Wednesday, October 5, 2016

WIP Wow Day - the mammoth blog post

This is going to be a long and crazy post today because its two weeks. I wrote one last week but never managed to get it up on the website because of poor internet coverage and then it really was too late... so here it is a week late and then under it I will do this weeks... so be prepared for a mamoth post.

To quote Pam from Hip to be a Square this is really WIP Whoopsday as it is Thursday here in Australia. But you get that. I was frantically busy yesterday getting ready for today’s departure. Half and hour ago we set out on our trek North. We will be away from home for just under 5 weeks. We have the bikes on board as well as the kayak and I have so many projects packed to work on when we have power there is no way we are going to be bored! Our plans include going to an Emmaus gathering over what is a long weekend here in Queensland. That is being held near Cardwell from Friday till Monday. That is the only definite thing for our time away. We want to visit the Cassowary Coast (which is the coastal area south of Cairns) Cairns and the area north of Cairns. Also want to spend time on the Atherton Tablelands and will visit Fixit Guy’s brothers on cattle stations North of Charters Towers. We will be free camping for some of the time but will also spend time in caravan parks so that I can have access to power (and we can wash).
Now as to projects worked on this week. There has been lots of prepping of projects and packing things up.
Our Club Mystery Quilt. I finished all the set pieces for this but when I laid it out (you could choose your own design)  

 I decided I needed some additional blocks and also to add some colour to lift it. It was really dull and dark.
 I have made some half square triangles with orange and the back ground (black) I got the centre design worked out (eventually) but it was the border that was tricking me.

 I was determined to use all the blocks that I had made. I played around with it a few times and came up with something I like (I even got Fixit Guy in on the design process) However I had to pack it up to bring it with me so when I get to the border I might change it again!

My sister ordered 2 Christmas stockings from me and then she increased it to 4. Whilst I was prepping those extra ones to bring with me to work on I decided that I would like to make another 2 for special someones in my life. So I have the makings of 4 more stockings with me.
I am itching to have a go at the strippy quilt I found on Bonnie Hunter’s website. It requires lots of scraps so I dragged out my two plastic drawers with 1.5 and 2” strips. Unfortunately whilst they were out the cat peed in the 1.5” drawers. Yewk.

 I had to wash them by hand as the machine would have made them into one big knot. I soaked them in a handwash solution that didn’t need rinsing out and them spun them out on a gentle cycle on the machine. Pegging them out was a pain but I put them in bunches on my multi hanger and got it done. I didn’t bother to iron them but bundled them into a plastic container to bring with me. I didn’t have time and figured I would end up just ironing the ones I wanted to use.

A friend has asked me to make 25 zipper pouches for her to use in the class room. I prepped the fabric for that one as well – cut 25 different fabrics into 2 8”x4.5”. I was able to use scraps that I had already cut into 4.5” widths for the most part although to get some more variety I trimmed down some of my 5” strips. Its good to use up scraps!! She wants the 25 to be all different so that the children will be able to identify their own. They are packed to sew as well.

The projects that I have packed up include all of these plus the hanging towels, pouches, the old embroidery quilt,  as well as some crotchet projects to do in the car and whilst we don’t have power. I had hoped to get an applique organised to do as well but that didn’t happen. I possibly should have put more effort into getting that organised as I am not sure that the hand projects I have on board will last.

And now for this week

I crocheted in the car. To start with I uncrocheted/unpulled/unravelled/ripped out a scarf I had been crocheting. The work looked lovely ie the weight of the wool worked up beautifully into a lovely lacy scarf but the colour was SOOOO uninspiring and plain ugly I couldn’t bear working with it any more so I unpulled it and am going to give the wool away.

Then I started crocheting up some lovely mohair wool in a pretty green shade. Because it was mohair there was no point in making a lacy design.  – it just wasn’t going to show up in the fuzzy wool so instead I did a very plain 1 treble one chain one treble pattern till I used up all the wool – I joined the ends and I have a small infinity scarf – its more like a cowl. I know that it will be great to wear in cold weather if the top you are wearing  has a lower neckline. It stops the cold air.

I wasn’t expecting to be able to do any sewing this weekend as we were told that the caravan spots at the camp ground we are staying at are unpowered. However when we pulled in the fellow told us where we could plug in and so we have power. This means not only sewing but we can have the air conditioner too  -bonus.

After lunch I set up my machine and started sewing the blocks together of our clubs mystery quilt. I had a heap of trouble with the first block sewing all the units the wrong way around so had a fair bit of unpicking to do. Got it sorted out eventually and got them sewn together properly. The 2nd block worked out just fine. Now to sew them together. That won’t take long.

We had heaps of free time in the afternoon. Fixit Guy had a meeting to go to but I hung out in the van and sewed. I started sewing the blocks together. I laid them out on the bed, I pinned together the ones that had to go together, pinned along the side that had to be sewn. What could go wrong… plenty it seems. I managed to stuff things up but it was a bonus really as I decided I liked my mistake and rearranged the other blocks to got the same way.

 Then I started to play about with the border – again. I started to sew them together  (it’s a pieced border) but realised I wanted to make another change. I want to put in a plain border first. I don’t have the fabric for that with me. I am going to have to either wait till I get home (I am sure I have fabric at home) or else go to a fabric shop. We will see what happens. I have plenty else to work on and I am trying hard not to buy fabric… mind you if I go to a shop and buy something I can use straight away that is not so bad.

I wanted to have a finish to add to my Stash report this week so made one of the hanging towels I bought cut out and ready to go, just so I would have something.  (Sad aren’t I)

I had a lovely afternoon sewing. I got another 7 hanging towels made and only pulled up then as I need to cut more of the batting and I am not sure where I have buried it. I also remembered the zipper pouches I have been commissioned to make – 25 of them. Very simple ones – no extra bits ,no linings – just pretty simple sewing. I have sewn tabs on all the zips and inserted the zips into the front and back pieces. I have 3 completely finished and another 7 that I have to zigzag the seams so making good progress there. I had to stop cause it was 9.30PM and there are 2 caravans very close to us and I didn’t want to disturb them. I couldn’t write my stash report anyway because the internet connection was too slow.

We camped over in a free camp spot near the Mena Creek Pub. No power so no sewing with the machine but I did a bit of work on some crocheting. I am going to make some more water bottle holders. I crocheted 3 over the weekend whilst in meetings and sitting around chatting to people. Then they were suggested as ideal gifts for the guests attending Kairos Outside, one of the activities of Emmaus. So I made one for the lady who was telling me about it and then started to make some more out of the thin browny orange stuff I was going to give away. If they work out I should have enough wool to make one for all the attendees. On a touristy note we visited Paronella Park and had 3 tours in total, the general one, the one to the hydro electric system in the park and the evening tour

We moved camp to Mission Beach. We have a beautiful beachside campsite (I can see the ocean from our patio area. And its powered site so that meant SEWING. I got stuck into the little zipper bags I have to make. I got them all finished up. Whoot. I messaged my friend that they were done and she was absolutely thrilled. (and amazed at how quickly they had been made)


Once I had finished the bags I started work on the 3rd Christmas stocking I am making for my sister. She has ordered 4. I was going to feature Dr Who Tardis fabric in it as the recipient is a keen Whovian but I couldn’t find it so she is getting a blue Christmas stocking instead. I have made them all striped stockings. I love the look of the stripes as they go around the heel.

We also had a lovely long walk through the rain forest and saw a Cassowary. These are an endanegered species now as their habitat is under threat. We were thrilled to see one in the wild. They are a pretty whacky looking bird. They are almost as big as an Emu (or ostrich) and have bright colours on their neck and the most amazing head piece which looks like a paper crown from a kids party.

Today we have been out and about so no time to sew. Getting this written has been my sewing activity for the day. We have had a glorious day starting with a walk along the beach

Then a drive into Tully where we climbed the giant Golden Gumboot, celebrating the record rainfall Tully received one year - a record for the town and Australia. They got 7.8 metres of rain in one year. The Gumboot is that tall... amazing stuff.

Then we drove up the mountains behind Tully to the Tully River Gorge. 

Back at the van we went for a bike ride along the foreshore- stunning views and wonderful activity with my man. We are getting better at these selfies!!

I hope after all the stuffing around I have had to do to get this post written that it will now upload for me.

WIPs on Wednesday


  1. I really enjoyed seeing how your mystery quilt evolved, and I thInk your final design is great! Also enjoying following your travels. Enjoy!

    1. thankyou for your comments. The mystery quilt was a co mplete mystery as to how it was going to turn out. The design suggested by the pattern designer wasn't going to work for me as it was too dark and frankly ugly. I needed to lift the colour and tone of the thing.

  2. Love your quilt, hope you find a border fabric so you can finish it. Your camping trip looks like such fun. If I could go off for a month with a sewing machine and camp I may be open to taking it up, however I don't enjoy going much. I do like to travel and we are off on weekend adventures often. Enjoy!!!!

    1. We are all different. I love travelling overseas but would have to have lots of hand projects organised to keep me entertained I think. I took an applique project with me on one trip and had it all finished after a week. Had to find something else for the next month!!!