Saturday, May 31, 2014

Friday Fitness on Saturday

I have been really slack with my blog post this last few weeks. Sorry about that. I was on a really good roll there for a bit but not sure what has happened to me of late... computer hassles sure haven't helped at all

A bit of an update on my fitness.

Haven't run at all this week. Yeah I know slack. What can I say. Also my plans for running in another fun run tomorrow didn't come to anything. Oh well. I have the excuse that my knee has been a bit sore this week but the real reason is I have lost the desire to jog too much. Hope to get my mojo back this week but we shall see.

I have walked every day and usually have walked twice. I have kept my 10 000 steps a day on my fitbit up for the whole week. Most days I have managed a couple of thousand more than that. In fact tonight my fitbit is showing 93 951 steps for the last 7 days and I am once again on top of my friends list. The two Twilter friends that usually beat me are not doing so well this week. Terje, as I mentioned last week, has a broken leg and can't weight bare at all which is awful for her. Not sure what has happened to Shari. My dear friend Maree has asked me to start walking with her again in the morning and we have agreed to walk 3 times a week at 6AM although I managed to persuade her to leave it till 6.20 cause its still dark at 6. We have walked our 3 times so that is good.

I managed a whopping 17 666 steps on Tuesday when I went walking in Carnarvon Gorge with my sister and her husband. They were camping there having travelled up from Sydney and I drove over to join them for the day.

I have been trying to track my food this week and am happy with my efforts there. One day this week my weight dropped to under 88... 87.8kgs to be exact. It climbed over the blooming 88 again a day later but it was so nice to be down there. The main thing with careful tracking is that I have been able to have my treats without feeling like I was cheating or not doing the right thing. Trying hard to make good choices as far as my cholesterol intake goes. It was recommended to me to have porridge each day as a good source of fibre to act on the cholesterol in my blood. LSA (ground Linseed, sunflower and almond) was also recommended to me. Not sure whether or not that is actually beneficial. They are good fats in the mixture and is nice on my porridge.

I need to upload my photos. I should put a nice picture from my walk in the gorge but haven't uploaded them yet and yet again I am on the wrong computer in any case.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Disappearing Into the Blue
Today at patchwork I was able to get all the strips made for the piano key border. I forgot to take a photo of my progress. I did discover that I have bought two lots of fabric for the binding. Oops once I get this border on I'll put it on the bed it's being made for to see if I need any more borders

Not So Sombre Stars for Derek
Slowly getting the signature blocks back for the quilt back. Still waiting on some from his sisters family. I started to piece the blocks together today I'm not sure how many blocks I'll end up with which is making it all a bit tricky

Baby Quilt
The baby quilt that I started last Wednesday I was able to pin today and I might get it quilted by Sunday. A finish would be nice:) Usually I make the quilt for the baby after they are born but for once I am ahead of the game. In fact there is not even a prospective baby in the family. This quilt features some of my mum's embroideries so will only go to a relative. 

I have made the batting for the baby quilt and NSSSFD quilts from left over bits of batting. I still have some bits which I'm going to make sew together. Not sure what size it'll end up bit probably big enough for another large cot quilt at least. It's quite satisfying using up the scraps

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday Stash Report

Another week with no purchases. Yay. Go me

I have only had 4 small (I mean tiny) finishes. Actually I finished them last week but forgot to count them. I had to make a postcard for a summer post card swap being run by Sandi Colwell of Quilt Cabana Patterns. I had never made one before so was a bit nervous. I made 4 checking out how to do it. The postcards are 6"x 4". I am still without my excel spreadsheet which has the formula from Pam at Hip to be a Square in it. I tried to do it with a calculator but it was really weird. I got .627.... and like I said that was just plain weird. 

So I am going to leave my stash stats as the same as last week.

Year to Date Used                     64.97
Year to Date added                   38.31
Net Used                                    26.66m

I have made more progress on some projects. I now have 31 completed signature squares now. I am going to start to sew them together I think. I'll give the other contributors till Sunday to get them to me or else they will miss out.

The baby quilt I was making has the backing made and the I have made frankenbatting for the filling (pieed together bits of off cuts and scraps of batting to make a larger useful bit) Its a term coined by Pam (again) and she talks about it on this blog post. I am in the process of doing another piece of frankenbatting to probably use in Not So Sombre Stars for Derek. It will be in keeping with my recycling/repurposing/frugal quilting theme with the SOMB quilts. (although to be honest I used new whole pieces of batting for the other ones)

Good news re the laptop. The company fixing it called on Friday afternoon and said it was good to go and they would ship it Monday (Today... running late with this blog update) so should have it midweek. Its coming from Sydney so will take a few days. The tech didn't say anything about having to wipe the drive or anything. He did say they had to wait for parts when he'd emailed earlier so sounds like it was a hardware issue not software so maybe all my data will have been saved.

Linking up with Patchwork times stash report

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday Fitness coming to you on Saturday

Pleased to say I have continued to walk most days this week. Today might be the exception. I missed my morning walk and its going to be crazy busy today. I have made my 10 000 steps each day which is pleasing but not much more than that so have surrendered my Poll position amongst my friends as to most steps in 7 days. In fact a couple of days I slipped to 4th (shock horror) Currently I am 3rd! Why did I add Tazitaff (my friends husband)? He is ahead of me now

I had planned to run 5 kms this week but instead managed to do a couple of run walk sessions of c25k and one run jog ie where I jogged for the walk sections and ran harder for the running sections. My girlfriend has asked me to start walking with her again at 6AM 3 times a week. It means I am going to have to go to bed at a decent hour (Fixit guy will be pleased) and not quilt till midnight. Of course its cold and dark at 6AM. I must be mad. The dog is going to think we are so weird. Won't be going down by the river at that time of the day. 

It is good to have been active each day. Food choices have been ok... have been eating some cornflake biscuits at night but now they are all gone. Did have croissants again for breakfast this morning (Fangirl slept over so we ate 3 between the 2 of us) She has been away all week at a conference and flew in last night and we went straight to the theatre for the 2nd last night of the production. Then came home here afterwards at midnight and decided it was easier for her to sleep here than find her keys and go to her own house. Suited me. Fixit Guy was away so it was nice to have the company.

Fixit Guy had gone to Townsville Friday morning for the funeral of his godmother and mother's cousin. I would have gone with him normally but it was the play and I am prompt. Normally Fangirl could have stepped in and done it but she was away and flying in just before performance. She got there in time BUT planes can run late, be cancelled, etc so it was all a bit too iffy. And the play has to have a prompt. There are only 3 actors so have huge amount of lines each so its really tricky. He comes back today.

I saw my dietitian on Monday and we discussed my cholesterol levels and diet. She told me that there were only 3 things proven to help with cholesterol. Increased fibre, plant sterols and something else I have forgotten. We already do most of the things that are recommended for decreasing it in the diet. She didn't give me a magic bullet for how to get it down or anything. Its hard work. Just like weightloss. Any easy weight loss solutions aren't going to work. You have to be committed to the process. She was pleased to hear my weight has dropped to the 88's.... i was 88kg on Monday but back to 88.4 today (and has been higher this week) 

The bouganvillea is in full bloom around our town at the moment. This one is on the corner of the street is looking very striking

The river on one of my walks this week

Pippin on the bed this morning. He was feeling very feisty and kept biting my toes.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I am running late with my WIP Wednesday and now it is almost midnight so I should be in bed and not writing this so late

Not so Sombre Stars.
I collected a few more signature squares for the back from people on Sunday and have them sashed and ready to go into the back. I could start to put the back together but I want to wait till I have more in so I can arrange them better. Some ladies in the church are wanting to do some embroidery on their blocks which is really lovely of them but I just want to get them in so I can assemble the back. It will get done...eventually

Disappearing into the Blue
For the first week in over a month or more I spent a long day up at the sewing room and got a fair bit done on the quilt. I added the narrow white border and started to make the piano key border. I am using1.5" and 2" strips of the fabric in the pinwheels in the border. They will be 4" finished. I accidentally cut a few 1/2' short so they will go into the backing. I have made almost half of the piano key border although I have not attached it to the quilt.

Baby Quilt
I started to put together another baby quilt today using some of the teddy bear embroideries my mum made and some left over nine patches from another baby quilt. It is an organic design... I am making it up as I got along and determinedly using up all the pale green fabrics that I had bought for the other quilt. I don't like baby quilts to be too small. They aren't useful for long enough. So far I have grown it to 38" square but am going to need to make it to at least 40 to begin to satisfy me and perhaps even larger if i can work out some things to go extend it. It has come together quite quickly since I had the 9 patches in it already made. I am slowing down now though as I am having to make the units I need. Still I should be able to get it finished in a few days. I don't have a baby in mind for this quilt but with so many nieces and nephews in my family it is bound to be needed before too long. 

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, May 18, 2014

SundayStash report

I have done quite a bit of sewing this week but have had no finishes. I made progress on the Disappearing into the Blue quilt. The pinwheel border is on and Weds I will start work on the piano key border. Only working on it on Wednesday up at the club rooms has slowed up progress on it somewhat but it has been good to have something ready to go each week and not have to think of what i will work on. Mind you I stuffed up last week as I didn't have my white cotton with me. I had taken it out of the work box in the car for something else. You would think that I would have more than one spool of white thread wouldn't you? I did but I used it up.

I have worked some more on my backing for Not So Sombre Stars. I have framed all the signature blocks I got back from people. I have also framed a number of blank ones ready to give people or write messages that come in via email or text for him. I also framed up some other blocks to go on the back of the quilt including the last 3 9-patch blocks that I made up from the pieces of shirts I got in a swap last year. I named my own challenge the Shirt off my Back challenge (SOMB). I made 360 9 patches originally from the fabric from 2nd hand men's cotton shirts I got in the swap. I cut them into 2" strips and made as many nine patches as I could. Have been trying to use them up ever since and found that they spread to 4 good size quilts. This one is the last of them. I have tried to use only 2nd had or repurposed fabric in the quilts both front and back. I had largely succeeded up till this last quilt. All the fabric in the quilt been either repurposed or has come from my scrap drawers. Only the batting and the sewing thread has been new.

As well as the last 3 9-patches which I had to sash in white first to bring them up to the 6.5" I needed them to be before framing the blocks in 1.5" wide brightly coloured strips, I have made a rainbow block to represent the Emmaus community that Derek, our sick friend is a part of. I also made one block with the symbol of the Uniting Church of Australia, again because Derek is a part of that community. 

I have 29 completed blocks now and a good few still to come in. I can start to put the back together. I still have to chase up people who are working on their blocks. Supposedly they will be in next Sunday.

So with nothing out and nothing in my stats this week are the same as last week

Year to Date Used                     64.97
Year to Date added                   38.31
Net Used                                    26.66m

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Fitness

This week I feel like I am back on track.

On Sunday I pushed myself to run in the Mothers' Day Classic (well Fixit Guy did some pushing too) I ran the 7km route in 59.34 mins. I didn't come last but there weren't many from the running group behind me.

I have walked at least once a day this week and on two occasions I did a bit of running too. I've restarted the C25K program I was doing and trying to run harder in the running intervals. Mostly doing it so as to get some interval training in the mix.A friend has suggested that I try the C2 10 K program and that would be a reasonable idea too. Will look into it.

I went to the Dr on Tuesday to get my blood test results. I don't have a recurrence of the Barmah Forrest virus thankfully (test was negative) so last week I must have had some virus or perhaps the go slows cause it got a bit colder combined with exhaustion from huge weeks

However the blood tests showed that I have high cholesterol. I told the Dr I hadn't had it before but he said that last time it was also raised. If they don't tell you you can't really know. I didn't get the results. Its not too high... not it the panic stations area yet. I was 6,4 last time and 6.7 this time. Fixit Guy was told he had high cholesterol a few years ago (15yrs ago or so) and as a family we made lots of changes then. When the doctor went through the basic Do's and Don'ts I felt that we did a lot of the do's and didn't do a lot of the don'ts already. Sigh. But I have been a bit slack lately (lots of chocolate is consumed in the production of a play I have found - especially post Easter when a lot is on special) I am going to be trying hard to reduce the levels by diet as I don't want to go onto medication if I can help it. (Besides Fixit Guy controlled his by diet so if he can, I can... I am NOT competitive)

When announced this on Facebook I got quite a few suggestions from friends as to diet suggestions, additives, things to cut out and include. I am not interested in going Paleo although a simpler style of cooking is always good. We basically don't use many pre made sauces or prepackaged meals because Fixit Guy is excluding a lot of things trying to control a sensitivity he has developed. I am happy to try LSA as suggested by one friend (Linseed, Sunflower and Almond ground up together). I've had porridge a couple of times this week for breakfast. Today though i have lashed out and had a repeat of my mother's day breakfast (only one croissant though.. It was to use up the bacon and the left over croissant.)

My weight has dropped a bit this week. Back down to 88 kgs which is pleasing. Hopefully not eating any shop bought biscuits or cakes, easing right back on the chocolate, only have a little bit of cake on occasions, will help me lose some more. 

I have really been picking up my steps too. I had a few really low step days last week with feeling so tired and having visitors. However from Sunday I have managed over 10 000 steps each day and have climbed to the top of my friends list on Fitbit. One of my friends, who always creamed us with averaging 17 000 steps a day, had an accident and broke her leg in 3 places so needless to say she has fallen right down to the bottom of the rankings. Get well soon Terje. We all wanted to catch you... but not that way.

The dogs have enjoyed the extra walking I have been doing. Bumbles was here for about 10 days now she has gone and we probably won't dog sit here again as her family have moved 600kms away. The dogs are looking at a kangaroo on the other side of the gate. The phone photo doesn't show it up too well but it is there.

Random photo of Jack cause I had it

And another one. He was barking at me cause I was trying to get a photo of Digby and he was jealous. The Digby photos were nothing. I love this one of Jack

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wip Wednesday. Some progress made at last

I finally made some progress on the backing for Not So Sombre Stars.

As outlined on Sunday I saw  a quilt on a Facebook group that inspired my design. On Monday I started to cut the strips and squares I needed for the block.. I decided to make the quilt 7 x 7 8.5" blocks with a border to make it big enough.

I calculated that I was going to need
210 cream or white 1.5" squares as cornerstones for each block and the sashing.
196 6.5" x 1.5"of varying colours
64 blue 8.5" x 1.5" strips for the sashing

I cut the blue strips for the sashing from some of fabric I had to be repurposed but the rest of the units I needed came from my 1.5" scraps.I had about 30 cream and white 1.5" squares already in my stash. The rest of it I cut to size from the strips in my stash. I chose strips in reds, greens, yellows and purple. Some of the yellows were more orange.
Top right the cornerstones in a mixture of whites and creams. In the box the 6.5" x 1.5" strips and below the box the 8.5" x 1.5"blue strips for the sashing. This was cut from what had been a banner in our church

Tuesday I finished cutting the coloured strips and started sewing the strips to the signature blocks I had collected. 

I only had 10 and they are all done now. Just have to chase up the rest of them. I told people to use permanent marker but one person has used pencil and another has just given me some that I think are non permanent marker. I will have to label the quilt dry clean only. I don't want to leave them out of the quilt or to ask them to redo. I guess its the thought that counts.

The finished signature squares. 10 down 39 more to go!!

Disappearing Into the Blue
Finally had a sewing time up at the patchwork rooms so have made some progress on the Disappearing Into the Blue quilt, my disappearing pinwheel quilt done in blue and white. It was great to get some work on it has been a few weeks. I got the pinwheel borders on.. Next I am going to put on a narrow white border and then a piano key border. Will have to check it out on the bed again to work out how much larger it needs to be. Then to work out the backing. I was going to buy some wide backing fabric for it but I do have a lot of the blue fabrics I used on the front left so it won't be hard to piece the back.

Sewing Room
Not sure if I have mentioned it or not but I did get my scrap basket emptied.- almost. I still have a little bit of cream fabric to cut up and now bits of 1.5" stuff is going in there. Small stuff that I need to cut into squares or bricks leftover from the strips I have cut into 6,5" strips for the signature blocks. 

I asked Fixit Guy for a design wall for my Mothers' Day gift. He has suggested that we put in on the wall where the bookshelf currently is. He's suggested we transfer the contents of the bookshelf to the kitchen dresser we got from my Aunty's home which we intend to do up one day. Fangirl said she would like the bookshelf! This would probably work except for the old sewing notions that are stored on the bookshelf which are more for display. Might have to get Fixit Guy to make me a small set of display shelves for those things. 
Fixit Guy's idea is to use the wall behind the bookshelf as my design wall.  It is the obvious choice.
Some of the random bits and pieces on the bookshelf including the dust.

Some more sewing stuff that was my mother in laws and model sewing machines. And more antique dust

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedWIP Wednesday

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday musing

I celebrated Mothers' Day by running in the local MDC ie Mothers' Day Classic. Its a national event in Australia with 42 similar runs across the nation. Locally participants had the choice of a 3.5 k walk or a 7 k run. Both covered the same cause but in the case of the run it was twice around the course. They started the runners, of which I was one, first and sent the walkers off 10 mins after us. I started off near the front of the runners but was very quickly overtaken by just about everyone. There were a couple of other ladies who were just about my pace when we started off but they drew ahead of me as my pace slowed down. I had 3 aims for the day.
1) finish the course 
2) to run (OK joggle... cross between a jog and a shuffle :) ) 
3) not to be overtaken by any of the walkers.

I basically succeeded in all three aims. 1) I finished the course - well behind the bulk of the runners. but I crossed the finish line... twice since I had to go around 2 times. 2) I grabbed a drink at two of the water stations and walked a couple of steps whilst I drank a few mouthfuls which doesn't count in my opinion. So that's a check. 3) shortly before I finished the first lap two little boys (Gd 4 so about 9yrs old) ran past me. I think they had started with the walkers but since they were running I am NOT going to count that.

Not the most flattering photo of me. I was trying to get the medal we got given at the end of the race. I missed. I don't think I look too done in after running 7 kms

Says it all really.

Given how drained of energy I have been all week with the resurgence of the virus I was so glad I got a finish at all. I almost didn't go in it but my darling Fixit Guy encouraged me to have a go reminding me of how much i had been looking forward to the run. I wasn't going to do any damage by exerting myself. My Dr's advice when I was diagnosed last year  was do what I felt I could and to stop when I needed the rest. It could have meant I was absolutely drained of energy for the rest of the day (or week) but Fixit Guy said we would deal with that if it happened. He was prepared to come get me if I got half way around the course and couldn't go any further. I was so pleased he encouraged me to pursue my goal.

 I am sure my lack of preparation over the last few weeks (due to being so busy and then being sick) meant I was slower than I might have been. Other times when I have run on my own I have challenged myself to surge on occasions -to run faster for a certain distance - to that tree,  for 100 steps, to improve my lap time for the next km etc but I wasn't game to do this at the start and just as well cause I very limited reserves at the end. Next time though I will certainly give it a shot. Yes I am already talking about next time. If I can complete it when I was unwell what can I achieve when I am fitter?

I didn't completely collapse in a heap when it was over. I managed to get to church only a few minutes late (Showered and refreshed) I am not saying I didn't feel reluctant to stand for a couple of the hymns but I made it through. I even managed to get to the Aged Care home in the afternoon to do my share of the work at the cafe that is run up there for a few hours Sunday afternoon. I did take the opportunity to sit and talk to the residents when I wasn't needed elsewhere. The boys Massage Man and Boyo rang during the afternoon.and it was great to chat with them Kombi Boy tried to ring me when we were out but I had left my phone at home which is unfortunate. His partner sent me a message on Facebook which was lovely too. We also went out for a delicious Indian dinner at night with Fangirl. She'd come over in the afternoon and given me something she reminded me I had specifically asked for.... a Tupperware spatula. They are expensive but have an excellent reputation. I have become thoroughly ticked off by the cheaper ones I have bought.


Running headphones. I listen to my quilting podcasts when I run

Fixit Guy bought me breakfast in bed to start the day. lots of protein to run on here!!
Speaking of Fangirl - she wrote a lovely blogpost for Mother's Day wishing all mum's a happy day. She made it a loving tribute to me. I was so touched by it I cried. It was really really beautiful and I was so appreciative. She also posted a free pattern in honour of Mothers' Day. So head on over to her blog here if you want to learn a bit more about me, see some photos and would like a free cross stitch pattern. Fangirl is a self confessed geek. She loves Diskworld novels, Harry Potter, Dr Who and Firefly. She designs her own cross stitch patterns around these obsessions.

Fangirl and I in Scotland last year. Yes that is a Monkey between us. Ask and I shall do a whole blogpost on Him one day

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Stash Report. I got a finish

Whoot I got a finish. I have already blogged about it. My curtains were finished and hung and if you want to know the truth of their finishing then you can go read about it here where I bare my soul about the net result. Confession might be good for the soul but repetition can be boring.

The curtains were 4.5 m of fabric and that was it for the week. It was the only sewing I got done. The virus I have (Barmah Forrest Virus. Read about it here) has sapped me of my energy and inclination to do much else. 

My stash report for the week

Fabric added this week             0

Fabric used this week               4.5m

Year to Date Used                     64.97

Year to Date added                   38.31
Net Used                                    26.66m

When I have been in my sewing room and have had the energy I have been cutting my way through my scrap basket. I am very pleased to being close to the bottom of it again.

You might think there is a lot in there but  the blue is lightly packed in so it doesn't crease (I've ironed it) Below is a photo of what it looked like at the start of last week

The boxes on my cutting table are now quite full of cut scraps. Gotta try to get them into the scrap drawers

I have been planning the backing of the Not So Sombre Stars for Derek using the signature blocks that are slowly coming in. I collected a few blocks from friends at church today and handed out a few more squares of fabric. I reminded a few people who have squares to get them back to me so that was a job well done. 

I saw a pattern on a Facebook group I am part of during the week which I thought would look good. Its scrappy so right up my alley. My scrap drawers are bulging 

These are my 1.5" drawers - strips in the top one squares and bricks below. I still have to fit what I have cut in the last week in there

so I really have to get sewing some scrap projects. This block consisted of a large centre square in a light fabric with a narrow coloured piece on each side and corner stones in a light fabric. The blocks were all then joined together with colourful sashing sashing with a plain light corner stone at each block. The end result is 5 squares which are arranged same as the dots on a dice are for the number 5. This would be all much clearer if I posted a picture of it but the photo wasn't mine so can't just filch it. Also... can't remember which Facebook group it was on (I am a member of several) and finding older photos and things on Facebook pages is hard!! Here's the sketch I did of it

I sketched it on a docket and shoved it back in my bag afterwards hence its all scrunched up. Must get back to carrying a notebook with me. At least I had a pen!

 So I Sketched out the design and figured it would be an 8.5" block. That is giving it a 6.5" centre , 1.5" wide strips around it and sashing and 1.5" sq corner stones. I haven't handed out that many signature blocks but figured that I can leave some blank for other friends to sign when they visit him - people I am not in contact with. I will have to go measure the quilt top to work out exactly how many blocks I will need for the back.

I drew it up today during the sermon in church. Um ahh you say... naughty naughty BUT my OT daughter (aka Fangirl) was talking about it on her blog the other day (see here for the whole thing) Its called getting tactile (touch) and proprioceptive (joint movement) feedback which can help some people sit longer and concentrate more. I usually  crotchet or embroider during meetings and helps me focus on what is being said. Otherwise I tend to go off in my own little world and daydream or fidget and wonder how long I have to sit there. I used to crotchet a lot in church as a teenager until someone chipped me about it. Instead I then counted bricks in the wall, or the letters in the text that was painted on the wall, or planned my shopping list. I paid a lot less attention. Now a days I find that quilt patterns pop into my head, or designs for church banners. I find that if I sketch them out then and there I can still tune into the message.(otherwise I find I keep dwelling on the design and trying to remember it and make calculations in my head and completely tune out from what is going on)

Linking up with Stash Report at Patchwork Times

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday ramblings about nothing

I have been re reading some of my recent blogs. I have to read them. Not many others do. I think every time I read my own blog it counts as a visit. Have to bump my stats up some how. I know it doesn't count for anything but it makes me feel better when I check my page views. (Yes I am a sad little blogger. Now the 15 people who do regularly read this are rethinking their plans realising what a weird little person I am)

Having re read some of them I squirm over some of the phrasing and some of the errors I have made in them. I have gone back in and fixed up some of them. Really I should edit them more carefully when I write them before I post them however then I think... meh... its just a mummy blog. I am not expecting to reach great heights of blogdom - to attract a following of thousands, to become known in the blogosphere. If I fuss over it too much it might lose its natural flow. I want it to speak with my voice. However - I should edit it a bit more and make sure it at least makes sense. Usually it does. Sometimes when I go back in and edit I reword something but then I forget to take out the old wording. Oops. How many people go back and read old blogs though anyway? I seem to get the most hits (loving using all these blog related words he he he) the day I post it and only occasional additional page reads over the next few days.

I've been going to lots of linky parties. I'm becoming a bit of a linky tart... you can see the different ones I link up to regularly from the buttons on my side bar. I try to visit at least 5 other links from the party and to comment on them as well. I particularly like to comment on ones that have no other comments or only a few. I know how much I love to get comments on my blog. (Hint hint) However I have realized that it is hard to comment on my blog... or impossible unless you have a Google ID or one of a number of other options. But you can't comment unless you are signed in. Don't think I can change that. Early on when I was having some hassles with Blogger a fellow twilter suggested I change to a different blog platform and I just about had a heart attack. As a pretty new blogger (a few random posts a few years ago but only consistently posting since January this year)) that was just way too scary.

This is a pretty boring blog entry. No pretty pictures. lots of dreary self reflection. No lovely quilty news. No cute dog pictures. No photos of the gorgeous sunset , the lovely river that is near by or even my fabric purchases. I should delete it but i won't. Can't bare to waste all my creative drivel

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fitness Friday

Fitness Friday. I'm not. End of story.

As I have mentioned in previous blog entries this week. I am not feeling great. The doctor is testing to see if I have relapsed with the virus I had for 3 months last year.

My basic symptoms are tiredness (exhaustion) and aches and pains in my muscles. Neither of these are conducive to getting out there and running (so I haven't) or even going for long walks either (I haven't done that either very much this week)

Also I am very much a comfort eater. I love food. If I feel tired I eat. If I feel grumpy, I eat. If I feel sick I eat. So feeling tired and grumpy and off this week I have been eating... and not the right sort of food. Chocolate is my favourite go to must have comfort food. SO not good for weight loss.

My fitbit stats have really crashed and burned this week. I have had a couple of days where I have only gotten in half my steps. It has seen my ranking go for 2nd or 3rd to 5th or 6th. amongst my friends. I have tried to keep them up. I have tried to do more short walks to make up for missing out on the big walks. The dogs all are disgusted with me and give me very mournful looks through the back door if I have it open. (so I keep it closed. ) I am not exhausted all the time but when it hits I just want to stop and sit or lie down. So long walks aren't really in. I did go for one with my husband the other day and really enjoyed it. Got a lovely sunset photo so yay I have something to share.

Got a letter from my dietician reminding me I had missed my April appointment. Oops. Will have to make another one

A finish which won't win prizes

I have a finish. 

Yes! Yay. Not a quilt but still a finish.

 The curtains for the spare room are done and hung and ready for the visitors who arrive tomorrow. They are not the best curtains I have ever made. They are in fact rather dodgey. In January I oversaw the making of curtains for our church manse (the name of the house where the minister lives in the Uniting Church of Australia. Manse is used in a number of different denominations... Baptist's call their minister's house a manse too.In fact most denominations that I know do... except for Anglicans who have vicarage and or parsonage, and Catholics.... ) 

Anyway in January we made curtains for our manse for the lounge and master bedroom and repaired and switched around some other curtains. They all went fine. I got lots of credit there (not all of it due mind you but still.....) So I wasn't at all worried about these curtains. One set of sill length curtains, self patterned so no stripes or patterns to match. Easy

Well I think that they cut them wrong in the shop for a start. I had measured the drop, added the hem and the turning for the top and then ordered 3 drops. When I started to make the curtains I realised that one drop was a bit shorter than the others but I wasn't worried.But I DIDN'T CHECK I was confident I had over estimated, added more than I needed for the hem and the header cause I always do.  I needed to cut one of the drops in half and sew one half to each of the other drops. when I sewed it to one, it was okay, bit out but not too bad but when I sewed the second half it was out by about 15 cms. I unpicked it and sewed it again, trying to stretch the short side out a bit but no good. I still wasn't worried cause I thought I had allowed heaps extra for the hem.

My machine didn't seem to like sewing the plastic backed curtains. It wouldn't feed through properly and it was seeming to gather it Now not sure what was happening with my machine but it sure didn't like sewing that plastic backed curtain It did seem to gather it a bit. It got worse as I tried to fix it. (Think now that this was due to me trying to stretch it out when with the plastic backed curtaining there is no stretch. so just like with quilting if you over stretch the backing when clamping it to the table or taping it to the floor, when you release the clamps the back retracts to where it was and causes puckering cause the top isn't as stretched out. So in trying to fix the problem I made it worse)

I hung the curtains without turning the hem for a couple of days to let them drop. Thursday morning I took them down in order to try to get them sewn in time for my visitors who arrive Friday night. I measured where I want the hem to turn and took the curtains down... and that is where I ran into problems. I found that the short seam, the one where one side was 15cm shorter than the other, ended at the window sill with no fabric left for the turn up for the hem.  What a mess. I couldn't trim to curtains off to be even as they would be 15cms too short.

What I should have done was added some fabric to the bottom in order to make a false hem but I was in a hurry and not really thinking straight. For those following my blog or on twitter or facebook will know that I am not really well at the moment. I seem to be suffering a resurgence of the Barmah Forrest Virus I had last year. (go here for my whinge about it earlier this week)

SO I did a really bodgey job SOO... I turned a narrow fold over on the short bit all the way to the edge of the curtain. (following the bottom of the fabric to just give it the first turn Then turned the hem up to where it needed to be on the edge of the curtain  and got the bottom even so it was straight across. I then sewed across in a straight line  to the other side of the curtain even though that meant that after a point I wasn't actually catching the bottom of the curtain.but the hem looks like it is sewn straight.

 Once my visitors are gone and I feel better I might take them down and fix them up. But for now they are up and they look okay. The bed head is higher than the window ledge so you can't see the bottom of the curtains anyway. Guess its really a case of Fake it Till You Make It... or in this case Fake it WHEN you make it

You can see what I mean here with people not really being able to see the hems  
The photo would have been better if I had pulled the bed forward but it is so heavy I could hardly move it

Ta Dah

I am not going to photograph my disgusting hemming. You get photos of the curtains hanging in the spare room and that is it. If you want to see my dirty little secret you have to come visit and ask to see them. That way I will know who reads my blog. (My sister in law reads my blog. But I am pretty safe. She has only visited me once in this house and we have lived here 25 years. She does like me... well she says she does. Well she reads my blog anyway... sometimes)

I could just keep quiet about all this... not mention it to anyone. Who would notice. Who is going to look at the hems of the curtains in my spare room. Least said soonest mended. But that is not my way... oh no... why spoil a good story... lets just put it out there. Mention it on my blog that is read by hundreds the world over. OK I exaggerate. This blog is read by about 15 people on a regular basis. None of you live locally. Some live across the world. Some of you I know I have completely confused by using words like Dodgey and Bodgey (both mean basically the same... not a good quality - way less than perfect, pretty hit and miss, B-grade. Dodgey or dodgie is usually an adjective... He's a bit dodgey (untrustworthy) or He did a dodgey job (unreliable) Bodgiey is more likely to be a verb... bodgied it up... fixed something but not properly, using poor materials or made it look ok on the surface but not really fixed. Well that is how I use them and how my family does. Other people might dispute these interpretations. 

Linking up with Thank Goodness its Finished Friday and Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

   Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WIP Wednesday

My Disappearing into the Blue quilt is at a standstill.  Its my patchwork group project. I went to Patchwork today but it was our meeting and unfortunately afterwards I felt exhausted so came home. The meeting itself was fine its just this Virus I am fighting.  Hope I can make sense of the minutes I took... I'm the secretary. I'm up to the pinwheel borders on 

Still collecting signature squares to make the backing for Not So Sombre Stars for Derek. I got a few more in over the week so will get onto them as soon as my brain can concentrate. Still have a heap more to collect.

I started to sew the curtains for the spare room on Saturday. I have them hanging at the moment to let them drop before I hem them.  I seem to have underestimated the length so the hems are going to be a bit smaller than I usually make them but that's okay. The bed goes under the window and the bedhead is fairly high so you can't actually see the hemline so not a problem if it isn't perfect.

My main work in progress this week has been tidying up my sewing area. I pulled everything out of two cupboards I store fabric and craft stuff in. I had already been through some of the fabric in the storage boxes so could ignore some of those but others I went through again and got rid of some of it (local op shop will benefit) I went through notions and sorted them up, rearranged a few of the cupboards. I made a really good mess for a start

I had boxes and stuff everywhere

my cutting table was covered in stuff

no ironing could be done

no room to sit on the couch

The main aim of my clean up and change around was to make the 3 sets of plastic drawers that I have exclusively for my scrap units. Beforehand one of the units held some projects, non cotton fabric and orphan blocks. These I moved either into project boxes (clear plastic boxes) or put into my scrap basket 

As a result of my sorting my scrap basket is once again overflowing. I have been working on getting it cut up into usable units. As I am cutting up if I find a fabric that I know isn't suitable to go into my scrap quilts then I have relegated it mostly to the "donation" pile to go to the school for craft or recycling


My cutting table is permanently set up behind the couch, facing the tv. I have a kitchen stool stationed  behind the table so I can sit and cut fabric whilst watching tv. I have my new large A2 cutting mat and the holder with all my rulers on it as well as a container for my rotary cutter, large scissors, snips, etc. I also have my small pressing mat and travel iron. When I am cutting scraps I have a collection of shoe boxes and their lids which I have labelled with the different sizes on them arranged along the top of the table (and pushed out onto the back of the couch so as to give me a bit more room) and a bin for scraps.

This way I can sit or stand behind the table, watch tv and cut my scraps. I try to cut them into the largest unit I can, starting with 10" and working down. I must admit though I will cut 5" over 6.5" since so many patterns are being written for 5" charm squares these days. 

I have drawers for strings (under 1.5" wide) 1.5", 2", 2.5", 3",3.5",4", 4.5'. 5", 6.5" and 10". I cut squares and strips in each size. Some sizes have more than one drawer

Tidy at last. It didn't last long

This cupboard, closest to my machine has project boxes and my threads in it. also my ironing basket. The big pink box is repurposed fabric mostly for use in church banners

The cupboard behind my cutting table. As well as larger pieces of fabric for backing it has my gadgets and after crafting projects eg a box of wool etc. The book shelf has magazine patterns (torn out and put into folders according to type of pattern) plus antique sewing things such as my grandmother's sewing basket and sewing notions from my aunty and mother in law
My scrap drawers are becoming very full. This year I have had a couple of big sort outs resulting in lots of fabric going into the scrap basket to be cut which ultimate end up in the drawers. Once I finish off the projects I am working on I think I will go to my scrap drawers and make a few projects. This will fit in very well with my Fabric Diet that I am trying hard to stick to.

Linking up with Wip Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
WIP Wednesday