Summer Solstice 2015

Half a year later and what have I achieved? Let’s see, shall we?

The decluttering of our home-space is on-going. I have thrown out and donated bags of things and it feels as though we haven’t made a dent on anything. We will be moving out of our flat at the end of August into an even smaller space so we are fast running out of time to down-size. I’ve got to take a deep breath and been completely and utterly ruthless. The children know they have to do the same too.

In terms of crafting, the Hexie Friends project has BLOOMED! I can’t believe how many people have joined me! The list is at 102 swappers, and eventhough I have recently stopped adding to the list, there is still interest coming in and I hope that means that new people are still embarking on this sweet project! I have LOADS to catch up on, which is why I have stopped adding to the list for now, but once I’ve caught up, I’ll be looking for new friends to make.

The first half of the year also included the UK Mini Swap which turned out to be a fantastic little swap and for me, turned up a lot of new domestic friends. I am always in awe of how warm and welcoming the online quilting community is. I have made so many wonderful “Friends I’ve Never Met” and every one of them has a heart of gold. In my case, when I say, “my friends live in my computer,” they really truly do.

Another swap I’m involved in which will go in the post on 30 June is the One Hour Basket Swap. I’ll post more on this one a little later!

Other awesome news for this half of the year is that we have all finally got our passports! Hubby and I had to renew ours and I finally applied for passports for the children! Hooray!! The world is our oyster!! Now, I just need to win that lottery…! Seriously though, these passports mean that we’ll be able to join my folks in Spain later this year. It will be the children’s first flight, their first holiday abroad and, well, their first everything! Needless to say, I am more than a little bit excited!!

I’m pretty certain that there’s a lot more but it seems to me that the months are flying by and before we know it, it’ll be Christmas and I’ll be writing up another six month update! Maybe it won’t take me so long next time… we shall see!

For the time being, I shall wrap up my babble! Until next time, look after yourselves! H xx

Hello 2015…

I always struggle to find a focus word to live by for the year and the harder I try, the more elusive it becomes. Last year it was a blend of ‘balance’ and ’embrace’. I needed to improve my work-family-life-play balance, and at the same time I needed to be more… open to new things. I think I managed to do these things…

I reduced my hours at work so that I could be with my children after school, I embraced opportunities to expand in areas I wanted to improve and I also dropped some things, because even though I was loving them, they were not helping the home balance.

By the end of the year, I was spending more time with my children, dashing about more for them! And had expanded a little on one hobby which has introduced me to a whole world of new friends. Tenfold, in fact!

I also found that by the end of the year, I was having to remind myself to breathe. For everything. I hold my breath at work, I hold my breath when I’m driving, I hold my breath every time I need to speak to anyone, I hold my breath as I walk through the door at home! So in trying to ‘balance’ and ’embrace’, whilst they have improved life and relationships tremendously, I have neglected to take the time to just let go and breathe.

This year, that will be my focus around the continued effort to ‘balance’ and ’embrace’. BREATHE…

How do I do this though?

Well, at work, I often say, “now just breathe nice and normally for me…” That really should have been my cue all along!

I’m going to take the children to the beach after school whenever I can. This is my calming place, even when life gets manic and I have a billion jobs to do.

In my hobby, I am going to say no to projects that don’t make me happy.

And at home… who ever holds their breath in anticipation when they get home? Home is supposed to bring relief after a day’s work. It’s supposed to be a sanctuary when the world outside is scary and painful.

Home is a small flat filled to the brim with stuff we’ve accumulated in the last five years – baby toys, books, materials from past hobbies, clothes the children have grown out of… You know what I’m talking about. STUFF. And because our place is small, it all ends up in my bedroom. So, I have started to rid my sanctuary of STUFF so that I can BREATHE again.

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The rest of my crafty 2014…

My last post was a little over 4 months ago. In it I shared the two swaps I had been in and the things I had made – Schnitzel&Boo Mini Swap and the Strawberry Swap.

I can’t really touch on what happened the day after that post, and I just couldn’t bring myself to write about anything without feeling like I had to spill my heart. So, I didn’t. I didn’t write anything.

Now, I have other things that have come after that so I will share those. Briefly. Anyone on Instagram will have seen pretty much everything I’ve been up to, everything that has filled my time… where was I?

The Strawberry Swap is where i left off… It felt like forever before my swap parcel turned up. Something about an angel for an angel, or something like that. It was totally worth the wait! I had the loveliest things sent to me in my favourite colours, but let’s be honest here – a strawberry theme was always going to be a favourite!

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Then there was the IG Mini Swap! My third swap ever AND I was a group leader! My partner likes dresdens and the oh, so sweet Swoon quilt by Thimbleblossoms, purple and turquoise. She also likes not having what everyone else has. That was the hardest bit! I Googled a bunch of dresden quilts and looked at hundreds of Swoon quilts before I decided on the mini I would make. In purple and turquoise, I made my partner: The Dresden Swoon! I also Googled that to make sure it was a mostly original combination… and here it is!

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The mini I received was perfect. I tried not to get too excited about the minis popping up in the group tag. Everytime I fell in love with something, it arrived on someone else’s doorstep so I decided that none of them were for me. I remember seeing this mini, catching myself thinking, “I love that,” and then swiftly telling myself it wasn’t mine. This gorgeous little Dwell mini was indeed for me and I love it so very much!!
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I also had a go at Foundation Paper Piecing, first a pineapple block for the Bee I’m in, then a kingfisher for my family Secret Santa and last for the year, ballet shoes for my niece. I am soooooo impressed with how each of these turned out! Yes, there was cussing. Yes, there was frustration. Yes, I got several opportunities to develop my relationship with my seam ripper. But look at them!

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There’s a whole lot more (four gorgeous babies were born!) but this is it for now. I need to catch up on Bee blocks and goals for this year so I’ll do all that in other posts.

Swaps: Past and Present

What feels like a very long time ago, there was a mini quilt swap. It was my first swap. EVER!

It was the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap and it was awesome!

My partner liked modern quilting, grey, Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner and a couple of other things. I had a little Amy Butler in my stash but not a lot else suitable. I ordered what I could find and while I waited for the fabric to come though, I doodled some ideas. It’s the most nerve-wracking thing to try and make something for someone you don’t know. Anyway, in the end this is what I put in the parcel (the last image is inaccurate. I’m afraid I had to replace the chocolate! Then forgot to take an updated picture 😳)…

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And here is the mini I received…

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I absolutely love it! ❤️

So that was that…

Soon after, I stumbled upon the Strawberry Swap! I tell you what, I simply couldn’t resist!! I had the best time searching for strawberry treats and I was (still am!) seeing strawberries EVERYWHERE! So here is what I sent my secret swap partner (who happened to be Lovely Lou who organised our Little Blogs Quilt Bee! I was beside myself with glee!)…

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The Strawberry Swap is still ongoing so I’m patiently watching for the postman to bring me some strawberry goodness.

So that’s where that is…

And now, I’ve only gone and signed up to the IG Mini Quilt Swap! Not only is this my third swap EVER, I have also volunteered to be a Swap Mama! I have 50 swappers to look after and I really need to get a wiggle on because emails are to start going out TOMORROW!

As brief and disjointed as this may be, I keep getting distracted and drawn away by big and little people alike.

My next share will be of what I am should be making at the moment.

Little Blogs Quilt Bee: June

June was my month to be Queen Bee.

I opted for the Friendship Star thinking that it would be a nice simple block to work on. I made four samples of the block so to show how it could be altered for anyone who felt like trying something a little fancier.

Here they are:

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My lovely LBQB ladies then sent me these!

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Edit: this one was hiding on my phone…

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I love them all so much! I’ve got to figure out how to put them together now! ❤️

Little Blogs Quilt Bee

From the very beginning…

In March we had Louise and her Wonky Star block. Here’s the one I made for her. You can see the rest on her blog… I’m Studio Lou

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In April we had Jenny and her Wonky Log Cabin block. Here’s the one I made for her. You can catch up with her on her blog… A Note To Follow Sew

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In May we had Joanna and her Wonky Churn Dash block. Here’s the one I made for her. You can catch up with her on her blog… My Quilts and Other Stories

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In June we had me and my Friendship Star block. I’ll tell you more about that later! But here’s one I experimented with…

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This month we have Claire and her Single Wedding Ring block. Here’s the one I made for her. You can catch up with her on her blog… Cor Blimey Claire E Poppins

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And in August we have Natalie's Chevron block. I'll post a picture of the block I make her once it's done and received. In the meantime, catch up with Natalie on her blog… Love Natalie

And that’s where we are so far!

Next part of the blog catch up… LBQB – June! Though that may have to wait a bit. It sounds like hubby’s making plans with his mum for today!

H x

Don’t fall over…

A POST!!!

I find myself in this place a lot. The longer it is between posts, the more I have to write about. The more I have to write about, the more overwhelmed I become. When I’m overwhelmed, I can’t write. When I can’t write, it’s ages between posts. The longer between posts… … …

So I’m going to do this in parts. I think. I really should write a plan…

Topics coming up are:
Little Blogs Quilt Bee – an update
Little Blogs Quilt Bee – my blocks
Mini Quilt Swap

There’s more but I don’t know how to categorise it yet. It might just all be lumped in an AOB post.

I’ll be back soon once I’ve got these posts written (which I’m hoping won’t be too long now I’ve broken it down into bite-size chunks and I’ll make them brief)!

H x