Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A different colourway

Monday saw the kids back to school and Nigel back to work.

Yesterday I returned to my school as I don't often work Mondays, but I was still in sewing mode and would much rather have been at home slaving over a hot sewing machine and ironing board than in work pushing bits of paper round my desk. So I did manage quite a bit of piecing on Spencer's I Spy blocks both before I set off to work and once I got home in the afternoon.

Usually I'm a bit of a time waster when I just have a small window of say 30 minutes, I get easily sidetracked and waste time putting off getting on with something productive, however yesterday I had half an hour in the morning and about an hour and a half in the afternoon - this enabled me to get another 16 blocks pieced - that's 26 out of 36 done now.

But then once the kids came home that old 'butterfly syndrome' came over me

"What would this I Spy block look like in a different colourway?" I said to myself. No ability to stay on task here!

It's my sister's birthday in just over two weeks time.
Now I did buy the Laurel Burch horse fabric and matching Rowans in the summer to make her a lap quilt. I had thought about using it to do sawtooth star blocks but that's way too time consuming. However as I have absolutely nothing to do stitching wise at present (loud guffaws echo round blogland at this point) can I possibly make her a 25 block quilt using this block pattern in time for her special day?

Well I did a trial run with a couple of blocks to see if I like them.

The jury's still out on this - I'm unsure about the burgundy for the background - it probably looks strange to me because I've used a bright white in the pattern before.

I do quite like it though and think it will make a softer more subtle quilt - what do you all think?

The one observation I will make is that the Rowan fabrics are an absolute pig to work with - they are fairly loose weave and courser than usual patchwork fabric so don't cut or press nice and crisp - making 25 of these (that means 23 more) and then sashing them might be more than my soul can stand!
Only time will tell.................

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I just knew it would lead to this..........

They always say, one good turn deserves another.

Having Nigel help with tidying my sewing area was bound to come at a price.

And indeed it did.........

I needed him to bring down each of my fabric boxes in turn for me to look for suitable 'I spy' fabrics - he agreed to do it as long as I sorted into colours the giant sized pile of folded fabric he'd cleared from the sewing room with a view to returning it to the said boxes.

Isn't there always a catch?

So we spent most of the middle of the day (after I'd braved the saturday morning supermarket melee and dropped DD1 off in town to meet the prospective new boyfriend James - incidentally they are now an item) sorting fabric on our bed and then receiving countless heavy boxes down out of the loft to rummage through and return the sorted fabric to.

It's always better to tackle this job with Sarah in the house as she is much stronger than me on the box-lifting front - but the desire to rummagewas too strong and DH's willingness to participate was too opportune to wait for her to return.

By the end of it, much to Nigel's disgust, I ended up with a pile of different fabrics almost as high as the original one - isn't that what recycling is all about - or was this just an operation in rotation instead?

Of course the time spent sorting fabric could have been far more productively used stitching but at least I have plenty of 'I spy' centres cut (I did this later in the afternoon) and a totally fresh selection of fabrics to spread liberally round the house.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that the cute kiddie prints could actually go back up once I'd a cut a 4.5" square from each.

So not much stitching done yesterday

Plenty of pressing and cutting, lots of humping boxes around - does that count as exercise too? and in the evening I drew up the designs for the other two stitchery basket liners - I'm already bored with the one you saw yesterday and I've not completed two of the four sections yet - low boredom threshold that's me! - so I'll stitch the two others with different designs in a vain attempt to keep the interest going long enough to finish them.

I did promise to show you the girls latest block - a friendship star with a four patch centre - sorry the picture's a little blurred

And here are all their blocks together. Megan made me smile as she laid her three blocks down her outstretched legs and made the comment that this would be the overall length of their quilt - good forward thinking there girl!

Finally - this photo is one that confirmed to DH his suspicion that I am seriously sad when he caught me taking it. These packs of buttons were some I picked up at a book and stationery store in town the other day for the princely sum of 99pence each (thats about 2$) and they include lots of tiny buttons in various bright colours - very useful imbellishments methinks. I know he thinks I'm crazy but I also knew you'd all love to share my bargain with me :o)

Just a little footnote here: For all you stitchers here in the UK I got them from a shop called The Works which seem to have branches spread liberally around the country you can check out the website store locator here and apologies to all of you I returned to the shop this morning and realised I'd told a porkie - they were actually £1.99 not 99p - but still a bargain!

Sarah has a rugby match this afternoon away from home north of Bristol (a good 50 miles away) so that means I shall be out of the house from about 11.30 til probably 5.30 with no chance of stitching and Nigel will be with Nick as he has a football match - so it will have to be an easy tea tonight, stuffed crust pizza and salad - sadly now we have Sunday sporting fixtures most weeks gone are the days of leisurely Sunday roasts.

Then I shall snuggle up in front of the tv for the evening and work some more on that stitchery.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stitch 'til you drop!

Yesterday was a typical English autumn day, cold dank and dreary.

Sarah was tied to the dining room table working on two lengthy English essays - English is not her strongest subject and essay writing is a task she really dreads. So a mammoth session with pen in hand was the order of the day - lots of planning out on separate sheets, amendments, insertion of quotes and then neatly writing up the final efforts.
I vividly remember why I didn't take English Literature to O level at her age - sadly she doesn't have any option. I love reading but just couldn't bear the analysis and dissection of books that this subject requires - after all who cares what Shakespeare was thinking when he wrote The Tempest?
However in order to go to 6th Form college next year Sarah has to have passes of C or above in English and Maths, plus three other subjects, regardless of which A levels she wants to take. Last summer saw the Maths in the bag for her with a B grade so now the real effort has to go into the English. Also the better grades she gets for this coursework the less pressure there will be on her to get high marks in the exam which includes more essay writing but at a much greater speed than she's currently au fait with.
Throughout the day the two younger ones were in lazy form too and spent most of the day in front of the tv or playing on the computer. Most of their friends seemed to be out and about doing something a bit more interesting so they only had each other for company and spent a good proportion of the day scratching and squabbling.
Nigel was bored but thankfully realised that if I am to accomplish my goal of churning out handmade presents for this up and coming festive season (see, I didn't mention the 'C' word Meggie) to help stretch the household budget that little bit further I must be left to get on with it.
Bless him, he'd pulled out some chicken breasts from the freezer the night before so spent the first part of the day in the kitchen preparing a large pot of chicken korma - evening meal sorted and lots to return to the freezer too for future busy days.
Then with the 'bored head' still on him he proceeded to tidy my sewing work surface around me as I stitched.
I'm the world's worst for getting things out as I work and not putting them back again. Mounds of pieces of fabric, bobbins of thread and all the other sewing detritus that other members of my family dump on my work table when they clear up around the house had completely filled my working area up to the same level as the extension table on the machine. So much so I daren't actually machine quilt anything I've sandwiched for fear of catching a stray piece of fabric on the back of my work. I'm not precious about accepting help and he managed to keep out from under my feet so it worked well.
As we pottered away he was very good, just putting things back in their respective homes and amassing a large pile of folded fabric. Now I can actually see the surface again even if the job isn't quite complete.
I spent the day wandering between sewing machine at the front of the house and the cutting board/ironing board in the conservatory at the back of the house - this is what I loosely call exercise! He suggested if I cleared the sewing room floor I could set up the ironing board next to the machine, I replied that walking the length of the house every few minutes is the only real exercise I get and it enabled me to check on Sarah's progress and add helpful comments as I wandered through the dining room.
The sum total of my 'to do' present sewing list is as follows:
Three quillows, 2 female (one flowers and one bright spotty stars), 1 male (tractors)
One I spy quilt for the owner of 'Spencer's Stars' (my nephew)
One table runner (like the one I made last year with flower fairies but this time in neutral beiges and creams for use all year round) for DB & SIL
Three lined baskets one for each mum and one for my university studying niece.
This list may grow if I come up with ingenious ideas for the impossible people on my list, like DF, DFIL and my 17 year old nephew, but nothing springs to mind at the moment
Thursday evening saw a completion on the tractor quillow top
Yesterday saw the first 10 of 36 'I spy' blocks for Spencer. I did think about doing proper Churn Dash surrounds to them with HST's in each corner but then decided that I really didn't need the stress and aggravation of triangles - who does? - and I'm more than pleased with how these blocks have turned out. I shall sash them with the white and use lots of different brights for the cornerstones.
In and amongst all this Sarah broke off from the mammoth writing stint to do her Duke of Edinburgh weekly one hour's quilting with Megan - pictures of their latest blocks to follow in another posting.
This morning I will have to persuade DH back up in the loft to get down my fabric boxes so I can dig out different fabrics for the other 26 'I spy' centres. I'm sure I can persuade him if I agree to return some of that pile of fabric he tidied up yesterday back into its respective boxes.
And last night in front of the tv I managed to make a start on the stitchery for the first lined basket (after a quick trip out to pick up three £2.99 baskets during the afternoon that is)
So on a roll now - gotta keep on stitching................

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A beautiful city and some Christmas preparations

We had arranged to spend a day during this half term week with my sister's daughter who has just started Uni in the beautiful city of Bath which is roughly an hour and a half from us.

We collected her from the campus at lunchtime which is just next to the American Museum up on Claverton Down on the south side of the city - sadly there was not enough time to take that in as well, but I have been before to look at the beautiful quilts and hope to return another day.

We headed down into the centre of Bath and had a very nice curry for lunch in a well known chain restaurant - impoverished students never pass up the chance of a free lunch :o)

Then it was lovely to have her guide us round the historic city. She has spent quite a lot of time in Bath prior to starting her course as her boyfriend also studies there and her gap year was spent travelling up and down from Yorkshire to Bath to see him.

Here are the crew (minus me of course as I was the one behind the camera) with 'The Rec' in the background. This is home of Gloucester Rugby Club's arch rivals not surprisingly called Bath RFC. Nigel raised more than a few eyebrows with his LOUD shorts - he only wears them to wind the kids up - it never works though as they're all very used to him. The city was full of tourists but not as unbearably busy as it can get in the Summer.

Today has been much more home-based. Sarah has a stack of coursework to do this week. This is mainly because she's been repeatedly putting it off and now the deadlines loom she's having to sit at the dining room table churning out the paperwork - hopefully she'll learn from this and try not to leave everything to the last minute in future. Mind you I do believe I've said this all before so obviously it doesn't necessarily work.

So I've taken the opportunity to get some more Christmas present stitching under my belt.

Here is Niece #2's quillow top almost finished - I just have to applique a blue flower in each of the four corners.

As I was on a machining roll I decided to start Nephew's quillow and here are all the blocks for the centre laid out on the floor ready for assembling.

I guess I'd better get back to it then after all it's two months today to Christmas Day - GULP!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Time to draw breath!

Just getting back to normal after a very busy weekend.

Our guests have been a delight to have staying with us. I'd forgotten how exhausting toddlers are but Toby's such a poppet that it didn't matter at all. It was great for his parents to have some spare time without having to constantly watch him as our three found 'toddler following' to be serious fun.

Here he is on Sarah's lap, both of them wearing Gloucester rugby shirts, with pictures of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends on the pc monitor - like Nigel he just loves trains.

It was also great to see our American friend Steve who said he really felt at home all weekend. He may well have to come back on several occasions to the UK for work and we'd love to host him again. Who knows maybe someday when we win enough on the lottery to buy the air fares we might be able to visit him and his family in Pittsburgh.

The weather has been mild and kind to us all weekend - this butterfly was basking in the sunlight on the wall of our house just above the conservatory. Hard to believe we're into the last week of October - lots of the trees are still green too.
I had some lovely post before and after the weekend.

Firstly the Fabric Postcard book I won in Kate's weekly draw plopped through my letterbox - I daren't look at it too closely - I need alternative projects like a hole in the head

Then yesterday morning my Four Seasons Quilt finally arrived beautifully wrapped in gorgeous fabric and shimmery ribbon - it's been hanging around in the postal system for some time and I was beginning to wonder if it had gone awol in transit.

However fortunately it was not so - good job too as it is a beautiful little quilt - just the style of thing I would try myself and I'm delighted with it - thank you so much Wendy

The chocolate that accompanied it was delicious - I didn't even try to save it and the halloween stickers are already being eyed up by Louise

I haven't touched any stitching at all over the weekend.

Tomorrow we head off to Bath for the day to visit my niece Gemma who is at university there so probably not much time for stitching then either but I must crack on with some later in the week - Christmas is now beckoning so the serious process of making presents must get underway with gusto.
A final word on the rugby - congratulations to the Springboks - they were better than our boys especially on the line outs - however England was the only side who came remotely close to scoring a try (whether you believe the tv ref or not) and had the referee punished all infringements equally on both sides, particularly for hands in the ruck, high tackling and crossing/obstructions then the score line may well have been much, much closer.
But our boys were incredibly dignified and magnanimous in defeat and for this, as well as their performance, every English fan should be rightly proud - there was precious little bleating about lost opportunities and this made the world of rugby a far more honourable place than the world of football (soccer) for example.
As a family we've enjoyed the World Cup coverage so much and we're already suffering serious withdrawal symptoms now it's all over - we don't have Sky tv so can't watch any of the club games and it will be a long old haul until the 6 Nations starts in February.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Busy few days ahead

Well that's Louise and I finished for the half term holiday. We both have a teacher training day at our schools for which we're not required to attend. The other two and Daddy all finish tonight for a week. Nigel has booked the full week off work - we have no definite plans but might try and get over to Bath to visit my niece who started university there this term and is only about an hour away.
It's also a weekend of rugby with the third/fourth place play-off tonight between France and Argentina and of course the Rugby World Cup final between England and South Africa tomorrow evening.
Much has been made in the media about England's defeat by the Springboks at the start of the tournament. However it is a different, far more confident squad on the field tomorrow and I think it will be a much closer game. I feel that, although my heart says I desperately want England to win and I will support them to the end, it will be so close that it's impossible to predict the outcome - only time will tell.
On Sunday Sarah has County Squad training, fortunately that's in Taunton itself at the local 6th Form College so we won't have to trail halfway across the county to take her to that.
We will also have a real house full for the weekend.
Leigh and John with their 22 month old son Toby will be heading down from Gloucester to stay with us on Saturday morning. Leigh was Louise's class teacher in Year 1 (when Louise was 5 going on 6) and when she realised that I quilted asked my advice as she was a real beginner at the time. Through this we became firm friends. She has had a really tough time since the baby arrived fighting skin cancer but is well on the way to normal again now. John is a massive Gloucester rugby club fan (like our Sarah) and they will no doubt enjoy watching the final with us all. Not sure if they have good enough ear plugs to drown out my shouting!!!
On top of this we heard earlier this week that a good friend of ours from America (Pennsylvania PA) is over here on business and will be at a loose end between finishing the work he's come over to do this afternoon and flying out on Monday. Steve and his family lived near us in Gloucester for part of a three year posting to the UK and their boy is similar age and was great buddies with Louise. They have an older daughter who might even have been taught by Leigh and is around Nick's age.
Finally their younger girl was born 14 weeks premature while we were in France on St Patrick's Day 2002. Her amazing survival is in no small way down to the marvelous neo-natal unit at Gloucester Royal Hospital where our two youngest were also brought into the world. She is now a lively, completely normal almost six year old - isn't modern medicine fantastic?
We couldn't bear to think of Steve stuck on his own away from his family for the weekend and invited him to stay. They hosted Nigel in similar circumstances on a business trip to the US about four years ago when he had a free weekend in the middle of a two week trip. It's great to be able to return the compliment. We have pre-warned him about the rugby and he's up for a good night in too :o)
So as you can imagine I may not get much time for stitching this weekend - lots of chatting, eating, drinking, sport and general catching up - wonderful!
Finally as I have no quilty photo to share with you I thought you'd like to see how well Tazz is making himself at home on the chair in our sunroom - his owners next door started work yesterday on their conservatory - so the poor 'mouse-hound' has builders and toddlers to contend with at present. Mind you I'm not sure we'll see that much of him while Toby is visiting :o)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Busy, busy, busy!

But not really me..........

The quilting teens had another session on Monday night and finished their second block, a sawtooth star.

Not without hiccups though, Megan stitched part of hers with an extra wide seam and wondered why she'd amputated some of the points - having to sit and frog-stitch the errant seams will leave her with a lasting reminder to check she's stitching an accurate quarter inch in future.

Amazing they actually got anything done - they were in a very silly mood and ended up having a hair ruffling contest which Sarah won hands down as Megan never has her hair fastened up. As you can imagine they took some keeping to task! How can two 15 and 16 year olds be so daft?

Here are their blocks so far, next week we're going to make a start on a friendship star with a four patch centre

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A bit more progress on the quillows

Nigel has been busy at work until very late last night (about 3am) and again this morning - the D Day for switching on the big new accounts software package and making sure it plays nicely with the warehouse has arrived. So last night I had time to play a little in peace and quiet

Here is the progress on my bright spotty stars

And all the central blocks done for the plaid flowers

I have to confess the plaid flowers have been laid out on the living room rug since earlier this week and I've just growled repeatedly at anyone of the younger generation who trampled over them without looking where they were going

I guess I really ought to stitch them together and get them up off the floor before they get damaged :o) then I'll decide on borders

It was also Megan's birthday this week - Sarah's friend who joins in with the Monday teatime sewing sessions - here are the birthday card and huge badge that Sarah made for her. I have to confess I chickened out and bought a nice pair of silver and aquamarine earrings.

And finally - good luck England tonight against France - I've got fingers and everything else crossed for you boys!

Well it's now about 10.20pm and ..................WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!! England are through to the Rugby World Cup Final next Saturday against either South Africa or Argentina - tonight's match didn't do much for the old blood pressure though!!! Well done boys - you did us proud!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Quarter square triangles it is then....

I went into town this morning on my day off and before my quilting group I managed to run a few errands for the household as well as doing the school bank run.

A book for Louise - she wants to read the next one in the series of Alex Rider books - I know we had a copy at one point but have a sneaking suspicion it's in an unpacked box somewhere so I popped into the book shop in town to buy another copy. They were having a buy one, get one halfprice deal on the childrens books so I asked the shop assistant to make a suggestion for me as I can never remember which titles we have by which authors. Then a paperback for me just happened to pop into my shopping basket too - not a cheap trip to the bookshop then.

I had to buy a birthday card for my quilting student, Sarah's best friend Megan who will be sweet sixteen tomorrow. Sarah is always slightly miffed that virtually all of her friends have their birthdays before her in the school year.

Finally I dropped into the fabric shop in town and purchased this length of sweet lemon gingham with little embroidered pink and blue hearts to go with the applique flower blocks - I have precious little yellow in my stash so this will be a welcome addition

Once I came home - via the supermarket, why do my family insist on eating me out of house and home I wonder - I thought I'd have a little potter with the yellow material. I wasn't sure just how the embroidery would play with quarter inch seams but it behaved beautifully.

Here's the first two QST blocks amongst three flower blocks trimmed to size. I shall use all of the plaids and mix them round but this gives you an idea to start with.

Last night I made up a 12" sawtooth star block - this will be the largest I'll make for the spotty star quilt - I'm sure once I crack on with these two quillows they'll make up pretty quickly indeed.

Finally here's a little chap that has started to visit us on a regular basis. His name is Tazz, he's a beautiful dove grey and white colouring and he belongs to our next-door neighbour. However as they now have an almost three year old and a one year old who really can't quite interpret gentle yet he's taken to seeking out Louise's and sometimes Sarah's company. They thinks it's wonderful and we don't mind acting as a quiet refuge for him when the toddlers get too much - even Nigel's taken to giving him the odd scratch behind the ear now and again.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Some stitching at last

Well in my last night's rugby orientated post (still coming back down from the ceiling!) I did promise you some stitching and here it all is

You might remember that just after we came home from our camping trip to Devon I did a bit of fabric shopping.

The black spotted fabric I bought 3 yards of has kept calling my name from the heap on the sewing room floor that resolutely refuses to tidy itself up.

So Friday teatime I had a little play

Kate's been busy with sawtooth stars and looking at hers was enough to set me off.

I have some lovely little rulers which I use to make the flying geese part of them (only in certain sizes you understand) as my triangles are not good and not worth doing without assistance

Any way this is the germ of a quilt idea - I think lots of random sawtooth stars with the black spotty as both the star and the background interspersed with big spots/circles appliqued in both black spotty on brights and brights on the spotty background. The black spotted fabric has lots of different bright colours in the spots to play with for the contrast.

I have three quillows to make for Nigel's two nieces and nephew for the 'C' word - the spotty stars could be for one of the girls - I have some lovely tractor fabric to use for the boy

Then here is some applique I've been playing with - I got it all ready to take away camping with me thinking darkish fabrics won't show up the dirt then I managed to stitch only one as I stuck my nose in a succession of books throughout the trip

So I picked them up the other Monday to take to my morning group as we only have handstitching facilites.

I've also stitched away between rugby matches over the past week or so - can't actually sew during the match as you miss too much if you look away from the screen

I think these will be the basis for the second girls quillow - not sure what I'll put with them - I have very little yellow in my stash which would have been a good choice to tie in with the flower centres - will have to give this further thought.
I only have fifteen of these flowers as that's all the hand-dyed backing fabric would yield but as quillow quilts tend to be long and narrow I guess five rows of three will probably be fine. I do have plenty of the various plaids to play with - I might even do large QST's in yellow and check between the flower blocks (Oh no more dreaded triangles!!!) - we'll see........

Next job some more spotty stars then or some QSTs.....................

Saturday, October 06, 2007

What a day for the rugby!!!

I'll apologise in advance for this girls - it's a strictly stitch-free zone tonight...........
You know I sat down in front of the tv this afternoon at 1.45pm feeling more than a little sick. If I felt that nervous heaven only knows how the boys in white felt.

And at the end of two amazingly thrilling quarter final matches today who would've predicted that two great Southern Hemisphere teams would've both been beaten by the slim margin of two points?

Still two points is a win in anyone's language and amazingly we get to play France next Saturday in Paris - not that that game will be a walkover you understand.

Tomorrow South Africa meet Fiji and Argentina take on Scotland - could there possibly be three of the '6 nations' teams in the semis - only time will tell.

But to all those doubting Thomas's who were sure our boys would be heading for the airport on Monday morning I say.............

Come on England - you did us all proud and we live to fight another day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As Nick Easter (the England #8) said in a direct quote from Nick Faldo when interviewed by the BBC after today's game - "I thank the press and media for their support from the heart of my bottom" - that'll teach 'em to doubt us!!!

ps - I did actually do some stitching in and amongst bellowing ferociously at the television but I've not taken a picture to show you yet - I'll save that for another day :o)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

October has crept in here in Somerset in dank and dismal fashion. My hair ends up in wiggles by the time Louise and I have walked to school. The hedgerows are full of big fat spiders in their perfect webs which glisten like diamonds with the mist droplets. The berries are plentiful on the trees - that might mean a hard winter - but the leaves are very slow to turn.

With the exception of a couple of days last week it has still been very mild and my poor garden is most confused.

The yellow clematis is still merrily flowering away amongst the autumn berries

The roses are still blooming.

And the cherry tree thinks it's spring already - a very mixed up state of affairs.
The fruitfulness all around me hasn't really been echoed in my stitching room.

My two probationary quilters did complete their first blocks last night - they were giggling because you couldn't see the silly faces they were pulling behind their blocks in this picture - 15 going on 4! Then they made a start on cutting out the pieces for a second block - a sawtooth star.

My own sewing has been restricted to this little stitchery - a basket of strawberries.

I'm afraid my rotten cold has left me full of catarrh and feeling listless, the greyness of the weather probably isn't helping either and being very busy at work along with ferrying the kids around in different directions is sapping my energy levels too.

On top of this some vitriolic words this morning from the mother of one of Louise's classmates about something totally inoffensive I'd mentioned in passing to her daughter about sharing homework text books didn't improve my demeanor either. Some parents are just totally convinced they have perfect children aren't they? In this case nothing could be further from the truth. Mine isn't an angel either but at least I don't profess her to be. However the result of this aggressive confrontation which left me unusually lost for words was I couldn't get it out of my mind all day. That in turn distracted me from a pile of things I had hoped to achieve at work - somewhat counterproductive.

However all in all I am much better than I was last week which is a blessing and the offshoot of it all is I've decided to reassess my committments to things outside the home and family to make me feel less under the kosh all the time. I've realised that if I can't dedicate sufficient time to a task to do it properly then I should hand it back instead of beating myself up about it and achieving less than required.
I had taken on the role of booking speakers for the local quilt group - I now realise I just do not have the time to do the job properly and it was hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles. Now I've handed it back I feel much better. To be honest at present I can't even drum up the time to attend the monthly meetings much less arrange them.

On a lighter note here's a little bit of nonsense I stitched in and amongst everything during the summer time - all done in french knots totally at random the heart measures about 2.5" high.
I'm not sure what I'll make it into but I did enjoy stitching it.