Wednesday, November 30, 2016

End of Month Goal review and new ones for December

November is almost over (we have 2.5 more hours of it) so timely to review the goals I set for myself in November and set my new ones for December

My November Goals were

1 Complete 4 Christmas stockings (HWL commission) Got these all done and sent off to the person who ordered them at the beginning of the month. Also made another 2 for my family.

2.Complete zipper pouches, headphone covers, coin purses, potholders, hand towels using licensed fabrics Got a heap of little things made before the craft fair

3 Doctor Who Potholders (HWL commission)
Done - collected another commission as a result of posting photos of these.

4 Complete "Getting Along" quilt top Quilt top together. 

5 Complete "Handmade Heritage" I've started on the border but not got far. I did however make a second, smaller one which is completed

6 Work on String X quilt "Stringin' 'Em Along" The blocks are all done. 

7 stitch velcro onto hand towels and bandanna bibs Done in time for the craft fair.

8 Sew HWL labels onto the items completed whilst on holidays Done

9 Start work on Suzu's quilt Post poned till next year.
Of the 9 goals I was able to compete 7 of them, made progress on an 8th and didn't get to the final one. NOT a bad effort.

AND now for December.

1. Work on En Provence Mystery quilt. My aim is to keep up to date each week as the clues are released. So this is going to be my main aim for the month.

If I get time......

2. Put Stringin 'Em Along together

3. Complete Potholder Commissions 

4. Complete secret commission for a friend.

5. Make backing for Alison Gibson BOM quilt - quilt

6 Quilt Hexagon quilt.

7 Work on Handwork Heritage quilt.

Wip Wednesday - progress

I've been back to working on some of my larger projects these last few days now that my son has returned to Melbourne and the Handmade With Love stocks are high. (HWL is the craft group that I belong to that sews for a charity called Our Rainbow House. We sell our goods at craft fairs etc and to friends )

Having said that, this morning I got an order for another 2 sets of the Darlek pot holders this morning and worked on them at Patchwork today. I didn't take enough matching fabric to finish off the 2nd pair but they won't take long to do. I need to get some more labels from Handmade With Love to finish them off as well.

I have made some good progress on Strippy X, a Bonnie Hunter pattern. I added all the triangles to the corners of the strippy pieces. I chose a lavendar and it looks great. All the blocks are now done. Next up is sewing them together

I worked a little on Handwork Heritage. I started to cut to size the off cuts from the doilies to make the border. Turns out there isn't as much as I thought once I eliminated all the plain fabric - that wasn't going to make much impact in the border. I decided to not try to use the crocheted edging in the border as I have to back it and its a lot of fiddling about. I decided to make the border 5" wide but like I say - there wasn't very much once I had sorted them out and trimmed them up. I would like to work in some pinks into a piano key border. I'll see how I go.

Handwork Heritage Too is now finished! I had wanted to get it done to use in Church for Advent. Well Sunday just past was the first Sunday in Advent and it wasn't finished for that. However there is another 3 Sundays before Advent concludes on Christmas Eve! Today at Patchwork Group I put a dark purple around it - its finished at just under 2". Since it was to be a tablecloth I decided not to use an wadding but just to pack it. I didn't want to do a binding so instead I finished it via the "envelope", "pillowcase" or "birthing method". That is, I put it, right sides together and sewed a 1/2 seam all the way around, leaving a 12" gap through which I turned the quilt right sides out, pressed the seams and then stitched the gap shut. 

I am very pleased with how it turned out although its not laying flat at the moment. I think I will give it a really steamy press and see how it sits then. I will take it up to church on Sunday and see how it goes then

And then because it isn't as if I have enough quilts on the go... I joined in the newest Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt that started last Friday. I have managed to complete the first clue - make 221 neutral 4 patches from 2" squares. I was wondering how I was going to manage the fabric for the rest of it when I am going to be trying to pull from my scraps (I am NOT going to buy any fabric) Peggy, our glorious leader at HWL has said I can raid the fabric bins up there. I sorted them all out a year or so ago so know that there is a nice box of purples and quite a few yellows. I am not sure that I will have much at all in the way of purple in my scrap bins as I have made a number of scrappy quilts featuring purple lately. Ah well....

How have you gone with your WIPs this week/Month?

WIPs on Wednesday

Monday, November 28, 2016

Joining in the fun - Bonnie Hunter Mystery En Provence

I wasn't going to do this mystery. I've looked at some of her other mysteries in other years - entranced by the excitement generated on the web by other bloggers and podcasters who have been part of it. However I found her blog posts a little off putting - so wordy - I got lost. Actually it was the initial fabric selection posts that would put me off. All that talk of paint chips and inspiration - I would end up totally confused and so would back off.

This year my friend Lyndi was keen to go again. She had been part of last year's mystery quilt... Allietarie (or something like that) and was keen to go again. Then Pam and Lynne from The Stitch TV show talked about it... Pam has done the mystery quilts several years running now (and is always up to date and on time and ready for each new clue each week). Pam gave some clues as to how to approach it and how not to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of units you had to make. Then Daisy, from Lazy Daisy Quilts and reads talked about it (wrote about it?) on the Twilter Facebook group and ... well I was in. Daisy says she works out of her scrap box first and then pulls from her stash (well I think that is the gist of what she said) and I thought... yeah I can do that.

So starting yesterday I worked on the first clue (it was released on Friday 25th) This week we were to sew 221 4 patches from 2" neutral squares - 884 squares!

I cut my scraps along the lines that Bonnie Hunter suggests - cutting scraps into usable scrap units. In my case I cut units from 1.5" - 5" going up in 1/2" increments, then 6.5" and 10". I cut squares and strips (except 10" - only do squares of those)

So for this week's clue I went through my 2" scrap drawer - the squares and the strips and sewed up all of those into 2 patches. Then I went through my 4" scraps and found all my neutrals (mainly creams and whites and tone on tones of those colours and other pale patterns) and cut them down to 2" strips and squares. Then I went through the 4.5", 6" (at one stage I cut to that size too but no longer)

When they were all sewn into 2 patches I found I was still 75 2 patches (150 squares) short. 

Today I was going to go to my stash then and cut into yardage when I realised I had an overflowing scrap basket that I had yet to cut down into my usable units. I went through that and found heaps of neutral scraps that I was able to cut down. I sewed the remaining 75 2 patches and this afternoon (Monday) I completed the last of the 221 4 patches.

Ta Dah!

I don't know how I will go with the other colours that have been selected by Bonnie for the quilt. Whether I will continue on with the colour suggestions Bonnie has made or if I will change it up a little. I don't want to buy any fabric. That is my main consideration. I will work out of what I have. I am planning on continuing on with the method that Daisy has suggested. I will first use fabric from my scrap drawers and then cut from my stash if I need to. I don't plan to buy the speciality rules that she recommends. I have a couple of other HST rules that I will use if I can. I am hoping that her instructions will include how to do it with out the special rulers.

Now I need to go to bed. My dog is up past his bedtime so better go shut him in the laundry and go to sleep myself.

Are you joining in the Bonnie Hunter Mystery this year? How are you going with your efforts.

Linking up with Bonnie's Monday Linky Party

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Stash Report

This week my son from Melbourne has been visiting and as a result I haven't done much sewing or much blogging. He doesn't get home very often and he wasn't home for long so I tried to spend as much time with him as I could. 

I did do some sewing as I had a project I needed to finish in order to be able to send it back with him. I can't show you pictures just yet as it is a present for someone. I don't think they read my blog but they do read my Facebook and since I usually put a link up for my blog posts on Facebook and Facebook randomly selects which photo it is going to put up with the post... I won't. But this is the pattern I used.

It was a new pattern and took a little bit of figuring out plus my machine decided to play up a little bit as well... so the project took a little longer than usual.

I also made Fangirl a little zipper bag from some fabric she had sent me using a new pattern again. I don't think it was any better than other boxy bag patterns I've used, but also no worse. I used the tutorial pattern from Make it Modern. Fangirl was impressed by it. (it has the seams exposed so not quite as professional a finish - but that also made it quicker so.....)

Then I decided to make another one, same pattern but a bit bigger. I also added a couple of tabs and it worked really well EXCEPT - I had the fabric the wrong way around and so the characters are upside down. I also missed a little bit of a seam and I tried to fix it but it went awry... and so I can safely say it is NOT one of my great projects. My daughter will be able to use it anyway but I need to try to make a better one.

I have had some input this week. The metre of Rugrats fabric that my daughter gave me for a start. It was the patchwork group's Christmas lunch this week. I ended up bringing home 4 fat quarters from the lucky draw to which I contributed 2 so that was a half metre gain overall.

Instead of finishing any big projects off I have started the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt En Provence. I have spent most of this afternoon working on my 4 patches. I was hoping to have a big finish by the end of the year but not so sure I will now... I think En Provence is going to suck up a lot of time. I am actually going to try to keep up with the clues but we shall see what happens.

My stats for week 47 are

Fabric used                2.20m        
Fabric added              2.06  
Net                             0.33m

Year to Date
Fabric used               153.58m
Fabric added               81.19
Net                              72.39m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Stash Report

This week I only had a couple of finishes... well 3 sets of potholders to be precise which is 6 pot holders all together. They were 8" square pot holders so not very big and so not a lot of out put... still every little bit counts.

They were all for Handmade With Love although 2 sets were pre ordered so that was good... they were sold before I started them. I had a request to make some using dalek fabric - from Doctor Who. My friend, knowing I sewed pot holders asked me if I could make some for her friend who was devastated having lost theirs. I thought afterwards - hope she wasn't expecting pot holders shaped like a Dalek - I don't have a pattern for that (nor was I feeling suitably creative) but she was more than happy when I sent a photo of what I had done. She was telling a friend at her work about them and they ordered a pair too. 

I had to get the fabric (or get my daughter aka Fangirl) to get the fabric for me from the shop close to her that stocks all the licensed fabric they can find. That arrived this week (via my youngest son Boyo who is now home for the university holidays) and I was able to get them made immediately. That fabric constitutes my only fabric in this week. (.5m)

I also made some pot holders using Minecraft fabric to go on the craft stall.

The craft fair was this past Friday evening and all day Saturday. We sold a reasonable amount of stuff - more than we sell at other stalls but not as much as we sold last year. I only worked Friday night as I was a bit unwell and other people covered for me on Saturday. We have a couple of other opportunities to have stalls over the next few weeks so hopefully we will move more things then.

My stats for week 47 are

Fabric used                0.84m        
Fabric added              0.51  
Net                             0.33m

Year to Date
Fabric used               150.54m
Fabric added               78.62
Net                              71.92m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fatness I mean Fitness Friday

I've been battling a summer cold this week. Aren't they horrid things? FG was away over the weekend and in my usual way when he isn't here I stayed up even later than usual but with the longer days I woke up even earlier. At first I thought my lethargy on Saturday was the result of not enough sleep/bad sleep pattern (I woke up early for a couple of hours and then went back to sleep and slept till 10.30). Sunday morning though I had a scratchy throat and some mucous which made leading song worship in church problematical at times. However it has progressed through the week... cough, sneezing, watery eyes etc and generally feeling out of sorts.

However the only day I didn't walk was Sunday so have mainly kept up my steps.

Eating has been a bit all over the place. Sunday we had a special Tongan service at our church in the early afternoon followed by a special feast. 

And the service itself... that was special. We understood very little of it (of course) but they were worshipping God and at times they did speak English for the benefit of their visitors (there were 7 of us). The singing was amazing. Unfortunately the film is too big for me to upload here. 

At the feast afterwards we visitors were sat at the special high table as special guests and they kept pressing the food onto us. Oh man can those Tongan's serve up an amazing amount of food. I ate well. I do enjoy trying food from other cultures and enjoyed trying the different dishes. Some of the others were a little more reticent but there was plenty of fruit and fresh seafood they could enjoy.

Despite that, and the cooking I have done during the week as well (jam drops for the stall tonight and scones for afternoon tea with the residents at the aged care home following our service there) I have managed to not put on any weight which is pleasing. This morning after breakfast even I weight 97.1kgs

My Fitbit steps for the week have been reasonable with only one day on which I didn't make my goal. I think I won't make it today either as I am not going to get my walk in today as I'll be at the craft fair from 6.30 and its too hot to walk much before 6 at the moment. By walking at 6 though we are getting lots of lovely sunsets on our way home

Friday         13 712
Saturday     10 302
Sunday         5 186
Monday       11 541
Tuesday       10 815
Wednesday  11 017
Thursday     11 594

Hope you are making good steps this week and meeting your own fitness goals.

PS Visitors to our back deck this week. The young one was learning to fly but having arrived on the raile was reluctant to take off again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WIP Wednesday

What a busy week it has been!

Up untill today all my sewing had revolved around the Christmas Craft Fair which is on this coming weekend. Handmade With Love has a stall there and I have been sewing things to sell there. I made up a bunch of tissue packet covers (25 in all) and hair scrunchies (27 I think) and a couple more pot holders. (Minecraft fabric this time but no photo. I forgot to take any before I handed them in to stall coordinator).

Today was our weekly Patchwork Group sewing days. We are very blessed to have our own room in the local council art's complex. I took up 4 of my project boxes and pleased to sew I worked on stuff from 3 of them.

Handmade Heritage Too
I assembled the strips together. 

I found one minor mistake that I decided to ignore 

and one more major one that I fixed up. 
I wanted all 4 corner pieces which I'd cut from the one doily to be going out, with the curved piece facing out of the corner... not like this.

I like how the centre is working out. HH2 will be made into a table cloth that I will use at church during Advent as it has lots of purple in it, the colour for Advent. That has put me on a bit of a time line to get it done - first Sunday of Advent is the 4th of December - just over 2 weeks away.

Stringen Em Along
This quilt, based on the pattern String X by Bonnie Hunter, had a little work done on it today, first time I've worked on it in over a month. I have chosen a lilac as the background for it. Today I cut out the squares that I will then cut in half to be the corners of the block. 

The instructions were to cut 4 and 7/8ths squares and slice them in half diagonally but I cut 5" instead... I'm NOT the most accurate cutter so always prefer to have a little wiggle and trim room.

Getting Along - the club mystery quilt.
Today I got the borders on. 

I am not entirely happy with it. Its too small to be much use I reckon so will add another border. I am looking at perhaps a wide orange border. I am not sure what I am going to do with this quilt. I'm thinking it may get tucked away for a birthday quilt for someone in a couple of years.

The project I had with me that I didn't touch was the bits and pieces for the border of Handmade Heritage. I was thinking I might start to trim them to a uniform size and start working on a border but I ran out of oomph before then. I hadn't taken my lunch with me, thinking I would leave at midday but then I was enjoying my work and wanted to get the last rows of HH2 on. I could have kept on working BUT I was getting hungry and I had a message to say that my new glasses were in at the optometrist so wanted to get them. 

I am really happy with how they look too. 

All in all its been a good week

PS I also made heaps of bottles of sugar coated peanuts, toffee coated peanuts and spicy sugar coated peanuts. And some jam drops too! No photos of the peanuts but here are the jam drops.

 Hope you have had fun this week too.

WIPs on Wednesday

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mid Month Goal review

Oh my goodness... we are half way through the month already... which means its 40 days till Christmas. I don't want to think about that right now though.

I've been very busy sewing all month so far but don't feel I have made much impression on my goals.

Suzu's Quilt.
I have decided what I am going to make for her but haven't started work on it yet. I think it might wait till after Christmas now so I can get my head clear.

"Doctor Who" Potholder
I have organised for the fabric to be bought. I will receive it on Wednesday so can get to work to sew these after that

"Stingin Em Along" Quilt
Nothing done on this yet. I need to choose the fabric for the background.

"Handmade Heritage"
I have put the top is together but I have to work on the borders. I've also started work on "Handmade Heritage Too"

"Getting Along"
The blocks are sewn into strips so that is a bit of progress on it.

Label completed HWL projects
This was all done last week by some of the other people who come to our group. It was great to get so much help with it.

Velcro on bibs and towels
Again some of the others at our group assisted with this project. It was great to get the help.

Complete the Christmas Stockings
These were done and posted off to my sister last week. It was good to get them done in a timely manner

Complete more items for the stall.
I have been working away at items for the stall. I didn't make any more zipper pouches but did make a stack of hair scrunchies, tissue packet covers, baby bibs, a few more pot holders and lots of bottles of sugar coated peanuts.

Looking back on the list I haven't done too badly. I haven't had any large completions and perhaps I was being overly optimistic about that given the preparations I have been making for the stall. I have progressed a couple of the bigger projects and now that the stall sewing is done I may be able to get a bit further with them now. I might alter the goals from "finish" to "work on". That makes them more achievable.

How are you going with your monthly goals?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Stash Report

I've been working away at a few things this week. Made progress on 2 quilts but not finished so they don't count.

I got busy making some more little things for the craft fair stall next weekend.

A friend on Facebook (waving to Sandi from Quilt Cabana Corner) made some tissue packet covers for a Christmas Fair she is attending so I decided I might make a few myself. I found a pattern on Di's Snippets and Scraps blog here and made 13 of them and then found that all the packets of tissues I can find open on the end and the covers I made are for centre opening ones. Rats. 

I had another search on Pinterest and found a tutorial on The Inspired Wren for both the horizontal and vertical opening packets. They were very similar designs and it worked out well. 

So I whipped up 12 of them... 2 more than I have packets of tissue for! Dilemma! The packets come in lots of 8 or 10 so I would have leftovers so could make up more of the covers BUT I am not sure how well they will sell and we already have 25.

 I am done with them for the moment. (and I now have a cold coming on.. think I am going to need a packet for myself) 1.16m

I also made 2 more sets of pot holders to send down to a friend who ordered them having seen my photos on Facebook of the things I've been making for Handmade With Love stall. I have another friend asking to see photos of what I have to sell as she is interested in ordering some stuff from me as well. 0.59m

The last thing that I have finished off this week have been some scrunchies to sell at the stall as well. I found them on this blog here. I made 13 small ones and 15 large ones. I may make some more before the stall if I get time inclination and more elastic!! (I've used up all that I had.) They look very bright and cheerful and I've used a variety of fabrics, including some of the licensed ones -Pokemon, Space Invaders and Minecraft. 0.85m

I did buy a fat quarter this week but it is for the club Christmas party. We have to put in 2 fat quarters, a black and white one and one that reads like a solid either tone on tone or solid. It can be any colour. I won't count it unless I win one of the lucky door prizes. I wil be able to find that second fat quarter in my stash so will be able to count it going out but not till the party which is still 2 weeks away.

I am hoping that by the end of the year my net used (currently 71.92m) will be greater than the fabric I have added this year (currently 78.62m) I will need another larger finish in order to knock that over easily. The little finishes I have had this last couple of months are all nibbling away at my stash but a bigger finish will be good soon! Comparing to last year I have already used more fabric this year than last but I have also acquired more fabric. My current net position is also ahead of my final position last year. Its been fun looking back and comparing.

My stats for week 46 are

Fabric used                2.60m        
Fabric added              0.00  
Net                             2.60m

Year to Date
Fabric used               150.54m
Fabric added               78.62
Net                              71.92m

Linking up with Patchwork Times