Sunday, 27 April 2014

A big step forward

I am quite sure that at some point towards the beginning of the year I posted that this was my year to get a grip and sort my life out.  This has been a work in progress over the last four months and I am slowly getting there.  Yesterday I made a big step forward.  I went to the British Quilt and Stitch Show at Uttoxeter Racecourse with L from the patchwork group, and I bought a sewing machine.

For a long time now I've had a bit of a phobia about sewing machines.  When I was a child, my Mum managed to put her sewing machine needle through her thumb.  As Dad was at work and there were only us kids in the house, she had to carry the machine across the road with the needle through her thumb, so that our neighbour could deal with it.  Something like that tends to stick with you.

Anyway, this little problem of mine has meant that every time I needed some fabric hemming to start a new piece, I have had to take it round to Mum and wait for her to have time to deal with it.  So I've been thinking of getting a grip and getting a machine.  I didn't intend to get one yesterday, but they were on offer at the Show (£59 reduced to £35) so I bought one.  In fact, I bought three (and paid £90 for the lot) - a pink one for me, a blue one for eldest niece and a purple one for littlest niece.  They are very basic - just 10 stitch options, don't go too fast, weigh 2.3kg so can be lifted in one hand - fairly idiot proof and therefore ideal for me.  Also they are a reputable brand (Janome) and were designed for John Lewis, so good quality.

L has said that she will teach me how to use it - a much better idea than letting Mum teach me - and we have an initial project in mind, so I will keep you posted.

Moving on to the stitching:

Now that April is finished, I have made good progress on Corgi.  My plan is that during the next three days (to the end of the month) I will concentrate on this in order to have a page finish to report in my goals post next week.

Carnation has also seen some progress.  I've stitched another block this week and therefore completed the 6 blocks needed to achieve a page finish by the end of the year.

I also managed another block on Train of Dreams this week, but am unlikely to achieve my monthly goal of 6 blocks on this one.

Nothing to report on Guardian Angels again, but Mum has told me to concentrate on getting Corgi done and not to worry about her piece.

To CathieJ - my secret for dealing with a large piece is gridding, as per the photos of Carnation and Train.  I use a water erasable pen, but I know that other people use fishing line or some other kind of thread, or use Magic Guide fabric which is already gridded.  I then start work in the top left hand corner of the grid.  With Carnation, I am working across the page row by row, but with Train of Dreams, because I am using the parking technique, I am working down the page column by column.  However, you should do what is easiest for you.  I also have a working copy of the chart and colour the stitches in with a highlighter as I do them so that I can keep track of where I am.

In other news, I managed to lose 1lb this week so am back down to 11 stone 6lb.  However I was at a hen do last night for the friend that I stitched Wedding for, so I'm not sure what the scales are going to say this week.

Anyway this next week is going to be my first full working week for three weeks due to the conference and Easter, so I am going to call it a day.  All the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay well clear of your stitching.


  1. Thank you so much for your tips for stitching large projects. I used an unlabeled floss to grid one page at a time. I figured I would be frugal and use what was languishing around. It has been quite helpful.

  2. great stitching