Sunday, September 25, 2016

September Goal Report and Setting October Monthly Goals

We are still 5 days out from the end of the month but things are going to get very hectic between now and then. We leave to go on a 5 week break on Thursday, Boyo (our youngest son) is home from a university in Brisbane for the week and we have a few things on so I thought I might grab a bit of time right now to finish September off and be ready for October.

I was late putting my September goals up  (they went up on the 6th) and I was pretty ambitious with what I planned to do but I am delighted to be able to say that I can count each one as successfully completed. Oops - no there is one that isn't fully completed Sigh -its half done which is pretty good though.
My goals are high lighted in red.
  • Update stash spreadsheet with fabric purchased at Gold Coast (done) and put the fabric away (not done as I have been pulling fabric from it to cut projects for whilst we are away. Also I am slack)
  • Keep Blog up to date - I have blogged a  Sunday Stash report each week and a Wip Wednesday too all month and have also had a few extras . I haven't done a Fitness Friday for a long time... mostly cause they would have to be un Fitness Friday. I have been trying to get my 10 000 steps each day now for a couple of weeks so perhaps I should start updating that. My weight has crept up again and I have been trying to hammer that down so maybe restarting Fitness Friday will help.
  • Prep projects for travel. I have a pile of hanging towels prepped and packed. I have also cut out things for some zipper bags and pot holders but I want to do a pile more so better keep going with that. I have also started to cut the fabric for 25 zipper pouches that have been ordered for HWL 
  • Finish Repeat Wall Hanging. This is done and hanging on the wall of our Patchwork room.
  • Work on Birds of the Air Twilter quilt. This is completed.
  • Jenni's baby quilt - Bessie's Stars - Done
  • Catch up on club mystery quilt. All the blocks are made and I am currently working on my own design for putting the pieces together
  • Make items for Handmade With Love* - I completed 2 zipper purses and all the projects that I have prepped to take with me are for HWL. I also helped one of our sewing ladies make a little round zipper pouch.
  • Quilt Peyton's baby quilt - Done
  • Quilt "My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes" Done.

So that is a pretty good go I reckon. I was thrilled to get 4 quilts, a wall hanging and 2 zipper bags completed this month. That is pretty good going!

Now to work out what I am going to do this next month. We will be travelling for the whole time - well at least away from home. We hope to do some free camping and that means no power for my sewing machine so I am going to need some hand projects. I am still working on that. Maybe an applique project and some crochet.

The other things I have bubbling away which I want to at least dabble in  

  • Work on Doily quilt. I need to put the pieces I have cut up on the design wall and decide on the sashing and corner stones and get these cut.
  • Work on String Quilt. I have the foundation fabric cut. I need to decide on the background fabric and also string pieces.
  • Work out the design for club Mystery quilt and start to piece. Make extra blocks requred
  • Decide on a design for Suzu's quilt.(She is the daughter of our 2004 host son from Japan. I get to claim her as a grandchild since he calls me Mum).I am tossing up between a pattern I have bought or an applique quilt with Australian animals. The applique one would give me a hand project whilst we travel..... 
  • work on projects for HML. I have a neat pile of things cut and ready to take away with me. I might get to add to it before we go.
  • work on hand projects. Crochet towels or perhaps applique
  • Work on the 4 Christmas Stockings I have been commissioned to make for HWL (they are for my sister but the money is going to Handmade With Love)
  • make 25 simple zipper pouches - a commission for HWL
That will well and truly keep me busy for October. Have you chosen some projects to work on for this coming month?

*Handmade With Love or HWL is a sewing group that I am part of. We sew things to sell to raise money for Our Rainbow House, (ORH) a school in Chainda, Zambia for the poorest children in a settlement. The charity was started by a local woman from my hometown and is run from here. My husband, Fixit Guy, helps with the financial side of things 

Sunday Stash Report - just a little finish

Its been a pretty slow week for me. 

I managed to get just one thing finished this week. I finally finished off the Repeat quilt (From a QAL run by Elm Street Quilts) and it is now hanging down at our club rooms to the delight of other club members. 

The members love its simple clear message - although one did comment that sleep is for the weak!

No shopping so that is good - means that whilst the wall hanging was only small its all 'profit'.

So my statics for week 39  are

Fabric used                1.09m            
Fabric added              0.00  
Net                           1.09m

Year to Date
Fabric used               129.41
Fabric added               78.62
Net                            50.79m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Its been another busy week for me working on different projects. I finished off the two quilts that I had been working on last week - Twilter Birds in the Air quilt and my niece's baby's quilt, which I wrote about in this week's Stash Report . I also worked on my Repeat quilt and got it finished off as well. 

Speaking of birds... walking in the botanical gardens Monday I saw two kookaburras that allowed me to get quite close so I could get these photos on my phone.

I have been prepping projects to take away with us next month - well in 8 days time actually. I was given some heat and bond to use and have prepped a couple of zipper purses with it... not sure how it is going to go but I got the stuff ironed on without wrecking my iron, ironing board of the fabric so that is a plus. I have never worked with it before.

Yesterday I worked on a Christmas stocking for my great niece and then today I worked on a 2nd one. My sister asked me to make it for her new granddaughter.  She has stockings for all her immediate family at her place each year and she usually buys commercial ones but decided to ask me to make one for her newest grandchild, with the money to go to Handmade With Love. My biggest hassle is going to be the embroidered name. She wants it done in the same style as the other stockings and I am not sure I can manage that. I was going to get a friend to do it on her embroidery machine but both my friends who have such machines are now away and don't get back till after I go away... so maybe I will have to get it done commercially. I have the front of the two stockings completed now, apart from the name. The backs will be plain. I've made 2 so the baby can have one at home as well.

I saw a gorgeous string block quilt on a blog on my wanderings through blogland last week. It was made to one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns. I fell in love with it and have decided to make it. 

I have cut the 48 bases for the string piecing and will take it away with me to work on. I am not sure who or what it is going to be for but I love it. I have 2 containers with strips already cut that I can use.

There is another project that came up on my Pinterest feed that has also got me excited. It uses doilies hankies. There was no indication as to whose work it was and there was no pattern but it seems simple enough. 

I have a container of doilies and embroideries that I have inherited from a variety of sources including my mum, mother in law and aunty. It will be great to put them to use.  

Today at Patchwork I started to cut up the doilies. I went through the box and sorted out all the ones that were stained or torn or were mass produced ones. I feel easier about cutting up the damaged ones. Not real sure about cutting up the ones that are still "good" even though I have no use for them. (I already have a pile upstairs that are in use)  I trimmed them - to 6.5" square where possible but smaller if necessary. These ones I will mount on some backing fabric to make them big enough.

I like the scrappy sashings in the picture. Once I lay the cut pieces on the design board I will decide on what colours I will use for the sashing and the cornerstones. I do like the scrappy look but will want to keep them to a "family" of colours.

Neither of these projects were on my goals list for this month... but guess that is okay as I have basically accomplished all the goals already.

I am going to have to concentrate this coming week on prepping of projects to take away and tidying up my sewing room. We leave next Thursday for 4.5 weeks. Its going to be fabulous. I won't have electricity to the van the whole time (we plan on free camping a good bit) but when we do I shall be sewing up a storm I know. I had better make sure I have some hand projects to do as well. However my husband knows that I am going to have to have regular access to my sewing machine to keep me happy and sane.

What have you been sewing this week.

WIPs on Wednesday

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Stash Report with 2 fabulous finishes

Its been a great week for me - finally feeling better and able to get in and get stuff done - mostly quilting but that's good right?

I tried out a new for me zipper pouch pattern - from Sew So Easy - called Easy Cosmetic Pouch. She has both a written and a You Tube Tutorial for making it. I made 2 - one at home using my fabric and one at Handmade With Love on Tuesday using fabric from there so I only get to count one lot of fabric in this stash report. It went together pretty easily although I must admit to struggling to get the zipper end/top looking nice at the side seam. I am going to try using tabs and see if that comes out looking neater.
They are ok in this bag but in others they look quite messy.

I finally finished a baby quilt that I am making for my niece. The baby isn't due till the end of this year so I am well ahead there - the last baby quilt I finished was for a baby born May last year! I've called this one "Bessie's Stars".

My mum Bessie did the embroideries that are the centres of some of the stars in the quilt, the design of which is based on Missouri Star's "Sparkle" quilt. 

I quilted it on our club's longarm machine yesterday. It was only whilst quilting it that I realised that I had put one row on backwards and thus the stars are not lined up in the correct fashion. However I decided babies don't care! (and I wasn't unpicking the quilting.) The annoying thing is that I had this top finished for a couple of months before quilting it so I had plenty of time to correct it. Ho hum.

The backing is from a doona cover I was given and the binding is a bright square design that ties in with the squares on the backing and the colours on the front.

I also finished off the Twilter Birds in the Air swap quilt. I had put a wider border on it initially but I didn't like it... it seemed to swamp the centre so I cut it in half and added a narrow white border and then the other half of the original border. I fussy cut some birds from the backing fabric to go as corner stones.

 I quilted it on the long arm too - nothing fancy - just an all over meander. I used 2 different striped fabrics for the binding with white, lime green and blue in them and I am very happy with the way it looked.

So 3 finishes for the week and NO fabric purchases! That is an double bonus. I need a few more finishes to make up for the huge fabric purchases last month at the Gold Coast.

So my statics for week 38  are

Fabric used               10.61m            
Fabric added             00.00  
Net                          10.61m

Year to Date
Fabric used               128.32
Fabric added               78.62
Net                            49.70m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WIP Wednesday

For over 2 weeks I had been battling a return of a fatigue virus that laid me low. It took away my energy and my motivation. However a week ago I heard about the birth of Susu, the daughter of our Japanese host son Sho who lived with our family in 2004. I want to make her a quilt but before I could work on a new quilt I really wanted to get a couple of other projects out of the way. So - I pushed myself to get 2 quilts that were pinned and ready to go finished. (Twinkle and My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes). 

I don't think the news made me get better on its own but it coincided with improved stamina and I have been working steadily every since and feeling better as well. It is great to have energy and enthusiasm again. 

So I have been busy this week. Once I got 2 quilts the two quilts finished off (which I have blogged about here and here) I had a look at the next baby quilt I have to finish (Its for my niece's baby due by the end of the year) I have had the top completed for a little while and earlier this week I  cut the backing for it. I am still deciding whether to pin it and quilt it at home or book the club long arm and do it up there. 

I've been prepping some projects ready for our trip away. We will be away for 4-5 weeks so I want a few things to keep me going. I am keen to get some things made for our Handmade With Love stall at the Christmas Craft Fair in November. I want to make things out of the various licensed fabrics I have bought on line and from Make It Hobby and Craft, a shop near my daughter's that specialises in licensed fabric. 

I have various Pokemon fabrics, as well as Betty Boop, My Little Pony and other fabrics. I have decided to make a range of home decor items as well as some zipper pouches etc. I am looking at making some hanging towels, pot mitts, plastic bag holder as well as perhaps some ear bud pouches and coin purses. Not sure exactly what I will get out of the fabrics but am keen to have a go. Lots of young adults are keen on these things - its not just kids so I feel that these items will be popular (and if they don't sell I will have a house full of people who will love them - all my kids are geeks!)

So far I have cut out some hanging towel tops as well as the Easy Cosmetics Bag from So Sew Easy. Still working on cutting out more. I sewed one together at home and then at HWL on Tuesday I cut out another and sewed it. It ended up a little "daggy" at the zipper ends as I tried to include some tabs. I'll need to work on it a bit longer.

I have also made a little progress with my Twilter Birds in the Air Quilt. I added a plain 6" finished border all around using some beaut leafy patterned fabric which was in keeping with the theme of the quilt. The fabric is"Prospect Park" by Kitty Yoshida for Benartex

However it was too wide and heavy for the centre so (at the suggestion of Lindi) I cut the border in half, added a 1" finished white strip and then the leaf border on the outside. In the corners I added fussy cut birds from the fabric I have for the backing. I love how they have turned out. 

The fabric is Contempos "Soul Blossoms" by Cherry Guidry for Cherry blossoms Quilting Studio for Benartex.

I have decided that I will use lime green for the binding. I am thrilled with how it has turned out. 

I will be quilting this on the club long arm on Friday. Lorraine, our acting club secretary is going to come up and help me load the quilt. If I get it done and either Lorraine can come back and help me load it or I feel confident enough to do it myself I will also work on the Jenni's baby's quilt which I have decided to call Bessie's Star.

I had hoped to make a little progress on my Repeat wall hanging at Patchwork this morning. However I forgot to take my 'add a quarter inch ruler" and decided after sewing a couple of pieces together it was too tricky so gave up.

So that is what I've been working on this week. How about you - what have you accomplished this week?

WIPs on Wednesday

Monday, September 12, 2016

Midmonth Goal review

I was late getting my monthly goals up so it isn't that long ago but it is almost the middle of the month so good to review my progress

  • keep up to date with blog I am actually doing well with this. Since I got back into the groove I have blogged my regular posts plus a number of extra ones. I am probably driving people on Twilter page (where I post links to each update) and Twitter nuts. Never mind.
  • work on Birds in the Air Twilter quilt  I've put the borders on the top but I'm not happy with the look. I think they are too wide. I'll trim them down and see what that looks like

  • prep projects for travel I have started this, cutting out towel hangers from some of the licenseced fabrics and also some bags

  • Finish Repeat wall hanging. I have printed out the pattern for the 2 e's I needed to redo but that is as far as I have gotten to date

  • put recently purchased fabric away and update stash spreadsheet. The fabric has all been added to the spreadsheet but I haven't put it away as yet. I am using a lot of it in the projects that I am prepping to do - that is my excuse. It isn't spread all over the floor any more so that is a start

  • Work on Jenni's baby quilt. I have cut the backing fabric for it. I am going to have to decide if I am going to pin it and quit it at home or do it on the quilting machine.
  • Quilt Peyton's baby quilt - I have completed this and it has been delivered to her. Still waiting on a photo of her on the quilt

  • catch up on club's mystery quilt - I had planned to do this at Patchwork last week but didn't end up going. This week hopefully.

  • make items for HML. I have started to cut out projects (see prep projects for travel) and completed one bag

  • Quilt My Cat Likes to Hide.  Completed. Photographed and up on the blog here

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Stash Report - major catchup

The last Stash Report I completed was on August 14th which is a 4 weeks ago and there has been a lot of action since then and mostly in - very little out. But it was fun.

My big blow out was when I was on the Gold Coast at the end of last month when a good friend from the internet and I got to meet up in person and she kindly took me on a lovely shop hop. One shop she took me to had fabric at a very reasonable price - $11m (In Australia that is cheap!) so I bought more than I otherwise might have and then after lunch she took me to a place that was having a major sale and it was $5.95 m so I went overboard there. Jodie teased me cause the shop lady got me a trolley for the bolts of fabric I was pulling out. In total I bought over 20 metres but it was all lovely stuff and such a fantastic price. I detailed what I bought in this blog post so I won't go into more detail here. 

I also received an order from EQuilter of some Pokemon fabric (3.31m) and got a few bits from the c

I also visited a 2nd hand craft exchange in Sydney whilst I was visiting my mum and I got a few bits there too but was pretty restrained. (.82) I got a few embroidery patterns there as well.

In these last couple of days I have managed a couple of finishes - 2 quilts that I have had pinned ready to be quilted that I kept avoiding. 

The baby quilt was for my girlfriend's grand daughter. I called it Twinkle Twinkle. It was based on the Missouri Star pattern Sparkle and has been very popular with the new owners big brother. I blogged about this quilt in my TGIFF post here

I also finished off My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes. I haven't decided where this quilt will go. There are a few cat lovers in my life and one of them will love it I am sure - unless I have an unexpected need for it elsewhere.

The top is a mixture of a panel of cat pictures which have just been sashed and the co-ordinating fabric used as the centre of a variation of the square within a square pattern from Quilters Cache  Square within Squares 2  .  

The piano key border looks great I think. I love making these borders and using up leftover bits that have been cut for the top. I used 2 different green patterned fabrics in the bindng. I didn't have enough of either one to make it all from one and then I decided I really like the two different ones.

The back was a mixture of left over fabric from the front and some 6.5" squares from a cat fabric swap plus another cat panel.

I finished the quilt on the day that our cat who had been missing for 36 hours returned and was recovering from injuries received whilst he was away (probably in a cat fight) He's actually rather timid and not much of a fighter so its no wonder some other Tom was able to give him a hiding. He hasn't stirred out of the house since! It was good to have him home and recovering and I got a photo of him with the quilt

So my statics for the month last while are

Fabric used               11.12            
Fabric added             24.84  
Net                         -13.72

Year to Date
Fabric used               117.71
Fabric added               78.62
Net                            39.09

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Friday, September 9, 2016

Finish it Friday

I have had 2 finishes this week. I am so pleased. I have been travelling a lot and so busy when home and then the fatigue that has hit me (we think its a hangover from the Barmah Forrest virus I had in 2013) I just haven't had the energy to sew and it has been frustrating lying in bed or sitting in the chair planning what I would like to make with the stuff I have purchased but not having the oomph to get up and do it.

My finishes this week have been a little top to go with a pair of leggings someone else made for the Handmade With Love stall. There were 3 pairs of pants or trousers (in size 2) that had been made and Peggy, our coordinator decided that they would be more saleable if they had tops to go with them. We chose coordinating fabric and then she told me that I could do the top for the navy leggings and she would take care of the little pink shorts. The trouble is... I haven't sewn clothes for many years AND when I did it was stretch fabric. The last time I made something from an ordinary dress pattern was in high school. So......

The pattern was Burda Start. My friend Lindi was a great help in cutting it out. Looking at it I can see all these faults with it but its still pretty cute 

especially when put with the leggings.

My other finish was a baby quilt. I started it back in June. I had 4 baby quilts to make (and then before I got them all done found I actually needed to make a 5th). I used the Missouri Star Sparkle pattern. I altered it a bit for each quilt - mostly in what width (if any) sashing and borders I put in. 

This one (which I called Twinkle Twinkle) was for the granddaughter of a friend. She was actually born last year and so is now 15 months old. However the family were in the process of moving from the USA to Australia and the grandma said to hold off till they got here. They actually didn't arrive till a few months ago so I finally needed to get on with it and make the now almost toddler her quilt. 

I realise that the white background wasn't the best choice for a child's quilt but it showed off the stars the best and its machine washable.

When I dropped it off the baby herself was having a morning nap but her 4 year old brother was there and he really enjoyed it - finding and naming the animals in the centres of the stars.

Linking up with TGIFF