For Christmas this year I received a sewing machine and quilting foot. Although I haven't yet had a chance to play with said machine* I'm piecing together a top layer on my mum's machine so that I can play with the quilting foot as soon as I get home at the end of the holidays. A brand new cosy quilt should do something to lift the back to work blues.
So far I've pieced together twelve 15cm blocks, all variations on the same star. I found the block patterns at a wonderful site, Quilter's Cache, which has over 1300 quilt block patterns written by the very prolific (it would seem) Marcia Hohn.
There's a photo of all the blocks so far here. Flickr appears to be having a bit of an episode as far as this photo is concerned so I can't post it directly.
All the fabric came from Hobbycraft - which really does have some nice stuff. Whilst I was there I also treated myself to an Olfa rotary cutter (as the cheapo one I bought back at the festival of quilts show wasn't really cutting it, literally) and a square ruler which, whilst I love it to bits, has the drawback of being marked only in cm and half cm. This led me to, for the sake of easy calculations add a half cm of seam allowance rather than the traditional quarter inch. It's not a disaster but it would have been nicer, in retrospect, to have the extra 1 1/4 mm! Luckily I've got a cutting ruler marked with both back home so I'm not totally stuck with metric! Another thing which I have at home but not at my parent's place is a cutting board, however, I managed to improvise and discovered that a (unused) plastic chopping board for vegetables makes an excellent substitute.
* I chose it at the Trafford Centre John Lewis with my mum back in October and it travelled back down to the midlands/south-east England (the local news cannot make up its mind about what region we're in) in the boyfriend's car after my cousin's wedding in early December. Given that we had issues getting the machine from the John Lewis pickup point to the car, let alone onto two trains and a bus, with all my other luggage, I think this was a wise move.