Sunday, 24 January 2010

progressing and plodding

Not so much progress on the quilting front this week. I finished stitching the binding down on the pictoral BOM quilt, but haven't done the label yet. I keep looking at it and can't make my mind up as to whether it needs a bit more work in the white corners of each small block or not. I think a small white flower in each corner might look nice, but I can't find a design I like that fits. More rummaging needed in my design books I think.

Next on the list is the Round Robin, but that's ground to a halt until I can find the right thread to work with. I'm looking for a variegated thread that's in greens AND browns. Not difficult. Not greens, not browns, but greens and browns. Might have to keep looking for that! I've stay stitched around each heart using my normal bobbin thread, which gives them a bit more definition.

This week I'm planning to make a start on unpicking the ghastly borders I put on the lovely salmon and chocolate top. I really could do with some more fabrics to use for the border, not much idea what to do as I've not got a lot of the original pieces left and they were a gift in a Secret Santa swap a couple of years ago.

Mike and I went for another long walk around Saltram this morning, it's about 7-8 miles right round, so I've admitted in public now that I'm planning to do the Beachy Head Marathon. It can be done as a walker, which is what I'm planning.

My final update this week is on my ongoing battle with the complexities of the NHS! I'm booked in to see an ENT surgeon on Thursday for discussion as to what he thinks is the best way to progress with the tumours in my lymph nodes. I'm leaning towards asking for them all to be removed as soon as possible rather than waiting for what could be another couple of years then finding that the cancer has recurred and I need to have another single node removed.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

reporting in again

See, I'm doing well at keeping the blog updated on a more regular basis this year!

This week's quilty report is that I've finished the autumn runner. I slip stitched the binding down during the week, and have to admit I'm really pleased with it. I'm quite glad I used the paper leaves as guides for doing the FMQ, I'm really not that confident that I'd be able to do them all free hand and get a nicely balanced spread of them through the piece. Hopefully as I keep on trying, I'll get more confident at being able to do more work without paper or drawn guides. I'm quite happy to use guides when I need to though! If I was to do it again, I'd spend a bit more time looking for a quilting thread with a higher contrast to my fabric. Both thread and fabric are orange-red based with bits of green and yellow thrown in, so the quilting doesn't stand out as much as it could. However, for a first attempt at this style I'm thrilled with it. I could also have a go at hyper quilting some of the leaf veins in a higher contrast thread to add some definition.

My second quilt project has been to assemble the main body of the Japanese taupe quilt from a jelly roll I bought in Birmingham. I need to press it and add the borders. No idea how I'm going to quilt this either. Something oriental is the obvious thing, but apart from that I've no firm ideas.

Other big news is I've got a new appointment with my surgeon for Monday...the previous one was cancelled because of the snow. It seems like such a long time since I was referred what with Christmas coming in the mean time. I'm hoping to get the results of the MRI in December, and also a date for surgery on the "lesions" in my neck. Dr G mentioned needle aspiration as a possible first step, but after my experince before my thyroidectomy I'd rather they just went straight for surgery. With any luck Mr C will be able to give me an early date and I can get back on with the rest of my life.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Found, one quilting mojo!

Funny how making a list of UFOs has had such a positive effect on my quilting! I knew I had lots to do, but last year I'd just lost all my enthusiasm for it. I knew I'd get it back, but I think that all the thyroid stuff I've been going through just made it harder for me to turn my hand or mind to something pleasurable.

Anyway, New Year, New UFO List (you never know it might catch on!) and just over a week later, I've finished the American cushion for Mike, zip in and all (insert photo here when I can find the camera lead)

last Sunday I put my design wall up in the corner of the lounge, and got my Round Robin and Pictoral BOM blocks out. The RR now has its final row of blocks, white and brown alternating hearts on a green background, which is the top row. I wanted something a bit different for the border, and eventually settled on a checkerboard effect, but only for two opposing corners. I've even offset the checks so they both run towards the upper left corner. The rest of the borders are in a neutral cream. It's all pinned ready for quilting, but right now I'm deliberating about whether to trapunto a few of the heart blocks. Still undecided about it, so I'll put it to one side for a week or so.

The Pictoral BOM came together like a it was in a dream that I worked out how to finish it. How odd is that? The best thing is I *love love love* the way it turned out. Attic windows around each block, and a wider semi attic window outer border. I used some fabric that I hand dyed myself which makes it more special. Each picture has been quilted around in a fine white thread just to give it a bit more definition, and I'm going to quilt the month in a cartouche at the bottom of each block.

My final piece this week is my autumnal table runner, which I pinned cut of paper leaves all over and quilted around them with a loop-de-loop meander linking them. Another one I'm really pleased with. Just need to hand stitch the binding down and label it and it's all finished!

I really need to get the camera sorted out so I can use it with the laptop. As soon as I've done that, I'll be able to edit and add pictures to these posts.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Happy New Year

So after yet another long gap in posting anything, once again I've got loads to catch up with. Christmas has been and gone, with lots of quilty and knitting presents. I had my second dose of radio iodine treatment in November. Unfotunately, it didn't show any tumour on the follow up scan, so I had another more detailed scan which showed three tiny tumours in my neck. These will need surgical removal, so I had an MRI scan shortly afterwards and am now waiting to see the surgeon who performed my original thyroidectomy in 2008.

I seem to have got my quilting mojo back, and have constructed a list of all my UFOs. It's turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be, so it's shamed me into actually doing something about it. I've resolved to work on these UFOs as my main priority this year. Doing OK as I finished the cushion in the US retro rabric that I bought in Lowell. It was all pieced, so it only needed quilting, and a zip putting in for the backing. As I'm writing on the laptop, I need to work out how to load photos through here now as well as the desktop. Pic to follow by whatever means!

My next project was to be the pictoral mini blocks, I'd had a dream about exactly how to finish it, and set off dyeing some fabric for it, but it's come out too orange, so back to the drawing board with that. I'm not confident enough in my dyeing to be able to mix brown from the pots I've got, so I'll see about ordering some darker brown. In the meantime, I might just buy a couple of yards of light and dark brown so I can finish it off. For quilting it, I think I'll go in the ditch around each mini block (using my new Q-i-D) foot, and do something squiggly in the sashing and border.

I'm also going to try and keep a record of what fabric I bring into and out of my stash during the year. I'm not going to measure how much I'm starting with, as I've got so many scrappy pieces, but hopefully I'll be able to keep up with that!

Hopefully I'll keep this more up to date, and plan to post next weekend.