The disappearing week

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It was one of those weeks - disappeared down the plughole with nothing much to show for it!  I did get my haircut so that accounts for half an hour.  I made my usual weekly batch of yoghurt so that was another five minutes.

Oh yes, I read the latest Patchwork & Stitching magazine - a pleasant hour or so spent looking at lovely designs; I enjoy the adverts too!  My Swan Lake Cushion takes pride of place on the Editorial page.

It's in Vol 13 Issue No 3:

This is the second time I have used black in a design lately.  I think it really sets off this cushion cover:

Well, where did the rest of my week disappear to?  My new multifunction printer arrived, so that was an afternoon setting it all up.  (It cost one tenth [yes 1/10th] of my previous 1994 old faithful, does twice as much, and does it five times faster - got to love the new technology!)  I spent a morning researching specific places to visit on our holiday coming up in July.  Then I came to get a couple of projects organised for sending off to magazines, only to find that I hadn't written up the pattern for one of them!!!  The best part of a day drifted by, by the time I did the instructions, tidied up another lot of instructions, organised samples, checked templates etc.

I spent a bit of time on Facebook, telling the world about my husband's wonderful achievement.  His first book has been published!  It's a theological tome - very scholarly, but not dull and boring.  Super proud of him I am!

And where did the other 108½ working hours disappear to?  They just drifted away - browsing the internet, dreaming up a new pattern, answering e-mails, watching Queensland win the State of Origin rugby league match (woohoo!) while I stitched this: 

and sitting in my recliner doing this:

When it's all said and done, it doesn't really matter that I had a 'drifty' week.  Retirement is supposedly one long holiday, though we are so busy now that we don't know how we ever had time to go out to work each day!  But my sewing machine has had enough time off, and my lack of achievement this week has jolted me into action, so watch out world, I'm hopping back on!

Have a great week!

Showers of Blessing

Sunday, May 20, 2012
No, it's not raining here at the moment and yes, I feel I have been showered with so many blessings - a wonderful husband and family, living in a little bit of paradise, and time to indulge my stitching passions - to name a few.

However, "Showers of Blessing" is the name of my latest design to be released. It's in the wonderful Country Threads magazine, Vol 12 Issue 12.

As a child, I always loved umbrellas and dreamed of the day when I would own my own pretty one and not have to wear a dull not-very-flattering raincoat.  My mother, on the other hand, thought they were such a nuisance, a hindrance and quite possibly a dangerous weapon!  Her feelings didn't pass down to me and so this mini quilt indulges my passion for the umbrella!

Of course, the title does have a double meaning and the wording on the blocks remind me of all the wonderful blessings we have received.

It's a bit hard to pick which block is my favourite but I do love the umbrella on this one:

It will be easy to find the issue of Country Threads as my project is on the front cover!!!

And I've had some extra special blessings this week.  My new computer arrived!  I was dreading setting up e-mails, internet, networks, and learning a new operating system.  However, it has been relatively painless, is all operating beautifully, and it's happily talking to its fellow computers in our home and to the web. Even my super old programme that I use for designing my templates worked first time without a hitch!  Just love the new technology!

It's also been a week for catching up with some friends from way back.  Some came to visit, another phoned, and another sent an e-mail - all lovely people who have been a blessing to us in the past.  It is so wonderful to have great friends!

I hope you too can count some of your blessings this week.

Happy stitching!

Free Pattern Thoughts in Thread - Block 5

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Would you believe we're half way now in our "Thoughts in Thread" free block of the month quilt.  Block 5 is right in the centre:

Some of the various translations of this verse really fill out the meaning:

Fix your thoughts on ...
Keep your minds on ...
You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on ...
Think on and weigh and take account of these things

I've appliqued the flowers, worked blanketstitch around them and then outlined them along the edge of the blanketstitch to make them stand out.  Of course you could colour them in and just outline them in backstitch  if you didn't want to do applique.  The applique is a little bit fiddly but I like the effect and the fly-stitch leaves finish it off nicely.

Click here to be taken to the download page on my website.

I've had a lovely Mothers' Day - an early morning e-mail from daughter in Japan, a long phone conversation with son in Melbourne, daughter and family from Toowoomba sleeping over and son and family from Brisbane with us, to make 13 all together for lunch. It is so good to spend time with family! 

My new computer has been delayed so I'm rather happy that I haven't had to drop everything to look at a new operating system etc.!  That's given me lots of lovely time to work on a new design or two. 

This one has gone off to a magazine:

and I've been preparing this one for the Creative Craft Retreat where I've been asked to teach again in November:

I've had so much enjoyment working this design.

And ... this week the Ottlite craft lamp that I had ordered, arrived.  I have to say it is all (and more) that I had hoped for.  I'm not being paid to say this - but it is fabulous!!! I am so pleased that I decided to make the big investment - my eyes are sure appreciating it!

Better go and clean up the house a bit - 13 people make so much more jumble than just the two of us!!! 

Happy stitching!

Soccer, Sorting and Stitching!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We looked after two of our grandsons for a short time this week and one of our duties was to take them to Soccer - one boy to play and the other to watch. Just about my first thought was, "What handwork can I take to do while I watch the game? It had to be something that could survive the outdoor conditions, that requires no concentration and that doesn't need good light.  It certainly wasn't going to be the elegant silk ribbon and rosebud embroidery I've been working on:

And I had finished this stitchery earlier in the week:

Then I remembered all that wool that I had over from last year when I made lots of Granny Square Bags. I could make a crochet ripple blanket.  It's a great project for using up left-over wool, it's a 'not much brain required' project and seeing it's 8 ply wool, the stitches are big so I don't need brilliant light to see what I'm doing. We have a long train journey planned in a couple of months time, so it would be an ideal project to work during that trip too.  So it was time for SORTING to see what colours would suit and whether I had enough to complete the blanket. Out came all my pretty colours ... and a few rows later, tada:

I'm now feeling like just relaxing and doing row after row curled up in my recliner! Discipline is called for and I need to finish the three designs I am currently working on and keep my crochet project for that long train trip!

Back to the Soccer, our grandson (No 5) played a great game and even scored a goal:

 It brought back lots of memories as my father was a soccer coach of a Junior YMCA team and my brother played in the team.  I spent many a Saturday afternoon on the side line cheering the team on.

My new computer still hasn't arrived, so there was time to do plenty of stitching and I was able to finish off this sewing folder:

The front cover has to be kept hidden away at the moment - but husband really liked it when he saw it!

I also had time to put another couple of patterns on the website.  You might remember these:

She Sells Seashells Dilly Bag and Sunglasses Case:

available here

and the Showers and Flowers Cushion:

available here

One of the jobs on my list this week is to prepare the next block in the free Block of the Month "Thoughts in Thread" pattern. Keep an eye out for it next weekend.

Meanwhile, happy stitching!