Friday 21 December 2018

Merry Christmas

It's been so long but I wanted to give you an update on where I am just now, and what I've been doing.

I have finally started sewing again, although I started and had to stop and now I've started again.  I have been doing other stuff though, cross stitch, knitting, and I have news too, a new baby, actually two, hehe!

This is the cross stitch, actually I made two identical cards.  Admittedly they are small, but on 18 count navy blue and using nineteen colours and a blending filament it's a pattern I can't whip up in a day.   I worked it out it takes me about 30 - 40 hours depending on the light to make each card.  I've had the pattern for about 20 years, I bought a magazine especially for it, this one is called Christmas Mass.  There is a matching one which is Christmas Morning.  I don't make many of these, usually no more than one a year, but as Chris and Sarah, and Tina and Stuart, had been married this year I wanted to make each couple a special card.  The first one I ever made was for my parents and Mam still puts it out every year.

I started to do some knitting too, I can knit, as long as it isn't a particularly complicated pattern, and it's a small item, like BABY knits.

Remember Chris and Sarah, my son and his bride who were married in May?  Oh yes, their first child is due in March 2019, their excitement is mirrored throughout both families.

My favourite matinee coat pattern.  This pattern must be near on fifty years old, my auntie knit it for my daughter, in fact all my children had a coat of this pattern.  I loved it so much that in the end Auntie Bertha gave it to me.

Another favourite, I think this pattern belonged to my mother, it's a very traditional pattern, feather and fan.

This cardigan is tiny, and it's a 17inch, the second size.  The colour on the pic is wrong though, it's a lovely shade of pale blue.  Why blue?  They couldn't wait to find out, it's a boy.

I'm busy knitting another cardigan now, white with a little blue, show you next time.

I have news of another baby too.

Meet Maggie, a 1952 Singer Featherweight 221.  I have wanted one for AGES, but I hadn't come across any, so, after looking sporadically over a couple of years I took the plunge and bought her from eBay.  The seller was wonderful, he gave a very detailed description and she was very well packed with the spool pin removed for transportation.  I have all the original feet and she has had the foot controller and main machine rewired, she has also been PAT tested (an electrical safety check).  Maggie is after my maternal grandmother as sewing comes from her line of the family.

I have done some sewing, I still have to finish the two wedding quilts so I can start on a floor quilt for my new grandson.  My midwife daughter told me not to make anything for the cot, in the UK the recommendations are to use cellular blankets only, the ones with all the holes in the fabric.  If baby was to pull them over his head the holes enable him still to breath, a quilt would block out all the air.  So, the only cot size quilt I will be making will be for the floor.

I have made a little progress on Tina's wedding quilt.

I added the setting triangles and the borders, this is with the first border.  It's the first time I have ever put blocks on point but it was quite easy.

I layered it on my big table instead of on the floor which I used to doI love the Kwik Klip for fastening pins, it takes a fraction of the time and no sore fingers.  If you haven't heard of them or used one before and pin baste there are YouTube videos, I can honestly say it is one of the best notions I have ever bought.  I put the pins in first then go back and fasten them all at once.
The plan is for organic wavy line quilting, so it doesn't distract from the signature blocks on the back.  I did start it but it is still a bit much for me and I had to stop.

This has been such a year, a daughter and a son married, a new baby on the way, we bought a holiday home AND,

My husbands second book was published this month, a month before schedule.  Like the cover?  The illustration is by a renowned artist Toby Ward who is a family friend.  There are black and white drawings at the start of each chapter too, lovely.   This is nothing like Gary's first book, an academic book on teaching mindfulness published by Willey, this is more of a novel and such a lovely and humorous read.  It's the story of two springer spaniels who are interested to find out why their owner meditates, and to enter spaniel folklore.  They are assisted in their quest by The Bookshelf who I think is my favourite character.  It's got some lovely quotes and poems, 

This is one of my favourites. 

The dedication is to his mother.

Oh I could go on and on, all I will say is, a lot of the incidences and adventures the narrator and Half-Sister get up to are based on real life happenings in the life of me and my two half sister springer spaniels, spanielised of course!

Oh, I meant to tell you, I had a lot more problems after my last post back in August, it seems a lot of them were caused by side effects to the strong painkillers I was on.  Let's put it this way, I know what it's like to experience dementia.  I didn't know how old I was or who my husband was at one point and I was so frightened.  I was taken off the worst offender and guess what?  It made no difference to my pain levels, but I did get awful withdrawals, I thought I was going to die and was frightened to fall asleep in case my heart stopped beating.  But I could think again and made the decision to stop the morphine too.  It made little difference, painkillers don't work on me.  I then read a piece of research which said after a year there was no difference in condition between those who had surgery and those who had painkillers.  I was so afraid of medication at this point I didn't want anything injected into my spine, or an anaesthetic, so I cancelled the nerve block and surgery.  
I still have pain but I'm coping with it and it is slowly improving.  I can walk for about half a mile and drive about four miles to the supermarket.  This is huge progress for me, I'm taking responsibility for my own health, I have lost weight and I'm looking to do a course in pilates to strengthen my core, and to make sure this never happens again.  

So, here's to a wonderful 2019 to you all, I have a feeling it's going to be a great year.

With smiles from
Kate x