Thursday, March 23, 2017

Its Whoopsday Again... WIP Thursday

Once again I am a day late with my WIP - Work in Progress report. Its coming to you on Thursday BUT its still Wednesday somewhere.

This past week I have achieved some great things. I was going to settle for Good but no I will claim GREAT. This week I learned how to do a Pantograph on the longarm. Well I started to learn. I will still need lots of help doing them but I did use the pantograph on 2 quilts and that rates as great. My friend Lorraine had to help me each time we had to advance the quilt, and help solve any hassles BUT I got 2 quilts quilted AND I used a pantograph so that rates as Great. No photos (I feel a bit self conscious taking photos in public so to speak for my blog... silly probably but you get that).

I did the quilting Friday and Saturday. I have since then trimmed both quilts and made and attached the binding on one of them and tied off the ends of the threads. So one, En Provence is completely finished (apart from the label) and the other still needs to be bound. I have also loaded (With lots of help from Lyndi) another quilt and I plan to go and quilt it today (in between bible study, house work and helping with worship at our aged care facility). This one will be free motion quilting but I am hoping to mimic the pattern from one of the pantographs I used... a series of circles in circles... a bit like bubbles.

A local quilt shop is having a 40% off sale this past 2 weeks and I am afraid I caved (my Stash figures are going to be woeful this week). Whilst cleaning up and sorting my craft cupboards in January I found that I had the Labrynth pattern - that gorgeous puzzle like pattern that was doing the rounds on the internet last year and a few years before that too. I got tagged in it numerous times by various people who really liked it. Obviously I must have too (the first time it went around) and bought the pattern and then forgot about it. Anyway... I decided since it was a pattern that I had to buy fabric for, that I couldn't shop from my stash to make, I would lash out and take advantage of this sale.

So yesterday I visited the shop and purchased the many metres of fabric that I was going to need and came home, went back to get my pattern that I had left on the shop counter, and THEN when home started cutting for the quilt. I wanted to get it all cut out for 2 reasons.

1. I had to convert the required fabric from yards to metres and I wasn't confident that I had got it correct
2. If I had made a mistake and needed more then I needed to get back before they sold all the fabric and before the sale was over!

So I spent the rest of the late afternoon and evening cutting fabric and... I had heaps. The patterns are usually pretty generous and I didn't cut back too much for each measurement (A metre is about 3" more than a yard).

So that was another great achievement. I am not sure when I will actually start sewing it. I want to get on with some more sewing for Comic Con but with it cut I can take it with me when we got away and work on the blocks as we travel.

I made another large messenger bag for Handmade With Love during the week using some gorgeous monkey fabric. Whilst not strictly pop culture it is cute and quirky so should appeal to the crowd that goes to Comic Con (at least I am  hoping it will)

My other sewing for HWL this week has been sewing 2 size one rompers at our weekly get together. I am not a great one for sewing clothing with cotton fabric (I learned to sew clothes using knit fabric and was confident sewing that for many years although since I got into patchwork I haven't sewn much of the other) Anyway Peggy, our HWL leader is a fantastic sewer. She had cut out two pairs of rompers and I sewed them with help from her. She did a fair bit of pinning and we would work out the next steps together. She did the overlocking. The look really cute.

That is about it for me... a great week of sewing. Hope you too have had a good week.

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#AtoZChallenge The Great and Powerful Theme Reveal

This is my 3rd year of participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and its the first time I have managed to almost get the theme reveal out there on the right day. I never seem to be able to keep up with when it is supposed to be.

It case you were wondering - it was Monday and its now Wednesday!
2017 Participation Badge!
The A to Z Challenge runs throughout April. Bloggers are challenged to write one post a day, (excluding Sundays) gradually working their way through the alphabet. 1st April is A, 3rd April B, 4th April C etc. Most participants focus on a theme to guide and structure their blog post. Participants are encouraged to go visit other blogs in the challenge. (I always stumble over how to explain what the challenge is and I now confess that I have basically lifted this explanation from my daughter, Fangirl's, blog post on the event. To see her theme reveal go here

This year I have chosen to make a patchwork block whose name starts with a different letter of the alphabet for each day of the challenge. I started getting organised for this not long after last year's challenge ended, combing through lists of blocks and choosing ones that I liked.

I left it for a while and then a couple of months back I went back through the blocks and made a short list of ones that I would make and then selected my blocks for each day. 

Then I started to make the blocks. Life can get hectic and I wanted to be sure to have the blocks done before the days came up that I would actually need to have the block done. 

Patchworkers all know that all those blocks out there that you see in quilts have their own special names. Some, particularly traditional blocks, can have multiple names. Funnily enough it seems that the more common and traditional the block the more names it can have. Patchworkers like to design their own blocks and quilts and in doing so give them names. Because patchwork has been out there for such a long time there isn't much new under the sun and many of these new designs and blocks are really just variations on a theme of blocks that have been around for decades.

Life has a way of ... well getting in the way of blogging. And as seems to happen to me April this year is going to be very busy.

The first year I did the challenge (2015) Fangirl, Fixit Guy (my husband) and I went to Malaysia for a week (plus travel days) in April. 

2016 I had 2 weddings (one of which i was bridesmaid for) in Yeppoon and Newcastle (that's were 1500 kms apart.) Then we travelled down to Melbourne to visit with our oldest son (The Beast) and to pick up our new caravan. 

This year I will be home for the first week, then I will be flyng to Brisbane to go see My Fair Lady at the theatre and will stay on with Fangirl till Easter when our family will gather together in the Gold Coast Hinterland to celebrate Fixit Guy's 60th birthday. I am really looking forward to that.

We will then have another week in Brisbane before we head down to Sydney to see my family and to celebrate FG's actual birthday and then return home in early May! So I felt I once again had to get really organised.

I have not only completed all the blocks but I have assembled the quilt top and back and am hoping that by the time I leave for Brisbane I will have managed to get it quilted. I really really really want to have a completed quilt by the end of April and because I am going away that means having it done by April 6th.

I have also pre written most of my posts or at least started to and scheduled them. This is what I have done in past years to help me keep up only I have now found out that this year the organisers of the challenge have changed the way they do things. In the past you put your name on a master list and the other participants in the challenge could go to that list and work their way through it in order to visit other A to Z challenge blogs. 

Because of the challenges to the organisers and moderators of the challenge to maintain the list (weeding out non participants, dead links etc) this year they are going to a daily tweet or facebook link up for participants to go to. That means my scheduling of posts isn't going to be as effective. I am still going to need to tweet the links and comment on facebook each day. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

WIP Whoopsday -

I'm running late again with my WIP post but its still Wednesday somewhere in the world.

Having been away for part of the week and travelling for 2 full days I haven't accomplished as much sewing this week as I would have liked. I did take my smaller sewing machine with me to Brisbane (and have left it there to use when I am down in a couple of weeks time). I had planned to do the March clue in Charlotte Hawks mystery quilt which had been due to be released the day before we left. However due to severe storms taking out power and cable services in the area she lives in she was late in getting it posted. It was released the day we left to come home.

I did work on the backing for the A to Z quilt, getting the 3 blocks (2 remade and the Z block) pieced together with left over fabric from the second border and lots of letter/school/writing related fabric from my stash.
I bought some word fabric to complete the backing 

and have realised that I didn't get enough so more fiddling about to get it big enough

I made 3 items for the Comic Con stall - 2 Easy Cosmetic Bags and a boxy zipper bag. The boxy bag looked so bad it didn't rate a photo.

Once home I was able to get the March Clue completed in Charlotte's Mystery quilt. All the units are now assembled and next month we are to be told how to assemble the units into blocks. They are looking really great and I am looking forward to seeing the completed blocks and quilt.

Its midway through the month so its time to review the monthly goals I set myself.

  Complete my secret project I've made good progress on this
   Make 20 items for Comic Con Stall I've made good progress here too. The 8 teeny tiny pouches, one ear bud pouch, a large messenger bag and 2 easy cosmetic purses. So I've made 12 items - over half way. I am now awaiting delivery of more of the lobster swivel clips and zippers so the small pouches are on hold but I can get on with more messenger bags cause the magnetic clips are here.


Complete March clue of Charlotte's mystery Quilt.I got this done over the last 2 days Yay


4 A to Z Challenge quilt I've started work on it (as detailed above) The top is completed and I'm working on the back. 

Work on En Provence. I have organised to quilt this on Friday using our club long arm. Lorraine is going to help me load it on the frame and then I am going to try to do a pantogram for the first time 

So - I'm making good progress with all 5 of my goals 

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday

Monday, March 13, 2017

Smunday Stash Report - late again this week

My week can be divided into 2 distinct parts - productive and not so much. LOL. At the beginning of the week I was able to get stuck into a variety of projects, all for Handmade With Love, particularly for the Comic Con stall we will have. Its not till September but since I will be out of the country from the end of July and have some other travel before then I am trying to get as much as I can made before I then.

This month I have set myself a challenge to make 20 things for the stall (I managed 12 last month) but had done nothing in the first week or so.

This week I got my act into gear and I made 8 Teeny Tiny Zipper Purses, using this pattern by So Sew Easy. .41m

 I made one ear bud pouch - Tardis fabric is so cool .07m

  and I tried out this new messenger bag pattern by Crazy Little Projects. 1.87m

Its big enough to carry a full size laptop (mine pictured is 15" and there is heaps of room for a bigger one) I talked about the hassles I had with it (all stemming from me assuming I knew what to do.. hint. I didn't ) on my Wip Wednesday blog post 

No purchases this week so all profit!

Week 10
Fabric used          2.35
Fabric added        0.00
Net usage            2.35m

Year to Date     
Fabric used       61.03
Fabric Added     21.60
Net Usage        39.43m

linking up with Patchwork Times

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WIP Wednesday

How has your week been? Have you been making progress on your WIPs? I've been busy and very happy with the progress I have made on a number of fronts.

I unpicked the dog cushion that I had mentioned last week that I felt was over stuffed and removed some of the stuffing and it was then much more suitable for the dog to snuggle onto... he no longer looked like he was going to bounce straight off it. I got 2 more completed as well so Jack and Digby have new beds in the laundry where they sleep at night as well as 2 cushions in the rumpus room/sewing area. That is all that they need so future dog beds will be given away as they get stuffed.

I have finished off 2 more secret project quilt tops and have made the backings for them so I have somewhat of a quilting pile up....4 quilts and backs ready to be quilted and one more that I am making the backing for now.

Today at Patchwork I put the borders on A to Z Challenge Quilt.

 Its ended up much bigger than anticipated (90" square). adding 3 borders does that too a quilt! Sorry I have no photos of the completed quilt top... but its supposed to be a secret till A to Z blog challenge starts 1st April. This is the 3rd border fabric

I am working on the backing for it (as mentioned above) I have 3 blocks left over from the front to incorporate - the Z block plus the 2 blocks that got replaced on the front. I have a little of the border fabric left over to go on the back as well but I am going to have to work out what to do with the rest of it.

At Handmade With Love yesterday Peggy had cut out a couple of little dresses and some rompers. I am not big on clothes sewing, but its cutting things out that causes me the most angst. With them already cut and Peggy on hand to say what to sew when and where I was able to get stuck in and between us we got the 2 dresses made in the morning and they looked really lovely. I forgot to photograph them too (not doing too well here am I)

I have been busy with a some other HWL projects. One of my goals this month is to get 20 items sewn for the Comic Con stall I am having in September. Over the last 2 days I managed to sew 8 of the Teeny Tiny zipper pouches. (pattern is here on Sew So Easy)

 and one ear buds pouch. (no photo of it either... I forgot) So 9 things down and 11 to go!

I started working on a different Messenger bag tonight. I did a number of major stuff ups because instead of reading the instructions properly I made some assumptions and they were WRONG. I had a lot of unpicking to do.... I'd assumed that the big piece I cut was the front and back of the bag and the small piece I cut was the flap cause that is what they had been on the kids messenger bags I've been making. (despite them being called front and back) The big piece was actually the back and the flap. I had stitched the pockets on incorrectly and also when I'd cut the one way fabric in half and sewed it so that the pieces would be the right way when folded... yeah they were both upside down. I managed to get them all fixed up but have had to call it a night with only a little more stitching done. The pattern looks good though and works well. You can find it here on Crazy Little Projects.

I've also restarted my crotcheting. Last October I offered to make 12 water bottle carriers for a Kyros Outside walk that is being held in North Queensland (Its part of the Emmaus movement we belong to) I got 8 made pretty quickly but it has languished somewhat but I found the stuff a few days ago and have since made one more and nearly finished a second. I have a return car trip to Brisbane this coming weekend which is about 20 hours driving - only some of which I will be driving for so hopefully I will get a few done then.

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday

Monday, March 6, 2017

Smunday Stash Report...

I had an unexpected finish last week - it was an unexpected start the week before and a quick finish. I blogged about it here. I made a denim picnic blanket using cut up jeans as the backing and mostly flannels for the front. Its now rolled up in the back of my car to use for picnics etc. I don't have many of those but its there to be used as needed. I love how it turned out. It was completely pulled from my stash and measured 172cm square and used a total of 7.43m 

I had gathered up a heap of fabric scraps to stuff another dog pillow. I had too much and over stuffed the pillow so the dog kinda had to perch on it. 

I made another pillow and split the stuffing between them. I bought home yet more stuffing from Patchwork so made a 3rd dog pillow. This makes a total of 4 pillows for them and so I think that they are well covered for them. I will have to start to give the pillows away but may need to find more fabric to make the outer cover with. For the 4 I have made to date (3 this week and one a few weeks ago) I have used rubber backed curtaining. This makes a sturdy cover and the rubber back means that the doggy smell doesn't penetrate the inner stuffing as much (I hope) I have some more curtaining there to make a few more.

It hasn't been all profit this week. I had a trip to Spotlight yesterday. My main aim was to get some suitable border fabric for A to Z quilt.At first I couldn't find any alphabet fabric at all and ended up getting some with writing on it. 2.06m

It wasn't quite what I wanted and wasn't sure that I was really going to be able to use it. Then I found a metre of greyish black fabric with some letters on it and worked out that I put it as the first border then the second fabric would look fine. 1.03m

I also got some minky to back another quilt. 4.21m

 Spotlight also had a special on - 10 fat quarters for $25 (a very good price in Australia) and so... yeah I bought 10. 2.57m

I got all blender fabrics and tone on tones which will be very useful for the projects I have been working on. I do like it when its a straight profit week but am pretty happy with my purchases, most of which were needed to complete existing projects.

During the week I made the backing for one quilt,  I  put together another top and have started work on yet another. I now have 2 quilts that need to go on the long arm at Patchwork club and one that will be ready to go very soon (just have to sew the backing I bought yesterday together and it will be right to go) So... will have a few more BIG finishes very soon.

Week 9
Fabric used        12.93
Fabric added        9.86
Net usage            3.07m

Year to Date     
Fabric used       56.68
Fabric Added     21.60
Net Usage        37.08m

linking up with Patchwork Times

Friday, March 3, 2017

Fitness Friday

Its been a bit of a mixed bag for me this week. My weight has gone up a little bit... probably due to a party last night which meant I ate lots of yummy cheese and chips and nibbles. I was 96.9 this morning.

I've managed to ride most days this last week. On Saturday Fixit Guy and I rode for 30 kms - doing our regular route twice. We did think about doing a different route but ... nah. This one was good. 

We didn't ride at all on Sunday- we enjoyed a bit of a sleep in and then we had commitments at church and of course the dog has to have his evening walk - and the afternoons are still too hot to be too energetic. (the temperatures are not longer heat wave but our maximums are still 35-37C)

I rode every other day between 16-18kms apart from Wednesday. I'd had a bad night so wasn't feeling like getting up and riding. We won't ride tomorrow as we have a 60th birthday lunch to attend in a place that is 265kms away. We will leave early enough for me to be able to go to Spotlight whilst we are in town so no rides!

As well as my morning ride I have tried to ride my bike around town to other commitments where I can - the dentist, to teach Religion, to Handmade With Love. I couldn't ride to Patchwork on Wednesday as I had to take my machine and sewing supplies etc. We could ride at night to things too but haven't so far. We do have lights on the bike but the streets here aren't too well lit and so you can't pick out the potholes and rough spots too easily.

My Fitbit went flat again this week. So my stats are a bit up the creek so I won't worry about reporting them here.

At the park where we often walk there is a windmill which pumps water into a small dam. Recently we have seen this sulphur crested cockatoo drinking for the pipe - obviously likes the water fresh and untainted by anything.