“Live Simply” happy dance

In March, I had a happy dance, having finished off a cross stitch design: “Live Simply”, a kit by Dimensions.  However, that was just the happy dance for a finished stitching . . . the real full-flung happy dance happened this month.

Live simply finish 01

Live Simply finish 02

I have made a lap top case for my niece, N.  Her parents gave her a Notebook PC for Christmas, and she had asked if I could make a protective cover for it . . . so I did lol.  Some simple piecing on the front, and some freestyle quilting.

It’s just a simple pouch, but I added handles so it can be carried like a bag, and a couple of large poppers to make sure it stays shut.

Gibbs – 7 months and a blankie

IMGP2715

Gibbs is now 7 months and still growing.  Last week, he weighed in at 28 kilos ^^ 

IMGP2716

IMGP2714

He’s gorgeously glossy, and really is an incredibly good-natured & intelligent dog.  We’ve had only one naughty episode this month – where Gibbs managed to get his nose in a chocolate cake (husband’s fault – you don’t leave chocolate cake on the table when you have a puppy), but I stopped him before he’d had a chance to wolf too much down (chocolate being toxic for dogs).   However, after a quick call to vet’s . . . seeing dog weight and portion of cake size eaten, there was nothing to worry about.

Apart from that, he’s been no trouble at all.  He’s getting on well with the cats, who no longer run & hide each time they see him . . . and basically, slowly growing out of puppy antics to become a proper adult dog.

He’s not too keen on rides in the car . . . so I decided to try and make things more comfortable.  Thought, if he had a “blankie” then car rides might be easier.  He has a soft bear that he loves carrying around in his mouth, and takes to bed with him.  So I thought he might also grow attached to a blankie.

IMGP2762

Quilting is a bit rough & ready (meaning wonky in places) but I don’t think Gibbs is going to complain.

IMGP2764

Made using a pack of 4” square prints I received for Christmas, an old cot sheet and some cheap plain blue cotton.  It is no doubt destined to be covered in mud & dog hair, I therefore did everything by machine, including the last sewing on binding.  Measures approx 44” x 34”. 

“better late than never” quilt

IMGP2723

A happy dance here, as I finally finished the quilt for my sister.  Originally aiming for her birthday in February, hence the name.

Finished size is 44” by 58” so it’s a nice size for her to fling over the back of her 2-seater sofa.

IMGP2724

I was very pleased with how it turned out, but I’m still not a great fan of the colour palette.  Still, sister asked for black, red & “silver” which is the colour-scheme in her living room.  I think I met the brief.

IMGP2725

F2F2 swap – from the USA and the Netherlands

More lovely blocks arrived, in my colourway, from ladies participating in the F2F2 swap, organised by Kate.  In fact, these are the final blocks for me, and the swap has now come to an end.

My colourway, as you’ll remember is

Claire

And here are the blocks from Moira

Moira 01

Moira 02

Moira 03

And blocks from Esther

F2F Esther 01

F2F Esther 02

F2F Esther 03

Aren’t they all gorgeous?

This means I now have 24 wonderfully colourful blocks from the ladies in the F2F2 swap, plus 3 equally gorgeous blocks from Avis . . . a grand total of 27.  I will now be making 3 blocks for myself so that I have 30 blocks to assemble and make a lovely sized quilt.

F2F2 # from Australia and USA

More gorgeous blocks have arrived, from far far away, for my turn as Miss February, in the F2F2 block swap, organised by Kate.

You’ll remember that the photo for my colour inspiration is

Claire

Blocks from Kate, with a gorgeous card and a cat print vignette.

F2F2 from Kate

A zoom, so you can admire in more detail.

from Kate 01

from Kate 02

from Kate 03

And blocks from Susan, who also sent along some of the fabrics left over from her blocks.

F2F2 from Susan

In more detail

from Susan 01

from Susan 02

from Susan 03

Aren’t they all lovely and bright?  Many thanks ladies . . . I’m now keeping my eyes open for the last 2 sets to arrive!

F2F2 – from Sweden and USA

More lovely blocks arrived for the F2F2 swap organised by Kate

My colour inspiration, as you know is this

Claire

Which means, some gorgeous bright blocks arrived for me to play with. 

From Sue, in the USA

from Sue x3

lots of very rich blues, greens and orange.

from Sue 01

from Sue 02

from Sue 03

And from Gun, in Sweden, some equally bright, and gorgeous floral fabrics

IMGP2473

from Gun 01

from Gun 02

from Gun 03

Thank you so much, Sue and Gun, your blocks are spot on!  I’m still keeping an eye open for the postie as there are four more sets on their way. 

tidying those scraps

I’m pleased to say that lots of rest over recent weeks (plus the cortisone injection) seems to be helping back pain.  I’m still not 100% comfortable, but am definitely feeling better.  I realise I still need to take things easy unless I want to suffer a set-back and, no matter how much I would love to sit and do some serious sewing . . . I am being sensible.  Any machine sewing happening in this house over the coming weeks/months will be done in very short sessions.  So I’ll be working on small projects and will wait a while longer before I do any more physically demanding quilting.

The other day, I was mooching around in my sewing room, wondering what new project I could begin when I noticed the mess that is my fabric scrap box.

scrap tidying 01 

I had left it, open, on my sofa and one of the cats obviously got in there for a play.  Suddenly aghast at my over-flowing scrap box, I decided to have a tidy up and sort through.

Several hours later – yep, it took that long because I ironed scraps, sorted by colour, and even did some scrap trimming as I went . . .

scrap tidying

Scrap fabrics are now in re-sealable freezer bags.  I haven’t got enough to merit one bag per colour so I’ve done a pink/red bag . . . a black/grey bag . . . a turquoise/teal bag etc.

When possible, with smaller pieces, I cut 5” squares or 2.5” squares, surprising myself with how fast those piled up

scrap tidying 04

And when scraps were even smaller . . .

scrap tidying 03

I cut 1.5” x 2” rectangles to add to my little “sample box”

scrap tidying 06

scrap tidying 05

And yes . . . some sewing did happen, because I felt I deserved a reward after all that sorting.  I stitched some of my “sample” bits together, having fun first with colour layout.

sample scraps

Dusky pinks . . . browns & beiges . . . and brighter pinks.  These blocks measure approx 6” x 6.5”.  I’ve already got a vague idea of what they will become.