Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Goal wrap up and Setting my Goals for Feb (including OMG)

Its the end of the month and time to go through my goals. I have done pretty well.

  • Work on one project from my UFO list. I smashed this one! I finished off my Norwegian table runner plus 3 batik wall hangings. Go me

  • Tidy the craft cupboard. I tidied 3 cupboards and my scrap drawers. There is one cupboard that I haven't touched but did pretty well

  • Quilt one quilt on the long arm. Didn't get to this one. 
  • Complete 8 blocks for the A to Z challenge. I got all 26 blocks done (no pictures cause I'm saving them for the blogging challenge)
  • Set up Excel spreadsheet for fabric tracking 2017. Done - up and running. Unfortunately I am still in the red with more fabric purchased than used but hopefully as soon as I get a couple of quilts onto the long arm that will change.
  • Work on En Provence clues. All the units are now done. Now to start to put them together!

Now for February Goals.
So many things that I could work on. So many WIPs to complete. I could list them all here and see how I go... or not.

I really need to get started making things for the comic con stall that I am going to have in September. With our trip to Europe in August I need to get myself prepared by mid July. So - time to get started. Make 10 items for the stall.

Continue working on the A to Z quilt - put the blocks together.

Quilt one patchwork quilt on the long arm

Work on En Provence

Complete 2nd clue in Charlotte Hawk's Mystery Quilt 

Attach borders to Handwork Heritage

Make backing for Stringen Em Along This is going to be my OMG (One Monthly Goal). I need to get it done as it is a gift for a baby who is going to be one in a few months time... 

If you are interested in participating in the OMG then follow the link here and it will take you to the page which tells you all about it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunday Stash Report

I've been busy sewing all week but not a lot of it goes into into my stash report yet as they aren't a finish. I have been working on blocks for my A to Z blogging challenge. I am up to Y now so have only got 2 to go. Whoot.

Early on in the week I did manage to get 3 small finishes when I made the batik pictures Fangirl, Fixit Guy and I made in Malaysia into wall hangings.

First we traced the pictures onto stretched silk

 Then we went over the lines with wax using a stylus

Tah dah

Then we had to paint between the lines. My "teacher" was a bit too hands on and kept on taking over which was a bit disappointing. His English wasn't as good so he probably lacked the ability to explain what I needed to do next so would show me but ended up doing too much.

 getting the mouth right helps

Fixit Guy's assistant was more hands off

 Once the picture inside the lines was all coloured we worked on filling in the back grounds.

Whilst at the batik workshop I bought some fabric to frame the pictures but that is as far as I got for 18 months. Finally earlier this week I got around to working on the pictures and got them framed.

I used the fabric I bought in Malaysia to frame Fangirl and Fixit Guy's pictures but used some batik fabric I bought else where for mine. (Note. Whilst the fabric I bought in Malaysia was genuine wax resist batik the stuff I used on mine was a batik print - ie a traditional pattern but not printed using traditional methods. I don't recall where I got it. You can tell the difference in that genuine batik prints are the same on both sides of the fabric where as the non traditional fabric has a right and wrong side and is much lighter on the back.

And then quilted and made into wall hangings. I have sent Fangirl's down to her and am still deciding where I am going to hang them.

So - 3 UFO's finished and a total fabric usage of 1.75m 

No purchases this week.

How has your fabric usage gone this week?
Week 4 
Fabric used        1.75
Fabric added      0.00
Net usage          1.75m

Year to Date     
Fabric used         4.62
Fabric Added       9.05
Net Usage         -4.42m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January OMG goal met!

Today I completed my OMG goal. At the beginning of the month when I set out my monthly goals (see the sidebar of the blog to determine what they are) I selected one to be my OMG... my One Monthly Goal for the purposes of the OMG challenge.

This month the one goal I chose was to make 8 blocks towards my A to Z challenge. The A to Z Blog challenge is to blog every day for April, apart from Sundays. The topics of the blog are to follow the letters of the alphabet. I have participated in this challenge (that has a couple of thousand bloggers sign up each year) 2 years in a row choosing to blog on quilting subjects. 

This year I decided to step it up and to actually make something for each day. My daughter Fangirl has done this each year she has participated in the challenge. She has designed and then stitched cross stitch alphabet on one of the geeky/pop culture things she is interested in. Last year it was Pokemon and Supernatural. AND she did a travel one as well on a different blog. Overachiever much.

I am not a pattern designer so instead I have decided to find pattern blocks for each letter of the alphabet and to make them. To start with I assembled patterns for each letter of the alphabet, usually a couple so I had some choice. I did this last year, soon after the last Blog challenge finished and this month I have made 8 of them - ones starting with A to H. I'm making them 12" and will make the quilt in a 5 by 5 grid. I am yet to decide if I will put the extra block on the back or if I will try to make 2 blocks 6" finished and put them on the one block to get them all on the front. So far all my blocks have come from the same website Quilter's Cache however others may come from elsewhere.

Ideally I would love to have the quilt finished by the end of April... blocks together, quilted, bound, labelled already for the final reveal. So I am going to have to get a wriggle on and not just make the blocks ahead of time. So if I can I want to have half of the blocks done by the end of the month - that is make another 5. Not sure I can manage it but willing to give it a try. So I had better get off the computer and get on with the sewing.

Now I am facing a dilemma. The A to Z blog is kind of a big thing for me and I want my blocks to be special when I reveal them on there so I don't want to give too much away early BUT I really need to have a photo here for the purpose of the OMG goal... so... I will post a photo but I am not going to go into any detail about the blocks or tell you there names (now you are all devastated)

How did you go with your OMG project?

 Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal January Linkup .

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WIP Wednesday

I finished the Norwegian Table runner I was working on last week and it was included in my Sunday Stash report. I admit to rushing to finish it so I had something to put in the report. It chipped a little off my deficit for the year.

A to Z quilt
This is going to be my "entry" in this year's A to Z challenge in April. They haven't released or revealed the logo or the sign up etc for this yet but I am getting in early! This is the web page for when it starts. At this stage I have chosen the blocks I will make for each letter (or at least I have put a few for each letter into my selection folder)  I am using 12" finished blocks. One is going to have to go on the back in any case as that will make a 5 x 5 block design (60" plus borders)

This week I have made A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H - go me. I don't plan to show the pictures or tell you the names of the blocks I have chosen to make for each letter, as that is what I will do each day in April. I can tell you that I am making it totally scrappy and using my pre-cut  fabric scraps as much as I can. That is actually slowing me down a bit as I hunt through my scraps for enough of the colours required. Like I said its totally scrappy and may end up looking like clown vomit but whatever.

I would absolutely love to have the entire quilt finished by the end of April - quilted bound and labelled but not sure I am that good. Having 8 blocks done (my aim for January) is pretty good start. 

I have done no more on my En Provence quilt since I finished off the 1/4 square triangle blocks last week. I still have to trim them, and the rest of the units so... one day.

I have had 3 more small finishes this week. Back in 2015 my 2 FGs (Fangirl ie daughter and Fixit Guy ie my husband) and I went to Malaysia to visit her host family from when she was an exchange student in 2003. One of the activities we did whilst there was to do a batik painting class. We came away with a picture each and some batik fabric (off the bolt) purchased separately for me to turn them into wall hangings. This week I have finally got the 3 of them done. I am pleased with how they turned out although part of me wonders if I should have done the framing in the same fabric (at lease for Fixit guy's Rooster and my spray of flowers) so they could hang together. But I didn't . So now they don't match and I really don't mind.

 I will probably hang them in the loo's or the like. It was a bit of a paint by numbers type activity and in my case my teacher took over a lot anyway. Still it was good to have them all done. Fangirl's sunflower has gone down to her in Brisbane.

I have started the units for the first clue of Charlotte Hawks mystery quilt. I have finished the nine patches and have started the 4 patches... I might get them done this afternoon or tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow. Its Australia Day - 26th January so its a public holiday and our usual activities aren't happening sooooo. its Australia Day Sew In #ADSI.

Hopefully you have made progress this week with some of your WIPs too.

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Stash Report

It's been a slow start to the year when it comes to sewing but I did manage one finish this week. 

Even better it was a UFO. 

When we visited Norway (in 2010) I bought some fabric from a LQS in the town of our host son's family. It was just 3 skinny quarters and I really didn't know what to do with them. I ended up making a table runner. I started it ages ago but this week got it out and worked out how I was going to finish it off and now it is done.

I have some left over bits and pieces of fabric and might end up making some co-ordinating coasters. Its only a small finish - 35cm x 75cm .72m

No purchases this week.

Week 3
Fabric used          .72
Fabric added      0.00
Net usage          0.72m

Year to Date     
Fabric used         2.88
Fabric Added       9.05
Net Usage         -6.17m

Linking up with Patchwork Times

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WIP Wednesday

My main work in progress this week has been tidying my sewing area. I have been going through each of my cupboards and sorting things out. 

I had started this earlier in the month when I started going through the boxes of fabrics I have and refolding them, sorting them, pulling out the scrappy bits and putting them into my scrap basket to be cut into useful units. I blogged about this on my last WIP  Post. (2 weeks ago)

 I have 4 cupboards in our tv/sewing room for my sewing stuff, plus 4 sets of plastic drawers (17 drawers all up) and 3 drawers in my sewing table/desk. 

So far in my clean up I have gone through all the plastic drawers, 

3 of the cupboards and the plastic boxes and baskets that sit on top of the plastic drawers. All my plastic containers in the cupboards have been gone through, things have been reorganised, and I am very happy with my progress.

I still have to do the sewing table drawers and the cupboard that has the folders that contain the patterns I have torn out of magazines, sorted into various categories. 

The room is still quite a mess. (the photos were taken very strategically to hide most of it)

 My cutting table needs cleaning off and sorting out and on the floor are things that I have pulled out of the various cupboards that I no longer wish to store there. I have to work out what to do with them.

It has been very time consuming as I have also been dealing with the scraps of fabric I have generated - although now I have given up on that and they are once more going into the scrap basket. 

I also decided to deal with the half square triangles I had made when making the blocks for Sparkle quilts and flying geese. 

Rather than just trimming off the excess fabric I had sewn another row about 1/4" from the required sewing line and then trimmed the blocks between the two rows resulting in small half square triangles I had a great pile of these which I was determined to trim up and make useful. So... I pressed them open and then trimmed them to the largest squares I could. I ended up with piles of 2.5", 2.25", 2", 1.75", 1.5" and a very few 1.25" half square triangle blocks. I am not sure what I will use them for but they will come in handy for borders I am sure.

All the hst blocks are now trimmed. But it took hours and hours. (thank goodness for audio books)

I have been working on my En Provence quilt today. I now have all the units made for it. I finally finished the 144 quarter square triangles needed for the last 2 clues. Now - too trim them all up and put the blocks together. Not more trimming. Arghhhh

I got a large cushion for the dogs to sleep on in the sewing room finished during the week. Its stuffed with off cuts and trimmings. I am working on another one now. It has quite a few large bits of fabric in it as I got a bit ruthless with getting rid of some 2nd hand fabric I had been hanging on to and other bits and pieces (eg all the collars and strips of button holes for shirts cut up for a shirt challenge I took part in a few years ago) Not sure that the dogs will find them as comfortable but we will see. I nearly have enough for another pillow now.

The last thing I have been working on is a table runner/mini quilt I started making a few years ago using fabric I had bought in Norway in 2006 (or 2010) All I  have done so far is pull it out of it's plastic bag and put it up on the design board to try to work out what I can do next. I have found some reddish fabric with gold stars that I think goes pretty well with it. That is all I have done so far.

The red looks a lot pinker in this photo. Its not quite that pink!

Norway has been on my mind the last couple of days as we are going to be going back there in August for the wedding of our host son Joergen. He lived with our family in 2005. It is very exciting.

So time for me to go to bed. Its so hot here at the moment and last night I was up till after 1AM trimming those hst (and listening to my audiobook) Then when I went to bed I couldn't sleep. Its late again now so I will post this and then to bed.

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday