Thursday, June 30, 2016

End of the Month Goal review and setting some new ones.

At the beginning of the month when I set my goals I remember thinking that I had been VERY ambitious and was already back pedalling on what I would accomplish. However I think in the end I did pretty well.

Make Pencil cases for Handmade Love. I got 8 completed so was very happy with that

Make 3 more casserole carriers. I got one done. Oh well

Pin and Quilt Onya Bike - I didn't get to this mainly because I have decided to leave it till the Patchwork Club I belong to gets their Long Arm machine and I will do it on that.

Make 3 baby quilts. I have the three tops made but need to work on borders for 2 of them. One is pinned ready to quilt

Make backing for My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes - Done and its pinned ready to be quilted

Make Backing for Hexie Quilt - Done. I am waiting on my next bolt of batting to arrive before I get it pinned. Or then again I might do it on the long arm

Assemble Amy Gibson BOM quilt - done! The blocks are together. Now I have to make the backing

Quilt Hashtag quilt - done

Quilt Dash to Japan - done

Get up to date with Summer Reading QAL - done although I might be behind again. I have to put it together

Make Birds in the Air blocks for Twilter block swap. Done. They have arrived at the swap co-ordinators place and soon she will be doing the swap and we will get ours back. Whoo hoo

Sooooo Not a bad effort at all. The only goal I made no progress on was the quilting of Onya Bike and that was for very good reason. 

Now to set the goals for this coming month

  • quilt Onya Bike
  • finish quilts for my great niece and great nephew who are already here. 
  • Finish a quilt for my friends grand daughter and make one for a baby boy born overseas. He gets one featuring Australian animals.
  • work on quilt for great niece/nephew due by the end of the year
  • quilt Hexie quilt.
  • quilt Amy Gibson BOM
  • quilt My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes
  • make Christmas themed items for HML stall at craft show at the end of the month.
  • empty scrap basket
  • finish Summer Reading QAL
  • get up to date in the mystery quilt my group is running

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Wednesday again and once again I have made progress on a number of fronts.

At Handmade With Love yesterday I worked on finishing off the pencil cases I started a few weeks back. I had done more work on them on Monday so on Tuesday all I had to do was sew the inner and outer pieces. It was beaut to get them done. I also worked on a couple of other pieces from the box of stuff there - not anything that I had started by myself.

Today at Patchwork group I worked on a couple of things. First of all my friend Lindi once again helped me pin a couple of quilts - yay. Now the first of the Sparkle baby quilts and "My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes" are pinned and ready to quilt. I would love to get them quilted in time for my stash report but since I am going away tomorrow till Sunday night that isn't going to happen. I am taking my Janome Gem with me but I don't quilt on that! Actually I probably could take the baby quilt and get it done as it is small enough to work under the small throat space. I used Minky dot in the backing of it. I love the feeling of minky and the look of the dot one even more. 

This baby quilt will be for one of my Mum's great grandies as it features some of her embroideries. I have a great niece and great nephew born in the last couple of months that are "owed" quilts and another one cooking away as we speak. I also have 2 other babies, the grand daughter of a friend and the daughter of my daughter's friend, that I also plan to make quilts for (I made one for their siblings so I kinda have to) so.... after I had pinned (sorry we) had pinned the quilts I got to work putting together another of the sparkle quilts. I had made the blocks at Patch n Peace. I plan to put another border on it but the centre is done.

Then I started making some more blocks for the next baby quilt - this one for the great grandie due later this year. Fortunately Lindi was at a loose end and she was a great help pressing the blocks for me. I'd snow ball one corner, sew the second seam (to make a half square triangle out of the bit you snip off) and she would trim to hst off and then press the corner out so I could snow ball the adjacent corner. I sewed the second seam and she snipped the hst off and pressed it again. With her help I was able to get ALL of the squares done quickly. Now I can make the blocks whilst away this weekend. 

Since I got home from Patchwork I have worked at trimming the HST from the first three quilts I made. I now have a lovely pile neatened down to 2.5". I think I will make a border out of them for one of the baby quilts. Not sure that there is going to be enough for more than one but we will see. I didn't do the HSTs from today's efforts as they were still in the car, ready to take away with me. Hopefully I will get them trimmed whilst I am away.

I have put together all the bits I need to make the final sparkle quilt - well the 5th one for this batch. This baby lives in Iceland so I have chosen Australian animals to be the centre of the blocks and fabric from my Australian wildflower collection to be the snowball pieces for the blocks. Instead of working with white background this time, I am using beige as it tones in better with the colours in the blocks. (lots of yellows and tans and browns).

I sorted through fabrics and Handmade With Love yesterday. I was looking for scraps of Christmas fabrics to make circles to Cap the bottles of savoury peanuts I have made. Instead I found some gorgeous fabrics, too nice to chop up for caps but perfect for  table runners. I bought some home and if I can find my pattern I will make some of those this week for the Christmas in July craft fair at the end of next month.

These will make a lovely table runner I think.

I will get the caps for the jars out of this fabric I think although I might think of something more creative

So how has your week been? Have you made good progress?
WIPs on Wednesday

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Stash Report

I am delighted to be able to report another finish this week... 2 weeks running I have finished a quilt. That is exciting!

I finished off my Twilter Hash tag quilt which was a great thrill. I started to write it's own finished blog post but didn't get it completed. The blocks were from a block swap with the Twilter group, a group of quilters united initally on Twitter but now on Facebook as well. We all listen to podcasts, particularly Hip to Be a Square, Quilting for the Rest of Us, Lazy Daisy Quilts (and reads), Weezyworks, The Offkilter Quilt and Nonnie's Quilting Dream (I think I have missed one out... hmmmm) Oh Yes Quilt Cabana Corner, The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady and The Quilting Pot.

Anyway last year we decided to do a block swap and chose the hashtag or pound sign # block from Amy Gibson's free craftsy block of the month class from 2012. I got my blocks put together earlier on in the year and got the quilt pinned in March but with being away for 6 weeks over April and May I didn't get to sit down to work on it till last week. Now its done. 

Yay. I quilted a different design in each block, basing my design choice on the either the back ground fabric of the block or that of the hash tag itself. Some worked well.... other not so much. However it was fun spending the time on it.

My other finishes this week have been fabric baskets. I've made 6 of them so far. They are all for the Handmade With Love Stall at the Christmas in July craft fair next month. Some one asked me about Christmas in July after she saw a picture of my jars of savoury sugar coated peanuts with a Christmas caps on. 

In Australia Christmas occurs in the middle of our very hot summer. Now whilst some people are still sticklers for the traditional hot roasts associated with Christmas in northern countries, many of us opt for cold meats and salads. However the tradition has sprung up with many people to celebrate Christmas in winter and so be able to enjoy the hot dishes and puddings. July is our coldest month. A craft show at this time of the year is also a chance for people to stock up on some Christmas presents ahead of time.

The parent group (P&C) of a school in a near by town has been running a craft show for a few years now. Handmade with Love is going to have a stall for the first time this year. I have started to make a few extra things. As well as the baskets (some of which are made out of Christmas fabric)

 and the savoury peanuts I have made a couple of pencil pencil cases and have 6 more cut out ready to be sewn. I had better get on with them.

How is your sewing going? Hope you have made some good progress this week

Stash Usage for Week 26

Fabric used                       10.32 m
Fabric Added                     00.00m (Yay)
Weekly Net                        10.32m

Fabric Used                      60.93m
Fabric Added                    36.35m
Year Net                            24.58m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Busy week this week. I got those quilts I was working on last week done... one in time for Stash report on Sunday and one since. Yay. Go me.

Then I got sucked into the vortex known as fabric baskets. Found a great pattern and have made 6 since Sunday. These are all going to Handmade With Love (I have a blog post half written about them) I got the pattern here from Tina at Seaside Stitches

Today at Patchwork I finally started working on the backing for "My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes" a 72" almost square quilt. 

As is usual putting the back together has taken me almost as long as the front (well not quite but still.....)

I was discussing my backing making with another quilter one day and described it as.. constrained improv... I don't really know what I am going to do with it... just that I want to use certain fabrics and that I have to make it to a certain size.

I built it gradually - putting together strips of similar width fabric pieces. The first strip was about 20" wide.

 The next one was made from a combination of whole fabric pieces and "made" fabric - left over pieces from the piano key border. Some were 3" wide, some 4" and some 5.5". I also made a strip out of 2.5" squares. 

The final pieced strip was based around a panel featuring some kittens playing. 

The rest of the strip was made up of 6" squares featuring cats. 

These were from a swap run at a patchwork retreat years ago. The two sides strips were plain green fabric. They extend the back out past the width and length of the top and will be trimmed down. I'd rather trim down non pieced fabric rather than the pieced stuff. 

All in all a great busy week with much accomplished

WIPs on Wednesday

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mid Month Goal check in

Only 10 days in the month left so that means I am 2/3 through the month and a great time to check how I am going with my goals. I really enjoy setting goals for myself and seeing how I am going with them. I set myself a huge list this month and quickly decided I was unlikely to get through all of them but was willing to give it a go.

Basically I listed all the things that I had on the go without really thinking through the logistics of it. Mind you I did have my 5 day quilt retreat (actually it was 3 full days and 2 half days) so think I expected to accomplish so much then... which I did but not perhaps as much as I had hoped.

My goals for this month were
  • Assemble the Amy Gibson 2012 BOM quilt (from Craftsy) - top together unless I decide to add another border but think its done.
  • Finish Diamond Dash quilt - done!

  • Finish Twilter's Hashtag quilt - done! (No photo as my phone just went flat so can't upload the photos)
  • Catch up on the Summer Reading QAL (run by The Stitch TV show) done
  • Complete Birds of the Air blocks for Twilter swap - done
  • Make hanging towels for HML Done

  • Make Pencil pencil cases for HML stall - I have made 2 and have more cut out to work on but haven't touched them since I last reported. I didn't specify how many I would make so having made 2 I guess that qualifies as Done. .sort of
That's 7 completed as of today.
  • Make three baby quilts - blocks made and one centre put together. 
So that is one goal started.
  • Make 3 casserole carriers for HML stall - no progress
  • Make backing for the Hexie quilt - no progress
  • Make backing for My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes - no progress 
  • Pin and quilt Onya Bike - not done yet (not enough pins when I went to do it last Wednesday and have now decided I will leave it till our club's Longarm quilting machine arrives and I'll do it on that which won't be till next month
And 3 with no progress made and one deferred.   My priority for the rest of this month is going to be the baby quilts. We were told yesterday that we have another great niece or nephew on the way so that is another quilt I will have to have done by the end of the year so better get these three completed.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Stash Report

Very excited to report that I have had a finish this week. I finished my second Diamond Dash quilt (made to the pattern on Missouri Star Quilt Company) which I am now calling "Dash to Japan" I blogged about this finish yesterday here. I added an little extra to the amount of fabric used in it after I put it on the spread sheet and it had done is "Thing" calculating usage (Pam from Hip to Be a Square worked out a formula to allow for piecing, the backing, and the binding) as the back of the quilt was heavily pieced. Anyway the quilt measured 235 cm x 190 cm which came to a total of 10.19m of fabric plus an extra metre so a total of 11.22m of fabric. I was very pleased to have it finished. I handed it over to the recipient yesterday afternoon and she was very pleased with it.

Since I finished it I have been quilting another one and it is soooo close to being done but not quite (just the binding to go)

That was it for fabric usage for the week and there was NO fabric in 

Fabric Tracking Week 25

Fabric Used                11.22m
Fabric added                0.00m
Weekly net                  11.22m

Year to date
Used                           50.60m
Added                         36.35m
YTD Net                      14.25m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Finish

Whoot I have a finish. 
My first finished quilt since March and only my 3rd large quilt for the year...  I finished the Harry Potter Bookshelf quilt in February and Dash That Cat in March. It is great to have something big under my belt again. 

I really wanted to work on Onya Bike this week but when I looked I realised I didn't have enough pins since I had 2 quilts already pinned out ready to go so had to finish them first. Now.... I have one done.

 It didn't have a name till today, I kept referring to it as Diamond Dash 2. Now I have called it Dash to Japan in honour of the Japanese fabric that it is made from - and also the friend it is destined for regularly visits Japan - usually planned well in advance but her next trip has come up very quickly.

The quilt is a gift for a friend who is our "other daughter". At one time she shared a house with our daughter (actually she has twice shared a house with Fangirl). We look after her dog every day when she's at work and whenever she goes away Digby stays here. She's a teacher of Maths and Japanese and regularly takes groups of school kids to Japan

The quilt came about because I had accidentally ordered 2 lots of the Obi fabric on Massdrop. It was a big bundle anyway but 2 lots... had so much Japanese fabric I needed to do something with it and a quilt made out of it for Bek was ideal. I had originally ordered it for the quilt I made as a wedding gift for my friend Suzy.... and it just so happens that Bek is the daughter of Suzy's new husband so it is all fitting.

I put the quilt top together about the same time as I made Dash That Cat. I had it pinned ready to quilt before we went on holidays but didn't get to the quilting. It got pushed to the top of the quilt on Wednesday when I realised I wasn't going to be able to pin Onya Bike as I didn't have enough pins with 2 quilts pinned and ready to be quilted.

I started quilting yesterday morning and got it done in a day. Its an all over stipple... nothing fancy. I actually love the rhythm of stippling. It might not be as intricate or individual as other forms of quilting but it does me.

It was all going pretty smoothly till I checked the back and found something had gone awry with the tension. 

Soon fixed though and I was on my way again. 

Anyway - the quilt - Dash to Japan. Made from the Diamond Dash pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company. 

The fabric is Obi by Hyakka Ryoron. I had used creamy white on Suzy's quilt but for this one I used black for the sashings and diamonds. 

The black fabric actually came from Bek - she'd given us a piece to use as backdrop at Boyo's 21st back in January. I never gave it back to her and she has never asked for it... I'll give it back - just in a different format.

The back is also completely pieced using up left over scraps from both the Obi line and from the Neko line, by the same designer that I had used in Dash that Cat. Would you believe I STILL have left over fat quarters from the bundles !

Quilt name: Dash to Japan 
Size: 235cm x 190cm (92" x 75")
Recipient: Bek
Pattern: Diamond Dash by Missouri Star Quilt Company
Fabric: Obi by Hyakka Ryoran

This week I'm joining in the TGIFF which this week is to be found at Arabesque Scissors 

WIP Wednesday written on Wednesday but posted Friday

What a busy week of sewing I have had working on lots of different projects.

Being at a Patchwork retreat for 5 days gave me lots of sewing opportunities and also walks with views!

Sparkle Quilts. I made 27 blocks for 3 baby quilts. Since I got home I have put the centre of one of them together. This quilt is based on the Sparkle Quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern. In instead of 5 coordinating coloured squares I put a picture fabric in the centre. Some of these were embroidered teddy bears that my mother stitched. At 94 she no longer embroiders so the squares I have left have to be used sparingly. 2 of these quilts are for her great grandchildren so they will have some of the special stars.

I used a smaller sashing than recommended. At Patchwork today I laid out the next one with the wider sashing and feel it looks better. I'm not planning on unpicking the one that is done but will make the next 2 as per directions (I reduced it cause I felt I was running out of the fabric. I have since found the rest of it so have enough to do the wider sashing.) I deliberately put the embroideries facing into the centre and the other centre pictures going different ways so the baby quilts wouldn't have a right or wrong way.



Amy Gibson 2012 BOM Craftsy Class Quilt. At the retreat I got the last 2 blocks for this quilt made and today at patchwork I got the blocks put together. I sashed them in grey and put white corner stones. 

Summer Reading QAL. I got all 16 blocks for this made and put together. I was on a roll. I really only needed to make 5 to get up to date. The QAL is being run Pam and Lynn from The Stitch TV Show 

Today I had planned to pin out "Onya Bike" up at Patchwork, taking advantage of the great pinning out table and the assistance of some of the women up there. (My friend Lindy is usually willing to help me and some of the others also help out too on occasions) I was just getting my stuff together to take up - checked I had enough batting (I am down to the last of my roll) picked up my tin of pins and thought... that's a bit light. And then I remembered I have 2 quilts pinned ready to be quilted so wouldn't have anywhere near enough pins to pin out this monster quilt. Sigh. However at our group meeting today I was reminded that our group has recently received a grant to cover the cost of a long arm machine. It is already ordered and should be here in a few weeks and I will have time (I hope) to get it quilted on that before the special birthday it is a gift for. 

WIPs on Wednesday