>They gotz mee surroundedz



>Two down

>One to go
although I do rather like the effect of the two

… and I have to allow myself a brief moment of hubris … please notice that they are exactly the same length and hanging straight and square to each other.

My daughter would no doubt comment ” and so they should after 28 years practice ” but trust me, it’s harder to achieve than you might think.

Mind you having written that, I have undoubtedly totally and completely jinxed myself for the third one
which may well end up as a tablerunner after all 🙂

>It’s not ALWAYS about the quilting

current travel knitting:
gee whiz, what a surprise … it’s a SHAWL!

pattern – improvised
yarn – mystery 8ply machine wash wool of some sort, from the magic back room of special discounted delights at BWM.
A trip through Dorothy-the-Dinosaur in a nice hot bath of Landscapes Clematis, Sarsarilla, Wild Rasberry and Night Blue has ensured that it now bears absolutely no resemblance to its original cream shade.
needles – 5.5 mm KP Harmony

>and it all started so well

>It was an absolutely perfect Spring morning

The obvious response was a leisurely breakfast in the garden with David, and the full complement of domestic retainers for company.
Breakfast over, I could have perhaps headed back inside and done dishes, made beds, dealt with laundry and the rest of the never-ending roster of housework but … come on … Sunday morning, sun shining, bees buzzing, birds singing, and the garden chiming in with its own siren song, so I bowed to the inevitable, slapped on a hat and the 30+ sunscreen, unfurled the garden umbrella and settled in with the current book.

Reading-in-the-sun segued into an hour or so of weed pulling

later there was even knitting

but then for some totally inexplicable reason, I decided to get to grips with the long put off and increasingly pressing need to find the septic tank, based on the incredibly vague location supplied by the previous owner [and I’m just hoping it’s not now buried under a flower garden ]

So here are the things I learned today:

dawgs are just as attracted to quilts in progress as the cats

but I already knew that

umm … how about

People who have spent a goodly part of the day swinging a pick-axe probably shouldn’t attempt after dinner free-motion quilting [ with or without said canine accompaniment ]


If my surgeon didn’t want me to swing a pickaxe, he should have added that to the list of banned activities. Like splitting firewood
Strangely I don’t think this even occurred to him.

So that was my day.

My agenda now involves hot shower, a wheat pack, mega doses of magnesium, bed, book, decaf mochachino, and quite possibly large doses of industrial strength painkillers… and porridge [ oatmeal ] … I have a sudden and overwhelming need for porridge.
So if you’ll please excuse me, I have a date with the microwave.

>This is your official warning!

TWO months until the Christmas decorations start going up

You may now all proceed to panic!

Okay stop that!

Now if you’ve been here for a while [ or know me in the real world ] you will just possibly be aware of a certain prediliction for the Christmas stuff … and quite possibly you also know that I mostly run to fairly traditional Chrissy colour schemes: deep reds, burgundy, hunter greens, that sort of thing.

I used to say that I [ the queen of all things blue ] didn’t go blue for christmas because
the whole [ last ] house was blue anyway, so who’d notice ?

and then, early last year I treated myself to a stunning Jim Shore Nativity Set – January Sales y’know – and it’s mainly blue

It did go out last Christmas, but given that I was still recovering from some very major surgeries, the decorating was slightly scaled down [ well by my standards if no one else’s ]

but now I’m back firing on all cylinders, and I’ve decided that what I need is a blue Christmas themed wallhanging to put over the vintage sideboard behind the Jim Shore.

Anyway, I blame OzJane.

She was the one who sent me the link to one of Stitch-N-Frame‘s famous [ or should that be infamous ? ] Thursday specials. This arctic Saint Nick was sooooo cheap, I had to have him
and of course I’d been merrily churning out those red and black stack & stash Japanese blocks, so I decided to make a set of 6 stack & slash stars in blues to match him.

Stack and Slash lends itself to making blocks in sets of 6,
I thought I’d put 3 large stars down each side of the panel

Then I did the maths and worked out that I could make a set of 6 teeny ones to be a top and bottom border and it would come out the same length as side sets of 13″ ones.

We have a plan!
[ just ignore the red Japanese blocks, okay ]

Well, then the next thought was ‘ why not quilt each of the three panels individually and join ’em up after ? [ quilt-as-you-go]’
Followed quickly by ‘Well, why not just quilt ’em and bind ’em separately ? That way I have more freedom to change the arrangement if I change the furniture.”
Plus the two side sets of stars make perfectly good table runners in their own right !
So I guess we have plan version 2.0

All of the fabrics for the stars are from the stash, and I decided to go with prints that complemented the Saint Nick but which weren’t actually Christmas print
… so snowflakes, stars, and pine branches all on blue.
The stash also supplied a fawn-splodges-on-cream that toned in with the panel as if they’d been designed to go together – even though all of the stash fabrics I chose were all several years, if not decades, old.
Backing and batting also from the stash . I’d be feeling positively virtuous … if I hadn’t bought about 20 metres more fabric this month

I’ve quilted and bound the first set of stars, so I have, in essence, a finished table runner, and because none of the fabrics are actually Christmas print, I can use it right now

so when is a finished object NOT a finished object
The aim is to have that tryptych for Christmas.
Maybe not THIS Christmas. but certainly A Christmas

Oooh decisions decisions decisions … should I do the other set of stars next, or Saint Nick ?

oh and Nadie? I hope you don’t ever decide to reclaim that navy-blue-with-snowflakes long skirt that you made in High School. I used it as one of the star fabrics and as the sashing between the blocks as well.

>because Marcie asked

>Susan’s pumpkin & spud soup:
As near as I can remember

gently saute about a half tablespoon of minced garlic [ or mash a couple of cloves of the real thing ] in a tablespoon or two of olive oil
add 6 cups – or thereabouts – of vegetable stock
half a Jap pumpkin, cubed
1 large carrot, sliced
2 medium boiled potatoes, cubed *
a couple of shakes of ground coriander
same of ground cumin
a goodly quantity of freshly ground black pepper
a 400 gram can [drained ] of chick peas
the merest pinch of chilli powder

simmer until the veggies are soft enough to mash / blend / or pulverise in whatever manner you see fit.

* the spuds were a late addition when the soup was a bit thin, so I preboiled them … you probably shouldn’t need to.