Saturday 10 January 2015

Endings and beginings

I had a quiet, restful end of year with time to reflect on 2014. This year I want to practice my mindfulness, be grateful for each day, help others, learn, relax, be brave, enjoy more creativity and walk a lot.
Hopefully 2015 will be full of good health, fun and new experiences; happy times spent with family and friends.
I was pleased to finish my shawl which was a challenge for me!!
It has proved useful on chilly evenings and is a lovely soft wool. I was missing the therapeutic qualities of knitting so started on this hat. 
Another new beginning is a patchwork quilt for my little William in limey greens and greys; I bought some at the Festival of quilts in 2013 and as William is still in a cot I knew I had plenty of time before it was needed. Over Christmas I needed a change and this has been ideal. 
I knew I wanted to base this quilt on the flying geese pattern and finally decided on this
design. I made up 2 blocks using fabrics I liked and then made up 2 small blocks the same. I remembered how difficult it was rearranging the blocks of Barney's quilt on the floor; this way by the time I'd made enough blocks I could play around with the little ones (just pieces of fabric stuck on paper) to see how I wanted to arrange them. I tried out lots of combinations. I like working this way, planning block as I go and making changes. 
Of course you don't get the scale of the fabrics but it helps to see the balance of light and dark and patterns and although fiddly to do beats crawling around on the floor moving blocks. There are so many possibilities. 
With each pair of blocks I tried to link the fabrics I chose, however loosely! Here we have 2 methods of transport, bicycles. I've finished the blocks and am putting it all together with plain grey strips inbetween each block, 'a bit tricky' as Barney would say.
Meanwhile to relax I'm enjoying the new books that appeared over Christmas. The other morning Louise said she, Barney and William were in bed until 10am reading books (14!) - I think a love of books runs in the family! Here are some I'm enjoying, the Quilt history one is fascinating, I'm very lucky to have some quilts from my family in Cumberland, more of that another time. 


  1. Hello Anna, a happy and healthy new year to you and yours. I like your new year aims (if you don't call the resolutions it doesn't count when you slip a bit!), especially mindfulness - sounds so simple, so difficult in practice. Have you read Thich Nhat Hanh? His perspective is so gentle.
    I was lucky enough to go that exhibition of quilts in the V & A and have that book, a lovely reminder, and the shibori one too, amongst several others on the subject. I'm excused them because that's what I'm trying to concentrate on this year - not sure what the excuse is for the rest of the overflowing shelves!
    I love your "mini design wall" method - what a clever idea, and those fabrics will look so lovely together. Look forward to seeing the results - that will be one very happy little grandson when you've finished it :-)

  2. I like the sound of your " resolutions"! We'd all be a lot happier practising some of those. The quilt is going to be gorgeous.

  3. Happy New Year to you too Anna, what a lovely quilt you are working on, love the colors.

  4. Knitting, patchwork and lovely inspirational books to read. I wonder if the winter time is planned to gives us the perfect time to stay indoors and sew, knit and read.
    Your plans for this year seem very similar to my own. Hope it is a good year and contains lots of fun and creative projects. The quilt is going to be lovely . Your knitting is too and how nice it feels to keep warm with something you made yourself with your own hands.

  5. You could have been looking over my shoulder at my wish list for this year when you made those choices Anna. I feel like this is a year to take stock and do more of less. I have been doing lots of walking and reading and looking about me over the holiday period and a few bereavements locally over Christmas have reinforced the mantra to take each day as it comes and make the most of it. I like the idea of mindfulness too. They are all good watchwords to live by. It is the year I intend to improve my drawing for my own personal pleasure and just play without pressure. Here's hoping we both make it the year we want it to be!!


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