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Move along, nothing much to see here...

Unfortunately it's true - there has been a pitiful amount of sewing going on in ATWD Land - lots of sleeping but very little sewing!  I've had a series of exceptionally tired days where I can do little but either sleep or desperately wait for it to be time for Archie's afternoon walk...which is followed by tea and then, hurray!, bedtime!!

I have been able to do a little bit of sewing and I managed to make some blocks for Judith's and Karen's charity bees

Disappearing nine patch blocks for Judith
Feel free to admire my neighbour's security light!!

Square in a square blocks for Karen - beginning to wish I'd made the centre squares larger...
I wasn't happy with how two of the blocks turned out (1/8th too small) so I added a frame

And whilst I was making them I discovered that an unpicker is indeed sharp enough to pierce flesh - my arm, to be precise!  Don't ask, I have no idea how it ended up there!

I also did a job that's been long overdue...I cleaned and oiled my sewing machine!  I'm not sure how long I've had the machine (possibly18 months) but I wasn't really sure how to clean and oil it (yes, I tried the instruction book but I still wasn't sure!) so I eventually remembered to ask an expert - thanks, Beryl!  Now I know what to do and I'd advise all of you to have a go as my machine is a lot quieter since I lavished some TLC on it!

Look at that fluff...oh, the shame!  I've been very good at cleaning inside the bobbin case, etc., but this was the first time I'd ever removed the stitch plate!

No wonder it's running better now!

I've also been doing a spot of crochet (very addictive!)

which is going to be turned into a cushion cover, just need to find something for the back and I fancy a bit of velvet or cord.  The colours are slightly washed out here - there is much more aqua in the yarn than the photo shows.  The yarn is a 50% Suri Alpaca/50% Merino yarn that I bought at Saltburn Farmer's Market a few months ago from the Willo Alpacas stall.  I have to be careful with yarn as it often makes me itch - I seem to be particularly bad with lambswool but this is beautifully soft and not at all itchy...perfect for a snuggly cushion!

Speaking of cushions...I've chosen my fabrics for my Pillow Fight cushion.

Yes, I know lots of you don't like batiks but I think they'll look great with the design I've chosen - the subtle colour changes are just what's me, it'll work!  (And if not I've got a backup plan...)

Archie seems to be the same - it's very hard to tell how he is as there isn't an outward sign, no limp, etc., so it's a matter of waiting.  We're going back to the vet tomorrow (Thursday) so Archie can have some blood taken (the first time that's happened to him) and if his kidneys are fine then the vet is going to consider keeping him on the anti-inflammatory indefinitely.  I'm hoping that he says that Archie is allowed off the lead for short periods as he's really missing his favourite sniffing spots at the back of the trees.  He also got rolled over by an over enthusiastic puppy* on Monday which was worrying but he doesn't seem to have any after effects but I suppose I'll find out for definite tomorrow morning...

* In the interests of maintaining Archie's reputation I should point out that the puppy was a 60lb Mastiff puppy rather than a little scrap of a thing!

When it's sunny (and sometimes when it's not!) Archie loves to spend the morning in the conservatory and then he moves to the front room in the afternoon as the sun moves round to the front of the house.  This morning he was more than a little miffed to find something blocking out his sun

Can't this thing be moved?!
And this afternoon he couldn't quite work out why the sun wasn't in its usual position at the bottom of the stairs so he went looking for it...

It's not ideal but it'll do, I suppose...

...but nasty Helen wouldn't let him stay there (worried about whether it's putting a strain on his back - another thing to ask the vet!) so he was reduced to this...

It's just not fair...I wanted more than my head in the sun...

...but I'll take what I can get and it's bliss!

Hope everyone is well and enjoying the cold snap?!  Happy stitching!

P.S.  Lynne's newest (&wonderful!) Christmas Gifts for Quilters post is up and this time you could win a fabulous pattern from the ever so talented and lovely Kerry who has just published her first paper piecing pattern (it's soooo cute!).  Click on the button to go to the post and good luck in the giveaway!  If you don't win why not buy the pattern and make yourself a Christmas gift?!

Christmas Gifts for Quilters


  1. Those batiks look great. I'm looking forward to seeing how you put them together.

    Archie is so cute, and I love the pic of Archie sunbathing his face. Very cute. I've still got my sofa bed pulled out from blocking lace because I'm a sucker and realised it's at a better height to catch the sun for my cat to curl up in :)

    Yes, loving the cold snap. I celebrated last night with my first hot choc with marshmellows of the season.

  2. Helen you need your own blog as Archie is fast becoming the star of this one! hehe! ok he always was...

    Great blocks - I still haven't got around to those - too busy floating on cloud nine!

  3. I was wondering about the two of you. So sorry you are still feeling bleh. I hope you've seen a Doctor abuot it.

    Your blocks, and Archie, are beautiful as usual.

    God bless,

  4. What funny and cute pics of Archie. Poppy does exactly the same, moving round the house to find the sunniest spots! Oh the life of a dog! Your Bee blocks look beautiful up on the window & I love the bright turquoise for your pillow swap - I'm intrigued but know that you produce something amazing. Stay within your limited limits chick! Jxo

  5. Archie is cute as ever...and so is that Batik...his back will be fine..they only do what they can manage....

  6. gorgeous Archie!!
    Right first chance I get I'm cleaning my machine!!! (I never have, eeekkkkk, I've had it for about 8 years, I dread to think what's in there!!)

  7. ooh, I love those blue/green/aqua fabrics! Yummy!

  8. Yayy! I think everyone needs to know how to clean their machine, it will thank you for it :) The blocks are beauties, and the batiks, I love!

  9. Hope Archie and you are fighting fit soon, my cats always followed the sun or knew where a hot pipe run under the floor........
    I'm with Trudi on the machine maintenance and, change needles often too. Some folks only change them when they break.......

  10. Lovely blocks, and oh wow, that last pic of wee archibald is gorgeous! Give 'im a wee cuddle for me.

  11. I love your square in square blocks, really crisp! Good job sewing machine servicing, I need to be doing something along those lines... but you know how it is. 'Well jel' of the crochet - so wish I could crochet! Lovely batiks, can't wait to see your idea. Big kiss to Archie, poor sausage. My cats love stretching out in the conservatory (south facing), how fab is the life of a cat? Unless you 'boot' them out all night, like I do!

  12. Archie is pretty cute, that's for sure!

  13. yes, Maggie cat is on the same wavelength as Archie... when there's sun she follows it around the appartment, and now it's got cold she can usually be found asleep on top of one wall heater or another!

    I got my mum to bring some Choc 'n' Orange over from Wales so I can warm up with a nice relaxing cup of choc while I'm quilting!

  14. Blocks are great. Isn't it amazing how much lint accumulates in our machines???? I swear if I work with flannels, I could stuff a pillow! Lol! I heart Archie! :-)

  15. Those blocks are FANTASTIC! But I'm so envious of you knowing how to crochet... please teach me!
    PS Hugs to Archie

  16. I love those batiks! They are absolutely glorious.
    Poor Archie trying to get his sunbath! :-) I hope he gets a good report at the vet's tomorrow and that he can have a little off-leash time.

  17. Love the blocks! Poor Archie, looking for his sunshine..he is such a doll. Loving the blue batiks, and sad to say, I've had my machine a few years now, and have never taken off the stitch plate. Yikes. I need to look into that!

  18. I don't know who is funnier, you or Archie! Great post.

  19. Love those little crisp dinosaurs with white....not really a fan of batiks but YOURS are so summery. I am a sucker for aquamarine...and am sure you have something gorgeous planned IF you can muster up the energy. Its a bit far to send some soup.... but I am waving madly and blowing kisses to you and that sooky handsome canine.

  20. I love the DNP blocks. I keep forgetting how fun those blocks are to make. I love your batik choices. Beautiful!

  21. Don't know how I missed this post. Helen, I need your blog via email. Can I do that? Do you have a subscription button?

    The crochet is amazing. Please send some to me. Love! Oh and I love the disappearing 9 - I've never done that before. Your photos of it really are stunning. Thank you so much for sharing I really love them. I might Pin them on my Sew Board!!! ;)

    Tell Archie it is freezing here. I want some sun too. Hmmmph.


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