and 7 small...not too daunting once I got started.



I'm hoping they look a bit more cohesive once I make a few more over the coming months...it's all looking a bit random so far!


I hesitated in stitching the year block. I mean, really, is it likely that I'll finish Natures Journey in 2015?


With the blog being updated with such inspiring work from very talented stitchers, and the encouragement of my stitching buddies, I'm hoping I can keep up the pace. Part One...February stitching...is now complete! YAY!

If you need a little stitching inspiration, the blog is really worth a look :)

TTFN xxx

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Computers and puppy dogs


Computer issues have plagued me for the longest time. I've been using a rather ancient Windows XP computer and had no end of problems, especially with blogging. My photos wouldn't upload properly, my comments weren't coming through, my posts wouldn't save...it just went on and on...and on. 

So I gave up :(


The good news is that I have overcome my fear of new technology enough to buy myself a new computer...yay! Having a teenager who is tech-savvy has been my saviour...he has created a polkadot background for me, transferred most of my files, and is working on getting my email up and running. I might actually start enjoying using technology once more....which may just translate into
blogging a little bit more often than once a year?  I'll make that my goal.



Catching up a little...remember that little puppy we looked at before Christmas last year? Look how much she grew! She is now a beautiful one year old, and I'm not quite sure what our family talked about or even did before we adopted Gretel. She has become the centre of our household...and helps me with lots of my sewing projects :)



Have a wonderful day, and thank you for visiting. It feels good to be using this space again :)

TTFN xxx

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hello 2015

Hello there...it's been a while, huh?

  













A new year always brings lots of motivation and good intentions, and the beginning of 2015 has been no different. Right now, I'm madly working on my December Daily 2014 album, finishing up Project Life for 2014, binding my Scandinavian Rose quilt (yes...it's almost finished!), and making long long lists of projects that I'd like to complete in 2015...some things never change ;)

Happy New Year to you...and thanks for popping in to visit.

TTFN xxx

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Avalon MBOM

My Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Block of the Month (made in Avalon fabric by Fig Tree and Co) is coming together slowly but surely...can you believe we are up to Month 7 already?

I look forward to each pack arriving in my letterbox, and have been keeping on top of the stitching fairly well...it doesn't take too long once you make a start ;)

Since the last block I showed you was Block Two, we have a bit of catching up to do!

Block Three is another basket block, called Wildflower Bouquet and designed by Laundry Basket Quilts.


Block Four is Radiance by Bonnie and Camille...love all the blues in this one :)


Block Five is Stargazing by Vanessa Christenson...


...and Block Six is Sparklers by Kate Spain.


Block Seven was a bit of a surprise...a house block! It's called Lemon Lodge by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, and makes me very curious as to what the next block will be :)


The new 2014 Mystery Block of the Month program has recently been announced, and I was kind of happy that it doesn't appeal to me...the colours are quite dull, and not my style at all. I have lots of projects that I'd love to finish this year, and a couple of new quilts that I'd love to start...a little more achievable without a MBOM commitment.

Well...a girl can always dream :)

TTFN xxx