A little behind. Who am I kidding but more on the diet later.
Life hasn't been very interesting since I talked to you last. Chris, Sally, Kitty and me did go off on retreat for a week. No prizes for guessing where but you could go here for a peek if you are new to the blog and are feeling curious.
With hindsight we'd have been better booking in to a convalescent home for a week. Chris, Sally and me had the most stinking cold virus. Chris (aka Typhoid Mary) gave it to Sally who kindly passed it on to me. We've been passing it between us ever since. The darned thing is going round in circles. We'll be lucky to be shot of it before Christmas. Heck.... did I just say a dirty word!!
Well.... none of us made much progress on our week away. Apart from Kitty that is who somehow managed to avoid the bug. I reckon that girl has the constitution of an ox. I had intended to finish up my Natures Journey before we left but the dreaded lurgy put a halt to that. So... it was the first job on my to do list at the cottage......
I'm thrilled to bits with it. Now all I have to do it quilt it....yikes! I'm working up to hand quilting it. Watch this space.
Chris started work on Message In A Bottle by Irene Blanck. Here's her first block taking shape....
She actually prepared four blocks for this project.... no mean feat when you consider she's not much better at choosing fabrics than I am. I'm afraid I didn't get photos of the other blocks. Hard to take a decent photo when you are sneezing for Scotland.
Here's an almost good shot of Chris and Sally at the kitchen table.... would have been better if there heads were intact.... perhaps.
Sal is studying her copy of
She's combining the centre of one of Irene Blancks amazing quilts with the borders of another. She is either inspired or totally off her trolley. The jury is still out. This is how the centre looked back then.....
now it has borders and lots of colourful circles around the bird. Have to say.... it's looking great. Shame you can't see it. You guessed.... I didn't get a photo of that either.
Kitty did a great job making this bag......
it's totally gorgeous! The front applique is actually a zipped and gusseted pocket. There are applique side pockets too and a magnetic clasp and ties and great tube lined handles. Very professional looking. Not only did she make the bag she started work on an amazing Dresden quilt. Ooop's... no photo!
As for me.... I did sew... secret stuff! Finally an excuse for having no photo's. You'll all have to wait till next year to find out what I was sewing I'm afraid. You see I signed up for Chookyblues 2015 SSCS Swap. The girls threatened to kill me... or have me committed to an asylum if I so much as harboured a thought of signing up but I went ahead and did it anyway. Am I scared they'll carry out their threats.... you bet! If you don't hear from me by Christmas... call the police.
That's all the news from retreat. Well... not quite all. There was a bit of a drama one evening when I appeared to be loosing my eyesight. After dinner I picked up my laptop to check mail and discovered the screen was so blurred I couldn't read anything. Took off my specs. Checked I had on the reading ones and not the distance. Gave them a good clean and checked out the screen again.... couldn't make out a word! Took off the glasses again and this time the room was blurred too. Believe me I was petrified. Chris and Kitty took one look at me and asked what was wrong. Heck... I was about to burst into tears when I blurted out I was loosing my sight. They were very concerned.... particularly about who was going to drive me to the hospital as we'd all had wine with dinner. The situation was very tense when Sally came into the room and asked if anyone had seen her reading glasses. You could almost hear the penny drop. I was only wearing them wasn't I!! Amazingly my sight was restored when I put on my own specs. Duh! We all had such a good laugh the profits of Tena Lady doubled.
I did make one major decision while on retreat though. I need to seriously reduce the amount of fabric in my stash. So I'm on a mission to make as many scrap quilts as I can as quickly as I can. I won't tell you what the girls said when I told them my plan. Actually they didn't say much. They were too busy laughing. Perhaps I should advertise for some new pals.
I have made a start. Inspired by this gorgeous quilt I discovered at Quilting With The Past ll I've bought some drunkards path templates and started slashing my stash......
Each time I cut circle components I cut a template for a basket too. Remember those baskets? Long time no see! I was a bit miffed that it took longer than I thought to achieve......
a tub of both inner and outer quarter circles. Well... I was cutting them one at a time. Don't trust myself with a mini rotary cutter and a curved template. I'm too fond of my fingers to try multiple cuts. Looking at those tubs I remembered that (after watching an amazing demo at a show) I bought a Curve Master presser foot. Of course I had to drop everything and give it a go.....
Wow! Why haven't I used this before! It's amazingly simple to sew curves without any pinning at all. Seriously. You need to check it out if you haven't already. It took no time at all to stitch these....
without a pin in sight and they are pretty perfect too. Finally I can see a light at the end of my stash tunnel. All I have to do is keep going and not get distracted.... right! What are the chances of that I wonder. Somewhere between slim and none.......huh!
Thought you might like to see what Mac got up to while I was away. He revamped the post box!
Before I go I have to admit I'm wearing my horse hair vest again. Seems I never get to take it off these days. I must apologise for not responding to everyone who left a lovely comment on my last post. Your comments really do mean a lot to me. Knowing that there are lovely people out there who take the time to pop in and 'talk' to me really make does make a difference.
If I didn't have you and my pals here I'd have gone totally bonkers by now. I'm trying hard not to make excuses for being so impolite but there are times here when things just get too much to cope with and I tune out. I have to switch off from the outside world and concentrate on doing what needs to be done for Mac and Mum. Times like this I wish we were a bigger family and there was someone to share but as there is only the three of us and I'm the only one who is compos mentis (and that's debatable) I have no choice but to knuckle down and get on with it.
Things are a little calmer here at the moment so I'm hoping for a lovely spell of blog reading and commenting on your blogs. I love blog visiting. You gals (and guys) are so inspirational.
Keeping my fingers crossed.....
Better get going. I'm trying to clear out the big flower bed so I can do more laying of membrane and bark before Winter arrives in earnest. It's all dig..dig...dig right now.
Hope you are all happy and healthy and having as much fun as you can pack into your days.
See you soon..... crossing those fingers tighter!
p.s. The diet is going great. I've lost 31 pounds and counting. The only downside is my trousers are hanging at half mast and I'm too mean to buy smaller ones while I'm still loosing. One of these days I'll be mooning in the high street!
Love when you do pop in to share a bit about your quilting and other bits in life! I do love seeing your wonderful applique etc. It must be hard to have a small family and feel so much responsibility but with my large family I'm starting to wonder if there will always be someone to help take care of.:) Congrats on the diet progress too!
Hi Josie - an entertaining post...love your Natures Journey - it's beautiful!!! What a bumma about you all suffering during your retreat, the one time you want to be well so you can sew up a storm..although I must admit to a bit of a belly laugh with the glasses story!! Good on you with the weight loss and baggy trousers :-) Thinking of you, enjoy the good times and get through the rest xxx
Your NJ quilt looks wonderful, Josie. I'll have to check out that curve foot. I have a quilt kit I won on a blog 2-3 years ago and it is all curves. Maybe the foot will encourage me to get it out! I hope you're feeling better soon.
Hi Josie, a lovely entertaining post. NJ looks fabulous. Congrat's on the weight loss. I do hope all is well. hugs,xx
So much fun! Your NJ is looking lovely - good to hear the pants are son loose- sew some bit tucks int eh waist bad for now...Your retreat venue looks lovely....
Wow Josie, 31 pounds! That is so great. What kind of diet are you on?
wonderful post, so much going on, lovely retreat and all these beautiful makings, amazing.
Hi Josie, a lovely bubbly post and I just love your Nature's Journey quilt... great to see what some of the others are working on and I hope your cold is well gone now... well done on the weight loss .. that's a lot. I know what you mean about the clothes as I have lost some too but do yourself a favour and buy just a couple of clothes that fit even though you are going to loose more... just makes you feel great. xx
hi Josie i love your post you always make me laugh,you are such a fun friend.xx
I love this blog post. Such a great description of your time on retreat. I hope your colds get better soon. It's the same in this house, we are just infecting ourselves all the time
OMG! I have been through 2 Tennas just reading your post girl! LOL.I love your Nature's Journey quilt top, it is awesome and I really look forward to seeing it hand quilted. Quite a job but well worth it. LOve those beautiful appliques the girls are doing and that bag is absolutely gorgeous. What a great time you all had despite the suspected vision loss and the dreaded lurgy you all got. Thanks so much for another very entertaining post. Tell hubby I love the post box. Your postie has no taste.
Such a shame you and your friends were unwell during your retreat. Dame annoying I imagine. Your NJ is looking just lovely. I also love your friends Irene Blanck projects. I have seen that book and there are some really lovely projects in it.
I'm sure everyone understands when you have to step out of the blogosphere for a while. Life does take precedent and we do it when we can. Let's hope you have a lull for a while so you can regroup.
Always enjoy reading your posts. Happy sewing.
Congratulations on your Natures Journey finish, hopefully mines not too far behind. Muster the courage and hand quilt it, im edging that way too.
Looks like everyone had a fabulous time at the retreat!
lovely Josie...your applique is quite lovely..congrats on weight loss...my issue is keeping it on...my clothes keep falling off too lol enjoy your season, it suits you well
Don't worry about the replies, I just love hearing and seeing what you've been up to. Your NJ looks fabulous. I have Irene's book too....I like your friends idea of mixing up the patterns.
Hi Josie again I enjoyed reading your post. Love your NJ,will look forward to your hand quilting ps not as scary as you may think. Well done on the weight loss.
I too love reading your posts, you are always so entertaining. ..I always have a good laugh...yep Tena profits go up again!! Love your Natures Journey..looking forward to seeing the quilting progress!!! No pressure though!! Your friends applique looks amazing, I have friends here working on Irene Blanck projects...very nice!! Will look into that foot for curved seams, haven't ventured to try that yet ....sometimes straight seams are enought of a challenge!!! I like the letter box too....you have a scardy mailman!! Lol!! Well done on the weight loss!! No worries about replying friends understand that life gets busy at times and you have many demands on your time. Take care of yourself
I love to read your blog as it always gives me at least one laugh out loud moment. Your sense of humour is very much like my dad's (Scottish heritage) as he also uses phrases like 'non compulsory mentis'. Congratulations on finishing your gorgeous Nature's Journey top!
Hi Josie! You should be thrilled with your Nature's Journey quilt! It is absolutely lovely! And you are going to hand quilt it too! Irene Blanck 's book is definitely on my wish list, I love her quilts. Kitty's bag is wonderful! I am really interested in the Curve Master presser foot, I have a curve pieced project on my list, I already purchased the templates for it. Now why would the postman not like that new post box? Congratulations on the success of your diet!
Thiet Ke Nha Dep
What a wonderful way to start the day by reading your wonderful post, very entertaining. You and your friends have done some wonderful work love the bag.
Hi Josie,wow i love your nature's journey quilt,it looks amazing,love the colours and boy your friends are clever,i love that bag,i hope you and your mum are ok xx
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