Wednesday, 22 March 2017

March 2017

I love being retired, it has presented me with opportunities to try new things, meet new people and make a lot of friends, long may that continue.

I recently volunteered to help the QGBI at Olympia at the beginning of March. I was given the task of helping participants make an 8 inch  'Corner in the Cabin' (quarter log-cabin) block. These are collected, sorted and made into small quilts for Project Linus. It is a wonderful experience with people who have never sewn or used a sewing machine to experienced stitcher's who have never tried patchwork techniques. One experienced stitcher was a man who is a kite maker, his wife makes quilts but he had never tried it, perhaps he will now. There were several students studying textiles at school/college that had never tried patchwork. Everyone I dealt with seemed to enjoy the experience, and I hope they were inspired enough to have a go themselves. I came home with six sets of blocks to make up into quilts.

Endless possibilities for 'Corner in the Cabin' blocks 
I tried quite a few more patterns with this block, but these were the ones I liked best. Two finished four to go! I hope the recipiants get as much pleasure using them as I do making them.

I have been doing more crochet projects. I bought a crochet magazine (Inside Crochet issue 85), as it was advertised with a very nice pattern for a jacket in Tunisian crochet. It had several projects that I liked, so I started with this Lacy poncho. It is project by Sarah J Green from  a book called 
BoHo Chic Crochet Ponchos (Leisure Arts, £5.99), this could be a good buy if you like making ponchos. I had to make a minor adjustment as my tension was a bit off, it still was not quite right, but it looks good on.

Lacy Poncho
I have also made a lovely shawl, this pattern was from a company in one of the articles in the magazine - The Crochet Project. They have some gorgeous patterns. the two I liked most were The Shawl Project: Book One by Joanne Scrace  and the Fronds Shawl also by Joanne. The one I have completed so far is from the Shawl booklet.

'Your Mileage May Vary' Shawl
I bought the yarn at Unravel in Farnham in 2015, it is from Easyknits, Dandy 4-ply in Sunshine. Again my tension was a bit off so I had to adjust the pattern. This booklet has six patterns and instructions on making shawls in various ways with examples explaining how to calculate the size and yarn amounts. The nice thing about these patterns is that they all take a 100g skein of the more expensive artisan yarns, so you can have a luxurious item for a reasonable cost. Advise on changing the yarn type and weight are included in the general instructions. I may be developing an addiction for shawl making, I have started a second and have the yarn for a third!

I made a birthday present for a friend in February, this is the fourth one I have made, one for me and three as presents. This friend loves purple, I did not think I had much purple in my stash, but I had enough to make the outside and found suitable lining with purple flowery hearts. I call it a Jellyroll bag, as I made the first one out of a leftover jellyroll, but all the subsequent bags have been made from 2.5 inch strips from FQ or WOF, what ever suited. It is based on a pattern from a magazine using charm squares

Annie's bag
It is a nice roomy bag, with a zipped top and two inner pockets - one zipped. I love making these too. When I can find the time, I will make one using strips instead of squares. My last post showed the one I made using one piece of fabric. 

Just in case you think I never get out with all this crafting, I play golf and badminton at least twice a week and get into the garden, digging out dead trees (a small one), tidying the green house and cutting the grass. As my husband pointed out when I retired ' You can't spend all of your time sewing', but I can spend as much time as possible on it. To finish, this is the third blog post I have made in two weeks, yes I know they are all to do with crafting, I like to share my creative activities.

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