Tuesday 19 September 2023

About time I started blogging again!

Sorry for the long absence! I seem to be so busy with so much other online stuff these days. Keeping my website www.susanbriscoe.com up to date and running a mail order business takes a lot of time, and a lot of the material I probably would have used here previously ends up in the form of my website newsletters - so that's one copy and paste job I could do to 'feed the blog' a lot more. If you want to be kept up to date with news, it is best to join my newsletter.
I'm also very busy with the sashiko, kogin, and boro inspired groups I run on Facebook, plus a dolls house group, the Welsh quilts group, and the World Textile Day group on FB... and then there's Instagram, where I'm always forgetting to post photos!

My plan is to start using my blog for step by step photos of sashiko pieces I'm stitching, plus getting back to the sashiko sampler quilt project.

The most recent panel I've finished is 'Honeycomb', one of the Olympus 'la bouquetière' hanafukin sashiko sampler series. Although I arranged my thread colours slightly differently from the kit version (above), I chose similar colours (see the step by step photos below). I was thinking of chocolate honeycomb candy, horrible gooey, crunchy stuff that my dad used to love! Olympus also made the pink and lilac version below.

You can really play around with different colour and thread combinations on these panels.

The number in the black dot on the packet tells you how many 20m skeins you would need to stitch the panel in just one colour... of course, you need to allow a little more when you start playing around with different colours!

What is a hanafukin? Find the answer here.

They all have instructions on how to stitch them, in Japanese, with very good diagrams. Sometimes when I'm stitching these, I use a different stitch sequence to get the thread colour effect I want. This is how I stitched the panel (below).

This is how the border section looks from the back, when the first rows have been stitched.

I like to stitch hanafukin panels through one layer of fabric only, so the slightly messy back can be hidden with the backing panel!

What has been happening?

After getting my Relapsing Polychondritis (RP) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) diagnosis on the same day in April 2021, I've been on various medications to try to control my symptoms, and we seem to be getting somewhere now I'm on a biologic (Infliximab), so the Methotrexate has been reduced, and (thankfully) I'm tapering off steroids. Fingers crossed everything will settle down. I don't have the energy levels that I used to but I'm still getting lots done. I had a lot of problems with post herpetic neuralgia after shingles in October 2021, and in October 2022, I ended up with the first of two fractured vertebrae, thanks to a combination of long term steroids and two accidents involving large amounts of heavy fabric bolts. But all is much better now.

These days, I mostly take photos of work on my phone, and it can be a fiddle to put those onto the blog. Google, in its wisdom, axed the Blogger app a few years ago, so I have to upload photos by using the website edit feature on either the phone or iPad. They usually end up in the wrong order...! But with abit of tweaking, they will make sense. So I will add some in a moment.

Anyway, good to be back here!

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