“a little bird told me”– baby quilt in progress

Only the other day, I showed you some fabrics I had ordered, with a baby quilt in mind.  For a baby girl, soon to be born.   The seller was incredibly efficient and sent my parcel off the same day, so I didn’t have to wait long to receive all my yummy new fabrics. 

baby 01

The main fabric for this baby quilt is a bird print.  Other fabrics were ordered accordingly.  Anyway . . . as soon as my parcel arrived, I nipped into my sewing room and delved into my stash drawers (including scrap bags and 5” charm square box).  Being true to myself, I always have trouble cutting into gorgeous new fabric, and some of the long quarters I ordered just seemed too pretty to cut into lol.

I did cut into them though . . . but also found about 20 charm squares and a few scraps that mixed well with the colour palette of birds . . . so they are being incorporated into the quilt too. 

For once, I’m actually following a pattern.  As in, a real pattern, from a book!  I’ll tell you all about that when the quilt is finished (credit where credit is due and all that).  At the moment, I do have something to show you though.

IMGP3308

The beginnings!  Here, you can see the piecing so far.  I’ve cut 4 bands in the bird print, 6.5” wide by 54.5”.  And so far, have assembled one band of 2.5” squares (so 54 little squares in assorted fabrics). 

It’s going to be very quick to make, this one.  And such fun, to be playing with all these bright colours.  The only colour I haven’t tried to include in my squares is that of the little the orange/red bird because I wanted to add bright pinks. 

If I had any self-discipline, I would have spent the afternoon working on my F2F2 quilt, which is almost completely joined together, but not quite . . . but new fabrics were just too tempting not to dive in straight away! 

Ducky update, crochet WIPs and an upcoming patchwork

I am ever so pleased to say that Ducky’s ordeal is now over.  After going to the vets for an op, following a cat bite, and having to wear his bandage suit.  After being shut up in the guest room for endless days and nights . . . stitches are now out and Ducky is free to come and go as he pleases.

stitches out

Okay, he looks a bit strange still, with a huge, rectangular bald patch.  But fur will grow back eventually and this incident will soon be a thing of the past.

My only worry now is that our other 3 cats are all being very hissy towards him.  They don’t seem to recognise him anymore.  We were expecting Le Bleu to get antsy, because he always does.  However, even the usually docile Merlin and Abby have been hissing and trying to whack Ducky, whenever he gets too close.  In order to try and keep the majority happy, Ducky is therefore still having to sleep on his own in the guest room at night, just until the other cats get over their amnesia.

Apart from spending lots of time giving Ducky extra cuddles in the spare room . . . I have done a little bit of crafting recently.  Not as much as I would have liked, but even so, a few photos to share with you.

WIP monkey

I’ve made a start on “Johny the monkey” – a pattern in the first Zoomigurumi book.  This one is labelled as being for “experienced” crocheters, probably because of the shaping on the face part.  It wasn’t difficult though.  I just followed the excellent stitch by stitch instructions and it hooked up with no problem.  So far I’ve made the head, body, face bit and 2 ears.  Next to tackle the other parts.

I also started a second pattern, from the same book, because working in dark brown isn’t always easy.

WIP pony

This one, “Leila the pony”.  My pony is going to be mainly baby pink, and I’m thinking of using a dark grey for the hooves.  With (possibly) a purple mane and tail, but I haven’t decided yet.  So far, one body, waiting to be stuffed.

And more pics of some new fabrics I am eagerly awaiting . . .

baby 01

baby 02

baby 03

baby 04

baby 05

baby 06

One of our neighbours is expecting a baby girl later this year . . . any excuse eh?  I’ll be making a baby sized quilt, with the bird print as my main fabric, and other pretty colours too.  Can’t wait for fabrics to arrive and to make a start!

a walk and some walls

When you’re a dog owner you need to go out for daily walks with said dog.  Yep, even when you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, orchard and stream . . . a young dog, like Gibbs needs his exercise.

Gibbs 14 07

Here he is, now 10 months and 36 kilos of muscle, totally recovered from his recent little op.

Gibbs 2 14 07

This taken in the shade of the orchard, after a dip in the stream, and before heading off out for a proper walk.

walk

And, because we live in the country, with lots of quiet lanes . . . and because he’s obedient, and doesn’t rush off willy nilly, he gets to trot along without being on the leash.  He’s just walking a few steps ahead of my husband, who has leash to hand, just in case we meet a passing car or other walkers.

donkey

On that day, we didn’t meet much of either, but we did go past a field and a curious donkey who watched as we sauntered by.

I, for once, had taken my camera, because I wanted to snap a few shots along the way.  Not of nature and greenery, but of a couple of walls.  A strange thing to take photos of, perhaps, but in our little village, where houses are very old . . . I never go past without admiring some of the old stone walls.

walls 01

There’s the wall around the graveyard . . . and then several similar walls on a few of the houses.

walls 02

walls 03

walls 04

And then there’s the inner walls of the really ancient communal bread oven, just in front of our house.

walls 05

Bread oven which is used by neighbours, about once a year, for some communal cooking. Although we haven’t cooked anything in it yet.

church 03

And, so you can enjoy some of our blue skies . . . this is the 12th century church, which is just in front of our house too. 

church 02

SAL update–“Cirque des Triangles” #8

More lovely golden coloured Threadworx thread has appeared on my fabric, as “Cirque des Triangles” moves from this

CdesT stage 7

to this

CdesT stage 8

CdesT stage 8 zoom

That’s all the outer triangles done now.  Next stages will be to fill in the centre.

Let’s go see what other SAL members have been up to.  Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other members are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, ChristinaKathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph,  Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

Next update on 6th August.

gaming chicks

You may remember, I hooked up a batch of chicks, for Adopt-a-chick surprise gifts this Easter.  Making and sending to my adult children and their partners. 

adopt a chick

Well, I had a chuckle last month, and wanted to share it with you.

dirt4

This photo is extracted from CodeMasters’ promotional video for their latest game DIRT4.  Second son (busy at his work station here, in photo) is a senior programmer at Codies, and my daughter is an artist there too.  So, the very proud Mum wanted to share the news that they both contributed to this new racing game which has recently been released . . . and two of my chicks got in on the picture too lol.

F2F final assembly continues

F2F top half

More photos to share with you, of how my F2F2 quilt is coming together.  Followers will remember that this quilt is a collective work of art, with blocks made by myself and 9 other patchworkers.  As I join blocks, with some lovely orange sashing, each and every block seems to look very much at home.

The top half is all joined now.  And the bottom half is underway.

F2F bottom half

I won’t show you any more “in progress” photos . . . the next time you see this beauty, it will be a complete quilt, with binding and all.

I’m too old for this . . .

I maintain that we’re never too old (or young) to learn something new.  However, I’ve decided I’m too old . . . to be working on a project I’m not enjoying!  Crafting should be fun.  It’s a hobby, after all.  In years gone by, I would have been up for a challenge, but nowadays if it becomes a chore, I don’t want to do it.  There are enough chores to do in day-to-day life, without adding one to my evening entertainment!   With this thought in mind, I made an executive decision, regarding “Victorian Charm”.

Victorian charm july

The more I looked, and studied the chart to see what colours I needed to thread up next, the more I realised that this design just isn’t any fun at the moment.  It’s too much like hard work.  It’s not so much the fact there are lots of symbols that need to be stitched combining 2 different colours.  It’s the dark navy 18 count aida that’s making work difficult.   

This kit is therefore going back in the drawer.  To become an UFO (un finished object) until I can find the motivation to face it again.  It’s not that I don’t love the design, because I do.  I just can’t be bothered with it right now.  So “Sorry” to second son and N, who gifted this kit to me in xmas 2015.  It’ll be picked up again sometime in the future.  Just not this year!

Instead, I pulled out something very small and light-hearted.  Something with few colours.  Something that I will be able to stitch without squinting at either chart or fabric.  A design that will only take a very short time to complete

yarn cats

“Yarn Cats” by Design Works.  I bought this in January during the massive sewandso sales.  Stitched on 14 count rustico aida, it’s a very simple design, which is perfect for stitching in the evening.  Progress will be quick and painless, which is how I like my cross stitch these days.  Easy and fun!

And before I go . . . a photo to show you this

from Virginie

A lovely 3D card from Virginie to whom I sent an unbirthday surprise earlier in the year.