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Today did not start well. I woke up with a severe case of the Monday blues and, frankly, things didn’t really improve. I ended the day feeling decidedly miffed and had formed a plan to put on my pyjamas, pour myself a large glass of gin and spend my evening wallowing. On reflection however, I have decided that this is not terribly helpful, and that it is pointless to expend energy on those aspects of my working life over which I have little control. Instead, I thought that I would end today on a positive note and share an update on my sewing progress with you all…

I spent this weekend in Yorkshire in the company of my husband and a few friends who had decided to take on the challenge of walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks in just one day. I was, of course, invited to join them. But, I’m not crazy (25 miles??!!). So, instead, I found a lovely little holiday cottage, promised that I would feed them all on their return and waved them all goodbye at 6.30 on Saturday morning. Following a few extra hours of sleep, I then proceeded to spend my day stitching (well, after one small trip to a nearby patchwork shop). Oh the joy of sitting in the sunshine sewing to the sounds of birdsong and a burbling brook. I truly felt that I was a world away from the current stresses and worries in my life. And I’m delighted to report that I finally managed to finish this lovely baby quilt using a disappearing nine-patch pattern: 

The fabric is Dashwood Studio’s Retro Orchard collection and I just love how well it coordinates with the ‘flurry’ fabric in the binding. The disappearing nine-patch pattern looks complex but it’s really very simple. You just need to create a nine-patch block then cut it into quarters and rearrange the resulting squares until you’re happy. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube if you need a little guidance..

If you are not a quilter, then you may be a little puzzled by my inclusion of UFO in the title of today’s post. I would like to reassure you that I have not recently been abducted and subjected to alien experiments (although that might explain a lot…). In the quilting world, the acronym UFO refers to ‘unfinished object’ and is used when we are discussing quilts or projects that, for one reason or another, we haven’t quite got round to finishing. The baby quilt was one of my UFOs and, if you read my last post, you’ll know that I currently have several others and I must admit that I have been struggling a little to find the time and the motivation to complete them…

I’m not sure if it is just me, but I find it incredibly difficult to dedicate a significant amount of time to my sewing when I also have to work full time. It’s very frustrating as I know that sewing is a very good way to reduce my stress levels but I sometimes feel so tired in the evening that it takes all of my energy just to cook dinner. If I attempt to sew anything significant, I invariably make mistakes and can’t concentrate properly. Weekends are often filled with other commitments too and, if not, there always seems to be housework to do! I’d be very grateful for any tips from other quilters with full-time jobs who are able to find some sort of balance! How do you find the time and how do you maintain your levels of motivation?

I am, of course, aware that only I can make the time to sew and, with that in mind, I have finally booked a weekend at a quilting retreat. I have been meaning to do this for at least a year and I am very excited about my forthcoming trip to the Old Bakery in Norfolk. I am going to pack my little car up with my sewing machine and plenty of fabric and head east for a weekend of uninterrupted, unadulterated sewing time. I won’t even have to worry about cooking. Bliss. Look out for a report in a future blog post.

Well, I hope that my little post has cheered up your Monday evening. I hope to share more on my sewing progress again soon. I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the view from the bottom of the garden in our little Yorkshire cottage:

Night, night

April x