Running a 200 Club means advertising it – and so it needed a logo. 

The whip has been cracked – and it does seem a while since I last wrote a blog. I’d love to say it is due to me doing so much sewing. However, that is not really the case. I have been trying to keep up with the BOMs I’ve signed up to, and I’m just about managing that. However, in keeping up with them, I’ve not been getting to other things, such finishing a label for a baby quilt. In my defence, I would say that I’ve been quite busy with other ‘jobs’. You know that old adage – “If you want something done, give it to a busy person”? It feels that way here. I never knew there was so much involved with running a charity! The charity I’m talking about is FOTWHOP – Friends of the Westward Ho! Park – and our park has recently been transferred from the district council to the town council; the residents were very vocal about not wanting to lose half the park to housing – which is what had been proposed. So, after a long process – our park has been saved, and is safe from housing development – and you should see all the covenants that have been put in. Anyway, as a result of being the chairperson of the group that has now become a charity, I am also on the town council committee for our park, and am organising a 200 Club – trying to get people to sign up for it (regular social media posts to push it), and then allocating the numbers and keeping the details – I never knew there was so much involved in a 200 Club – and don’t even get me started on people not putting their name on the form – that just takes me back to being a teacher!

Then there is the other work – all the paperwork that is involved in being a foster carer; reviews, meetings, reports, logs, appointments. I’ve got into a pretty good routine with the paperwork side of this. It does seem a little odd to be sat in my sewing room, on the computer, but doing little sewing.

My word for the year is ‘FOCUS’ – and I have been following this. I have found the lack of face to face contact with sewing friends (and other friends) very difficult to deal with – especially as my husband has been back playing golf since March. In order to help me keep on top of things, I write down my ‘to do’ list in my diary, and it does bring me some satisfaction to cross items out once I have completed them. We have got a date for resuming Project Linus days – but that isn’t until the fourth week of June.

I’ve quite enjoyed the Zoom and Teams meetings, so the thought of going back to face-to-face meetings isn’t filling me with enthusiasm. I’m not sure how acceptable it will be to rock up to a meeting with my crochet, or my EPP waiting to be tacked or pieced, or some small piece of embroidery or appliqué to be getting on with. That has been the joy of those online meetings – being able to do something with my hands whilst looking at the computer screen. Whilst I’m on the subject of online meetings – I had one at the start of the year that I had not had a link to, so wasn’t aware it was taking place. I was in the shower when my husband came in to the bathroom to ask me if I knew I was meant to be in a meeting! Luckily, my sewing room was next door, and my husband fetched me a hoodie that I put over my dressing gown – and I was only a couple of minutes late to the meeting. Of course, once there, I found out that I was the only one with the camera on – I could have saved myself some embarrassment my turning my camera off to start with!

With all of this how do I find / make the time to sew? I’m in a very fortunate position, as I do get to sit and sew in the evenings, while watching the TV; the reality is that I listen to the TV rather than watch it. This goes back years and years, and I may have mentioned it before so bear with: my mum always had something on the go in the evenings – knitting, crochet, patchwork, hooked rugs, kneelers for church, lace-making. Obviously some are more suited to doing in the evening with the TV on. Sometimes I would like a day or two a week to be in my sewing room to crack on with some larger projects – like quilting tops (or flimsies as I have seen them being called).

I’ve kept up with my temperature quilt – adding one hexagon each day to indicate the temperature for that day. I’ve been fairly strict with myself about this, although I can see that it will evolve, and I’ve already changed some colours / temperature ranges in the upper end, as being on the coast I am not going to see the higher temperatures that often (if at all). So far, the quilt is all blues and greens; others down here in Devon, only 20 miles distant, have managed to get yellow into their quilts. I set myself the task of using a different fabric for each day…yes, not sure how that is going to work out as I’m running out of original fabrics. I say running out – but the truth is a bit different – I have plenty of fabric, including quite a lot of light green fabrics, but dark and medium greens may find themselves being used a second or third time if it doesn’t start warming up soon. (Edit – they have been used again, but warmer weather is approaching – I might even get to use light greens, and maybe even yellow! Oh, the excitement!!)

There is a bit more variation in this now

I did manage to hand over the mahoosive quilt that I finally finished – and it really was quite satisfying to see something finally done. I could have made it easier on myself by machine quilting it, but the quilt was hand sewn, so deserved hand quilting. It took far too long to complete it – but the time in lockdown as absolutely ideal, as there was little else to do during the winter months.

Husband is 6 feet tall; finding a place to stand to get a picture of the whole quilt was tricky!
Some of the ‘florets’ escaped to the back – I didn’t want to add or subtract any of the original pieces
Hand embroidered label with the details

I’ve had another EPP BOM arrive recently – and I am quite thankful to see that there are just 2 blocks to do this month (rather than 2 ½ or 3), and I’m still running; that is another story involving a physio, an x-ray with no results yet, and 3 weeks of not running. (Edit – had the xray results, luckily no breaks or fractures, it is likely tendon / ligament issue). However, like I’ve said before, I am determined, and I will get there. (Edit – on the day of getting this ready to submit, I have managed to complete the distance for the Newport Virtual Marathon – which I was able to spread out over several activities during May – including walking and running – and I managed it with a time of 7 hours and 12 minutes!)

Flower Garden BOM from Alice Caroline – working with Liberty Tana Lawn requires patience and quite small stitches – it is no wonder I’m still playing catch up!

Oh, I almost forgot – I have also kept up with the Vintage Treasures BOM, one that I get from Jo Hendy at Villavin; it is one I did a review on last year, and it takes up some time each month, as there is a mix of piecing, appliqué and embroidery.

The blocks combined – although not necessarily in the right order!!

The next blog is already in progress – showing some examples of when I have found time to play. I hope that between now and then I’ll have managed to find more times to play and be creative!