Tuesday 15 August 2017

Like an Old Penny

I am back!

I didn't mean to stay away so long, and then it sort of became a habit that I wondered if I should give up blogging altogether and then realised that would be so rude after all these years to all my followers and although blogging in itself has suffered a bit of a slump at the hands of Instagram, it still has a place, doesn't it! hands up if you still look at blogs? I know I still do.

So I refreshed my own memory and see I left you all hanging as I jetted off with the family to Florida for our big Disney holiday. The Art Wrap that I showed you here was a success - it was revealed at Glasgow airport when we had tears, I think maybe because of our delay in departure, can't remember, but the drawing materials went down very well and were a great hit on the flight and during the holiday.
As luck would have it, Florida was experiencing a heatwave and temperatures were way higher than normal for April, just great for the 14 day theme park pass!! I felt about 90 but eventually acclimatised. But it wasn't about me, the holiday was aimed at the 5yr old in our family and she had a ball meeting every Disney Princess known to man.
This is one of my favourite photos from our holiday.

Returning from holiday and it was a whirlwind few weeks until our son's wedding - I was busy with a little sewing during this time for Today's Quilter but won't be able to share this for several months.
I also took cold feet about the outfit I had picked ages ago for the wedding and set about choosing a whole new ensemble, I sort of turned into a total mad woman but was completely happy with my new choice........so the wedding was on 8th July. On 7th and 9th July it rained but on 8th "Happy is the bride the sun shines on" came true and we had a wonderful day. Very emotional.

Things haven't quite settled down yet................just after the wedding I attended a Christmas in July workshop with Amanda Clark in Prestwick and made this lovely candle mat. I decided not to use Christmas fabrics so I could have the mat in use year round.

Amanda is the very talented young lady who took over my classes in Prestwick last year and I think we both found it a bit weird that I was turning up at her classes However, any discomfort must surely have disappeared on her part during the next 3 weeks when I attended her Learn to Crochet classes - long on my bucket list, I was a total novice and felt very out of my comfort zone. I turned up at the second class to find the others with multiple Granny squares whilst I had achieved one, with a carbuncle.........I felt like a failure but I was determined and Amanda so patient. By the end of the third session, I think I had grasped the basics and I have now decided to try and finish the project which is a cushion, have even bought more wool.

Most summers I like to have a little EPP on the go and this year I started one using octagons and squares. It was always destined as a present for an old friend who had sent me a book about Lucy Boston, whose quilts inspired me to use her Piano Keys quilt pattern for this project. So I managed to finish in time for said friend's birthday this month and transform it into a cushion. I hand stitched the panel of EPP onto a backing piece of fabric and then layered up as I always do for cushions, making back and front in one long piece. I started to machine quilt but after just two rows of stitching in the ditch the octagons were beginning to wrinkle and I could foresee heartache ahead. After unpicking and an unscheduled break I had a bit of a eureka moment that would avoid hand quilting. I used one of the built in stitches on my machine and machine "tied" each octagon, very difficult to see in the photo but hopefully you will get the idea. This led me on to sewing a few buttons elsewhere and then machine stitching the back as normal. For the opening on the back, I pinched this  genius idea from Bonnie Hunter at quiltvillebonnie. The black fabric used in my cushion was actually an old shirt and I had watched a video of hers on how to strip down a shirt for patchwork - she added that you could even use the button and buttonhole plackets as openings on cushions and the idea had stayed with me (amazingly enough) and it worked a treat.

At risk of being a very lengthy blog post I am just going to go for it if you can still hang in there, we are not far off now.
Into August and the next big thing on our calendar was my husband's retirement, he has been ticking off the days for quite a while now so he welcomed the celebrations although tinged with emotions too, after 42years. Family and colleagues came together for lunch.

And throughout this very busy year I have been keeping pace with the Bella Skills Builder BOM that is being published each month in the fat quarter shop blog. I think there might only be a couple of months left now and I have thoroughly enjoyed sewing along to this one. All the blocks have been traditional ones and I have really loved using solid fabrics only. I did challenge myself to include shirt fabric and at the start thought that I might slip a few prints in but have easily avoided this as I am loving the fresh look of the solids against the white. I am hoping to make the final quilt a little larger than the planned pattern as I would like it for our super king plus I would prefer to quilt as you go in big chunks so have been playing about with a different layout on EQ7. Here's what I have done so far,

But that is for another day. For the moment I am feeling good to be back.

Next calendar event? First day of school on Thursday, how did that happen?


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