“Sixes and Eights”

The household is at “sixes and eights” instead of “sixes and sevens” as the saying goes.

I have had Elise home all week sick with the flue. So sick in fact that today is the first day there has been any sign of life even remotely coming from her. James was home yesterday as well also sick. Terrible tempreture and a cough that sounds like his insides are going to shortly appear for everyone to see.

Yesterday Elise dragged herself to the secondary school, along with me, so we could get her books and the wooden chest she made for Technology before the holidays start tonight (for the secondary students) in an effort to be organised for next terms change of subjects. It must have really knocked her out -as she slept again that afternoon and we were at the most out for only about an hour.

Today James is a little better which was good as we had the Student/Parent Conferences (ie parent teacher interviews) at the primary school. Both Nicola and James did very well and their teachers had such nice things to say about them….vbg.

I have raced around down the street, grabbed some wind cheaters Elise needed. I even managed to buy the right ones as I had the “Smile of Approval” when I got home and showed her. I must be getting old as I truly had no idea there was a right and wrong style in these things. I bought some wool so I can knit James a new scarf – lovely soft blue which he loves – wiping brow here in relief. Nicola didn’t get anything but she did manage to claim a pair of my gloves (actually I never wore them so they were still brand new) in a lovely soft shade of pink which goes beautifully with her pink scarf so she is happy.

I have manged to wrench my back somewhere along the line and add that to the exhaustion of caring for sick kids and still trying to get over the flue myself – I needed a nanna nap this afternoon. At least I would have got a decent one if Ashley hadn’t kept ringing me wanting me to check paperwork in the office. I must have dozed off – cause everytime the phone rang I reached for the electric clock and tried to turn the alarm off.

Now for the “Sixes and Eights” news.

I have finished basting all the Octogons to their papers and what an exciting time that was. Yes I know there is so little excitment in my life I get a thrill out of that…vbg. Milly thought it was pretty exciting too though – so we shall be excited together….roflmol.

At this stage I might add I’m telling her “don’t eat them” as she though they were pretty darn good.

Progress has been made in sewing them together. At the time of this photo two rows and the filler squares were done……

I have now sewn the other octagons into rows and am about to start sewing rows together – yipee.

The funny thing was when I starting sewing these together I started to realise that I was really tense while I was doing it. I had to consciously relax. I was so tense it was physically hurting my neck, shoulders, back and hands. It really started to bug me until I worked out that I kept thinking “This is taking too long” and “I could do this faster on the sewing machine”. I stopped then and gave myself a talking too.

The whole idea of hexagons and octagons and all those kinds of blocks is yes I could do them on the machine but I choose to hand piece them. I choose to take the slower route. To revel in the sounds of needle and thread passing though fabric in the time honoured tradition of hand piecing. To enjoy the process and to accept that this won’t be a “quick quilt” in the way that so many are these days.

Guess what! When I was sewing blocks together last night – I did relax. I enjoyed the process. I listened to needle and thread and the sounds they made. My heart rate slowed down. My muscles relaxed and I entered that frame of mind of where all is well in my little corner of the world. Bliss. Now I’m beginning to think that this might be a quilt that is hand quilted. Time will tell.

I can see hexagons and octagons popping up maybe a bit more often in my sewing.

Nicola has also been bitten by the “Hexagon Bug”.

She was sick early last week and needed something to take her mind off the flue so she was told convinced that these would be fun to make. Guess what – they were.

Nicola has paper pieced all of the hexagons. She would disappear – arrive back with her sewing box and suddenly whip out some fabric and a paper foundation and begin sewing. It was surprising how fast she got after a while….I only had to show her once how to baste the fabrics down.

Now she has the center (green) hexagon and the blue ones all sewn together and is ready to start the maroon/pink ones. I think this will end up as a cushion and there have been definitely murmurs of maybe making some more of these hexagon cushions as Christmas presents. You can see the improvement in her hand sewing all ready and she tells me that practising this way is a good idea. If she takes too big a stitch she can hear the needle going trough the paper and that reminds her to keep her stitches small. Hey if it works who am I to argue.

I can’t believe I nearly forgot to post this photo.  So often we see Milly (the big red one) and Ajax lying together perfectly relaxed and enjoying each others company.  Unfortunately Ajax is one of those dogs who, the minute he hears the camera start up just has to come up close, just so you can get a picture of his cute and hairy little white and brown face.  Today I succeeded…….only because everyone was told to stay exactly where they were and I hid behind the kitchen bench until I was ready to take the photo.  Ahhhh the things I do to get photos of our dogs.


5 thoughts on ““Sixes and Eights”

  1. I was surprised to learn that Jinny Beyer hand-stitches all of her quilts. She has a book out that I just recently rented from the library, I’ll probably end up buying it “Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts”

    Her philosophy is that it takes time to set up the machine and then time to find a block of time to sew the quilts on it. She has little kits made up of patches to sew on the go so that wherever she is she can just pull out her quilting and get a bit done – for example sitting waiting for your appointment in the doctor’s office or sitting in the bus on a road trip.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of her quilts but they are known around the world and to know that they were done by hand, just breath-taking.

    I would regard the book as more of a reference and teaching tool than a book to look at to see her quilts although she does include photos but more to illustrate her points. Aside from teaching basic and advanced methods of hand-quilting she also has some colour theory in there along with quilt construction. There was one chapter on using border fabrics and using them to contruct medallion centers for blocks.

    If you’re thinking of doing more hand-quilting you should see if you can rent or borrow a copy.


  2. Hope the kids are feeling better, we have just had a dose of the flu too…
    I love your Octogons and hexagons, gosh Cath, it doesn’t take much to excite us does it!,,, but it makes us happy to be stitching..

  3. ppor things1 Nothing worse. Hope the worst is over and the holidays see some improvement. The octagons and hexagons are looking good, Tracey

  4. I hope your family gets better soon…. It’s so heart breaking when little ones are ill. The octagons and hexagons are looking great, can’t wait to see the finished product.. 🙂

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