It is a chilly early October day – well, it feels chilly to me as I’m sat here on my chaise longue in my sewing room, surrounded by fabric. That sounds very exotic and posh doesn’t it? I’m going to let you carry on imagining it, rather than showing you a photo, as the photo would be much less glamorous!! In looking back I can see that I’ve been remiss in keeping up with blogging. My last one was about how busy things seem to be now. If it seemed busy in May / June, it must now be hectic!! Our Project Linus group started meeting again in late July, and Parkham Patchers started in mid September. The panto rehearsals are well underway, and I will be sharing photos of me in it at some point – probably nearer the performance. I suspect that I will be adapting costumes a lot more for this one, and possibly even making a few as well. Not to mention ParkRun starting again – I’m delighted about this as it really is like a big family. I volunteer at the Junior event on a Sunday, and am also trying to attend the Saturday event regularly (either as volunteer, or more often as a runner).

If you remember, I made Focus my word for the year, and I thought I would revisit it now to give you all a progress update. My diary has been very well used this year – recording the temperature each day. This has been essential when on holiday, as I didn’t have any EPP with me; I wasn’t really prepared to take along a whole load of pieces of fabric to cover the different temperature ranges I might have needed for my temperature quilt. I have also found it very helpful to write a list in my diary of what I need or want to achieve each day: I find it extremely satisfying to cross items off the list once I’ve completed them. It has also made me quite disciplined, as I set out to do the different work tasks first, before thinking about sewing. I have sort of kept up with one BOM – it has finished now, and I am in the process of appliqueing scallop-type shapes to the borders, before attaching the borders to the rest of the quilt. I’m several months behind on my Alice Caroline EPP Flower Garden BOM – but still persevering with it. I soon realised that I had no chance of keeping up with the block of the week, so I have left that – probably until next year.

Vintage Treasures – just the side borders to finish

Speaking of my temperature quilt – it has come on quite a lot. There are a few more colours in it now, and I’ve also taken a lot of the papers out as well. Some of them were becoming quite tatty – and even holey, from the frequent folding and re-folding of the quilt. This is the first project I work on in the evening now – adding another hexagon to the row. I’ve had to adapt / change some of my initial ideas. To start with I had wanted to use a different fabric for each hexagon, but this wasn’t really feasible – not without totally rearranging my sewing room every couple of months. So, I’ve used some fabrics more than once – but that is okay – it’s okay to change the rules that I’ve set for myself. I’m also thinking about what a temperature quilt next year might look like – combining the temperature with the ‘feels like’ temperature. As regards fabric for next year, I’m thinking that buying / finding in my stash some tonal prints for the different ranges, so that I just use one fabric for each temperature range.

I’ve been focussed on not buying too much fabric…now don’t laugh, and none of that scoffing at the back either!! I went to a birthday lunch meet up at Cowslip Workshops near Launceston, in July. I wasn’t going to buy any fabric – truly I wasn’t. But…I got to thinking – the people I was with have known me for some time – some of them for at least 15 years, and I didn’t want to cause them to keel over with shock at me not indulging…so really, I bought fabric for their health!! Actually, the fabric I bought down there has been mostly used already; I got a charm pack and a jelly roll of the Moda range ‘On the Go’ that has produced two quilt tops already, with blocks made for at least one more quilt top. I’ve also focussed on trying to quilt some of the numerous tops that are patiently waiting for my attention. Earlier in the year I had a push on getting tops pin-basted ready to quilt, and I have just quilted the last one that was pinned; this means that I need to get on and baste some more. Related to my fabric purchases are plans for what I intend to do with the fabric I have bought. I’ve seen some very effective patterns that I want to try out, so I’ve drawn them in my design notebook, and then made a note of which fabrics I want to use with those patterns.

Yes, I know it needs pressing!
I had cut pieces for the side borders with the idea of using them to create another quilt. However, when making the top I realised I needed to make it wider – and the pieces I had cut were perfect!
The rest of the blocks on the design wall. 

In my quest to be focussed, I thought that it might be an idea to make more blocks ready for quilts. This came about as I offered to make a baby quilt for someone, but there was no brief for colours or patterns, just that the baby is a boy. I don’t mind this at all, as it give me free range to be creative, and I’ve ended up piecing several different tops. Some might think that this is making more work for myself, or doing more than I have to; in my mind I have acted on some ideas I’ve had, tried new things, and ended up with more quilt tops that will be suitable for Project Linus – a winner all round, as I’ve used more of my fabric. Instead of using just a few charm squares from a pack (or even half of them), I’ve used them all and also used parts of jelly rolls – and hey presto, some ideas have become reality, and I don’t have part charm packs left over!

Grunge jelly roll,  with a charm pack
Fabric I’d cut into 4 1/2″ squares previously
Ombre jelly roll with a charm pack – and a pattern I wanted to try
I do love a Disappearing 9 Patch – I’m always curious about what this pattern would look like with different fabrics

The final part of revisiting focus is to update you on my running. I finally finished the Couch to 5K programme in August – after doing each run twice. I did the London Vitality 10k Virtual run at the end of May, and the Burrator 5k race in June (they said the course was flat – it wasn’t; my home ParkRun course is flat). Somewhere I made mention of perhaps attempting to do the Severn Bridge 10k, (it might have been in a Facebook group) – and I was encouraged to go for it – and so I did! Not only did I do the 10k race – but in my view I smashed it! I told my husband I expected to do it in just under an hour and a half. He planned to make his way to the finish line a few minutes before my expected finish time to cheer me on…well, you know what they say about the best laid plans! I came running down the finishing strait while he was still sat on the grass! Luckily he was more prepared a fortnight later when I did the Bideford 10k – and he was at the finish line cheering me on. Don’t be fooled – I haven’t managed to run the entire distance, but I have managed to run the majority of it, and since finishing the Couch to 5k programme, I have started doing a 10k training programme. What’s next for the running? Well, I intend to do the Bideford 10 miler (November), and the Bideford Half Marathon (next March) – and then…who knows?!

How far I’ve come since my first ParkRun (top picture) – with finishing pictures from my two in person 10k races this year

In looking at all this – I’ve been fairly productive, and I’ve certainly been focussed. This word for the year has helped me to get things done, and perhaps even to get on top of some things. In writing about how it is going, I can see how much I have achieved – which has to be a good thing! I