Hello hello hello! I’ll admit I was a little recalcitrant on the blogging side of things last year but I’m not apologising.
So how's life for me?
Remember how I used to make project bags for knitters and crocheters for about 8 years and then I retired from bag making in November 2015?
Well I really missed the thrill of buying lovely new fabrics and crafting them into something both beautiful and useful. And I missed the interactions with customers and the thrill of an irregular shop update.
So I'm out of retirement. I’m back on Etsy for the interim because it wasn’t sustainable having a website and also paying to use Bigcartel. I’ve made a heap of bags already and completely sold out of some of them (there are still some in the shop right now) and I’ve also got some beautiful fabrics waiting for me to cut out and sew. I’m a bit excited!
We had three weeks away from work over summer and it was magnificent. My vegetable garden got some attention, we decluttered like no one's business, saw some great movies at the cinema, and I spent time in the sewing room.
I made a total of three skirts and four Springfield tops, all much needed in my closet since my big closet curation late last year. Admittedly two of the tops were already cut up and/or half sewn and discovered during the decluttering. But they are now finished. And I used the Upton sleeve to do a sleeve hack on the Springfield and it totally changed the look of the top. I have a new favourite top for work now!
I finished of my 365 stars project on the eve of my birthday (September 2017) but after that I rarely touched a needle. I needed the break. I worked a little on the Ice Cream Soda BOM, and finished off the last 30 blocks for the Stepping Stones Quilt. Over the last month though I have been working on getting at least one quilt ready for the Sydney Quilt Show in June. It's slow work, this piecing-by-hand business, but gosh it's fun and a bit of a lark especially when I get together with friends to stitch.
I joined The Applique Guild of Australia a couple of years ago however they are mostly based in Victoria so it's usually an online thing for me until I catch up with a few of the members at the Sydney Quilt Show each year. I realised we needed a Canberra chapter (also known as "coffee and cake and stitching"), and we had our first meeting towards the end of last year. Our next meeting is this weekend and I'm hoping to make it a monthly affair. If you're interested in joining us, drop me an email and I'll send you the details. There is an expectation that you'll be a member of the guild at some stage, but honestly it's a great guild and there is also the opportunity to attend something like this every couple of years.
It's not summer without finding Michelle camped at the local outdoor pool early in the morning. This year I joined the Lap Legends challenge, mainly to keep myself accountable. But I had to swim 77.7 km to be eligible for prizes at the end of season BBQ and I never thought I would be able to do that in 4 months. Just keeping myself honest was a prize in itself.
Well bugger me if I haven't done 88 km since the end of October! It turned out that I really needed to swim before heading to work each day to maintain my sanity (seriously, it works. By the time I get to work I've swum 30 laps of a 50 metre pool, talked to really lovely people about the weather! The light! The clear water!, had a shower and slowly driven to work. I have no more cares! And I'm more productive). My arms and shoulders are really sore and I'm having to do a ridiculous amount of stretching before swimming to prevent injury, but I've never been stronger or fitter. The challenge now is how to keep that up once the pool closes in a couple of weeks.
So that's it from me for now. Just the usual quilting, sewing, swimming routine around here, chucked in with work and life. It's pretty sweet!