Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Finished at Last

This week it's all about Circles, apart from a smidge of news, and maybe a sneak peak, of my secret sewing.

But first in all it's glory I give you...........

Circles.  Goodness knows I have tried to give it  another name, but I can only think of it as Circles, so Circles it is.

To quilt it first I secured the blocks going around the circles and diamonds, then I did a meander on the background with Aurifil 2600,  pale grey to allow the quilting to blend in.  The circles was a more difficult decision, I wanted a variegated thread so I decided to use what I had, King Tut 936, quite a strong yellow red and green, if I had realised it would take so much (I ran out and had to buy more) I would have probably bought a paler one, but I didn't.  I quilted pebbles in the circles varying it only with the odd double one.  I'm not proficient at quilting and this was my the first time I had used a meander or pebbles, in fact only the second time I had free motion quilted but I think it's high time I made use of all the Craftsy classes I have bought and take a step away from my walking foot.

I left the diamonds unquilted.

The borders were more difficult, I ended up staying with a small meander in the background borders and doing a single line with big pebbles, I say pebbles, circles they are not!

Want to see the back?

I really must apologise for the shocking colours, it is so difficult taking pics at this time of year when it is so dull and rainy.  However, there is nowhere to hide using a contrasting colour on a plain background is there?

You have seen the back before.  All I did was stitch together leftovers of various sizes and shapes adding in pieces of the background, adding large pieces of the background top and bottom to make it long enough to make a panel for the back.  I cut a piece of standard width fabric about two thirds across and inserted the panel.  It uses up leftovers and allows me to use standard width fabric therefor saving money.

You can see the quilting better here, the meander varies a little in size but all in all I'm fairly pleased with it.

You can see the pebbles and wonky border circles here, I'm not sure if I should go back and add some more quilting to the coloured border, what do you think?

For those of you who have only started reading recently here is how I made it.

The first thing I did was to decide about the quilt style and size.  I had look at a number of circle quilts, but the circles were mostly too big or too small, so I drew it out.  When I was sort of happy with it I counted the blocks so I could determine the size.  The block layout I decided to be 6 x 6,  and I decided on an 8 inch block.   That gave me  a size of 48 inches square before borders.   Fine, I can get 5 blocks out of an 8.5 inch strip, so I needed 7 x 8.5 inches for my background, 59.5 inches plus a little wiggle room to allow for straightening and such.  I decided on 2 meters, then I would have a little left over for scrappy backgrounds, but 2 yards works too.  I can only buy in meters and centimetres in the UK.

Now the circles.  I knew I wanted quarter circles in two corners of the squares, so it wasn't too busy.  I drew part of the square to make my template and marked 4.5 inches to allow for the seam allowance. Actually I didn't have my thinking head on as it should have been 4.25 inches, but it makes little difference.  I got out my compasses which I bought when I started quilting and had never used in 10 years, REALLY, and I kept them all this time.  So, I drew my quarter circle for the template.  I could have just drawn around a dish of the approximate size either, the halved and quartered it, but my brain doesn't always think in the logical way, until I have finished the hard way that is.  Next I glued the paper to the back of a cereal box and cut it out.  If it was something I would use in the future I would have used a plastic template sheet but it's likely to be a one off.

Then it was just a matter of drawing around the template on freezer paper, and cutting them out.  I ironed the papers on to the back of the fabric. and left a quarter inch on the curve so I could turn it under and tack in place followed by a zap with the iron for a nice sharp edge.  The seam allowance was already included on the straight sides.

Then it was just a matter appliqueing the circles to the background.  I like to use silk thread, I have a collection I have built up over the years and some colours are very versatile, but any thread does, thinner thread is better than a thicker one though.

 I didn't want to do bonded applique because I intended to trim the background just before stitching the blocks together to reduce bulk.  I could of course have removed the paper leaving the edge turned under, and tacked the fabric to the background before stitching it with a buttonhole stitch, in fact if I ever consider making it again I will probably do just that as some of my appliqué stitching started to come away a little I noticed when I was quilting it, so I zapped it with the machine.  See, I always tell you the things I could have done better.

When I put them together they were fine but just a bit ordinary and needed some more interest.  

 So, I added a stitch and flip triangle to the plain corners using 1.5 inch squares.

 I added a one inch finished background border, a two inch finished coloured border, and another 1 inch finished background border.  The grey of the diamonds was added as cornerstones to the coloured border. 

I used the grey diamond fabric for the binding, which had posed a bit of a problem as I had used fabric I had, only the shop didn't have any more, panic!  However a bit of hunting and two fat quarters were found so it has a 'few' more joins than normal but it's hardly noticeable.  Good job I went for the extra fabric straight away, I'd never get it now.  So there it is, it ended up 56 inches square.

My last post about circles, sad :-(  There again I will be talking about Gypsy for at least a couple more years until that's finished so there is my consolation.  No I haven't made the back yet, too busy with..........secret sewing!

Yes I promised a sneak peak, didn't I?

Here it is, all layered and basted, ready to start quilting in a couple of days!  What?  You didn't think I was about to show you the front did you?

Ok, as you can probably tell it is a quilt, rather than a wall hanging or something.  What's it for?  For Cheryl and Paige's Modern Plus Sign Book Hop starting on May 12th.

There are over 40 bloggers taking part, I will be posting on March 21st and you will see my version of one of the quilts.  The book is out now and available in hardcopy and a digital version.  I made a block for a group quilt in the book too, ages ago, I feel as if I've been keeping this secret for eons.

I have been doing lots of other stuff this week but I ran out of time to tell you, I've been chasing squirrels too, but more about that next time.

Until then,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Midweek Makers
Let's Bee Social
Wednesday Wait Loss
Needle and Thread Thursday 
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
TGIFF Hosted by Lisa In Port Hope
Finished Or Not Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Nearly nearly

For so many things, but mainly for Circles

YES YES YES!!!  So close I can hardly believe it.  Tell you later.

Sorry I havn't been around, the usual as I'm sure you have guessed, the curse of the family illness coupled with having to work, even though I have left, and the wedding last week AND having visitors.  My head was in such a spin with it all and I couldn't concentrate on anything.  But the crisis has again been averted, work is over, the wedding was last week and my visitors have gone home.  Everything in life is transient.

I did miss linking up my goal though, AND I missed for February too.  Never mind, want to see how I did for January?

Make, post, and mail bee block x 2  Done

Make 61 blocks for Tina’s wedding quilt  Done

Cut out blocks for Mystery quilt  Done

Finish quilting Circles  Done

Make three blocks for sampler quilt

Make extra blocks for Trees and Gnomes

Oh yes, I am so happy, I knew I was unlikely to get it all done and the signature blocks had to be my priority for the wedding but I was so happy I got the important stuff done.

Speaking of the signature blocks remember I used tape on the sides to stop people writing in the seam allowances?  It totally worked, and the quilters tape hasn't left a mark, here is the final result of my test piece.

See?  Not a mark.  It says not to leave it more than 24 hours but after three weeks it still didn't mark and I will use it again for the second quilt for the wedding in May.

I have to show you this block, want to see what prompted the comment?

Isn't she beautiful?  That's their daughter Emily (our granddaughter ) sitting on the tractor.  It's the only pic I have just now, I couldn't get my phone in my bag and I have stopped taking a camera as I end up taking lots of pics and not just enjoying the day, so I leave the photographs to the professionals, although I think this one was taken by a friend.

Before I show you Circles want to see my outfit?

It's not a great pic, Gary took it at home with his phone.

I HAVE to show you a close up of my fascinator though, love it, even though the band dug into my head and it got knocked off my head twice, once by Tina the bride, but then she caught it!

Ok last wedding ones, in the photo both with my husband and son, who will be the groom in May.

Unfortunately my daughter in law to be had to work and couldn't make it for the wedding although she drove up from London, nearly 300 miles, for the last hour and a half of the evening reception.  As you can tell we had a great time.

So, want to see Circles?

You can see how close I am, the quilting is finished completely and the binding is machined on, all that is left to do is the binding to hand stitch and a label.  Poor Indi, as you can tell she is desperate for me to go out and start throwing the ball, she ALWAYS brings it back to be thrown again and I can tell you, I get tired way before she does.

I was quite surprised at my quilting, it turned out better than I thought, although the meander is better than the circle bits. 

Tell you what, I will show you it all properly next week when I finish the binding and I will go through how I made it again for those who may not have been here when I started it, or who may not remember as it was so long ago hehe!

That's all I have I can show you I'm afraid.  I have finished the top of my secret sewing quilt but I can't show you that, not until next month anyway.  

Tell you what, I'll finish with the reading I did for the wedding, it was in church and I did the second reading, I love the words and think they are so appropriate for a wedding.

Apache Marriage Blessing

Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.

Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two person’s,
but there is only one life before you.

May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.

May happiness be your companion, and may your days together be good and long upon the earth.

If you are a quilter and don't follow Needle and Foot ( link to post) I urge you to read this post about children with disabilities and how you can help.

Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
TGIFF hosted by Katie Mae Quilts

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

I Hit My Goal!

I am very happy to report I am up to date this week, for a change.  In fact I am going great guns this month, oh what a good mood I am in, I'm just a simple girl at heart and it doesn't take much to make me happy.

So, what have I done to affect me so?  I finished the signature blocks for Tina and Stuart's wedding quilt!  This was also my One Monthly Goal for January, Happy Happy!

Here they are on my design wall, well some of them.  This won't be the final arrangement of course but when I finished them I couldn't resist putting them up to have a look, what do you think?

The background fabric is a Moda Bella solid in a warm white shade, I can't remember the exact name but it's not the bright one.  The coloured strips are from Alison Glass Sunprints 2018 range and I chose fourteen different shades, fourteen because I wanted bright happy fully saturated colours and so I didn't get any of the white, cream, or grey shades and I didn't get any of the dot and squiggle ones either, although I'm now warming to them.

I cut two 2 1/2 inch strips from each colour and  fourteen 3 inch white strips for the signature panels, then it was just a case of stitching two of the same colour together with a white strip in the middle and  giving them a press.  They measured at seven inches wide so I cut the strip sets into seven inch squares, I got six blocks from each strip set except the green which was a little short and I only got five.   I must say there is a fair bit of variation in the selvage, on some there is very little white edge and on others a good bit more, which is probably why I could only get five green blocks.  It doesn't matter, I only need 61 blocks and I still have 69.  I wanted extra in case anyone messed one up, or wrote an inappropriate comment Tina wouldn't have been happy for me to include.

Speaking of writing comments, thank you all so much for your advice on the pens, it was most helpful.

I decided to go with the Pigma in the end, some of you mentioned how Sharpies can bleed and others how Pigma ink has withstood many washings on older quilts.  I bought six, do you think that will be enough?  I didn't want to buy too few in case anyone went off with them and they all disappeared before everyone had signed them, but they are quite expensive so I had to take the cost into consideration too.  I have another wedding in May, my son Chris and his lovely fiancee Sarah, so they will be used again then.  I thought I might just put four out and keep the other two in my bag in case they are needed.

I will iron freezer paper to the back of the blocks as some of you also mentioned.

I have had this roll for over ten years, I don't use it often now but it is handy to have in.

I also need to put some quilters tape at the edges of the signature panel so people don't write in the seam allowance.  When it came I read the back and it said not to leave it on for longer than one day though.  So, I'm testing it to see how long I can leave it on for.  I will take one strip off after a week and the others at weekly intervals.  Not that it will be on that long, I just want to know if it will mark. Not that it matters really after all it is only the seam allowance, but it's nice to know.  There is loads on the roll, thirty yards, and I only need five inches for each block so it will do both quilts and then some.

That wasn't all I did this week though.

I took Baby out of her little bed in the table and raised it up so I had lots of room, then I cut out the blocks for my secret quilt.  I am so happy I started it, I'm just waiting for the extra fabric I need and then I can start sewing it together.  Want a sneak peak?

No, sorry, not allowed!  I'm sworn to secrecy and it's not my secret to tell!  But I can tell you it is wonderful and I can tell you a bit more next month.  Until then you will just have to wonder!

So that has been my week so far, AND I'm posting this today, late in the day, but not tomorrow.  Yes, it's been a good week, none of the oldies has been ill, Hubby finally got a new suit for his daughters wedding, and the sun has shone a couple of times, I'm happy.

So until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Let's Bee Social
Midweek Makers
Wednesday Wait Loss
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Done it!

Yes I know, late again, but I haven't been able to sew much and as it is still less than a week since my last post I thought I would get away with being a day late rather than two days like last week.

I promised you I would show you the finished bookshelf bee block didn't I?  Did you guess what I would add to the shelf?

A Russian doll.  I have always loved them since I had one as a child and as my daughter collects them and has several on the shelves of her bookcase it was a no brainer.  If you have seen my Facebook page the header is a pic of the Russian doll mug rug and coaster I made her too.  Yes it is about time I changed it!    I used Heat 'n' Bond and stitched it with a buttonhole stitch and did french knots for eyes and a backstitch for the mouth.  However, Emily from The Darling Dogwood, for whom this block is intended, guessed it might be a bookworm, I asked what a bookworm would look like and Velda from Granny Can Quilt sent me a pic of 'Gloom'.   They both loved that idea, so I added Gloom as best I could.

You can see better here.  I added him the same as the Russian doll and stitched glasses, well. on the side of his face you can see, an eye, and a mouth in a sort of grimace.   If his name is Gloom then being gloomy he would probably grimace anyway.   I hope you like him Emily, I made him especially for you because you are so nice.

The only other thing I got done this week was to cut the fabrics for Tina's wedding quilt.

Only I just realised I missed the pink so I have that one left to cut.  I have decided to follow all your advice and make the autograph blocks the back and I am taking two of the colours through to the front along with the white solid background which I have cut but not photographed because I'm sure you have seen white solid fabric before, and another  neutral, maybe a grey, or a blue/grey.  I'm going to use the gold which I draped across the others, and probably the burgundy as I love the contrast they make, even though they won't be next to each other on the front.  The pattern?  Not telling.  Can't tell won't tell. Hehe, I love a secret.

The input you all gave for the autograph blocks was fantastic, thank you all so much it really helped, especially Anja from Anja Quilts, Karen from Karen Quilts and Linda from Scrapmaster who sent me pics of her lovely quilts and told me her thinking behind them.

Oh, I have to tell you I now have an outfit for the wedding, as it's in three weeks and I was starting to despair I would be going in my jeans.  I made an appointment with a personal shopper at Debenhams department store at my local shopping centre, it's a free service and I must say I would definitely recommend it if you are struggling for an outfit for a special occasion.  I was in a private room and my shopper, Karen, left me with a cup of coffee while she gathered lots of dresses, coats and jackets for me to try after taking all my details and discussing colour and the sort of things I like as well as the occasion.  Karen also found me shoes and a bag AND a fascinator, an alternative for a hat fastened on with a clip or a band.  Now I have an outfit all I need is to finish the blocks and I am all set for the wedding, and by the time it comes I will be able to wear make up again.

The only thing I haven't decided is should I use Pigma pens or Sharpies for signing the autograph blocks.  I have read that Pigma pens can wash out, then someone said not all of them have archivable ink and thats what you should use.  I then read something else that said not to use Sharpies because they were not acid free, so now I am totally confused.  What would you use?

Time to get on with my day, I have batch cooking to do for Jack who is still on pureed meals, minced beef with onions and mushrooms, potatoes, carrot and sweede mixed together and peas.  All pureed separately and frozen in individual meal boxes so he only needs to defrost them and heat in the microwave.  Oh and I also have to make pureed apple, Jack loves his puddings and he only needs to heat it up with an individual carton of custard, it's his favourite.

So until next time when I SHOULD have made all the signature blocks,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Midweek Makers
Wednesday Wait Loss
Needle and Thread Thursday

Friday, 5 January 2018

Better Late Than Never

Well now, this is a great start to the year isn't it?  For all my procrastinating how I was going to get back to posting on my normal day, first week of the year and I am late, can you believe it?  Well, life happens and people are more important than blogging which I'm sure you realise, but that's just life.

Moving on, I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, all the fuss and planning and it is over in a flash.  I did a round up of my Best of 2017 last week, you may have missed it as I didn't share the post at all,  but even though I felt I had had a bad year for quilting I was surprised to find I still had one or two nice finishes, and another couple I didn't include too.  I am hoping this year will be blistering and so I have set my goals for 2018 which I posted just before Christmas but if you missed, you can find it here.

The thing about goals is you need to break them down into manageable chunks, so I have made my small goals for this month, which are:

1. Make 61 blocks for Tina's wedding quilt.  I am making this my One Monthly Goal for this month.  The wedding is February 2nd and I finally know what I am doing but I need to buy some more fabric.

2. Make my Bee blocks for December and January and mail them by 12th January.

3. Cut out my secret quilt.

Yes that's all, these are my priority, I hope to get more done of course but this is my have to list.

The good news is I have got off to a good start by making one bee block and I am a good way through the second.

This is actually Januarys block, the Quatrefoil block for Sharon at Yellow Cat Designs.  You can see her request post and a link to the tutorial on the Bee Inspired blog post.

Decembers block is a Bookshelf block for Emily at The Darling Dogwood and there is a tutorial  on the  Bee Inspired blog.   I did mean to get this one made early but things didn't work out, then I decided to make it over Christmas and mail it first thing in January after the Christmas post, but I couldn't sew until a couple of days ago.  You may notice there is a lot of space on the right of the block, that's because it's not finished yet, there is an item to be added there.  What is it?  You will just have to guess, if you know me well you might get it...........
Tell you next week, in fact I should be able to show you.

Would you like to see my new fabric which came in the post today?

Alison Glass Sunprints 2018.  It's not the whole range but it is my favourites, I wasn't so keen on the design of the others.  Why?  To me they are solids with a small occasional squiggle on and to me you may even loose that when you cut them up.  As solids are cheaper to buy than prints I have decided to skip those ones and just buy the ones I like, after all, liking a range doesn't mean we have to slavishly buy all of it does it?  The grey one on the far left isn't a sun print of course, it's a Moda Muslin which was half price, and as I have very little grey I couldn't resist half a metre.

Going back to yesterday I was expecting the fabrics from Simply Solids but when a parcel came it was much smaller than I expected, and I opened it to find......

Five low volume fat quarters.  Back in April I took out a subscription for low volume fabrics, I received my parcel every month then after the October payment was taken I received an email from the payment company saying my monthly payment had been cancelled.  I thought it was for a year but assumed it was six months and a couple of weeks later my last bundle arrived.  No more money was taken, no fabrics came in December, so when I received yesterdays parcel I was confused, it was too early for a January delivery and I hadn't paid for any more fabrics.  I rang Simply Solids and explained the situation, I couldn't keep fabrics I hadn't paid for.  They hadn't cancelled my payment but the payment company had, they couldn't understand why, there had never been any problems.  I decided not to continue with the subscription, I have a fair few low volume fat quarters now and would rather self select, maybe in larger quantities in future.  I did offer to pay for the ones I have received though, I told her I hadn't paid for them, but she refused payment, it was their mistake and she didn't expect me to pay for them.  Wasn't that generous?  Being honest paid off.

Sorry about the poor pics this week, it is so dull just now it's hard to get a decent shot.

Thank you all for your kind enquiries about my second cataract op, it took place on December 21st.  That is the reason I haven't been sewing, unfortunately it didn't go as well as the first one, there were a couple of issues I won't go into and my sight has been very blurry.  Fortunately it is now much improved and I have an eye test in three weeks just before I see the consultant again.  Thank goodness for Poundland readers is all I have to say, I wouldn't have been able to see anything close up without them.  I am hoping to get caught up with my emails in the next couple of weeks so if I haven't replied to your comments yet my apologies.

So, that's all for my first post of the year, planning and a little sewing.  It's my first sewing group get together of the year on Saturday, I haven't a clue what I can take so I need to have a little rummage and a little think, I'll tell you what I come up with, and hopefully show you the finished bookshelf block, next week.

Until then,
With smiles from,
Kate x

Linking up with:
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Best of 2017 Link Up

I thought I had posted my last post for 2017, but who can resist a link up party?  Best of 2017 is hosted by the lovely Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, you can find the Party on THIS POST!

I hold my hands up and say I haven't posted as much or had many finishes this year, but three of them ended up in the top four of my most popular ever posts.   So without any further ado (unusual for me I admit) here they are:


I took part in the Christmas in July blog hop, one of the most fun, and stressful, things I have done in my almost two years of blogging.  Fun, well,  yes, after all it was a blog hop.  Lots of us participated over the twelve days and it was wonderful, I loved the experience, and to date I have had over 2,200 page views and still rising.  Stressful?  It included me doing a tutorial FOR MY OWN DESIGN and giving away the pattern templates which will always be available free, there is a link at the end of the post.  It was like the dream of being naked in public, opening myself to criticism and ridicule, but it didn't come, so any people liked it, such a relief.  I also had to work out how to share my templates which I did on Google Drive.  It was difficult for me and I did them high quality so they take a little longer to download, but it was the best I could do with my scanner.

2. Quilters Laundry Day Mini Quilt Along

My third most popular ever post, what a great hop this was, so many quilters participated and as the quilt could be personalised there were so many different versions too, some were even 3D.  If you didn't see the hop it is well worth a visit and seeing what some peoples imaginations can produce.  All the links to the participating bloggers are at the end of the post.

3. It's Finished

Oh yes, I couldn't not include this post even though it is so recent.  I finished my Gypsy Wife quilt top  and do you know it has jumped to my fourth most popular post ever?  Amazing!!!    No I haven't made any progress since, due to circumstances beyond my control I haven't been able to do any sewing or even much blog reading since December 21st.  This quilt took over my life from July to December, it has been top of my wish list and my greatest achievement.  It nearly had me bonkers and I am very happy it's finished.   I am so proud of it.

4. Secret Sewing

How could I not include the most fun swap I have ever had?  It was with my special blogging friend and accountability partner Janice from Colour Creating and Quilting.  I made her a mini quilt and named it Home to Roost, she made me one and named it Chicken Poop!  Enough said, if you want to read about it check out my post which includes the link to Janice, you will LOVE Chicken Poop.

5. April Update, and I've been a Numpty Again

I admit I struggled to choose my fifth post, several were ok and had a fair number of views but in the end I chose this one just because I love the fabric postcard I made.  I was sad to give it away I would have loved to keep it but I know the recipient of the swap loved it so it's ok.  Do you ever give things away and wish you still had them?  It doesn't happen often and after all this is a 6 x 4 inch postcard, but that's how it goes sometimes.

So, that's my round up for the year, I hope you enjoyed it.  I didn't have the best year for production but looking back over my posts, revisiting what I have done it was better than I remembered, and as Scarlett always said 'Tomorrow is another day', or in this case year.  Who knows what 2018 will bring but I know if I look hard enough I will find plenty to smile about.  So I'm wishing you all a very happy and peaceful New Year, and lots of lovely quilty finishes for 2018.

Until next year,
With smiles from
Kate x

Friday, 22 December 2017

Planning for 2018

As 2017 draws to a close I'm looking back at the year to evaluate how I did, what stopped me from reaching my goals and planning for next year.

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl is hosting a Planning Party I joined in last year and it was very positive for me, so much so I'm certainly not missing it this year.  If you have a blog and haven't joined in before I would recommend it, I love seeing how others plan things out, and it gave me some great ideas too.  If you haven't got a blog just hop on over, you can find it on this post, not having a blog doesn't mean you can't make your own plans, and print them out too, they are a great reminder to keep you focused.

I lost my way rather in 2017, I can honestly say it was the most difficult year I have had for a long long time.   We have some serious issues with family illness, they are all ongoing and there is no solution.  Supporting my family members is very important to me, I help out as much as I can and whenever I am needed, everything else in my life has to come second.  It's just what you do isn't it?  I also had cataracts removed from both my eyes this year which was a good thing, I can see colours clearly and my world is so much brighter, so much so I have fallen deeply in love with colour.

So, how did I do last year?

Blogging, a weekly post..........well I did post most weeks but I missed a few due to life circumstances.

To take part in another blog hop.............Yes, I did two and had wonderful experiences.

Keep up with my monthly commitments for two quilting bees.............Yes, well, I have one block left to make for December, but I have delayed it until the end of the month as I didn't want it to get caught up with the Christmas post and it's been a difficult month for me.

Work on one project at a time and finish it, catching up on UFO's at the same time starting with Circles.......... Didn't do it, completely lost my way on this one and I haven't even finished Circles, so ashamed.  Actually I have done a fair bit of work on Circles, all I need to do is finish the quilting and bind her.............

Learn how to work my new Bernina 770QE, Baby.............Yes, I'm not saying I know all about her but I have learnt all the basics and what I need to know.  I love her, although I still love my Bernina 440 QE, Bernie, too and wouldn't part with her.

Practice free motion quilting regularly and use some of the Craftsy classes I have.............Nope, didn't do it and I bought another class too.

Finish the Mystery Quilt I was making and, as I had enjoyed it much, do another one in 2017.............YES, I finished the quilt and  I joined in the Gypsy Wife quilt along which I finished on time just before Christmas.  Gypsy still needs to be layered and quilted but the top is complete.  Very happy with this one.

So that's my 2017 goals evaluated, time to set some for 2018.

1. Two wedding signature quilts to make, one wedding in February, one in May.

2. Two blog hops this year, I would love to participate in the Christmas in July hop again and another one I can't talk about, sorry..........

3. DO NOT add to the UFO's and reduce the number by three, this includes Circles as it has been so long since I started it but doesn't include Gypsy as she is a WIP, but she is NOT to become a UFO

4. Join in with another quilt along, I so enjoyed this years and want to do it again.

5. One Bee this year, two was too much for me I found.  Bee Inspired was wonderful, I tried stuff I hadn't done before and it is a great bunch of girls, lot's of communication and it was so good all of us are continuing next year.

6. Get to grips with FMQ, I didn't do it last year but that's not to say I won't do it this year.

7.  Learn something new, I am rubbish at paper piecing, I have two books on it too, one is full of star patterns and one has quilt patterns.  I don't need to become an expert, I do want to become proficient, so this is my aim for learning something new this year.

8. Improve my health and fitness.  I invested in a Fitbit about six months ago and I'm happy to say it hasn't been a fad.  It get's me moving and I have increased the steps I do over the last few months.  Next thing is to improve my diet by increasing fruit and vegetables and decreasing sugar levels.

9. Social media, by this I mean Facebook.  In the past I didn't spend that much time on FB but recently I find myself checking it at least once a day and it eats up far too much of my time as I get drawn into stuff.  It started with the Gypsy groups and the sew along, I'm decreasing it dramatically in 2018.

10. Weekly blog post, weekly is enough for me, I wouldn't have enough to say to do more than that and you would just get bored with me anyway.  If you aren't bored now that is, on second thoughts don't answer that!

While I'm on about blogging I have been dreadful this year for which I owe you all an apology.  I have been so late in my responses and my visiting has been atrocious, I am sorry, it's just been so hard for me some weeks, and sometimes I have had time but it just pulled me down, please don't give up on me.  Now I have given up work I hope to get on top of things again, family circumstances permitting of course.

So these are my goals for this year, only this year I will print them out and put them up in my sewing room, that way I will see them and hopefully keep up.  I have an accountability partner, Janice from Colour, Creating and Quilting, she keeps on top of me.  Another thing that really helps is to type out my targets for the month, print out the list, and pin it up in my sewing room.  I did that at the beginning of last year and it kept me focussed, I achieved so much.  Then I slipped and kept forgetting to print out my monthly list, I didn't get as much done and not what I should have been getting done.  So that's my tip for you, at the end of every month evaluate your previous months list and make a new one for the next month, you will be surprised at how it improves your workflow.

I am putting the button for the Planning Party on my sidebar, please check it out and support Yvonne who does so much for the quilting community.

This will be my last post of the year, so until next time I'm wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,  sending you all my very best wishes for 2018.

EDIT  I wrote this post in advance, just to let you know I had my cataract surgery on December 21st.  It went well although I expected to see as well as I could out of the other eye the day after, but I can't. Everything is blurry, although I expect it to improve over the next few days or so.  It's just a bit difficult just now covering one eye so I can type with the other.  My lovely son has emailed me a pic of a gift  he ordered for me to cheer me up.

With smiles from
Kate x