Monday, 14 November 2011

Lots to catch up on (but not much stitching going on!) and a wonderful surprise!



It's been a while since I last posted (about ten days I think) and I hope you've all been well?  I've been really tired (and busy quilting my cushion) so I decided to wait until I felt a little better and I'd done something I could show you!  I think I've been tired from all the Archie walking I've done in the last few weeks.  Normally my dad walks Archie on an evening for me but because he wasn't allowed out for long I've been walking him twice a day and it's been too much for me.  The good news is that now Archie can tolerate a 'normal' walk on the lead my dad can walk him when he walks Alfie when he gets in from work which we all enjoy - Archie is always thrilled to see my dad (as am I but I don't jump up and down and sing!).  Also, Archie is now allowed off the lead for an increasing distance every day.  He's really enjoying being off the lead and has broken into a gentle run on a couple of occasions when he thought there was a possible biscuit situation ahead (he knows all the dog owners who carry food with them - if they feed him they go into his 'carries food and is a soft touch' book so he doesn't waste his talent for looking sad and pathetic on people with empty pockets!)) and he seems to be tolerating having his off lead time slowly increased which is lovely!  Oh, and I'm starting to feel a little better - today was the first day I managed to leave the house to walk Archie before 11am.  Ok, it was only two minutes before but that still counts!!  So, now to see what there is to catch up on...

Christmas Gifts for Quilters

The wonderful Lynne has published the next in her Christmas Gifts for Quilters series - if you haven't already done so then visit her blog before the 16th for a chance to win an annual subscription to


Fat Quarterly

a quarterly e-zine full of inspiration for modern quilters and which is lucky enough to count Lynne as its latest staff member - congratulations, Lynne!


Something else I want to draw your attention to is the hand quilting button on my sidebar which will take you to Michigan Quilts, a blog run by Caron Mosey and she has set up this link to celebrate hand quilting - the links are to blogs where the quilter is predominantly a hand quilter and there are some fabulous quilts to be found.  Grab a cup of tea, you could be quite a while!



And speaking of hand quilting...I've started quilting my Pillow Fight cushion.  Nicky very kindly sent me a piece of white fabric for the back of the 'top' that she had hanging around - she also sent me a lovely card and a curly wurly but I'm afraid there's no photographic evidence of the chocolate as I ate it that evening!  Thanks, Nicky!  My order of bleached Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 from ASding arrived last week (fabulous service, I'd recommend it for wadding and other useful bits and pieces) and as soon as I could I tacked the cushion front so I could start quilting.  This is what it looks like at the moment (Sorry about the poor photos, daylight seems to be in short supply!!)




The back - not much to go now!

I chose a plain turquoise thread for the quilting - I hope my partner approves of my choice!  I must confess that the hand quilting is going quite slowly.  This is partly because I've been really tired and sometimes three or six stitches is all I feel like doing (I tend to get three stitches at a time on my needle, any more and I struggle to pull the needle through the layers!) and partly because it feels like it's mainly seam allowances and therefore hard to quilt, especially when I'm trying to quilt through six layers plus wadding and backing!  However, I've done all of the quilting around the batiks and have almost finished quilting in the centres and the spaces where the blocks meet.  When that's done I'm going to quilt once or twice around the edge (in the white border) which should be quite quick to do as the wadding is wonderful to quilt through and then I can make the back which is going to be fastened with buttons.  I couldn't find any buttons I liked so I'm going to cover some with either the same fabric as the back (the dark turquoise/teal batik I've used on the front) or three of the fabrics I used on the front, I can't quite decide at the moment.  I must remember to put a photo in the Flickr group so that my partner can see how it's progressing - I hope she likes it!!  I've got a week before I can post it (and about ten days until I have to post it!) and if everything goes according to plan I'll be posting it as soon as the posting window opens next Monday (21st) and then I'll be waiting on tenterhooks until it arrives at its destination and I hear from my partner!


I've also been doing a little bit more of my teeny tiny foundation piecing but I can't show you anything - I've been taking photos though so you'll be able to see what I've been up top at some remote point in the future!  



And now for the two best things that have happened in the past ten days (apart from the fabric and the curly wurly, obviously!)...Last Saturday it became official - I am one of the chosen...

Shamelessly pinched from Sarah's blog!

That's two giveaways I've won in as many weeks (approximately!) - I think autumn is my lucky season!

And then sometime last week (last Monday, I think) this happened

Thank you!!
Now I have plans for a little something to celebrate but I need to stalk the postie for a few days before I can sort things out.  In the meantime I have something wonderful to share...

On Saturday I was just coming back from walking Archie when a Royal Mail van drove past...you guessed it, they'd tried to deliver a parcel whilst I was out!  Although the wait nearly killed me I had to wait until today to collect it as the card said to wait five hours before collecting and the depot was only open for another two...grrr!  This afternoon I called in on my way to the supermarket and picked up a completely unexpected parcel.  I managed to wait until I'd done the shopping and put it all away before I caved in and opened the parcel with Archie in attendance...want to see?!!

Can we open it?  Please?!!!!

What is it?  Let me see...I think it's for me!!

Is that my name?

Look what I got - all the way from Scotland!

I know you said that's my name but I'm not as clever as you - I can't read upside down...

That's better!  That word says 'dog'!!

Look at my giant bone!  See how much my tail is wagging?  That's how excited I am!
Thank you Sheila - if you lived closer I'd share my biscuits with you!
Just in case you've been so distracted by Archie that you haven't seen what he got here's a photo I took in the few moments of daylight we had this afternoon...spot Archie in the background!

I'm sure there was a giant bone around here somewhere!

Thank you so much, Sheila, it's a wonderful way to celebrate 100 followers and was very, very thoughtful of you - I'm so touched by what you've done that honestly and truly I can't thank you enough!  If you ever need a favour please shout!  Please can the rest of you go and visit Sheila's blog and tell her how marvellous she is?  Thank you!

And thanks to a sharp eared Clare we've discovered that Archie has had his identity stolen...on Graham Norton's radio show on Saturday morning an email was read out from 'Archie the wonder dog', a Westie from Ulverston (I think I heard correctly!).  Now, although Archie agrees with the imposter's advice on a problem 'give it a good sniff and walk away' I can categorically state that Archie is not a Westie (as if there was any doubt!) and has never emailed Graham Norton (he's thinking about it now though) although he is single and has had 'the operation', just like the imposter.  He will, however, be keeping his credit card and personal details safe from now on *wink*  If you would like to hear the imposter's email the programme is available on iPlayer until Saturday here (not sure if those overseas can access this, sorry!) and the imposter is about 15 minutes into the show..watch out for the 'I can't believe it's not better' track though, you don't want to be singing that for the rest of the day!


I'll be back in a few days with details of my celebration but please keep it under your hats as I want it to be a 'thank you for welcoming me into the blogging pool' for my followers and regular readers.  The phrase 'keep it under your hat' always but always reminds me of an episode of The Flumps called 'Secrets' where Posie promised to keep some things under her hat so she found a hat so she could keep the secrets and then got upset when her hat blew away...if you fancy a trip down memory lane you can see the first half of the episode here and the second half here.  I promise you'll be humming the theme tune before long!

See you in a few days - happy stitching until then!

Edited to add:

P.S.  Jan at Isisjem  is three followers short of the magic 100 - if you're not already a follower please pay her a visit at her wonderful blog - you won't regret it!  She's lovely and makes beautiful bags and quilts!

31 comments:

  1. Archie's bone is wonderful! Congratulations on reaching 100 followers! I know how exciting that milestone is.

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  2. oooh congrats on your 100 followers I'm 3 short then I have 100 too! It will probably take me a year to get another 3 lol.

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  3. Oh no! Now I'm humming the tune to The Flumps & I didn't even need to listen to it! LOL! Lovely post H & what a fab gift for Archie! He's a gem and v.deserving of his new mat from Sheila - what a star she is! Hope your energy levels start to build up again soon, hugs Jxo P.s. loving the quilting on your pillow.

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  4. LOL! I've got "best of the flumps" on dvd... and phew, glad you blogged that quilty bone cos I was thinking along those lines myself! Hmmm think again. It looks absolutely fantastic and the photos of Archie enjoying it are a joy :-) I do hope you are starting to feel better x

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  5. That cushion is looking fantastic, you'll be done in no time! What a gorgeous pressie for Archie, he's so deserving of it too ;)
    Congratulations on your win and reaching 100!!
    I really love reading your blog and you always make me smile x

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  6. My that was a long one but you did have a lot of exiting stuff to tell us! Love your pillow and Archie's bone - and off to tell Sheila she is wonderful (Saffy hopes it will be worth our while!)

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  7. I heard that too on Graham Norton and my ears pricked up until I heard the location!
    Love, love, love those pics, thanks for posing so well Archie!!

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  8. Ha ha I love Archie's present!! Nothing is more annoying than the postman trying to deliver when your out! I've also ordered from asding before and had really good service too! I love your swap cushion, beautiful colours and hand stitching! Congrats on the magic 100!

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  9. Congrats on 101 followers!! How dare they use Archie's name and I bet he isn't as cute are your Archie. Glad to hear he is improving all the time. Hugs x

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  10. how lovely of Sheila to send that to Archie, she is so clever: and what great pics. sorry you havn't been well, hope you are on the mend

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  11. I'm glad to hear both you and Archie are feeling better. I hope you continue to get more energy.
    Love your pillow. Those colours are beautiful and I'm sure your partner will love it.
    The bone is awesome! And Archie sold it so well :)

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  12. Glad to hear you are feeling better! That bone is wonderful, Archie is a lucky dog.

    Your hand quilting looks great too. It reminds me I need to get some done too!

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  13. I'm glad you're feeling a little better (or you 'were' before your epic blog post!) and it's nice to see Archie's improving too!
    Congrats on over 100 followers :)
    How kind of Sheila to send that cute bone for Archie.
    Your cushion is looking beautiful. I love those colours and the hand quilting is divine!

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  14. So lovely to hear that Archie is improving :) I'm hoping that you will soon follow in his footsteps and feel some improvement yourself! What a lovely quilt for Archie, Sheila is such a star!!

    Congratulations on topping the 100 followers mark! It's sad to say I look forward to the day we get there too :)

    Your pillow is looking fabulous too!!

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  15. What a lot of loveliness - congrats on your century, and Sheila is so the best!!

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  16. ha! you are so very clever, but i spend a bit of time decoding your british jargon, haha! how amazing is that dog bone!? what a great gift for archie. i'm so glad he's out walking and having a good time! he really is a good model, you get such great pics with him!! glad you're feeling better, too :D

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  17. Congratulations on 100+ followers! Glad you are both feeling better and I love the story and pics of Archie's present! I tried to listen to the radio clip but, man, was that hard to understand for me. Do you all speak so fast?

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  18. Love your beautiful Pillow-to-be and as always I love the pictures of Archie! His bone is great! Congratlations on 100 followers :)

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  19. Love your cushion, but oh, that dog is so adorable! I love him!

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  20. The stripey bone matches Archie's stripey collar! This personalised gift might be dangerous for his ego...but I guess he deserves it after being so patient with his Illness.
    Love your cool Pillow Fight...the quilting is perfect despite those nasty seam allowances.
    Perk up soon Helen...you need to enjoy the Silly Season!

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  21. LOL, I'm humming the Flumps tune without even thinking about it! A classic. Isn't Archie's bone, wonderful? What a lovely, lovely gift from Sheila (aren't quilters just the nicest people?) and I do adore your cushion for the swap. Your quilting is just gorgeous! I'm feeling a bit down that I didn't join in, now. Even though I KNOW it was the right thing to do with my time constraints just now.

    And congrats on your win! I was so chuffed that I "knew" all Sarah's winners. I especially loved you being "Archie!" complete with exclamation mark. Made me giggle!

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  22. Congratulations on your 100 Followers!! Love Archie's bone!! Great photos of him too and yes I did get a little distracted looking at him, LOL..
    Your hand quilting is wonderful! and you manage to keep it so neat while going through all those layers. Your partner will be so lucky!!!
    Lovely read and photos! hugs Ellyx

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  23. I'm glad you're feeling better. Your cushion is looking beautiful and I also love your quilt festival quilt btw. Congratulations on reaching 100 followers and winning the giveaway :)

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  24. LOL how gorgeous is Archie, hope you're feeling better...love your new header.

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  25. Vof Archie! Congratulations! Your bone-quilt is wonderful - I hope you got a real one too! Hugs from Nero

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  26. Congratulations!! My follower numbers have been creeping up sooooo slowly...the whole business is so baffling, but isn't it nice to know that there ARE people out there reading and looking and even responding?!

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  27. What a great post, I love Archie's blanket. I checked out Sheila's Blog - lovely lady! Congratulations on the wins, lucky you! And I love your pillow fight cushion. And lastly, thank you for your kind comment on my Blog - I really appreciate it! E x

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  28. Look at you!!! Congrats!!!!!
    And Archie is one lucky dog.

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  29. I love your cushion - but as always my favourite photos are the Archie ones!

    Pomona x

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  30. Oooh Archie you lucky lucky dog!!! As for your followers, pssht, Helen we knew that was coming! Whew hew! Congrats. I'm glad that there are at least 99 other people who share my love for you and Archie!!! xo B

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  31. Oh Gosh . . .I know this is a bit late . . but isn't that banner just so perfect . . .now that I know who Sheila really is!
    She's so generous.

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