Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Goal review and setting August Monthly Goals

I have to confess I was way too ambitious with my July goals. Sigh

To start with what have I accomplished.

  • I made lots of items for the Handmade With Love stall - pencil cases and table runners in the main but also a casserole carrier and the bunting.
  • I got the top made for my niece Jenni's baby.
  • I quilted "Onya Bike" and bound and labelled it
  • I finished The Summer Reading QAL wall hanging
I partially completed some of my goals
  • I worked on the baby quilts for 4 other precious ones in my life. All the tops are done and I have found backing fabric but I haven't cut the backing or batting nor pinned and quilted them
And then there are the complete busts - goals I didn't even begin
  • quilt My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes
  • quilt my Hexie quilt (that is one for the long arm and is going to have to wait till September)
  • make backing for Amy Gibson's BOM and quilt (another one for the long arm in September)
  • Club Mystery Quilt. I am thinking I will try to get this one prepped for whilst we are away at the end of this week. I have to track down all the clues. I can only find the last couple.

And as for August

I am going to be travelling a lot in August. We are going to Sarina for a few days. Fixit Guy has an Emmaus Board meeting to attend on the Friday evening and on Saturday there is a Going Forth Day. We are taking the caravan to give it another outing since we haven't been away in it since we got back from picking it up. We thought we might go down Friday and back Monday Wednesday. We will see.

I leave on Thursday to fly to Sydney to see me Mum and to attend my sister Joy's 70th birthday celebration. Hopefully I will be able to catch up with lots of the family both at the party and otherwise. New great niece to visit too so that is a plus! I'll have a few days in Brisbane on my way home and in fact I'll be accompanied by Fangirl for the trip from Brisbane home as she is coming back for the weekend to attend the Chrysalis training weekend that I am coming back for as well. (20th and 21st August) We are both on team for the girls' flight in September.

Then sometime towards the end of the next week (ie probably Thursday 25th) we are driving down to Brisbane in order to attend my school reunion over the weekend. Its my year's 40th reunion - we graduated high school in 1976! We have to come straight home afterwards as I have a commitment on the 30th August. 

So..... not much home time at all this month.

So its a bit hard to decide what I will try to accomplish this month. Since I am flying to Sydney I won't be able to take my machine with me so I need to work out a hand project. If I could get some quilts done before then I could say I was going to stitch the binding down on them but really - no. I machine bind all my quilts these days. I like the look and I like not hand stitching them down. I like hand stitching but would rather it was for something pretty!

I will have some time at home and my priorities as far as projects go will be

Finish of the 4 baby quilts I have started. I have 4 tops done and need to get them quilted. I have some backing fabric I can use but I can also piece them should I wish. I just want to get them done.

Quilt My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes. Its pinned and ready to go. I just have to get on with it.

Make Fangirl a bag holder. She dropped some very obvious hints that she would like one.

Make more table runners for HWL

Make more pencil cases for HWL

Catch up (or at least make progress) on the Club Mystery Quilt

Decide on some projects with the Pokemon fabric I recently ordered and something for the other cute fabric I lashed out and got whilst visiting a speciality quilt shop close to where Fangirl lives in Brisbane. It specialises in licensed fabrics. Its called Make It Hobby and Craft.  Its less than a half hour walk from her place and only 4 minutes in the car. The fabric will make up into great pencil cases, zipper pouches, tote bags and even kitchen products.

That is all going to be way to ambitious for the time I have available. Sigh. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

WIP Wednesday. A busy week

I'm staying with our daughter this week in Brisbane. She works all day and we have friends to visit and other things to do and of course trying to get some steps in to counteract the morning teas, lunches and dinners out and such - not to mention the mug cakes I've been making after dinner in the evenings if we have stayed home and the packets of peanut m'n'ms and chocolate coated raspberry bullets I've bought (naughty naughty me)

In between all that I have had some time for sewing. I'm encouraged to do that especially in the evenings as my daughter's home has a tiny loungeroom which only fits 2 lounge chairs in it... so I go to the bedroom to sew.

I've made 2 trips to sewing places this trip... well 3 actually now I think of it. (make that 4). The first on Saturday morning was to a "craft exchange" - a women's co-operative sort of place where they run lots of classes and get togethers for women of a crafting nature. They also run a shop 3 mornings a week that sells donated craft goods - some are second hand ie used - mostly patterns and books- but the rest are fabrics, beads, wool etc - left over from other crafters. I had a ball there on Saturday morning and purchased lots of stuff (see my Sunday Stash Report Here) We also visited a Lincraft store for me to get some vlisofix (I can't say or spell that word... the stuff you use for iron on applique) 

And then on Monday I visited a fabric shop very close to my daugher's called Make It Hobby n Craft which specialises in pop culture, licensed fabric. I got some Doctor Who, My Little Pony, Pokemon and Alice in Wonderland Fabric. 

Wednesday I took myself back there and got a few more fabrics... Star Wars, Betty Boop, Space Invaders, WOW, Marvel comics - all from the remnant bins.

I am still cogitating exactly what I shall make with these lovely goodies. They will make great additions to our Handmade With Love stalls as well as fun presents for members of my own Pop Culture Geeky family!

The shop has the funkiest carry bags. I have 2 now. They are shiny gold. They don't show up well in the photo.

In the meantime - this week I have been working on -
A casserole carrier using some leftover blocks I was given. I have the outside strips together. Now I have to cut the lining and the batting and quilt them and put them together. I had planned to do that whilst away but I used the batting on another project. Oops

Christmas Tree Table runner. I used the fabric I had bought at the craft exchange to make this project. (and the batting for the casserole carrier) I have one runner completed and another top made. I'd complete it only there is no more batting here for me to filch. I have enough materials to make a few more tops so I might get on with that today.

Repeat wall hanging. I printed off all the papers for this project at home and started work on it Wednesday. After I had made the 5 "e's" I realised that in printing them off I had somehow goofed. One page was done in what I believe is the correct size but the rest of the papers (including 3 completed "e's") were smaller. I have made 13 small letters and 2 big letters now. 

My worry is being able to replicate 2 smaller e's. They look a bit wrong

Mini Christmas stockings. At the craft exchange I picked up a project bag. Someone had cut out and started sewing 38 mini Christmas Stockings. They are less than 5" tall so I do mean mini. Last night I sat down and sewed them all up. For some I had to make the binding that went around the top but for others I just had to sew them around. 

They still need the ribbon hangers to go on them. I have stuff that will do the job at home so am resisting the temptation to go buy some more ribbon and finish them off whilst I am here. I thought that they would make a cute set of bunting but am not going to do that - I will donate them to our Handmade With Love group. We might end up sending them over to the children in the school we support or perhaps stuff them and sell them on our stall for a minimal amount (something that children can afford to buy).

So - I'm busy and productive. How about you? How has your week been?

WIPs on Wednesday

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

An unexpected Project - Fitted Table Cloth tutorial

This week I am staying with our oldest child, Fangirl. She is a wonderful crafter, designing amazing pop culture cross stitches. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and mostly on Instagram by that name
As well as having a blog, and a store on Etsy where she sells her patterns and more recently kits as well, she also goes to craft markets that have a geek theme and has had a stall at the big conventions like Comi Con (Brisbane and Melbourne) and this year will go to Supa Nova as well. 

She asked me if I could make her a fitted table cloth for her stall. They are required to have table cloths and she has been using a queen sized flat sheet that she had clipped into sort of shape but was wanting something a bit more professional looking. A fitted cloth that went to the ground would mean she could hide her extra stock, suitcase etc under the table out of the way and out of sight.

The fabric I had to use was her fitted sheet. I could have bought more fabric but what was the point? That was just going to be extra cost. It worked out pretty well.

The table that she has which she takes to craft markets when she has to supply her own table is 1.8m which is the size of the tables that she is supplied at the bigger conventions so making the table cloth to fit it would work well for both. We decided it would be best to make it a little loose fitting to allow for tables that might be a bit bigger.

I measured the width of the table and cut a strip of fabric that width , plus 4cm from the sheet, cutting it across the shorter of the sides and then trimmed it back to the length of the table plus 4 cms. This was for the tablecloth top.

I cut the remaining part of the sheet into two stips, again width ways which I then joined to make one long strip. This was for the table cloth skirt.

I found the centre of the longer side of table cloth top and pinned the centre seam of the skirt to the centre of the top, right sides together. I pinned it along the front of the top piece  and stitched from one front corner to the other front corner. 

Stitching the corner was tricky and there is probably a better way to do this but I just tried to work it around as neatly as I could. I sort of did it like a mitred corner.

Then I sewed to the next corner and worked my way around it and sewed till I ran out of skirt. Then I went back to my starting point and worked back the other way around the corner and sides and along the back till once again I ran out of skirt.

 I was left with a gap of about 24". Fangirl was happy with this as it gave her access but then we realised that the piece we had trimmed off the table top piece was about the right size for the gap. I hemmed the sides and the bottom and trimmed it to fit the gap and then sewed it table top, leaving it loose on the sides and creating a flap.

And that was it. Done. In about an hour. Its not the neatest job in the world and surely wouldn't win awards. There are no doubt ways to make it neater. Maybe if I had rounded the corners a little it would have been better (suggestions for fixing this are welcome) I did warn my daughter that I am not the greatest seamstress and she laughed and said "and asking a quilter to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage" (a meme I had recently shared on Facebook) However it will do the job. No doubt it might benefit from having all the seams neatened and if I had an overlocker that would have made things easier. But it is done and she is pleased with it and so am I. 

When I made it I had no intention of making a tutorial for it so there are no step out photos but hopefully this describes what I did well enough to inspire you should you have need to make something similar.

I am now thinking that I will make something similar for our Handmade With Love stalls. With our glorious leader Peg on the job I won't get away with such dodgy corners so will have to come up with an improvement.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Stash Report - Win some lose some

I was really looking forward to making this week's stash report. I had a couple of finishes during the week, including a massive one so my figures were looking spectacular... and then yesterday I went to a second hand craft shop.

 Everything there has been donated - I guess pre owned is a better way of describing it. Its an amazing shop filled with donated goods - lots of fabric, - yardage and scraps alike. Patterns, projects in various stages, loads of beads, tapestry wool, scrap book stuff... etc etc etc. I had found a pattern I was itching to do on Pinterest but hadn't taken the time to pull the fabric for before coming on the trip (I wrote about this yesterday) and so I looked for the fabric there and got it ... and a bit more. I just added the fabric to my spread sheet and with all the little bits and bigger bits I ended up buying close to 8m of fabric (for less than $30) so that upped my figures somewhat. Never mind. I am happy with my purchases. I got a bargain and the money went to a good cause. (I wrote about this yesterday when I was getting frustrated by thread breaking. Update on that. New needle solved the problem. I finished stitching down all the applique on the second runner and quilted one  with only one thread breakage... and that was when thread jumped out and wrapped around something.)

So... my finishes. I finished Onya Bike during the week. Still no great photos of it but its lovely. Total 14.74m

8.50 m of bunting for the Handmade with Love Stall. It looks great and I sure hope the others in the group love it as much as I do. Its bright and colourful and I was thrilled with it. 1.32m fabric 

I was trying really hard to get a table runner finished tonight so I could count it but I have faltered at the last. I still have to make and attach the binding but its gotten late and I am too tired and my husband is trying to sleep in the room we are staying in at my daughters so I have called it quits for the night. A finish there isn't far away and it will be good to be able to mark off a little of the input I took on Saturday.

So this week's figures.

Week 30
Fabric Used              16.05
Fabric Added              7.87
Weekly Net                8.18

Year To Date
Fabric Used               87.69
Fabric Added             44.74
YTD Net                    42.96

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Slow to take a hint

How quick are you on the uptake? Are you quick to change your ways or are you stubborn to the point of ridiculousness.

That was me tonight. I have been working on a project - one I had spotted on Pinterest and was wanting to have a go at. 

this is the quilt pattern from the website.

Its here on - a gorgeous Christmas table runner. I had planned to pull some fabrics to take away with me whilst I am in Brisbane visiting 3 of my children (Fangirl, Kombi Boy and his partner Gamer Girl, and our youngest Boyo) However I didn't get time to pull what I needed - and I knew I didn't have any of the cream background fabric I needed and I didn't get to look through my scraps for the green and brown. Besides I knew that Fangirl and I were going to visit The Nest here in Brisbane. On Saturday, Monday and Wednesday  from 10 - 1 they operate a second hand craft shop selling all manner of donated craft items for very reasonable (cheap) rates. Going with a project in mind would focus my spending and allow me to have some fun and not feel guilty for buying fabric I didn't have a purpose for.

So this morning Fangirl and I drove over to the house that is The Nest and enjoyed a browse through their goodies. I spent $43.50, mostly on fabric (I shall account for it tomorrow) and came away with a bulging bag of stuff that I do have plans for.

After a very indulgent lunch - her treat as my belated Mother's Day celebration we visited another craft shop and puchased the Vlisofix I needed and then we came home and I started to create. I had to print out the pattern and then trace off the trees and stumps, iron them onto the fabrics, cut them out then iron them onto the background and finally I could start to sew them down to the background. This is where my being slow and stubborn comes in.

My thread kept breaking. It was good aurifil thread. I rethreaded the machine, I cleaned out the bobbin case, I rewound the bobbin, I checked for others stuff but I wouldn't replace the needle. I was sure I hadn't long put it in. There was nothing wrong with the needle. I sewed some more, I rethreaded. Again and again and again as it kept on breaking. I breathed. I swore (silently or under my breath cause I don't use those words). Finally with one tree (out of the 10 on this table runner) to go.... I replaced the needle... and ... yeah... I sewed the whole tree without a break and now its bedtime.

I can't credit that I can be so slow and so stubborn... and yet... yup that is me. I don't know why.

I shall show you a photo of my efforts another day...I hadn't intended to write a blog post tonight... till tomorrow

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wip Wednesday

Its been a busy productive week so far for me.

On Monday with lots of help from my friend Lyndi (Finally getting how she spells her name sorted) I loaded my monster quilt on the new longarm at our Patchwork Group's room. (we are very blessed to have a spacious area supplied to us by the council in its art and craft complex) 

We received the longarm as a result of a grant. Mine was the first quilt to go onto it - woot woot. It took a bit of sorting out (mainly from Lyndi lets be honest) but we got it on and then I quilted it. Nothing fancy or adventurous believe me. An all over stipple and that was it. 

We made a few mistakes but it went pretty well. I got it home and the next day I made the binding and got it on - machined front and back -

  and put on a label and it is all done and ready for a special someone's upcoming birthday. 

The weather here in our part of Queensland had been rainy and overcast for about a week (no one is complaining as we need the rain) but it means that its not good for photographing the quilt. I will have to lie it on the grass and take a photo from our deck to get the whole thing remotely in perspective and the grass is damp and muddy and even if it isn't the dogs are and they will run all over it as soon as I lay it down. So... better photos soon or at least eventually.

We have our stall coming up for Handmade With Love (HML or HWL depending on my mood) and I decided to make some bunting to decorate it. 

I won't be at the stall itself as I will be still making my way back from Brisbane from Kombi Boy's graduation. I have made a heap of stuff for them to sell already including fabric baskets, table runners, pencil cases and a stack of sugar coated peanuts and savoury sugar coated peanuts. But the bunting was an extra.

 Its not for sale. Its to go from stall to stall. I used the  this tutorial on Patchwork Posse to guide me and chose fabric in the rainbow spectrum... the school our group supports in Zambia is called Our Rainbow House.

Making the binding took the longest - or at least was the trickiest part. Cutting out 6" triangles was easy using my 60 degree angle ruler and sewing two sides was nothing... but folding over those sides and pressing them - that was tricky. Spray starch was my saviour.... and rolling it onto a piece of cardboard as I went kept the folds in neatly.

I appliqued letters on each flag to make the sign Handmade with love and put hearts between each word. I just hope that they are the right size - that I have made them so they can have enough loop without getting in the way. 

So far I have made 2 sets and have enough binding and flags to do a couple more but won't get them done in time for this stall as I go tomorrow and I really have to do a few other things today like washing, packing and yeah digging my sewing room out from the mound of fabric and projects scattered every where and piling up on my cutting table.  (Fixit guy was vacuuming on Monday whilst I was out quilting the monster quilt and he got to my sewing room and gave up. The vacuum cleaner is sitting in the door way - meaningfully. I better get it done before we leave)

I am going to take my sewing machine with me whilst we are away for the week. We have a fair few things on whilst we are away but there will also be down time and I will have a chance to do a bit. I want to take the patterns and fabric for our Patchwork Groups mystery quilt that I still haven't started. I also want to do the Repeat QAL from Elm Street Quilters. Its over now but I really want to do it. I have the pattern and paper piecing pattern printed off for that. Need to gather up the supplies to take with me. I'll also take my crochet with me to do in the car at least.

I got out the baby qulits that I need to finish up. I have four that need backing. I found I have some cuddling minky type fabric there that will do for 2 of them and some flannelette that can be pieced for another one. 

I love to piece backings but I want to get these done as they are bugging me. I won't take them away with me as I don't like to quilt on my little Gem. It would probably handle the small baby quilts but still... don't think I will. If I want to quilt something I could take "My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes". Its all pinned and ready to go and waiting on my  sewing table. I had hoped to do it this week but I moved onto bunting instead!

I still have to quilt my Hexie quilt. I think I'll do that on the longarm. I have to make backing for my Amy Gibson BOM and quilt that. They are both WIPs but I'm not making much progress there! Maybe next month. I am away for the rest of this one sigh.

WIPs on Wednesday

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mid month goal review

This year is zipping past. This month has really moved. Its over half way through and I am rather scared to look at my goals. I have achieved a lot - have done heaps of sewing but unfortunately much of it wasn't on my goal list for the month. I could sneak them in ... that might make things look a bit better. I am going away in 5 days time and whilst I can (and probably will) take my machine with me not really sure how much stitching I will be able to get done.

Lets look at what is on it

  • Make items for HWL stall at Christmas in July Craft Fair - whew. I am glad that is there. Yes - I have done heaps for this including 8 table runners and almost 20 pencil cases. 

  • Catch up on Summer Reading QAL - DONE
  • Work on Jenni's baby quilt - I have put the top together.
  • Finish quilt for Asha - DONE
  • Finish  Damien, Peyton and Soley's baby qulits. I have made the tops for these quilts but not the backing
  • Quilt Onya Bike - I have booked the longarm machine at our club rooms this week for 2 days so hope to get it done then
  • Quilt My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes - nope
  • Quilt Hexie quilt - nope
  • Make backing for Amy Gibson BOM and quilt - nope
  • catch up on club's mystery quilt. - nope. This will be a good one to take away with me for the week I am gone.
So whilst I have made a reasonable start on my goals, given that I really have only got 5 days left at home I can't see me getting them all done, especially since 2 days are going to be totally given over to quilting Onya Bike. Given that this is the most urgent of all my projects this month that is ok.

Sunday Stash Report

This week has been cool and wet here in Central Queensland. Now you could expect it to be cool since its officially mid winter but we are on the Tropic of Capricorn so we don't do winter too well. Yes it gets cold overnight (sometimes down to zero but that's pretty rare. Under 10 normally) but during the day we usually get to the mid 20s. A common saying here is we get 2 weeks of winter where you have to leave your jacket on all day. Its been low to mid teen maximums this week on quite a few days. So we little thin blooded precious babies have felt the cold.

And its wet. That isn't usual. We normally get summer rain... infact not too far north of here people don't talk summer winter spring autumn when it comes to seasons. Its the Wet season and the Dry season and the winter months is the dry season. So winter rain isn't common but this year we have had the highest rain falls for June and July for many decades.

So cold bleak weather - who wants to go outside. Not me that is for sure. Its been great weather to stay home and sew. I got over my horrid cold but Fixit Guy came down with it so - he's not been wanting to do too much that would distract me from sewing.

SO I have accomplished quite a bit this week and have heaps of finishes. Mostly they have been small things but - whatever. A finish is a finish.

Fabric Baskets: I made 3 of these for the Handmade with Love stall. 2 of them have Christmas fabric on the outside which came from the HWL stash but the linings all came from my stash as well as one outer so a small bit of usage. .21m 

Pencil Cases: I've made 13 of these this week to the new pattern I found. The tutorial can be found here. My sister sent me the feature fabric that I used in 10 of them. I had to input the fabric as well so its not "pure profit". 1.59m

Table runners: I finished off 8 of these this week. I had made the tops last week but got them all finished off so can count them at last. I handed 3 in without photographing them. I made 8 following the picture of one I found on the Pinterest. It was only the picture not a pattern. (I can't assign credit as the picture didn't say)
 and 3 from leftover scraps. Some of the fabric came from Handmade With Love stocks so I only counted half of what I made in my calculations. 1.56m

Bessie's Bears: Finally quilted and bound the baby quilt I pinned out a few weeks ago. I called it Bessie's Bears in honour of my mum who stitched the embroidered bears on it. Its based on the Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern "Sparkle".  Its going to a great niece in Sydney. I'll take it when I go down in August. 4.02m

I deliberately didn't put all the pictures going the one way so the quilt can be used in any direction. Of course if my niece in law is OCD that might just drive her nuts... I don't think she is

I love my mum's embroideries. She isn't stitching anymore so the remaining embroideries I have are being carefully hoarded in order that each of my nieces and nephews will be able to get a little of mum's work

Summer Reading QAL : yesterday I finished off my bookshelf wall hanging. I had the "shelves" all done for a while now but finally got cracking and put it together and then quilted and bound it. I even put the hanging sleeve on it and the label so its all done. The pattern is by Daisy Fredericks of Lazy Daisy Quilts (and Reads). The pattern is on Craftsy here. Pam and Lynne from The Stitch TV Show ran the QAL. I added .2 to my fabric tally to allow for the sleeve and the extra wastage and piecing for paper piecing. 1.14m

Pippin wanted in on the action.

The only fabric in was the .5 m of super hero fabric my sister sent me.

I have ordered some Pokemon fabric from Equilter to make some more pencils, book bags, zipper pouches etc to capture some of the market created by the Pokemon Go craze sweeping the world. Hope they are popular. I don't have to count that till it arrives though... phew

Wks 28 and 29

Fabric used                          8.31 m
Fabric Added                       0.51m 
Weekly Net                          7.80m

Fabric Used                      71.64m
Fabric Added                    36.86m
Year Net                            34.78m

Linking up with Patchwork Times