Friday, 25 January 2013

Lots Of News

Life has been pretty hectic over Christmas and New Year and I realised I was probably trying to cram too much into the little spare time I had so....I have made a decision.

As of early January I stopped being self-employed and removed everything from the Etsy shop. I've taken a while to announce it on here because there were a few other people I needed to let know before publicly announcing it.

I will still be doing the crochet & felting workshops but I'll be doing them as a volunteer. It just wasn't worthwhile doing as a business for so few days (too busy to do more) with the associated costs (business insurance, business use on car insurance, etc.) and I just haven't found the time to do any dyeing for a few months now. I didn't really want to give it up altogether because it's nice to have a day sharing my skills with other crafty people. We haven't got any family near us so no babysitting and the little breaks I get from doing workshops and classes are really nice and relaxing for me.

I'm also doing Level 3 study with the OU and have delayed one module until October when both kids will be at school full time and I'll have 5 days a week to dedicate to studying so can overlap a couple of modules. I still have one module on the go (well, technically it hasn't quite started yet but I have the books already). It's been good to get really organised and feel like everything is sorted and have plenty of time to give it my best, rather than trying to squash it into too few hours a week and doing a stressed late night to get stuff finished in time.

It also allows me time to craft so I can relax a bit. Shh, don't tell anyone but I'm making a surprise blanket for my Mum. I've made a few blankets for our house and my kids and I made one for my aunty for Christmas. My Mum keeps mentioning them so I'm making one as a surprise for her. I had planned to do 12 large squares surrounded by smaller squares (82 of them) and got them all made.

Yes, the ends need sewn in!
However I used my new hook and my tension is very different from usual so it's not quite big enough. I'm now trying to decide how to make it bigger. I have a few options:
1. Put a full round of small squares around the edge
2. Put a big border round
3. Make 3 more large squares and the necessary number of small squares to add another 'row' to the pattern.

I think I might need to lay it out before deciding.

Also, I have started going to a monthly quilting class. I've been quilting for a couple of years now but I've tended to stick to basic designs. In the class I'm going to we're making a sampler quilt and in January's class I made the first 3 blocks:

They need ironed again after being crushed in my bag!
I'm really looking forward to the next one.

In the Monday night class I go to I'm planning on making a simple skirt pattern to use with some of the bargain fabric I got at New Year. I needed some dressmaking paper so nipped into Hobbycraft at the weekend and managed to come out with 2 Cloth Kits children's dress kits as well. They were one sale at £10 each. I was planning on making one for each child when I bought them but am wondering whether to just make the largest size in both to get the most wear out of them.

So, still very busy but without much of the stress!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year Resolutions and New Fabric!

Happy (Belated) New Year!

As most crafters will know there are always 2 resolutions on our lists. One is to finish the UFO's and the other is to reduce the yarn/fabric/craft items stash (i.e. Make more, buy less).

I can definitively announce that the latter resolution has failed miserably! What can I say, there were too many tempting bargains.

It started on Boxing Day, with reductions at where I just couldn't resist buying a Dr Seuss The Lorax pack, made up of a panel and 9 fat quarters. Of course, some Christmas fat quarters slipped into my basket too "to make it worth paying the postage from the US".

This was shortly followed by a trip to The Viking Loom in York. The shop has a small front but as you wander through there are two further rooms and an upstairs. I couldn't resist the 2 Moda Christmas jelly rolls for £25. I chose Blitzen and Joy.

I also picked out 10 fat quarters with 20% off. These are going to be used for a sampler quilt I'm starting shortly.

Ever year there's a fantastic sale at The Skep, with fabrics starting at £1 a metre. Last year I wasn't able to go until the weekend as the kids get bored and want to run riot, so this year Al had the day off work so I could browse in relative peace. I say that because it was BUSY! I'm not surprised though because there was loads of great stuff. I picked up loads of fabrics at great prices.

As well as the ones above that I plan to use for quilts/quilt backings, I picked up a couple of pieces to make myself two skirts with.

I just love these prints!
Now I thought I'd done well, thought I'd got a lot of fabric at a decent price. You can imagine my surprise when, instead of a bit of eye rolling and a "More fabric?" comment from my husband, I got "Oh, did you only get one metre of that? I thought you'd have got more than that." I don't think there was any sarcasm in his voice ;-)

He might be regretting that now because a new blog post went up saying that they were adding more fabric on the Saturday so I decided to nip back to get a little more. I ended up spending more than I did the first visit! No photos of that atm but I'll try to get some before my next post.

Anyone else broken their resolutions yet?