Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WIP Wednesday the boring post

I haven't done much work this week at all. My son from Melbourne and his girl friend came for 4 days. We had a great time, chatting, eating, sight seeing... anything but sewing!!

In between times I was madly working on my high schools 40th anniversary School reunion. I have taken on the task of trying to locate my former classmates. We are including everyone who was in our class from first form through to 6th form. Our first form class was split in 2nd form to make a 2nd high school in our town and so we are doing a joint reunion. So far I have just over 300 names on our list and we have managed to get leads on half of them.

Its been fun - bit like a puzzle and mystery rolled into one... or a great knotty puzzle that I am slowly unpicking.

Today at Patchwork I finished off the last of the wonky hashtag blocks that we are making for our Twilters exchange. I've made 30 and they are now ready to send off for our block exchange.

I'm doing some sorting of scrap fabrics for Handmade Love... I bought a box of scraps home with me. I 've pressed them and now doing a bit of trimming up of the scraps. I've been cutting up some 2.5" blocks to make into more little bibs but in the end... that has been it.

I keep wanting to get on with the Harry potter blocks. Printer troubles have slowed me down but hopefully I will get the dobby blocks printed off and I can get on with it.

So not much to report and no pretty pictures  of my sewing

Boring Boring Boring

so here... have a photo of Beast and his Beauty

And here is one of my first form class. 35 of us in the 1A class. I'm seated in the front row, first on the right.

WIP Wednesday    WIPs on Wednesday

Monday, September 28, 2015

Stash Report

This week I have made

3 baby bibs. They were very small and 2 were made at Handmade Love and used their stash so can't count that. One I made at home. I stuffed it up and it looks pretty ugly... won't matter for mopping up stuff and hanging around the neck of a bub to get muck all over... but not sure anyone would buy it. I cut the neck wrong and used to wide a binding. Sigh. They were only 21.5cms square so not much usage there.

Peace and Harmony wall hanging. This was made using a panel. There is very little I can count for this finish in the way of stash usage. The panel I acquired this week and its going straight out, the backing was donated for this project so not part of my stash (it was from a bed flounce... the rest is going to Handmade Love). I didn't do an in out calculation cause I forgot to measure it. Oops I did contribute the binding so that is a little count. Again no photos cause I forgot

And that was it for the week as far as finishes.

And no photos

So this weeks stats

Week 38

          Fabric Used                      0.47    
          Fabric Added                    0.00

Year To Date
         Fabric Used                    135.19
         Fabric Added                    52.81

Net Used/Added                       82.38

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friday Fitness

Despite being very active this week and making my step quota every day this week I have fallen down my list of friends... but that is because 2 of my fitbit friends are having a sisterly competition and doing crazy steps... so everyone who is ahead of me (as of Thursday evening which is when I take my step numbers from) is over 100 000 steps for the week... that is madness and out of my league. Given that I was missing in action for so many months I need to not look at them (except to say well done you) and concentrate on making my steps.

I keep thinking I will get serious and start to record my food intake but... haven't done it yet.

I have achieved a slight weight loss this week... actually dipped under 96kgs so that is good...I was back just over it again the next day but I'll take the win when I can get it.

This week though is going to be challenging. Our son and his girlfriend are visiting from Melbourne. We had desert tonight. We are having a bbq tea with friends tomorrow night and I've made 2 cheesecakes for that. We've bought various chips and nibbles to have with drinks. ... just inevitably when we have visitors we tend to eat more stuff... yummy stuff at that.

Tonight's Tea was super easy and everyone loved it... I got the recipe from Saving Dinner cookbook (Leanne Ely - Flylady recommended her years ago and I got the book) It was Garlic Caramel chicken. Fry garlic in oil, add brown sugar (it was about equal quantites of garlic and and sugar). Place chicken thighs in a shallow oven tray lined with foil and pour over the caramelized garlic. Bake 15 mins at 180. I turned the oven down and cooked it more slowly along with roast vegies which I'd started earlier. I put some oil in a plastic bag and sprinkled in garlic powder and cinnamon then added peeled halved potatoes and sweet potatos and shook them up so the potatoes were coated.

Steps for this week
Friday                       11 284                  
Saturday                   12 307
Sunday                     10 201
Monday                    14 574
Tuesday                    14 402          
Wednesday               13 170
Thursday                   11 919
TOTAL for week      87 857

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wip Wednesday

I finally got myself motivated to get moving on the POD quilt. I've only had one block to do - the last block and one block to redo... block 10. I'd messed up the labels on the books so decided to remake. A fellow PODer, Cassandra, from the facebook  group "Project of Doom"  kindly offered to send me some fabrics that she had used in the block. Block 10 is the one with the Standard Book of Spells, volume 1-7 (or 1-6 if you preferred cause Harry didn't do his last year) and she had 7 coordinating fabrics that looked great as the book spines. I got both the box for the jelly beans (Block 30) and the Spell Books (block 10) done Sunday.

I thought I hadn't printed them out yet and the printer wouldn't talk to my pc despite lots of stuffing about so I put the files I wanted for the blocks onto a memory stick and Fixit Guy used his pc to print them off for me. Then when I went to the box with my fabrics and completed blocks in it ... yeah you guessed it I found that I had already printed most of them off already. As well as Block 30 and block 10 I want to do some special blocks to go on and beside the book shelf. I want to do the broom stick, the sword, Dobby, flying keys and perhaps a cornish pixie or 2. I had trouble finding the Dobby pattern I wanted ... printed the wrong one twice but have found it now. I'll have to get it printed out.

In the meantime I have sewn all the book blocks together into rows and have started removing the paper from them. What a painful task that is. They look good on my design board

On Tuesday at Handmade Love I made some baby bibs. I had found the pattern on April Rosenthal's website here

MiniCharm Baby Bib by April Rosenthal

They are really simple. We didn't use a charm pack but took 2.5" from the fabric we have been donated... there is heaps of it. (our co-ordinator said we are going to have to sew till we die to use it all up. Lol) I was going to cut some units but found some already cut. I got 2 made and working on a 3rd with the help of one of the other women who comes. The bias I used was pretty narrow but it was the best I had... no photos sorry. Forgot to take any. We will make some of our own bias at some point... but didn't worry about it today. I did end up cutting some more 2.5" squares from the scrap stash to use in future bibs. Have one young mum in our group and she loved choosing funky colour combinations so we'll make sure we do some of those too as well as some more traditional colour combos that the grandmas seem to prefer.

I have made good progress with some hexies.... have basted just about all the ones that I had pinned (think there are 3 left) so have to get some more prepped and ready to go. My aim was to make 100 this month and I've made in excess of 160 so pleased with that. Still a long way to go. 

Last year I made a panel of the 23rd Psalm into a wall hanging for the worship area of the aged care facility that Fixit Guy and I help out with on a weekly basis. The residents loved it. Recently I was able to purchase another religiously themed panel featuring a Lion and Lamb. I decided to make it into a wall hanging for there as well. I would like to have it finished to take up tomorrow but I had some assistants today whilst I was working on it. Haven't got as far as I would have liked!

The reason I have had these two helpers this week is that our daughter, Fangirl has been in Brisbane for the Comic Convention there. She had a stall there selling her cross stitch patterns, some kits and some made up items. She dressed up in her Hogwarts cloak for the occasion and Boyo, our youngest who was her assistant was also decked out as a Hogwarts school boy. If you want to see her patterns visit her Etsy shop... she's into all things geeky

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Stash Report - kats and Kaftans

I've only had one finish this week but as I had to buy the fabric for it its almost the equivalent of a nil all draw.

At Handmade Love on Tuesday (that's a sewing group I am part of that makes things to sell to raise money for Our Rainbow House, a school in Zambia) a visitor to town who is also part of the Our Rainbow House Community, taught us how to make kaftans. I had forgotten about it till that morning so had to dash to the shop as soon as it was open to get fabric to use. I chose a lovely soft batik that had a gorgeous pattern and was soft enough to drape well.

It was really easy and straight forward to make. Basically I measured my length, folded the fabric in half and cut it off to that length plus 5 cm for the hem, cut a neck line, faced it, hemmed it, sewed the side seams and boom it was done. Well that is how it was supposed to go. I had trouble with the neckline initially but we got there. (Peggy, our co-ordinator for HML, is a very experienced sewer and she was able to fix my issues) I didn't even have to hem my sides as the batik's selvage was so beautifully finished.

If I make another one (who am I kidding... when I make another one) I think that instead of just folding my fabric in half I will do shoulder seams. It might help to stop it slipping about so much. It's not bad but just slipped back a bit.

The 3.6m of fabric bought and used in this project was my only purchase for the week although I do confess that I have ordered a fat quarter bundle on Massdrop. I'm collecting cat fabrics so this is just perfect. But it hasn't arrived yet so I don't have to count it this week. Whew.

Speaking of cats, we've been catsitting our daughter Fangirl's 2 felines this week. They are gorgeous and playful and far more attention seeking than our old boy cat

Fangirl is out of town this weekend to attend the Brisbane Comic Convention. She has had a stall there for the first time selling her Geeky cross stitch patterns, kits and some made items. Her youngest brother has gone with her to help her with the stall. Not sure how much he knows about cross stitch but by the end of the weekend I'm sure he'll know a lot more. He's been company and has meant she can go for bathroom breaks if nothing else. Actually apparently yesterday he was able to go off and go to the forums etc and look at the other stalls and displays and today it was her turn.

So this weeks stats

Week 37

         Fabric Used                       3.4    
          Fabric Added                     3.4

Year To Date
         Fabric Used                    134.72
         Fabric Added                    52.81

Net Used/Added                       81.92

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Fitness

I've been up and down this week diet wise... good days where I haven't eaten too much empty food (ie high calorie, low nutrition) but others where I did over indulge in various goodies. Still the weight has started to come down a little.... 1 kg so its a start (17.2 to go)

Walking has continued apace and I have managed 2 walks a day most days. Missed out on Sunday but managed it even on Saturday which is unusual for us. We have walked most days with our friend Maree, sometimes accompanied by her dog and sometimes Chloe has stayed home. Chloe is a big dog and not well trained to the lead and so she pulls constantly and Maree's arm and shoulder get very sore. Jack is hilarious when we walk with Chloe, especially when Chloe is allowed off the lead to run when we are down by the river. Usually he is off exploring everywhere, especially if we have Digby with us. But when Chloe is charging about Jack stays really close to us and he monitors where she is all the time. He is such a tiny dog that she would knock him flying so easily. He stays close cause he knows Chloe can see us and so not run into us... but he's another story.

Even when Fixit Guy hasn't been able to walk in the evening because of his commitments I have still taken Jack out.. usually with Digby to take Dig home. I've made my 10 000 steps every day without having to do any on the spot jogging, apart from Sunday when it was only a couple of hundred I've had to do. It does feel good.

I've been making my way up the Fitbit stats too... it was only a couple of weeks ago I was excited to make it into the teens of my Fitbit friends and then I made it into the top 10 albeit the bottom half of them. This week I have made it into the top 5 consistently.... and even got to 3rd and 2nd one day... for a little while.
See I have proof!! It happened twice!!
Yeah, I know it was cause Sam's Fitbit was playing up and didn't record her steps properly but for 12 hours I was coming 2nd to the amazing Terje. Between Sam and Terje who average high teens daily for the steps I will never get back to number 1 but still... its great to have 80 000 to 90 000 steps for the week. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be back to 4th soon. Another friend Jody is usually way ahead of me too but her jogging partner is away this week so her steps are a bit down. Still ...

Mind you today is going to be a low day. Maree was away today so we didn't have to get up to walk at 6 and ended up sleeping in late and then it was 9 and we both had things to do so... no morning walk. Oops. Hopefully we will get an evening walk. Must make my 10 000! I'll jog till midnight if I have to. He he he

I have been wondering about trying to jog again and maybe restarting C25K again... but then I wonder if my hips and knees really need to thumping. I might give it a go... but then Fixit Guy and I go together for our walks and it is great to have some us time. I also thought about getting a tread machine but again... going out walking is great so maybe not.

Steps for this week
               Friday:            15 398
               Saturday:        13 880
               Sunday:          10 036
               Monday:         12 148  
               Tuesday:         13 873
               Wednesday:    12 036
               Thursday:        14 886
TOTAL for the Week    92 257

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Sewing this week was all systems go up till Saturday and since then has slowed down a lot

I worked solidly to get my Raggy Hearts quilt finish and I managed it and posted it off to my friend on Monday. I forgot to include the card I had written out for her which is a bit of a bummer but it does have my name on the outside of the parcel... must post it off to her - but its already been 2 days. Oops

I have been working away on my hexies. I got a pile made during church on Sunday and some more in the evening whilst watching tv. Had a meeting at church Tuesday night and in the hour or so got 20 done. Quite a few people were asking me about them afterwards and they were universally amazed that I would be attempting a quilt that needed over 1500 of them. My aim for this month is to get 100 hexies made and I am heading towards that already.

Tuesday at Handmade Love, our visitor CaAtherine taught us how to make a kaftan. I stuffed up the neckline and it too a bit of working to get it right but I managed to get it finished in the morning. What a thrill. Next time I think I will make a slightly different neckline.


Today I went to Patchwork group and worked the whole time on my Twilter's swap blocks. I made 12 so I now have 19 made. Think I will make 30 as I'd like to have a 5 x 6 layout.

So its been a pretty busy week on a variety of projects. What about you? What have you been doing?

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday Museday - mid month review

Its half way through the month already and time for a goal review. I don't seem to have made much progress but I know I have ... really

1) POD quilt. Make the last "weekly" block (no 30) Remake block 11 and work on some other extras to go around the bookshelf. 
I haven't worked on these at all. Hopefully they are next up on my working list

2) "Going Green" Finish this quilt - its pinned. Needs quilting and binding.

This is finished. That was a big job

3) "Pink Pizzazz" Quilt and bind this club quilt

This is completed. Yay.

4) Hexagon Quilt Continue to work on hexagon quilt - make 100 hexies

So far I have made 70. I have a church meeting tonight and that should mean I get a few more done

5) Mend 2006 hexagon year quilt

Its still on the couch waiting for me to mend it

6) UFO Finish or at least work on one UFO from sidebar list

Nope... not done a thing

7) Work on Christmas Project

Nope not done a thing

8) Make extra Raggy Hearts.

Made the extra ones

The reason I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked to is that I have made a whole other quilt. I added this to my side bar of goals after I made my initial goals. I made the raggy hearts from our club swap into a quilt which I have posted off to my friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Stash Report - some finishes and some purchases

Last Monday in my Monday musings I was regretting fudging the line in finishing Going Green late Sunday night or early Monday morning and counting it in the previous week's stash report because ... on Monday morning my order from Massdrop turned up and I had 4 metres of fabric incoming that would go as a minus on this week's report. I don't like negative figures! I don't mind nil all as much as I dislike going into the negative.

In pushed me on to get Pink Pizzazz finished off so as to have a little incoming. I got it done on Tuesday evening in time to take it to our patchwork gathering on Wednesday to show it off. It was a group project so it was appropriate.

I was on a bit of a roll by then so pressed on with Raggy Hearts. I had only really started it the previous week when we did our block swap (well I did my blocks a few months ago but we swapped our half hearts Wednesday a week ago) but had managed to get the centre together and then on Wednesday I got the 2nd border on it. It was pieced using a mixture of breast cancer fabric and some other heart fabric. 

I had thought that I would piece the backing using some Quilt for a Cure fabric that I had (I am giving it to a friend going through breast cancer treatment atm) but then decided to use some lovely minky fabric. Its so lovely to touch and I have heard that some people having cancer treatment find their skin gets really sensitive so this would be ideal. I didn't have to piece it at all as it was just wide enough. I  was able to lay it out on my cutting table and get it pinned by Thursday morning and then started quilting. 

I got it finished by Friday night which was my aim as my big machine had to go in for a service on Saturday. I finished up the binding etc yesterday using my small travel machine (Janome Jem) 

My friend Lindy and I had been discussing at Patchwork on Wednesday about how joins in binding so often end up at the corners. When it happened to me I just had to photograph it and put it on Facebook for her

... so that was another finish for the week... which is just as well because....

Thursday afternoon I went shopping for background fabric for the upcoming Twilters swap. I needed to buy 2.3m. Its a plain white... nothing special. The  tone on tone whites they had in our 2 LQSs were $22.20 plus a metre so I wasn't paying that. I got some plain white stuff for $11m that I was happier paying. Its boring and not worth photographing! 

Anyway since then  I have been beavering away with my blocks (we are doing the wonky pound block from Amy Gibson's 2012 Craftsy BOM) and have 7 completed. I think I will make 30 as that will give a good sized quilt. Not sure how many participants we will have in the swap but if we don't get that many I can keep some for myself and if we get more than that... well I'll see. But at the moment I am working on 30. (Twilters is the name giving originally to quilters who tweet. We were a bunch of women who found each other via a number of quilting podcasts. We have since formed a group on facebook and many people find that easier as they don't use twitter. I must admit I like Facebook better as posts are more easily kept together and you can find everyone who comments under the one banner. If you are a quilter who listens to podcasts or are interested in joining us drop me a message and I can work on joining you up.

So this weeks stats

Week 37

         Fabric Used                     9.04
            Fabric Added                   6.92

Year To Date
         Fabric Used                    131.23
         Fabric Added                    49.32

Net Used/Added                       81.92

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Friday Fitness

Running late this week... got the blog written but hadn't gotten the photos uploaded so it took till today... sorry

Diet has been less than ideal all week - we had chocolates in the house as well as the cheesecake I had made my husband for Fathers Day. We've been eating it all week but the last slice has now been served up so that temptation has gone however we now have a box of chocolates to go through... 

I haven't managed to make 10 000 steps every day this week... close but no cigar... well a couple of thousand under. One evening I was busy quilting getting a project finished and worked till 1 AM and it was after midnight when I remembered I was still short on steps. Another evening I realised I hadn't made my goal but was tired so went to bed.

But on a positive note I have managed to start walking again in the mornings again. My friend Maree was keen to restart our morning walks and even when she hasn't been able to make it Fixit Guy and I have stepped it out. Jack dog is loving it. Means I get more opportunities to take photos too. The pelicans (well one anyway) is back at the river and so are the ibis and ducks.

 The roos are back too. I managed to get this photo on my phone before he bounded away

Its still very dry here. There was rain about 10 days ago and so there is some green shoots about but its dry and parched

Even though I haven't made 10 000 each day I have made over 70 000 steps this week. I have also crept up my friends lists and am lodged pretty firmly in my top 10 friends. I doubt that I am going to get much higher than 7... some of my friends get crazy step numbers.

Fitbit Stats
Friday           12 786
Saturday       10 561
Sunday           8 183
Monday        11 664
Tuesday          8 111
Wednesday   13 514
Thursday        15579

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WIP Wednesday - 2 finishes

This week I have finished off two quilts - the two I got pin basted at Patchwork last week. It was great to get them both finished off - wonderful for my stash reports and great to get them both done. They have both been in the almost finished stage for quite a while. That is Pink Pizzazz and Going Green. I have already posted Going Green off to my friend who has had surgery recently and Pink Pizzazz is up at our quilt rooms. They want to hang it there for a bit before we hand it on to a breast cancer charity to use as they wish

Obviously quilting them took up much of my sewing time at home but I have worked on a few other things

First of all the horse costume. No, this wasn't a costume for a horse but the costume of a horse. It was needed for a play my husband is in. They had one already at the theatre but the rough treatment it got during rehearsals meant that it was ripped to well not quite shreds but certainly enough to make it unusable. It was 16 or so years old and wasn't made from new fabric to start with. So... I remade it for the start of performances but I used fabric found at the theatre and it wasn't new. After the first night it ripped and I had to do some major repairs. Then after the 4th performance they once again managed to destroy it beyond use.

So with only 2 performances to go (they do 2 performances a weekend for 3 weekends) I have had to remake the body of it completely. The guys do have to be very rough on the costume - charge around the stage, going in different directions and then fall over spectacularly so they do have to be very rough with it. Hopefully this new fabric (whilst not brand new, newer than the other fabric) will last better. It has some stretch in it so won't rip as easily either.

Found Pippin on the horse costume this morning. With the red staining on the legs (from the actor who uses it's rouged cheeks) it looks like he has killed it and dragged it in and is proudly displaying it

Then there are the raggy hearts. We swapped our raggy hearts last week at Patchwork Group and I came home and immediately started putting my half hearts together and making the extra ones that someone had given us the fabric for. She hadn't had time to make any but donated the fabric for us to make some to go towards a quilt for charity. I made a few more using background fabric from our group stash so probably made 15 raggy hearts altogether.

I put my raggy hearts quilt together. I sashed all the hearts in purple and put in red corner stones. Since this is going to a friend undergoing treatment for breast cancer I used some pink quilt for a cure fabric in the border. I am really happy with how the top. Now I need to make the backing. I'd like to get this finished this week and off to my friend as soon as possible.

I had planned to piece a backing but I wanted to use really soft fabric and have a some minky that would be suitable. Its a fawny brown so not really in the colour family of the sashing and borders but will be fine. I think the feel of the quilt is more important in this case than the look. Its only just wide enough... I have about 1.5" on each side so am going to have to be careful.

After I put the borders on my quilt today at our patchwork group gathering I worked on some more hearts for the group quilt. We have a bit of a problem in that one of our elderly members made her hearts the wrong way around. The background fabric was 7 x 6.5 and you need to put the heart so that it is wider than it is long. She put hers so it was longer than wide. This means that when they are sewn together the blocks will be narrower than they are high instead of square... and they will be narrower than all the other blocks made with the correct fabric. We are working out whether we will trim all the blocks in the donation quilt down to the smaller size or if we alter the sashing... still trying to get our heads around what to do. We have 21 blocks that will be smaller... we could make 3 rows of 7 that are narrower or make 2 rows of 8 and put the leftovers on the back... or... yeah. Its a pain. But we will get there

Hexagons. I've been plugging away on my hexagons. I managed to get about 25 done so far this week. I might get back to some tonight whilst I watch tv... but then again I might work on something else

How has your week been? Have you be productive? Hope you have enjoyed your quilting and patchworking or other crafting.

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday Quilt Story