Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Quick Apology

Hello Folks!

If you have left a comment on any of my recent posts and I haven't replied it's because Blogger hasn't been sending the usual comment notifications to my email.  After a wee bit of investigation, it seems this is a problem for more than just me and Blogger are working on it.  So, thank you so much for your comments and please accept my apologies that I haven't replied to you.  Fingers crossed Blogger will resolve the issue and normal service will resume soon.

Kay - I'm delighted you have finally broken into that B&C stash.  Make something magnificent to enjoy!!


Friday, 15 June 2018

Something to think about

Have you ever started a project, left it for a while and when you came back to it wondered what to do with it again?

I feel that way about these hexie diamonds, as I refer to them.



I think when I first cut a gazillion hexagons from my B&C stash I had thoughts of a quilt laid out in a diamond grid with a pathway of white/cream hexies separating them like sashing.

Three years on, and only 6 hexie diamonds actually stitched (!!!), I don't know how I feel about this project.

Have I stopped liking it?

Am I just disappointed because it's so lacking in progress?



What to do next -

do I hide it back under the bed and hope one day to be struck with inspiration? or that it might in fact just get 'lost'?

or do I make up more diamonds and see what happens? - there are many, many more hexies already cut for the purpose.

It has potential and options, doesn't it?


Maybe I could learn to love it again if I just spent some time with it.  I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel yet, I don't think. And, if it's the design I'm not so hot about any more, that can always be played around with later, right?

Perhaps I should nudge it up from that UFO list on the left over there into the WIPs?  Oh, go on then!


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Triple Pouch


The last pouch I took a fancy to make from Aneela Hoey's Stitched Sewing Organiser book is the Triple Pouch.  I like multi-pocketed pouches and wanted just to see if I could do it.  I was a little hesitant though, as the instructions were lengthy and I'm not the biggest fan of diagrams in patterns, rather than photos.



I took on board advice from a few IG friends to pay very close attention to every word of the pattern and not to think it out for myself, just follow the instructions, and actually that did help and the pouch came together with a little less drama than I imagined.


There are a number of interesting construction steps in the making of this pouch, but I did get there - even if I had to re-do a few steps because I didn't read every word, then realised I should have.


Some of the folding and tacking was intriguing, but trust the pattern and it works (no surprises there).


This pouch has three large sections



and can you just see the little slip pocket in more of that navy fabric alongside the inner pouch?  There are two of those as well, handy for a little packet of machine needles or sticky fingertip thimble pads.

Full disclosure, the larger outer pouches of my make are not equal in size (and yes, it bothers me a little) because while the pattern can be followed well, I did find some bits awkward to manipulate though the machine.  At one point, many layers and very close to the pressure foot meant I didn't quite achieve the pattern's recommended half inch seam allowance.  So achieving it on one pouch side, but not on the other, means that one of my outer pouches is wider than the other.  Add that to some of the other dodgy bits that my photos disguise well and ... oh well, never mind!

The fabric I chose to use for this pouch is Katy Jones's Priory Square for Art Gallery Fabrics.  It has been in my stash for a very long time and it feels great to finally use it in a project.  Also, like all the AGF fabrics it has that beautiful smooth feel to it.

I'm off now to fill up the pouch!


Saturday, 2 June 2018

Being Realistic




Dear Jane,

It's not you, it's me.

No seriously, it is me.  I want to have the commitment it takes to replicate your beautiful quilt design by EPP, but I just haven't got what it takes.  If we were to do the maths based upon my productivity so far, I think we could be talking about several lifetimes before this quilt would be complete, and well, unless I happen upon the elixir of youth fairly shortly, I don't have several lifetimes to spare.

So, I think my 25 blocks (sadly very far short of the full quota I hoped for) should become a pretty wallhanging as testimony to my efforts.  These little blocks have been wonderful and frustrating in equal measure, but it's time to admit that in this case I have bitten off more than I can chew, as it were.

Perhaps you will always be the quilt that got away from me. Or, maybe one day I will find myself flush with time and choose a quicker way of piecing your quilt designs? Whichever, for now I salute you, Jane, for your perseverance and for your patience with so very many teeny pieces of fabric and I dedicate my meagre effort to the memory of your inspirational quilt.

Kindest regards,
Sarah


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

30's Repro Quilt Finish


Woohoo!  Another binding finish to knock those WIPs down another number, and of course, to have a gorgeous quilty finish!!

This quilt is 72" x 84", though the pics show it sideways because it was too long to hang on my line.  This one is for CT when she moves to a single bed (which will be a while).  I love that this quilt wasn't very planned and just came together for no particular reason.  Perhaps, I also love it because it was a little bit illicit, in that I should have really been doing other things, not starting a new quilt ;-)



A light gust of wind upset the shot but shifted the quilt into better lighting to reveal the texture of the diagonal serpentine quilting. I really like this stitch for a gentle quilted finish.

It feels good to have finished the binding on those three quilts that were so close to finishes as I reported when I was Taking Stock.  With all of my other WIPs still quite far from completion I'm not sure which should be my focus next.  Hmmm, need to have a think.


Saturday, 19 May 2018

Twister Quilt Finish




Next up for a finish from my WIPs list is the Twister Quilt.  

She got a bit of diagonal serpentine stitch quilting attention and looks so good for it!


Then, I used this bright Joel Dewberry print, which was the inspiration print for this quilt's colour palette, to bind it.  I LOVE binding, have I told you that before? (Only a hundred times, probably.)



And then, there was proper sunshine to take a picture of the finished article!


This shot is just to show off that quilt texture. Isn't it nice?

Just like that 10 WIPs is now 9!  Go me!

If you like this quilt, you will find my tutorial here for this really satisfying simple block.  I am determined that one day I WILL make another one.  This one is being gifted later this summer to my one niece who hasn't yet had a quilt from me.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Vinyl Pouches


Back in November, when there was sew-a-long for Aneela Hoey's Stitched Sewing Organisers book, I tried out a couple of her pouch patterns but got no further.  There were a couple of the other organisers in the book I fancied trying, so a few weeks ago I decided it was time to have a go at them.  As you can see above I tried the Two-in-one Pouch and the See It All Pouch.



My poor Two-in-one Pouch has a rather religious vinyl middle - hol(e)y - as I had problems stitching the vinyl and it all went wonky had to be redone.  By the time the centre run of stitching is done, lots of other parts have already been stitched (like the zipper enclosures) and since the pouch is just for me, I was too lazy to want to start afresh with an unspoilt piece of vinyl.  Next time I will remember that stitching the vinyl with paper or tissue paper over the top of it works so much better ;-)  Actually, I wish I'd just thought at the time to add a folded strip of fabric down the centre to cover the holes I made.  Hindsight is surely a wonderful thing.



There was also a mishap with the positioning of my kam snap fastening and the two don't quite meet level.  It adds a bit of a tilt to the closure but I'll live with it.  Though it is still a mystery as to how it happened.  I've checked and double checked the pattern and my measuring but am still none the wiser as to why it should be 'off'.  I'm feeling very out of practice sewing little things and making so very many mistakes!!


Anyhow, the pouch will serve its purpose nicely as the holder of many things, no doubt, in spite of its shortcomings.  I kind of think that yummy coral fabric makes up for its little foibles!



When I tried the See-it-all pouch I had learnt my lesson and remembered to have paper between the sewing machine and the vinyl for easier stitching.  I had some pain getting a nice smooth turn on the biased binding strips that were used to cover the zips (yes, the straight bits).  All sorts of horrible puckering was going on, but many suggestions from IG friends and many, many trials later I got a better, though still not perfect, turn on the binding.  Oddly enough, I didn't have any such drama on the curved part of the binding - go figure!

So there you have it - two more pouches tried and finished.  The last one on my list is the Triple Pouch. There are very lengthy instructions for it and it looks a little scary but I'd still like to see if I can do it. Maybe I should start thinking about fabric options ...

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Bonnie & Camille Around the World Quilt Finish



I have finished binding my Bonnie & Camille Around the World Quilt!

It is made up of 2" squares (2.5" cut) from many of my beloved Bonnie & Camille fabrics.  It was pieced on my Singer 99k hand cranked beauty but quilted on my Pfaff Ambition Essential.


I had thought to quilt in the ditch on this one, but choose the serpentine stitch (wavy, snaky line) instead and basically followed what would have been the ditch lines anyway.  The quilting isn't as hidden as it would be with 'in the ditch' and I'm pretty happy with the result.  The fact that serpentine stitch is a very forgiving alternative to stitching in the ditch is a huge bonus!!



I am also congratulating myself on making a reasonable dent in my B&C stash with this quilt and the quilt I made for my friend last year.  Three boxes has become two, and pretty as they are all folded up, they look so much better as quilts!!

And, just in case you aren't tired of looking at this quilt yet either  ;-) here's a final shot - 



11 WIPs has become 10!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Taking Stock


It's time to take stock of where it's all at (or not) as the case may be.

By nature, I'm a finisher.  I like things to progress in their natural order towards a conclusion.  But of course, I'm also a quilter/sewist and I have far more ideas than time to finish - hence the WIP and UFO list of 11 items.  It might not sound like the biggest list in the world to some of you, but now that I find myself without any regular or lengthy time to tackle those items, it feels honestly rather HUGE to me.  



Ultimately, I'd love to reduce this list to three projects at any one time - one machine WIP, one hand stitching WIP and one crochet WIP.  This would leave choice of project when I spy an opening for some stitching amid the chaos of life, and also allow for small projects to be undertaken along the way without having loads of mid-progress projects cluttering up space (which they do).

Of course, that wish is the stuff of unicorns (I know... some of you believe).  Still, maybe I can do something to make headway reducing this list and freeing up headspace and storage space for the unfinished projects.

 Let's see what needs to happen -



Quilt Now BOM - I haven't taken any pics of this Quilt for quite some time, but there have been occasional efforts to progress the hand quilting. I've made it as far as the motifs in the outer border now and while it's slow, it is going to be worth it (eventually). 






Cosy Christmas Quilt - This one stalled somewhere after appliquéing the gingerbread man I believe. It's all in a box somewhere and I will get back to it.  However, Little Miss CT is still a wee bit wee to appreciate it, so there's no big rush.





Sarah Fielke's Happy Days BOM - There hasn't been any progress since this last shot of the completed quilt top.  In the absence of any free motion quilting skills of my own, I think that this might get some hand quilting attention when the time is right.



Dear Jane Quilt - there are 21 blocks stitched now (not all pictured here).  Still a VERY long way to go.



French Knitting Yarn Crochet Rug - I love crocheting with the yarn results from the French Knitting dolly.  It's chunky and squidgy but boy is it slow!  Though I have spied a gizmo being advertised which might speed up the yarn production aspect.  I need to investigate - could be a swizz.


Twister Quilt - Just binding and labelling required to complete this quilt now.




 B&C Around The World Quilt - Also ready for binding and labelling.




30's Repro Bed Quilt - Quilted and ready to be bound and labelled.





B&C Scrap Vortex Quilt - I have a small stack of scrappy shapes now from this leaders and enders project. Not one for a speedy finish yet though.




Crocheted Hexagon Throw - This project has been sitting on my UFO list because I really haven't touched it for an extremely long time.  It's too lovely to leave unfinished, so I need to think about how to bring it back into progress.  Maybe one for the autumn.




EPP Hexie Diamond Quilt - Another untouched project languishing on the UFO list.  I think I left it aside when I felt a bit 'meh' about the diamond shapes and didn't really know if I wanted to keep going with this plan.  I need to give it some more thought.  Though I have a lot of hexies already prepared that it would be a shame not to use.


So, while there are still a number of longterm projects to tackle, it seems the obvious place to start in reducing my WIPs is to finish the three quilts that just need bound and labelled.  After that I have plenty of options, don't I?  I'm not expecting to suddenly discover hours of stitching time each week (more's the pity) but I just don't want to NOT finish the projects I still love.  Progress is progress, even if it is just a little here and there.  Keep an eye out for my efforts to keep things moving!


Friday, 27 April 2018

30's Repro Spring Bed Quilt


I think I must have had a yearning for the lightness of spring when, during the long, dark months of the beginning of the year, I pulled a bunch of 30's style reproduction fat quarters and started cutting. Slice, slice, slice.  There wasn't much of a plan to be honest, not beyond something quick, simple and big enough for a single bed.




I cut 3.5" strips, some 6.5" long, some 12.5" long and just kept piecing these very basic blocks.  Totally a classic case of avoiding my own, already healthy, WIP list, and starting something new, something for which I didn't really have time (except because it was so simple, I did).




The top came together very quickly once all the cutting was done and I enjoyed not having too much to worry about in the piecing beyond keeping a consistent seam allowance.  It was also lovely to watch all those beautiful fabrics squishing through my machine.  Such lovely spring, happy colours!  (Mostly sourced from the lovely Sarah and Penny at Pretty Fabrics and Trims quite some time ago, though they still have a huge range of 30's Repro fabrics if you're interested.)



All the effort of unearthing supplies to baste the quilt made me think I should really baste my two other completed flimsies while I was at it.  Not entirely sure it was the great idea I thought it was, but quilting into the wee small hours over the Easter holiday weekend did mean that all three are now ready for their binding.  Progress of this sort is definitely a result for me these days!!

Just to prove that the other two are quilted, here are some sneaky peeks -




Hopefully, you should be able to make out that all three have been quilted on the diagonal with the serpentine stitch on my machine. It's such a lovely stitch to use and really quite easy and forgiving, too.

Of course the 30's Repro quilt top is now another addition to that healthy WIP list I was avoiding!  But on the plus side, all it needs now is this pretty scrappy binding.




And, now I think it probably is time for a more serious look at that WIPs list.  Maybe next time ...

Friday, 23 February 2018

FAL 2018 - Quarter 4 Winners!


Today is the day we are delighted to announce the winners for Q4 of the 2017 Finish-A-Long, thus bringing the 2017 Finish-A-Long to an official close.


If you are low on inspiration or maybe your sewing mojo has been missing lately, we highly recommend you visit some of the finishes from the last quarter of the year.  There are a lot of beauties linked up and ready to inspire you!

Thank you again to our generous sponsors. Without further ado, the winners - each picked by the random number generator - of the Q4 FAL prizes are:



The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Just Jude Designs goes to Kristin, she blogs at Gumdrops and made this really pretty colorful scrappy quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Julie on Instagram (@julieschloemer) and she finished this stunning Criss Cross Applesauce quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Charm About You goes to Swooze who blogs at Swooze's Quilts and Tall Tales and she finished this lovely quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Crystal who blogs at Crystal's Creations and she made this really fun Halloween tote:


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The Q4 Winner of a surprise package from Marci Girl Designs goes to Cathy who blogs at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting and she finished this lovely scrappy quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Tartankiwi goes to Chiska who blogs at Muddy Spring and she finished this adorable little baby turtle quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF patterns from Blossom Heart Quilts goes to Mary who blogs at Mary Emmens and she finished this handy fold up pouch (along with a ton of other projects from Aneela Hoey's book):


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The Q4 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Mad About Patchwork goes to Anne who blogs at Said With Love and she finished this stunning quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF Patterns from During Quiet Time goes to Jenny who blogs at The Lilac Cat and she finished this bright and colorful quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of your choice of 3 individual patterns from Happy Quilting goes to Kate who blogs at Katie Mae Quilts and she finished this awesome Minecraft quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Cooking Up Quilts goes to Becky on Instagram (@thesparrowstitchery) and she finished this bright and cheery throw pillow:


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The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF patterns from Sew Sweetness goes to Lisa who blogs at Lisa in Port Hope and she finished this super cute little pouch:


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The Q4 Winner of the $30 gift certificate from Knotted Thread goes to Kim who blogs at The Quilter at Osage Hill and she made this pretty four patch quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the Camp Bag Pattern Pack from The Littlest Thistle goes to Sheila who blogs at Chez Budsmam and she made this fun and pretty quilt:


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The Q4 Winner of the $15 gift certificate from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Kirsten who blogs at Gemini Stitches and she crocheted this festive Christmas bunting:


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The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Quilting Jet Girl goes to Nicole who blogs at Handwrought Quilts and she finished this simply stunning quilt:


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The Q4 Winners (3) of a six month subscription each to Make Modern Magazine goes to

1. Beth on Instagram (@bhaferko) and she made this lovely quilted set for her son:


2. Beth who blogs at The Anonymous Blueberry Muffin Thief Sews and she embroidered this spooky bat wall hanging:



3. Katy on Instagram (@pudgypenguincrafts) and she finished this lovely Sew Together bag:

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The Q4 Winner of the $30 gift certificate from Clover & Violet goes to Tracey who blogs at It's A T-Sweets Day and she finished this crochet Stardust Melodies Afghan:


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The Q4 Winner of the $20 gift certificate from Sew Me A Song goes to Terry who blogs at On Going Projects and she finished this black swimsuit:


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The Q4 Winner of the $40 gift certificate from Imagine Gnats goes to Mindy at Operation Domestic Goddess and she finished this adorable My Little Pony costume for her little one:


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The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Studio 39 Fabrics goes to Anja who blogs at Anja Quilts and she finished a mini letter A quilt:


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Congratulations to all the winners!! Thank you for joining us in 2017, we truly hope the Finish-A-Long has helped you finish up those works in progress this last year.

A special thank you to our hosts this past year for all of their hard work and time.  A big thank you to the sponsors for 2017.  Last but not least thanks to those of you that have played along with us during this past year and previous years, the Finish-A-Long wouldn't be here if it weren't for all of you and your WIP's and finishes!

We hope that you are joining us in 2018, the first quarter is about half-way through so you still have plenty of time to finish up those projects.  If you missed the first quarter link up, please consider joining us in April when the second link up opens.

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