Thank you Mr Petrov

A month or so ago I read in the news that a man called Stanislavsky Petrov had died. I had never heard of him, but when I read the story I was instantly aware that this man had , as was written, saved the world. Basically he was in the office in Russia at the height of the Cold War and when the alarm went off signalling the launch of several US ballistic missiles! He chose to consider it a false alarm, which it was. I was very moved because it happened just before our youngest son was born and he passed away just a week after Jason. A bit like a guardian angel. So on behalf of all our wonderful children and amazing grandchildren may I say a very big thank you to you Mr Petrov. I thank God you were on duty that day!

In my last post I was telling you how I always take ages to choose the fabric for a project and you won’t be surprised to learn that I changed my mind again, but you will be amazed to know that I finished the caddy! and it is on the photo below. I use it all the time, and I can now put my hand on essential supplies straight away. Great for a chaotic person like me.

last August, inspired by a photo in a magazine I designed a beach hut quilt and shared the block with some other like minded folk. This week one of the ladies bought her completed quilt in to show me. It was fabulous and she had come up with the idea to quilt beach huts in the plain spaces. Well done Jill, I loved it, and must now get back to mine! As you can see from the photo I am still at the block stage. Why am I always the last to finish my designs? Cos I can’t stick to one thing at a time, that’s why.

On the subject of beach huts, those of you who know me know that I love paper craft as well as fabric ( I am permanently covered with paint as well as stray threads ) and last week I got out a new die from Tim Holtz called tiny houses as I had wanted to try out some paint effects. After I had finished the first house I looked at it and thought of a beach hut, and as a friend had a birthday and we live by the sea I thought I would make her one .The result is below.imageI think it came out quite well and I  thought I would go through how I made it in case you would like to have a go. The die is little houses by Tim Holtz, and I cut it from thick card. I then painted it with Paper Arsty snowflake  paint, avoiding the tabs,  and while it was still wet added some a bit of jaded infusion powder, sprayed with water and mixed it in. A tip for attaching the roof is to glue some card across each side to give the roof something to hold on to! The door was made by cutting and glueing bits of card to a base and giving it the same paint treatment, but a bit darker. I put a tab across the bottom of the house too, so it would stay in place on the base. I stuck a bit of cork from Tim Holtz textured surfaces on a card scrap then attached the beach hut. Forgot to say I embossed the roof with diamonds, but any embossing folder would do. The pebbles were made from Prima art stones which I coloured in a dish using watering can archival ink and vintage photo distress ink.  I then glued them around the hut using glossy accents, let it dry then added a bit more glue and added more stone to give it a bit of texture. I buy all my paper craft stuff from a great website called Country View Crafts – great service and no postage, even on the smallest order!

Well I think I have gone on long enough today. If you are wondering about the seagull, I will explain how to make him next time, so get your sewing kit out. Lastly, if like me you need to get the Hoover out, but really, really need to do some crafting, remember the advice of the great Joan Rivers ” Housework can’t kill you, but why take the chance! ” Do what you love. The dust will be there tomorrow.

Look after yourselves and take time to breathe. Much Love Ros X

 

 

 

Advertisements

Conversations

A few months ago my granddaughter and I were walking down Charles Street in Cardiff when a young man strode past us with his phone glued to his ear and as he passed us he said “Really, it was like something that Johnny Depp would have about his person at all times! “. We stopped dead and looked at each other in amazement. Both of us wanted to run after him and ask what he was talking about, but of course we didn’t, although I did say that the phrase would make the most amazing first line of a book. I might write it one day! Anyway, I digress. The reason why I am bringing up this story is because random snippets of conversation are par for the course for me. I have what I call, a butterfly mind, which unfortunately comes to the fore quite often when I am talking to someone. A word or phrase sends my mind off on another tack and I change to something completely unrelated to the chat that’s going on without of course any explanation! This drives my husband crazy, and I quite understand.

Unfortunately this flitting from one thing to another is not restricted to conversation and that’s the reason of course why I have so many UFOs -I have the same trouble when I start a project. It can take days to get started as I trawl through fabrics, finding all sorts of treasures as I go. I am at present about to start a project with some of my friends at Pier Group and I have taken two, yes two days to choose the fabrics.This morning as I made a cup of tea I made the final decision. The fabrics below were just what I needed.

imageTonight I cut the project out and yes you’ve guessed I changed one of the fabrics. Can you guess which one I rejected? I’ll tell you the answer and more about the project next week. On the subject of UFOs, I have almost finished the last of my trio of mini quilts. If you are reading this Gill do you think the caterpillar is cute?imageMind you, I now have to make up my mind which background to use! Decisions, decisions!

On a completely new and unconnected subject, I recently ordered some fabric and needles from a lovely website called Sew Hot. A good site and fabulous service. I put the order in on Saturday night and received the parcel this morning! Really recommended . I don’t know about you, but I hate waiting for stuff, so I think any site that gives this service deserves a plug.

Well I think that’s all for now. I leave you with a favourite quote from B Yeats –

I have spread my dreams under your feet;  Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

We all have dreams, and they are important to us all. I hope your dreams come true. Don’t give up. Keep sewing. Just remember your kids won’t want all your stuff so you owe it to them to use it up. Remember that quilt you’ve always wanted to make, start it today, after all it will probably take till the middle of next week to even decide on the fabrics!

God bless and keep you all. Love from Ros X

Moving on

Just a brief explanation of why I have been totally silent for so long. The last eighteen months have been hard. We lost our 33 year old disabled son in May. After twelve months of daily hospital visiting and settling him in his new home, he sadly developed pneumonia and passed away. To say I miss him is the understatement of the century. Good days , bad days, come and go. Little things like an old toothbrush or the sight of his Goonies mug in the cupboard set me off, but I feel that now he is at my back saying “Come on mum we can get through this and move on together.” So I am going to try, and I hope you will be a bit patient with me if there are sometimes bigger gaps than there should be in my posts.

i am going to tell you about a workshop I attended at Cowslip Workshops near Launceston. Fabulous place- everything a quilter could want- a shop, workshops, lovely views, lovely people and a cafe where they serve home produced food, which you can take out into the gardens if you wish. We stayed at a fabulous B and B called the barn at Collacot. If you are looking for somewhere to stay, even if it’s for a quiet getaway, you couldn’t find a better place. Helen and John are wonderful hosts and We hope to visit again soon. Anyway , I have gone off on the subject entirely, back to the workshop! It was with a really interesting young woman called Jessie Chorley, who had come on to my radar a few times and as she is entirely smitten with hand sewing I thought  I would investigate further. The weather was lovely, we sat in a cool room with all the windows and doors open and learnt to sew by hand. Sounds crazy but it worked. If you visit her site, or if you are in London, her shop, you will understand where she gets her inspiration. She uses pretty well all recycled stuff and makes brooches and small works of art. A bit like Janet Bolton only prettier! I made a bow there and another when I came home. Lovely to wear as a brooch or to add to a bag or hair ornament! I thoroughly enjoyed the  workshop and will definitely be making more mini works of art- what could be better than sitting out in this lovely weather ( get out and enjoy it before it disappears again! ) and sewing. Add a cup of your favourite beverage and a few biscuits ( sorry, food is always on my mind! ) and breathe…………… So good for the soul.

image

Hope you like the photo of the bows. I am sure you can make your own version. Get out all those gorgeous threads you have been saving for something ( come on you all know they are there somewhere, we all get seduced at quilt shows! ) and have a go.

I hope you are all well and looking after yourselves, after all in life you can either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t. Come on girls let’s all sing out loud. God bless and I will post again soon. I promise . Lots of love, Ros

 

 

When was the first time……….

I last wrote a blog! I know, I know, it has been a while, but life has a habit of throwing a challenge or two at us all and the last few months have just been that way. On the subject of challenges, I have one for you. I have a book called ” Ever Wonder” – just sayings that are supposed to, and sometimes do, inspire me at least. I have picked one of my favourites for you. ” When was the last time you did something for the first time”. Come on now, you must all have that something that you have meant to get around to trying, but never found the right moment! Now is the time to have a go. I am always seeing quilts and fabulous creations in books and magazines, and thinking that at some time in the future I will have a go. Purses or bags with professional clasps and fittings, free machine sewing over applique, paper piecing ( tried that and hated it but if perfection is what you want, this is the best! ), and lastly Mariners Compass! I have done this once, never again, but you might love it and l’m glad I tried. I think that’s the point. The one thing you haven’t tried could just be the best thing for you. So come on, get flipping through those books and magazines and set yourself a challenge. It could be the start of something BIG!

i have a few new books to share with you. I know, I know, anyone who knows me would say , and quite reasonably I might add, that the one thing I don’t need is another book, but as I used to say to my lovely Mum, if I collected stamps no one would ever ask me why. The fabulous Yoko Saito has a new book of patchwork bags and accessories ( I have already earmarked the pencil case as a small, easily achievable project as a gift for my granddaughter ) and the second book is about modern sampler quilts.its called Sister Sampler Quilts by AnneMarie Chaney. I have never been crazy about traditional sampler quilts. Too big to quilt and all those different blocks, they never appealed to me . So much so, that for my beginners I invented a small quilt with different sized blocks, that still covered all the basic techniques. This book however instantly made me rethink. The colours are fabulous, lots of new and different blocks and new ways of putting them together. I have put in a few photos to illustrate this. I hope you like them as much as me.

I have not abandoned my UFOs and I am still pushing forward with them. I will show you each one as I complete them. I need to put a move on or that bin is going to be so full at the end of this year!

lovely to be back, I hope you are all well, and hopefully this will be the blog that pushes me to keep in touch with you all. Much love Ros x

Finding time!

To write my blog! No not really. Today I am reporting on my progress with UFOs. Firstly I have to say that it has been very scary to actually discover just how many projects I have, and how much work this is going to be, but I am determined that I will stick to the task and that means finding lots of time to stitch.

I remember reading about a farmer’s wife who had ten children and still found time to make quilts. When her widowed husband was asked how she managed to fit in the sewing, he said that any time she had a few minutes between all the things that filled her days, she would pick up her sewing and do a few stitches. She felt that a few stitches every day eventually got things done, and of course she was so right. Leisure time, even for people who have retired, seems scarce in these busy times. Family commitments and other stuff fills our days and sometimes we feel that nothing gets done. I have started on my first project, an only just started quilt that I have picked up after a year or so. It’s a Birdhouse pattern called Saltbox Farm, and I had done most of the first row. Not being too organised I had randomly picked fabrics from my stash but had not put them aside. Now I have gathered all the fabrics in one place and finished the row, leaving only the joining to do. I am putting the row, with the seams marked, into a bag with a couple of already threaded needles, so I can pick up and sew, or take it with me in the car  to anywhere I might be waiting to pick someone up, or wait for an appointment. This way I can get on with it in my stolen minutes. From the next row, I have put an embroidery in a bag with needles, scissors, and thread, once again ready to pick up as and when I find a few minutes spare.

I hope in this way to make progress! I know that, as a not very organised person, who spends lots of time looking for stuff, having things in one place will help. Everything we make is precious to us, as I embroidered on one of my quilts  “A little bird told me that everything we make with our hands holds our love forever ” I intend to give away each project as I finish it, unless I can find a home for it in the apartment.

I hope you will keep stitching and hope that you don’t have as many UFOs as I have! Until the next progress report, keep warm and happy. Much love Ros

The photos today show my newly organised stuff!

Better late than never

Yes I know that I am late with this post, abject apologies, and I have no real excuse except to say that life has just been busy! However I am about to cover a couple of things that I think tie in with what I have been discussing lately. Namely UFOs and using this year as a time to get organised in lots of different ways. There is a very cute young lady who goes by the name of Marie Kondo, or Konmari as she is better known. She has written a book all about decluttering your home, and let’s face it, as crafters we all have that little bit, ( or in my case a BIG bit ) of stuff that we really don’t need any more, but we just can’t seem to get round to sorting it all out. Konmari maintains that a lot of clutter causes stress and I think she’s right!, so this week I took the bull by the horns and decided to start with my clothes. Now the  Konmari method says that you have to put all, and I emphasise ALL of your clothes in one big pile,then go through them one by one asking yourself if they give you joy or not. So I did just that. I am very pleased to say that I can now hang clothes neatly in my wardrobe, and everything in there is something that I love to wear. Please understand that this is a rehearsal for something far more difficult. Yes, you’ve guessed it, sorting out my fabric stash!!! The clothes were a breeze compared to what lies ahead, but in the spirit of this new year, I will prevail. More next week.

I would like to recommend Edyta Sitar to you all. She has written a number of books that are an inspiration to someone like me, who has a lot of scraps. I have two of her books and I have another on my Amazon wish list. Take a look if you are seeking inspiration. Lastly before I post my before and after pictures of the great clothes clear out, I would like to give you some words of encouragement for this year. It is a poem written by Christopher Logue

Come to the edge.We might fall.Come to the edge. It’s too high! Come to the edge. And they came, and he pushed, and they flew.

Inspirational words to get us to take that scary step into those things that take a little courage to try. Take that first step, even if it’s a little one. You never know where it might lead.

Much love. Keep stitching, knitting, or whatever makes you happy. Love Ros. Now for those pictures of the great clothes sort out!

Life gets in the way

We all have days or weeks when the fates seem to be against us! These last ten days or so life just seems to be getting in the way . From losing and finding my favourite earrings ( thank you St Anthony! ), dealing with phone call after phone call to a nameless government department to no avail, looking desperately for a wedding outfit, and lastly my fourth flat tyre in less than two years, I have felt like I was wading in toffee at times! But the one thing that at times like these pulls me through is always the same . Sewing and the company of all the girls that make up my classes and my Friday group. Talking to everyone is so therapeutic. Sometimes the chatting gets in the way of the sewing, but where would we be without all our sewing friends to pick us up when we are down, help us put the world to rights and to share our problems and joys with. Today we have shared experiences, looked at photos of a new grandchild ( congratulations to Val the new grandmother and to Rhona and her husband the new great grandparents!) laughed about things going wrong and talked through our problems. What a wonderful gift this sewing, knitting, and loving sisterhood is. Long may it continue to fill our time .

I continue with my little pictures and the latest is a tiny one of my youngest son. He knew straightaway who it was so I guess it’s O.K. It’s a mix of my two favourite pictures of him, one a few years ago and one this Christmas with his paper crown on. The picture is below, along with an embroidery sampler ( unfinished, and started I think about 20, yes 20 years ago ) , but I am taking the challenge of trying to finish things seriously, so I guess this will be a good place to start. I am not sure I like it anymore but after all the work I will persevere, although I might leave out the border!

Keep on sewing and hold fast to all those friends that you have made and continue to make. There will be times when you will need them and they will need you.

Love and best wishes to you all, Ros