Thursday, 20 July 2017

Wrestling with skirt sizes

Yesterday I enjoyed hand stitching the binding to this little quilt. I hearby name this little table centre "Birds On A Wire".

Pieced flying geese, and contour lines quilted in, really fit the name.

Just finished at my local sewing group yesterday.

The binding is machine stitched onto the Wild Geese lap quilt too, but not stitched down yet.

And while I was there with the girls, I cut out a Christmas skirt I had been planning to make for quite some time.

There are some very experienced garment makers in my group, so I asked them to help me take my measurements, as they seemed to be telling me I was a size 20.

Yes. According to this pattern, I was a U.S. size 20. I put it down to the fact that it is a "misses" or teenage girl pattern. Gah, the sizes are just numbers anyway.

Then when I had traced off the pattern onto interfacing, the waist yoke looked like it was going to be too small. So I made it even bigger.

I came home, and started piecing it yesterday. I was up to the zipper last night, and it was time to put it down.

For the life of me I couldn't work out how to get the zipper right, using only their rubbish instructions. So, I just did it my own way. Eventually I got the skirt finished today! Ta-dah!

Only to find that the waist is 3 inches too big. Hmm... definitely not a size 20 after all. All those pleats and mucking about, and it's going to need darts!

My friend at stitching group asked me to make the skirt out of calico first so that I could make the right size. I said "No way! This fabric cost less per metre than calico!" Hee hee. So much for calico voiles these days!

I've also chosen two other Christmas fabrics to make skirts from when I have worked out what size I need! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Blue with green, or green with blue

As you see me machine stitching away with verve, I hope you are also feeling inspired to stitch away ready for Christmas!

I've learnt a little lesson over the 20 years I have been making quilts... if I don't want it to end as a UFO, I need to leave the project at a place where it's easy to pick it up again. That means, don't finish an entire step. Leave that last step almost finished. Then when I pick it up, and do that easy bit, I have the next part in my head, and the project keeps flowing... ah yes...

And so it was easy enough to pick up this little quilt today, and finish the quilting.


I love the backing as much as the front. The quilting shows up better on the back, and I almost love that side more!

Well, to whomever decided that blue and green should together never be seen, I stick my tongue out and blow a huge raspberry!


Monday, 17 July 2017

No quilt police here

It's Christmas In July (or making Christmas presents in July) month for me!

It's so refreshing to give yourself permission to start something new and finish it quickly!

This Wild Geese quilt started as leftovers from the orange challenge article. There weren't enough geese to make a quilt out of those few, so I found a few different fat quarters from different ranges and cut away without thinking too much... there seems to be a vintage kind of 70s scrap bag look.

and some feet for size reference.. heh heh

Here are the two little pieces all spray basted ready to start! Ooh! It's so delicious to run my fingers over their surfaces....

I even remembered to machine stitch on the labels before quilting!

machine stitching the label before quilting means it cannot be removed

It was so tempting, that I quilted the little orange table centre today!

Ooh, I love the texture of a quilted piece!

Leaves, and some wiggly lines. It's been a while since I free motion quilted, and it feels good to be back in the groove... moving with the sewing machine, and on my way to finishing something, just because it feels nice....

And... it felt to nice to quilt away, that more than half of the lap quilt is also quilted!

Now that I've done so much quilting on it, I can see that it was probably a little bit too big to spray baste, and really should have been pin basted. However, there are no quilt police here! And it's for a gift!

Looking forward to more quilting tomorrow... I will definitely sleep well tonight. So much concentration has left me feeling drained!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

You guessed it!

I've been sewing and sewing and sewing!

Here comes a little Wild Goose quilt for a special gift!
the sewing machine stays out, ready to be used!

72 more geese units

I think there are over 100 in total now... in 2 different "colourways" ready for me to mix it all up.

ooh... this is going to be so pretty!

I envisage spacer rows in vanilla...

These look soooo good actually joined... and look at the little confetti pieces from cutting off all the years! Too sweet!

Maybe I will get these pieced into a quilt top today?

Friday, 14 July 2017

And now this... !!!!

I'm supposed to be stitching projects for Christmas or with Christmas themes during July - as I had declared it "Christmas In July" month!

I don't suppose I can convince myself that these stitcheries from The Goblin King (Labyrinth movie) quilt are going to be a Christmas present for myself?

Ambrocious, the loyal steed

Well... (this is me explaining to myself).... I HAD to stitch these up. There weren't any Christmas stitcheries traced off ready to sew. I had no choice... *cough cough*

You know, I might almost have convinced myself there.

I AM feeling pretty happy to have a couple more stitcheries finished.


And now that this has happened...

A new sewing space of my own!

YES! My sweet man has given me half of our family kitchen to sew in! The sewing machine stays permanently in place! Hurrah!

I think you can guess what this means! A lot more sewing machine activity could soon be showing up, right here on your screen!

Doing the happy dance here!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Just a little bit....

The second block of 6 for "The Wish Quilt" by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolley is complete.

And a mini block for the third large combined block has been made.

Next it will be time to trace off more stitcheries ready to carry around (you never know when you can sneak in a few stitches!) Although, I expect when the school holidays are over, the blog will look much more productive.

We've been investigating everywhere! Visiting gardens...

And we even happened across a sugar cane fire just at the right time....

just on sunset...

we saw the fire start with a can and gun, and we watched it burn, felt the heat, smelt the ash, heard the loud crackle.. we stopped to watch it all.. fascinating stuff...

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Sew busy and happy

It's the school holidays, and we are busy busy busy!

There wasn't even time for Social Sewing Group today... family is amazing though. What a journey we get to travel watching children grow.

This is my show and tell from yesterday...

A little bit more to do and this block (one of 6 blocks in  Bronwyn Hayes' design "The Wish Quilt") is finished.

I've had so many ideas, and am quite excited to go shopping for Christmas fabric at $5 per metre... I just can't help myself when it comes to Christmas! Trying to stay away...

Mum leaves tomorrow, which was a surprise to me. I thought she was staying for longer, so I have been forsaking my sewing for family time. Stay tuned for more "Christmas in July" progress.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Stitchy fingers

I've been gagging to start something with these challenge fabrics. And finally, it's July!

My self imposed (or is that self allowing) month where I get to put aside the long term projects I've been working on all year, and finish off/work on/start some projects with a Christmas theme, or for Christmas gifts.

First up, I started another small redwork stitchery for the Bronwyn Hayes Christmas wallhanging. This little birdy block is stitched. It will become the centre of a tiny sawtooth star. There is another little one traced and ready to stitch.

Last night after little man went to sleep with his Daddy, I was in the right frame of mind to cut and measure fabric pieces for one of the redwork blocks, but the fabric was nowhere to be found! Dangnabbit. I'll have to work on something else. It turned out to be in a box under our bed where he was sleeping with Dad.... No way that I  would have been able to rummage around without waking up Bub, and that is why I couldn't find it last night.

Well, with itchy fingers (or should that be "stitchy fingers"? hee hee) I went searching for something else to cut and stitch.

Ta-da! Ooh, these fabrics are lovely. The challenge is to make an item no bigger than 50cm x 50cm using only these fabrics.

I liked the look of these flying geese blocks at Temecula Quilt Co. This link shows a photo tutorial for making the blocks starting with 5 squares to make 4 geese units.

I made these last night. It took no time to make 18 blocks.

All pinned together, and little confetti triangles cut off...

And here is the tiny quilt top ready to quilt. This is going to be a table centre. This will fulfill the challenge requirements and then it will be given as a gift to one of the children's class teachers for Christmas.

Then I really liked these green fabrics with the oranges.

I couldn't use them together for the challenge, so I decided to make something else with the leftover orange prints from the challenge.

 This will become a quilt about a metre square.

 Hmm.. I'm going to need some more orange and green fabrics. What can I find?

More geese!!

Uh-oh. I cut these squares too big! Back to the board to cut them down...

I've made 44 geese blocks... I think that will be about half the size I'd like.  I'm going to have to look for another 6 or so fat quarters.... that's all I could get up to today... school holidays! Busy Mummy!!

Earlier this week I took little man and my Mum (Grandma) off to the Townsville Show to look at the exhibits.

The craft and baking sections were so small.... I feel bad for not entering this year. I want to keep the exhibits going. Now, I know how to present everything, I am excited to enter a few sections next year.

It's an amazing thing to see everything new in the eyes of a child.

I feel totally blessed to be a parent...
Ooh! The Ferris Wheel.

Who is looking at Who?

Little Man couldn't take his eyes off the Dodgem Cars. I know he's going to love them when he's older... or maybe he will have a go-kart and won't need them. He's definitely a car buff like his Dad.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Suddenly switching projects

I've stopped working on a few projects abruptly to commence Christmas In July!!

Another small (6 inch) block from The Goblin King is finished, and another 6 are traced ready to stitch in August.

And Toby is started, and almost finished. He reminds me of my own son... walking.. blonde.. blue eyes... doesn't say much (well, not in words we can understand)... looks cute in a stripey onesie, runs around like a garden gnome/playful goblin.

That's the end of the thread I had stockpiled in that colour. Time to go buy another swag of threads.

Secret Garden month 6 has been released. It's four intense centre applique blocks that require deadly accuracy as there are interlocking circles. In August it will be back to embellishing the first 3 blocks, appliqueing block 4, and machine piecing 40 x four inch blocks. Crikey! That should be a good warm up to the very specific centre blocks.

Stay tuned for Christmas in July projects!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Head down...

Only a couple more days left this month, and I am excited to do as much as I can on Diamond Hill, Secret Garden and the Goblin King quilts before July starts.

And when July starts, I will be just as excited to start a new challenge project, and to make Christmas gifts and Christmas themed items during the entire month. Ooh! What a great idea to insert a (hopefully) whole lot of finished items onto the annual list (see the sidebar on the right) in the middle of the year, instead of adding them all at the end. Hee hee.

Some people make gifts all year - one project a month, they call it. I think I've been making gifts all year anyway. Hahahahahhaha. Just really big ones, that aren't all finished yet!

Progress? Well, this is an English Paper Pieced block for a Diamond Hill corner.
It's the first one. And these are quite tiny. They will be appliqued onto a 4 inch finished square.
And this is the back.

A little bit more machine piecing... two out of four chequerboards are finished for the next border on Diamond Hill, which is mainly applique.
And another 36 little diamonds (not all pictured here) for the other two chequerboards.

Soon, the last scraps of purple will be used up, and that piecing will have to wait until I pick the rest of the background fabric from layby.

Secret Garden pieced blocks are being cut more accurately with freezer paper patterns ironed onto the contrast fabric, then rotary cut.

Today I pieced about 10 of them. Only 30 to go, then leaves to be added to each block. Next set of instructions (month 6) will be released in 3 days, and I am still working on month 4 and 5. A month off may be all I need to get really stuck into the blocks again in August.

And another block for The Goblin King stitchalong.

I love that line!!  As the quilt is a tribute to the Labyrinth movie I wanted to include any particular lines that come to mind from the character.

Right! Now it's time to stitch the next EPP flower or another stitchery block!

Head down, bum up... see you in a few days!