Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May Goals check in

Its almost half way through May... time to check in on how I am going with my goals.

  • Blog regularly - WIP Wednesday, Fitness Friday and Sunday Stash Report for a start with Monday Musing/Tuesday Museday thrown in. Throwback Thursday... maybe but going to have to go to topics other than quilts.

This hasn't happened. Maybe I was a bit burnt out from blogging everyday in April. Going away for 10 days at the beginning of the month hasn't helped much either. I didn't have my lap top with me, just my iPad and I don't find that easy to blog with. My son, with whom I stayed did have a laptop but he was on it a fair bit. I did use it to put up my WIP Wednesday post but that was it. There has been nothing to report stash wise so no movement (nothing in nothing out basically) and my Fitness has been SOOO woeful who wants to talk about that.

  •  POD blocks. I got block 17 done before I went away but obviously couldn't do the one that came out the day after I left...

  • Judy's Bluebird Quilt.- have the top together and the borders made but not attached.

  • Scrapitude The last clue was due to be released this week but sadly Charlotte, the woman behind it had a tragedy in her family so it has been postponed

  • Sew 2 blocks from the 2012 Amy Gibson BOM Craftsty class. - nothing done - no time with machine

  • Make Fangirl's Doctor Who Quote cross stitch into a wall hanging for her swap. Got this done before I left. Yay.

  • ANZAC related entry for the show. Fangirl is working on her cross stitch block and I have completed my 4 embroidery blocks. Still have to print out photos and put the thing together. I have worked out the design

  • Hand Stitching project - trace off patterns and stitch them. I incorporated this withthe above goal. My hand stitching project had an Anzac theme.

  • Watch at least one Craftsy class right through. I had all the classes downloaded to my iPad but something went wrong with the ap and I had to delete it and reload. This happened whilst I was away. I had managed to get the Joen Wolfrom class Colour Play for Quilters watched right through on my trip down. I had started to watch a bag class too. I was disappointed as I was planning on doing the painting exercise from Joen's class and had even bought the paints and other supplies whilst I was away but wanted to refresh exactly what I had to do and couldn't. I have it downloaded again now I am home and hope to get this done soon

WIP Wednesday

Having been away from home for 10 days, and whats more away from my sewing machine, I haven't done any patchwork this week. No surprise there

I have been busy with some handwork though.

I took 4 embroidery squares away with me to work on and I am very pleased to say that I got them all done. Yay me. Now I have to sash each block and then work them into the wall hanging that they are going to be part of. Fangirl and I are working on a joint project for the local show.

 As well as these 4 embroideries I have to print out a couple of photos to include in the quilt. These will be pictures of my great uncles who were both killed in action at Gallipoli. Tracking down the special fabric that you can feed through the ink jet printer proved harder than I thought it would be. I got some in Sydney on the second stage of my trip away but had to get A3 sheets (and a pack of 10 at that) which I can cut in half to go through my printer. I can now do lots of photos for quilting projects!!

Whilst in Melbourne I bought myself some knitting looms and got rather hooked on making beanies. I got 3 finished whilst I was away and there is another on the loom. I made 2 from regular knitting yarn and one from recycled t'shirt yarn (t shirts cut into continuous strips, then the strips are stretched which makes them curl over on the edges to make a thick yarn type stuff) The one I am working on is also from the tshirt yarn. 

I modelled 2 of the beanies on social media. I don't think they are a particularly good look on me. The red and white one (made from the recycled yarn) is really rather ugly. Not sure what I am going to do with it. It was fun to make but... butt ugly best describes it. I am teasing my sister with whom I stayed in Sydney that I am going to give it to her but if I do that I might not ever be allowed to come back and visit her.

Embedded image permalink Embedded image permalink

I got home tonight and was too tired to get stuck into sewing straight away but hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get busy working on the Bluebird Quilt. My hope is to get it finished in time for my sister (who did the embroideries and who is coming to visit me next week for a week) to take home with her.

Linking up with

WIPs on Wednesday  WIP Wednesday

Thursday, May 7, 2015

WIP Wednesday a day late

I am away from home for 10 days at the moment. My 27 year old son doesn't own a sewing machine here in Melbourne. How rude! And inconvenient. I am here with him till Sunday (I hope) and then will fly to Sydney to see my 92 year old mum. She has owned a number of sewing machines in her life but now that she is in a aged care hostel she doesn't have one of her own. There are a few in the complex apparently but perhaps NOT designed for visiting daughters to do patchwork on.

So I am left with hand work.

This year is the centenary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, in Turkey on the 25th April 1915
  1. Anzac Day is one of Australia's most important national commemorative occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
Our local show in June has a special category in the handwork section for "Handcraft item, any medium with the Anzac theme. Fangirl and I are going to collaborate to make a wall hanging. She is cross stitching 2 pictures on the theme and I am going to do a couple of stitcheries and we will combine them into a quilted wall hanging.

I went looking for some embroideries on the theme and I was surprised that I couldn't find any on the Anzac theme. There were a number of machine embroidery patterns but none for hand embroidery. I did find a couple featuring poppies but  none of some of the other iconic emblems of ANZAC notably the slouch hat or the Rising Sun, the emblem of the Australian Military Forces. I did have one already that was designed by my sister in law Christine of Bluebirds and Bumblebees. She has one in her BOM embroidery collection. Her design for April has an Anzac theme.

This meant I had to design my own. I first searched for images on line of both the slouch hat and the rising sun. When I found ones that were suitable I copied them to a word document and fiddled around with them till I got the size right. I then printed them out and using my light box transferred the design to the fabric. I realised after I had started that I really should have transferred the design to paper to check it was clear enough but I was working to a deadline (I needed them done to bring away with me this week as my hand project) When I get home I plan to redo them on paper and then put them up on the web as a free down load for other hand stitchers who might be looking for iconic Australian emblems to stitch. 

As well as the slouch hat and the rising sun emblem I also wanted to use an Australian flag. I found a lovely picture of one that was flapping in the breeze which appealed to me more than a stagnant one all laid out flat. Trouble was when I blew it up to an appropriate size the stars on the flag were fuzzy and out of shape. I was trying to work out how to fix this and had decided I would combine the two images (I had a flat flag) by... just cutting out the stars, pasting them on the other picture and scanning the image. Fangirl rescued me by combining the two digitally (I think she used Paint but I could be wrong) so I had a clean image to work with.

So I had them all prepped and ready to bring away with me to work on whilst I don't have my sewing machine to get on with other projects.

At this stage it looks like we will have 9 blocks in our wall hanging - the 2 cross stitches Fangirl is doing, the 4 stitchery blocks - flag, slouch hat, Rising Sun and April BOM, 2 photo blocks of my great uncles who were both killed at Gallipoli (aged 20 and 24) one day apart. And then a centre block. Not sure what I will put on that - maybe another stitcher with Anzac Day or something like that on it. I might try to incorporate the New Zealand flag into it too since it is a combined commemoration.

I stitched on the plane flying down - but only just. I forgot to pack a needle. Fortunately I had one of those motel sewing kits in my bag so had a needle after all. Meant I got some sewing in for those hours on the plane.

On the plane I took the opportunity to watch a Craftsy class. I watched Colour Play for Quilters by Joen Wolfrom and it was a very interesting. I hope to do some of the exercises when I get back to my stash. In the meantime I bought some paint and hopefully I'll get I got to some of the painting ones whilst I am away.

On the flight I saw the most glorious sunset out the window and so much of it fitted with what was being said in the video class about colours

Since I've bee here in Melbourne I've finished off the first of the embroideries and am very happy with how its turned out

I've been looking for the special photo fabric to print the photos out on but I've not been able to find any. I will have to look for it online

Before I left home I worked on Judy's Bluebird quilt. I got the blocks put together with sashing and I have made the piano key border for it. 

I had hoped to get the borders attached but my Saturday disappeared with the embroidery design project. They are all hanging on my design board waiting for my return

I did manage to get this weeks POD (Project of Doom from Fandom in Stitches) block completed before I left Whilst not super tricky it did have almost 50 pieces in it. Of course another one was released today so I am  ehind again.

As if I didn't have enough projects on the go I bought a knitting loom whilst I've been here in Melbourne. Its lots of fun and I'm hoping to make a beanie as my first project.

linking up with

WIPs on Wednesday    WIP Wednesday

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sunday Stash Report (on Saturday)

I'm off again tomorrow for about 10 days so I've written my blog early.

I haven't done a stash report at all in April. I was so busy with the Blogging A to Z Challenge that I didn't bother with my regular blogs very  much. I did do a few but figured that I was probably inundating my regular readers any way. Also to be honest I wasn't doing much sewing! Or shopping.

This week I have been back into my sewing routine (no exotic overseas trips, no full time work) I had medium finish and a small finish. I also completed a couple of blocks for different things. Since they are only blocks they don't actually count as finishes -  I can't put them in the finished projects sidebar but I can count them in my finishes as far as stash calculations.

My finishes for this month

Gretchen's Mug Rug - swap run by Sandi from Quilt Cabana Corner .18m

Star block for comfort Quilt - its not a completed project but it is all I am contributing so get to count it :) .07m

Test Pattern Zipper bag. I still can't reveal photos of this project but can say (again) that is so cute! .19m

Heart for Comfort Quilt .11m

Blue Pinwheel Quilt (most of the blocks in this were done by others but the fabric for the sashing and backing came from my stash) so I only counted the yardage I contributed  3.61m

Doctor Who Quotes wall hanging. The cross stitch in this wall hanging was completed by my daughter for a swap she was involved in on instagram. I made it into a wall hanging for her. For this one I only counted the yardage I used  .24m

Fabric Purchased

I bought the fabric for the backing of the club quilt 3.08m

Whilst in Malaysia I bought some batik fabric to use to make wall hangings from the batik paintings Fixit Guy, Fangirl and I made 1.10m

So my stats for this month (end of week 18)

Fabric Used                                4.39

Fabric Added                              4.11

Year to Date

Fabric Used                               53.72m

Fabric Added                             16.89m

Net Fabric used                         36.83m

Update on May's Goals

Yes its only day 2 of the month and I have already made inroads on my projects for this month. That Doctor Who wallhanging for Fangirl... yup that was one of my goals. Done.

Also - today I traced off some stitcheries to take with me so that is part of one of my goals done... he he. I haven't worked on any of them but they are traced off. Since they are part of another one of my goals I get to count them twice... they are for the ANZAC project for the show. Go me

Sunday update: I finished POD block 17 before heading to Melbourne. Yay

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Its a Goal!! April Goal Wrap up and setting my May Goals

April is over and I have to say... Success! Yes I accomplished ALL of my April Goals. I didn't think I would given how things were looking with a week to go but have made great strides this week. They are listed in my sidebar but to recap.

 Complete blocks 13-16 in the POD challenge. Done.

Mug Rug Swap item - done

Test Pattern project - Done

Scrapitude Clue 4- Done

Star Block done

Work on Judy's Bluebird Quilt -done. This month I have sashed all the blocks and put them together. Haven't started the borders yet.

Blogging A to Z Challenge. - done. I put up a blog post every day. I was able to relate all my posts to my patchwork in some way. It was lots of fun

Blue Pinwheel Quilt. I finished sewing the binding today. My finger is a bit sore as I forgot to take my thimble with me to our get together but its done

And now for MAY

New month coming up... a whole new slate on which to write. I am not going to write a blog post every day but hopefully I can get back into my regular blog writing. I'll make that a goal

  • Blog regularly - WIP Wednesday, Fitness Friday and Sunday Stash Report for a start with Monday Musing/Tuesday Museday thrown in. Throwback Thursday... maybe but going to have to go to topics other than quilts.
But on a quilting note

  • Well firstly there will be the POD blocks. Have to get them all done. There will be 5 of them (including the one that was released today. I DID NOT include that in my April Goals - I was being realistic) That's blocks 17- 21
  • Judy's Bluebird Quilt. I almost have the top together. I would love to get it finished for my sister to be able to take it back to Sydney with her after her towards the end of May. So Finish Bluebird Quilt
  • Scrapitude Charlotte will release the last clue in Scrapitude this month. That will be the putting together along with the borders and sashing. I hope that I can get the top put together this month... or at least do some work on it.
  • Sew 2 blocks from the 2012 Amy Gibson BOM Craftsty class.
  • Make Fangirl's Doctor Who Quote cross stitch into a wall hanging for her swap
  • ANZAC related entry for the show

I am going to be away for 10 days this month (at least) I leave on Sunday to fly to Melbourne to be with our oldest son,  Massage Man (whose name must change since he is no longer doing the massage course) He is having 4 wisdom teeth out next week and I'm going to look after him. Once he is on the road to recovery (hopefully by Sunday) I will fly to Sydney and have a couple of days with my mum and see my sisters before flying home again.  Then not long after I get back one of my sisters is coming to visit. She is also a crafter so sitting and stitching with her won't be a problem but in her 10 days here we are planning a couple of overnight trips... so that is going to cut into sewing time. To this end I am planning on a hand stitching project. Not sure quite which one yet. I have some Doctor Who ones and also a gorgeous pattern from my sister-in-law Christine concerning a sewing room. Might do both.

  • Hand Stitching project - trace off patterns and stitch them
Given I am going away I had better call it quits there or I will be putting myself under too much pressure! I might add though
  • Watch at least one Craftsy class right through. I have them all downloaded to my iPad now and with the travel and being away from home I may find some time to get some watching in

Z is for zippers and also Zee End

I never really like them. I had to insert one when making a pencil case in my needlework class in first year at high school. I didn't really get how I did it and it looked pretty lumpy and ugly as I recall. And it was stressful. And I didn't like it. AT ALL

I didn't do much sewing on machines after that class for many years. I enjoyed handwork... crotchet, embroidery and eventually cross stitch.

My first sewing machine was one my husband and I bought for $20 from a Lifeline shop in Sydney shortly after we were married. It was a treadle singer sewing machine He restored the machine, first smoothing off the wood then varnishing it. He painted the metal parts black and it became a beautiful piece of furniture Our small tv used to sit on it. I didn't sew with it. I think my husband used it more than I did. 

We've owned this machine now for over 30 years. The belt needs to be replaced for it to work again. Since restoring this machine wonderful Fixit Guy has also restored his mother's treadle sewing machine. She was going to throw it out. I said I'd have it. FG said why, and I said cause I love them. He ended up restoring it and giving it back to her. Its still in her home, after her death but the wider family know its mine! I have also now got my aunt's treadle sewing machine. no work has been done on it yet but I have high hopes for it. :) 

I hadn't realised what beautiful paint work the Singer had till getting it out to photograph for this post. Its beautiful... needs some attention (like a dust for starters)

The Christmas our second child turned 1 Fixit Guy bought me a Janome sewing machine. I don't know what prompted him to do it. I don't recall asking for it but perhaps I did. Shortly afterwards we moved to a new town. One of the first shops I went into was the Knitwit Shop... a specialty stretch fabric shop. It was owned by a friend of a friend and I had been asked to drop something off to her. On impulse I signed up for classes. I knew no one in town. I had no commitments. (Unlike where we had just moved from where I was super  busy with various things I was involved in) All I had to do was find some child care. 

I loved it. I loved being able to make things for myself and my kids. Sewing stretch was easy. No buttonholes. NO ZIPs. I was a regular at all the different classes they ran over the next few years till the shop closed. I kept making jumpers, pjs, track suits etc for the kids and myself till fashions changed and tracksuits were no longer considered designer gear (and I had 2 more kids to chase and no time or energy)

About 12 years after I became a Knit Wit  a friend took me along to a patchwork sewing class. I had no intention of becoming addicted to this form of sewing... but I did. I loved it. I loved the endless fabric choices and patterns and design choices. And again ... NO ZIPS. 

Last year I did a workshop with a tutor. Sue. We made Tumbling Blocks pattern and her suggestion was we turn my blocks into a Brick Bag... with a zip. I was nervous. She was persuasive. She stood by my side directing my every move. I sewed where she said. She pinned the next bit... I sewed as directed and... we ended up with a very nice Brick Bag. I was thrilled.

But... she left no written instructions and for the life of me I couldn't remember what we had done. Still I had made a very nice brick bag with a zipper. Clever me.

That was it. I thought.

Then at some point... some how... I came across this tutorial on YouTube from the Missouri Star Quilt Company for a little zipper pouch. I really like Jenny Doan. She explains things well. Simply. She shows you. She doens't pretend she's perfect and sometimes she has little errors and she shows you how to fix them. I loved this tutorial. I could do that I thought. So I did. I had a go. I played the video through. Again. I paused it. I did one step. I played a bit more and paused again. I sewed a bit more.

And lo and behold I had made another little zipper pouch. Cool. I made another one. I could watch the video again and off I went... I used up the zips I had. I had to order some more (Ebay is my friend)

Our quilt group went on a friendship visit to a neighbouring group and when they heard that I was part of a craft group sewing things for a charity they showed me all sorts of little things that they make to sell on stalls and at markets. Including a brick bag. So similar to the one I had made with Sue last year. Exactly the same. They explained how it was done and it all came back to me.

Back home again I sewed another brick bag. I had my other one there as a sample to help me step through the process.

And I did it. I made 2 more brick bags for the stall.

I found another pattern on Noodlehead's website that I really liked The Open Wide Zippered Pouch

Picture from Noodlehead website

I went a bit wrong with mine but I am keen to have another go. I had to wait for more zippers to come in. The ones I had ordered had all been on the small side ( 7" -9")

I ended up making 9 little zipper pouches for the Handmade With Love Stall at the Our Rainbow House afternoon tea plus the 2 brick bags. And there were 3 I kept for myself as well.

You can see my zipper pouches in the pile at the front of the stall. They sold well apparently

And you want to know something really funny? Someone one read my blog, saw my pictures of zipper pouch and other little things I had made on it and asked me to pattern test for a new book coming out in Fall 2016. I had my choice of patterns and I chose.... a cute bag with a zipper. I can't post pictures of it... but its super cute and I made it. So cool.

Can you believe it. I have bought 3 bundles of zippers.. the last one had 50 in them. Obviously I'm going to be making heaps of bags and zipper pouches. What a turn around

WIP Wednesday

Time for quilting has been a bit short over the last few weeks. Boyo was home over Easter and whilst I did some sewing whilst he was here it was more limited. Then we were packing and getting ready to go to Malaysia for a week at the same time I was working on getting my A to Z Blogging Challenge posts written before we left so that they could go up while we were away.

One way and another time was short.

Then we got home and I went back to work full time for a week. That was a bit of shock to the system when I haven't worked fulltime for a few years. Whilst I had some time to sew in the evenings I needed to get my sewing mojo back up and running again... and I didn't have the energy.

So... finally on the weekend I had the time to spend sewing. I was delighted to get  back to Clue 4 Scrapitude. This month's clue saw us putting the blocks together. They have turned out really well.

I was on a roll. On Sunday I tackled the Block 14 of the POD challenge and Monday Block 15 and Tuesday Block 16! All ready for Block 17 to come out Thursday.  

I then decided to have a go at quilting the Blue Pinwheel quilt that I have put together for our quilt group. I was really pleased that I got the whole top done Tuesday evening, and got the binding machined on. Now I have started hand stitching it down.

Today I was off to our quilt group for the morning and I was able to work on the Bluebird quilt I am making for my niece Judy. The embroideries were designed by my sister in law Christine and they were stitched by my sister Joy. Judy is her daughter. I got the blocks trimmed up and have started to stitch on the sashing so I'm making good progress.

Its great to be back into my sewing AND now I have almost finished ALL my April goals. All I have to do is get the rest of that binding stitched down and I will be done!. Yay. Go me

WIP Wednesday        WIPs on Wednesday