Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I love my postie, again!

Over the last few weeks I've been lucky enough to receive some gorgeous parcels in the post and today I'm finally going to share the photos.  I'm not quite sure why it's taken me so long to blog about my wonderful post but I think the swap with Nicky and the fugly fabric party came at around the same time and there are only so many things I can squeeze into a blog post (I know, not much squeezing going on, that would imply short, snappy posts - not my thing at all!).

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to win Dana's giveaway and this parcel of lovely Christmas fabric has been made very welcome - thank you Dana, I love it all!  (Oh, the shame!  I've just gone back to look at the 'I've picked a winner' post and it's almost a month ago - I'm so sorry I've been so tardy!)

Susan, let me know if you'd like a Christmas owl or robin for your bird quilt!

I think it's going to work nicely with my other Christmas fabric and, thanks to Hadley's suggestion, it's all going to become a Christmas Cherry Star and if it's half as nice as Hadley's version I'll be chuffed to bits!



The next thing to arrive through the letter box (well, it would have done if it had been thin enough, as it was it got collected from the depot a couple of days later!) was my prize from Sarah's giveaway...want to see?

The outside...


...and the inside - eep!

Isn't it wonderful?   It's a wonderful idea and will be really useful when I'm planning projects as it'll give me somewhere to store my numerous (bad!) sketches and ideas and it's big enough to hold other quilting books - ingenious!  Look at the detail on the panel - I'm told that Sarah and her mam both worked on this, they're very talented!


The quilting on this is incredible!


As if that wasn't generous enough Sarah had also included some FQs of Klona solid - I've not got much solid in my stash and this is my first bit of Klona.  The darker grey goes so well with my fabrics  for Sarah's QAL that I've decided that's going to be my sashing for the project.

Apparently this is what you get if you put a photo of Elliecat (rather than Elliecat herself, 
that would be cruel!) into a colour palette generator - she's as attractive in fabric as she 
is in photos!  I wonder what you'd get if you did the same with a photo of Archie?  
Probably not a lot other than white and brown!!

There was also some stuff in the parcel (I know, Sarah is so lovely and generous!) but it didn't quite make it to the photo shoot.  It did survive quite a while and I became very partial to a chunk of frozen stuff with a cup of tea!  Yes, frozen!  As delicious as when it's defrosted but takes longer to eat so must be 'better' for you!!  Thank you so much, Sarah, I love it all!!


And then this morning another parcel arrived, this time from the lovely Lucy, hostess of the fugly fabric party - what a fabulous idea that was!!  I was lucky enough to win the prize for linking up (believe me, getting rid of having the opportunity to pass on some fugly unwanted fabric was prize enough!).

 I love Lucy's business card and the quilt is stunning!

I've already had a good fondle of the charm pack (the cards are on my mantelpiece so I can admire them whilst I'm sewing) and I'm looking forward to working out what I'm going to do with it.  I think they'll be like the Terrain charm packs and become a carrot...we all need a reward for a job well done, don't we?!  Thank you, Lucy!  Lucy is currently campaigning for the removal of all word verification on blogs - the new version on blogger is unbelievably hard to read (sometimes I need to refresh the choice four or five times before I get one I can read) and I suspect it's putting a lot of people off commenting.  So come on, support Lucy and turn off your word verification!  Pretty please?  With a cherry on top?!


So, that's what I've been lucky enough to receive.  What have I been up to?  Well, I've cut several 2.5" squares for the blue and white quilt

About a quarter of what I need...

I cut most of these on Saturday (I found the navy ones in a scrap box - they just needed some stray threads clipping, perfect!) but I did too much and made myself poorly.  Honestly, by 4pm on Saturday I felt dreadful and I didn't really perk up until this morning.  I didn't even do that much but I think I should have had a snack and a break at some point.  I haven't cut any more since!  My plan had been to cut one FQ every day until I had enough squares but I haven't felt up to doing any cutting at all for the last few days - good job there's no deadline for this quilt!

I've also been stitching grey borders onto my Drunkard's Path blocks. I used Inklingo (a method that allows you to print shapes on the back of fabric - see here for more details) but for the borders I'm cutting the shapes out of freezer paper, ironing them to the back of the fabric and then drawing round them to get a sewing line - the same method I'm using for my hexies.

That's a shadow cast by gorgeous sunshine - so lovely to have a little bit of sun!

I think I've got another eight blocks to go (they've already got their 'short' borders attached) and then I can add the turquoise stripe - I hope it looks as good in real life as it does in my head!


Although it's sunny (but not warm, there's a chilly wind blowing - it is February after all!) I thought I'd show you one of my favourite photos of Archie - taken when we had that little bit of snow a couple of weeks back.  I thought it would be the perfect end to a post full of lovely things

I love the snow - can we stay out all day?!

Doesn't he look happy?!  I'd love to say that skill played a part in taking this photo but in reality it was sheer dumb luck!!



I'll be back soon sometime (hopefully before the end of the month) with some hexies and a fancy pincushion.  Have a lovely day and enjoy your pancakes!  I'm going for either butter and sugar or treacle (golden syrup) as usual - maybe one of each?!  How about you?


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fugly fabric winner

Sorry it's taken me a few days to post this (thanks for all the entries, I can't believe how many I had!) - Archie and I have been locked in negotiations about his fee for this draw.  Let me tell you, he drives a hard bargain!  In the end we agreed on a dozen bits of puppy food (free sample from the vet - they're about the size of a pea...) which would be used in the draw and then a mini marrow bone type biscuit afterwards.  He wanted a big one.  I said no - it was a small one or nothing and he agreed.  He even agreed to get out of bed to perform his task!

Here's the plan...(sorry about the dark photos, the clouds are out and the sun is hiding!)

Negotiate with Archie about payment for the task and persuade him out of bed...

I'm not sure it's worth getting out of bed for, it's lovely and cosy in here...

You promise I'll get that biscuit afterwards?  Any chance you'll super size it?

Cut out and fold all the entries...

This takes far longer than you'd think!!

Put them in a conveniently empty food bag, add a dozen bits of food and shake...


You can just see one of the 'biscuits' at the bottom.

Get Archie to bring me a piece of paper...

Hmmm, didn't quite think this one through - I think he might be eating the paper!

Persuade Archie to take his head out of the bag and explain the rules...again! (No photo, I was busy trying to explain the concept of 'there's more to this than eating the biscuits' to a dog who was determined to get his head back in the bag!)

Result!

Do you know, I don't think this is food after all...what's all the fuss about?

Very kind of you to offer, I hadn't even considered swapping them,
I thought I'd have to bribe someone to take them!!  You can send something if 
you want but you don't need to!

Congratulations, Josie!  I'll be sending you an email as soon as I've published this post!

(No paper was eaten in the making of this post - I checked!)

I'm off to catch up on some blog reading and then do a spot of hand piecing - I'm stitching the grey borders on my Drunkard's Path blocks and I'm pleased I chose the Kona medium grey, it works well with the City Weekend fabric I've used.  I'm also planning my fabrics and blocks for Sarah's QAL - not sure when I'll get round to starting all that cutting though!


Thanks for popping in!


P.S.  I'm having a lucky streak at the moment!  In the last few days I've won a Pezzy charm pack from Lucy, a beautiful pair of earrings from Karen's friend Catherine (I chose the turquoise pair!) and on Susan's blog I won two pouch patterns from Kat's shop.  Thank you to you all, I'm thrilled!

P.P.S.  Thank you, Giles and Marjorie - I'm very honoured!  I'm going to ignore the rules and post some more random facts over the next few posts instead of what I'm supposed to do, I hope that's ok!


Random Fact Six I've had my ears pierced five times - I wear four (small!) studs in each earlobe and two (still small!) studs in the top of my left ear.  I remember going out for my first 'Christmas do' at my last job and the deputy head said (in horror!) to the head 'I didn't know we'd employed a punk!'  I think you could say it was a very traditional school *wink*

Edited to add:  Kelli and Rebecca are hosting a 'Drama Free 2012' giveaway - pay them a visit and leave them a comment for a chance to win a Little Apples layer cake! 

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A bit batty?

I thought I'd show you what I sent Nicky in our recent swap.  I know lots of you have been over to visit her but I thought it would be nice to show you some of the 'in progress' photos that I haven't been able to share and which I spent ages looking for - I knew I'd taken them but couldn't remember when so had to search all the folders from October onwards, several times, before I found them!!


The idea for the cushion started when I posted my initial plans in the Pillow Fight Flickr pool


and Nicky said

'Am going with Log cabins Helen but any of your great ideas are good for me! 
Green - love green especially lime, olive chartreuse and blue - more teal, turquoise but 
you pick cos you are good with colour!' 

Very kind of you, Nicky, not sure about 'good with colour' but you certainly got log cabins and plenty of them!!

For some reason I decided that it would be a good idea to make small log cabins with the logs finishing at 1/4" wide and the blocks finishing at 1 3/4".  Which meant that for a 16" cushion (with a 1" border) I would need 64 blocks.  Yup, definitely a bit batty!  Or barking mad?

Way back in November I made my first block and loved it so much that I risked showing you a sneak peek, albeit in black and white so that Nicky wouldn't see the colours I was using (and remind me that she doesn't like batiks!).  Here's the full colour version

I know that purple log on the right is a tiny bit fatter than it should be
but I decided I could live with it!
I can still remember how excited I was when I finished this first block!

I decided to risk using batiks (even though I knew Nicky didn't like them!) because they gave me the colour saturation I needed for this project.  Also, as they're a lot more closely woven than other quilting fabrics, they don't fray as much which is just what I needed with such small pieces.

I also decided that I wanted each block to be different and for the colours to be evenly spread across all positions within the blocks so I made a plan

I swear that as I was sorting out this plan I could hear laughter 
coming from across the ocean - am I right?!



and then got to work.  (See, I do use my sewing room but this is about as messy as it gets!)
 
I used Tina's business card to fold the paper over before stitching each line 
- have you seen her teeny tiny foundation piecing?

Each block took about 15 minutes to do, which sounds quite reasonable until you multiply it by 64.  After many, many hours (and two 'delayed' deadlines!) I got to this

Eek!!  I love it!
And then I had to join them...let's just say there were a few minutes half an hour or so where I thought I was going to have to abandon my plans and accept I'd started something that was way beyond me.  The blocks were so small and so thick that they were impossible to join up with anything approaching accuracy and I unpicked the first seam at least four times.  I then removed the paper from all of the blocks and joined them 'normally'.  I knew it would be fine to do this as there were no biased edges in the blocks and I'd cut all the pieces on the straight of the grain.  A couple of hours later I had this and...

It's surprising heavy for a 14" square!
...I didn't like it!  I thought it was too busy and that I would have been better leaving every other block plain white.  Fortunately after a long sleep I realised I did like it after all and didn't have to start again.  I like the way that from a distance it looks like it could be a pixelated image...or maybe that's just the way my eyes work!

It didn't take long to turn it into a finished cushion cover (I just quilted along each block ditch as it's already got a lovely texture to it from all the seam allowances) and the green binding nicely picks out the green pieces in the blocks.

If you didn't know it was a cushion cover I think it would pass muster as a mini quilt - pity I can't enter it into the Modern Mini Challenge!

I love these wine gum buttons!

I'm so glad I decided I liked it!
There are 836 pieces of fabric in the front of this 16" cushion, 4 in the borders and 832 in the blocks!  Definitely batty...

I also sent Nicky a mini pincushion inspired by Sarah's tutorial as I thought it would be handy when she was hand piecing and quilting.


I used felt for the back and the strap as I thought it would be more comfy against the skin than cotton.  It was a bit of a swine to turn through though!  And yes, this block was also planned so that it wasn't the same as any others, just in case Nicky decided to try and find its twin in the cushion!

And then, instead of a second 'goodie' Nicky agreed that I could make her a couple of wonky house blocks for the quilt she is making from her swap blocks (when she receives them!).  Inspired by Cindy I wrote little stories about the houses (not as good as hers though!) - I pinched the text from Nicky's post rather than retyping them, thanks Nicky!
This  family have built an eco friendly house with a sedum roof, ground source 
heating (so no chimney) and have just started a mushroom farm. 
This family live on an island in the Thames Estuary and have declared it an outpost of Scotland 
but couldn't get planning permission for tartan patterned stones so they went for a royal/peacock 
inspired look...The locals aren't sure about it but regard the family with fondness and so put up with it!

I had so much fun making all these things for Nicky and I'm so pleased (and relieved!) that she likes them - thanks for a fun swap!

I think there's room for one more photo, especially if it's a photo of my favourite dog!  I took these on Monday just before leaving Archie to go to a dinnertime sewing club session...


What do you mean it's only February and therefore too cold to lie in the conservatory?
It's lovely and sunny in here!
I'm not moving and you can't make me...

So I didn't!  He'd moved into the kitchen (under his quilt) by the time I got back though!


Hope you're all having a lovely weekend?  Thanks for popping in!

P.S.  If you haven't already you really need to visit Lynne@Lily's Quilts - she's hosting a giveaway you don't want to miss!  Trust me, it's a good one!

P.P.S.  Susan @Canadian Abroad is holding a giveaway to celebrate one (wonderful!) year of blogging - it's another one you don't want to miss.  Why not hop over and tell Susan how talented and generous she is?


Thursday, 9 February 2012

I love my postie!

She brings me the most wonderful parcels.  Not much else, to be honest.  In fact she walks past my door at least five times more than she stops at it but when she does stop she usually has something marvellous for me.  This past week or so has been testament to that.  I've had four wonderful parcels in about 10 days, all of them fabric related.  Today though I'm concentrating on just one parcel as this post is linked to a post on another blog.  I'll share the other parcels in the coming days so if you're one of the lovely people that sent me a parcel please don't think I've forgotten about you - I really haven't!

Now, you may remember that I've been making a secret something for what feels like months (actually, I think it might be months!) and I haven't really been able to show you anything of it.  You may be pleased to learn that I've finally finished it and it has arrived at its new home.  What is it?  I hear you ask...well, I'm not showing you it today either!  Instead I'm going to show you what a wonderful quilter and friend sent me.

Back in October (I think, it's so long ago I can't remember the details!) Nicky and I decided that it would be fun to do a swap, just for us.  In fact I think it might have started when I commented on Nicky's mosaic for Cindy's Goodie Swap which happened way back in August/September.  We decided to make each other a cushion and we would use the mosaic from the Pillow Fight swap as our inspiration.  I think the initial idea was that we'd then have two cushions that went beautifully with each other and whilst Nicky managed that I kind of fell off the wagon and wandered into the undergrowth...you'll see what I mean when I show you what I made (I'll post about it in the next few days - if you can't wait pop over to Nicky's blog but not before you've seen the marvellous things she's made for me.  That way you can tell her how wonderful, thoughtful and talented she is!).  The initial plan was to send the cushions (and two goodies) as soon as we could after the Pillow Fight swap was over and once again I scuppered the plans.  But more of that another day!  Let's just say that we've had three tentative 'deadlines' and I missed two of them!!  Sorry, Nicky!

Right, enough writing, let's get some photos sorted!

First up, my wonderful cushion...

Isn't it fantastic?  Wait until you see the back!
The colours I love, a block very like one of my hexies and, although you can't really see it in this photo, some wonderful hand quilting on the border.


See?!!  Have you ever seen a nicer back on a cushion?

Let me tell you that Nicky's FME is fabulous - you'll see more of it in a moment, prepare to be amazed (and a tiny bit envious!)

Don't they look fabulous together? 
Oh, I can't stop smiling!  I love it so much!  It's a very posh cushion cover too, it's even lined!  And it has the most fabulous FME label (and I'm desperately hoping that Nicky isn't sharing a photo of my less than impressive FME writing!)

See what I mean about fabulous?!

And then, as if that wasn't marvellous enough there's the goodies!

A bone shaped pincushion - far too nice to stick pins in, they might wake up the dog!
And...drum roll please...

I think you'll find that this is mine...

See?  It's got my picture on it which makes it mine.

What do you mean I can't sleep under it?
I told you Nicky was talented!  Are you a little bit envious of her FME talent?  Or, like me, a lot envious?!!!  The picture of Archie is based on the one of him looking at the hedgehog treats and Nicky has perfectly captured him and his personality.  Definitely talented!  There was also some chocolate in the parcel...strangely there's no photo though!  One bar is in the fridge but the other seems to have wandered off...


Thank you sooooo much, Nicky, I love everything you made for me (and Archie!).  This swap has been so much fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it!


Archie likes all the things in the parcel and seems to think they're for him - don't worry, I'll soon put him right!


What do you mean it's not a real bone?



It certainly looks real...
Nicky was kind enough to include some treats for Archie - a new brand for him and he likes them so much I'll looking for them in the local pet shop.  I think Alfie would also be allowed these, I'll take one round sometime for him to try!

These are definitely real...I can smell them through the packet!
 
Come on treats, you know you want to come out...
I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow the packet open!

Yes, I did give him a few when I put down the camera!  And then he followed me into the kitchen and looked disbelievingly at me when I put them away!!


Now, don't forget to leave a comment telling Nicky how talented and thoughtful she is.  And then pop over and tell her again on her blog!  Please?!  And while you're there you can see what I made her...or you can wait until I post about it but where's the fun in that?!

In other news (I'm not sure why but typing that reminds me of The Two Ronnies - only one in this clip though!) I've finished the sewing club sessions I was taking at a local primary school.  For the last few weeks I've had 12 Y5 children (aged nine and ten - five boys and seven girls) after school on a Wednesday for about 75 minutes (and a few dinner time sessions squeezed in as well, just 45 minutes at a time with half the group so I could give them more attention) and we've they've made a simple pincushion (running stitch round the edge), designed and made a case for an ipod/mobile phone/PSP, etc.  (all different measurements and therefore templates - that was a fun few hours of planning for me!) and used a straight 'over' stitch to stitch on motifs and blanket stitch round the edges and then last night they made a simple (stuffed) felt heart (for their mams for Valentine's Day!) and, just like the first week, they did running stitch round the edge.  What a difference from the first week - they've progressed so much in a very short space of time!  They're showing them in assembly tomorrow and I think they're rightly proud of what they've made. And I'm proud but exhausted!!  Worth it though to see them enjoy sewing so much, I think many of them will carry on at home.  A few of them have done some sewing before but many of them hadn't and one boy who hadn't told me last night that he'd mended a hole in his 'jama bottoms last weekend - how wonderful!

Must go, Nicky and I are posting at the same time and I'm late - again!!




 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Would you like some fugly fabric?


Charm About You


The lovely Lucy@Charm About You is hosting a fugly fabric party this week and while I'm far from sure that anyone will want it I've got some fugly fabric on offer.  Actually, I don't think it's horrific but it's not something I would ever buy or use myself (it's leftover from a sample I made) so this feels like the perfect opportunity to get rid of it  unload it onto some poor unsuspecting quilter send it to a good home.  What's on offer I hear you cry?  This is!



It's Deco Delight by Fabric Freedom and you can see a better representation of the colours here.

To give you more of an idea how much fabric there is here's a fugly group photo


There's quite a lot of fabric here, the remains of 14 (maybe 15) FQs and it weighs about 500g.  Now, I'm afraid I just can't afford to post it outside the UK (and within the UK it'll probably be sent 2nd class) so if anyone overseas really wants it (and I'm not sure anyone will want it!) then we'll have to come to some sort of arrangement about the postage costs - does that sound fair?


So, if you'd like to welcome this fabric into your home then please leave a comment below.  In the unlikely event that more than one person wants it I'll pick a winner (well, Archie will!) on Monday 13th February at 8pm.  If you're a no-reply blogger (or someone who comments anonymously) then please leave your email address (unless I know you in real life!) so I can contact you if you 'win'.


GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED - THANK YOU FOR ALL THE ENTRIES, ARCHIE WILL BE PICKING A WINNER SOON!

If you're at all like me you've read several of these posts and have been too scared to leave a comment in case you get entered into a giveaway!  You could always tick the 'I like this post' or the 'I love Archie' box instead!

And just so there's something someone attractive in my post here's some photos of Archie from the weekend.

Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to me, 
Happy birthday dear meeeee, Happy birthday to me!  
Can I eat it yet?!
And about five seconds later the temptation became overwhelming...

Just a lick, just to check it's edible...

I took several photos of Archie in the snow (I've got several so you may be seeing more of these - one is so cute it made me exclaim in glee at how well it turned out but I'll save that for another time!).  He loves it so much and likes to chase snowballs and then try to either find where they've gone or pick up the icy centre (daft dog!) and I think the cold must bring out the smells as he always sniffs much more on cold snowy/frosty walks.   Our snow has almost gone but here's proof we did have a little bit!

Snow under my paws and sun on my face, what more could I ask for?  Oh yes, a biscuit!


I'll be back soon with a proper catch up post which will be full of lovely things that lovely people have been sending me, see you soon!


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Progress report on my Winter Stitching List

Way back in October (was it really that long ago?!) I (along with many, many others!) linked up with Sarah @ Fairyface Designs to plan our winter stitching.  Now, at the time I thought I'd been fairly sensible and realistic with my plans but I somehow forgot that Christmas comes in the middle of the six months from October to March and that I'm always shattered for weeks after Christmas.  And, for those of you thinking 'what she's really saying is that she hasn't ticked many things off her list'...yes, you're completely right!  Let's just say that after a quick look a few days ago I've made myself a dunce's cap and you'll find me in the corner of the room for the foreseeable future!

So, let's get on with my update humiliation shall we?!

1&2Add backs (cord?  Velvet?) to my knitted and crocheted squares to turn them into cushion   covers.

I put them in a box, does that count?!  I also bought a striped fabric for the back of one of them but haven't quite got round to doing anything more than washing and ironing it.  (Actually, now I think about it I'm not sure I even did that!)   

3.  Finish sorting my scraps.

Done!!  My scraps now look like this

(neatly arranged IKEA boxes with coloured labels)

4.  Make my BQS Pillow Fight cushion for my secret partner (deadline = 21st November)
  
Done!!  I made this for Trudi
(Sea green/aqua/teal shoo-fly blocks with a white background)
 

5.  Make a cushion for a friend (deadline = as close to 21st November as possible!)

Done!!  Well, sort of!  The cushion is done (finished it last week - does that count as being close to 21st November?!) and I just have a couple of bits to finish make.  Posting day has been set for next Tuesday - wish me luck!

6.  Finish the Twelve Days of Christmas red work garland for my mam (deadline = Christmas day!)

Delayed...once I'd finished the Pillow Fight cushion I picked up the garland again and quickly realised two things - I wasn't going to get it finished for Christmas 2011 and I was sick of it and needed a break!  So I'm now aiming for Christmas 2012.  I did make her these instead...

(Three Suffolk Puff mini Christmas trees)



 7 .  Start the blue and white snowball and nine patch quilt for Mam and Dad's spare bedroom
Er...does washing, drying and ironing about a dozen metres of blue and white fabric count?

8.  Decide what size to make my Christmas quilt and firm up the design (embroidery or raw edge applique is the debate currently going on in my head!) PLUS create some (all?!) designs for the (multiple) embroidered panels.  

Ah...well, here's the thing.  I did design the quilt top and design two of the six embroidered panels.  And then I thought about whether I wanted a Christmas quilt with embroidered panels on my bed/settee and the answer was no.  I was really looking forward to doing the embroidery but I think one of the reasons I was having so much trouble pinning down my ideas for this quilt was because I wasn't entirely sure when I would use it.  So now I'm keeping my eyes open for a block that will work well with my Christmas fabrics - if you have any ideas please shout!   So, technically I did do what I set out to do, I just had a change of heart afterwards and created more work for myself!


9.  Make some more hexies - maybe another four dozen, which will almost take me to the halfway point.  (Not all of them have to be pieced as I need some whole hexies to balance out the completely scrappy look!) 

I've been more successful with this one.   I haven't made another 48 yet but I think I might be just over halfway there!  Not that I've shown you a lot of them yet (bad blogger!) so here are the ones you have seen before



and here are the new ones (not all of them though, I'm holding some in reserve, just in case I hit a slow slower patch!)




I'm really not sure sure about the one on the bottom right but I'll wait until I see it with the rest of them before deciding whether I need to commit hexicide!


See?  Dunce's cap required!   Even Archie's laughing at me...

Come on then, where's that Dunce's cap?  You're really going to suit it, I can't wait!

He soon sobered up when I mentioned that dogs who laugh at the afflicted don't get biscuits...

Gulp...really?

And he said sorry and promised not to do it again, well, not until next time!

If I apologise could I have that biscuit you mentioned?  
I'm really sorry and not just about the biscuit!

See you soon, I hope, when I'll be sharing some lovely parcels I've received this/last week!

P.S.  The children/scissors thing is going well so far and all of the 12 can now do running stitch and straight stitch and almost all can do blanket stitch - yippee!

P.P.S.  It's almost Archie's birthday - he'll be 12 on Saturday!  It's as accurate as I can be (as he's a rescue dog) but he seems quite happy with the arrangement!

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