On being a Planner

I'm a planner! I make lists of things that I have to do every day, my diary is filled with scribbled notes so I don't forget what I'm going to have to do on a certain day, I am always organising my life (and anyone else's who is nearby!) For the last month or so, I've been planning two celebrations for my husband's special "O" birthday. The invitations are out, the menus are organised, the shopping lists are written, and the baking is starting.

But over many years, I have learned that I have to leave room in life for unplanned events. I am happy that I am still flexible enough to occasionally do "spur of the moment" things - like go to the Craft Show and buy these gorgeous buttons:


... and these miniature hoops. I am picturing some beautiful embroidery in them and then made into pendants:


Some of the unplanned happenings in life are just wonderful. At the beginning of the year, we never dreamed that our family from overseas would be able to be with us for the birthday celebrations. Some of them arrived yesterday so there's lots of chatting, hugs and smiles happening.

 Another thing that I hadn't planned was to have two computers break down in a month! This week our old laptop which was my life-saver when my main computer died, decided it just wasn't going to start up! A few years ago, I found that I coped better with unplanned bad situations if I asked the question, "Am I still going to be upset about this in a week's time ... in a month's time ... in a year's time." If it's something that's not going to bother me in a month's time, then it really isn't worth getting upset about now!

After a mild panic because I need that laptop for the parties next weekend, it looks as though the family will be able to come to the rescue with something that will be compatible to show photos on our TV.

Being a planner has its advantages, because around six months ago I started sewing for Christmas. This cute Christmas lights fabric was given to me by a dear friend and it was the perfect background for my Polly finds the Holly Oven Mitt and Trivet set:


The pattern is in Handmade Magazine Vol 34 No 2:


The party plan and arrival of more family dictates that I won't be doing much stitching in the next week, but I did find time yesterday to prepare a new stitchery which will be my relaxation at night when I put my feet up!

Have a great week.
Val



Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Last Pattern

Today I am giving you the last of the patterns in the 
Being the end of the block of the month programme means that most of the year 2015 has gone!!! It only seems yesterday when we were all worrying about the millennium bug when the calendar turned over to 2000!


You can find Pattern 10 with the finishing instructions to make the blocks into a wall quilt here.  With the pattern I have included a label for you to embroider and attach to your quilt.


All the patterns will remain available free until 31 December 2015. I'd love to see photos of your completed blocks.

Adornment - just because!
That's how I think of the door hangers below. They don't have a message like "Do not disturb" or "Please service my room" - they are just pretty things to adorn your door!



You can find the patterns of both the "Adorn-a-door" hangers in Country Threads magazine Vol 16 No 10.


Felt is such a wonderful medium to work with.


I know a lot of my blog friends live where Winter is just making an appearance. You might like to make this cutie for someone you love:


The pattern is now available for purchase in my Craftsy Store.

I was so happy to be able to attend the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Show last week. It's many years since I've been, so it was great to be there again to check out the latest and greatest. I attended two workshops, one by Monica Poole who calls herself the Quilt-as-you-go Queen of Australia. She showed us a QAYG method that I had never seen which I'm eager to try.

The other workshop was on lace dyeing and I've come home armed with a kit, lots of lace and plenty of enthusiasm. 


I'm now waiting for some play-time to appear like magic in the middle of my busy month! Family will be arriving soon and there's a big celebration to organise for my husband, so the whips are cracking! Meanwhile I dream of inspiration for some more stitching designs.

Happy stitching!
Val 

On being an apron-wearer

I'm an old-fashioned apron-wearer! I have lots of aprons and I wear one just about every day when I am preparing meals. I'm a messy cook and so it's better for me to get a mess on my apron rather than my clothes! My very favourite apron is one in a pinafore style, which our daughter gave me many years ago. Unfortunately, it has reached its use-by-date. It is sitting in my sewing room waiting for me to cut out a pattern from it so I can make another one. It is such a great design because it covers the whole front of me but doesn't have a neck strap as I find them really uncomfortable.  I'm just waiting for a clean slate so that I can get to make a replica. I always think there is something very homely about wearing an apron. 

I've been thinking about Christmas and I definitely need an apron when I am doing Christmas baking! This is my "All the Trimmings" Apron. My favourite bit is the tree on the pocket made from Suffolk Puffs:


The Pattern is in Handmade Magazine Vol 34 No 2:


 I've gone back to red and green this year for all my Christmas designs. There is something just so right about that colour combination, isn't there, and it lends itself to choices other than the traditional shades. 

With Christmas approaching, I thought it was about time I put some of my newer designs in my Craftsy Store. The Ham bag pattern is now available. It's a great way to keep the Christmas ham fresh:


Here's some more red and green, but this is totally NOT Christmas! This is my "Hanging by a Thread" needle packet case which I showed you a few months ago when it was first published:


I've finally got round to making the pattern available here.


It makes so much sense to me to keep needles separated in their groups rather than trying to work out which is what when they are all stuck together in a needle-case. I guess that is because I treat needles like the specialised tools they are and I find using them for the purpose for which they are designed makes stitching so much easier.

 Now that my computer is all happy again, I've had a chance to begin catching up on some of my stitching. I have four or five projects on the go (What's new!) all at different stages of development. I'm a finisher, so I'm always focusing on the end product while I enjoy the journey.

Now I had better go and pop on the apron and make my husband some lunch!

Happy stitching!
Val