Sunday 27 March 2022

One Monthly Goal Completed and Other March Happenings

It's time to check in with what I have achieved during March in the way of stitching.

Firstly, I did reach my OMG of completing my Ruby Cushion in time to take it to Baradine for Scrub Stitchin'.  This took way longer than it should have.  I really dilly dallied with it.

Just to recap, at the start of the month I had the EPP appliqued to the background fabric.  I then added the borders and was going to quilt it before adding the backing.  Remember that I am more of a machine stitcher than a hand stitcher.
Well, I came up with the hair brained idea that, as the EPP and applique was by hand, I should quilt by hand.  I know, hair brained.  I have done some hand quilting before - on the centre block of the first quilt I made in a 2003....... and none since. I did still have the hoop, and after a bit of a hunt, found the quilting needles.

It didn't take me long to realise I would benefit from using a thimble.
I had bought this little collection at the Wellington Swap Meet, but only the large blue one at the back fitted. I didn't realise how small most thimbles are.
I could always go to my collection and surely I could fund one there that fits.
I was truly delighted when this one did.  It is my most precious thimble.  You can't see it clearly in the photo, but it is monogrammed "FJ".  That is for Frances Johnson, better known as Fanny Johnson, who was my great grandmother.  My Dad's eldest sister gave it to me about thirty years ago, when she saw my thimble collection.  It would date from the late 1800s. You can see how much use this thimble has had, with some holes even developed in the sides.
I did a bit of the quilting with the frame, but soon switched over to pin basting and quilting with no frame.  I have never been able to get comfortable with frames.  I don't even use one with cross stitching. In the end, I just hand quilted around the applique wreath and machine quilted stitch in the ditch around the border seam.
Next, it was time to insert the zipper, using the concealed flap method. Fortunately, there was a zipper in my stash that would fit the bill.  Bonus! I have used this method a couple of times previously, but still had to go over the instructions again.  This was part of the dilly dallying. Once I got around to it, things actually went rather smoothly.
It was then the simple case of adding the binding and stitching down by hand.  

Chooky held an impromptu Zoom get together this morning, so that was the perfect opportunity to do the binding.  I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.
Here it is, sitting on Grandma's chair in my sewing room.  It suits it rather well.  I'm rather pleased that I actually completed a retreat project before the next retreat came around.

This was also my One Project a Month.

So what else did I do this month?  Not much. I already shared that I pretty much failed with Friday Night With Friends.

The Blue Quilt - At the beginning of the month I had selected the fabrics for the borders and started to trace the applique pieces onto their papers.  All I have done this month is make the changes to the centre block design that I wanted to make and trace the rest of the applique.  That's it!  

No progress has been made on Swoon either.

No, I didn't play any further with Monique.  Her time will come.

The only other stitching I have done is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
I have been thinking about Scrub Stitchin', which is in ten day's time.  Several years ago, like in about 2013, Chooky and I bought these fabrics to make a quilt each.  You can read all about it here.  Well, since then, we didn't get the chance to get together to stitch them, then Chooky couldn't find her fabrics, then I couldn't find mine and nothing has happened.

Well, we both have located our fabrics and are going to make the quilts, using our twister rulers, at Scrub Stitchin'.  I have actually started to cut the quilt out in readiness for the retreat.

I've also pulled a couple of other projects out to work on.

Now, onto my other monthly goals.

I didn't get around to reading a novel this month.  However, I did read a lovely book.
We went into our local book store to use up some overdue book vouchers and came home with this book.  It was a delightful read of their trip around most of Australia in an old Kombi van.  Beautiful photography and interesting to read about some of the places we hope to visit later in the year.  We also bought some detailed maps of the areas we will be travelling through.  We don't do much planning of our trips, but a good map does help somewhat.

No photo, but yes, we did try a new recipe.  I sometimes give an eggplant to one of my work colleagues who has Lebanese heritage.  She gave me a recipe for Baked Eggplant and also gave me some of the secret ingredient, Lebanese seven spice.  It was really tasty and even better then next day.

Part of the reason for not a lot of stitching, is that we have been having lots of fun days, as shared in previous posts.

Our weekend to Wellington ticked this box.  It was great fun.

So, all in all, we have had a great month.  March is always a busy time of year and this year it has been so nice to have things open up again and be somewhat back to normal.

Pop over to Elm Street Quilting to see what the other girls have achieved this month.


Laura said...

Your pillow is gorgeous! Now I want to make one! Congrats on the finish! :)

Maria said...

The cushion looks lovely on the chair.
Gorgeous fabrics and they’ll make a great twist quilt.

Kathryn T said...

That cushion is absolutely gorgeous. Great job and also love the rich colours. So worth doing.

loulee said...

Your cushion looks lovely.

Chookyblue...... said...

The cushion looks great..... You did well.... Mine isn't finished yet.... Probably won't. So much going on here at present......
Can't wait to make our Twister quilts together finally.....

Karen's Korner said...

Congratulations on all the handwork in your cushion. I do not do four letter words like hand either. Your thimble collection is very impressive and how special that it was your g/grandmother's one that you could use. Pretty fabrics for your twister quilt.

kiwikid said...

Great finish on the cushion, it looks lovely.
Goals might not have been met, but your month has been fun which is most important. Looking forward to seeing your new quilt coming together.

Fiona said...

Cushion is lovely, well worth the hand work and dilly dallying.... looking forward to seeing the twist quilt...

Raewyn said...

I love your Ruby cushion - well done on getting it finished before SS! That's an amazing thimble collection, and very special to have one that your great grandmother used. That's a lovely range of fabrics you are planning on sewing along with Chooky - have fun!

Flickenstichlerin said...

Your pillow turned out so well. Gorgeous applique.

Susan said...

Gorgeous cushion - how special to use the treasured thimble.

Good to see progress on the SS project...looking forward to seeing it.

Have fun and say Hi to those I know.

Ingrid said...

Que bello trabajo el que estás haciendo con ese cojín. Y me encantó tu colección de dedales. Gracias por compartir. Saludos desde Venezuela.

Melissa Baker said...

How beautiful are your creations! Crossed your blog this rainy sunday and feel a little envious of what you can do! Keep doing what you do!

Susie H said...

Beautiful pillow! I have a couple of pillow tops that just need the final assembly. I hope you've inspired me!

dq said...

Oh wow - love your pillow so much! I too have a thimble collection.

Jindi's Cottage said...

Your Ruby cushion is great that you finished it in time to bring the finished project back to Scrub Stitchin' this year...the connection of you using your great grandmother's thimble and taking the photo of it sitting on your grandmother's chair, how special.