Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review of my monthly goals and setting some new ones for August

Its the start of a new month so time to go back over those goals I set myself and see how I went.

My July goals got added to a little during the month but in the end this is what they were (as listed in my side bar)

  • make 6 heart blocks COMPLETE
  • Quilt Playing in Sunshine
  • Make bag - this was for a birthday gift for a friend. I didn't get the one made for her that I had planned due to leaving the pattern and fabric behind when I went away to Yeppoon. However I gave her another one I had made earlier - a zipper one that I had used some Fijian fabric on and as my friend is from Fiji she loved it. I might transfer this goal to next month though and make her the one I intended
  • complete 6 Amy Gibson BOM blocks. Absolutely no joy with this one. I left them behind too when I was away which frustrated me so much.
  • Finish Newspaper Mama - top and back made. My friend Lindy now has this to get it quilted. My part is done although I will do the binding if required.
  • make zipper pouches for Handmade Love stall I ended up making 2 brick bags and 12 zipper pouches
  • make hand towels for Handmade Love stall - 13 completed
  • Complete Growing in Christ banner. This was finished off early in the month and has been hanging at church ever since
  • make Kombi Boy a beanie COMPLETE
  • Make Beast's beanie COMPLETE
  • Complete POD blocks 26-30. I have yet to complete the last block. I have found some jelly bead fabric for the last block and will get it made shortly. 
  • Finish Crop Circles This is done and on the bed
  • Finish Scrap in a Box This is also completed and on the bed.

So I have done very well with all my goals for the month with only the Amy Gibson blocks, one bag and the last POD block not accomplished. I have started another quilt and made a number of other projects that never made it to my goals list so am well pleased.

Now for August!

I want to complete the POD quilt. As well as Block 30 I want to remake one block (waiting on fabric coming from the USA for that) I would also like to make the broomstick, the sword of Griffindor, the flying key, a photo frame and Dobby. I am going away for 10 days shortly and perhaps can work on them then.

Amy Gibson Blocks I will take this with me too. I might have more luck with them than the paper piecing - need so many little bits for the paper piecing.

Going Green - a quilt I am currently working on. I have the centre together but working on the borders. I would like to have the top completed this month and if possible get the back done and the quilt ready to quilt.

Bag for my friend

Pink Pizzazz - the community quilt I have been working on. I have the top together for this. I need to make the backing and get it quilted. At least I think the top is together. I may yet decide to make it a bit bigger to be a useful size but its not too bad as is. 

I might leave it there for now. No doubt a few other projects will come up over the next month and I will add them to my goals as they come up

How about you? Have you set yourself some goals for this month? What do you want to accomplish?

Sunday Stash Report

I made 10 more little zipper bag this week. Yup 10 of the little suckers. I used the pattern I linked to last week. Well I based it on that pattern but made them a bit bigger so as to use as much of the 5" charm square as I could. Problem with that was that I didn't have enough left over for the little tab so made it out of either another charm square of the same or coordinating fabric. (I only had charm squares with me. Otherwise I could have used some of my 2.5" bits and pieces) Used .60m

I also made a zipper pouch using some cat fabric. I used some plastic backed curtain fabric for the lining. It worked pretty well and I didn't need any batting or stiffening to give the bag structure. Problem I had was the dimensions I used for the bag. The initial pieces were square and so the bag is a bit of an odd shape for a bag. Still hope someone likes it enough to buy from our stall this weekend. I didn't take a photo of it ... oops. Used .2m  

Playing In Sunshine. I finally got this finished today. It was quite an effort. Everything went wrong that could go wrong. I think my machine needs a service. I had all sorts of tension issues and it was one of my most frustrating experiences but I finally got it finished.
Embedded image permalink

To make it that much more frustrating I was running low on thread so when unpicking the messes such as this I had to carefully roll up the top thread and put it onto bobbins so I could use it again. I did  have some sulky thread that I had started using which kept breaking so I had stopped using it but in the end had to resort to it again. I found that winding it from the spool to bobbins and then using the wound bobbins in the top gave a much better result with almost no breakages. As well as thread breaking and the eyelashing and the running low on thread  I also broke a needle AND stitched on my super slider.  

 The quilting isn't all that great BUT it is done. I haven't quilted a big quilt myself for quite some time (2mx2.27 or approx 80"x90") and maybe I have just forgotten what it is like. I did get to use my new quilting gear -  machinger gloves,  supreme slider, bobbin washer and quilting ring... from a Massdrop bundle I bought a few months ago. They were all great ... although added to my frustration a bit when I had to keep checking my bobbin etc... taking off the gloves and then having to remove the slider to get to the bobbin case.
Anyway despite all the frustrations I finally got it done and its big size meant 10.36m of fabric used.

My cat Pippin showed lots of interest in this quilt. He hasn't been as interested in my quilting for a long time

I shot a video of him demanding lots of petting at one point. I even put it on facebook but the quality is pretty crap and some how I changed to slow mo during the shooting... no idea how so its pretty crumby... but cute at the time.

I have also been super busy making birthday gifts for a friend. I can't reveal what they are just yet. I don't think she reads my blog at all but she is my facebook friend and my blog alerts go on facebook and twitter so she might decide to take a peak. There were a number of items and together they used 3.21m of fabric

I have had a few purchases this week whilst in Rocky. I visited a new LQS - well new for me although I think its been there a while. They had a great deal on some batik fat quarters and I ended up with 6 - it was 6 for $20 and in Australia that is a good bargain. I bought 4 dark ones - navy blue for a swap at PnP next year. I got 2 for the projects I made for the birthday. I got some more special fabric for these projects at Spotlight too... a metre of it. I am pleased to say that I used just about all of it up. I have a few little bits left over of the 3 fabrics and if I can think of something suitable I will try to use them up in the next few days too.

So this weeks stats are

Week 31

         Fabric Used                     14.37m

         Fabric Added                     2.57 m

Year To Date

         Fabric Used                    112.11m
         Fabric Added                  39.21m
         Net Used/Added             72.91m   

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday - what have I done!!

I have been away on my own little sewing retreat this week. Not officially but it is how I billed it for myself.

I have been staying at my friend Suzy's place at the beach at Yeppoon whilst she is away at Presbytery and then at a minister's retreat. I have been cat sitting the magnificent Patrick for her. When Suzy went away a couple of months ago she put Patrick at a cattery and he escaped and was missing for 12 long days. This was really tough on Suzy and everyone who is  her friend because we know how special Patrick is to her. It was a real blessing that eventually he was recaptured not far from where he escaped. I was with her when she got the news that he was found - such a special place to be.

Anyway  - I have had to suffer here at the beach for 5 days :) although I am going home today.

I went for a walk on Sunday in Emu Park including visiting the Singing Ship and the New Commemorative Walkway.

I put this one in so you wouldn't get too jealous just to show you we did get some less than sunny weather... but it was only sea mist and only lasted 10 minutes 

I tried to find a link to information on the Commemorative Walkway but it is so new (only opened this year for Centenary of Anzac) that there isn't much on official pages.This was about the best I could come up with


Zipper Pouches. I sewed 10 of these little pouches (See my stash report here for more details) I was so pleased with how they have turned out although must admit I am still looking for the split rings to thread onto the tabs

I also sewed a biigger boxy pouch. I got the dimensions a bit wrong and it looks a bit weird. I haven't photographed it yet so stay tuned... perhaps in the stash report.

Going Green. I cut rectangles from green fabric and white squares to work on the border for the quilt. I calculated that I would need 118 flying geese which is 236 squares. I've managed to get them all done over a couple of days. Last night I was sewing downstairs and watching tv upstairs. I'd dash down stairs in the ad breaks and sew then go back upstairs when the show came back on and snip and press the completed sides. I trimmed the excess fabric off from behind the flying geese having sewn an extra seam first meaning I had little hst. Tonight my friend Suzy was back home and we watched tv together. I'd finished stitching the blocks earlier this afternoon so just had the final snipping and pressing to do... so no crazy stair climbing in the breaks. (I am sure Suzy and Patrick were both relieved)
The finished flying geese... doesn't look much but there are 118 of them!

The ziplock bag full of the little hsts. I will find a way to incorporate them into the quilt too I am sure. I can feel another border coming on... perhaps a bunch of little pinwheels. I love pinwheels

Pink Pizzazz I bought the borders with me. I had made them last week at Patchwork group. Usually I only work on them up at the patchwork rooms - its my Wednesday project  but knowing I would be away this week I bought it home to get it finished.
Embedded image permalink
The borders seem to be a bit wavy in the photo. I'll have to check that out when I get home. Don't you love my feet in this one :)
I am feeling frustrated because I had planned to bring my Amy Gibson BOM project with me to work on but left the box at home with all the fabric in it. I also planned to work on a bag I want to make as a birthday gift for a friend but forgot the fabric for that too. Its all neatly packed up ready to bring on the cutting table at home. Grrrrr

I also got to hang out with 2 lots of lovely quilting friends. On Monday I caught up with 3 friends from Patch n Peace. I showed them Crop Circles and they were delighted to see it. They especially loved the quilting done by my friend Kym. 

Tuesday I caught up with another friend who used to live in my town but has moved to Yeppoon. It was great

The impetus behind me staying on for these extra days was that I had an appointment to see a specialist today about a small lesion on my cheek. The surgeon thinks it is nothing really but given that it has changed size over the last 6 months - growing then getting smaller - so small now its ridiculous - he has suggested I get it taken off and I have agreed. So I'll be back next month and I can do it all again!!!

Linking up with

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stash Report

Its been another week of little projects finished.

A fellow Twilter DDR (I don't know her name or even what DDR stands for ! -now know the D is for Dianne) had tweeted a link pattern from Dog Under my Desk. The pattern was for this Earbud Pouch tutorial. 

It looked really cute and easy. Better still it used small zips. I bought a bundle of zips on eBay a few months back. The bundle included 12x7" zips which I had yet to find a useful pattern for. This was perfect. I didn't bother to print out the pattern sheet as I had decided that I would make my pouches from the contents of my 5" squares scrap draw. Using my compass I drew 2 x 5" circles on paper and cut one in half to be my pattern. I think the circles in the tutorial were smaller but I hate wasting fabric and figured that if the pouches were a little bigger then they could be coin purses or whatever.

I sewed 2 of the pouches during the week and have 10 more cut out ready to go. I don't have any rings to slip over the tab at the moment but will see if I can source them

Embedded image permalink

Each pouch uses 4 x 5" squares and 2"x3" rectangle so not big fabric use but cute non the less. Used .12m

I made a boxy pouch during the week as well. 
Embedded image permalink
I used plastic back curtaining for the outside of this one which will make it water resistant on the outside I hope Used  .3m

My daughter Fangirl asked me to make a cross stitch she had designed and stitched into a wall hanging. The pattern is available here from her Etsy shop here. It used .39m of fabric

My other stash usage for the week has been 6 hearts for 3 quilts for the children of a friend who died from cancer recently. She was a member of an online community I am part of and we are making these quilts for her 3 children aged 10 - 19. As well as my own 3 (below right)  I made the heart blocks for another member of our group (below left) who is not a crafter (who had been sick herself and feeling really snowed under). She sent me the fabric to use for her hearts. I supplied the background fabrics for her hearts. Don't you love the aboriginal print fabric she sourced? Used .24m


I had to go to Spotlight on Friday to get some vliesofix for the applique and whilst I was there I found some lovely Australian fabric so I bought half a metre of it. That was my only purchase for the week. Bought .51m

So my stats are

Week 30

         Fabric Used                     1.01m

         Fabric Added                   0.51m

Year To Date

         Fabric Used                    97.75m
         Fabric Added                  36.64m
         Net Used/Added             61.11m   

As a side issue I just looked at my excel spread sheet on which I record my finished projects and purchases. I am up to line 69 on my projects made page - and some of those line entries are for multiple things (but usually things like 6 hearts, or 10 serivettes or 2 boxy  bags) I am only up to line 19 on my fabric purchases sheet. Admittedly some of them were for fat quarter bundles but still - I like that I am running over 3 to 1 projects to purchases.     

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Another weeks seems to have gone whizzing by. I have been dipping in and out of various projects.

On the home front I have studiously ignored Playing in the Sunshine. Its pinned ready to quilt but I am avoiding it. So much so that I even started a new top. I blogged about it yesterday in "Going Green" I was showing my husband the quilt last night as it was on my design wall. While he'd been out I had cut the set in triangles to complete the on point design. "Aren't you taking the four patches all the way through" he asked. I had made it according to the pattern but his comment prompted me to have another look and think and I decided I really liked his idea. It did mean I had to make another 32 four patches, which also meant I had to cut a few more 2" squares in order to keep the green overtones going through to the edge. It also means I have to cut more white squares..

I was able to cut all the squares from the white triangles and some of the set in triangles. I didn't take the squares right to the edge of the quilt but like the bit of extra that I did do.

I was at Handmade Love yesterday and gave them the hanging towels I had made... well all but the 2 that still need press studs. I ran out, bought some more but do you think I can find the packet with 2 cards of press studs in it. Aggravating. I had planned to finish them off whilst we were gathered together but instead I sewed a casserole carrier. It was so easy that I got it done in a morning.

Came home and then in the afternoon made a boxy zipper pouch for the stall we are having in 2 weeks as well. I am hoping to get a few more pouches made this week. I used a new pattern I found via Pinterest but to be honest if I hadn't know what I was doing I would have been in a bit of trouble. It wasn't really a beginner pattern. I am not sure about the two loops

Embedded image permalink
Today at Patchwork group I worked on putting our latest community quilt together. I got the 9 centre squares together in a nine patch arrangement with white 1.5" finished sashing in between each block and around the outside. I have the borders made but not attached. These are also white - 5" borders with a pinwheel in each corner and in the centre of each side. It will only be 50" square to finish so might have to add something more to it. Thinking I will call it Pink Pizzazz. Or maybe Pink Pinwheels... all my quilts have to have a name.

I am going away for a few days to the coast to mind a cat I am very fond of. Its a rather long story and has lots of changes and ups and downs. Originally I was going to be away with my husband for 5 days but through various commitments we both have we are both going to be away but we are travelling separately and he is going to be gone Friday to Sunday and I am going to be away Saturday to Wednesday. I have a doctors appointment on the Tuesday with a specialist but that is my only commitment aside from feeding Patrick the Cat. I am going to be meeting up with some quilting friends for morning tea and lunch whilst I am there but the rest of the time I am free to do my own thing and that means.... lots of sewing time.

I am starting to organise various projects to take away with me. So far I have

  • Pink Pizzazz with the borders to be attached and backing fabric bits that could be put together
  • Going Green - attach the set in triangles and then sew rows together
  • Birthday bag for a friend to be made
  • Heart blocks to be made
  • Zipper Pouches for Handmade Love stall to be made
I don't think I am going to be bored. Nor am I likely to get everything done but I can have a red hot go at it!!

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday

Monday, July 20, 2015

Going Green

I've just joined Bonnie Hunters Facebook group Quiltville's Open Studio. She is a prolific poster (and sometimes she posts twice cause she must have her instagram account linked and so what she puts there also comes across to Facebook)

She has put up several links to several free scrappy quilt patterns from other bloggers/designers. I enjoyed checking them out and have downloaded the patterns to my one day file. Some of the downloading was easy... there was that option offered. But for others I copied and pasted the patterns to a word document and saved it that way. I have included the designer and the website where I got it from in the document. Gotta give the credit to where it is due.

I was itching to get started on one of them immediately and chose this is the one I do first. Its from Little Miss Shabby

I like the on point setting


Her pattern used 2.5" or 2x1.5" squares. After "Playing in Sunshine" I didn't have  many 2.5" squares left so decided to do it in 2" squares. That meant the white squares were 3.5" square instead.  I decided to feature green squares (just like in Playing in Sunshine I featured yellow squares) and this meant that one in almost every pair of squares was a green or had green in it. I say just about cause I didn't decide to feature green till I had already sewn 20 or so. 

Because the squares I am using are smaller than the pattern the overall quilt is going to be smaller so I decided to add another row and because its on the diagonal this actually meant 2 rows... It meant that instead of 18 blocks I needed 32 blocks. Because I wanted the green to dominate the quilt I had to cut a few more green squares from my 2" strips but apart from that the squares came from my stash. I avoided using blue squares because I hope to make a quilt featuring the blue squares some time. I didn't use white or cream either as I was using white for the bigger squares.
Embedded image permalink
Ready to assemble I had to put a white squared strip either side of the 3 x four patch strips. Its a bit embarrassing to admit that I had to unpick a few cause I put the 4 patch strips either side of a white square strip... In one case I unpicked the mistake only to sew it straight back on incorrectly again. Grr.
Looking at the pattern I have been working out how I could have sewn it in strips. Instead of having lots of 3.5" white squares that end up as 6" squares when the blocks are sewn together I could have cut 6.5" white squares and assembled the quilt as one big block - sewing the 2" squares into strips of the required length ie 9 pairs, 27 pairs, 45 pairs etc plus  lots of 4 pairs and put the thing together in stips... not sure if I am making sense but I know what I mean. I think I made my 2nd quilt something like that... oh so many years ago!

As of tonight I have all the blocks assembled and on my design wall. I still have to cut out the set in triangles. At the moment I am calling this quilt Going Green

Embedded image permalink

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Stash

After my big hit last week  I was worried that this week's usage was going to seem meagre in comparison. However one way and another the yardage used this week has slowly increased.

I made a 12" block to into a community quilt that our group is making. I'll be putting it together as well no doubt. It will be my third one for the year. I don't think we have any more blocks to go together although I will check. I quite enjoy the challenge of putting the blocks together and especially fitting in little left over bits into the borders etc. This time we have 9 pinwheels made from hst made from the trimmings of the flying geese blocks.

Before I made the extra block and the extra pinwheels

We finished putting together the top for Newspaper Mama last week and this week at Patchwork I pieced a backing for it from my own stash. I also contributed some extra fabric for the borders on the top and have given them fabric for the binding. I am not sure if I am going to be the one to put the binding on but at the moment I am counting my contribution as finished and that way I can count the fabric I donated. 3.96m

I can't see where I have counted in the other blocks that I have made for these community quilts... the ones for the blue and white one either. So I've counted the yardage for all of them too. 5.12m (Incl Newspaper Mama)

I need to get on and quilt Playing in Sunshine, my latest scrappy quilt. Its been pinned and ready to go since Wednesday but I just haven't felt the mojo to get started with it. Perhaps this week... tomorrow even. But so far not feeling the mojo.

I've made some more hanging kitchen towels. Each one only uses 2 10" squares (and even then there is some left over). Some of the fabric I used came from the stash we have at Handmade Love so since I didn't count that in I can't count it out. Still the fabric I contributed does slowly add up... I have made a total of 13 hanging towels, half of which I used my own fabric. .58m

Embedded image permalink

I thought I had another week of no fabric additions but when I was sorting through some stiffening I had bought at Spotlight a month ago I found 3 fat quarters I had also purchased.. whoops. So they have gone into this weeks Stash addition. That's .77m (yeah you would think that it would just be .75 but because the fabric is 110cm wide.....)

So my stats are

Week 29

         Fabric Used                     5.70m
         Fabric Added                   0.77m

Year To Date
         Fabric Used                    96.71m
         Fabric Added                  36.12m
         Net Used/Added             60.58m        

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times