22 May 2022

Summer in the Country progress

My regular sewing time and my new daily retirement routines got thrown out of balance for the last few weeks. We've all been crook with a virus. Covid tests keep coming back negative, despite having all the symptoms and each day we hear of another friend or family member that has Covid.  So while I've been crook  I've spent my days sleeping on the lounge and doing a bit of sewing now and again between naps.

I thought I post the few blocks I've completed on Summer in the Country.

This block - Grandma - is one of the bonus blocks:



Then the lovely Moonlight block, which looks like little houses to me:



 Here is Pinwheel Parade:





I went through my green scraps for RSC and have those ready to cut and piece and I've cut the last of my Sweet Dreams blocks. I've also started cutting out pieces for Garden Party Downunder BOM. This is was my sewing table looks like today - bits and pieces of several projects I am working on:



 Hopefully we all improve this week and I can get back to some serious sewing and regular blogging. 


1 May 2022

RSC - the last of the pink scraps...

 The last few weeks have been quite busy, with not a lot of time for sewing. I did manage to get some more done with the bag of pink scraps though. 

I took all the strips and cut them to 2.5 ", then joined them up in a jelly roll race style. There was enough there to do the centre of another square quilt top:



Then I cut up the smaller strips made these cute little blocks, they are the same as you get with a disappearing nine patch:



... and now all that is left from that original big shopping bag of scraps is one large ziplock bagful...



My plan for the week ahead is to get the rest of the Sweet Dreams blocks finished, start working on Summer in the Country and decide on one of my many UFO's to work on. 

I've been walking 10,000 steps every day and enjoying the Autumn colours on my morning walks.


"It was a beautiful, bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it."

– Diana Gabaldon


Linking up with SoScrappy and OhScrap.

17 Apr 2022

RSC - I found a bag of pink scraps!

 I was up early on Saturday and while looking for something else ( I've forgotten what now lol!)  in my sewing room, I found a shopping bag full of pink scraps. 



Well, given that pink is the colour for this months Rainbow Scrap Challenge  I thought might be useful, but when I tipped it out I found much more than scraps in the bag. There was:

lots of different width strips:



16 rows of 5 joined 5" squares:



13 rows of 5 joined 10"x 8" rectangles:



and some small off-cut pieces of different sizes and patterns.

Quite the find! Clearly I had started a pink quilt many years ago and forgotten all about it. So I decided that using up this bag of scraps & the unfinished blocks will be my challenge for the rest of the month.

I spent some time playing about on the design wall to see what I could come up with. Did I mention how much I love having a design wall taped up in the family room? Honestly it just makes sewing so much more fun and creative when you can look at different combinations over time and play around on the wall instead of trying to lay out blocks on the bed.

I joined the 5" block sets together, added some strips to the sides. Then I cut one of the wider sets of blocks in half to add another side strip & bring up to the right size:




Then I took the joined large rectangle block strips and cut them in half to make 4 inch wide strips. I joined half of these strips into one quilt top:



and I have the other half, plus all the strips and the off-cuts still left to use up. 

 I really enjoyed working on this unexpected pink project and it will give me some simple quilt tops to practice my quilting on as well as some quilts to donate.

Other than sewing it's pretty quiet here. We used to catch up with all the family for Easter but we're still being careful about Covid so we'll be staying home again for Easter this year & visiting via zoom. Happy Easter & happy scrapping to those that sew.

Linking up with SoScrappy and OhScrap if you're looking for some scrappy inspiration.

14 Apr 2022

Sweet Dreams & new quilt plans

 I've had a nice few days of sewing, getting caught up with my Sweet Dreams blocks and making plans for new quilts to sew. 

Block 11 - I made these with a pop of orange in the centre. I need to add another border strip around this but I'm still deciding on what fabric to use for the border.


Block 12 


Block 13 - It's a simple basket but gosh I had to do a lot of unpicking and resewing with this block to get it right. Now that it's finished I think the orange instead of the floral would be a better contrast but it will do as it is.


Block 14


I feel like I'm slowly starting to get into new routines now and having more energy to get things done is a lovely way to start the day after years of just feeling exhausted a lot of the time. Its amazing what a good nights sleep can do.

Yesterday I mowed the lawn which took me almost an hour and I really enjoyed it! Being outside in the sunshine instead of sitting in an office under a flourescent light looking at a computer all day is just wonderful!

DH is still at home resting after his surgery a few weeks ago and so he can't do anything around the house at the moment. Last week he saw the surgeon who is thinking of taking him back for more surgery, we will know more after his next appointment next week. He has only 10 weeks until he retires so he may not be back at work for much of it.

I've been looking at lots of quilt patterns this week and have decided on my next quilt, its the  pattern Summer in the Country. I'll use this fat quarter bundle - Cherry Lemonade - and some fabrics from my stash as well, so thats what I'm playing with at the moment.


Then this morning I saw some posts about Moda Blockheads 4 and it looks like a fun challenge. So I'm going to make a scrappy version of that. I love sampler quilts as there's so many interesting blocks to make and I really need to reduce my scraps so this looks like fun.

Whats on my sewing table right now? I'm about to start work on Summer in the Country as soon as I finish this post.


10 Apr 2022

Rainbow Scrap Challenge -Pink

The colour for Aprils Rainbow Scrap Challenge is pink and I have a lot of pink in my scrap bins. I've made some more blocks for my Carolina Chain Quilt.

Blocks with dark centres...

 

Blocks with light centres...



The last week I haven't done a lot of sewing as I've been decluttering around the house and folding more fabric onto comic book boards. Almost all the fabric is sorted now and it certainly helps me see what needs to be used up and what colours I have plenty of.  




I've started walking again in the mornings & this is the view on the path I've been walking this last week. The trees are all starting to change colour and the weather is perfect. It's so nice to not have to rush back home to get to work on time anymore. I can leave a bit later and just take as long as I like - retirement is good!


Linking up to So Scrappy  & Quilting is more fun than housework.

28 Mar 2022

Sweet Dreams blocks catch-up

 I've been catching up on the Sweet Dreams blocks over the weekend as well as catching up on sleep. It was so nice this morning to sleep in and then just have a leisurely breakfast with no thoughts of work in my head at all! 

I fussy cut flowers for both blocks, this is block 7.  I made a few mistakes with the direction of triangles and so it took twice as long as it should of with quite a bit of unpicking and re-doing, but its a gorgeous block now its done.


§Block 9 was simpler and quicker to sew.




On Saturday I finally  hung my 'design wall' up in the lounge room and then had a lovely time rearranging the blocks throughout the day until I settled on this arrangement for the centre panel.  I added the first border and I'm quite happy with how its coming together.


I opened my fat quarter package - its fabulous! I'll post some pics soon. I'm going to have lunch now and then catch up on MAFs lol!   

25 Mar 2022

I'm Retired!


via GIPHY

I've been sitting here watching the last few minutes of the countdown go down to zero and now its official - I'm retired! 

It's nine months earlier than planned when I started this blog in December of 2017 with a goal of retiring in five years - 'and so it begins'

This last week didn't really go as planned. DH had a bike accident and ended up having surgery - he's doing OK, just has a lot of sitting about ahead of him for the next few weeks while he recovers. So I ended up only working three days this week.

I had wonderful farewell with a few tears, lots of laughs and sharing of memories. I've been given a VERY generous Spotlight gift voucher to spend on fabric - they know me well lol!

We're having a celebration dinner tonight - theres a roast dinner in the oven - and I'm pretty confident of a good nights sleep ahead. 

And so a new chapter begins in the morning.  I'm planning on spending the day sewing. I have fabric parcels to open, Sweet Dreams to get caught up on and so much I want to do!

I also just want to send a special shout out to Simple Savers friends who've been such an encouragement over many years and played a big part in me achieving my goal xxx

 " A wise woman once said 'I'm Outta Here!' and she lived happily ever after."



21 Mar 2022

Sweet Dreams - Five days to go!

 Well this is the last Monday morning I will be getting ready for work. I have just five days to work until that counter ticks over to zero and then I'm retired!

 I've hardly sewn since I last posted, just busy with finalising work projects and too tired to do much else when I get home. But I did finish one more Sweet Dreams block - #8 and have a few more cut out ready to go.


I'm looking forward to next week when I can just rest, relax and start decompressing. I have ordered more comic book boards and I've also put in an order for some gorgeous fat quarter bundles that were on sale - a retirement present to myself! 

At work I'll be packing up the last of my office furnishings and bringing it home each day and saying my goodbyes. My farewell will be via a Teams meeting and then its just handing in my keys on Friday.  I'm just going to focus on enjoying my last week and catching up with old work colleagues - the final countdown is here!

"What do you call a person who is happy on Mondays? Retired!"

6 Mar 2022

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

This months colour for the scrap challenge is yellow and gold. Yellow is such a cheerful colour to work with and I have quite a lot of yellows in my stash, will probably find some more scraps to add.  I've made a few more blocks in the Carolina Chain pattern:



I'm also plodding along with Sweet Dreams, with three blocks cut out ready to sew which will complete the nine-block centre for the quilt.


 Linking up with Soscrappy & OhScrap!


24 Feb 2022

Sweet Dreams catch up

I've been catching up on my Sweet Dreams blocks and I'm really pleased with how they are looking. 

With block 4 I decided to change the direction of the blocks with the three stripes and turn them so that they all lead the eye to the centre block.



Block 5 is a nice light coloured block, a place to rest the eyes. It reminds me of butterflies in the garden.


And block 6 is one of my favourite so far with the little four patches and fussy cutting the bunnies.



In 'preparing for retirement' news I removed my workplace apps from my phone yesterday and deleted my work message off my private phone. For the first time in years it now just has a regular personal 'leave a message' on it.  I turned off the phone forwarding from work to my private phone,  that made it feel real!  

"Retirement: Say goodbye to tension & hello to your pension!"

20 Feb 2022

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

 The colour for this months scrap challenge is teal. I'm currently  using teal in my Blue Ridge Beauty and in my Sweet Dreams quilt so I only had a small amount of scraps to use up.

I'm enjoying making these blocks. Its a simple, relaxing pattern to put together.





I've only got five weeks to go at work. Mentally I feel like I've already left. I'm regularly sleeping 8-9 hours a night now after years of living on 6 hours sleep plus weekend naps. It's so nice not to wake up thinking about work, instead I wake up thinking about retirement, sewing, gardening, travelling etc.  

Linking up to SoScrappy

11 Feb 2022

TGIF!

 Oh thank goodness its Friday! The last week has been a bit of a sleepy blur here. I've had a virus and basically just slept and slept I went back to work yesterday and slept 13 hours last night! Just so fatigued and no energy at all but otherwise I feel well now.

Tests for Covid were negative but the symptoms were all there except the cough so it was either a mild case or just another viral illness doing the rounds at the start of the school year. 

So I've done no sewing at all and I'm hoping to get back into it and get caught up this weekend. 

Only six weeks to go until retirement! 


23 Jan 2022

So Scrappy RSC

 I've been looking forward to having the time to do The Rainbow Scrap Challenge where each month you use scraps in a specific colour. It's a fun challenge & it helps keep the scrap stash down.  The colour for January is red.

I decided to use Bonnie Hunters Carolina Chain pattern from Addicted to Scraps as its all from 2" strips in light & dark colours. I made these give blocks:

I played around with a few different arrangements:



I do have more red scraps than this though & some of those are being used in the Table Scraps challenge which I'm working on getting finished for next week.

After that I worked on Rhododendron Trail. I still have a lot left to do but I find I can only trim blocks for a little while & then I need a break so my wrists don't get sore so I just do a bit of block trimming each morning & try and get the trimmed blocks sewn by the end of the day.

While I was looking for something else in my sewing room I found some 4" squares that would work for baby boys quilts and started joining them up as they won't take long to put together.

It's been a lovely weekend just sewing! 

This week I need to do some 'work' decluttering and get rid of some books & resources I won't need anymore.  I think I will just give them away to some junior colleagues.  I've finished all the 'work' shredding which felt good and I'm plodding along with data entry tasks. Overall I'm on track to be all up to date before I leave and I'm still working from home which is good. 

Linking up to So Scrappy Saturday 

22 Jan 2022

Sweet Dreams!

I haven't had as much time to sew as I'd like as I'm still working from home for first term and its been much busier than I expected. I try and get a bit of sewing in early in the day, before we walk each morning.

At the moment I'm enjoying doing Pat Sloans  'Sweet Dreams' sew-a-long. It has a weekly block & runs until May with three blocks made so far:

I chose this fabric from my stash first to base the colour scheme around, I just love the colour combination, it's nice and bright and cheerful:


Then I pulled these two gorgeous fabrics from my stash to use for fussy cutting


and lastly these to add some light and dark and pick up on the orange & yellow tones in the other fabrics:


My first block I had to unpick and redo as I am not the greatest at flying geese. I really am out of practice & it showed but it looks better now:


Block two was a heart:


and the third block is probably one the prettiest I've ever made - I just love this block! I'm going to have to make more...  I fussy cut the tree and it was the perfect size:

 I'm enjoying 'playing' with my fabrics again and going through patterns and unfinished projects, folding and re-organising fabric. I bought some comic book boards to use so that will be a fun job. My sewing room declutter has stalled but there will be plenty of time for that again soon when I retire. I'm just not going to rush anything anymore, no more deadlines, just enjoying the day and doing things at a more relaxed pace from now on.

 I've had quite a few new visitors to my blog, "welcome' and thanks for visiting, Feel free to join the conversation in the comments and leave a link if you have a blog so I can visit or follow for updates.  

Well its time for lunch here and then I might get back to Rhododendron Trail for the afternoon. 

“We stitch together quilts of meaning to keep us warm and safe, with whatever patches of beauty and utility we have on hand.”
― Anne Lamott