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Fancy a cuppa...

and a catch-up?!  I'm planning to drink at least two big cups of tea while I write this post (I've done more, and shared less, in January than I thought!) so if you fancy joining me then pull up a pew...there are biscuits, if you want one two!  (Garibaldi's at the moment, or Rich Tea if you're not a fly cemetery currant lover.)  Ready?  Then off we go...

I can finally share one of my FAL objectives (item three: to finish some knitting) as it has been received by its lovely new owner and is settling in nicely!

Here's the (awful!) photo I emailed to Leanne (at the start of the quarter) of my third Umaro scarf (this time knitted in 'Stonewash'):

In progress

And this is what I sent across the pond:

All finished!

I received a beautiful parcel from Deb, wrapped in the loveliest tissue paper I've ever seen.  Yes, of course I kept it!

Not that I'm done with this knitting lark or even this pattern (Umaro from Brooklyn Tweed) - I've started a baby blanket!  No photo yet (next time, perhaps) but at least I'm using a different yarn this time (Aran rather than chunky) and doing nine repeats of the pattern across the row rather than just one.  I'm definitely getting my money's worth out of this pattern!

I've also ticked another item off my FAL list: my stumpwork anemone.  It needed a bit of stitching added and the detached petals prepared and joined to the fabric before I mounted it onto a 4" canvas block:

The front, the back and the finished item.

I gave it to my mam and she's going to find somewhere to put it...she has one in red partially made and my hope is that she'll finish hers but I'm not holding my breath!

I've also managed to make progress with the third (and last) item on my FAL list (the Marmalade hexagons from Our Dear Leader) - I just need to add some (plain) borders and then I can start quilting:

Hexy cushion (front and back) - it needs a press, as you can see!

I've made another couple of pin cushions and given them to two friends.  One is a sister to the pin cushion I made for Danielle and one is another EPP pin cushion, made with Japanese import fabric (EPP and these fabrics are a perfect match!):

Little and large
Little and Large.

After those two big hexy pin cushions I needed some more toy stuffing so was forced (forced, I tell you!) to put in an order with Annie at The Village Haberdashery:

The corduroy is for a bag I'm making (I'm starting it tomorrow in a workshop at my friend's studio, Knot) and it's gorgeous!  I'm using Kona pomegranate for the lining (bought from here - an eBay shop I'll definitely be using again!) and have managed to track down a 20" bright pink zip, which is harder to find than you'd think (especially if you're not willing to pay £2.99 p&p for a single zip), so I'm all set!  All I need now is some energy and concentration...I'd best take some sweeties with me to keep me going!

I've also received some more nice post, well I think it's nice!  I recently snapped my favourite hand piecing needle (it couldn't face another hexy and gave up the ghost!) and I realised that I didn't have many left in the packet so put in an order with JJ Needles and ordered enough needles to last me a decade!  Well, I needed to make full use of the cost of postage, didn't I?  (I think I usually quilt with a #10 between and wanted to move to a smaller needle so got a packet of #11 betweens to act as an intermediate step before I move to the #12 needles.)

New needles
50 sharps and 36 betweens, that should keep me going!

I tried to take a photo to show the size of the needles but I'm not sure I succeeded!  I wanted to put them next to something that most quilters will own or have seen - coins aren't particularly useful if you're outside the UK and I was struggling to think of something when this ball of perle thread volunteered:

I've also had some lovely post from Katy@The Littlest Thistle - she's kindly donated one of her WiPs to me and it'll probably be going on my FAL Q2 list.  I think it's got quite a bit of experience of being on an FAL list...

From Katy
I have no idea why Katy was willing to part with this but I'm glad she did!

If you can bear it, I've got another couple of photos of my hexies to share but feel free to skip past, I wouldn't blame you!  The first is my hexy map as a few of you wanted to see what it was:

Labelled hexies and a hexy map
It's not the clearest photo in the world (I like to use pencil on my block labels and maps, in case I want to alter something and also because I know that pencil and fabric is a fairly safe combination, unlike ink and fabric!) but the hexies all have a number pinned to them and have been split into groups (each in a separate zipped freezer bag) to make the joining more manageable.  I've noted down the number of the hexy, as well as the type of hexy it is (i.e. which design), on the map and have described the fabric for the edging pieces, in case a label falls off! Of course, I've got plenty of photos but I find a paper map is more accessible than a photo on the computer (which I won't print out as I'm a good Yorkshire lass!) and it's easy to have at my side when I'm stitching.  I was intending to join them in groups and then join the groups but changed my mind after the first group and am now stitching one hexy at a time to the main group.  It'll make it less portable but easier, I think hope!

I've now got seventeen hexies joined, which wasn't without drama as I realised (after joining sixteen hexies) that I had the same fabric in two blocks and it was touching!  The horror!  I took to Flickr (the link will take you to see the offending hexy) and Twitter to see what the consensus was...and promptly went against it!  In fairness, I was really intending to leave it but somehow hearing other people's opinions made me realise what my own was.  In Nicky's words, 'Miss PK (Picky Knickers) won!'

This is what they now look like:

Hexy progress
I'm trying to remember to press it each time I add a hexy but I'm not succeeding...yet!

and I'm really pleased I listened to Miss PK and moved that hexy!  It's lovely to be able to see them without their seam allowances, it makes such a difference!

Finally, ('At last!', I hear you cry!) I managed to take some photos of Archie in the snow...well, what was left of it by the time I remembered to take my camera with me on our morning walk first walk of the day ('morning' has a very liberal interpretation in this house, particularly at the moment!).  I think the one I took last year is still my favourite, but these come close!

Now, my cup is empty (again!) and I think it's time for tea...this time the meal, not the drink!  I'm linking up with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day, why not pop over and see what everyone is up to?  While you're there, why not add your link to the list?!

Lily's Quilts


  1. I think it has been watching your hexies grow that got my interest peaked and my own hexies growing. Loved having a cup of tea with you - wish I could pull up a chair and sew hexies with you and Archie :)

  2. I had wine whilst reading your post and a biscuit or two!!! Your hexagon planning is amazing!! And they look fantastic pieced together.
    I do love that scarf, can't wait to see the blanket!!

  3. Those hexies are coming together beautifully! I will follow progress carefully!

  4. Nice newsy post. You have been busy with all your makes. I sometimes use that eBay shop too. Di x

  5. I love that you do lots of different and original stuff Helen - you've had a good month, and you scored on the rainbow geese from Katy!

  6. You get some great photos of Archie. My dogs are like - "ew - the ground is wet and you want me to stand on it?! I don't think so!"

  7. I love those hexies, the geese from Katy is gorgeous too, can't believe she gave it away. As usual archie is too cute

  8. Gosh you've been very productive lately. Your scarves are beautiful and your stumpwork is just incredible, you're very talented.
    Your hexies are coming along nicely too, it's going to be quite a masterpiece. x

  9. Oh my! I don't know where to begin. It's all fabulous. I am loving my scarf! It is such a treasure!

  10. what a lovely chatty catch-up! So nice to see everything you have been up to :-)

  11. You haven't been letting the grass grow under your feet have you?!

  12. What wonderful knitting! (I can't knit much so I'm impressed by those who can) Also, so many hexies!! (Which, as you might remember, j'adore!) They are so precise and lovely, I look forward to watching your progress to a finished quilt. ♥

  13. You've clearly had a very busy month! So good to see. Hope the bag class goes well tomorrow. There's just so much there its hard to comment, just trust me that I'm impressed with ALL of it!

  14. Great month, and the hexies are looking wonderful!!!
    Have fun on the 'morrow xxx

  15. Excellent post as always - are those locking stitch markers for your knitting, like row markers?

  16. You've all sorts going on. Love the knitting. I never could figure out the intricacies of knitting so love when other people make such lovely stuff.

  17. Your knitting is amazing! As is your stitching! Well done on a productive month! Jxo

  18. I am amazed at your hexies! I can't imagine how long that must have taken... I've nominated you for the Liebster award:

  19. Archie is such a riot! Beautiful projects here. Always a pleasure to see your hexies.

  20. Yay for all the sewing and double yay for so much happy mail!

  21. Thanks for the tea and a catchup with all your lovely makes x

  22. Mmmm I'm lazing in bed with Miss O admiring all of your makes! The snow is piled high outside my window so I am especially keen on your knit pieces, I have knit Nothing this winter! Shameful. And you already know how I feel about your EPP pincushion...yummiest of the yum!

  23. your knitted scarf and marmalade hexagons were my favorite, and then i kept scrolling to the hexies at the bottom. so so so pretty. you are so amazing.

  24. I see you have been bitten by the yarn bug too :) Love the scarf! Nice job :) Cute pincushions! Look forward to seeing how you finish someone else's ufo. Great going on your hexagons! I had a right good giggle when I saw the picture in Flickr. But you have to do what you have to do. Archie is looking as handsome as ever, but my it does look cold there!!
    Great post! hugs Ellyx

  25. wow you have been busying away all month! So much loveliness where to start - Fabulous! Hope you had a good day bagmaking, time for another cuppa and more biscuits me thinks!

  26. The scarf is lovely, congrats on the finish.
    You've done a lot this month. You must be pleased

  27. So much to comment on, I love the scarf, the marmalade cushion and your hexies coming together. The geese look very tricky. Archie in the snow is a classic.

  28. The hexies are looking so perfect all sewn together and I LOVE your scarf!

  29. Reading your blog is such an adventure... you send us on all sorts of fun journeys! I am glad for you that you found the energy to "fix" your hexie placement.... I know just how important it would have might have bugged you forever if left in place.
    That stumpwork is unreal! Red Riding Hood looks happy, and I wondered how the marmalade cushion was going... it looks beautiful. Such a lovely blogpost Helen....and yes... Archie in the snow last year, is my favourite too!

  30. You've got lots done! Your scarf is lovely and I'm very impressed by your anemone. I've been meaning to try stumpwork for literally years! And your hexies are all looking fab - the cushion and THE hexies. I think it was worth changing the one you weren't happy with. It's such and heirloom that it would be a shame to finish it and have one always bugging you. Hugs x

  31. Your work is so wonderful.
    Greetings from Germany,

  32. Totally lusting after the goods Deb sent you x

  33. It has taken me a while to get here but well worth it. You are doing so well on your finishes! I love how those hexies are coming along too. Oh, and if you want cheaper zips, consider an order to zipit in the US. They are on etsy.

  34. Wowzers! There are soooo many goodies here, all amazing! Love brooklyntweed -- his old blog (before he went all pro) was the first craft blog I followed, it was truly lovely -- and OF COURSE I *adore* your hexies :) xx

  35. Lovely catch up, you have been busy! The hexies are looking stunning :D

  36. Your comment on my blog made me wonder whether I'd better make a translation each time I log in. So I tried it for today's entry.

    Since your blog's name also made me wonder about Archie, I took a quick peek and as it is I'm totally swept away by Archie. That's the reason why I enrolled as member number 196 with you. At the same time hoping secretely that you'll join my blog as well. I haven been blogging for one month now and still have no more than 12 followers. I feel rather disappointed.

    Brigitte, with the (non-popular ) blog:

  37. I love your hexies, your knitting and all of your work. But today, (don't be jealous, please) I am impressed by that circle of geese in rainbow colors you got from your friend. Lucky you! it's just amazing! Pat for Archie...

  38. Gorgeous EPP work. I am a bit addicted to it myself!

  39. I'm in love with Archie. Love his droll sense of humor and handsome good looks.

  40. In love with Archie, all the way from Arizona.
    His good looks and droll sense of humor are irresistible!


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