Stops & Starts


I'm a finisher, so stopping in the middle of a project and starting a new one is not something that is particularly attractive to me.  Yes, I enjoy the thrill of planning a new design, picking out fabrics, drawing up the pattern and actually commencing stitching, but I find my mind gets too cluttered and in the background is the gnawing feeling that I haven't finished something! That's the problem with being a perfectionist!!!

So I'm not feeling all calm and peaceful this week. I've ended up starting 5 (YES five!) new things! The fabric is all chosen  and the hexagons are made for a cushion, I started stitching a new block for the 2013 free BOM and I've prepared three pincushions ready for stitching.  Now to solve my dilemma, I have put the cushion gear away back in the cupboard, the new block at the bottom of the pile and I'm majoring at the moment on the pincushions.  It was a last minute decision to make them at all, but I thought they would be something sweet to put on the Creative Craft Retreat stall next weekend and they really won't take too long to complete. They are my Busy Bees Pincushion so will look something like this:


The vine around the door is complete on this one:


and I'm a bit further advanced on a pale pink one:


I am really looking forward to the Craft Retreat where I will be teaching my Rosebud Cottage Box which I have shown you before.  I love this design:


And now I have been thinking about starting yet another project!  I gave my husband an Android Tablet for his birthday today, and it really needs a protective cover ASAP.  Why buy one when I can make one? - silly idea in hindsight!

Now if it's my husband's birthday, that indicates that it's going to be November very soon, which means that next weekend will be the start of my:


I will be making available a new pattern each weekend over the next seven weeks. Each pattern will be free to download for one week, so look out for my blog post next week for the first of the free patterns. (Don't panic if I'm a day late as I will be travelling home from Craft Retreat so won't have access to my computer.)

My sense of completion and finality had one or two calm moments in the midst of my week's storm. This project was all packaged and sent off to one of our lovely Australian magazines:


I love that feeling of finishing!

And while I'm talking about finishing, have a look at what Ondrea completed.  Her version of my Fantasia wall-hanging is just gorgeous in the blue fabrics:


I'll leave you with a little Rebus puzzle.  What is this?:

SOMething

Have a great week.
Hugs
Val

Springtime babies


We were away last week out western Queensland with our Birdwatchers' Club.  We had a fabulous time and because it is about 6 hours drive from where we live, we saw lots of birds that we don't normally see on the Coast.  It's Spring, dry and a bit windy, so the hayfever is out of control, but it was worth it to see lots of birds building nests, sitting on eggs, feeding babies or keeping a watchful eye on their young.

A baby Lapwing:


Mum and Dad Wood Duck with two fluffy ducklings:

One brood we saw had TEN babies!

A Peewee (Magpie Lark) feeding her babies:


Just minutes after I took the photo, the larger baby took it's first teetering wing flutters outside the nest. It soon gained confidence and in no time was a couple of metres away from its baby sister.  It was something really special to watch.

Here's a couple more lovely birds we saw.  Lots of cockatiel:


A Great Egret:


All I've had time for on the sewing front is to finish ticketing all the goods I have for the Creative Craft Retreat stall. Here's a couple more bits and pieces that I will put on the stall:

A needlecase:


Another mini-cushion: 


Here's a sneak peak of a design that I'll be sending off to a magazine this week:


It's just two weeks to go before the 
7 weeks of Christmas Giving 
starts.  Spread the word! 

Hugs
Val

Free Pattern - Thoughts in Thread 10


I hope you've enjoyed collecting the various blocks for the free block of the month "Thoughts in Thread" quilt, and, better still, I hope you receive a lot of pleasure out of actually making it!


Today I am giving you instructions for how I put the quilt together with an external peeper, plus the quilting and binding.  The pattern also includes a design for a quilt label. As usual, go to my website to download the final pattern 10.  

Don't forget to upload photos of your finished blocks onto my Flickr group or e-mail them to me so I can share them with my readers. There's some delightful blocks there to drool over.

All the blocks will be available until 31st December so feel free to tell your friends.  The patterns will be removed after that to make way for a new free pattern!  I've finished designing something for 2013 and it's all cut out and a lot of it has been pieced.  I'm now starting on the hand-stitching - my favourite part.  

However, there are still two months before 2013, so I have planned:


Yes, Seven weeks of Christmas Giving!

Commencing the first week of November and going up to the week before Christmas, I will be sharing a free pattern with you each week.  The patterns will be mostly gifts that you can make, along with a couple of Christmas projects. The gifts will all be very useful - you know my designs: 'pretty and practical'!

The patterns will only be available for one week and then will be removed, so can I encourage you to grab my "Seven weeks" logo and share it on your blog sidebar or a blog post so that your friends can join in the fun of receiving a free pattern each week.

I've been getting organised for the Creative Craft Retreat coming up in a few weeks. Apart from all the great classes that are available, there is also a Stall where you can buy (and sell) lots of wonderful hand-crafted items.  I've had fun making bits and pieces to put on the stall and it's always a great incentive for me to finish some of my PASSES (Projects at a Stand-still) and turn them into something that someone might like to buy.

This was a half-finished block that I didn't use from the Gifts of Grace quilt. It is now a sweet little mini-cushion: 


This little bit of appliqued embroidery was just the thing to put on a needlecase:


I don't know anyone having a baby at the moment so this baby quilt is going on the stall:


I'm hoping I will be able to get rid of a couple of crates of bits and pieces! They are taking over my guest room wardrobe!

Have a great week!
Val

Being Thankful


I'm playing the piano this afternoon for some hymn-singing in the local nursing home. Once a month our Church takes a service there for the residents who are unable to get out much.  One of the songs we will sing is "Count your blessings". 

Counting our blessings and being thankful is certainly a tried and trusted cure for when we are 'down in the dumps'.  I have so much for which to be thankful - I couldn't start to list all my blessings.

When our children were little, we taught them to say this 'grace' before meals:

Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything.

Giving thanks before a meal is a habit that most of our children still practice in their married lives and that they have taught their children.  The words used now may be different, but being thankful for daily provision, when so many in the world are starving, is a good habit.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because the grace above ended up in fabric!


  A set of four placemats, each with a line of the grace embroidered on a stitchery centre with a little bit of applique:


Can you see the scalloped border around the stitchery?"


A little bird singing sweetly:


Whoever invented Prairie Points deserves a medal! 


The pattern is in the latest edition of Country Threads magazine, Vol 13 No 5.


Well, the sewing machine is finally out of its cabinet, but I've been very disciplined and have kept to my plan for my spring cleaning - five areas done - almost one third of the way there!  It's even starting to smell clean!

In my spare time, the pencil (and eraser!) have been hard at work as I'm designing the new free Block of the Month quilt for 2013. It's taken me for ever to get it together but the planning stage is almost complete and hopefully I can soon start on the fun bit - actually making it!  Keep an eye out for the final pattern in the 2012 "Thoughts in Thread" project next week.  I plan also to reveal what I have in mind for you for November/December - I'm quite excited about it and hope you will be too.

Meanwhile, happy stitching!

Val