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Wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt and friend....and fur-kid mum I love Quilting, stitching, photography, cooking, baking, gardening, blogging and making new friends...stop by and say hi!

Sunday 28 July 2019

A new set of needles

Well, I guess you could be excused for thinking I had disappeared into thin air and I am not promising that this will last but I was thinking the other day about how much I enjoyed blogging even though it is just a venue for me to waffle on about fluff and stuff...so for now I am jumping back on the blogwagon and see if I can keep up with the pace of things.

After a full on start to the year and finishing 5 quilt tops by March, I fell off 'that' bandwagon rather hard....whether it was the colder weather setting in, or the fact that I am STILLwaiting for my house to get built (3 years and counting) or just a general malaise....probably a little of each. Long story short: I haven't had much inclination to sew.

But Knitting.....now that's a whole other ballgame!
I recently found this cute plant pot to keep my evergrowing collection of Knitting Needles

I just got this sudden urge to knit....it was an itch that just had to be scratched....Firstly, I tried my hand at knitting a little cardie jacket for my great-niece who just moved to England with her parents. I really enjoyed the pattern but the sleeves were a little tricky so I decided maybe another two little cardies might help me perfect the underarm fiasco.....

only one colour shown here but I did 3 different colours for each cardie

Since I haven't touched any knitting needles for almost 30 years, I had a few techniques to conquer so I forgot about the countless other Pinterest finds to knit jumpers and concentrated on something a bit more manageable. Scarves and cowls and blankets.

This was my first big project....a big chunky blanket which I knitted out of some rather awful acrylic stuff in my stash box.  The pattern is lovely and I plan to knit it again in a  nicer yarn sometime soon. The pattern is called the Boulevard Blanket. So easy to knit and the pattern is free*. I discovered circular knitting needles for this project as it is necessary to hold all the stitches needed.

This was a big project so I interspersed it with a couple of smaller projects. A triangular scarf which helped me decipher the M1L and M1R technique of increasing the stitiches. The scarf was knitted with some really cheap acrylic yarn that I picked up in a $2 Shop and it is something I will probably never wear....but it was an interesting learning curve.
I'm sure it's obvious but my knitted scarf is the pinky creation

Next up was the Potato Chip Scarf and here I picked up on how to do short rows.  There was so much unraveling of this project and starting over but eventually I got the hang of it and produced something  that looked like the picture....I have seen some wonderful examples of this scarf so would like to give it a go in another type of yarn (I originally used a cotton blend) I have a few free* versions of this pattern on my Pinterest Board called Yarn

My first cowl was this Ridge and Furrow cowl which is a free* pattern.....I struggled with the circular needles at first as I didn't know how the join the circle....a quick search on Pinterest and I had it all sussed out. I love this cowl and am immensely proud of my efforts.  I realised while knitting this project that I really enjoy knitting patterns.

The bug had bitten deep and the next project to meet my needles was this Reversible Rivulet Scarf  a free* pattern from Purl Soho. This project took me several weeks as it was all knitted into the back of the stitch, ie. the reversible part, it took my brain a while to emulate and I also had to polish up on my cable stitch which kept going array forcing me to "unknit" or simply pull the stitches back a few rows.Who knew a scarf could take so long to knit?! That being said, I would do this one again!

That brings me to this current week.....Yes, I still want to knit and if I'm not knitting, I am seeking out patterns on Pinterest. Early this week I decided to unleash the Mohair (well, it's 50% Mohair and 50% Acrylic) and knit an easy lacy scarf. Yikes! Fingering Mohair (blend) is tricky. It kept getting snagged on itself and I ended up having to discard quite a bit of it when the pattern went off course and I couldn't unravel the stitches. My second go was more successful although I can see a big hole somewhere half way up the work. I think I can fix that later. I am actually going to seam the two edges to make a cowl.

Please note that free* denotes that patterns are free at time of this post  being published.

If you have read this far, then thank you so much for passing by.....and I look forward to journalling my next project.....the only question is:
Will it be knitted, stitched or sewn!

Linking up with MondayMaking

Monday 18 September 2017

Beautiful Butterflies - February Catch Up

Leaving January behind and heading for a February catch up for my APQ UFO Challenge. It's so exciting when you have achieved your finish and you are just waiting for the next number to be posted. The only problem is that the 1st of the month arrives much earlier in Australia than it does anywhere else so I just have to be patient.....

At last the new number was posted.....#8....on my list, it was Sashiko Butterflies...

This project was not long a UFO....infact I had bought the project as a kit from Sylvia Pippen Designs in the US a couple of months before I went overseas and it only took me a week or so to do the Sashiko stitches....all that was left, was to add the appliqued butterflies. With the trip ahead, I decided to put it away....until I joined with the UFO challenge. I am glad it got the call up early on as the speed with which I got it done boosted my confidence that I could fulfill this challenge.

I was terrified to cut up the small pieces of marbled fabrics for the applique wings but it's just best to take the plunge or it will never get done.  I tried to plan where to place the wing template to make the most of the patterns in the fabric although the first one (the pink one in front) wasn't so wonderful.

However,  I learnt from it and was happy with how the others turned out....I used a needleturn method to do the wings but the little bodies were too tiny and I ended up blanket stitching them on.

Then it was just a case of adding the narrow border and then another indigo border and it is ready to quilt....I will probably do it by hand.

It was around this time that I also decided to start on another UFO...one that wasn't on my list...one that had been languishing in the cupboard for at least 10 years. I decided to make it my long term UFO and I work on it at night when I don't have any other hand stitching to do.

It is a Cross Stitch project and it is a long term UFO....I had only done a small part of it when I lost interest in it many years ago...It is called Tulip Trio although they do remind me more of Peonies. Here was my first progress photo. There is a long way to go but you will be surprised if you saw it today.....I have done so much.

Till next time....


Wednesday 13 September 2017

Challenge Accepted

Goodness.....it has been absolutely ages since I wrote anything on my blog.....AGES! To say I have been busy would be the understatement of the year! What with numerous medical appointments to chauffeur my mum to, trying to cope with the stresses of planning a house, catching up on my UFO's just to name a few, blogging has fallen way, way to the bottom of the priority list.
I am going to try really hard to change that.....even if it is just baby steps.....from now on and take my chance to blog at least once a week....lets see how that goes.

I have, however, taken to Instagram.  At first I couldn't see what all the fuss was about but I find it a much better platform than Facebook which I have struggled to link up to my blog for awhile now. Anyhow, I post pictures on Instagram just about everyday and as well as my current sewing projects, there are also photo's of plants I am growing, scenes from our valley, and all my furbabies...if you are on instagram....seek me out, I am cathxxm......and I am already following a few of you...

Back to why I am here today.....back in the wayback, when I last posted HERE I was telling you about the UFO Challenge I was undertaking through the All People Quilt Magazine. Even though this was some months ago now, I am pleased to report that I managed to finish my January's UFO right on time......well at least to a flimsy....which is what I was aiming for!

I started off the month with that house centre block panel and the pink border but I still needed to finish the floral stitched border on the sides......

After that, It didn't take very long at all and I pieced it all together quite quickly

My favourite section of this whole quilt was stitching the fence and the garden at the lower end of the quilt.

So now it is ready and waiting to be quilted but that will have to wait until a later date.....in the meantime I have more tops that have been making progress......I can't wait to show you so please drop by again and take a look at the gorgeous butterfly mini that I completed.

And so I will sign off for now.....see you next time,

Saturday 14 January 2017

Bits 'n Bobs, Where have you been?

Off to London to see the Queen!

Well, not exactly.....I went to London to help my mother get her tourist visa so she could come to live with me here in Australia.....and it took THREE MONTHS! 

I took three whole months.....but I am back now and after a stressful settling in period, which is still happening, she has her Bridging Visa to stay indefinitely while her Permanent Visa is being processed.  It is not without its difficulties....one is the lack of Medicare. Mums medical and medications in the UK were paid for by the NHS but here, and without a Medicare card, she has to pay full price for her doctor visits and medications.....on the plus side, her accommodation is now
basically free instead of the £4000,00/month she was being charged at her care home. OUCH! Right?

So now you know why I have been very quiet here on Bits 'n Bobs......since June 2016, I believe, so I am most likely writing this all to myself atm.

On the sewing front.....I went to a couple of interesting quilting type events in South West London, found some gorgeous quilt shops, bought some divine fabric and patterns which no doubt will make it onto the page at some point but right now I am just getting the feel for writing again....It's been way too long.

Now back at home, I have joined up with a couple of 2017 UFO Challenge Groups on Facebook and Instagram which should keep me on track to finish off a few items just languishing in my sewing room.

Originally, I found this challenge via Instagram from allpeoplequilt ( #2017ufochallenge, #apqresolution) but when trying to find the facebook group at American P&Q UFO Challenge 2017 I accidentally joined a group called 2017 UFO Challenge but that's ok because it turns out they are such a lovely group operating in Australia so I am sticking with both. Following with the rules of APQ, I wrote out a list and the corresponding number issued for January 2017 was No. 6.

My No. 6 is The Edwardian House by Robyn Allen Waters. I wrote about it HERE along with pictures of my progress. Since then I have stitched the top and bottom borders and I have to confess, the two side borders appeared a little boring to me so I took up something else......

So where am I now? Well I have shown the progress in the photo's added to this post.....two more motifs to stitch before I get started on the second side border.

Sunday 17 July 2016

Design Board Monday - On hiatus in London

Just so you know...I am back in England for a, possibly, extended visit. I only have access to my blog via my iPad which is not easy for me to blog on so I will be posting short snippets of progress on projects I have brought with me via my blogging Facebook profile....see side bar for link.
You could always "like" my profile to keep connected.

Monday 27 June 2016

Design Board Monday # 37- Mid Winter Gathering

Oh dear! I am really slacking off with Design Board Monday but as to why will be revealed next week.....WARNING: it may not be good news for DBM!

Last time I posted I showed a whole lot of projects that I was working on for the month of June.....so far I have completed the needleturn stitching on "Marmalade", completed stitching the baskets for "Brookfield", Blanket stitched most of the design for "Spring Bouquet"....and...stitched the sashiko stitches for "Sashiko and Butterflies"....that's a lot of stitching....for me!
3 out of 4 progress pieces
 It didn't end there because this past weekend I was fortunate enough to partake in a Stitching Day, organised by Leonie Bateman of The Quilted Crow.  The "Mid Winter Gathering" was held in the Hobart suburb of Lindisfarne and Leonie set up in a lovely old church community hall. She had her beautiful quilts on display and also had a pop-up shop available to anyone wanting to call in. It was just the weather for it too as you can see from this dodgy pic I took of Mt Wellington the day before.
We all got a gift on arriving. Four free patterns, all designed by Leonie and a pattern kit for a gorgeous little wheat bag which we all got to work on for the day with Leonie to instruct every step and give us hints along the way.

We stopped work for a scrumptious lunch and a wonderful "ooh & aah" show-and-tell session from some very talented ladies attending the Gathering.
The afternoon was spent stitching some more......I was sat with three familiar faces from my Friday Post Office group but also met some lovely new faces and even a "gentleman quilter" sharing my table! I also stopped to chat to a couple of ladies from my neck of the woods and found out where they meet up to sew once a month.....I have plans to tag along and join them at some stage.

There was no way I was coming home without giving my credit card a workout......so I purchased a couple of fabric kits to accompany two of the gifted patterns and purchased another one of Leonie's pattern designs that I just loved.

And now that all important question?

What do you have to share for this week?
  • Link will be open until this coming Sunday.
  • Link anything that you are working on this week or over the past week....needle and thread is all it takes.
  • Please add a link back to Bits 'n Bobs as part of your post (why not get the button code from the side bar to paste into your post). This will help your readers finding the Link Up if they want to participate as well.
  • Please make the effort to visit other link users and leave them a comment. Leaving me a comment after linking up will help me know that you have been by and linked up
  • Other Link Parties are more than welcome to link up too! Please NO Sales, Endorsement or Promotional Posts....they will be deleted.

Link Below

Linking up with:

Monday 6 June 2016

Design Board Monday # 36- Weather for Ducks

There seems to have been a deluge of water everywhere at the moment....no sooner had we watched scenes of the Seine in Paris break it's banks than we were worrying about our children in QLD as severe weather and flooding were predicted there late last week (fortunately, they all coped) but the weather moved down the Eastern Seaboard hitting Sydney hard and eventually it has reached us here in Tasmania. While the fierceness of the rain has diminished, we have had enough rain to make our two top dams overflow creating a river through the fields between dams and our smaller and lowest dam is overflowing into the creek...a very swollen creek. We are not in any danger here but I believe other places in Tasmania have not fared so well. This makes it all perfect weather for ducks.....although, I haven't seen any about! but as for me....I have lots on the go to keep me in the warm and dry.

With the Flowerville stitching complete and only one block left on A Country Tea Party, it was time to turn my thoughts to what will follow. Oh my, the choices! Last week I showed you one BOM kit that I decided to start and I prepped block one for that. It is called Marmalade by Sue Daley. I am doing all the applique bit with needleturn.

I bought this kit for my birthday a couple of years ago and then I remembered one I had bought for my birthday a year earlier....maybe it was time to get started on that too! So I prepped block one for Spring Bouquet. One thing I love about this kit is that all the shapes are pre-cut so it is just a case of placing them on the background, ironing down.....and then.....sew! I am doing this one in blanketstitch by hand.

I also prepped another month's worth of blocks for Brookfield by Leonie Bateman. Leonie is hosting a Mid Winter Gathering...stitching day this month which I really want to attend.....CLICK HERE to find out more.

And on top of that, I received a parcel in the mail......I always said I would never get on the Sashiko bandwagon....it never appealed...until......I saw this!

I saw it on Pinterest and just fell in love so ordered it directly from Sylvia Pippen Designs in the US. It is called Sashiko & Butterflies. It was a very reasonable price for the kit considering the USD/AUD currency rate at the moment.

So as you can see, it may be Weather for Ducks outdoors but indoors it is Weather for Stitching!

How are you coping with the weather where you live.....is it sunny, windy, raining??

What do you have to share for this week?

  • Link will be open until this coming Sunday.
  • Link anything that you are working on this week or over the past week....needle and thread is all it takes.
  • Please add a link back to Bits 'n Bobs as part of your post (why not get the button code from the side bar to paste into your post). This will help your readers finding the Link Up if they want to participate as well.
  • Please make the effort to visit other link users and leave them a comment. Leaving me a comment after linking up will help me know that you have been by and linked up
  • Other Link Parties are more than welcome to link up too! Please NO Sales, Endorsement or Promotional Posts....they will be deleted.

Link Below

Also linking with:

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