Friday, January 30, 2015

Setting my February Goals

A few days ago I reviewed how I was going with my January goals (running at about 50%) accomplished but I forgot to set some goals for the coming month so thought I would pop back in and add a few

February  Quilty Goals
1) Complete the POD paper pieced blocks as they come up each week. There should be 4 for February

2) Complete Annie's Quilt ie quilt, bind and label it

3) Complete Vanishing Hours ie trim, bind and label it

4) Make 4 zipper pouches for Handmade Love (craft group raising money for Our Rainbow House, a school in Zambia)

5) Finish watching Carol Doaks Craftsy class and complete some projects

6) make some placemats.

7) Locate all UFOs, write list, put on blog

8) Make some progress on Tea Shop Quilt

Continue to make progress on my Yearly goals

Fitness Friday

Fitness Friday has rolled around again.

Last week whilst lamenting my lack of energy and enthusiasm for a sensible diet regime I made the decision that this week my emphasis was not going to be on diet or on exercise but instead I was going to put my efforts into going to bed at a reasonable time. I made 10pm my goal. My reasoning was that I tend to fall off the wagon and make bad food decisions later in the afternoon and in the evening, usually because I am tired.

So... I have been much better at going to bed. There have been two occasions when it has been 11 or later but 5 nights I at least turned the tv and machine off by 10 and headed upstairs. That is better than it has been. I am going to keep that challenge going this week as well to try to get 10 pm more ingrained. My friend Maree has asked us to walk with her again this past week and she has to go at 6AM since she is a working woman and heads to work at 8. That is another incentive 3 times a week to go to bed early since we have to get up early those days. Its lovely walking at that time of the day. We have been missing our afternoon walks frequently this last month as it is so hot and also its our storm season and late afternoon is a common time for it to rain. It has looked very threatening a good few afternoons of late and we have refrained from walking... only to  have it not storm after all.

Choosing to go to bed early has meant that I don't crank my steps up as much either. A couple of nights this week I realised that my step count was down but if I had taken the time to run on the spot I would have been later to bed and so I have forced myself to just go to bed.

I don't use the sleep monitor on my fitbit but this week I am going to record the time I go to bed and report it here in an attempt to be more accountable.

Steps for the past week
Friday            10 063
Saturday          9 413  (this was one day it was really hard to just go to bed)
Sunday            3 981  (stinking hot day - church, sewing and then a wedding... )
Monday          7 366   (no excuses - another day I wanted to jog on the spot for a bit but made myself just                                 go to bed)
Tuesday        10 021   (had enough time before hopping into bed to jog myself over the line)
Wednesday   10 060   (same as above)
Thursday       13 247  (Yay. Managed to claw back a few steps on those low days. Only one walk but                                     we also walked up to help out at the Avalon Aged Care Home

I have slipped right down the stepping list amongst my friends. I had regularly been in the top 4 but recently I have been in the 15-20 the position. I am trying not to let it bug me. Its great to have it as a spur to increase my position but not if it means going to bed half an hour later than I should.

Dietwise I have avoided snacking in the evenings which is a good start. Did enjoy a few treats at morning tea on Wednesday at Patchwork. 3 ladies bought home made goodies and would be rude not to try them all. I also made scones for Avalon and enjoyed eating the left overs. Then went to a meeting where there was lots of snacks to get us through the meeting. I mostly ate grapes so that was a good choice.

Fixit Guy has been diagnosed with high cholesterol and has been put onto medication. We both have it now although I don't need medication so we are going to be really watching what we eat and trying to make good choices. We have a reasonably low cholesterol diet anyway but we have let a few bad habits creep in so are going to make better choices from now on. (watch this space. LOL)

I got on the scales this morning and I weighted 91.2 kgs so that is a 2 kgs down on what I was a few weeks ago so it is starting to chip off. Long way to go though.

How have you gone with your fitness challenges this week?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

TARDIS Tree Quilt finish

Yay - my first bigger finish for the year and its not that big... but it was very fiddly and compared to the little wall quilts I have done... its a reasonable size

Its finished size is 112cm long by 102cm wide or 44"x40'. Using the formula on my Excel spreadsheet that Pam at Hip to be a Square Podcast came up with that is 2.40 metres of fabric used. Now that was only allowing 15% extra for piecing. This quilt has a total of 1400 1.5" squares and 120 1.5" half square triangles that came down to 1" squares finished. That is 50% increase. The 1" squares finished  alone worked out to about 2m of fabric (sorry to keep switching from metric to inches but that is the crazy world we all live in when you live in a metric country and participate in a craft that uses inches). I could get Fix It guy to add another qualifier in the formula that he has used (1 adds 10% for large pieced quilts and 2 adds 15% for smaller pieced quilts and 3 doesn't add anything and just uses the length by width to allow for fabric given away as is or used as is eg the serviettes I made) I could get him to do one that adds a higher percentage. However I've decided that I am going to just add an extra metre of fabric as yardage and that will make up the difference.

Anyway... TARDIS is finished. This quilt is a wall hanging to be used at Christmas to display the cross stitched Doctor Who figures that Fangirl made for her Dad. There are 25 figures and we will add them to the tree like an advent calendar. The Quilt is done although I still have to label it and also add the hooks to attach the figures to it but I am counting it as done.

My quilting as always leaves a lot to be desired but since this is for me and I really don't care it doesn't matter. I echo quilted around the tree on the white in a variegated white thread.

Then I quilted the blue section in stippling - lots of big swirls.

Then I did the white in stippling using the variegated thread and did a sort of wave/swirl on the border. I machined the binding down using a swirl.

 Its not perfect but I am pretty happy with it. Now I have to pack it away (after I label it) until Christmas time.

And I get to tick off another goal for  January.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Goals Review

   January is almost over so about time I had a look at my January goals and see how I have gone with them. My goals for this month were

January Goals
1) tidy sewing cupboards and room.
2) locate and list all UFOs order them and make plans for finishing them 
3) complete Vanishing Hours
4) complete Tardis Christmas Tree

I did tidy one of the cupboards (the one with the fabric in it) and also sorted out the sewing desk drawers but not sure you would know it now!

I didn't locate and list all my UFOs but I still want to do that. Might have to bump that goal to next month (or get really busy in the next 2 days!!)

I have completed the top and back of Vanishing Hours and have sent it off to the longarmer. I think that is really what I meant when I made this goal but perhaps I did have hopes of having it completed. That isn't going to happen.

Tardis tree is pinned ready to quilt. It is possible that I might get it done by Saturday night. I still have 3 days.

So haven't really completed any of the goals properly.

Yearly Goals.

Sandy from Quilting for the Rest of Us challenged us to choose a technique for 2015 - something we had wanted to learn or master for a while but had yet to conquer. I chose Paper piecing and have to say that I am going really well with this.

I have joined the POD challenge from Fandom in Stitches (a 30 week challenge of paper pieced blocks based on a book shelf from Harry Potter) I have completed the 3 weekly blocks released so far. I have also completed 3 other paper pieced blocks as well

I also devised some goals of my own.

1) continue to track my fabric use and purchases with an aim to having a bigger net usage this year than last. 
With the help of my husband (Fixit Guy) I have a revised Excel Spreadsheet to track my purchases and usage. Its designed to measure in metres (or part there of) so if anyone would like a copy let me know. He's got it set up so that there is a constant running total both for purchases, usage as well as net position.

2) purchase fabric for usage not for stashing ie having a purpose for fabric bought 

I have stuck to this (yay me... but its only been a month) The only fabric I have bought has been for the POD. I bought the background fabric and the shelf fabric. I did get given some fabric from friends who travelled to Fiji. Can't help gifts. Oops just remembered that I bought some fabric on Massdrop... it wasn't for a specific project. Eek. So that would be a fail then wouldn't it. I haven't got it yet though so maybe I don't have to count it yet.....

3) make mini quilts for Anzac Day, Australia Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Birthday

I have started!! I made a mini quilt for Australia Day! Yay me

4) complete quilts for donation as required - aim for 25%

Well so far this year I haven't donated any quilts. I have started one for Angel Baby Quilts

5)list Craftsy classes and work on watching them. Do BOM one from 2012 was it?

I have watched a couple of episodes of the paper piecing class by Carol Doaks

) continue to blog regularly WIP Wednesday, Fitness Friday, Sunday Stash Report on weekly basis and then others as I see fit.

I have 13 blog posts for the month. I haven't always been on time but I have been regular. Fitness Friday has been the least regular but I am up there so that is a start.

How about you? Did you set yourself some goals for the year? How are they going?

WIP Wednesday

Busy week with several finishes as reported yesterday and in my Sunday Stash Report. I did enjoy making those little Minion wall hangings.


Today at Patchwork I was able to get 2 quilts pinned. Annie's Quilt is pinned and ready to go. I forgot to take a photo of it laid out and pinned. It looks the same as it did before hand just with lots of pins in it!! Thinking about how I am going to quilt it. Its going to be a combination of stitch in the ditch, echo quilting and stippling. Its such a busy quilt with so many different blocks in it.....

I also got Tardis Tree pinned. I think that I am going to echo quilt around the shape of the tree and then do a little stippling in the rest of it. Its made up of so many little squares I don't want to compete with them too much. I am just not too sure what I am going to do. Might have to wait and see what happens when I start.. that is what I usually do. I will use the variegated white.cream thread I have on the white and a darker blue or grey on the blue parts. Watch this space. I would love to think that I am going to get at least one of them finished to report on in Sunday Stash report but that might be being a little optimistic given I haven't started quilting and I have commitments most of Saturday and Sunday morning.

Here they are, piled up near my machine ready to go. Ready set... oh look squirrel

I started a new project at Patchwork today. We are making Quilts of Love for our local hospital to be used for babies born too early. They only need to be between 20-24" square and don't have batting in them. I am making a log cabin using 1.5" strips. Something has gone a bit skewiff with them and they are a bit out of whack but hoping some judicious trimming at the end will put it to rights. Not sure if I cut the strips a bit wrong or if the 1/4" foot on my machine is a bit out. I am also not that thrilled with the colours but hoping that it will be ok. I am making 9 of the log cabins so it isn't going to take me very long. Hopefully it will work out okay in the end.

This isn't finished - the 2nd bright green fabric and outer blue still to be stitched down. This is just to get an idea of the colours.

I have managed a little hand stitching during the week on my Christmas Delights project... but only a few stitches. I am hoping to get a lot more done at the meetings that I will be attending on Saturday... unless I have the quilting done on one of my projects and am up to stitching down the binding.

Fangirl bought me back a lovely little stack of embroidered blocks that my sister Joy had done using the BOM designed by my sister in law Christine (of Bluebirds and Bumblebees) Joy had made them 7 years ago when the patterns were first released but hadn't gotten around to making them into a quilt and she offered them to me. Of course I said yes and she sent them to me via Fangirl. Now I am contemplating what pattern to use with them and who it will be for. (A reminder that Christine has listed her patterns on Etsy. The January block is free... for this month at least. Go check it out here

Now I am anxiously awaiting the release of the next pattern in the POD on Fandom In Stitches. I am getting rather hooked on paper piecing it seems.

I have joined a new challenge group. Its called One Project A Month - OPAM.

You commit to trying to complete one project each month (of any of the fibre arts) It can be a new project that month or it can be a UFO or a slow project. Each month you report in what you have completed. And they encourage you to have a side bar with your completed projects for that month.  I have added the list of my completed projects for this month to my side bar. I don't think it actually starts till February but I thought I'd add my projects already. It looks rather impressive cause I have made so many little projects this month. If you are interested in joining in you have to sign up by February 1st so hurry!

WIP Wednesday WIPs on Wednesdays 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Few more finishes

I have completed two little projects today. I started them about last Friday or maybe it was Saturday. It was another paper pieced project... well 2 actually. Bek is Fangirl's former house mate and our good friend too. We dog sit for her every day when she is at work and most holidays too. - Digby is her dog. It was her birthday on Sunday. I started to make this little project for her on Saturday and then decided I would make 2 and they took longer than I expected but eventually... I got them done. Bek loves Minions. Fangirl cross stitched her a little chart featuring their song on it. I know nothing or at least very little about Minions. I did know that she, Bek loves them. I googled minion patterns and found 2 paper pieced patterns. I was only going to make her one... but there were 2 patterns and which to choose.... so I made both. I found them on here Tweety Loves Quilting blog. I couldn't post progress photos as Bek is my friend and might have seen my blog or Twitter/Facebook post

The results weren't perfect and I did find that the pattern did have a fault in it (with the mouth) but eventually I was able to fudge my way around it. I also couldn't work out why the top and side white sections were divided into several pieces. The separate bits weren't needed for the construction of the block. They could have been in the one piece

Then I decided that I didn't like the dark blue border as the inner border so I swapped the borders and liked that much more. Then I added the embroidery and trims. I embroidered the other half of the mouth that wasn't quite right as per pattern.

I gave them to Bek this afternoon... only 2 days late. She seemed to like them. 

Fangirl travelled to Sydney this weekend for her cousins 30th birthday. She was able to take with her 2 quilts to deliver to 2 of her uncles who had turned 70. I gave them the first two quilts from my Shirt off my Back quilts, made for a quilting challenge last year. I blogged extensively at the start of last year about these quilts. Calling them Sombre Blue and Brown Sombrero. (for example here. My brothers in law loved them and sent me pictures of themselves under their quilts. Bek's present was only 2 days late. Ted was 70 2.5 years ago and Wayne 6 months ago.... so really in comparison her's was very prompt!!

I completed the next one of the POD blocks, choosing to do the simplest one. The alternatives were to the Deathly Hallows symbol instead of the potions bottle or the Dark Mark on the cover of the book. 

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

Friday, January 23, 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, January 22, 2015

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 

Tuesday, January 20, 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, January 19, 2015

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