Work in Progress … shall we catch up?

hmmmm … so it’s been a little while, and although I haven’t done much in the way of quilting (other than the Macmillan quilt), I’ve been working on a number of other, smaller projects whilst I’ve been ill and/or incapacitated … most of which are still at the work-in-progress stage. (I am a terror for not finishing personal projects!!)

Lest it be thought I have done no quilting at all …. there was one wedding dress quilt earlier in the year – just a smallish metre square ….

wedding dress quilt

and I went on a bit of a mission to sort out my boxes (and boxes and boxes) of scraps …. which generated a start of a quilt – I’m not sure where it draws its inspiration from, this one – somewhere between wedgewood and delft and moroccan tiles, I think …

wedgewood blue quilt

and the start of a cushion …

log cabin blue cushion

I’m starting to think I might put together a bit of a “collection” of quilts, cushions & etc to sell as a ‘ready made’ range …. but we shall see. At the moment I just want to reconnect with doing what I love and put the last six months behind me (hopefully once and for all).

On the days when firing up Bessie (I don’t know why the pfaff is called Bessie. She just is.) seemed just way beyond what I was capable of, there have been embroideries going on ….

this one was started in August last year on a workshop with Lisa Walton when she was over teaching …. embroidery beading and paint over a batik from Jackson Fabric Arts …. I think there are more to come in this series.

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And in other off-the-wall experiments …. my sister gifted me a fabric print of Klimt’s Ode to Joy – and having seen the mural in Vienna a few years ago, I decided that the print needed something to lift it so it matched the vibrancy of the original a little better.

klimt ode to joy

A lot of different things going on here, with beading, machine embroidery, hand embroidery and rather a lot of gold fabric paint. Brilliant fun though 🙂

And a return to a piece that’s been hanging about on the design wall for a good couple of years now – provisionally entitled ‘Family Ties’, it’s a set of embroidered panels that will all (eventually) be tied together in one way or another. That’s a way off yet, but I’ve been doing some work on panel #7 recently …

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the white lace flowers are from my mum’s wedding veil, the lace is from a collar that was in a pile of old family linens & laces, and the oak leaf print on silk was from Arlee Barr a few years ago now – a set of three that were too beautiful & precious for just any old project. They’re all in this piece now.

It hasn’t all been cloth and floss tho …. sometimes it’s just been too hard to even think about working, so I’ve had to keep looking at these mother’s day gifts from the eldest nestling to remind myself I can get through …

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and head out for the occasional cocktail with the girls …

 

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take plenty of long walks with the dog …

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and pick up my knitting ….

I’ve been working a series of knitted blanket squares …. almost complete now so I’ve started blocking them …. eventually I may even get as far as putting them together ….

knitted blanket squares

and I have been trying to keep ahead of the littlest nestling, but she’s like a little mousie with her blankie and nibbles holes in it faster than I can darn them ….. I’ve been experimenting here as well with visible mending as I’m just a tiny bit obsessed with Tom of Holland’s explorations of the boundaries of when the life of a woollen garment starts and ends.

visible mending

I’m not sure how much longer this one can keep going – I think it’s on life support as it is, but I just can’t stick a big DNR sign on it yet, as twinkle still needs it.

Following ToH led me in turn to the fabulous Book of Haps from Kate Davies …. a new adventure into lace knitting (a road I’ve always stared down without having the courage to take the step onto) which was surprisingly undaunting once I got cracking …
houlland hap

the biggest thing I’ve discovered is that keeping count is really, really hard! (Also, stitch markers are my new bff). I think, no, I know, there will be more shawls.

I think that’s just about everything …. hopefully I will even finish some things soon, and then I’ll be able to share more with you. This has been rather a quick gallop through the last few months, but it’s so nice to be getting back to normality – and it’s been lovely for me to remind myself that although I’ve felt like a hopeless couch potato for a long while, I have actually done a fair bit more than I thought I had.

Look after yourselves until next time. L x

The Macmillan Quilt

Oh dear. I’m winning no prizes in blogger-of-the-year any time soon … but in my defence I’ve had an absolute beast of a year, which has brought me to here, and the Macmillan Cancer Support charity quilt.

As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with a form of breast cancer – high grade DCIS – late in 2015 (very late – New Year’s Even in actual fact). It’s completely treatable, and not life-threatening – and for a while I didn’t quite believe I *really* had cancer and felt a bit bad about everyone fussing. I was fine, I was going to be fine, it was just a small surgery to remove the nasty bit, and that’d be the end of the story. No drama, eh?

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Which it was, until the first surgery didn’t get rid of it – because this cancer is invisible to the naked eye, and they have no way (yet!) of lighting it up – and I needed another lumpectomy . And then another one. And still considered myself lucky that it was caught before it became invasive, and that I wasn’t going to need chemo, maybe just a bit of radiotherapy afterwards.  Although, I wasn’t quite so blithe about it now ….  it was getting progressively more and more stressful and tiring, and the uncertainty and rounds of surgery were starting to take their toll.

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And it still came as a horrible shock when we had to make the decision to go for a mastectomy and reconstruction …. a daunting 8 hour operation, and some rather dramatic changes to the landscape of my body. But when you weigh that up against the risk of doing nothing – and not being around to see my nestlings make lives and loves for themselves – it was a no-brainer. And I still say that, even as I’m recovering, slowly, six weeks after surgery.

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The support of the Macmillan breast care nurses through the whole process has been absolutely phenomenal. To know that they are there, at the end of a phone, or in person, whenever you need them and able & willing to help, to answer questions (however stupid) or even just to reassure you that you’re not going totally nuts, made everything so much easier to deal with. I wanted to give something back by way of a thank you, and the obvious thing to do was to make a special quilt – in pinks for breast cancer – which I am going to raffle off to raise some money to help support the fantastic work that they do. Did you know it costs £1,020 per week for one nurse?

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Special thanks are due to Isabella Denham of Izy Sewbuzy Creations for very kindly giving me permission to use her ‘Scrap Happy Star’ quilt pattern for this project. I saw this and fell in love with it … I just thought that it would be perfect for this project. And making this quilt has been special to me …. it has been along the journey with me, has helped me cope, and has helped me recover.

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For more information about DCIS, check this link out:
http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/breast-cancer/dcis/understanding-cancer/what-is-dcis.html#164146

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Here’s how the raffle works (and all this info is also on my JustGiving too):

To buy a ticket for the raffle please make a donation of £5 on my Just Giving page HERE – every £5 increment over that will buy you an additional ticket (so, for example, if you donate £20 you get 4 raffle tickets)

Once your donation has gone through, tick the box alongside “I’m happy to be contacted” – that way I can see your email address to add you to the draw, and if you are lucky enough to win then I can contact you to arrange postage details.

When the raffle closes on 21st July 2016 at around 7pm (my birthday!), I will be using randompicker.com to select the winner, who will be notified via email. An update will be placed on the page with the winner’s name.

Please note that this raffle is open internationally, but I will be asking the winner to pay for the postage – this will be around £10 for UK Mainland winners. For international shipping, please contact me for a quote but expect it to be roughly double UK Mainland prices, depending on where in the world you are.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

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That’s a fair amount of quilt for £15, I reckon 😉 Plus you get the satisfaction of knowing you’ve contributed to a fantastic charity.

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Here’s the link to that donation page again ….

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MagpiesLaundry

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Wrapping yourself up in a quilt is like being wrapped in a big warm hug.