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:


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!)...


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

Robin wall hanging 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...

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.

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!
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