Sunday, December 4, 2016

One Monthly Goal

I recently came across this Linky  party on Elm Street Quilts which tallies with something that I am already doing. 

For several years now I have been setting myself monthly goals at the beginning of the month and at the end of the month reporting back on how I have gone with my goals. Patty, from Elm Street Quilt invites bloggers (and posters on Instagram or Flickr) to select one of their monthly goals at the beginning of the month and then at the end of the month to link in to a completion blog.

I was hoping just to be able to link my goal setting blog for December (here) however you have to choose one goal and I had several listed. Next month I will select one of them to be my OMG goal. This month, in looking at my monthly goals I have chosen my "secret commission" for my friend. I didn't go into details about this when I set my goals as my friend reads my blog occasionally when I put the link on Facebook. I won't put the link for this on Facebook so I can go into more details. 

My friend offhandedly mentioned to me that she would like a carry case for her iPad with a shoulder strap. I told her step daughter this, as a suggestion for what she could give her for Christmas and told her that I would make it and she could give the money to Handmade With Love, the craft group I sew for (we raise money for a school, Our Rainbow House in Zambia for the poorest of the poor children in a particular area.)

This friend is a keen Doctor Who fan and so I asked my daughter, Fangirl to get me some Doctor Who fabric from the fabric shop near her in Brisbane that specialises in licensed fabrics - all things geeky. Its called Make It Hobby n Craft and is only a couple of kms from her place.  She has purchased .5m each of Doctor Who Tardis fabric and Darlek fabric. That should be plenty for me to be able to make a simple satchell type bag for her. I still have to find a pattern - or invent one if I can't find what I am looking for.

Most of the patterns I can find for Ipad carriers don't have straps so instead I am looking at messenger bags. I've been collecting patterns on Pinterest. These are the ones I am considering

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Free Messenger bag pattern and tutorial

Mini Messenger Bag - free sewing pattern. One of my favorite bags. Great size, looks great, love the piping, and of coursse, it's a free sewing pattern too.

Since it is to be a Christmas Present then I definitely HAVE to get it done. Wish me luck.

Sunday Stash Report - A good week

I have had an unexpectedly productive week this week. I managed to have 2 big finishes plus a number of small things. 

Christmas Stockings My middle son (Kombi Boy) and his partner (Gamer Girl) aren't going to be with us for Christmas this year so I have made them Christmas stockings to have at their place. KB's features Starwars and GG's has pokemon on it. I love them. .75m

Handmade Heritage Too. I got this finished at Patchwork this week and today it was on display at church (and I forgot to take a picture. Doh) 4.76m

Darlek Potholders. My friend Ali ordered another 2 sets and since I had enough fabric I made up the extra one. No more Darlek fabric left (but Fangirl is posting me some from Brisbane for a special project) .74m 
they aren't all finished in this picture but they are now.

Purse size tissue covers. I made up 18 of these to use as gifts at a couple of Christmas parties I am attending. Since they are sewing related I made them using fabric featuring sewing things. .7m

Nativity Panel. I was given a number of panels over a year ago to make up to use at the aged care home I attend each week. I wanted to get the nativity one done for this Christmas. I had planned to use wadding in it and to do some feature quilting to make the figures pop out but... done is better than perfect and since I was running short of time I used a flanel to back it and didn't do much quilting. It meant I got it finished in an afternoon though which is good. I will take it up to the aged care home during the week. Need to find a rod to hang it with first. 3.87m

To make things even better there was no fabric in this week! So glad to have had some good output. I know I have a few inputs coming before the end of the year so need to make some good finishes before then. If I make my goal of getting two more quilts finished this month that will be good! I can dream about it anyway.

My good use this week has meant that my net fabric usage is greater than the fabric added. I've been in the positive all year but its good to have accomplished that milestone too!

My stats for week 49 are

Fabric used               10.81 m        
Fabric added               0.00  
Net                             10.81m

Year to Date
Fabric used               164.39m
Fabric added               81.19
Net                              83.20m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fitness Friday

I am not feeling very fit today to be honest. I feel a bit icky on the tummy. I'm still on the very tail end of a cold that has been running for almost 3 weeks. I just have the post nasal drip left from that and that tends to make me feel off. Fixit Guy contracted the cold after me (caring is sharing after all) and then he has come down with a stomach bug so now I am not sure if my "not quite right" feeling is the post nasal drip or a different wog.

And Central and Southern Queensland are expecting a heatwave. The temps have been gradually climbing all week and its predicted to hit 41 today (that's Celsius - 110 F) and climb to 42 tomorrow and 41 Sunday and stay up at 40 till Wednesday at least. 

Fixit Guy and I have started walking in the morning. Our bedroom is on the Eastern side of the house so we get the morning sun and its light by 5 now and so we tend to wake up earlier. This isn't good when you are going to bed after 11 but does mean we can go for a walk before it gets very hot. The dog still thinks he should get his afternoon walk as well so we have been going at 6pm when it has cooled off somewhat. It does mean that getting my steps hasn't been too much of an issue this week!

On the negative side its Christmas time and there are lots of yummy foods about and so - yeah - healthy eating is way more challenging.

Despite the temptations (and the numerous yieldings to it) I have managed to nudge the scales down just a little bit. I was 97kgs this morning but that was after breakfast so I was happy with that.

I didn't post a FF blogpost last week so this is for 2 week.My steps this week have been good although the previous week I had 2 days when I didn't make target. One day I was furiously busy - it was the craft show. I was on my feet all day but lots of it standing in the one spot so not many steps.

For the last few weeks I have been going in a challenge amongst my Fitbit friends - Workweek Hustle. One of the women in the group always does amazing numbers - usually over 100 000 in her weekly steps and so she creams us. I have been 2nd to her most challenges but this week someone else has been out there in 2nd place.

Anyway My steps for the last 2 weeks

Friday 3 907
Saturday 10 607
Sunday10 132
Monday 10 026
Tuesday 10 096
Wednesday7 835
Thursday 12 249 
Friday 14 229
Saturday 10 383
Sunday 10 182
Monday 11 284
Tuesday  12 239
Wednesday 10 524
Thursday 13 986

How have you gone this week with your own fitness challenges and goals? Hope its been great for you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

End of Month Goal review and new ones for December

November is almost over (we have 2.5 more hours of it) so timely to review the goals I set for myself in November and set my new ones for December

My November Goals were

1 Complete 4 Christmas stockings (HWL commission) Got these all done and sent off to the person who ordered them at the beginning of the month. Also made another 2 for my family.

2.Complete zipper pouches, headphone covers, coin purses, potholders, hand towels using licensed fabrics Got a heap of little things made before the craft fair

3 Doctor Who Potholders (HWL commission)
Done - collected another commission as a result of posting photos of these.

4 Complete "Getting Along" quilt top Quilt top together. 

5 Complete "Handmade Heritage" I've started on the border but not got far. I did however make a second, smaller one which is completed

6 Work on String X quilt "Stringin' 'Em Along" The blocks are all done. 

7 stitch velcro onto hand towels and bandanna bibs Done in time for the craft fair.

8 Sew HWL labels onto the items completed whilst on holidays Done

9 Start work on Suzu's quilt Post poned till next year.
Of the 9 goals I was able to compete 7 of them, made progress on an 8th and didn't get to the final one. NOT a bad effort.

AND now for December.

1. Work on En Provence Mystery quilt. My aim is to keep up to date each week as the clues are released. So this is going to be my main aim for the month.

If I get time......

2. Put Stringin 'Em Along together

3. Complete Potholder Commissions 

4. Complete secret commission for a friend.

5. Make backing for Alison Gibson BOM quilt - quilt

6 Quilt Hexagon quilt.

7 Work on Handwork Heritage quilt.

Wip Wednesday - progress

I've been back to working on some of my larger projects these last few days now that my son has returned to Melbourne and the Handmade With Love stocks are high. (HWL is the craft group that I belong to that sews for a charity called Our Rainbow House. We sell our goods at craft fairs etc and to friends )

Having said that, this morning I got an order for another 2 sets of the Darlek pot holders this morning and worked on them at Patchwork today. I didn't take enough matching fabric to finish off the 2nd pair but they won't take long to do. I need to get some more labels from Handmade With Love to finish them off as well.

I have made some good progress on Strippy X, a Bonnie Hunter pattern. I added all the triangles to the corners of the strippy pieces. I chose a lavendar and it looks great. All the blocks are now done. Next up is sewing them together

I worked a little on Handwork Heritage. I started to cut to size the off cuts from the doilies to make the border. Turns out there isn't as much as I thought once I eliminated all the plain fabric - that wasn't going to make much impact in the border. I decided to not try to use the crocheted edging in the border as I have to back it and its a lot of fiddling about. I decided to make the border 5" wide but like I say - there wasn't very much once I had sorted them out and trimmed them up. I would like to work in some pinks into a piano key border. I'll see how I go.

Handwork Heritage Too is now finished! I had wanted to get it done to use in Church for Advent. Well Sunday just past was the first Sunday in Advent and it wasn't finished for that. However there is another 3 Sundays before Advent concludes on Christmas Eve! Today at Patchwork Group I put a dark purple around it - its finished at just under 2". Since it was to be a tablecloth I decided not to use an wadding but just to pack it. I didn't want to do a binding so instead I finished it via the "envelope", "pillowcase" or "birthing method". That is, I put it, right sides together and sewed a 1/2 seam all the way around, leaving a 12" gap through which I turned the quilt right sides out, pressed the seams and then stitched the gap shut. 

I am very pleased with how it turned out although its not laying flat at the moment. I think I will give it a really steamy press and see how it sits then. I will take it up to church on Sunday and see how it goes then

And then because it isn't as if I have enough quilts on the go... I joined in the newest Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt that started last Friday. I have managed to complete the first clue - make 221 neutral 4 patches from 2" squares. I was wondering how I was going to manage the fabric for the rest of it when I am going to be trying to pull from my scraps (I am NOT going to buy any fabric) Peggy, our glorious leader at HWL has said I can raid the fabric bins up there. I sorted them all out a year or so ago so know that there is a nice box of purples and quite a few yellows. I am not sure that I will have much at all in the way of purple in my scrap bins as I have made a number of scrappy quilts featuring purple lately. Ah well....

How have you gone with your WIPs this week/Month?

WIPs on Wednesday

Monday, November 28, 2016

Joining in the fun - Bonnie Hunter Mystery En Provence

I wasn't going to do this mystery. I've looked at some of her other mysteries in other years - entranced by the excitement generated on the web by other bloggers and podcasters who have been part of it. However I found her blog posts a little off putting - so wordy - I got lost. Actually it was the initial fabric selection posts that would put me off. All that talk of paint chips and inspiration - I would end up totally confused and so would back off.

This year my friend Lyndi was keen to go again. She had been part of last year's mystery quilt... Allietarie (or something like that) and was keen to go again. Then Pam and Lynne from The Stitch TV show talked about it... Pam has done the mystery quilts several years running now (and is always up to date and on time and ready for each new clue each week). Pam gave some clues as to how to approach it and how not to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of units you had to make. Then Daisy, from Lazy Daisy Quilts and reads talked about it (wrote about it?) on the Twilter Facebook group and ... well I was in. Daisy says she works out of her scrap box first and then pulls from her stash (well I think that is the gist of what she said) and I thought... yeah I can do that.

So starting yesterday I worked on the first clue (it was released on Friday 25th) This week we were to sew 221 4 patches from 2" neutral squares - 884 squares!

I cut my scraps along the lines that Bonnie Hunter suggests - cutting scraps into usable scrap units. In my case I cut units from 1.5" - 5" going up in 1/2" increments, then 6.5" and 10". I cut squares and strips (except 10" - only do squares of those)

So for this week's clue I went through my 2" scrap drawer - the squares and the strips and sewed up all of those into 2 patches. Then I went through my 4" scraps and found all my neutrals (mainly creams and whites and tone on tones of those colours and other pale patterns) and cut them down to 2" strips and squares. Then I went through the 4.5", 6" (at one stage I cut to that size too but no longer)

When they were all sewn into 2 patches I found I was still 75 2 patches (150 squares) short. 

Today I was going to go to my stash then and cut into yardage when I realised I had an overflowing scrap basket that I had yet to cut down into my usable units. I went through that and found heaps of neutral scraps that I was able to cut down. I sewed the remaining 75 2 patches and this afternoon (Monday) I completed the last of the 221 4 patches.

Ta Dah!

I don't know how I will go with the other colours that have been selected by Bonnie for the quilt. Whether I will continue on with the colour suggestions Bonnie has made or if I will change it up a little. I don't want to buy any fabric. That is my main consideration. I will work out of what I have. I am planning on continuing on with the method that Daisy has suggested. I will first use fabric from my scrap drawers and then cut from my stash if I need to. I don't plan to buy the speciality rules that she recommends. I have a couple of other HST rules that I will use if I can. I am hoping that her instructions will include how to do it with out the special rulers.

Now I need to go to bed. My dog is up past his bedtime so better go shut him in the laundry and go to sleep myself.

Are you joining in the Bonnie Hunter Mystery this year? How are you going with your efforts.

Linking up with Bonnie's Monday Linky Party

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Stash Report

This week my son from Melbourne has been visiting and as a result I haven't done much sewing or much blogging. He doesn't get home very often and he wasn't home for long so I tried to spend as much time with him as I could. 

I did do some sewing as I had a project I needed to finish in order to be able to send it back with him. I can't show you pictures just yet as it is a present for someone. I don't think they read my blog but they do read my Facebook and since I usually put a link up for my blog posts on Facebook and Facebook randomly selects which photo it is going to put up with the post... I won't. But this is the pattern I used.

It was a new pattern and took a little bit of figuring out plus my machine decided to play up a little bit as well... so the project took a little longer than usual.

I also made Fangirl a little zipper bag from some fabric she had sent me using a new pattern again. I don't think it was any better than other boxy bag patterns I've used, but also no worse. I used the tutorial pattern from Make it Modern. Fangirl was impressed by it. (it has the seams exposed so not quite as professional a finish - but that also made it quicker so.....)

Then I decided to make another one, same pattern but a bit bigger. I also added a couple of tabs and it worked really well EXCEPT - I had the fabric the wrong way around and so the characters are upside down. I also missed a little bit of a seam and I tried to fix it but it went awry... and so I can safely say it is NOT one of my great projects. My daughter will be able to use it anyway but I need to try to make a better one.

I have had some input this week. The metre of Rugrats fabric that my daughter gave me for a start. It was the patchwork group's Christmas lunch this week. I ended up bringing home 4 fat quarters from the lucky draw to which I contributed 2 so that was a half metre gain overall.

Instead of finishing any big projects off I have started the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt En Provence. I have spent most of this afternoon working on my 4 patches. I was hoping to have a big finish by the end of the year but not so sure I will now... I think En Provence is going to suck up a lot of time. I am actually going to try to keep up with the clues but we shall see what happens.

My stats for week 47 are

Fabric used                2.20m        
Fabric added              2.06  
Net                             0.33m

Year to Date
Fabric used               153.58m
Fabric added               81.19
Net                              72.39m

Linking up with Patchwork Times