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Quilting Project: A decade in and still making

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An untidy photo… A project I started when I worked in a haberdashery/ fabric shop about ten years ago. I helped customers choose fabrics for their own projects and it was so tempting to spend much of my salary on fabrics for me too. I didn’t get very far in the making at that actual time, a big pile of hexies, a vague plan that I may end up with a patchwork cushion. Then I left the job, I looked at what I’d got and the wonkiness of my attempts went into the pile of UFOs. Enthusiasm took a super nose dive.

Over the next few years I occasionally revisited the pile. It always reminded me of my late Nan who’d taught me English Paper Piecing. She had a penchant for wonkiness! Sometimes purchasing a little fabric if I came across autumn shades with a flora and fauna theme turned the cushion plan into a sofa throw plan. It grew very slowly and only very occasionally. I even blogged about it once. (I am a knitter and a Mum, life just takes over!) .

Lately I dived back into the box of hexies. I realised a reason this project wasn’t one I was desperate to finish – I had all these groups of hexagons and there was one round of hexies that didn’t sit well with the others – so I took it off the pile and new enthusiasm just leapt out at me. With the help of a friend with a good eye for colour I even went and found the perfect shade to (hopefully) meld them all together.

A little progress, reusing greetings cards as templates. I re-enjoy messages sent to our house. Somewhat fitting right now as there are Christmas cards amongst the pile.

Here’s a bit more, with the olive-y shade marrying the larger hexies. I DO know there may be another few years (hopefully not ten!) before I finish this project. Handsewing is very time-consuming, sewing in good light is an issue, finding my glasses sometimes is too (!), wonkiness is definitely a big part (I am learning to ‘wiggle’ the joins where necessary). It is not perfect but it’s perfect for me in many ways. Not only do I get ‘Nan’ memories, I see messages of kindness within the cards and I think perhaps this hasn’t been a total waste of time and money. I may ask for advice here for borders and finishing when the time comes.

There’s an imminent need for a pause to this project again. I have knitted Christmas presents to complete and as that date is immovable (and the children may grow so their gifts can’t be gifted to them next year) I must dash back to those and return to my quilting indulgence right after.

Bye for now.

The end of the rainbow and a quilt or two too

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I’d like to think there’s always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. My ‘gold’ or my ‘reward’ is that I now have more time to work on other WIPs. Fellow crafters with mountains (or hillocks at least) of projects on the go may understand just that.

It took a few weeks but at last my mega kingsize crochet blanket is finished. The first photo was taken one morning, sun streaming in, the second one is not the best I admit, but this was taken in the twilight of the same evening and my cats had already dived onto the bed and ruffled it up. Now here’s a question – how do you stop cats padding and pulling on a woollen blanket??? This is not to be a precious blanket, after all it was a project to use up lots of my stash and is to be used, but it might be nice if it wasn’t snagged too much too quickly.

Due to other commitments and a winter cold too, I’ve not been here for a little while. I have had a few trips out enjoying others’ crafts, amongst which was one lovely little Quilting Show in Detling, Kent. There were a smattering of stalls and fabric jumped into my basket (more about that another day, one of my own quilt projects is already nine years in the making ..) but the exhibition showed some amazing skill. If I could have bottled a lot of it I would have, but here is just a little to share.

The Scandi Star was just amazing, enhanced by the simplicity of fabric colour, and the quilting was spectacular,

The more colourful quilts or panels hung as quilts were amazing. The creator made them as memories of places she’d been. You might recognise somewhere yourself, just like I did! My favourite over all was ‘Portugal’ – the tins of sardines! And I hate myself for not taking more details of the person who made these – I cannot scan in nearer and read her name, I obviously was just blinded by her style, I stood admiring for ages before the friend I was with dragged me off to see more. One day, I could be as talented as this (she says, maybe never).

Off to sew now for a little bit. I hope somewhere out there there are other crafters stitching or playing with knitting sticks or crochet hooks or felting needles or glueing with guns or pegging with nails (and so on and so forth) and they share their creations with us.

One Christmas gift looped, charity sewn up and I’m still crafting a rainbow

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The rainbow crochet blanket in my last post has been on temporary hold but it still takes pride of place in my cosy crafting nook and has a ‘turn’ once a day, albeit only a row (all 250 loops). I am determined it won’t be long before it’s finished.

Instead of my usual admission (or despair) that a new project ‘accidently’ jumped into my hands (it’s the lure of new yarn or the rediscovery of yarn or fabric in my stash that tempts me…), I am surprisingly pleased more than one did and I have finished these new projects quickly. So quickly I am having a little show and tell here.

With the festive season on it’s way I crocheted a Christmas lap blanket for the MIL. I haven’t crocheted much before but after a couple of wobbles I had the pace of shell stitch in the bag. Using James C Brett Marble Chunky yarn made it fast hooking and it self patterns no changes of colour nor ends to sew in (unlike the rainbow blanket, there are lots!).

Then onto a little playing with fabric.

Ready for part of a charity Christmas tree decoration project I sewed some mini bunting and pumpkin pincushions.

In the run up to Christmas our local churches will have decorated trees donated by local businesses and groups and anyone can go along and admire them (hopefully they will anyway). My Thursday morning crafting group (we all take various ‘talents’ to the table) will be decorating a non traditional tree in an alternative crafting style – not necessarily with a Christmas theme as you might be able to tell. I loved making these and an added bonus was that the fabric came from my stash and one of my promises to myself for 2018 was to reduce the stash it helped a little (a very little but still a little!)

So, that’s been my mischief for a couple of weeks. What’s been yours?

Progress in stripes, 14292 loops to go

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It’s been awhile since my last post. ‘Life’ has been on full on yet if you asked me what I’ve been up to I would mostly recall little. I am sure there are many of us who feel the same sometimes. I call it the roller coaster of life!

However, when I’ve not been whizzing along I’m glad to say I’ve still been crafting.

Here’s the latest update on my huge crochet rainbow blanket – which is getting bigger by the week (this is a King bed). By my reckoning I’ve about 14 rows to go – 250 stitches a row – each stitch a double treble crochet – add three stitches at end of each row to change direction – and casting off – there could be 14292 loops to go on the main body of the blanket, not including two rows of single crochet along two edges and sewing in all the ends left from colour changes. My, I am feeling exhausted writing about it …

Of course (‘cos it’s me) I also have started two new projects in the last few weeks which I shall show another day. It doesn’t sound quite as mad as you think – for one, the huge blanket is just no good to take on road trips as it’s too bulky. Plus, Christmas is coming and I am aiming to gift some homemade items this year.

For now, back to hooking whilst I have a break.

French Style, Giverny and a little crafting progress

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Read the title and think about how succinct it could be. I shall try and make it short – less is more, right?

This August holidaying in France (I loved it as much as ever!). My favourite day out – a visit to Monet’s Garden in Giverny. What a tranquil oasis. I’d highly recommend a visit. The village remains almost as it did when he lived there from 1883-1840 (gorgeous cafe and house in the main Rue, see above).

Monet’s house itself is still lovely (we read up beforehand not to expect his own paintings on display, more his own collection of Japanese drawings). No photos allowed inside, preserving it for future generations. The gardens are beautifully kept, the famous water lily pond amazing, yet the bridge in all the paintings is now slightly hidden.

And when I wasn’t visiting lovely places, supping french wine, eating cheese and pastries or sunbathing, I crocheted. Progress since former blog here.

What’s everyone else been doing lately? Please tell !

Crochet or a book or three?

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Am currently on hols – still crocheting but yarn is competing with paper.

I just finished a great novel – The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse. It’s a psychological thriller. Fun part/topical line – ‘my Isle of Wight has been the one running 20 years behind the rest of southern England’. ‘… even a wool shop which I was sure had been there when I was a child’.

Then there’s a local guide book I brought with me. Plus a town guide in French – that really tested my brain today – so much I couldn’t understand!

Bye for now.

More than 50000 stitches

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I’ve just been trying to add up how many times I’ve fed the hook through the yarn (not including any mistakes and undoings along the way). It makes my head spin!

I cast on 250 stitches.

Two rows of single crochet makes 750 stitches.

Then 51 rows of double treble stitch (250 x 4 x 51) makes 51750

Adding 3 loops and two loops round every other end makes 51875

I think!

And not even one third through this project.

Who else takes time to count stitches sometimes?

And look who thought he was helping today, my furry friend Mercury.