Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Goals

Its the start of a new month and for me that means setting some new goals for this month.

Finish Scrap in a Box: This is currently at the long armer (my friend Kym from Professional Quilting Service) and is due to be posted back to me this week. When it gets here I have to make and attach the binding and label it.

Finish Crop Circles: This too is currently at the long armer and when it gets home it has to be bound and labelled. It will be great to have 2 big finishes one on top of the other

Finish Gold cross banner: Oh boy - this is already done. I started to write this list Monday and I got it finished off on Tuesday but hey... it gets to go on the list. I hope to hang it in church for Sunday. I've named it Growing in Christ. I really love it and hope it adds to the worship of our congregation.

Make towels for Handmade Love stall. We have a stall at the end of the month and I want to get a stack made. I have a lot of towels in the box ready to have the handles put on them

Make zipper pouches for Handmade Love Stall. I have a heap of zippers and the pouches have proved popular. I have some plastic backed curtaining that I am going to try for a lining on some to make them more suitable as toiletry bags.

Finish Community Quilt. This is my Wednesday project for when I am at Patchwork. The quilt centre is together and we have started work on the borders. We want to add a narrow red border and then the black and white square in a square border and then.... another narrow red border and bind it in red as well.

Amy Gibson blocks. Haven't made any of these for a couple of months. I would like to do 6 this month to catch up

POD Blocks 27 - 30. This will be the finish of the blocks.... then to put it together. I have decided to not do labels on the books. Some have them on already but it wasn't really adding to them so I'm going to stop

Complete Beasts beanie. Its on the ring. With several hours in the car coming up I am hoping to get it finished by the end of the weekend.

Make beanie for Kombi Boy. He's asked for a dark grey beanie. I have to buy the wool... this weekend hopefully I will be able to get some.

If I get all this done I shall be really pleased. There may well be a couple of extra projects sprung on me as well but for the moment that will do!!

June Goal update

Its the end of the month so time for update on my goals. At the beginning of the month I set the following goals

Make beanies for my three boys - I have made one for Boyo and have started one for Beast. Kombi Boys hasn't been started

Complete 2 zipper pouches for Hand Made Love's stall. I have made 6

Complete POD Blocks 21-25. These have all been completed

Work on Community Quilt at Patchwork. Lindy and I have been working away on this. The centre is together and we have most of the first border done

Complete Scrapitude- Scrap in a Box. This quilt too is off to the longarmers. We were messaging each other today about it and chose the quilting pattern for it. I won't get it finished by the end of the month as I had planned but should be done within a week or so

Work on Patch n Peace Mystery Quilt. This quilt top has been completed and is currently at the longarmers. I've called it Crop Circles. Kym and I were talking about this one today on facebook and chose a nice pattern for it too. We are continuing on with the circle theme but with some swirls as well.

Sew 2 Amy Gibson blocks. For the second month in a row I haven't worked on these. Hopefully next month!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stash report -

I've done a lot of sewing this week but have had no finishes.

I got the next POD block done.. yest the same week as it came out. How good am I... again. This week will be a struggle cause we are away all weekend and then we will have visitors so I'll probably be behind again by next week but you get that. At least I am up to date for now.

Sent 2 quilts off to be long armed... when they get them back and finished off there will be some big numbers to add which will be rewarding.. .but meanwhile I am pretty stagnant.

I've made great progress with Playing with Nine Patches, another quilt by Charlotte from Scrapitude. The centre part is together and I just have to do the borders. I was thinking about doing something special with them but am back to thinking that I'll just do some straight borders in a couple of different colours, the first one being bright yellow... but I've been known to change my mind so watch this space.
this quilt has 738 2.5" squares and I didn't have to cut any of them. They all came out of my scrap drawer of 2.5" squares and I still have some left.. half a box of them. That is really amazing
Currently on my design board is a banner for church. I only started making it this afternoon and I have made great progress on it. The basic banner is done... now for the embellishing which is going to take the time. 

The "vine" is only pinned in place while I work out exactly where I want it to go

I've started making the leaves to go on the vine. I want them to be 3 dimensional so won't applique them down but attach them so they hang off the banner. 15 made and probably 30 more to make

The other work I've done this week has been on shirts to go to the school in Zambia that the Charity Our Rainbow House runs. Our group, Handmade Love has already made dresses for all the girls and now we are working on shirts for the boys. I can't count any of them as finishes either as a) I didn't contribute any of the fabric for them and b) we haven't actually finished them (minor details I know... but rather telling) 

My friend Serana sent me this photo of me hard at work in Peggy's kitchen yesterday

And then there is the knitting loom. Boyo got his beanie (and proud of it he is too. He's hardly taken it off) I've started one for the Beast but I unpulled it cause it was ugly... I was trying a new pattern. Have restarted, another new pattern but one of my own making and so far so good

So... nothing to count as far as finishes go however I do have some fabric to count in the "discard" area. A couple of weeks ago I tried my hand at chenille work. I used 5 pieces of fabric together - mostly repurposed fabric for the inner linings but the top fabric was a panel of some daisies. I was thinking of making it into a cushion cover. When I did the sewing and cutting I did it on the straight of grain, and not on the diagonal. As a result it has just unravelled and unravelled... can't get it to stop... it will unravel to nothing if I keep brushing it and so I have decided to call it quits and throw it out and try again. - 5 pieces of fabric .45m x .5m total thrown out 1.05m

I haven't purchased any fabric - have resisted all the offers on Massdrop despite there being several gorgeous fabric bundles on offer. No little surprise packets from any of my family or friends either so nothing to put into the fabric in section so that is a plus

So my stats for  week Week 26

Fabric Used                                1.05

Fabric Added                              0     

Year to Date

Fabric Used                               70.32

Fabric Added                             35.35

Net Fabric used                        34.96m

I am so looking forward to getting those 2 quilts currently getting long armed finished. They will so change those figures about so that I will have used a heap more fabric, and especially bump that net fabric used up so that it is much more than fabric added. 

The scary thing is that despite having used almost 35m of fabric.. .my stash doesn't seem to have gone down all that much!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fitness Friday

I have been trying to get more exercise this week but so far it hasn't been working. A couple of weeks ago I decided that the key to getting myself motivated to get back in shape was to go to bed earlier. Staying up late means I don't get up early in the morning, I get tired during the day. When I get tired I am more inclined to snack and less inclined to go for a walk

Trouble is I am on a quilting jag at the moment. I am really motivated to sew and make quilts and I really seem to get a go on in the evening and so sew late into the night. I will think... I'll just finish this row or this lot of blocks ... this next step and it inevitably takes me longer than I plan... often cause I will make a mistake and have to unpick and low and behold its late again. Sigh.

My Fitbit is also playing up. It isn't syncing with my phone. My phone tries valiantly to find it but no go. This has been happening for ages now.. for my fellow fitbitters... when I fell off the charts... that is why. I have been exercising... at least a bit but not according to fitbit. I need to plug it into the computer and see if that helps ... or at least go to the Fitbit site and see what is recommended. Maybe I have to wipe it and start again. I don't know. Fixit Guy's fitbit fell between the train and the platform whilst we were in Malaysia and not having him to compete against had already weakened my resolve and now it has gone completely. I did download a pedometer to my phone but that is no where near as good as the fitbit... just doesn't compare in the inspiration category.

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of my unfit life.

I was trying to watch what I ate... and was doing ok until I made banana muffins (2 different sorts... they were both good) I made these ones twice cause they were so good... and I had the ingredients Banana, Honey and Cinnamon Muffins.  and then banana bread. It was good too. (yes I had over ripe bananas that had to be used up) Sigh. They are all gone so might now be good for a bit. I can't find the banana bread recipe I used again but I remember thinking that it was almost the same as the muffins just cooked in a loaf tin

I have managed to chip away a bit of weight (despite the muffins) ... lost a kg in the last 2 weeks. 94.1kgs this morning. 

There is an exercise class for older women operating one day a week in town. Its free and I am thinking of going to it. Its Friday mornings but ... maybe I will just rejoin the gym and start to work out properly. 9.30-10.30 on a Friday morning isn't all that great for me. I really need to get up and do something at 7AM or 8 AM.

I am off to the pathology lab later this morning to have blood taken ... vitamin D check. I was chronically low - under 20 in summer so my doctor but me on Vitamin D tablets and regularly monitors it. At one point I was taking 4 times the recommended dose but now I am on double the dose and my levels are 60. If they are still at that after this test I will drop back to normal tablet dosage and see how we go with that.

I also have to make appointments to see a skin specialist re a lesion on my face, get an ultra sound on a lump on my shoulder and... I think that is it. I want to make a massage appointment too. My back has been aching a fair bit of late. The heat packs are getting a workout.

Man what a whinger. I am cracking up. This getting older is for weaklings.

Now, having not gone to the exercise group this morning and having eaten the last of the banana bread I might try to get moving with some sewing.

Hope you are all having a good day 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WIP Wednesday Lots of Progress made

Another busy week.

I eventually got the mystery quilt from Patch n Peace finished off after I added another border to it, complete with yet more pieced circles to make it a good single bed sized quilt.

  I then made a pieced backing for it as well. It took ages cos I made some blocks out of left over bits and pieces. I had made more circles for the purple border than I needed so as to have some variety in the patches which meant I had a good few left over to put onto the back.  I also used 24 string blocks that I had joined together into one piece some years ago but had never done anything with. This was the perfect project to use it in.

I've come up with a name for the quilt - it was a mystery quilt and had circles in it.. mystery circles.. crop circles. So Crop Circles it is.

On Monday I parcelled it up along with Scrapitude Scrap in a Box which I also finished off recently and they are on their way to my friend Kym from Professional Quilting Service to be quilted. She does such a lovely job.

Professional Quilting Service

With Crop Circles done and out of the house I was able to at last get down to catching up on my POD blocks, from the Fandom In Stitches quilt along. I was 3 behind. With the blocks coming out every week it doesn't take much for a person to get well behind. Anyway - I was able to get all 3 of them made Monday afternoon/evening. I was pretty pleased with how they all came out. I didn't choose to do any of the variations - just stuck to the basic block. I am tempted to do the dragon egg variation for block 25 but we'll see.

Block 23

Block 24

Block 25

A recent discussion on a Facebook page dedicated to The Project of Doom Quilt along centred on what people were going to do  with their finished quilts. Most of the makers were planning in them being used. My daughter Fangirl has determined that its going to be hers... not sure if that is going to happen or not but we'll see

Charlotte, from Scrapitude Quilts, released a new quilt pattern Playing with Nine Patches. The lucky few of us who visited her website in time were given the PDF pattern free.
Playing with 9 patches
 It required 82 nine patches... thats 732 squares. The pattern gives 3 variations for 2", 2.5" and 3" squares. I worked with 2.5" squares and can tell you that I didn't have to cut any squares. I had that many (and more) already cut ready in my scrap usage system. (I sort of use Bonnie Hunter's system, adapted for my own use). I started working on it this week

 and have got all the nine patches made and pressed.

Next I have to cut the 6.5" pieces from the background fabric. The pattern called for the background fabric to be cut into 6.5" squares but some of the pieces are actually 3 squares together so wonder if I could just leave them as one piece. Seams a bit silly to cut them up and sew them together again.

Today at Patchwork Group Lindy and I worked on the black,white and red blocks that we as a group had made. We had 9 blocks (supposedly 12.5" blocks but as with any block swap there was a bit of variation in size)

 8 of which were the design we were supposed to have made and one which was different... I made a up a different months block. Oops.

However we put it in the centre of our quilt and it looked fine.

 Last week Lindy and I had played around with some half square triangle units I had left over from my Sunburnt Zebras quilt made last year and worked out a border design. Today we sashed the 9 main blocks in white and then put together the square in a square design we had worked out with the hst. It looks good.

We had to leave it there and will work on it more next week. We have decided that we want to put  in a narrow red border next to the white border before the hst border. We are going to augment this border with some pinwheels made from hst units left over from the blocks. These are smaller than the ones we have made into the square in a square block and are black and red. Its a rather organic process designing this quilt as we are making it up as we go along, working with left over bits and pieces. We didn't have any red with us to do the borders. I've found some plain red in my stash that I think will do the job although there may not be enough to do the outer border and binding as we had planned. We will see!

Just to mix things up a little I have also been making Boyo a beanie on my knitting loom. I got it finished this afternoon and I don't think he's taken it off since!

WIPs on Wednesday  WIP Wednesday

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Stash Report - a little finish

This week I have been really busy and sewed heaps. I got my 2nd quilt for the month ready to send off to the long armer. I got the top  mystery quilt from Patch n Peace finished off with a couple of borders and then I pieced a back for it. I really pieced the back. I used up most of the extra units that I had pulled for the mystery quilt blocks as well as various other random left over bits from  various projects. It took me ages but I had fun. 

But its not yet quilted or bound or labelled so I don't get to count it as a finish so can't use the fabric from that

I also made 63 raggy hearts for a swap I am in with my Patchwork Group... but again... not able to be counted yet.

I DID have one finish though. Fangirl (my daughter) bought me over a cross stitched picture that she had completed for a swap she is in and asked if I would make it into wall hanging for her... which I did. It was only tiny but it was a finish so that is good. .28m The design is one of her originals and she sells the pattern on Etsy store - go here 

I also got some fabric in... an order that I had put in on Equilter turned up. Which is nice ... but it means I have to count it on a week there hasn't been much usage at all so I'm going backwards AGAIN. I got 5 half yards of fabric for a special secret project. I don't think that the person I am making it for reads my blog but just in case I won't say anything more. It metric that was  2.34m

So my stats for this week Week 25

Fabric Used                                0.28

Fabric Added                              2.34

Year to Date

Fabric Used                               69.26

Fabric Added                             35.35

Net Fabric used                        33.91m

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thursday Thoughts on Friday - sewing with Cats

We have one cat - Pippin. He's a fairly laid back cat, so much so that we can have other cats come and live with us and whilst he isn't enamoured with them, he tolerates them. He's an indoor outdoor cat so when it all gets too much for him inside he can go outside and get some relief. He's needed it this last week

About 4 weeks ago my friend Maree went overseas and her cat Mr Tibbs came to stay with us. He could have stayed at his house, which is only about 10 houses away from us, and we could have gone over and fed him there but by coming here he got some company and I didn't have to go visit him twice a day. Mr Tibbs is an indoor only cat

Then last week our daughter, Fangirl went away for work for 4 days and she dropped her 2 cats over here as well... so we had 4 of them here Tuesday till Friday night. Eevee and Skimbles are both indoor only cats too.

So..there were cats everywhere. The funny thing was that whilst Pippin tolerated this invasion of his territory it was Mr Tibbs who was put out by the young 'uns coming in

Pippin is used to me sewing and doesn't seem to be all that interested in it anymore. He tends to leave me alone whilst I sew. The other cats though were far more fascinated by the whole process..

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wip Wednesday

I've had a very busy week working on lots of different projects

I have finished off both the top and backing for Scraptitude - Scrap in a Box. I ended up adding an extra border to the top to make it big enough for a single bed. Then I pieced the backing using up  as many of the excess triangles I had accidentally cut for the top. I used up as many of the excess bits as I could. I had a lot of fun doing it and took far more time than I should have but ... well it was fun and the end result was pretty pleasing too.

Yeah a crap photo.. but I no longer have an outside line that I can hang things off so it has to get pinned to my design board. Yes... should close cupboard doors and use a camera not my phone

Our Patchwork group has decided to do a block swap - raggy hearts. It was my suggestion as I had missed out on doing it this swap at our retreat. The swap won't be till September but I decided to get a start on and have made over 60 of them already.

The mystery quilt from the Retreat weekend has also been under the needle. I made some more of the half circle units and extended the circle motif into the border. Its now 66" square. I didn't end up using the half square triangle units that were left over from the half square triangle units in top. The top is still on my design wall and I think its done... but we all know what happened to Scrapitude-Scrap in a Box.

I've started working on putting together some blocks at our Patchwork Group rooms. At the end of last year we did a black and white and red block. We only got 9 blocks and one of those was wrong but by putting the wrong one in the centre it becomes a feature. I have a heap of left over half square triangle blocks from Sunburnt Zebras - 80 of them. We also have a few small half square triangle blocks from the big blocks in the quilt. My friend Lindy and I are working on coming up with a design for the borders. It will be our project that we work on up at the rooms. After we do it there is a pink and white one we have to finish off too.

At Patchwork today one of our members guided me through cheneleing process. I'd bought a cutter and a brush several years ago but had never got around to using them. I made used a panel with daisies on it for the top and several pieces of old sheeting for the under layers. It worked well although when I brushed it up it worked too well... have heaps of threads and they are still coming off. I am not worried if I have totally wrecked because it was all old fabric I have had for ages. I am thinking of making it into a cushion if it works ok.

This is just a small bundle of what I brushed up

My last sewing efforts for this week has been to finish off a project for my daughter Fangirl. She is in a swap to do with super villains and she had designed and cross stitched a piece that she wanted me to make into a wall hanging. I framed it with a lovely blue and gold fabric and then did a very simple quilting design on it - just stitched in the ditch around the design and the a simple swirl on the border. If you are interested in the design then check out her Etsy shop... links in my sidebar

WIPs on Wednesday     WIP Wednesday

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Stash Report

Didn't get around to doing a stash report last week as I was away from home and didn't have my laptop with me so didn't have my excel spreadsheet with me with my stats on it. I haven't finished anything or bought anything in the meantime so it will be the same anyway

The only finishes that I had in the last fortnight have been 6 little zipper pouches that I made for the Handmade With Love stall that we had last Saturday. I haven't heard how we went. Actually I made 5 for the stall and one I took as a gift for my hostess last weekend. Her cat had gone missing and I made her a little bag with cat fabric on it. The good news is that whilst I was there Patrick was caught in a cat trap not far from where he had escaped and was returned to her in remarkably good nick for an entirely indoors cat who had to make do in the wild for 12 days.  Fabric used 1.44m

Suzy's bag. See the rest of the pouches I made here

I did finish a quilt for patchwork group that I forgot to count in my stash usage. I couldn't count the whole amount for the quilt as many of the blocks were made by others and I had already counted the blocks that I contributed earlier. However I contributed the backing fabric and also the blue grey background fabric on the front (the proper name for this has slipped my mind. Hopefully I will recall it before I publish this) Fabric used 3.91m

I have finished this quilt but can't find a photo of it. This quilt won 1st place at our local agricultural show in the group effort quilt. I was pleased with my work as I had designed it and put it together from the contributed blocks

I haven't had any finishes to speak of but have had a few splurges that have bumped up my figures for the period... oops.

I had to go to Spotlight on my way to the quilting retreat I was going to. One of the things I needed to get was press studs. I bought all manner of other stuff but forgot about the press studs. Oh dear. 

Amongst some other quilting supplies like basting spray, thread, iron on stiffening and batting, I bought 2 bundles of batik fat quarters... 5 pieces in each bundle. One was the most gorgeous bluey/greens and the other lovely orange. I am looking forward to making something really special with them. Fabric acquired 2.57 m

My other fabric came via silent auction wins. In the most case I was just bidding on different lots to make sure every one got a bid and some of them got a bit more than what others had put on them. Often there was a pile of stuff in the lot that I didn't necessarily take any notice of. There was 2.5m  of green linen like fabric and 2.25m of a pale purple in the same fabric. I am using both of these in a backing for a quilt. I have used up most of the green and a good bit of the purple as well. There was also 2.28m of a white fabric which I am planning on using to make banners for church. (if you add up the figures down below this will come out slightly differently because of the input formulas used in excel) I did't take photos of this... its all cut up now and really... a lump of white fabric looks like white fabric

Oh just remembered there was also 25m of fabric in my prize for winning the game of bingo we had at our retreat dinner. I also won the Anzac quiz but donated that gift to the person who came 2nd (who was my neighbour and I had helped with her answers as well) 

There were a couple of other lots of fabric but I am putting them straight into the box of stuff to go to Lifeline as I won't use it so I didn't count it in or out.

I have finished the top for my Scrapitude quilt and have been working on the backing. I have gone to way more trouble than I needed to on the backing, piecing blocks for it but I have been having fun trying to use up all the excess triangles I accidentally cut for it as well as the rest of the fabric left over from the borders I made. I am planning on sending Scrapitude off to be long arm quilted. I had planned to do it myself but that was before I added the extra borders and it became a little large for me to handle.

So the figures for this fortnight

So my stats for this month (end of week 24)

Fabric Used                                5.34

Fabric Added                            10.30

Year to Date

Fabric Used                               68.98

Fabric Added                             33.01

Net Fabric used                        35.97m

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Having trouble getting my photos off my phone. Not sure why I can't but once my daughter gets home she might be able to help me.

Anyway quick update with only a few  photos

Have worked on this and over the last few days I have got the blocks together with the lattice like sashing. I think it looks great. Next I am going to add some other borders but haven't worked it out yet

Its the season for mystery quilts I was on a weekend retreat - 4 days worth and we had a mystery quilt there too. We had clues Friday Saturday and Sunday. I managed to get all my blocks made before The retreat ended Monday. Since getting home I've managed to get the blocks together. Now to work out borders for it too. I would like to continue the circles into the border - finish them off. I also have some hst fro the flying geese units I could incorporate some how too. Working on this one too

Linking up with

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday