Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WIP Wednesday


Having finished off Boyo's beanie (which has barely been off his head since I made it. As I write this he is wearing it) I started work on one for Beast. He wanted black. I found a tutorial on the net for one using a different stitch. 

However it didn't work out properly and was ugly so just before I finished off the ball of wool I decided to unravel it all and start again. I'm making up a pattern now and like it better. My attempt didn't look at all like this. Not sure what I did wrong but I'll have another go at it...perhaps using a thinner wool

Kombi Boy wants a beanie too. He's asked for dark grey which I don't have any of so his will have to wait till I get to a wool shop, hopefully tomorrow when we are in Rockhampton

I am up to date with my blocks from this having made this week's one. There are only 4 blocks to go in this challenge. I have at least one I want to redo because when I wrote the name on the books I had the block upside down at the time. Doh. I regret writing the names on the books. It is so time consuming to stitch the names on and I have often been in a rush when writing the names on to embroider over and my printing isn't as good as I would like it. I am not going to do any more and hope that the ones that I have done won't make the rest look out of place

 New one released tomorrow which I won't be able to work on till after the weekend as we head out tomorrow lunchtime for a Chrysalis Flight.

I finished a banner for church this week... so its not a work in progress. I got it made between WIP reports. I wrote about it in my last blog (here) Today I took it up to the church and hung it. 

Unfortunately its hard to get a good photo of the banner in situ but the light streaming through the banner gives a rather special affect and I am starting to think about doing a sort of stained glass banner utilising this light... stay tuned.

Playing with Nine Patches quilt - a pattern by Charlotte from Scrapitude. I've got the top together. I put a golden yellow border on it and I think that will be all I will put on it. However I am still thinking about it. I might yet do something more spectacular with it.

 My friend Tina has finished her quilt She pieced the back completely from squares. Isn't this cool? She's upped the ante on this one. I am going to have to do something special for the back even if I don't do anything crazy special with the borders.


My friend Kym has finished quilting both the quilts I sent her last week - That's Scrap in a Box which I reckon looks like a lattice so am calling it Lovely Lattice and Crop Circles. She is posting them back to me tomorrow so should be here early next week.

Speaking of Crop Circles. It was a mystery quilt from the Patch n Peace weekend I went to at the beginning of June. Another lady, Vivienne, has finished hers and put photos on our Facebook page. Hasn't she done a lovely job. I love her border and have already warned her that I might be appropriating it for one of mine. Perhaps this is what I can do on Nine Patch

Black, White and Red Charity Quilt

My friend Lindy and I are working on putting together blocks made by our group in a block of the month challenge we had going earlier on in the year. As well as the 9 blocks that we put into the centre of the quilt in a basic 9 patch configuration, we had some 5" and 2.5" black and white half square triangle blocks and some 2.5" and 2" black and red hst that we are working into a lovely border. We haven't finished the border yet but made good progress on it today.

 This was the photo I took today to show Lindy (who was sick today) how far I had gotten with it. Also we were trying to decide whether to use red (as in the bottom left corner) or white (top right) to fill in the spaces. We've decided on the red. Might call this quilt Newspaper Mama (Its Black and White and Red (read) all over)

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday

Growing in Christ - a banner is finished

I love to make banners for our church. It adds beauty to the worship space and can inspire the worshippers. It began a few years ago when our then minister admired one of my wall hangings and asked if we could hang it at church.

This led onto me making wall hangings or banners specifically for church. Suzy, our then minister was a bit of a stickler for following the colours of the church liturgical calendar and so she wanted me to make banners in the appropriate colours. 

Purple is for Easter and Advent, White for Christmas and Easter, Red for Pentecost. There are a few special Sundays scattered in there as well that are white or red but for the rest of the year - ordinary time the colour is green. Thats about 30+ Sundays that the colour is green. At the moment we have 3 green banners. (see here for a more detailed break up of the colours of the church year)

Now we have some other banners that we can use but they aren't specifically green. 

I know that after a few weeks people stop noticing things that are there all the time. Its not very  long and so I want to be able to change things around a bit to keep people aware.

So - I have been mulling over what banners I can make to add to the worship space.

I have a Pinterest board that I collect pictures of banners. They come up as suggestions in my feed. A little while ago the most beautiful banner came up. Its by an artist called James Spurgin and I just loved it.

Liturgical Banners by James Spurgin, via Behance

I decided to make a new banner based upon his design. I altered it substantially but the idea of the gold cross with the vine growing over it was the heart of my design.

Being a patchworker instead of an appliqued cross I patched a cross. At first I wanted to do crazy patch but I didn't have enough gold fabric to do that.

 I was going to patch the background as well but I had a lovely green floaty fabric and I used it instead and pieced the cross to the this fabric. Another reason I didn't applique was that the fabric wouldn't take heat (I damaged it a little pressing seams so knew that it would take the heat of fusible applique and that's the only sort I do)

For the vine I thought about ribbon but didn't have enough. Then I remembered a batik skirt of my mum's that had already been cut into for another church banner. It was a circular skirt so already cut on the bias. I just followed the circular hem line and cut 2" strips. I folded both edges of the strips into the middle and shaped the vine over the cross and stitched it down along the side seams.

Originally when I had been going to piece the background I had cut a stack of 6.5" squares from a piece of fabric that was somewhat sun damaged. It had faded in various places. The gold cross didn't show up enough against the green and so I had gone instead to the forest green of the polyester fabric. I was worried that these squares would be wasted but then realised I could use them as the leaves.

I found a leaf shape on the net and printed it out and used it as a template to cut out the 72 leaves. The squares were folded in half and I was able to get at 1 or 2 leaves out of each square. I used some other green fabrics as well in order to get a bit of variety in the leaves. I cut leaf shapes from batting scraps too to give each leaf some body. 

I sewed the veins on the leaves and around the outside in straight stitch and then attached them to the vine in bunches of three. Where the fabric had puckered a bit when I had sewn the vine down I put some leaves to cover up the faults.

The banner itself didn't have any wadding - just a back lining. I did outline the cross but there was no quilting as such, just the stitching where the leaves were attached. (I put the vine on before the back lining which was a mistake on my part. I think there would have been less puckering if I had put the backing there) I bound the edges of the quilt in the same fabric as the background. I stitched it to the back, folded it over and then stitched it down on the front using a decorative, vine stitch.

I put rod pockets top and bottom. I find a bottom rod helps the larger quilts to hang straight,

The finished quilt, which I have called Growing in Christ is 194cm x 115 cms ( 76" x 45" approx). Whilst it was in the planning for a month or more I constructed it over just 2.5 days. You can see by the close ups that I haven't done beautiful stitches. Banners go on the wall and are viewed from a distance. They won't get washed so its not as carefully stitched as it might be if it were a quilt or even going on the wall of a home where people might examine it up close and personal. This certainly isn't show quality but I got it done and I am really really happy and excited by it

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Goals

Iss the start of a new month and for me that means setting some new goals for this month.

Finish Scrap in a Box: This is currently at the long armer (my friend Kym from Professional Quilting Service) and is due to be posted back to me this week. When it gets here I have to make and attach the binding and label it.

Finish Crop Circles: This too is currently at the long armer and when it gets home it has to be bound and labelled. It will be great to have 2 big finishes one on top of the other

Finish Gold cross banner: Oh boy - this is already done. I started to write this list Monday and I got it finished off on Tuesday but hey... it gets to go on the list. I hope to hang it in church for Sunday. I've named it Growing in Christ. I really love it and hope it adds to the worship of our congregation.

Make towels for Handmade Love stall. We have a stall at the end of the month and I want to get a stack made. I have a lot of towels in the box ready to have the handles put on them

Make zipper pouches for Handmade Love Stall. I have a heap of zippers and the pouches have proved popular. I have some plastic backed curtaining that I am going to try for a lining on some to make them more suitable as toiletry bags.

Finish Community Quilt. This is my Wednesday project for when I am at Patchwork. The quilt centre is together and we have started work on the borders. We want to add a narrow red border and then the black and white square in a square border and then.... another narrow red border and bind it in red as well.

Amy Gibson blocks. Haven't made any of these for a couple of months. I would like to do 6 this month to catch up

POD Blocks 27 - 30. This will be the finish of the blocks.... then to put it together. I have decided to not do labels on the books. Some have them on already but it wasn't really adding to them so I'm going to stop

Complete Beasts beanie. Its on the ring. With several hours in the car coming up I am hoping to get it finished by the end of the weekend.

Make beanie for Kombi Boy. He's asked for a dark grey beanie. I have to buy the wool... this weekend hopefully I will be able to get some.

If I get all this done I shall be really pleased. There may well be a couple of extra projects sprung on me as well but for the moment that will do!!

June Goal update

Its the end of the month so time for update on my goals. At the beginning of the month I set the following goals

Make beanies for my three boys - I have made one for Boyo and have started one for Beast. Kombi Boys hasn't been started

Complete 2 zipper pouches for Hand Made Love's stall. I have made 6

Complete POD Blocks 21-25. These have all been completed

Work on Community Quilt at Patchwork. Lindy and I have been working away on this. The centre is together and we have most of the first border done

Complete Scrapitude- Scrap in a Box. This quilt too is off to the longarmers. We were messaging each other today about it and chose the quilting pattern for it. I won't get it finished by the end of the month as I had planned but should be done within a week or so

Work on Patch n Peace Mystery Quilt. This quilt top has been completed and is currently at the longarmers. I've called it Crop Circles. Kym and I were talking about this one today on facebook and chose a nice pattern for it too. We are continuing on with the circle theme but with some swirls as well.

Sew 2 Amy Gibson blocks. For the second month in a row I haven't worked on these. Hopefully next month!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stash report -

I've done a lot of sewing this week but have had no finishes.

I got the next POD block done.. yest the same week as it came out. How good am I... again. This week will be a struggle cause we are away all weekend and then we will have visitors so I'll probably be behind again by next week but you get that. At least I am up to date for now.

Sent 2 quilts off to be long armed... when they get them back and finished off there will be some big numbers to add which will be rewarding.. .but meanwhile I am pretty stagnant.

I've made great progress with Playing with Nine Patches, another quilt by Charlotte from Scrapitude. The centre part is together and I just have to do the borders. I was thinking about doing something special with them but am back to thinking that I'll just do some straight borders in a couple of different colours, the first one being bright yellow... but I've been known to change my mind so watch this space.
this quilt has 738 2.5" squares and I didn't have to cut any of them. They all came out of my scrap drawer of 2.5" squares and I still have some left.. half a box of them. That is really amazing
Currently on my design board is a banner for church. I only started making it this afternoon and I have made great progress on it. The basic banner is done... now for the embellishing which is going to take the time. 

The "vine" is only pinned in place while I work out exactly where I want it to go

I've started making the leaves to go on the vine. I want them to be 3 dimensional so won't applique them down but attach them so they hang off the banner. 15 made and probably 30 more to make

The other work I've done this week has been on shirts to go to the school in Zambia that the Charity Our Rainbow House runs. Our group, Handmade Love has already made dresses for all the girls and now we are working on shirts for the boys. I can't count any of them as finishes either as a) I didn't contribute any of the fabric for them and b) we haven't actually finished them (minor details I know... but rather telling) 

My friend Serana sent me this photo of me hard at work in Peggy's kitchen yesterday

And then there is the knitting loom. Boyo got his beanie (and proud of it he is too. He's hardly taken it off) I've started one for the Beast but I unpulled it cause it was ugly... I was trying a new pattern. Have restarted, another new pattern but one of my own making and so far so good

So... nothing to count as far as finishes go however I do have some fabric to count in the "discard" area. A couple of weeks ago I tried my hand at chenille work. I used 5 pieces of fabric together - mostly repurposed fabric for the inner linings but the top fabric was a panel of some daisies. I was thinking of making it into a cushion cover. When I did the sewing and cutting I did it on the straight of grain, and not on the diagonal. As a result it has just unravelled and unravelled... can't get it to stop... it will unravel to nothing if I keep brushing it and so I have decided to call it quits and throw it out and try again. - 5 pieces of fabric .45m x .5m total thrown out 1.05m

I haven't purchased any fabric - have resisted all the offers on Massdrop despite there being several gorgeous fabric bundles on offer. No little surprise packets from any of my family or friends either so nothing to put into the fabric in section so that is a plus

So my stats for  week Week 26

Fabric Used                                1.05

Fabric Added                              0     

Year to Date

Fabric Used                               70.32

Fabric Added                             35.35

Net Fabric used                        34.96m

I am so looking forward to getting those 2 quilts currently getting long armed finished. They will so change those figures about so that I will have used a heap more fabric, and especially bump that net fabric used up so that it is much more than fabric added. 

The scary thing is that despite having used almost 35m of fabric.. .my stash doesn't seem to have gone down all that much!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fitness Friday

I have been trying to get more exercise this week but so far it hasn't been working. A couple of weeks ago I decided that the key to getting myself motivated to get back in shape was to go to bed earlier. Staying up late means I don't get up early in the morning, I get tired during the day. When I get tired I am more inclined to snack and less inclined to go for a walk

Trouble is I am on a quilting jag at the moment. I am really motivated to sew and make quilts and I really seem to get a go on in the evening and so sew late into the night. I will think... I'll just finish this row or this lot of blocks ... this next step and it inevitably takes me longer than I plan... often cause I will make a mistake and have to unpick and low and behold its late again. Sigh.

My Fitbit is also playing up. It isn't syncing with my phone. My phone tries valiantly to find it but no go. This has been happening for ages now.. for my fellow fitbitters... when I fell off the charts... that is why. I have been exercising... at least a bit but not according to fitbit. I need to plug it into the computer and see if that helps ... or at least go to the Fitbit site and see what is recommended. Maybe I have to wipe it and start again. I don't know. Fixit Guy's fitbit fell between the train and the platform whilst we were in Malaysia and not having him to compete against had already weakened my resolve and now it has gone completely. I did download a pedometer to my phone but that is no where near as good as the fitbit... just doesn't compare in the inspiration category.

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of my unfit life.

I was trying to watch what I ate... and was doing ok until I made banana muffins (2 different sorts... they were both good) I made these ones twice cause they were so good... and I had the ingredients Banana, Honey and Cinnamon Muffins.  and then banana bread. It was good too. (yes I had over ripe bananas that had to be used up) Sigh. They are all gone so might now be good for a bit. I can't find the banana bread recipe I used again but I remember thinking that it was almost the same as the muffins just cooked in a loaf tin

I have managed to chip away a bit of weight (despite the muffins) ... lost a kg in the last 2 weeks. 94.1kgs this morning. 

There is an exercise class for older women operating one day a week in town. Its free and I am thinking of going to it. Its Friday mornings but ... maybe I will just rejoin the gym and start to work out properly. 9.30-10.30 on a Friday morning isn't all that great for me. I really need to get up and do something at 7AM or 8 AM.

I am off to the pathology lab later this morning to have blood taken ... vitamin D check. I was chronically low - under 20 in summer so my doctor but me on Vitamin D tablets and regularly monitors it. At one point I was taking 4 times the recommended dose but now I am on double the dose and my levels are 60. If they are still at that after this test I will drop back to normal tablet dosage and see how we go with that.

I also have to make appointments to see a skin specialist re a lesion on my face, get an ultra sound on a lump on my shoulder and... I think that is it. I want to make a massage appointment too. My back has been aching a fair bit of late. The heat packs are getting a workout.

Man what a whinger. I am cracking up. This getting older is for weaklings.

Now, having not gone to the exercise group this morning and having eaten the last of the banana bread I might try to get moving with some sewing.

Hope you are all having a good day 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WIP Wednesday Lots of Progress made

Another busy week.

I eventually got the mystery quilt from Patch n Peace finished off after I added another border to it, complete with yet more pieced circles to make it a good single bed sized quilt.

  I then made a pieced backing for it as well. It took ages cos I made some blocks out of left over bits and pieces. I had made more circles for the purple border than I needed so as to have some variety in the patches which meant I had a good few left over to put onto the back.  I also used 24 string blocks that I had joined together into one piece some years ago but had never done anything with. This was the perfect project to use it in.

I've come up with a name for the quilt - it was a mystery quilt and had circles in it.. mystery circles.. crop circles. So Crop Circles it is.

On Monday I parcelled it up along with Scrapitude Scrap in a Box which I also finished off recently and they are on their way to my friend Kym from Professional Quilting Service to be quilted. She does such a lovely job.

Professional Quilting Service

With Crop Circles done and out of the house I was able to at last get down to catching up on my POD blocks, from the Fandom In Stitches quilt along. I was 3 behind. With the blocks coming out every week it doesn't take much for a person to get well behind. Anyway - I was able to get all 3 of them made Monday afternoon/evening. I was pretty pleased with how they all came out. I didn't choose to do any of the variations - just stuck to the basic block. I am tempted to do the dragon egg variation for block 25 but we'll see.

Block 23

Block 24

Block 25

A recent discussion on a Facebook page dedicated to The Project of Doom Quilt along centred on what people were going to do  with their finished quilts. Most of the makers were planning in them being used. My daughter Fangirl has determined that its going to be hers... not sure if that is going to happen or not but we'll see

Charlotte, from Scrapitude Quilts, released a new quilt pattern Playing with Nine Patches. The lucky few of us who visited her website in time were given the PDF pattern free.
Playing with 9 patches
 It required 82 nine patches... thats 732 squares. The pattern gives 3 variations for 2", 2.5" and 3" squares. I worked with 2.5" squares and can tell you that I didn't have to cut any squares. I had that many (and more) already cut ready in my scrap usage system. (I sort of use Bonnie Hunter's system, adapted for my own use). I started working on it this week

 and have got all the nine patches made and pressed.

Next I have to cut the 6.5" pieces from the background fabric. The pattern called for the background fabric to be cut into 6.5" squares but some of the pieces are actually 3 squares together so wonder if I could just leave them as one piece. Seams a bit silly to cut them up and sew them together again.

Today at Patchwork Group Lindy and I worked on the black,white and red blocks that we as a group had made. We had 9 blocks (supposedly 12.5" blocks but as with any block swap there was a bit of variation in size)

 8 of which were the design we were supposed to have made and one which was different... I made a up a different months block. Oops.

However we put it in the centre of our quilt and it looked fine.

 Last week Lindy and I had played around with some half square triangle units I had left over from my Sunburnt Zebras quilt made last year and worked out a border design. Today we sashed the 9 main blocks in white and then put together the square in a square design we had worked out with the hst. It looks good.

We had to leave it there and will work on it more next week. We have decided that we want to put  in a narrow red border next to the white border before the hst border. We are going to augment this border with some pinwheels made from hst units left over from the blocks. These are smaller than the ones we have made into the square in a square block and are black and red. Its a rather organic process designing this quilt as we are making it up as we go along, working with left over bits and pieces. We didn't have any red with us to do the borders. I've found some plain red in my stash that I think will do the job although there may not be enough to do the outer border and binding as we had planned. We will see!

Just to mix things up a little I have also been making Boyo a beanie on my knitting loom. I got it finished this afternoon and I don't think he's taken it off since!

WIPs on Wednesday  WIP Wednesday