Skinflint Sunday: revisit old passions.

“Gidday babe. Come here often?”

Well, these couches are now GONE! My new leather lounge suites have arrived. I’ve got a cream coloured one for the lounge room, because I love to live dangerously, and a dark grey one for the man Cave. Currently, the old green couches are out on the verandah, where they’ll stay until I get the back deck built. Then they’ll go out there for comfy chats and nanna naps in the afternoon sun.

Here’s Miss Scout on the new couch. She was the first dog up.

And then this happened again during the holidays. My boss has given up hassling me about it – I think she’s gotten used to it.

Another thing I did in the holidays was to go and get my sewing machine serviced. Long-time readers of the blog would remember that, before Thermomix came along, I was a bit of a crafter; knitting and quilting like a mad woman. From memory I think I made 22 or so quilts, keeping some but giving lots of them away. I really enjoyed it, but then life got in the way. Mr Darcy, my sewing machine, disappeared for a couple of years. I thought I put him in the hall cupboard but when I went looking for him a few years ago I couldn’t see him there. (Turned out that when we moved and I actually emptied out the cupboard, he WAS there. He was just buried under bags of material and batting.)

But Mr Darcy wasn’t running well. The last 3 quilts I’d made were slow going, as he’d run for about 10 minutes and then stop in mid-stitch. I’d have to switch him off, count to 10, then switch him on again. It was not the traditional way that sewing quilts is meant to go. So a trip to Bayswater, a new motherboard and $450 later, he was apparently good to go. All I needed was the motivation to get started.

Enter Andi. 

We first met years ago when I joined a weekend quilting class to learn how to free motion quilt. I blogged about it here, and here, and here. Yes, parts 1, 2 and 3. On the afternoon of the second day, once all the trauma had died down, I was sitting watching everyone else quilting away and I was chatting with someone about the baby hats I was knitting and selling on Etsy. Another woman further up the table said hesitantly, “Excuse me. Are you…. Frogdancer?”

While the other class members looked at her as if she’d run mad, I said, “YES!!! Who are you?”

“I’m Patch Andi!” she said. Ahh, that was back in the days when craft blogging was a huge thing. I think Instagram has a lot to answer for. Anyway, Andi and I have been friends ever since.

A couple of weeks after Mr Darcy came back from the sewing machine spa, Andi posted on FB that a place had opened up at their Craft Camp in Gisborne in a couple of weeks. ‘Hmmmm….’ I thought to myself. (Well, to be fair, I’m not psychic so I couldn’t have thought it to anyone else.) ‘If a weekend away from the house, being surrounded by other crafters doesn’t make me start to use Mr Darcy, nothing will.’ At the very least, I thought it would be a very good litmus test to see if I still enjoyed it. So off I went to Craft Camp.

I already knew Claire from Matching Pegs, but everyone else was new to me. I was the last to arrive, so I settled in at the end of the table and started to unpack the 4 boxes worth of my stash that I’d brought with me. After 6 years, I had no idea what was in there.

Two hours later, I’d finished sorting. I gave a heap of things away… what was I thinking with some of the fabric I had???… and I was ready to begin on something. But what?

(Though an AMAZING find was the knitting bag I’d made years ago that mysteriously disappeared. I was so happy.)

While I was deciding, a G&T was delivered. Most civilised Craft Camp EVER! After lunch, I decided to make a quilt for Tom25. I had a lot of green (his favourite colour) and other butch, masculine colours. To ease myself back into it, I decided to do 2.25″ squares.

It’ll be fairly autumnal I think.

I donated a heap of scraps here and also liberated some as well, so that Tom25’s quilt would have some variety.

I was really grateful that the house had some rotary cutters. I know I own a couple, but I couldn’t for the life of me find them. This little station was where I spent my time all Sunday.

I had a great time – it does you good to get away every now and then, doesn’t it? I have heaps of 2.25″ squares ready to be sewn together and Tom25’s quilt is begun! Maybe he’ll get it for Christmas if he’s lucky….

 

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