However, as a result of that little bit of time to myself, I have made good progress on the patchwork:
although I am a bit cross with myself for duplicating a print already by accident: a really silly niggle, as it will hardly show in the end! It was intended to be a different way round but I didn't notice until it was beyond rectifying - I really dislike going backwards. I may have to add some stitching to it at a later date.... English paper piecing is really growing on me, simply because once the hassle of putting the tacked shapes together is done, it can all be bundled up and worked on anywhere, without having to be constantly ironing seams: a winner for juggling handsewing & children!
Some other people's ladders:
Whilst I'm really enjoying using all these lovely checks and florals, I'm still hankering to release a wilder side of myself and do something a lot more free-form and random: I've yet to work out exactly what this will entail, but it will definitely involve lots of colour and movement and texture. I feel I have to get this old-fashioned stuff out of the way before I can really let myself go off exploring new territory: kind of like learning the fundamentals of drawing and then flying off into abstractism.
Jude rarely thinks of anything to say about my projects apart from well-meant niceties, but he said about this piece that it looked like it had been 'stitched by little elves', which I think is the nicest thing he's ever said.
Twelve more 9-patches to go and then I have to work out how I'm going to do the spaces inbetween...