…far from it. What it does imply, of course, is lack of time to blog. Christmas and the weeks leading up to it were a busy, stressful and (let me say it again) busy time – and I’d like to say things have calmed down a bit now that we’re into January, but they really haven’t. Even now I should be doing about four other things (housework, laundry, tax return, editing a book which is not overdue yet but will be very soon) but instead I’ve decided to spend some time here while I watch the snow fall outside.*
So my sewing efforts over the lead-up to Dec 25th were at least partly focused on gifts. Since Tom’s second redundancy of 2009 in October** we’ve had to tighten our belts even further (and we’d only just started letting them out again after he found a job in July after six months out of work), so I made batches of chutneys and jams to give as gifts. For the stitchers among my friends and family (most of whom I’ve infected with the bug myself – hooray!) I also made pincushions out of 6″ log cabin blocks left over from the September BQL monthly challenge piece (see last post), bought some rather splendid dressmakers’ pins with coloured heads to go with them, and wrapped them in Christmassy fat quarters instead of paper. Wish I’d taken pictures of them all wrapped up – they looked beautiful, and were very well received – but instead here they are pre-wrapping. (The one at the front is turned around to show the fabric I used to back them all.)
I also managed to push through and finish the BQL challenge pieces for October, November and December – not without a lot of effort and a certain amount of complaining, but I did it, and the satisfaction of finishing the final piece was colossal. I learnt an enormous amount during the year, and have grown hugely in confidence – I now feel like I could at least have a stab at pretty much anything, although I have still to try FMQ. A goal for this year, maybe… Here are picture of the three pieces you haven’t seen.
October piece, unbound – it’s now finished. 3D windmills on autumnal backgrounds – the quilting was fiddly on this one, I did a sort of hand-quilted stipple to represent blowing winds, but wished I’d never started it after about a week. However, it looked great once it was finished.
November piece – an applique drunkard’s path design, worked in my current favourite purple/green batik (see the August piece as well) with lilac raw silk as a background. Simple ITD and outline quilting. I like this one a lot.
December piece – a simple raw-edge applique mosiac using scraps of Christmassy (well, mainly red/green) fabric on a cream raw silk background. The children thought it looked like an Advent calendar, which I thought was quite apt.
The twelve quiltlets are now all on display around the house in groups of three – there’s a perfect wall to display them all together, so they’ll probably all end up there soon.
I also finished Caitlin’s monkey blanket, amid a great chorus of complaints that Monkey was getting cold and ill because he had no bed to sleep in. I pointed out that he always sleeps in her bed, but this argument was dismissed with the contempt it deserved, and the pressure was on to finish his new bed before he died of hypothermia. And the finished article looks like this.
An art nouveau willow tree design which Caitlin chose herself, backed and lined with a jungle-print fabric and quilted with wavy lines on the tree and small clouds on the sky. There’s also a picture of Monkey himself quilted into the top of the tree.
Caitlin was delighted with it, and Monkey professes himself very happy that he no longer gets cold at night. Here he is in his new bed. I think you’ll agree, he looks very comfortable.
I also made a couple of polka dot blocks for the Block Lotto in December – now sent off to Rho in the US – and made costumes for various school plays and other events – told you it was a busy time. But now we’re into January, and I’ve made the perennial quilter’s resolution to try and finish a few UFOs before I start anything new. Being a compulsive listmaker I’ve made a list of stuff that needs tackling and am trying to do bits and pieces on all of them; not sure this is the best strategy, to be honest, but at least I won’t get bored… As soon as there’s worthwhile progress I’ll post again here, but in the meantime – happy new year, keep warm, and keep safe.
* Photos in this post were mostly taken on my mobile phone – for which I apologise, but our family digital camera hid for about six weeks during the run-up to Christmas, and was only discovered under a big pile of stuff while we were packing to go away for Christmas week. I have to say I sympathise – if I could have hidden for the month of December I probably would have done, too.
**PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE let him find something else soon…
Filed under: applique, block lotto, BQL, calendar challenge, finished objects, log cabin, monkey blanket, patchwork, quilting, silk, soft toys | 1 Comment »