Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflecting Back on the Year that was

What a year it has been, our lives have certainly changed.  Not quite as much P&Q was completed during 2013 but….. After we sold our house in Upper Hutt we spent three months living in our caravan while the builders got busy, and I made the decision not to take my sewing machine along in the caravan too.  With travelling up to Levin several times a week to check on the house building project, there wasn’t much time for stitching, although I had some hand sewing and knitting to do when time allowed.  My one and only finish to show for our 3 months of living in the caravan was a little toddlers jumper.  Knitting this little jumper really brought back memories.  I remember knitting this same pattern in light blue for my little toddler Michael many years ago.  My little boy is now, I can hardly believe it, 49!  The old pattern is Patons 1845, and is knitted in double knit wool. Perhaps we’ll  have another little boy in the family one day?  Then I will prepared for him.

DSCF4506 First finish of 2013

We moved into our new home in March 2013 and had curtains to order, furniture to arrange, pictures to be hung, and a million boxes to open!  My sewing room is still not organised exactly as I want it, and I am contemplating buying a bed settee for this room.  Or not – perhaps it will be too big and over powering?  So I’m dithering a bit on this decision.  Sewing took a back seat for a while, and then I felt motivated to make a few things for our new house.  Such as a new bag to store all those plastic grocery bags in.  I made it from a tea towel showing pictures of New Zealand flowers and flowering  native trees,  and it now hangs nice and tidy from a hook in the pantry.

DSCF4790 Every kitchen needs one of these

Next on the list was sewing for our lounge:  a pair of green cushions using the left over fabric curtain fabric, and not one, but two table runners for our new coffee table.  Making the cushions was quite straight forward, but the table runners got put aside for a while and took a little time to complete.  The saw tooth stars were made from some of the extra curtain fabric, using a cream patterned fabric for the background, and plain green for the borders.  The second table runner was a bit more challenging to make.  Now I have two for the coffee table, to ring the changes.  I used some of the left over curtain fabric in both, the same green for the borders, but different neutral fabrics and both are made in different styles. 

DSCF5478 Muffy on the couch with the new cushions

DSCF5707First runner made with Saw Tooth Stars

P9070002 Second table runner

Then it was time to make a few gifts.  My old school friend Merilyn loves gardening.  I had been busy doing the stitchery off and on to make her cushion for ages, and luckily completed the project in time for her birthday.  The pattern is “Bless my Knees”, designed by Mulberry Street, USA.  I used No 5 Perle cotton for the stitchery, and added highlights with fabric pens. The body of the cushion is a pale green cotton fabric.  It fits in well with the decor, I was told, and has pride of place on one of the couches.

DSCF5496 Made for Merilyn

Another gift was for my friend Dot, a belated 65th birthday present.  Two oven mitts, the green one is for Derek and Dot’s kitchen in their new house, and the lilac one will tone in  nicely with the colours of their motor-home.

DSCF5209Gift for Dot

Dot’s son Brent  has a real affinity with the American Bald Eagle and has quite a collection of eagle related items.   Tucked away in my sewing room was a piece of eagle fabric, eagles soaring against a blue sky.  It didn’t take too long to stitch up a pair of simple cushion covers.

DSCF6224 For Brent

More sewing for me was next, my old peg apron was ripped so I stitched myself a new one.  Plus a Givenchy apron (sounds so posh, doesn’t it?)  This was was a panel purchased from an Op Shop for a mere $2!  I always wear aprons in the kitchen as I’m such a messy cook!

DSCF5812 Blue Peg Apron

DSCF5327 Purple Givenchy Apron

Not forgetting my ever so handy block roll which started life as a “quilting” tea towel, sent to me by my UK pen-friend a while ago. I backed it with calico, added a light wadding, and stipple quilted the layers together, then added the red binding and ties.  I use this to store my stitcheries in, keeps them nice and flat. 
DSCF5686 Block Roll

We are getting near the end of my stitching year now.  And I have only one finished quilt for the year.  What a mammoth task this has been, machine quilting and unpicking time and again.  You are all probably heartily sick and tired of reading about the trials and tribulations of me and this quilt!  This quilt was a long time in the making,  I was working on the straight line machine quilting about seven years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and underwent many long tiring weeks of radiation and chemo.  I couldn’t physically cope with it back then and when I finally returned to P&Q, this quilt held too many memories of this scary time.  But here it is, finished at last, over the back of the couch in the lounge looking very Christmassy indeed.

PC120058 My Christmas quilt

Looking back over the year, although I have only finished one quilt, I’m surprised how many other smaller items I have made.  And it hasn’t really been a quilt free year, I’ve been spending time working on a couple of other UFOs during the year.  It’s just that they are not yet up to that all important finished stage.

Another thing I’ve noticed, is that I’ve done a lot more cooking and baking in my lovely new kitchen, with friends popping in for lunch, and afternoon tea, which is nice.  I’m also pleased with my jam making during the year – I made batches of feijoa and kiwifruit jam, plus marmalade.  And not forgetting making my first ever Christmas Cake, so yummy!  Wonder why it took me so long to finally make one of these?

I'm also so very pleased to have joined the local quilt club, Town and Country Quilters.  And been invited to join the Sew Wot ladies for their fortnighly get togethers in each other's homes.  Yes indeed, this has certainly been a good year!

1 comment:

Frances Leate said...

I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you Jenny and remember quilting is often about the journey not the destination. Happy New Year