A finished book pillow and an old project revived

I’ve been enjoying an ‘at home’ week. My diary this year swings from a week based largely at home followed by a week where my fortnightly and monthly commitments all fall together. Still, the contrast is stimulating and it’s making me more disciplined re. planning ahead and being realistic about just what I can achieve in any one week! Being indoors for much of this week has been no bad thing: Last Friday we had a 6″ snowfall followed by the usual days of treacherous, icy pavements, then a day or two respite before the current westerly storm arrived hurling rain at us – it is pretty wild outdoors today!

I have been out of the house of course, a couple of walks and a Pilates class. Pilates is new to me. I joined a local class that several of my friends go to. I’ve been to five, maybe six sessions and I can already feel the benefits. My main motivation for going was to relieve lower back pain (muscular, not joints or discs) and work on the unexpected effects of the menopause. Hot flushes? Yes! Kind of expected those when my surgeon announced that the effects of surgery eight years ago would cause me to ‘crash into the menopause’. But other effects have crept up on me over those years – my balance is out (I quite often walk into door frames, I even misjudged walking round our bedroom, falling over the end of the bed, giving myself a black eye (!) and I wobble about when I’m getting dressed!) and any suppleness I had seems to be disappearing rapidly. I’m not sure Pilates will help restore my memory, which is dreadful at the moment, but I’m convinced the strengthening and balancing exercises will help to counteract the physical changes brought on by the menopause.

Anyway, into the sewing room 🙂 With 7th March, World Book Day, rapidly approaching I’ve been continuing to make book pillows. Here is the latest:

Playtime Book Pillow set (2) by Allison Reid

I matched it up with a quilt I made using Moda 30’s Playtime retro prints. The pocket on the front is made with 2½” squares I cut from fabrics left over from the half-square triangle quilt project. The cute fabric that forms the main body of the cushion cover is a wonderfully soft cotton flannel. There are now several quilt and book pillow sets listed in my Etsy shop 🙂 www.etsy.com/shop/AllisonsPatchworks

I-Spy Test Block by Allison ReidThe ‘old project revived’ is an I-Spy quilt I started to plan back in June last year. I intended to write a pattern using quick piecing techniques but got distracted and then came over all indecisive about fabric choices (What moi? Indecisive? Surely not? Ha!Ha!). I finally got down to it yesterday, opened up my draft pattern in Word and cut up the fabrics (the light blue was a purchase made during our recent visit to Heidelberg). Here is the first test block – glad to know that with the help of EQ7 my math is correct. I intend to chain piece the remaining forty-one blocks in double quick time!

I’ve also been making more Trip Around the World Blocks. More about those in my Saturday Quilt & Share post tomorrow, along with a bumper pack of recommended posts from quilty bloggers around the world. 🙂

Linking with Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty for Beauties Pageant – she has curated a collection of beautiful quilts in her blog post – and with Myra for Finished or Not Friday.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (44)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 I hope you have time this weekend to bring along a project, join in with this virtual sewing group and share in the conversations we’ve picked up from the worldwide quilting community this week. Do use the comments box at the end of this post to share what you are doing and anything that has caught your interest.

On Thursday I shared my battle with the January Blues. I woke up on Friday feeling more positive (a lesson in ‘it is good to share’ and my thanks for the encouraging and helpful comments left for me here on the blog and my Facebook page). As an antidote to the rather gloomy blue I shall now share some pretty, vibrant pink.

Pink windowsill by Allison Reid

A lively collection of pink, green and white on my kitchen windowsill. So pleased to see the larger orchid flowering again and the smaller orchid also has a flower spike. The hyacinths were a pre-Christmas gift, they flowered over the festive weeks and then surprised me by providing a second set of flowers 🙂 The bouquet was a gift from friends who joined us for Sunday lunch last week.

 

 

 

 

 

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Battling through the January blues

I have been struck down with a mild case of the January Blues. Anyone else finding motivation levels running low? I guess I am asking this question of those of you, who like myself, live in the Northern Hemisphere – to all of you in the South I hope you are making the most of the long hours of daylight and warm temperatures 🙂

I know many could be a little envious of my stay-at-home lifestyle (and with good reason): spending my time at home, choosing to do things when and how I want! This stay-at-home lifestyle does have it’s own small challenges though. I do not have what would be called a ‘dynamic personality’ or, in Jane Austen speak, ‘a lively disposition’. A lot of my mental energy is therefore employed in keeping myself motivated – I’m very good at envisaging results, not so good at seeing the ideas into action and through to said results.

Last week I was filling planners, nailing down goals and taking action…. This week the desire to curl up on the sofa and watch a box set from beginning to end is very real. I confess I nipped into HMV and bought the first seven series of Cold Feet (over the past 36 hours I’ve watched the first three episodes! – that’s not much of binge really is it?).

Thank goodness for the responsibilities I have and the opportunities given me to contribute to events that have got me out the house (that is another of the challenges of being a stay-at-home person – so many possibilities, which to say ‘yes’ to, to which to say ‘no’?).

Anyway, I have done some creative stuff this week, here is the photographic evidence:

Craft Group flowers by Allison Reid

On Monday I helped run the monthly Craft Group at Church. A creative member of the Group kindly demonstrated making these pretty tissue paper flowers and shared a Debbie Shore method of making fabric flowers. These are my creations 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday I made a 12″ block, pattern testing for the monthly Quilt Club, skill-building course, running at Purple Stitches:

Quilt Club block 6a by Allison Reid

And today I have been pattern testing again – making the second skill building block for the Quilt Club workshop. I’m particularly pleased with this block and it was satisfying to make use of fabrics pulled out of my scrap boxes.

Quilt Club block 6b by Allison Reid

Having written this post, I realise I am tired (poor me!) there has been a fair bit of running around between creating these things and maybe I need to get better at acknowledging those ‘extras’ and feel less guilty about succumbing to sofa time 😀 Maybe…? Funny how I imagine every one else is managing their time so well, staying motivated, being so much more productive and ‘alive’ than myself!

Snowdrops by Allison Reid
Snowdrops flowering in my garden – a promise of longer days and Spring to come 🙂

Time to shake off the January Blues… Be thankful, and look for a quick project that makes my creative heart sing 🙂

 

Take care.

Allison

 

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (40)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. An opportunity to bring along your current project to a virtual sewing day and share in conversations circulating around the quilty world. You are very welcome to share your links in the comments section at the bottom of the page and I hope you will find the blog post conversations introduced on this page of interest (it always gives me a thrill when I see that readers of these Quilt & Share post have clicked on links to explore more of what’s being shared in the online quilty community 🙂 ).

My focus project this week has been to finish the covers for the storage trolleys. The idea being that the covers will hide the drawers filled with notions and fabrics and soften the rather clinical looking metallic top of the trolleys. The covered trolleys then take on their second role of bedside tables when my sewing room is transformed into our guest room 🙂

For the quilting I chose a cream coloured 40wt Aurifil thread No. 2000.

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