Flossie’s Flaunt…

Well, as Jasmine has quite rightly said in a comment here, what am I doing and why aren’t I talking about it here?

I was going to do a post earlier in the week, but have spent the week doing a bit of a reorganisation of the blog and some other stuff.   Blog pages now sorted out into different crafty endeavours, quilting, stitchery and cross-stitch and updated the status of various works in progress etc.

Mum, Flossie, stayed last week, and spent the week diligently on the machine putting things together that she’s been working on over the last little while.   Funny how by coming to stay here (which is only 10 minutes by car from her house anyway) she gives herself permission to just go for it – whereas if she stayed home, she’d feel the need to do a load of washing, or stop to cook a meal.

We had great plans to work all day at machine, cutting mat and ironing board, and then break at dinner time, head out to one of the many options for food nearby and then come home to a night of sitting in front of the TV with DVDs and some handwork.   Unfortunately the time of year nixed that idea, when most of the local cafes/ takeaways closed for the holidays!

I should explain, my Mum is a former seamstress, who made her living for a number of years making children’s and babies clothing that we sold at various local markets and stores.   So, she’s a production line quilter… she works through various stages of a process on a variety of things, i.e. prepping, cutting out, sewing individual pieces etc.   For instances, it’s not unusual for her to have a dozen different bags cut out at once and then she gets them all finished in a major run (actually she did make about 10 bags leading up to Christmas that she gave as gifts to neighbours and people that she interacted with during the year – the council cleaner, the social workers at her local “huff n’ puff’ group).   Therefore, its not unusual that some of these projects go back a number of years.

So without further ado….

I LOVE BLUE – buttonhole hearts using scraps of blue fabrics.  Stitched over 12 months and put together last week.   Only details we have is on the pattern pack which makes reference to an obsolete website called Crafty Patterns?

COUNTRY DAYS – one of the early Blocks of the months Mum bought, this project has been on the go for a long time – probably at least 5 years if not longer.   The designer is Robb-n-Graves and you can see from the attached link that it was meant to be a 12 block quilt with an appliqued final border.   Unfortunately, the supplier of the BOM was a bit stingy with her background squares, and after appliqueing some of the blocks came up much smaller than the 10.5 inch required.   Mum’s kept those 3 blocks and will turn them into either a runner or cushions.   She didn’t like the supplied sashing and border fabric, so we bought something else, that works really well and she’s decided to not do the final applique border, but some fancy quilting instead.

This lovely is humongous!   The central Dresden plate block measures 32 inches.   When it’s final border is put on it will measure 81.5 inches.  Made from Mum’s reproduction stash, using a lovely caramel/tan background print I bought for her at Threadbear in 2008 – I rang and we auditioned fabric over the phone (luckily she liked it!).    This is a Leigh Latimore design called Autumn Magic printed in APQ Vol. 15 No. 6.    Some initial dramas with this one as after cutting and piecing the individual plate shapes Mum couldn’t get them to fit together – she’d gone off a little in her seam allowance and hence bubbly plates – so some major frogging required and heavily basted while she hand appliqued them down.   Top put together while she watched the Hopman Cup!   Will need to take a better photo once the final border goes on.

And talking about Dresden Plates!   I bought from ebay a few years ago a kit of precut Dresden plates for Mum… having sewn up all of the individual petal shapes she was having major trouble with randomness in putting them together, so I sorted them into individual sets for her and she’s put half of them together.

Feathered Friends, this is a Melly and Me pattern – one of the patterns we received at Country Thyme’s Girls Day Out last year, and the fabric is a kit I purchased there.   I did all the stitching, and Mum made up the bag for me.

This was a Rosalie Quinlan pattern – meant to have an applique on the front, but instead Mum used some fabrics I picked up ‘just because’ to make the bag on the left for me, and some oriental fabric for the bag on the right for her.

Quilter’s Pockets.   Made from a Blue Willow Cottage pattern.  I love the Blue Willow Cottage accessories patterns – we’ve made quite a few.   The 30s print one is mine, of course.   The reproduction print one, Mum’s, made from scraps from both collections.   These is a fantastic little bag that is perfect for the hexagon mat and cutter we received in a Blue Willow Cottage class we did at one of the craft shows last year!

That pretty much covers Mum’s activity, apart from some applique and handquilting done each evening – will post photo’s when those projects are finished.

As for me – apart from acting as hostess, I worked consistently on some blocks for a swap, which I’ll post photo’s of next week – prepping applique, cutting fabric for 9 patches etc.

As well as finishing the stitching on another of the Country Thyme Girls Day Out kits, except I’ve misplaced the pattern to finish off Rosalie’s bag and needle case, so didn’t get it finished.

And some more cross-stitch – still a work in progress, more photo’s to follow.

Apart from that, I’m reading lots, currently reading Pride and Prejudice, and have been to the movies at least once a week, if not more often and generally having a lovely time.

Christmas Design SAL – December 09

Blackbird Designs, By The Chimney with Care, Stitches and Spice Wintered Marble 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread Antique Rose and Avocado, Weeks Dye Works Light Khaki and Sunset, Crescent Colours Nutmeggie

Well, I managed to get finished the tasks I set for December for Yoyo’s Christmas Design SAL – two of the Blackbird Design Stocking Series from the January 2009 By the Chimney with Care booklet.   Knew I couldn’t do the third stocking as I need a different linen, which I’ll order this week, so the aim is to get that one finished in January, and hopefully at least 1 of the February stockings.

Blackbird Designs, By The Chimney with Care, Stitches and Spice Wintered Marble 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread, Apple Cider, Antique Rose, Avocado, Cornhusk

As I sat over 2 nights watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while I stitched the 2nd of the stockings, I estimate that each one takes about 5-6 hours to do.  I may try to make Sunday – stocking stitching day from now on!

It’s nice to be able to say that I have done what I set out to do.

Am busy finishing off my blocks for Aunt Pitty Pat’s Holly Jolly Christmas Block Swap – want to get them finished this week and winging their way to her.   Will post photo’s when they are all finished.

Though having a break today, as Mum has come to stay for a week, and we’re having a sit down day – have all of series two of East of Everything to watch, Mum is doing some handquilting and I’m in a stitching mood, so will be working on some cross stitch (not sure what yet!) or some embroidery.

Having a great holiday so far… a bit of a viewing, reading and sewing feast.   Have been to the movies twice this week – on Monday to see Where the Wild Things Are and last night to see Sherlock Holmes – both thoroughly enjoyable.   Have more plans for flicks this week – hoping to see Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated on Thursday and off to see Little Ashes on Sunday – Robert Pattinson as a young Salvatore Dali…

As for reading, bought a bundle of books on a remand table the other day but have been on a bit of a reread kick – slowly working my way through the J D Robb Naked in… series.  Have read the first 13 of the series over the last few months, only 14 more to go!!!