Monday, 30 December 2013

Catching up


I'm going to make this a photo-heavy post so you can see what I've been up to while I've been away.  I don't really want to go into why I've been away but I do want to say thank you for all the lovely emails, cards and presents you've sent (you know who you are!) and to send you all a hug for the friendship, love and support you've given me.  It's very much appreciated - I love this community of ours and am so thankful and grateful to be a very small part of it.  



I made a (very quick!) baby quilt:

Dinosaur quilt (front) - after washing
I channelled my inner Lynne and quilted a grid - I love it!


I've also made a bedding set for my niece's Christmas present (a pram).  Here's Panda trying out the blanket, mattress and pillow:

Panda is trying out the dolly bedding!


and here he is trying out the whole set!

Panda's trying out the whole dolly bedding set
He wasn't pleased when he realised I was serious about it not being for him.

I'm particularly fond of the dolly quilt (made with 'Rain' from the wonderful Simply Solids) - I don't like strip piecing so cut out and stitched all 441 squares (1" finished) individually.  Thank goodness for chain piecing, audio books and podcasts, particularly these!


Dolly quilt (before washing)
It measures 21" x 21".



I had a very long phone conversation with the always patient and generally brilliant Nicky about the best way to organise my Drunkard's Path blocks and we eventually came up with this arrangement:

The final layout


One block just didn't fit anywhere and so had to be changed. I removed the frame and used the four leftover units to make a new (brighter) block:

Altering a block


I stitched it together and now it looks like this:

A finished top!


It's now ready for quilting and I'm going to use Aurifil 50wt that I bought from the marvellous Fluffy Sheep Quilting - grey for the top and turquoise for the bottom.


I've started hand quilting my hexy quilt; I'm using Gutermann Sulky 30wt and it's beautiful to stitch with:

Starting the quilting


I started with a size 12 between needle (I get mine from here) but it didn't last long, I think it was all the seams.  I then moved up to a size 11 but that wasn't much better so tried a size 10 and that's working out really well.  This photo shows the difference between the needles and what happened with them while I was sewing (as well as my dreadful handwriting, sorry about that!):

Needle woes


I feel as though I've made good progress with the quilting (it's probably only 1/12th completed but I'm not thinking about that at the moment but enjoying the process) and I feel I've settled into a nice rhythm with the size and evenness of my stitches, not that you will be able to tell from this photo!

Quilting progress


I've (finally!) finished the Christmas red work garland for my mam (she liked it, thank goodness!)...

Finished!


...and made her a robin wall hanging...

Robin wall hanging


...as well as some tiny crocheted stars (also for my mam, she has some twigs in a jug that needed a festive touch) and I quite fancy making some in pastel colours for Easter, and maybe some hearts/blossom petals for the spring?  The pattern is from here and I used #10 crochet cotton (in ivory) to get them nice and small.  

Tiny crocheted stars


We had some beautiful skies during autumn:

Stunning autumn skies


Right, I think that's me all caught up (and you must surely be bog-eyed by now!) so I'll just show you what Archie's been doing while I've been doing all that making...

Archie
Yes, that is a pile of washing he's curled up on/in!  And for you eagle-eyed readers who noticed a small shaved patch on his side, it's from a nasty little JR who launched itself at Archie and left a few holes and scrapes - nothing serious, fortunately, and he healed very quickly.

Looking cute...and a little forlorn!
Pay me some attention...and some more...and some more...keep going, I'll tell you when to stop.


Yes, that would be lots of lolling around and/or looking handsome (he usually manages to do both at once!).  I'm hoping to be back with my FAL Q1 list (Katy is taking over the reins this year) but as I'm heading into my usual post-Christmas crash I can't guarantee it and may end up linking up with a Flickr mosaic instead!


Thanks for popping in - I hope you all had a lovely Christmas; here's to a happy, healthy and peaceful 2014 for us all!


P.S.  I'm afraid I haven't replied to any of the comments left on my previous post and I'm not sure I ever will - I'll start afresh with this post!

47 comments:

  1. Lovely pics H, and what a fantastic show of makes! They are stunning, I especially love your DP quilt top & the mini crochet stars! Big hugs as you recharge the batteries.

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  2. Love picture rich bloggs and think I may need to have that robin wall hanging too cute! Have a happy new year see you in 2014

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  3. So pleased you're back. Have missed your posts but understand you needed time. So much loveliness to catch up on. Think my fav is your Mams Robins. All the best for 2014 xx

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  4. So pleased you're back. Have missed your posts but understand you needed time. So much loveliness to catch up on. Think my fav is your Mams Robins. All the best for 2014 xx

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  5. Well glad to see you haven't been sitting around with your feet up eating bon bons ;o) Gorgeous makes anyway, and you have from the 9th-16th to type up your FAL list, I'm sure you can make it :oD

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  6. I am glad to hear about you and Archie. I love all the makes, especially the red work. And interesting about the needles, I am glad you are testing them out for us all. I sure hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you the best new year.

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  7. I've missed you! Hope all is well. Happy New Year!

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  8. I LOVE a size 12 needle but sadly it requires "just the right" combo of thread and fabric to quilt. I know I can always get a 10 to work, but yet, I won't give up on the 11's until 2 or 3 bite the dust.

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  10. Lovely post and a very Happy New Year to you and Archie.

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  11. So pleased to see a blog post from you and Archie. Lovely photos as usual, I love the dolls bedding, I must make some for my grandsons toys. Your drunkards path will be stunning and the robins are so cute. My favourite Archie photo this time is the first first, I'm still not sure which way up he was. Don't worry about replying, it's just nice to have you blogging.

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  12. Lovely to see what you and Archie have been up to and great to see you both back xx

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  13. Lovely to see what you and Archie have been up to and great to see you both back xx

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  14. Wow, that is a lot of makes. I especially like the drunkards path quilt, the colours and the amount of scrappiness are just right- and Archie ,as always, is a honey!

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  15. Lovely to catch up with you and Archie. You've made some beautiful things - but I really love the cheeky robins! Wishing you all the best for 2014 x

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  16. lovely to see you back in blogland xxx

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  17. Some absolutely fabulous makes there, still love the Hexy quilt, it's so therapeutic just quilting by hand enjoy it! :o)

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  18. Gorgeous makes and pics here Helen - HNY xx

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  19. Lovely to see you back here, Helen, and you've been so busy! Archie is looking as handsome as ever, glad it was just a minor injury. Rx

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  20. A wonderful set of accomplishments! Congratulations! Looking forward to seing your progress on that hexie quilt...so pretty! Happy New Year!

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  21. Yay - what a load of beautiful and lovely makes!!! Your mum's robins are excellent and guaranteed to make her smile.
    Big New Year hugs to you and Archie (you know he is the exception to my rule) xxxx

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  22. You have been really busy with all those lovely makes. You have some beautiful finishes on the horizon. Di x

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  23. It was so good to see all your beautiful work and handsome Archie. Happy New Year!

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  24. Welcome back Hun, I've missed you! Not that I am much better, I seem to have fell out with my blog. Hope you are okay. Sam is very upset that one of his relatives did that to Archie....hope he is healing now. Take care and I wish you the very best for 2014. Hugs xx

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  25. So happy, happy, happy to read your post this morning. I love it ALL! Hugs to you and Archie! Jim (Mr. WS) and I have a dog now. He's a rescued greyhound named Herschel. We are very attached!

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  26. Lovely to see all your gorgeous work - welcome back.xx

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  27. Its so good to hear from you. Hope you are well. Glad to see Mr Archie. Like the projects you are working on.
    I bought a 12 days of christmas project, let's see if it will be completed by Christmas2014.
    Hope

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  28. Its so good to hear from you. Hope you are well. Glad to see Mr Archie. Like the projects you are working on.
    I bought a 12 days of christmas project, let's see if it will be completed by Christmas2014.
    Hope

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  29. Lovely to see you back in blog land, and to see what you've been up to! Hadley told me about the lovely quilt the girls made you, sorry for your loss, but how lovely of them to be there for you! Wishing you all the best for 2014 x

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  30. Happy NEW Year to you, Archie and your family! Great to see again your beautiful Works! That hexagon quilt is just amazing! And I love the latest with cirles, too! x Teje

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  31. Happy New Year, and welcome back! You and Archie were missed!
    Your work continues to wow, and set high standards for the rest of us.

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  32. Helen!! You have been busy! We missed you bunches. I hope whatever has been going on in your life, you know that so many of us love you and your kind heart. Your work has been lovely but I think the Drunkards Path may be my favorite.

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  33. Lovely pics and makes Helen, and Archie is as handsome as ever. Take good care of yourself and all good wishes for 2014 for you and your loved ones. Xxx

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  34. Fabulous work. I especially like the drunkards path blocks, they're on my mental list to try. Happy New Year.

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  35. Oh gosh, where do I start? LOVE the pram set! My daughter (five) would just die if she got that! You're drunkards path is one of the best that I've seen, and where you get the patience for all that hand quilting on your hexies is beyond me. Now, what else? Ah, those robins!!! Squeal!!! And if you ever have any of those little stars going spare.............. (Hope you're feeling better btw) xx

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  36. Panda looks so comfy in the bed set, mind you so does Archie! Love how your Drunkards path looks. Happy New Year!

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  37. Happy New Year! Wow you made some lovely things and had some lovely skies too. We just have rainy grey skies here all.the.time it seems!

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  38. Beautiful projects! I just realized I've been here before. I was admiring your amazing hexie quilt. Have a great year!

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  39. wow, so many gorgeous makes! I love the drunkard paths quilt and the robin wall hanging is lovely!

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  40. The dolly pram set is just adorable! Gorgeous colours. And the red robin wall hanging is very cute too. Lucky gift recipients!

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  41. Archie! Welcome back....you've been hiding your aristocratic loveliness for too long...hope you scored some biscuity rewards after that ghastly injury. What a nerve of that JR. Really.
    ...oh and please tell Helen her creations are the absolute delight...such perfect stitching and prettiness...give her a big licky reward please.

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  42. Welcome back to blog land. Mind you, I didn't notice your large absence because of my large absence too :)
    Hope everything has been ok with you and you're doing good now. Looks like you've been busy - no wonder you're heading into a crash. That's lots of things you've been making there. Love them all. Especially the robins, they really jump off the wall hanging.

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  43. I'm glad to see you back! Oh, how I adore that redwork - that always draws me in. Interesting what happened to the needles in so few minutes!
    Archie looks as handsome as ever.

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  44. So good to see you back too :) It was a strange year in the 2nd to 4th quarter last year. I'm hoping you are feeling better and will soon pick up from your post Christmas crash. I see you have been busy though with some lovely projects completed. Love them all!! You are so talented! Great going with your hexagon quilting, interesting to see how the needles performed. And Archie is looking as handsome as ever :) Bottoms up for a better year this year ;) xxx

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  45. Lovely to see you back! You've been making great progress - I especially like the drunkards path and hexie quilts.

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  46. it has been awhile since I dropped by I lost your address on my blog reader and then tracked you down again. Looks like you have been busy and Archie keeps you entertained!

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  47. Beautiful projects, Helen. You posted this while I was having a short blog break. It's great to see you back :)

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