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Winter Stitching List - the final report

FairyFace Designs

I haven't looked to see how I've done on my winter stitching list since I wrote my half term report but I'm desperately hoping I've made progress!  Let's face it, I could hardly have got least I hope I haven't!  I'm linking up with the lovely Sarah@Fairyface Designs so after you've read my report please go and see what other (more successful) people have done. 

1&2Add backs (cord?  Velvet?) to my knitted and crocheted squares to turn them into cushion   covers.

I haven't done this as I changed my mind about making them into cushions.  I'd also forgotten that I would be getting cushions from the Brit Pillow Fight and my swap with Nicky (as well as winning a cushion from Fiona!) so I don't really need any new cushions now.  (Which is a good job as I've used the fabric I bought to back the crochet square in my hexies!)

3.  Finish sorting my scraps. 


4.  Make my BQS Pillow Fight cushion for my secret partner (deadline = 21st November)

I made this cushion for Trudi

5.  Make a cushion for a friend (deadline = as close to 21st November as possible!)

Done!  I made this cushion for Nicky and I think hope she's forgiven me for taking so long to make it!

6.  Finish the Twelve Days of Christmas red work garland for my mam (deadline = Christmas day!)

I didn't do this as I got bored with it - my new deadline is Christmas 2012, I'd best get started!  I made the tree triplets instead.


My friend has given me permission to share the pattern for this so I'll sort out some sort of tutorial some time in November - if I forget please give me a nudge!

7 .  Start the blue and white snowball and nine patch quilt for Mam and Dad's spare bedroom

I haven't blogged about it recently but I've cut out the 1000+  2.5" squares I need for the top and sorted the squares for the nine patches into piles, ready for piecing.  I haven't got any further than that but I did say I only had to start so I'm counting this as done!

8.  Decide what size to make my Christmas quilt and firm up the design (embroidery or raw edge applique is the debate currently going on in my head!) PLUS create some (all?!) designs for the (multiple) embroidered panels.

I changed my mind about the quilt design (after I'd designed it!) and, thanks to Hadley's suggestion (and her wonderful rainbow star) I'm now making a Christmas Cherry Star with the fabrics below plus the fabrics I won from Dana.

I'm going to start piecing the quilt in July and I'm aiming to have it layered and tacked sometime in October/November so I can (hand) quilt it during Advent.  I'm calling this one done though as I've settled on a design and size (as big as I can make it with the fabrics I have!).

9.  Make some more hexies - maybe another four dozen, which will almost take me to the halfway point.  (Not all of them have to be pieced as I need some whole hexies to balance out the completely scrappy look!) 

I've definitely done this - I've now made (and blogged about) 101 pieced hexies and have a few more waiting to be pressed and photographed.  I'm not going to show you the photos of the 101 group photo as I think it deserves a post of its own but I'll show you a sneak peek of a close up...

I love it!! 

I've made some progress since the half term report.  Not a lot (anyone else hearing Paul Daniels?!) but at least I've made some.  If I was writing a real report I would probably say that 'Helen is making steady progress with her sewing but must continue to work hard if she is going to achieve her stitching goals'. 

I have made some other things in the meantime but I can't remember any of them!  I know I made an embroidered hoop (which took ages!) but apart from that my mind is blank (nothing unusual there!)

I'll be honest and say that I'm not sure I've done any more that I would have done without the list but it's nice to be able to tick things off!

Thank you for all your support and kind comments and suggestions about Archie's (expensive) medicine.  I'm going to speak to the vet in a couple of weeks to see if there's a cheaper alternative or if he will manage on a lower dose but, thanks to Nic, I've found it for sale at a smidge over £40 for 30 tablets which will make a difference.  I'm also (thanks to Sarah for the suggestion) going to contact the RSPCA and/or the PDSA to see if they can help with the costs.  He's not showing any sign of symptoms - if it wasn't for the blood test I wouldn't know there was anything wrong and he's still enjoying his walks (and his food).  I'm going to try and get some footage of him on a walk but (apart from today) the weather has been awful and I haven't fancied wrestling with a camera in the rain!!

It's been chilly here for the past few weeks and Archie has made sure he's nice and warm

Any chance you could switch on the heating?

I've finally started cutting the pieces for my Stained quilt - the Stained QAL is being run by Sarah@Narcoleptic in a cupboard.  The QAL has been going since February but I only started cutting fabrics yesterday!  I'm not making the same blocks as most other people as I wanted to make the quilt bigger.  Also, the quilt is for my mam and she picked out the blocks she liked the most from both of Sarah's stained quilts so I've mixed and matched and also added some blocks.  I'm making the quilt from the pieces leftover from making Mam and Dad's quilt so I needed to do quite a lot of planning to make sure I made the best use of the fabric I had.  I measured and sketched each piece of fabric, worked out the blocks I wanted to make and the pieces I would need for each and then drew up cutting plans for each of the eleven fabrics as well as drawing up tables telling me which pieces I needed for each block which also (hopefully) helped me make sure I had an even spread of fabric in each block/across the quilt.  It took ages but was fun to do (I think that's a combination of the maths geek and the teacher in me!) and it saves getting part way through the cutting and realising I've made a huge miscalculation!

Stained planning sheets

I'm going to concentrate on the cutting for the next few days so if I'm not in blog land much it's because I've chained myself to the rotary cutter!

I'll leave you with a few random facts to ponder while I continue on my cutting marathon, I'll hopefully be back (with 101 hexies!) in a week or so...

Random Fact  I currently look as though I have a suitcase under my left eye...I was getting ready to take Archie for a walk and he was very excited (he loves his walks!).  As I bent down to tie my shoe laces he hopped up and smacked the top of his (very hard) head into my cheek's a good look!!

Another Random Fact  For the past couple of years a pair of ducks have appeared on our street and the street round the corner.  We don't know where they come from as we live quite a way from a duck pond but there must be something that draws them over here.  They're such regular visitors that the people who own the two front gardens that the ducks like the most have started leaving a mixing bowl of water and some bread for them!  Occasionally they like to visit my front garden for a few minutes to search for insects before making their way round the corner and this morning I managed to get some photos of them. 

Our ducks!
Despite what you might expect Archie isn't that bothered by them.  I'm not saying he wouldn't welcome an opportunity to get to know them better but he's not about to make the first move!

Yet Another Random Fact  The skyline of Teesside changed forever yesterday when two cooling towers and a stack (which were built in the late 50s) were demolished.  There are short video clips of it here and here (in the second one you can see the recently relit Redcar blast furnace in the distance).

I'm off for a cup of tea and a biscuit - there's plenty in the pot if you fancy popping round!


  1. Random fact. We've had two ducks hanging round our patio for the last few days.
    In the beginning I thought they were cute.
    Now they are cr*pping all over my patio I am not so sure.
    Now I'm thinking they would be cuter as Duck a l'orange.
    Nice cushions and embroidery btw.

  2. We had a pair of ducks visit our pond in our last house - was very exciting but they made a huge mess of the pond and their mating was quite disturbing....not quite as disturbing as all your paperwork/calculations, your patience is astounding.
    Look forward to seeing more stained, sounds different.

  3. I'm chuckling because of all your meticulous planing. I cut 144 Different pieces of fabric for my Stained and just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I would never have the patience you have.

  4. Ahhh meticulous intriquite planning... just what I like to see. Execpt if it were me doin it there'd no doubt be a hefty dose of procrastination in there too....
    Good news on the tablet front, hopefully he wont need to take that many! And wasnt I right?!! Your hexies are going to look abso-friggin-lutely AMAZING...

  5. LOL...yes, they are cute if they stay in the pond..I live by the marsh; so I get all sorts of things in my pond...Canada Geese are great to clean up but pretty to watch. Helen; all of your projects are are very busy and doing well.

  6. oh wow what a lot of work those hexies are and so nice to look at. Glad Archie is doing ok and symptom free.

  7. Cute ducks...definitely tasty looking ;-) Love your hexies and the rest! Thanks for linking up!

  8. You did good, and good luck cutting!

    PS. Can my parents have their ducks back!? Well not theirs, but all the ones from the pond at the bottom of their road got stolen! Bundled into the back of a transit van!

  9. Ooh, well done with that list missus! Sorry, you keep randomly dropping off my blog reader, I've no idea why, most annoying, but you reappeared again today!

  10. Great list there and the things you made look great! Love the cushions!

    What kind of biscuits? =D

  11. Wow, you did fit a lot in :) All that quilt maths looks very scary! Hope your cheek heals up quickly!

  12. Aw I'm too late for that cuppa (not to mention a million miles away!). Ouch for your eye! You have achieved quite a bit when you see it all laid out like that. Well done on getting stared on stained, though I'm glad I'm doing your maths! Jxo

  13. Phew... it sure is busy fingers at your house! I am so tired reading about your sewing, I need to lie down... I'll have an earl grey, and 4 sugars please...and a bicky straight from the oven if you dont mind.

  14. Gosh... I know we are all having a lot of rain, but ... Ducks!!! For goodness sakes... LOL. It's exactly the same here, will someone please remind me why we moved to France, oh I remember.... the better weather!!! It never stopped raining yesterday and it's still at it this morning. Glad you were able to find the tablets a little cheaper, lets hope he doesn't need them soon. Oh I am so with you on the head banging, our Sam is the worst one for that but I usually get it in the mouth and end up biting my lip.... tee hee we would look a right pair!!! Hugs

  15. Hi Helen. You don't think that you have done a lot but that list is extensive with lots of ticks. You've done good! Di x

  16. thanks - I'd love to join you for a cuppa !

    are those scrap boxes colour coded ? and looks like you've got heaps of projects done - you've been very busy and love those cushions.

    also love the christmas fabrics - they'll look fabulous together and those hexis are just gorgeous - can't wait to see them all together and your report card is just too funny - sounds just like mine !

    I was thinking of taking a peak at the Stained QAL but seeing your amazing calculations has made me think it might be just a bit too much work - sounds fabulous though!

    thanks for your random facts - hope your eye gets better and love those ducks - its probably Archie they're after :)

    phew, you'll need a cuppa now after that essay :)

  17. Ouch for the eye! Love the embroidery and look forward to seeing your stains x

  18. I think you got huge amounts of lovely stuff done. Hope you're eye gets better soon and Archie stays symptom free.

  19. your hexies are beautiful - looking fwd to that post..

  20. you've done brilliantly and so many of your projects are so intricately beautiful! I love your cushions and the Christmas star will be great :)
    Sorry about the eye! Joan has often done the same thing to me (I blame the Glaswegian in her!!) x

  21. The projects are wonderful, and I wish you luck with the cutting. I wish I could come by for that cup of tea!

  22. I am *so* impressed with your hand piecing. I do a little, but my centres never come together as neatly. Is magic, no? ;-) I specially like your cushions. And Archie. :-)

    (Found you through Cathi @ Quilt Obsession BTW)

  23. When you sort your sewing room; you really sort looks wonderful
    I love the white boxes; so organized. I am about to finish cleaning mine...and it still looks nothing like that....shoot!!!!

    Thanks for your very nice comment Helen. I'll never be great at FMQ, but better than I was.

  24. You have got lots done!! I love those little trees and look forward to the tutorial.

  25. Wow what a lovely lot of makes!
    I love the mini shoofly cushion, I've just started making a big one!
    Happy weekend xx

  26. Sorry just gazing at my gorgeous cushion in stereo - I love it so!

    My head hurts just looking at those plans!

    You have got a lot done Helen - and show us the whole picture soon pleeeeeeease!

  27. Well done for all your lovely makes. I think the cushions were especially wonderful :)

  28. OOOOoh looks like you have been a busy bee! HUrrah for the sorting of the scrap boxes. your room looks might organised... I feel i must go and have a serious tidy up.
    LOVE the embroidered hoop, amazing assortment of stitches and colours there-well done!
    hope Archie (and your eye) continue to recover.Curl up adn get outof the rain Jen@madeinminchxx

  29. Still totally & utterly love those hexies.... and Archie of course!

  30. i love your idea for christmas fabrics in a sew cherry quilt. must ponder that one...


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