My Little Squares… A finish!

Hello there, thanks for popping by…Will you come with me on a trip down Memory Lane? 😊

Way, way back, when I was eleven years old, and new to a School I was lucky enough to be invited, (by the girl who went on to become my best friend) to her house for tea one day. In that single moment, she changed my life.

Of course, we had no Crystal Ball, and I had no idea then, how meeting her and her family would go on to influence my whole life… 😊

Let me explain…

Her Mum, (amongst other things, to be fair.) made Patchwork… I remember that it covered every available surface and I was enthralled… absolutely enchanted! BUT, I was also rubbish at sewing, and a budding ‘perfectionist’ which was not a great combination! 😂

I was absolutely convinced I ‘could not’ sew… Sewing lessons in School were a disaster and did nothing to build my confidence.

But still, I felt drawn to fabric. The memory of my BF’s Mum, with all her lovely sewing paraphernalia spread around her, just stuck solidly in my consciousness. Whenever I saw her as I continued to grow up, she would take all her patchwork out of boxes and drawers and let me hold them and try to convince me that I didn’t have to be perfect to get started! 😊

Gradually, and without me realising it, her words started to sink slowly into my consciousness and I started to make little bits and pieces… A Quilt for my boys… a memory of their childhood and family holidays. (still in the process of hand quilting!)

My Mum’s Memory Quilt.. (top finished, but I can’t decide how to Quilt it…)

And finally, this year, my ‘Spring Greens for Mac’ mini Quilt… and this one, I have finished!

Then, my love affair with tiny one inch Squares continued… I was recovering from Covid, and needed a distraction… They were the perfect thing!

Last week I finished the cushion cover and I have to say, I’m really, really pleased with what I achieved…

It’s not perfect and I’m in the middle of making cushion number 2 using all the knowledge I gained…This current one will be an improvement because of what I learned making number 1! 😊

But isn’t that the whole point? I feel like I have indeed come around ‘full circle’… The woman I am today, has met the girl I used to be and looked her squarely in the eyes but with compassion and love.. Whilst also acknowledging that perfectionism is completely overrated. 😊

Although every part of the story brings me to where I am today, I grieve a little for the years I wasted.. I was trying to ‘measure up’ to this ‘ideal’ of a set of sewing skills that I felt I didn’t have and it was a complete waste of time! 🤦‍♀️😊

I am eternally grateful to all the Women who, over the years, have passed on their skills and knowledge to me and kept me pushing forward in spite of all I said about my work ‘not being good enough’ ect…

Thank you… thank you. From the bottom of my very full heart. ♥️

I do hope that whatever you’re doing this week, you can find the time to do a little of what makes you happy… For me, that has to be Crafting… 😊

Until the next time,

Debbie.

A Beautiful day.

Hello there, thanks for popping by…

What a glorious day I have woken up to, here in the North of England, with the promise that it could continue into the Bank Holiday Easter Weekend… that will be a treat… It doesn’t happen very often up here! I’m sat at my desk with the sunlight streaming through the window and thinking that living in the UK, in the Spring Sunshine, takes some beating! 😊

I’ve decided to make those little Squares into a Cushion cover, and I intend to make a simple envelope opening for a cushion pad that’s 16 x 16 inches square.

I perhaps should have gone for a 12 x 12 inch pad, but it seems to me that an ‘average’ size cushion is 16 inches and so I plumbed for that. It seems a little big, but we’ll see… and it’s all a learning curve anyway, don’t you think? 🤔

Here’s a couple of pictures of my progress this week…

16 one inch Squares make a block.
Three larger blocks completed.
Starting work on the 4th block.

I’m making things up as I go, which is my favourite way to work. I love trying to figure out what goes where, but it does mean that sometimes I will make mistakes because there is rarely any forward planning from this girl! 😊

I’m hoping to finish the blocks over the weekend, and then make the cushion cover by the middle of next week. I’ll let you know how it goes, but I have to be honest and say that I’m having the best time making this, and it’s probably going to be the first of many cushions!

I’ll pop by again when I’ve made some more progress… Until then, I hope you manage to get a little bit creative in whatever you do in the next week…

Debbie.

These Little Squares.

Hello there, it’s been a while, but thanks for popping by…

I was rummaging through some boxes yesterday, looking for something to ‘pique’ my interest… I was a bit bored, restless even, and none of my current craft projects could hold my attention.

So I gave up what I was trying to do, ( which was knitting, I think ) and went on a ‘mooch’ through the boxes in the corner of our bedroom which also doubles up as my craft ‘space’ during the day.

I won’t show you a picture, it’s embarrassing, but let’s just say that it’s stacked high and if I live to be over a hundred I probably won’t even dent much of the surface!

After going through a few boxes rather listlessly, thinking,

‘No… that’s not it…’ and

‘What on earth was I thinking here’?? ect

( I’m sure you know the score, we’ve all been there! )

I came across a box full of little Squares.

I had a bit of a fling with these ‘Charmers’, back in about 2018/2019 for about 6 months or so… I even made a start on a Christmas table cloth which is languishing in a box somewhere in ‘Stack’ em’ High’ in the corner of the bedroom…

But as is usual with me, ( Magpie that I am ) 😊 they were all put down when something newer and shinier came along… ( half inch hexagons, I’m looking at you! )

So there I was, bored and a bit restless, until, that is, I opened the box! My heart did that strange fluttery thing it does when I behold on something new (ish) and exciting! Oh! Yes! This is it! The NEXT THING!

Knitting forgotten ( for the moment at least ) I excitedly dived into all those little coloured squares again, as if I were greeting a long lost Relative.. my heart is singing! and I’m not going to let the matter of trying to get over a bout of Covid 19, stand in my way…( I’m on the mend, thankfully ) and if I just do a little at a time, stop as soon as I feel tired and my head starts feeling ‘Woolly’ again, it will all be magical, won’t it?

After all, don’t they say that slow and steady wins the race? 😊

I hope you’re able to keep Crafting, and you’ll join me again soon, but until the next time, take care…

Debbie. x

AN ‘EPP’ kind of week for me….

Hello there, thanks for popping by….

It’s all go on the crafting front at the moment…. things are changing from ‘Beginings’ to ‘Middle,’ on Mum’s memory quilt and I always find that transition period really interesting and quite exciting. It rejuvinates me, pushes me forward just when I’m starting to get a little twitchy, you know the feeling? When you start to think, ” I’m getting a little bit bored…this is NEVER going to be finished…” All of a sudden, and it usually is suddenly, you realise that you’re done with putting the rosettes together…The start of Mum's memory Quilt You can actually start to assemble the quilt!! Joy of Joys!! You are saved!

Things start to look interesting again, possibilities bubble over!  In all honesty though, this has been an easy make so far. I’m making it in memory of my Mum and so every time I have picked it up, it’s allowed me precious time to mull over my memories and to feel her close to me. 20161005_144528

But now? Now the fun really begins! Choosing which colours to put where and how big I want the blocks to be. I’ve decided to make smaller blocks for ease of transportation (and public sewing!) It’s all coming from my head (and copious amounts of Facebook/ Instagram/ blogs inspiration!) so there is no Pattern to follow and I’m not even really sure how big I want it to be but at this stage, I’m thinking of a lap quilt.20161006_145025It’s been a good week for getting things done! Here’s where I am now….20161012_125543I’m going to leave the block this size and start on another- I’ll end up with lots of pieces that will ( hopefully) fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. I’m flying solo on this one, on a wing and a prayer… 😉

Things are also moving up a gear with regards to Christmas stitching.20161007_160427

It’s coming along beautifully, I’ve got the next row cut out, but I haven’t managed to work on it since Sunday…because the Amulet Shawl has also been viying for my attention! I’m so close to the finish now, so hopefully there will be a ‘Ta- dah’ Post in a few days with lots of pictures! Here’s a sneaky peak…edited_1476264185112So there we go, that’s it for this week folks! Happy Crafting. 😊

Until next time…

Debbie

Spring is in the air, and a new Quilt journey (or two) begins…

Hello there, thanks for popping by….

Well, what a wonderful week of weather we’re having up here in the North!

It’s most unusual I have to say… generally, at this time of year, skies can be pretty grey and overcast although it’s usually still quite warm. This week however, we have been basking in glorious sunshine!Can Can Shawl

Believe it or not, I took this photograph before 9 am one morning last week!

I really believe that a sunny day can lift a mediocre mood heavenwards even if your circumstances are not the best in the world. I love to throw open the curtains in the morning and see the sunlight dancing across my pots and decking! As soon as I am able, you’ll find me with a mug of coffee in my hand and some knitting or sewing slung onto our tiny outside table and even if I just get to sit quietly for half an hour or so before the day begins properly, I find it shores me up for the rest of the day!

I also Started two new quilts  this week….

Sadly, I lost my Mum at the end of last year, and now feel ready and able to sew something to remember her by…. I must tell you though, how funny life is, and how this quilt came into being….

If you can imagine for a moment, my friend and I stood in our local home ware store that happens to stock a very small amount of patchwork fabric….now, I’ve been writing this blog for long enough  that if you scroll through the pictures, you will be able to see how muted my colour palate tends to be… I adore greens, russets, creams and blues….nowhere in those choices would you find anything remotely like this…The start of Mum's memory Quilt

My friend and I, we stood there… me, with this purple, blue and pink combo fat quarter bundle, clutched to my chest, and she, staring at me in disbelief.

‘Those are not your colours… what ARE you thinking?? ‘ but she is trying not to laugh.

‘I don’t know!’  I say, completely perplexed.

‘I’d put them back….they’re definitely not you…’

‘ You’re right, I think I will…lord knows what I’m doing….’

Ten minutes later we’re both queuing at the till and I go off on a run to find the fabric I really thought I didn’t want.. and it wasn’t until days later that I realised what was going on….I had to laugh, and then I rang my Sister….

My Mum had sheets exactly like that purple fabric when I was growing up as a girl in the Seventies!

And so, a new lap quilt is born…to join another I started a week ago, but this, in a colour combination I’m more familiar with! – I told you I was a ‘butterfly!’EPP diamonds - sunny morning

Until the next time….

Debbie

 

 

 

 

 

The big ‘Ta-dah’!-Also known as….my first finish.

Hello there, thanks for popping by…..

It’s been a good week for a finish! My first while writing this blog….I can’t tell you how happy I am!

I started this cushion cover back in January…..I was inspired by some work I’d seen on a new Facebook group I’d joined….the Ladies there are so talented, knowledgeable and friendly that I felt at home, right away!

I adore English Paper Piecing and I adore Hexagons, so all I had to do was get started, but I decided for the first time ever, to try and follow a pattern from a book I have….I usually collect patchwork and quilting books….I’m not nearly confident enough in my abilities to use them properly! 🙂

Start of Autumn cushion cover

It’s called, ‘Quilting On The Go!’ by Jessica Alexandrakis. A fine book!

Back of Autumn cushion cover

I’m really pleased with the result, although I did get the measurements slightly wrong because I used my own plastic window template and it was slightly smaller…. and the back of the cushion has an added feature, because that measurement went slightly awry too. 🙂

Front of Autumn cushion cover

As I say it’s finished but definitely not perfect, but that doesn’t bother me a jot, because I have a finished cushion!

Onward and upwards!

On another front, my ‘stride’ socks are at the heel flap and almost ready for turning, that’s my job for this week… the pattern is easy to remember and I love the colour.

Heel flap on 'Stride' socks

The pattern for them is in issue 95 of ‘The Knitter’ if you’d like to have a go…..

That’s it for this week!

Until next time,

Debbie

Ups and downs, but life moves on….

Hello there, thanks for popping by….

There have been challenges aplenty for me in the last fortnight, some good, some nigh on awful, but here we are, a little battered around the edges perhaps, but moving forward!

My salvation and solace has, as always, been my crafting work…. times are rarely so tough that I can’t focus on needle and thread! There is much to be said, when hearts ache, for sitting quietly with some knitting or embroidery and just allowing your mind to rest for a bit….

Being the butterfly that I am, I’ve flitted between EPP and Hardanger embroidery as the mood has taken me…I’m not an expert quilter….really just a novice but I do think the more I practice, the easier and straighter my lines become! Next time I’m going to have a go at free motion quilting…Autumn cushion machine quilting April 2016

I’m now at the point where I’m sewing the binding onto the back of the cushion cover….would you like to see?AUtum cushion cover binding April 2016

This is my favourite part! I find sewing the binding on SO therapeutic….the perfect foil for this week! Hopefully, next time I’ll be able to show you the completed cushion…..

Mid week saw me working on my cream Hardanger mat in  my favourite colourway;

DMC Perle threads 8 and 12 in 712 and DMC Perle thread 12 in 524Hardanger cream DMC Perle 12 in 524 green

I promise, it is cream!

I switched craft again yesterday, and carried on with my ‘Stride’ Socks too, as well as doing a couple of rows on my Shawl.. but that’s all I will allow myself until I gain confidence…just a couple of rows a day!

More photos of those projects next week though..

Until next time….

Debbie

 

 

 

 

Days away……

I’ve been so lucky to spend a few days away, catching up with family that live far to the south of where I am. We try and catch up with each other at least twice a year, but this year my visit coincided with Birthdays which made it even more special. I’m afraid I didn’t get much stitching done because there was too many other, and dare I say, more important things clambering for my attention….I finally picked up my sewing properly, on the journey home. Oh, how lovely that was…. to sit, sew and sometimes stare out of the window as the scenery flashed by…

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Today has been a day of catching up with chores and getting back into the swing of life at home. Being away is always fun but when all’s said and done, there really is, ‘no place like home’

Until the next  time…..

Debbie