(Extremely) Slow Stitching

It has been One of Those Weeks, with very little time for stitching, so all I have to share for Slow Stitching Sunday this week is this lonely star:

Pink partial star

I hope to find time to get the outer pieces on soon!

Linking up with Life Under Quilts.

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Celebrate Buy Nothing Day this Friday!

When did Black Friday even become a Thing?! Yuck. The UK Buy Nothing Day website describes it this way:

The anarchy that ensues on Black Friday has now become an absurd dystopian phenomenon. The big retailers use the event to spin out highly competitive one day offers, which often creates a rabid free for all. Black Friday is creating a brand of shoppers who will trample and fight each other to get their hands on next years landfill.

Why not escape the shopocalypse and buy nothing this Friday?

The Story of Stuff Project has a pledge you can sign here. This is the pledge:

“This year I pledge to join people around the world in celebrating “Buy Nothing Day” on November 27th. I will say no to more Stuff and yes to loved ones, yes to sharing, yes to life!”

If you’re really committed, you might even consider going 200 days without buying anything new like this lady who was prompted to undertake this after the death of her father – her story is well worth reading.

And if you’re stuck for ideas of what to do, here’s a little embroidery I did a few years back for Buy Nothing Day:

buy nothing


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It’s All About the Hexagons

I have taken a break from my stars this week and finished off this pincushion and needle book for a friend:

Pincushion and needle book

The hexagons are English paper pieced and appliqued by hand. I basted them without going through the papers this time, which meant I could leave the papers in for a nice crisp edge when appliquing and then cut away the back to take the papers out afterwards. I would use that method again for small hexies like these.

I have also *finally* made a start on basting my hexagon scrap quilt ready for hand quilting.

Here it is all laid out ready to baste:

Getting ready to baste

And here’s a progress shot:

Quilt basting in progress

I am looking forward to hand quilting this over the winter months – a favourite way to pass the dark, cold evenings!

I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and I am pleased to see that Life Under Quilts Monday Morning Star Count is back too!

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This week’s Sketch Tuesday theme was “adventure“. Rafe drew this rather marvellous picture of a compass:

adventure - r

For mama, no adventure is complete without a picnic:

adventure - v

What would illustrate adventure for you?

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Liquorice and Midget Gems – or a Double Helix DNA Molecule?

Today, we made a DNA molecule from liquorice sticks, midget gems and tooth picks. As you do. I hated science at school. I am loving learning science alongside the boys as a home educator. Science can be fun – who knew?!


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Dotty for EPP

I’ve had a reasonably productive week of English paper piecing. Putting the photos together, I’ve noticed there seems to be something of a dotty theme! It wasn’t intentional :-)

Here’s star number 30:

Hexagon star number 30

And number 31:

Hexagon star number 31

I’ve also been back on hexagons, ready to make a pincushion and matching needlebook for a friend. The pincushion hexagons are 3/4 inch per side and the little flower is made of teeny tiny 1/2 inch hexies. Hopefully, by next week’s Slow Stitching Sunday I’ll have the finished articles to show you.


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A Slow Star and Some Big Magic

This week I have a single star to share with my fellow Slow Sunday Stitchers:

Hexagon star number 29

I have also done a little cross stitch this week, which you can see here.

And I have been busy reading this rather wonderful book:

big magic

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about creativity and fear, and giving oneself permission to be creative. I like that. Sometimes I struggle with the “yes, but what’s it for?” nature of questioning (both from others and from my Inner Critic!) as well as wondering if I shouldn’t spend my time being more – well- useful! As a result of reading the book, I have discovered there is an accompanying podcast, and I have enjoyed listening to the first of these, especially as it enabled me to come across this quote from A S Byatt:

I think of my writing simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. Much as I love my husband and children, I love them only because I am the person who makes things. I am – who I am – is the person who has the project of making a thing. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all those other people

I don’t know about you, but as a mother (and probably doubly as a home educating mother) I struggle with the guilt that comes from the thought that I am not giving 100% of my attention to my kids; that doing things (quilting, cross stiching, drawing) that are for myself is somehow taking away from them. This podcast and book has helped me see that it is because I take time to myself, to do the things I feel driven to do, that I am able to give my kids the attention and love and care they need. Gilbert states in her podcast that “if you model martyrdom your kids will grow up to be martyrs”. I don’t want my kids to be martyrs. I won’t them to be creative and joyful, and that’s what I want to model to them!

Wow, I have gone off on a tangent from stitching today, haven’t I?!

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A Timid Foray into Cross Stitch

I don’t think I’m really much of a cross stitch person but on some impulse I bought a cross stitch magazine this month and decided to stitch up a little Christmas tree to put on a gift tag. I *may* have miscounted one line as my trunk/pot is three stitches high instead of two stitches on the pattern but hey-ho, who would know?

Cross stitch Christmas tree

I’m still not sure about the cross stitching – it just seems a bit too careful for my style! But I quite enjoyed the repetition and rhythm of the stitching, so maybe I’ll do more :-)

Either way, someone is going to get a very sweet little gift tag on their present this Christmas!

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Slowly Stitching

It’s Sunday, so it must be time for a slow stitch update!

Here we have hexagon star number 28:

Hexagon star number 28

I have also basted a stack of triangles in my setting fabric. I'm even more unsure now as to whether there'll be enough of the fabric, but I do have a few ideas up my sleeve of how else to put the quilt together so I'm not going to panic!

Basted triangles

Do check out Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching group for more progress reports on others’ slow stitching projects.

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Dessert, Anyone?

This week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment was to sketch something for dessert.

It just so happens that I have a book out of the library at the moment – Free From Desserts by Julia Thomas – that is full of sumptuous dessert recipes. I chose to draw the one that I most fancied eating – this Espresso and Hazelnut Baked Cheesecake. Yum yum. Next step would be to actually make it I suppose :-)

dessert - v

Rafe (10) is more of a chocolate lover, so he went with a big slab of chocolate cake:

dessert - rafe

Hungry yet?!

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