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

 

 

End of year – New Year Planning at New Every Morning

Pink Hyacinths by Allison ReidI know it’s still the Christmas season but I thought I’d start with a break from the traditional red, green and gold colour scheme to share my pot of beautiful pink hyacinths. The pot of bulbs was gifted to me in early December and the flowers obligingly opened just a day or two before Christmas Day.

I’ve been out in the garden today to prune straggly clumps of lavender and a couple of fuschia bushes. I was heartened to see among all the fallen leaves and bare twigs a few bright green shoots – the Bluebells are already proclaiming the advent of Spring despite us knowing we have yet to endure the harshest months of Winter.

Pink Hyacinth close up by Allison Reid

I do hope you are enjoying the Christmas-to-New Year break? I know it’s not all rest and play for everyone but on the whole these days between Christmas and New Year do have a kind of suspended animation feel. After the concentrated effort preparing for the festivities I do have a strange sensation, perhaps something like being be-calmed at sea? There’s not much to be done but wait for the winds of the New Year to blow me back into action!

Of course there ARE things to keep me occupied! My sewing room has re-emerged from it’s temporary transformation into the guest room. Now our only house ‘guest’ is our youngest son, already half way through his two week holiday from University in Germany. There’s quite a lot of bedding in one or other of the stages of being washed, dried and packed away and there are still a fair few chocolates and treats lying around the house…! Perhaps because of my permanent chocolate high I haven’t yet settled on a sewing project. My mind is skipping between the be-calmed inactive state to a confusion of potential activities!

I’m writing this post with the intention of spelling out my quilty plans for 2019, linking with the #2019PlanningParty hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl. So, I’d better get on and share my goals/dreams/plans thingys.

Read moreEnd of year – New Year Planning at New Every Morning

Beginners Quilt No6 Finished and ready for a new home :-)

A few weeks ago the final class of the final Beginners Course of 2018 took place at Purple Stitches. As the class tutor I always make a fresh version of the class quilt along with the participants. We ended the course with a session all about binding. Well… I machine stitched the binding to the front of my quilt and then it hung around as a hand stitching project for quite some time…

Finally I can declare this little quilt a finish 🙂 It joins six other versions of the Beginners Quilt that I have made over the past two years.

This finish also marks the end of an era as Viv of Purple Stitches has designed a new pattern for up-coming beginners courses. I’ve made a sample quilt top and will let you know when the big reveal of the new quilt design takes place 🙂

Read moreBeginners Quilt No6 Finished and ready for a new home 🙂

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (37)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. There has been rather a long break between no.36 and this no.37 post – not by design but just a touch of realism as busy weekends and numerous deadlines crowded in on me in November. Of course, in December things will be much quieter – who am I kidding 😀 Anyway it’s lovely to be catching up on these posts. Just a reminder that on this, our virtual sewing day, you are invited to bring along your latest project to share with us and take the opportunity to share any quilty news you’ve picked up through the week. Please do use the comments box at the bottom of this page to add any links you would like to share.

I’m bringing along the Jenny Doan inspired Christmas Tree Chevron Quilt that I began earlier in the week. It has been such fun putting this quilt top together. I used scrap blue-green fabrics for the tree and a white-on-white star fabric for the background.

Chevron HSTs by Allison Reid

Five rows of Chevrons by Allison ReidAs I explained in my previous post I have reduced the finished size of the chevron blocks to 6″ and made just five rows rather than the seven rows shown in the MSQC tutorial.

FP Star for Chevron Tree by Allison Reid

Do you like the foundation paper pieced star? More fabric scraps! I was really pleased with this block – I used a Carol Doak pattern.

I popped into Purple Stitches this afternoon, intending to buy fabric for the quilt border but didn’t take much persuading to leave off having a border – I had been wondering about omitting the border but doubted myself – ‘if in doubt follow the pattern!’ Instead, Viv produced the perfect blue-green fabric for the binding … and a backing fabric … and some wadding too…

Pieced Chevron Tree by Allison ReidMinus the borders, but with some extra background fabric top and bottom, my Chevron Christmas Tree will measure approximately 36″ wide by 42″ high. I washed the backing fabric as soon as I got home so hopefully I’ll be making the quilt sandwich tomorrow. In the meantime I can be getting on with making more string blocks for the storage trolley covers 🙂 (You might like to follow my progress on instagram, find me @allisonreid.neweverymorning ).

Four string blocks by Allison Reid

I must apologise for the rather grey looking photographs – I’m afraid to say bright daylight has been in short supply this last week in November. We did have one glorious day and fortunately it was a rest day from work so my husband and I enjoyed a trip to the seaside 🙂 Chilly, but truly bright and beautiful!

Pieced Chevron Tree by Allison Reid
The view from Hengistbury Head (south coast mainland) out to The Isle of Wight, Needles Rocks and Lighthouse.

Here are just a few of the the quilty blog posts I’d like to share with you:

Lucie recently completed a project: a beautiful quilt using clever design, careful fabric choices, super-neat hand applique skills and steady hand-eye coordination for the custom longarm quilting. Well worth a click to see the finished quilt and a look through her previous blog posts to see how the quilt project progressed.

Do you use Instagram? I opened an account earlier this year and I do enjoy scrolling through seeing lots of lovely quilts and projects in progress. I haven’t taken the time to really understand how to get full use out of Instagram though – my love-hate relationship with technology continues…. Suzy has some interesting thoughts on social media and Instagram in particular.

Jessica helped her local community to put together a quilt. Such a great idea. A good test of ‘letting go’ and being ‘random’ as everyone who got involved picked fabrics for their very own four patch!

Jayne has found satisfaction in putting together a quilt really quickly. I enjoyed reading her post and the momentum she described as her plans evolved whilst putting together Christmas panel prints and making quick decisions about borders and sashing. Jayne reckons she had the piecing all done in 5 hours!

I like Shannon’s no-nonsense advice for picking fabrics for an Autumn colour palette – go out, pick up some leaves…. Of course there’s a bit more to it than that! 😀

Here is a great tutorial by Cheryl: how to match a fabric pattern for a pieced backing.

Need to make a gift in a hurry? Yvonne has been making hexie coasters and shares the link to Sharla’s neat tutorial 🙂

Being thankful is good for heart, mind and soul. Bernie has organised for quilts to be donated to a hospital that has a special role in providing end of life care for patients and giving much needed support to their families. Read more here, including Bernie’s own experience of being well cared for when her first husband suffered a sudden, terminal illness. Her moving and uplifting blog post got me thinking again about the generosity of patchwork quilters and has decided me on my word for 2019 – COMMUNITY. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Allison