Thursday, November 26, 2009

A recent return to ...

I have been working on this recently, and I have so enjoyed it. I was right, cross stitch definitely goes along a lot quicker and is so much more user friendly. This is my progress so far.

But in the mean time I have also been working on a commission quilt for a special somebody, so I make put a few pictures on here, just to document the progress, and I also dug out Miss Hathaways Garden from Marty Bell published by Pegasus Originals. I began this project about five years ago, I have always been passionate about it but with all our shifting house, it was put away in a box and I really had forgotten about it until two months ago, when I found the project. That is when the hunt began for the rest of the project.  Four weeks later, I had stitchery, floss, hoop etc, but the pattern had somehow got separated. My next mission was to find the pattern, no luck here, so I decided that it was a necessity to buy a new one. Lucky for me after many a long day and night searching I finally located a retailer. I have all the necessary requirements and I am going to add this to my rotation.

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where oh where have I been ...

I have been on hiatus. Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it. It doesn't sound very nice to say well I just couldn't be bothered or something along those lines.

While I have been away I have rediscovered a few passions in my life. I am back cross stitching again and getting really involved in it this time around. I always used to think that cross stitch seemed to produce very little for such a lot of effort. But, because I do so much hand quilting, my cross stitch seems to go so much faster. I really can't believe the amount that can be produced in just a few hours. The "bug" returned due to an excursion to my local needlework store for some thread for a quilt, I found a "quick project" while standing at the counter, and brought that too. When I got home I was in two minds about quilting, so I thought, I would really like something to work on, so I opened up the quick project and went to work.

Two weeks later this is what I have.

But while working on this project I also felt it was about time I got a long forgotten project out of the way. It is a picture of rosebuds, but at first glance it is really deceiving, it looks like a cross picture. But, as I have had to point out to more than one person, look closer, they are actually little tiny mosaic tiles. It is called "Pixel Hobby", and the possibilities with it are really endless.

But my foray into that has ended for a while because I have so many other projects calling out to me from different places in my house. So its back to paying attention elsewhere.

Until next time, happy stitching

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The end is nigh...

The end of the month is coming up fast, REAL fast, and my monthly to do list is 50% completed and still have so many things to do.

I am thinking that I won't beat myself up about not doing the whole list, but I will make an honest attempt to do as much of it as I can, and whatever is left over can be put to the top of next months list.

I was catching up on Google Reader with the blogs that I follow and realised that I had forgotten to pick up this weeks pattern for Stitchers Angel 2009 because of our spontaneous weekend away, and WOW!! I really like this pattern. I think this could be such a handy gift for christmas, and I think I know exactly the right person that it would suit, (mothers-in-law, can be so hard to shop for).

I have completed block 2 of my Angel BOM. I ended up doing the pieced blocks by hand, because I always need to have some sort of hand piecing project on the go. These are so good when you are relaxing after dinner and your not really interested in what is happening with the television.

I dug out my cross stitch project bag during the week and discovered that somewhere during our house moving my folder that housed my pattern for "Miss Hathaways Garden" got separated from the rest of the bag. So I spent two days searching in all the places I thought it could be, and decided that I would give up for the moment because it is probably tucked away in one the many boxes that are still packed. So I have had to put that project aside for the time being and will hopefully make some progress on "Purr-fect Patterns" by Paula Vaughan. I am half way through this stitchery.

I still have some photos from our trip last weekend and here is a picture of one of the cubby holes in one of my storage units. I was playing with the macro on my camera. I figure that if I don't play with it how am I going to get any better at taking pictures.

Until next time, happy stitching

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Out and about...

Sorry but I have been "MIA" so to speak. Mainly trying to get some of my September to do list out of the way, but also because we just decided to on the spur of the moment to visit my parents in Russell.

I forget how nice it is at this time of year, blossoms and blooms everywhere, house maintenance going on all over the place (minor fixes after winter) and not as many tourists around. The car ferry trip over was absolutely beautiful, but for the rest of the weekend we got to be the "tourists". I didn't realise that there were so many places that I hadn't taken my husband to, you would think that after 20 years of marriage you would have shown him all those wonderful places you got to enjoy as a child (but then again, you tend to take these things for granted).

He wanted to go up to the flagstaff, the views from here are
wonderful, (you don't appreciate those as a child, and because you've already seen it, you don't go back), my biggest mission was trying to get both the flag pole in Russell and the flag pole in Waitangi in the same photo. Not that easy as you will see, the odd white outline on the left of this photo is the flagpole in Russell and over in the distance you can just make out the one in Waitangi.

Over on another part of the hilltop is a giant sundial, and the base is made up of a mosaic of the Bay of Islands, we were trying to pick out where my parents live and the township.

Look at what was right in front of our car when we parked it.

Our next stop was the next bay and we decided to go for a walk around the rocks, really because I knew there was another bay on the other side. It was so lovely and private, so we sat there and talked and looked for "sea gems", (old glass) and basically wasted the rest of the afternoon, dreaming about what we would do in the future, like what to have for dinner that night.

Mum and Dad lead such an active life here that from Thursday to Sunday they eat out at all sorts of different places. What a great life, I am definitely going to retire here, hubby wants to begin retirement next month, after we have broken the sad news to the kids. (I can see that going down like a big lump of dirt)....

So I am going to take myself back to the secluded bay and dream some more, because in those dreams I have completed all these "to do's" and living the dream.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I just can’t help myself…

I’ve been plodding along nicely doing all my little mini projects to get some of my WIP’s completed. If I must say so myself, I think I’m doing quite well. But I do want to begin on my quilted diamonds.

Now hand piecing is my all time favorite thing to do when quilting. I like to sit and just sew away, it is so nice to have my hands working away with needle and thread, and still be “present” with my family.

That is the only thing that I don’t like about machine piecing, it “takes” me away from my family in the sense that I am so focused on using the sewing machine and getting as much of what I am working on completed that I need to be in a separate room.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Been there, done that…

Well so much progress was made last month. I can’t believe how much of my “To Do” list I actually got done. I surprised myself, when going through it all and began crossing off items and eventually I got to the end of the list and everything had been crossed off. Yeehaa!!!

I know that my list looks a bit, shall I say “Over the Top”, “Too much information” maybe, but, for me to get anything done, I really need to break it down like this or I will get nowhere. Honestly!!!

I have so many projects that I have started and I get maybe the first couple of blocks together, or three quarters of the top made and I hit a speed hump, (like shifting house, and everything is so difficult to locate because even though boxes were labeled and inventories taken of said boxes, everything is still 85% in storage and I am unable to carry on, don’t you just hate that, I do), anyway, I digress, once the speed hump has approached all I can think about is the next project. How it's going to look, what colours it will have, and then "If I start it now, maybe I will get this project finished because I have lost interest in the one I am already working on".

So am I the only own that this happens to? Would you believe I already I have 12 projects that I have started within the last 12 months. These are all packed up in boxes and I work through a mini project on the more important projects at least once every month. But, I also have 4 projects that I have only just begun to receive as BOM projects and I would so love to have begun all 4 projects, like, last week.

I am currently keeping the urge in check. But as a self confessed quilt project beginner. I also feel that I may need help in keeping my urges under control. So that I may be able to concentrate on completing projects rather that just starting them.

Until next time, happy stitching

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So much progress...

I received my usual block of the month packages yesterday and when I opened the second one I discovered another package and I immediately thought "oh my gosh, I have received someone
else's mail out", so I thought, I better get in touch with the quilt shop. Anyway, I thought, as you do, maybe I will just have a look to see what this package is about, maybe the recipients details are enclosed and I will just forward it. Well, to my surprise I discovered that I was the lucky recipient, I just hadn't remembered requesting it. So, I am going to make myself a Baltimore Album quilt and this is the first block. I am going to put this at the top of my list for projects to complete next month. I cannot put this one off.

Well as you know I completed the applique portion of my Angel block 2, and now I have completed all the stitchery.

So it is time to move on to the next project that I had planned to have completed this month. This is how it looks now...

I have actually done quite a bit of stitchery on it in the last few days but I forgot to take a photo before I began stitching and I only just remembered to take a photo today of how it looks now. So this is the last, oops hold on, I will need to check that (famous last words and all, you know) project that I have on my list to finish this month.

Oh dear! I've just realised how dark this photo is, but its too late know, I've finished "Mollie Jayne" and I am working on the floral borders now. So by the end of the week this one should be a finish.

I have been considering changing my profile photo and so I keep looking around the house to see what I would like to put in place of my photo. I have a couple of things in mind... maybe I will just take the pictures and be creative and see what I get.

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, August 17, 2009

Finished all the applique...

I have finished all the hand applique on my Angel block 2 now all that is left to do is to finish her face and complete all the stitchery and add the small pieced block section. That's all, really?

This is how it looks now. I will show you the completed block at a later date hopefully sometime this month.

But I have just realised that this month is quickly coming to an end and between all my quilting and stitchery deadlines that I have set myself I have three birthdays to celebrate. Life is an ever changing canvas. How do we do it?

I also had a delivery from the postman, he dropped off another block for the QuiltAid project, so now I am only waiting on one block and I will have the full set. The box is beginning to overflow, it really looks like it needs for me to work my magic on it and make at least one block, so that everything will fit nicely. It was very difficult to just put the block kit into the box, shut the lid and walk away. Helen is such a giving person, even with all that she has to do, she has the Stitchers Angel Swap 2009 project on the go also, it is too late to enrol for the swap but you able to follow along and do the projects that are available, so click on the link and take part. You have nothing to lose and who knows maybe next year you will be able to take part.

Until next time, happy stitching

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Women can be so fickle...

Everybody in our house seems to be sick at the moment so we are all barely functioning. It can be great if you need to do something, but sometimes even the easiest quilting task can seem like it is a mountain. But I did curl up under my daughters quilt with every intention of doing something on it, I mean, I marked the area I was going to be working on, got my thimbles and thread all in there positions, I even put the quilt into the hoop and then I just stopped. My boys just looked at me with cheeky grins on their faces.

Until next time, happy stitching

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Deliveries and angels...

I have been busy working on block 2 of my Angel quilt and was quite surprised when I noticed that I had just about completed most of the applique and I will then begin to mark the block for stitchery.

During the week I had a special delivery from the courier, it was my finishing kit for the QuiltAid project, I am only waiting on two more blocks and then I will have the complete kit just ready and waiting.

But I can't think of that, I have made a plan to follow my "To do List" and for this month the QuiltAid project is not on it.

Until next time, happy stitching

Friday, August 7, 2009

To do or not to do...

I have found a temporary solution for my problem with regards to what should I do. I decided to make a list in the front of my stitching journal for this month. I currently have five things on this list and that is how long I am going to leave it.

So far I have started two of the projects that are on the list and I'm well on the way to having one of those completed.

This is the second block of my Angel quilt, I have had trouble with this block because there wasn't enough fabric supplied in the kit for the angels dress and apron, so I had to make substitutions. I liked the colours but the placement was really gnoring away at me. So I swapped the two colours over and I am now okay with how they look so its full steam ahead again.

I hand-quilted one block on my daughters quilt this morning, so we have progress there. I need to figure out how to put a gadget in my sidebar showing progress on this.

I visited the Bunny Tales site today to pick up block 8 of the free A tisket, a tasket BOM project that Anne is running and the sneak peeks that she has given us for the two finished quilts look absolutely stunning. Go and take a look and you just might think so too.

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, August 3, 2009

Where do you start?

I spent most of the evening going cross-eyed catching up on blogs that I really like but that of course put an end to me doing other things.

The scene was set, the three men in my life were glued to the goggle-box watching XMen3, so I could do pretty much whatever I wanted because when you've seen it that often, you really don't need to look at the pictures. So once I had checked the youngest little man (who has a bad cold coming on), and made sure he had had his medicine, I got stuck into blogging myself.

But the current or next project is always calling. There are so many, how do you decide which one is more important when you have so many to work on? I know what most men would say "Just find one and finish that first!" But I am not that kind of person, I always see the joy in the next project and that immediately takes over, I become possessed by it, and I find it difficult to focus on the current project. How do you overcome this problem? With chocolate and a really good book well I hope it is.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stitching and pondering

I have managed to meet my deadline that I set about completing my second block for Aunt Millies Flower Garden.

I really wasn't sure about the colour combination but now that I have the two blocks that are completed they remind me of the plan that I had in the first place. This quilt is going to have a country taste about it with the only fabric that is used in all the blocks is small touches of a deep red.

Since I completed this I have read through a few magazines getting ideas for quilts and found a few patterns that I really must have liked at one stage because I had the "yellow post-it" marker there and find that I still really like them.

But I am having trouble controlling the urge to buy fabric and begin a blue and white quilted diamonds project, or maybe a black and red, or black, red and gold, red and white could be striking. The mind is fast getting ahead of me again, I better put the brakes on and focus on hand-quilting my daughters quilt. We are about to start work on renovating our house so this project could be my only slice of sanity amongst all the chaos. Otherwise I will be hitting the kitchen and besides, quilting is better for the waistline.

Until next time, happy stitching

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stop! Wait a minute Mr Postman...

I really liked that song and a few others by The Carpenters. But I digress the mailman called by my mailbox today and brought me such a wonderful surprise. I got blocks for the QuiltAid project, another block for The Gingham Girls by Bronwyn Hayes and the two Quilted Diamonds books by Linda Franz all wrapped in some beautiful wrapping paper featuring different coloured blocks from the books.

I didn't know where to start, and I still don't all I can do is look and touch and I'm thinking.... I could do this one, no maybe this one, oh but I would really like to just sit in my chair and throw a quilt over my legs and droul all over the new books I have.

Oh dear confusion reigns. I know I'm going to go and make me a cuppa and think about it while the kettle boils.

Until next time, happy stitching,

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's all in the prep...

I spent a good part of today preparing my applique pieces for Aunt Millies Flower Garden by Piece'o Cake designs. When I first saw this pattern I knew it was one of those that I just "had" to do. When I had the chance to start it I decided that I had to jump in with both feet. I have completed my first block and really enjoyed it. Now I am on the second and have been procrastinating big time. So when I spent the time today preparing all of my pieces for needleturn applique I knew that I would probably get this block finished by Monday next week.
So that is the deadline:

Monday 27 July, 2009 - complete block 2 of Aunt Millies Flower Garden

I hope to have pictures up for you but at the moment I am more focused on my applique. When reading through some blogs that I follow I found that Helen of Hugs n Stitches is running her Stitchers Angel program again this year. It was really great last year, even though I didn't actually participate, just reading about what people were saying was normally motivation enough, but of course the free patterns were a really great bonus.

Until next time, happy stitching

Remember when...

I was going through old photos for a slide show we are planning on having for our daughters 21st birthday next year and came across this picture. She looked so young.

Here she is feeding the swan and Dad is holding on to the back of her overalls so that she won't fall in with all the excitement. You know right up to this very day Dad is always watching her back, hoping that his Baby Girl doesn't fall and hurt herself. I can remember so clearly how she got so excited about these ducks and swans until one came up to the pram and pecked at her. As you can see this shot was taken before the pecking incident. Even Tash can remember the pecking and always mentions when we drive past the park, "Do you remember that horrible swan Dad?" Never mind Mum, she was only taking photos. It was such a beautiful day with some really funny and wonderful memories. They grow up so quickly, and then if you are really lucky they take an interest in what you are doing. That is my cue to make a move I can see her heading towards my stash. I can't have her using anything that I might have in mind for ANY project.

Until next time, happy stitching

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thread the needle first...

Well, where else do you start but by threading the needle. Once that is done you can get stuck in to whatever it is that you are working on. The trouble with that is I don't know where to start. I think to myself surely nobody must have as many projects on the go as I do, but I'm going to put an end to that and make a start on clearing out all of these projects. We all only have so much time on this earth, and it is time for me to get down to business so that I don't leave behind an overwhelming stash for my family to deal with. It's really great my daughter began quilting last year, but she has already fallen into the trap of "too many projects and not enough time". But inbetween studies she is making an effort to complete her first quilt, (not far know, only the borders to go).

Anyway, the weather forecast is for rain, rain and more rain. So I am off to work on my daughters quilt for her 21st birthday in February, it is handpieced and to be handquilted (at least that is half done). But, the problem is I received an exciting package in the mail today and I keep on wanting to play with that.

Until next time, happy stitching