Monday, 29 May 2023

Finally, A Stitching Update

I have been a bit all over the place with my stitching this month, so not a lot to share until now.  

At the beginning of the month I was a bit up in the air as to what to work on.  Now that the weather has turned decidely cold I am wanting to sit in front of the heater rather than go into my sewing room.

The simplest thing to start with was the Rainbow Scrap Challenge with the colour orange.  
I made my black and white blocks in no time.
However, I needed to cut the split nine patches and there wasn’t sufficient fabric in my scrap tub.  Now, where are the orange fat quarters?  Not where I expected.  No worries, that can be sorted later in the month.  Eventually, I had another look.  Yep, in the tub that I thought.  I’d obviously had a boy look earlier. That was then easy to tick off the list.  I’m linking up over at So Scrappy, where you can see what other orange creations have been worked on this month. 

My One Monthly Goal was to complete the appliqué blocks for my blue quilt.  I was off to a rather slow start on this, as my sewing room is cold unless I have the door open for quite a while  to warm up, and then we went on our impromptu caravan trip for a week.  
Anyway, I plugged away and ended up taking my machine to our patchwork group last week and now they are all done.  That makes me really happy.  
I was playing bobbin lotto one day and actually won.
That’s sixteen small blocks all done.

I still have the large centre appliqué block to complete, but that won’t take too long once I get started. I’m linking up over at Elm Street Quilts.  Pop over and see what the others achieved this month.

Now that I mention my patchwork group, I was a bit stuck on what to take along, now that the Dresden wedges are stitched together.  
On the first day, I just grabbed a couple of redwork Christmas designs that I had already traced.  I have once completed, ready to turn into a tree decoration at some stage.
Finally, I had a brain wave and decided to work on the circles for the Dresden centres.  I cut them all out and then gathered the fabric over the papers.  I wasn’t sure how I would go at stitching them to the dresdens while the papers were still in, but it was OK.  I have two stitched down, just 30 more to go, so that is something I can work on in the next few weeks.

Our patchwork group has had a change of venue.  The old convent we were at has been sold.  Our new venue is the Holy Trinity Church Hall, which is the venue of the fete I help at.  It is very handy to home and has much better facilities and access from the car park, therefore has been a good move.
I didn’t have any knitting on the go at the start of the month and wanted something to take with me when we went away.  I quickly grabbed a pattern I had bought quite some years ago and grabbed the required four balls of wool I had bought at the time.  
The pattern called for 4.5mm needles, so that is what I took with me.  Shock horror, I then worked a tension swatch!!!  Just as well, as my tension was way too loose, so I needed 4.00mm needles.  I have plenty at home, but that wasn’t much use when I was in the middle of nowhere in western New South Wales.  We called in at a little gallery/craft shop/information centre in the small town of Hillston, and lo and behold there were some second hand knitting needles and there were a pair in the right size.  Happy dance.  
A new tension swatch and we were ready to actually start the project.
I enjoyed doing a little knitting sitting beside Lake Cargelligo.  
I finished the first ball and decided to measure how long my work was……..It was less than a quarter of the length required.  I had bought the wool ages ago, so no chance of getting more.  Blast! Blast! Blast!  There was nothing for it other than to frog what I had completed.
Next to find another pattern.  I came across Simple Yet Effective and decided that would do.  
I decided that it could be modelled on Victoria, rather than me.  It was a quick and simple knit.  I still have to wet block it, as the cast on and cast off are rolling.  It doesn’t drape as well as in the photo and is quite close fitting around the neck.  It will be nice and cozy in cold weather, and it can be pulled up over your mouth and nose if really cold.  I’m don’t think this wool is ideal for the pattern, but it will just have to do.  I still have a further two balls of the wool, so will knit a beanie for Mick.
I had a really fun day on Saturday.  Chookyblue was celebrating the 11th birthday of her Chook Shed.  She is having some friends visit next weekend, so we zoomed a week early.  She signed on at 6.00am and finally wrapped it up at 9.30pm.  Silly me was on nearly all that time.  It was fun catching up with the girls from all the various locations as they popped in during the day.
It has become a bit of a tradition that Mick and I bake a birthday cake and eat it on Chooky’s behalf.  This year it was orange poppyseed. Thanks for the photo, Karen.

I finished the knitted cowl, while chatting away and then went looking for something else to work on.  Chooky was working on some Sashiko, so I went looking for a panel that I have.  Mmmm, not quite sure where it is.  That may be telling me something.  No worries, there are plenty of other projects waiting patiently for their turn.  
I decided on a quick little bookmark kit that I bought in New Zealand in 2015.
This is how far I got in the day.  It won't take me too long to finish.  Just a bit more black and red cross stitch and then quite a bit of black back stitch.  It doesn't have a finishing kit, just suggesting you fringe the ends of the fabric.  I will back it with felt and make a tassle.
Now for the moment of truth.  How did I go with my 15 minutes a day?  Well, quite a few days only had about 15 minutes, while others had several hours.  Surprisingly, I did manage to do a bit every single day, even when we were away.  I'm really happy with that.  It is about the best result so far.  It's just a pity there isn't more to show for it.

15 minutes day/week = 7/7
15 minutes day/May = 28/28
15 minuets day/2023 = 137/148
Success rate = 92.57%

I'm really happy with that.  I'm sure I can maintain it for the rest of the month., being a whole three days.

One final thing I have to share.  I know I definitely don’t need another new start, but what the heck.
This is my fabric pull for the Spring Mystery Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  It all starts on 31 May.  You can get all the details on her blog and youtube channel.  I made her mystery quilt in 2021 and it was a lot of fun.  Edyta gives such clear and detailed instructions.  Her colours are always terrific and I have pretty much followed her suggestions this time, but all the fabrics are from my stash.  This year is a little different to her previous mysteries, as there is a little appliqué and some hexies.  Also, unlike the previous ones, not long after the final section is revealed, she is going to take down the posts, so it is important to download them straight away.

Now that life seems to be settling down a bit i will try to be more regular with my updates.


loulee said...

It was a great zoom session. You got plenty done.
Have fun with your new project.

Susan said...

a very comprehensive round up!!

Lucky to find those needles in the middle of nowhere!

Great work on the orange blocks - almost time for a new colour...I went looking and saw she wrote "Dark and bright blues will be the order of business for next month" which is the same as January . . so I will wait for a bit and see if she corrects it.

the change of venue sounds as if it's a move in the right direction too.

Anonymous said...

You did well working on many different project this month.
Good to catch up on Zoom even for a short time.
Well dug through my stash but don’t have enough FQs to start the new Laundry Basket mystery…..
I’ll enjoy watching you make yours…

Fiona said...

You have a lovely variety of projects happening... even with travelling, frogging, cold etc= trying to sabotage you..... love how blue blocks are looking.... yoiur new project looks lovely... alas I would love to join in but really have too many fingers in pies ...

Karen's Korner said...

Great team effort with the birthday cake. Nice fabrics pulled for the mystery quilt. I will be looking forard to the reveal as it goes along.

Anne-Marie said...

I'm always so impressed with all your projects.

Raewyn said...

What a lovely newsy post! Gosh you have covered such a variety of techniques over the month. And all of them look great. I'm being tempted by Edyta's QAL too. It's good that you could spend a full day at the Chookshed - and well done with the cake!

cityquilter grace said...

great to see you on zoom! love the cross stitch nearly done...and gonna check out the edyta sitar mystery...nice fabrics pulled...

ButterZ said...

you did manage a bit of sewing and knitting though. good job with the cake. thanks Mick too.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Such a full post, Janice! Good work getting your ORANGE blocks for the RSC done. Those blue embroidery blocks are SEW sweet! I think I might have kept going with the first cowl to see what would happen. LOVE the knitting by the lake photo on your little holiday!!

marina said...

so many lovely projects to see! love the orange pop with the black and white and your blue blocks are so pretty.
I can't wait to see them together.
love your fabric choices for the sew along. Definitely going to have a look at that on her site.
shame you had to undo your original knitting but good to get two projects out of the re do.

dq said...

Hi Janice, I checked out the Spring Mystery and am checking out my stash. I am thinking I will join you. It will be fun.

Chookyblue...... said...

Glad you were as silly as me and stayed on for ages....... Thanks for the birthday cake.......i like that little cross stitch......

jude's page said...

Only managed a very quick trip in zoom, sorry to miss your cake, bet it tasted great.