Sunday, May 29, 2016

Stash Report

Fixit Guy and I arrived home again from our trip on Friday afternoon. We drove over 9000 kms in our 6 wks and 2 days that we were away. Our van, that we picked up in Melbourne at the mostly Southerly point of our trip, has travelled over 4000 kms. We basically did the trip down in 3 days of travel (we stopped at the end of each leg for a week) and came home over almost 4 weeks. We had a great time.

Sewing wise I got a few things made: 3 casserole covers, 2 quilt tops, 3 zipper pouches, 2 plastic bag holders, and 4 hanging towels. I also started working on the backing for one of my quilts (but it was hard to do that without my design board cause I was improvising it sort of and kept getting lost so stopped) And then crocheting: I have completed 5 infinity scarves and have one 3/4 done. 2 are heading down to Victoria as soon as I get them parcelled up.

I was pretty restrained with my purchases whilst I was away. I bought some in the Gold Coast from a 2nd hand shop and then some fabric to finish off the My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes quilt. Those have all been recorded and they have only just managed to let me stay in the black with my stash usage this year. Once I get the two quilt tops I made whilst away and another 2 tops I have finished at home made into quilts then I will make a great leap forward in my usage stats.

My only finish since I reported (I missed last week) is the one little zipper pouch I made from some "made" fabric - 1"-2" strips of Japanese fabrics left over from the two Dots and Dashes quilt which used .43m

Fabric Tracking Week 21-22

Fabric Used              0.43m
Fabric added            0.00m
Weekly net              +0.43m 

Year to Date 
Used                        37.46m
Added                      35.45m
YTD Net                      2.01m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Since last Friday night I have been at the meetings of the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod. This is where representatives from all the UCA church congregations, presbyteries and agencies meet together to deal with the business of the church, share ideas, report on what has been going on, pray and worship and try to discern the will of God for us in the next 18 months and further into the future. Its been tiring, exhausting, at times frustrating and often exhilarating. And Busy. 

Meetings started with worship on Friday night... and amazing and exciting time as we were lead by choirs from 3 of our faith communities - Tongan, Korean and Sudanese, with representatives from our First Peoples as well. We continued on for the next 4 days, beginning at 8.30AM with bible study and continuining on all day till 9PM some nights and 6PM. Today finished at 3. (well its supposed to, We have left early)

It wasn't all sitting in our seats listening to reports or other people speaking. The worship sessions involved singing, clapping, even a little dancing. And the business sessions involved debates and opportunities to ask questions. There were visuals to look at too on the big screen. We also broke into smaller groups for discussions and discernment times and also had the opportunity at different times to go to self selected topics to learn about and discuss different things. It was very interesting and stimulating. We also had the opportunity to make a message board and have our photos taken with it to send a message of love and support to refugees coming to Australia

Anyway there was times of sitting and listening and since I sit and listen a lot better if I am doing something with my hands I organised craft projects. I didn't have any embroidery to do (as I have done some times) or other hand stitching but did have some crocheting... I bought wool when I visited the wool shop last week. I took 4 balls of wool with me and started on the infinity scarves I spoke of last week. 

My first attempt had been one where I crocheted a long chain, joined it and gone around and around but that wasn't really successful. I ran out of wool before I had completed it so unpulled it. 

The pattern I chose this time was the Bellflower Infinity scarf, a free pattern available here

JOY3-11c_sea_spr_scrf_791low rez    Closeup1

In this pattern the scarf worked like a normal scarf (across the width rather than the length) and worked back and forth. Once long enough the two ends are joined together. I didn't get adventurous but worked all the scarves I made the same way. I wanted a pattern I was super familiar with which would enable me to work without concentrating on what I was doing, enabling me to listen to the discussion. 

By the end of the Synod I had made 5 scarves. I completed the last one minutes before the final session that we attended ended. (I only have photos of the first 3 I completed)

 I have started work on another one today which will keep me occupied whilst we drive home over the next two days. I went to Spotlight today and bought some more wool. I have a request for a rainbow striped one.

I did do some sewing on Thursday night before Synod and got a little zipper bag made but that has been the only sewing I have done this week. I thought I might sew something today but... just not feeling the vibe so haven't pulled anything out.

WIPs on Wednesday

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Last Wednesday I bought some wool. It wasn’t fancy stuff – just a ball of variegated purple acrylic that I found in a supermarket. I got it and some crotchet hooks to give me something to work on in the car since I had finished all my handwork and wanted something to do. I also have 4 days of meetings coming up and wanted something to keep me occupied then as well.

On our car journey a few days later I started to make an infinity scarf. I had googled a free pattern and started away happily after a while I stopped following the pattern as I realised that the wool was too thick to show it properly and besides I knew I wasn’t going to have enough wool to complete the pattern.. I used up the ball of wool and was only 1/3 the way through with little hope of getting any more of the wool. I found a few more infinity scarves that I am looking at 

Aren't these gorgeous


Crazy Shell Infinity Scarf | free pattern || the batter's box.

On Saturday, whilst being lead astray by the Navman (GPS device) I bought myself 4 more balls of wool – thinner than the previous ball which will be enough to make a couple of scarves. I pulled out the stitching I had done.

Sewing wise I have been working on the back for my Onya Bike quilt. I am piecing scraps together in various strips – 10” wide, 6.5” and 5”. I’ve made some nine patches and fussy cut some bicycle fabric I got from Spoonflower. I have 3 metres of a mottled blue fabric to use on the back but even with that and the other scraps I have, I won’t have enough to complete the back so think I will leave it shortly to finish at home.

Having put the piano key border and a 3” orange border on My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes (MCLTHIB) I am still debating with myself whether to declare it finished (at 72” square) or to add another 5” pinwheel or perhaps a 4 patch border. My problem is that I have changed the destination of the quilt and trying to work out what sized quilt would be most useful to the new recipient.

WIPs on Wednesday

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Its the Navman''s Fault. Stash Report

I started writing this blog post on Sunday as per my usual schedule. I needed to add the photos before uploading it. I thought I would get that done in the evening when we stopped. Only the problem was that where we camped for 2 nights we were out of range of the mobile phone so no internet. Hence Its now Tuesday and I am finally finishing it off.

On Saturday my husband, aka Fixit Guy went off for a blokes get together leaving me with a whole day free. We were camped on my sister and brother in laws farm near Cooronbong. My sister is currently in Western Australia visiting her newly arrived and EXTREMELY premmie grandson.My niece runs a horse business on her parents place so she was busy so I had the day to myself. I looked up local quilt shops. I needed some fabric to finish of my latest project. Google maps said Patchwork and Coffee on Main was 26kms away. That would do me. Jumped in the car, typed the address into the navman and set off, carefully following the audio directions. When it directed me onto the freeway, heading towards Sydney I was concerned and then I glanced at the distance on the screen - 67kms. By this time I was on the freeway. I thought it would get me off at one of the exits but instead it kept me going down the freeway for 20kms, to get me off turn me around and send me back again... past where I had come on to another exit  past it.... No I hadn't gone the wrong way on the freeway... it was the crazy navman.

Anyway by the time I finally got to my end point I was really hungry. I had decided that I deserved breakfast out if FG was having it out... but there wasn't anywhere near where the shop I had arrived at. I could get a savoury roll and a coffee at a bakery. 

AND It was a different shop... called Pins and Things - which specialised in wool but had some notions and a little fabric at a good price. So... I bought 2  half metre cuts of 2 pretty green co-ordinating fabrics. 

I also got some wool to crotchet in the car. The shop owner kindly directed me to the quilt shop, it was 4 blocks further up the street, and called Patchwork on the Lake. No coffee mentioned but it was on Main Street. I'm not sure where that shop had disappeared too....

It was a lovely big shop with a large range of fabrics and I found several fabrics that would do the job I needed. I also found the fabric that featured in the quilt - the original cat fabric. So I got some more of that too.

I had felt so annoyed by the misdirection and let down by not having a nice breakfast I bought more fabric than I actually needed - some nice orange for the border after the piano key border and 2 different greens - I couldn't choose. I thought that one might go as an inner border and the other as the binding. I didn't actually buy very much - .5m of both greens and the cat fabric and .6 of the orange. So not really that much but I did feel a bit extravagant.

I came home after that instead of going on into the city to Spotlight. I couldn't wait to get started on finishing off the top - My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes. I fussy cut some of the cats from the fabric to go as corner stones. I had been going to appliqué them onto cream squares but forgot to buy more iron on stuff to secure them. I cut squares instead. I got the Piano key border on and then the orange borders. That is supposed to be it.

As I type this though I am wondering if I really have finished. The top is currently 72" square. It was going to be a cuddle quilt for the lounge but now wondering if I should extend it with a few more borders and make it queen sized. I can't actually finish it off whilst we are travelling so I will have time to think about what I am going to do. Thinking about perhaps making pinwheels with one of the green fabrics I bought for the binding - maybe alternating them with some fussy cut cats - I won't have enough fabric to do that so might end up buying some more on the trip or waiting till I get home and raiding my stash.

Funny thing happened whilst trying to photograph the quilts on the fence. My niece runs a horse business on the property we were staying at. The ones in the paddock that's fence I was using to photograph the quilt got very interested in what I was doing

No finishes this week. Eek

Fabric Tracking Week 20

Fabric Used:             0.00m
Fabric Added            3.07m
Weekly net                3.07m    

Year to Date 
Used                        37.03m
Added                      35.45m
YTDNet                      1.57m

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wip Wednesday

I have been working on Square in a Square variation for the quilt that I call My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes. My kids had a much loved book by this name and its so true of cats. The fabric in the quilt features cats... its a panel and co-coordinating yardage. I'm sorry I can't tell you the name of the panel or line as I bought it a few years ago and don't have the selvedge here with me to read (I prepped it all at home before we left on our holiday.)

I had the panel cut up, the yardage cut up as well as all the pieces for the block, the sashing strips and corner stones all prepped and ready to go in little bags in a plastic clip top carry box. 

The panel had 8 different cat pictures about 10" square and I fussy cut the yardage which featured the same cats scattered about to be the centre square. I based it on a pattern from Quilters Cache called Square within Squares 2  but I varied it a bit.

I have the centre of the quilt complete. It consists of the panels cats cut up into individual pictures and 17 of the square within squares blocks done in a scrappy design. I sashed between the blocks in brown with corner stones of different colours used in the blocks. 

I got that together last night and today I have been making piano key borders from the same fabrics used in the blocks. I am not sure if I have made enough.... tempted to measure it tonight but it is getting pretty late so I have stopped. I didn't have the strips precut as I wasn't sure what I was going to do for a border. In fact I think I bought the left over yardage (well fat quarters and yardage) to go into the backing. Whatever I have been trimming strips as I got. I cut a whole heap and sewed them together (matching strips of similar length) and then pressed the sewn strips and cut them into 6.5" pieces which I sewed together. I couldn't work out why it wasn't going together faster ie the 4 strips for the sides wasn't growing as fast as they usually do ... then I realised. Usually I make 5" piano key borders and this time I opted for 6.5". Doh

I am continuing to enjoy sewing in the caravan. We have had some lovely days exploring the countryside we have driven through and I have a long blog post about our travels that I haven't finished off yet to post... still wanting to add some more photos but will try to get that up tomorrow.

Today we have been in Forbes, an historic goldrush town. We have done a little exploring but mostly we have been catching up with my lovely nephew who lives here and his wife and gorgeous daughters. Today (Great) Aunty Pip has bounced on the giant pillow thingy, 

climbed a play gym and gone down a slippery dip, 

played with Barbies, my Little Ponies, 

read a story to someone sitting on the toilet (!!!) and had lots of delightful conversations with a bright and bubbly four year old and had some snuggles with a little 8 month old bub.

Tomorrow we head for Orange and another house full of cute great nieces and nephews. Travelling is fun!!!

WIPs on Wednesday

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday Stash Report

This week I have managed a couple of small finishes, making some half square triangles that were "buffalo bits" ie left over off cuts from another project. I made 2 little zipper bags. They will be for gifts at my retreat next month.

They aren't going to add much to my usage pile but every little bit counts.

No purchases this week - despite some temptation at a second hand shop that had lots of great off cuts. I resisted cause there wasn't anything I needed - no projects in mind for them so they stopped in the shop.

I have some more half square triangles... black this time. Planning on making a couple more....

So my usage this week

Stats from Week 19

             Fabric used          1.09
             Fabric added        0.00

Year to Date
            Fabric used         37.03
            Fabric added       32.37

Net Used                          4.66

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

WIP Wednesday

This week lots of the WIP has involved settling into our new caravan. We'd picked it up last Tuesday (on Fixit Guy's birthday) and spent the next few days settling into it. We had bought a car full of gear to go into it with us from home but we couldn't bring everything we will eventually want to carry in it and some things we have had to buy in order to be able to live in it for the next month or so. The van has a microwave and we didn't have any dishes suitable to cook things in it so bought a couple of containers for that. Its been fun setting it up

One of the first things that I did was to move in my sewing stuff and work out where I will put my things. This trip I have lots of space available for me but once we have all our gear available to us I might not have so much space at my disposal.

I have managed to get a few sewing days in this week and made good progress on a few different projects.

I have made a few necessities for the van: a plastic bag holder (2 actually one for me and one for The Beast) and 2 hanging towels (and 2 for the Beast). It was great to get some finishes under the belt, even though they were small.

Onya Bike: I finished making the piano key border and got it attached to the quilt. The top is now done. Next I have to do the back

Handmade With Love projects: I got 2 casserole covers made using African fabric. They are not quite finished needing the HML label sewn on and also the dowels cut to size and inserted but that will come.

Oriental Scraps: I've recently made 2 T intersection quilts which has resulted in a pile of little half square triangle scraps. I trimmed these up to be 2" square. I pieced the white hst together to make 34 pinwheel blocks 

which I then made into 2 pieces - one 3 pinwheels x 6 pinwheels and the other into 4 pinwheels by 4 pinwheels. 

These I made into two zipper pouches. I was totally winging it and as a result I forgot to include tabs or handles. They aren't quite as smartly finished as some others I had made. They turned out really sweetly though. They will be gifts for a patchwork retreat I am going on in June.


Whilst I was working with the oriental scraps... I sewed all the remaining strips together to make some fabric for more bags. I have several pieces - one about 20" wide, one 9" wide, one strip 6" and one 4". I hope to make some ear bud pouches and coin purses. 

Nine Patch blocks The retreat I am going to in June has an oriental theme to it. We are having a nine patch swap featuring oriental fabric. I got mine made this week too

WIPs on Wednesday

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Stash Report and Monthly Goal wrap up

I have had a few finishes this week, some big and some rather small

The big one is - I have completed the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I blogged every day in April. The challenge is to blog every day except Sundays, each day blogging about somethign that starts with the corresponding letter of the alphabet April 1st being A, 2nd B etc. I made it through. I got my blogs up in a timely fashion (8 AM on the day they were due) and tried hard to read 10 other blogs in the challenge and comment on them too (unless they were too far outside my comfort zone or were hard to find where to leave a comment)

Anyway - tis done.

My sewing related finishes consisted of making 2 plastic bag holders, one for our caravan (brand new, picked up on Tuesday) and one for our son The Beast, whom we have been visiting here in Melbourne. I have also made 4 hanging towels, 2 for the new van and 2 for the Beast. They didn't use much fabric - about a metre all up but it was lovely to have some finishes.

I have made 2 casserole carriers for Handmade With Love using African fabric I  was given for the purpose so I don't get to count them as finishes for my fabric count.

I also finished the piano key borders for "Onya Bike", the T Intersection quilt top I have been working on. The top is now completed. I will work on the back this trip too - I think although I may move onto some other projects since I am not going to have time to get it quilted for a while.

And I didn't add any fabric. So I'm still positive for the year... only just but still positive.

Stats from Weeks 18

                 Fabric used            0.93m
                 Fabric added          0.00m
Year to Date                 
                 Fabric used           35.94m                 

                 Fabric added       32.37m
Net Used                                  3.57m  

Linking up with Patchwork Times

My Monthly Goal wrap up.

  • work on handmade with love projects. Before we left to come on our trip I cut out 5 casserole covers using African fabric from the HML stock. I have completed two of them, apart from the labels (which I have lost) and the dowel that I won't get till we are home again.
  • sew left over hexies into strip for backing Done
  • cut fabric for Square within a square Done
  • cut fabric for T Intersection quilt Done. The top is now sewn (as detailed above and in previous WIPs and Sunday Stash Reports)
  • Complete A to Z blogging challenge Done. All the blog posts were completed on time (as detailed above)

So I had a very successful month completing all my goals.

May Goals - hmmm
  • Piece "My Cat likes to Hide in Boxes"
  • Sew Oriental 9 patch blocks for PnP swap
  • Buy and cut fabric for 6.5" squares and 2.5" strips for PnP swap
  • Sew gift for oriental gift swap at PnP
  • Work on casserole carriers
  • make ear bud carrier for car
  • Complete the rest of the casserole carriers for HML
  • make some Healing Hearts blocks