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Fresh Sewing Day - the July edition

July has been a quiet month here as I've been really tired and then got a tummy bug which has left me wiped out...I did finish some presents though so it wasn't a complete wash-out!

Union flag thread catchers and a pin cushion...

I also got the results of Archie's bile acid/ultrasound tests - they came back 'within normal range' so although he does have a problem with his liver he's not as far down the road (of liver failure) as the vet thought.  In terms of how he is in himself he's...completely normal!  Sleeping a lot, lying in the sun (when it's out!) and looking forward to meals and walks.  He still jumps round like a young 'un when I get his lead out and he's as keen on his walks as ever - he still grabs his lead in his mouth and pulls me towards the corner of the road (where he gets let off his lead and, in his mind, the walk starts) - just like he's done for eleven years.  So, it's better news than I expected, I've just got to keep an eye on him but treat him as normal.  So no, Archie, no extra biscuits...not every day, anyway! 

I thought it was about time I shared the blocks I've made for the back of the Stained QAL quilt.  I took these photos way back in June (you can tell because Archie has a full complement of hair!) and had two 'helpers' on hand to 'assist' with the technicalities...

(I've decided to do QAYG for this quilt, mainly because I didn't have enough fabric to piece a back (Nicky kept suggesting ideas and I kept saying 'I haven't got enough fabric to do that' - she was very patient!!) but also because I'm using a double layer of wadding in the quilt and I think QAYG will be easier to handle on the sewing machine.)

So, the 'photo shoot'...

I'll stand here to watch the line - if it falls I'll let you know.

And I'll, er, stay here and watch you...if you fall I'll let you know.
You need a different angle - that stuff behind me is distracting...and ugly!
See, that's much better.  You're glad I came out to help, aren't you?!
Yes, you were very helpful when, whilst limboing under the line, I dropped the blocks in the mud and then stood on audience was just the thing I needed at that point.  Ironic that I'd put the line there rather than at the bottom of the garden as I was worried about dropping the blocks in the bird bath...
 No need to get snippy...I didn't ask to be out here...

You realise this would be much easier if the line was more than three feet off the floor, don't you?
Yes, but the background wouldn't be as nice...have you got a better suggestion?

She's got a point but I'm not going to tell her so!

I don't know about you, Alfie, but I think she needs to find a better place to take photos...I'll let you tell her...

Well, it's passable...I've seen better...and I've seen worse.  Not much worse, mind you!

I don't know what she thinks this adds to the mix but we'll humour her, for now.

I'm bored now...(But doesn't the red of that poppy go nicely with my white hair?!)

So am I...are we allowed back inside yet?  It's all right for you, at least you're not tied up like a prisoner...
This is the last photo?  You promise?

This must be the last one - see, we look really handsome in this one.  I think the phrase you're looking for is 'It's a wrap!'.  Then we can go inside and have a celebratory biscuit and contemplate a job well done...

Sod this for a game of soldiers, I'm off...

Well, that escape could have gone better..thanks for the help, Alfie, you couldn't have done less if you'd tried...

Second time lucky?

Or not...

I think I'm losing the will to live...someone, anyone...I'm a celebrity - get me out of here!

If anyone has any suggestions for quilting (bearing in mind I'm going through two layers of wadding!) then I'd be grateful if you'd let me know!  At the moment I'm thinking about just going down each diagonal and leaving it at that.  Here's what the front is going to look like (with grey sashing between the blocks)

Not this thing again...
 And this is the back...a bit odd but I think hope it'll be ok...

I'm sure I was in this photo too...where have I gone?

I'm linking up to the marvellous Lynne and her Fresh Sewing Day

and now I'm off to watch some more of the Olympics - I was hoping to be able to watch and sew but I haven't picked up a needle and thread in over a week...and I'm not even up to feeling frustrated at not being able to sew - I hope I bounce back soon, I've got hexies to prep and sew!  The current count is 182 with 20 left to go - I'll be back to share them soon (ish)!!

P.S.  My blog overhaul seems to have ground to a halt at the moment - I'm going to follow Sarah's fabulous nerdy tutorials on mastering your GIMP when I finally get round to sorting out a new header...all suggestions welcome!


  1. I love the poppies in your garden - I tried growing them once and had no luck, I must try them again. Glad Archie is doing ok. Love the photos. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

  2. Loving your stained, and the back looks fantastic. However, Archie and Alfie stole the limelight again - Alfie looks very very stern in one of those photos: very funny

  3. Great story board :) Hope you feel better soon!

  4. Silly puppies! I love the direction you are headed with the stained glass. The blocks on the back make it completely reversible and so interesting. Well done!

  5. um you made HOW MANY miniature union jacks????? Did they not take you forever and a day???

  6. I love a post that brings a smile to my face and this one did for sure!! Your stained glass quilt looks fabulous. And you know how I feel about your Union Jacks! Love!!

  7. Great news about Archie. Why does Alfie have to be on his lead all the time. Is he the Steve McQueen of the family? (Ie always looking to do a great escape?!) Love the Thread Catchers because of the whole Union Flag thing. You must have made tonnes! Hope you're feeling better now x

  8. can't believe all those union jacks- its enough to sned you boss eyed. they are brilliant though

  9. Love the photo shoot! So sorry about the mud puddle...but it washes...mostly.

  10. Hi Archie, I'm so happy to hear your news from the vet! I do hope you are fine! I was laughing with your post today! We like your your mom's blocks and they look great with that background! You look so beautiful together with Alfie! x Nero & Teje

  11. Great news about Archie and your quilt and thread catchers are fab!

  12. Those thread catchers are quite spectacular! You have had fun with your photoshoot. Good job you had help!

  13. Sorry, can't stop laughing - brilliant photoshoot! And that is going to be a beautiful quilt.
    So pleased you got good news about Archie!
    And i just love the Union Jacks!!

  14. Hilarious post boys, you did so well. And I am not surprised Helen is so pooped after P/piecing all those Jacks - wow!!
    Can you ask her if she is going to quilt the blocks one by one?
    A off to see what a GIMP is.....

  15. No wonder you're tired, all those lovely thread catchers and pincushions, wonderful news about Archie. The stained window patchwork is very effective and the backing will make it reversible. I wonder which one the boys will prefer to lie on.

  16. Just when did you get all this done?? You know I love the Union Jacks - but so many? Patient I may have been but still little help! Glad you are near the end - it will be fab to finish your quilt then maybe the boys will behave!

  17. Hehehe, classic!
    Great news re Archie.
    That's a lot of union jacks, no wonder you got tired :)

  18. Wow that post made me giggle! YAY I got to see Alfie. Did the blocks really drop into the mud and get stood on too?
    I think the diagonal quilting may be the way to go considering you don't want to take too much away from the back.
    Glad to hear Archie is his same crazy famous self! =D

  19. You, Archie and Alfie are all wonderful!! So happy one of those thread catcher beauties is mine :)
    The quilt is looking great and I really like the back!

  20. So, so happy to hear Archie is doing well!!! You have been one busy girl and with an upset tummy! Wow!

  21. Burlimey! you've been busy! all those ickle union jackss, and those stained blocks look fab, they really go well with your garden backdrop too! x

  22. Those dogs are so cute, glad to hear Archie is good. I love how your quilt is coming together and look forward to seeing how you decide to quilt it.

  23. As usual I love your posts. However this one was quite amusing! Thanks Archie! Where are you going to for QAYG advice? Looking to do one on a strip quilt this fall...

  24. Lovely post and look forward to looking through your blog!
    Popping by via Lily's quilts x

  25. Your photo stories are hilarious,and your sewing as always is wonderful. Look forward to seeing Stained finished.

  26. That is a beautiful quilt Helen and Archie was such the photo helper! I loved reading this. Hard to believe he is 11! Duke is 7 and starting to pant more after our walks. We send our love to you both!!

  27. Archie and Alfie were quite distracting--I loved listening to their conversation!


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