Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Stash Report - a couple of little finishes

This week I have had a couple of  little finishes this week. 

First of all I finished a cushion cover for Fangirl using a cross stitch she had made in 2005. (I blogged about it on Wednesday here. I still don't have a picture of it as I gave it to Fangirl before I took one. She hasn't bought an insert for it yet. The cushion is 38cm square and used a total of .4m of fabric

I made a small banner to celebrate Australia Day. 

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port JacksonNew South Wales, and raising of the Flag of Great Britain at that site by GovernorArthur Phillip. In contemporary Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation, and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new immigrants into the Australian community. (Wikipedia)

My project featured the January Embroidery BOM that my sister in law Christine from Bluebirds and Bumblebees has listed on Etsy here. Its free for this month only. Her subsequent embroideries will be listed one per month for $2 each. 

I have made 2 quilts featuring these embroideries - the 12 of them,  but this is actually the first block that I have embroidered. The 24 that I put into the quilts - one which I made for myself and one for my daughter Fangirl.  - were all stitched by my mother in the months following my fathers death. She loved to embroider, and despite a pronounced tremor in her hand that prevented her from writing much, she was able to embroider. She explained that she would just wait till her hand shook to the right place and then poke it in! She wanted something to keep her busy and keep her mind occupied in those first difficult months. I had actually taken the prepped blocks with me for me to stitch at the conference I was flying to when I learned of my dad's death. I didn't go to the conference but went straight on to be with mum. 

She worked on them constantly and over the next few years I traced off many more embroideries for her to stitch which I then sewed into quilts for my great nieces and nephews (her great grandchildren).

Anyway - this little banner was made using an embroidery completed by me. Its 35.5cm square and used a total of .35m of fabric. I put the little triangle hangers on the back. I love using them. They are so simple. I got the idea from a blog... but I can't remember whose. If I can find the link I'll put it in.

Funny thing is, my sister Joy also embroidered the 12 blocks from this BOM. She never got around to making the quilt though. Just this week she emailed me to ask if I would like them. She is having a big clean out and since she has never made them up she thought that I might like them. Fangirl is in Sydney this weekend catching up with my extended family at my nephews 30th birthday party and she is going to collect them for me.

I didn't acquire any fabric. Well that isn't strictly too. I got some scraps... I mean real scraps. I did some dumpster diving... well rubbish bin retrieval from the fabric bin at our patchwork group. I retrieved some bits of fabric that other people had thrown away but there is no way I can work out how much I got... just a pile of little bits and pieces. 

So my stats are
Fabric used this week                                       0.75m
Fabric acquired this week                                 0.00m
Net Fabric used                                                 0.75m

Fabric used this year                                         7.80m

Fabric Acquired this year                                 5.98m
Net Fabric used this year                                  1.82m

Thursday, January 22, 2015

(Not so) Fitness Friday

Blergh. I just can't get it together this year. I keep trying to get the motivation up to lose the 6 kgs I have put on since we went on holidays but just can't seem to get myself going.

I am trying to keep on moving and am making my 10 000 steps most days. My fitbit went flat and registered only 1500 steps one day but I know I didn't get to 10 000. I have a really strong urge to quilt so the urge to run is non existant and the urge to walk not too strong either. I am blessed in that my dear husband (Fixit Guy) likes to walk morning and night if he can and Jack the dog reminds us strongly (and frequently) if we forget. From the moment we wake up in the morning he is running to the door and looking excited if he hears us moving. (He's an outside dog) And any time from 4 PM in the afternoon he gets agitated and excited if we look like we are going outside. He certainly lets us know that he is ready and willing to accompany us "on the road". Digby dog is no where near as keen on walking and often refuses to come with us. If she comes to be leaded up and leaves the yard she will often bail before we are out of our street. She is only a little dog but man she can put the brakes on!

Dietwise I am completely up the creek as well. I usually have the motivation to have a good breakfast - porridge and yoghurt, fruit and yoghurt, bacon and eggs (hold the yoghurt) Usually manage to "be good" during the morning and have a decent lunch... but sometime either during the afternoon or the evening the evil munchies take over and I sneak nuts (okay... but should only have a few) choc chips, biscuits, dips and crackers etc etc....

I think its sleep that is my downfall. I stay up late, get up early to walk the dogs and then get tired and cranky and snacky.

So this week instead of worrying so much about my steps (which I will try to keep up) or my diet (I will try to make sensible choices) my emphasis is going to be on going to be at 10 PM. Lets see how that goes.

Thursday Thoughts

I have found a couple more linky parties on the web. There's one at Sew Fresh Quilts that I have linked my WIP Wednesday to. The tag is Lets Bee Social. I found the link on another blog I was on.


Sew Fresh Quilts has a Block by Block Quilt along going as well called Elephant Parade. It looks paper pieced and I think I will join in it as well.

Sew Fresh Quilts

This year is the year of Paper Piecing for me. This one is only running till March 29th so nowhere near as long as the other one I have signed up for which is 30 weeks!!

Speaking of which, The 3rd week's pattern is up in the Fandom in Stitches POD and I have just printed it off. I might go make a start on it very soon...

2015 Block 3       The Project of Doom 2015 Quilt Along on Fandom In Stitches photo PoD2015ComingSoon_zpsf2dd6a6c.jpg

Things are in a bit of chaos at home (again) Fixit Guy has been fixing the ceiling in the kitchen. Paint is peeling and there is staining as well. There were 2 vents in there from when we had ducted evaporative cooling in the house that needed to come out. So he has been scraping and plastering and such.In preparation for sanding the plastering I insisted that everything had to be put away... everything off the walls and open shelves, window sills and the top of the fridge. That fine dust from sanding plaster gets every where. So I spent a few hours today (with his help) putting stuff away. He then sanded and then he has washed the walls down now that he has finished with sugar soap. I will put everything back when he has finished painting. It all looks so nice and clean and bare... I hope that when I go to put stuff back I can be a little ruthless and get rid of some stuff. I am not sure I need to  have it all go back up.

Meanwhile the loungeroom has lots of stuff piled up in it... all the kitchen chairs are lined up across the room and the table is piled high with boxes and baskets and that is after I tried to shove as much as I could into cupboards!!

Its lining up to be a busy weekend. We have a birthday party and a wedding. We are also kitten sitting. My daughter (Fangirl) is off to Sydney for her cousin's 30th birthday and to see my extended family whom she hasn't see for 2 years. We have her two kittens to play with. Our old boy cat is a bit put out although they are shut up in the rumpus room which he doesn't go into much. We will let him mix with them tomorrow. Its also Australia Day on Monday so we might head down to the Botanical Gardens for the town celebrations (BBQ breakfast, citizenship ceremonies and local awards presentations.) I want to be able to hang up a banner celebrating Australia Day so better get a wriggle on. I am going to use this pattern designed by my Sister In Law Christine from Bluebirds and Bumblebees and available here on Craftsy free this month
Hope you are all having a great busy time too

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WIP Wednesday

This week I worked on paper piecing and completed the first 2 blocks in Fandom Stitches POD 30 week challenge. I also completed a paper pieced TARDIS from a pattern on their website. I have downloaded a heap of others which I may or may not get around to doing sometime soon.

I completed the 3 little zipper pouches using the MSQ tutorial and really enjoyed making them... so much so that I have ordered 20 pretty zips from eBay and keenly waiting their arrival in a couple of weeks. (ordered from Hong Kong so have to wait for them to be shipped here) After I had posted on this blog about running out of zippers a local friend, Lindy,  told me that she had a box of zips that she had been carrying around for 20 years or so and she was happy for me to help myself to a few. She bought them to Patchwork today and I gladly took 6. 1 which I used straight away and 5 to make into pouches.

Fangirl (my daughter) asked me to make a cushion out of a cross stitch that she made in 2005. I sashed it in 3 borders and then made the back and (get this) inserted a zip. I made it today at Patchwork using one of the zips Lindy gave me. I don't have a photo of the finished cushion. I wish I had fussy cut the 3rd border but by the time realised I should have done that the top was already together and I wasn't remaking it.

I am waiting on a bolt of batting to arrive in order to be able to complete some more projects. Ive made the backing for the Tardis Tree and also for the Orphan Block Quilt. I thought I would piece a backing for it but in the end I had a piece big enough and so used it. I have decided to call it Annie's Quilt... you know Little Orphan Annie.... also our dog who died early last year was called Annie so I like the name.


I have been working on Vanishing Hours. I got all the borders on and so now the top is finished. YAY

I've started on the backing, using up extra blocks that didn't make it onto the front - including one vanishing pinwheel that I made by mistake instead of the vanishing hourglass. Also some extra hourglass blocks and some left over piano key border. Its got a way to go but hopefully I will get it done by the end of the week so I can post it off to my friend Kym to get quilted.

 So its been a very busy and successful week. How have you gone this week.

WIP Wednesday  WIPs on Wednesdays 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tuesday Museday - my word for 2015

Sandy at "Quilting For the Rest of Us" is once again running a Quilty Resolutions Challenge and this year she has challenged her listeners to complete this sentence The one thing I have always wanted to do (textile/fiber-wise) that I resolve to do in 2015 is... 

I thought about this for a while and realised that paper piecing has always been something I have skirted around the edges of. I have done a very little bit in a couple of projects (Kombi Boys quilt had a little paper piecing in it. See it here. The windows were paper pieced). Its something I have always wanted to have a real go at but  never have. So Foundation Paper Piecing is my goal for this year.

A few things have confirmed that this will be my resolution for 2015.

I bought a paper piecing class on Craftsy. Its a Jenny Doak class called Mastering Foundation Piecing and I have even listened to the first couple of lessons. I don't thave the equipment that she uses but am getting very tempted by the quarter inch ruler thingy. That would be very useful. I also do use copier paper for my paper piecing and she doesn't recommend this but its handy and cheap and its what is loaded in my printer. 

Also Pam from Hip to Be a Square has joined in a 30 week challenge listed on the Fandom in Stitches website. Its a Harry Potter book shelf quilt with a pattern issued every week for 30 weeks. Its all paper pieced. I had a look and have joined in the Project of Doom (POD) challenge and have completed the first two blocks in the bookshelf.

Actually they are not complete. I want to put some titles on the books so a bit of embroidery left to do.

There are lots of geeky patterns on this website covering a range of interests and subjects. There are lots of Doctor Who patterns. I had explored this website on other occasions and had downloaded a heap of patterns, some paper pieced and some embroidery. 

I decided to have a go at one of the patterns from the Doctor Who file - the TARDIS. I really loved how it turned out.

 Couldn't believe that I managed all these tiny pieces. Its not perfect but I love it and I get a thrill out of looking at it (and the mistakes don't annoy me too much) I am not sure what I will do with it. There are a heap more Doctor Who blocks so perhaps I will make a heap more and make another quilt... or just a few more and make a wall hanging.

Alongside the Quilty Resolution Sandy invited us to choose a word for the year to guide us in our resolution. I chose the word Do. Originally I was going to choose Try and then (in true geeky household style) I remembered the quote from Yoda in Star Wars. "Do or Do not. There is no Try" Hence my word for this year is DO. 

I am pretty pleased with the start that I have made. What about you? Have you made a craft related resolution this year?

Monday Musings A Linky Party and a Free Embroidery

My Sister in Law Christine who blogs at Bluebirds and Bumblebees designed a lovely set of embroidery patterns a few years ago, one for each month of the year. They were released through a local quilt shop exclusively however she has now started to release them through Craftsy. Her first pattern is free.

To check it out this is the link The patterns will be released monthly and the subsequent ones will be $2. I have made 2 quilts from these embroideries already after my mother did the embroideries. I made one for my daughter Fangirl and another for our bed.

Whilst I was catching up on reading Christine's blog I found a link to a year long linky party for Finishes. I was too late to sign up for January but am hoping to link up in future months. It is A Lovely Year of Finishes and is hosted jointly by Shanna of Fibre of All Sorts and  Melissa of Bittersweet

I need to make myself up a list of all my projects and try to work my way through them this year. I just have to make sure I remember to link up in time next month. You have sign up in the first week of each month.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Stash Report - first for 2015

I am finally getting around to doing my first stash report for the year. The first week there was nothing to report and then the next week... and the one after that... well out of routine. Its holiday time here in Australia. The boys have been home for holidays for varying lengths of time. Its been lovely and busy and totally thrown my routines out the window. I didn't get much sewing done for a bit and then I have been back into it working on some longer term projects but have also managed to get a few finishes done... all small projects but they do mount up.

The other reason I haven't reported in is that I needed to get my spreadsheet up and running. Fixit Guy worked on it over the last week and it is all ready to go for the new year. He has tweaked it a bit more at my request. He has added to the formula Pam from Hip To Be A Square podcast and blog. She had allowed for large and small piecing but I wanted to be able to include straight yardage too as needed.. for things that had little or no piecing or for blocks that are made for our Patchwork groups charity projects.

 Last year mid way through the year he tweaked things for me so that there was a running total that took into account fabric added and fabric used. I had been trying to do the maths on the side and my calculations were often askew and needing to be fixed up. Its great! I really appreciate all the nerds and geeks in my life who fix all this stuff up for me.

This week's finishes are actually from over the last few weeks... I didn't do them all in the last 7 days.

9 kitchen towels - I made a couple for me to replace my Christmas ones that were getting very daggy. I then made 3 for my friend after she admired them on Facebook and I remembered I still owed her some from a Pay It Forward thing a couple of years ago. I have also got 4 put away for a gift for someone. Each towel used .14m of fabric so that was a total of 1.26 m. I used some Christmas scraps but also cut into yardage for the ones that weren't for Christmas. (Grr the photos wouldn't upload from iPad and once they go onto the computer blogger goes back to the way the original photo was taken so now they are all sideways)

A small banner for my sister Joy. It was made from a tiny panel that had JOY on it - a Christmas decoration. The finished banner was approx 33cm square and used .3m

Two blocks for our Patchwork Group's BOM They were 12.5" square. I added the seam allowances and then just counted it as yardage since there was no backing or binding.  Converted to cms that 39.37 cms

Then I got on my bag jag and made 3 little pouches. They were so much fun. Can't wait for my funky zips to arrive so I can make some more.

Working out how much fabric each bag used was a bit tricky and in the end I was so glad for the option 3 that Fixit Guy had added to my spreadsheet so I could just put in dimensions. There was very little piecing in the bags so I measured the outside dimensions and multiplied it by 4 to allow for front back and lining. I am not convinced that I got it right in the totals but

Purple Bag - approx 23cm square so total of .75m
Kombi Pouch - 25cm square - .93m
Fiji Bag - 32.5cm x 26cm - 1.28 m

I made a necklace hanger as well... covering a painting canvas with fabric, securing with drawing pins and screwing in cup hooks. Voila. That used a piece of fabric approx 50cm sq. I also used a piece of fabric, about the same size to make a draw string bag for my friends daughter who is off to kindy this year. (I made the sheets and pillow as well but since the fabric was supplied I didn't count that. I just needed a bit of my stash to complete the bag. (I supplied the pink) Little Miss H chose the spotty fabric

Miss H with her bag. Photo by her mum.
I made 10 serviettes to put away for Christmas. I want some green ones to fold into Christmas trees. They were approx 38cm square and used 1.35m

I had some fabric in as well. A friend who had been to Fiji bought me back some as a gift (I used some of it to make the bag) 90cm wide (36") x 165cm long. This equated to 1.365m.

I've decided to join in the 30 week POD  (Project of Doom) Harry Potter bookshelf Quilt project on Fandom in Stitches. I had to buy 3m of the background fabric for it before I could start and also got 1m of the wood pattern fabric for the shelves. That was a total of 4m

Fabric used this week                                       7.04m
Fabric acquired this week                                5.98m
Net Fabric used                                                 1.07m

Fabric used this year                                         7.04m

Fabric Acquired this year                                 5.98m
Net Fabric used this year                                  1.07m