Friday, 9 January 2015

To finish!

Although it's been ages since I've blogged I have been busy sewing and crafting.  Christmas and birthday gifts have kept me busy - as well as a garden that is needing a LOT of attention. 

So I thought I'd better share some of my current projects and while I'm at it link them up to a goal setting group.

Firstly here are my goals for the Q1 Finish-a-long at 'On the Windy Side'.  I haven't done this before, so I'm being cautiously optimistic about how much will be completed:

1.  My Double Wedding Ring Quilt in blues for our master bed.
I've made 100 of the arcs, but think I'll need 168.  I have foundation paper pieced them but am using the Creative Grids template to help with the cutting.  I still haven't made a decision about the background fabric but am tending towards 'pure' kona white (top centre) as our duvet is the same white (see in background).  I would have liked it to match the pillow (here) seen right at the top - but I don't really fancy working with that much linen.  There are four other alternatives across the bottom - as well as the Kona 'snow' at the top right.  What do you think?
My goal is to get the top pieced in Q1 - I'm not sure whether I'll quilt it myself, so will leave that to later in the year.
Across bottom: Kona tan; Bella linen; Quilter's Linen; Essex linen in flax

2.  Scrumptious Layer Cake quilt.
Just two seams on the top, then I need to sew the backing together (purchased) and then quilt and bind.  I think I'll do a floral FMQ design using a template I'm keen to try.
3.  Flats' Pluses
This one has been hanging around for far too long!  I need to piece the scraps into a design for the back, then quilt and bind.
4.  Hoo's in the Forest
This one is even older!  I have the main pieced, but need to add final borders, then piece the background, quilt and bind.  I'm being optimistic here.  I do love the colours and hope I'll have some scraps left.
I made my daughter's plywood tree to match this quilt, so better get this finished before she is too old for both.
5.  A jersey for myself
I'm using 8ply Skeinz Vintage in 'Carmine' (not available in that colour any more) and knitting a Customfit 'Ayana' by Amy Herzog.  I'm super excited about having a jersey that fits me well but just a bit nervous about how careful I was with the measuring. I just have some finishing, blocking, then neckline and seaming!  It's high summer here so this won't be a priority.
It's been very quick to knit and I'm keen to try another one for myself when this is finished.
6. An 'Elizabeth' cardigan for my girl.
I'm using up some moda vera cotton and knitting a Tikki pattern.  A fun knit - but VERY lacy so may take longer than I originally had thought.  At least I should have plenty of yarn as I have 5 balls and had only used one at the point I took this photo.

Then just to show you that I do finish things....

A 'Mini Spools' quilt by Camille Roskelley (Thimbleblossoms) using some 'Color Theory' fabric by Vanessa Christenson.
I quilted this quite intensively - it was the first time I have used pebbles - which definitely take time!  A great pattern - I can't wait to make some more of Camille's minis.  :-)

But here's a super-quick project...

I had this plate from my late nana's collection and it had a hole in the centre as the handle was missing - you know those plates that are used for high tea with a central handle to hold them by?  I used the hole (it was the perfect size) to put a clock mechanism through, and viola!  I had a new clock!  The mechanism has a hook on the back and a tight screw, so the clock can hang by itself, perfectly safely.

I'm linking this up to Adrienne's blog for the 'Finish-Along' and will also link up to Crazy Mom Quilts because I have actually finished something!

I'd better get back to the garden ...

Friday, 17 October 2014


I've had another busy week - and finished a quilt!

This is made using a Denyse Schmidt 'Florence' jelly roll.  I read somewhere that her colours are great for blending together because they contain so many different shades.  I can see why - this quilt has a lovely whole-ness to it that is greater than all the fabrics as individuals.  Although the white is Kona 'snow' it still looks far from plain.

The pattern is 'All in the Family' by Camille Roskelley from her first book 'Simplify with Camille Roskelley' with one less row and no border.

I made a giant bow-tie block from a larger piece of one cut and it really makes the back stand out.

Although the fabrics are lovely I wasn't impressed with the FreeSpirit cutting - the strips really struggled to be 2.5" wide.  The pinked edges were extra wide and I ended up cutting each 2x2 block down by 1/4" just to get some consistency.  The quilt finished at 112cm x 112cm (44" x 44").

I quilted this completely free motion - more than I have ever done before!  No markings were made so I just went for it.

It's Spring here - loving it!

Here's my helper - Gypsy the cat.  I love how she's always close by, even when I'm sewing.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for 'Finish it Up Friday' again.  Thanks Amanda Jean - you're an amazing quilter and I really appreciate how you support other bloggers.  :-)

I'll be back soon with some more projects to share... less blogging means more crafting!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Country Girl

Spring is appearing and my daughter K and I have started spending more time outside with the animals and garden.

K has two pet lambs this year - a ewe (female) lamb called Blinky (above) and a wether (boy) lamb called Ned (below).  She is busy training Blinky up to take to the local show/school pet day - but both lamb and child are not having as much fun as hoped!

I had task to finish indoors - another 'Sew Together Bag'.  I started this one a couple of months ago and used a linen mixed with fabric from Tasha Noel's 'Country Girls' range.

The inside is simple, with no extra bits.  But I got a bit excited with the outside!

The quilting was done by hand using perle cotton after I had lots of fun fussy cutting the shapes.

The linen was difficult to work with and I'm not completely happy with my workmanship, but it's finished and can now be enjoyed.

While out taking photos I had some helpers...

Here's our lovely cat, "Gypsy" who turned up at our doorstop on 'Gypsy Day' in late May.  A local dairy worker was shifting and left their kitten behind.  When don't know where she came from but she's a treasure!

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts 'Finish it Up Friday'.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Honeysweet Swirls

Life has been very busy as of recent - we've had renovations done to our house.  Over the last nine weeks we have stayed nearby with my parents-in-law who have been FANTASTIC!

I haven't done a lot of sewing, but enough to finish off some projects, including this...

I made it from a jelly roll of Fig Tree Quilts' 'Honeysweet' collection, with Kona cappuccino as the contrast.

The swirls were made with two jelly roll strips and then cut into 90 degree triangles using my Jaybird Quilts' Hex'n'more ruler.

I added a small amount of similar fabrics to get the half-hexagons - but am super pleased with the result.

I quilted it using segments, an idea I got from Angela Walters new book 'Shape By Shape', and the border's arches idea came from a lovely friend at my patchwork group.

The backing is from Fig Tree Quilts' earlier line 'Avalon'.  The binding is a red from the 'Honeysweet' range

Love this quilt!  And my mother-in-laws' garden where I shot these photos on a beautiful spring day last week!

Finished size: 65" x 64"

Many more finishes needed...  better get unpacking!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts' 'Finish it up Friday'.  See you there!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Last Five

Any regular reader will know that I have been working on the Oliver and S 'Little Things to Sew' Cover-to-Cover Challenge set by Bartacks and Singletracks.  Well today is the final day for submissions and I have finished my last five!

First up a set of three bear hand mitts - made in brown corduroy and designed for use in my daughter's puppet theatre.  I used the smallest size mitt for the father bear and then scaled them down to make the mother and child.  I added eye-lashes for the mother, but otherwise size is the only difference between them.  They fit my five-year old's hand just right.
I made a circus themed messy-kid's bib using iron-on vinyl and bias binding trim.  This was a simple make but did challenge me with making bias binding go around curves!  We don;t have a baby in the family at present so this will go in the 'gifts to give' collection.

This messenger bag was made in another piece of corduroy - using the green (my girl's favourite colour) as an accent, and with brown straps.  I interfaced the corduroy but it would have been better with more stiffness.
It is a small bag, and if I made it again I would be tempted to add snaps or velcro to hold the flaps down.  A simple and enjoyable pattern to make!
These juggling balls were made with remnants of corduroy (spot the originals above) for my husband's recent birthday.  They were great to sew and not at all fiddly - even in the smallest size.  I gathered up a handful wheat (from the farm's silo) and wrapped it in cling-film and placed these inside each ball, along will some poly-fill.  They are a nice weight to juggle.  I have used the matching bag pattern to make storage for my knitting and card games - so will need to make another for these!
My final sew was a cupcake carrier, using the bento box carrier pattern.  I was inspired by the fabric and used a plastic box I already had as a base, and then adapted the pattern to fit.  Unfortunately it doesn't fit as comfortably as I had hoped, but it does work.  I'll have to try it out sometime soon!

Just to summarize my efforts in the Cover-to-Cover Challenge here is a mosaic of my projects.

1. DSC_0109, 2. DSC_0104, 3. DSC_0111, 4. DSC_0115, 5. DSC_0140, 6. DSC_1201, 7. DSC_0070, 8. DSC_0059, 9. DSC_0056, 10. DSC_0639, 11. DSC_0164, 12. DSC_2213, 13. DSC_2139, 14. DSC_2120, 15. DSC_2112, 16. DSC_2122, 17. DSC_1987, 18. DSC_1645, 19. DSC_1219, 20. DSC_0164

I made 19 items!! Yes there are two puppet theatres there but I did only count them once - and the hat and explorer vest share an image, so I have repeated that one.  These are also items 91, 92, 93, 94 and 95 in my O+S count.

Many of the items have already been very well used, including the backpack, theatres and costumes.  But the favourite is definitely the tutu - worn at least five times a week!  When considering that we live on a farm it has seen more action than even I imagined.

Friday, 8 August 2014

A Sewing Catch-Up

I have been very slack and not blogged for over a month now... so here's a catch-up on some of the projects I have been working on for the Bartacks and Singletracks' 'Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew' challenge.

Firstly I made my niece a bear carrier for her 3rd birthday.

To make it easier for her to use independently I added elastic to the straps.  This was quite fiddly but I think it works.

The two bears are brothers - and both have been loved lots!
Here she is enjoying her present alongside our K - with a bear carrier I made a year ago.

Next up is a baby jaguar costume for K, incorporating both the 'cosy hood' and the 'art smock'.

I wanted to make the smock as a neutral costume that would work with other hoods (should they be needed) and I'm super pleased with how easily it sewed up.  I used cotton homespun from Spotlight and made no adaptations to the patterns apart from omitting the pockets.

For the hood I added a front facing of fake fur to the same homespun, as well as making the outer ear pieces from the same.  I used the same pattern a few years ago to make a 'kiwi head' and knew how great it is for costumes.

K's favourite part of the whole ensemble is the tail!  Just a length of the homespun with some fur sewn on the end, attached to a elastic waistband.  Very simple!

The latest item I have completed has been a pair of mittens made from two layers of fabric.  On the outer I used a scrap of waterproof fabric and I lined it with some polar-fleece.  Although I followed the idea from Froo and Boo, I added a separate binding strip between the layers that could hold the elastic.  I sewed it to the outer layer, threaded it with elastic, then inserted the whole inner and edged the bottoms together.

I used a microtex needle to try to keep the mittens as waterproof as possible (small hole = less leaks?) and there is still some more of winter that might provide the opportunity to try them out.

These projects are numbers 87, 88, 89 and 90 in my O+S count and numbers 11, 12, 13 and 14 in my LTTS challenge!  Progress is intermittent, but happening!

I am working on a few more projects from this book, hoping to finish them by the end of this month.  My sewing room is undergoing renovations  at present (very slowly), so craft is mainly in the form of knitting.  And maybe some gardening and chicken watching!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Knitting along

While reading Crazy Mom Quilt's post on her avocado socks I was reminded of two woollen items that I could share.  These had both been completed over a month ago, but I have neglected to complete my Ravelry pages or post about them here.

First up, a jersey for my daughter.

K is five now, and wears a uniform for school.  I am sad that she can no longer wear handknits daily and the motherly desire to keep your child warm and comfortable is certainly not solaced by polyester.  Luckily this 'Olinda' by Georgie Hallam (Tikki) has been a popular garment at weekends.

The beauty of 'Olinda' is in the lace pattern  being completely reversible.  This is a great feature for children's clothing - for many reasons!  The only tricky part is sewing on two buttons for each button hole, and I am really happy with the buttons I found at my local drapery.

The pants K is wearing are my favourite Oliver + S 'After School Pants' in a light weight denim.  A great sew!  I have made these pants before (here and here) and I have also been counting our O+S garments - this is number 86!

This jersey can be also seen at my Ravelry page here.

I also (finally) made a Queen Anne's Lace crochet scarf, using some multi-coloured wool.


I made this using the tutorial I found on Mrs Micawber's blog, where the starting scallop was improved upon.  Great tutorial - thank you for the pictures and awesome instructions - I highly recommend them!

My scarf, and information on the yarn used, can be seen on my Ravelry page here.

See you at Finish it up Friday!
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