Tuesday, 7 August 2018

A Few Random Bits and Bobs

This is going to be a bit of a random post!
Now I have the lap quilt finished, it's time to start thinking about my lap quilt. The previous quilt is going to be a gift, so now I'd like to sort my own out. I'm sure I'll get distracted by other projects before I get on with my lap quilt.

However, I have now bought most of my backing material for it:

I am hoping to get some material to do a border for the backing whilst at the Festival of Quilts this weekend. Not quite sure what I want yet but I'm sure inspiration will strike!

I also celebrated my birthday on Sunday, and got two very appropriate gifts:

The first is Tinkerbell sat on a cotton reel from my mum - perfect because that was my nickname as a child and I love to sew!

The second is a hexagon necklace from the hubby - he was inspired by me talking about working on some paper piecing hexies this holiday, and apparently the shape also reminds him of Science!

As a bit of a pre-birthday treat, I went to see the King and I in London with another friend, Lauren. It was amazing; very true to the film (or more correctly, the film is very true to the musical) and Ken Watanabe made an amazing King. The singing and dancing were both perfect. I loved every minute of it and really fulfilled a childhood dream to see it on the stage. Even the King and Anna's dance around the ballroom was breathtaking - I had imagined it wouldn't look as good as it did on film, but I was wrong! I was also very lucky and sat 3 rows from the front so got an amazing view.

For those who have asked, here are a couple of shots of my friend's skirt; including a really neat invisible zip.

Darren and I are going to Silverstone in a couple of weekends for the World Endurance Championships (a couple of short 6 hour races for us to enjoy). We will be camping, and so we have had to practice putting up my sister's tent, which she has kindly lent us. Not a bad job overall!

As a final part to my really random post; I have just read Little Women, and wanted to share how beautiful the book decoration is. The cover looks stitched, and they have even put the back of the stitching on the back of the cover. The cover is just an image, but I really hope the original was actually stitched.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Lap Quilt Finish

My quilt finish squeaked into the end of July (although technically the tucking ends in part was in August, but ah well!). Another sewing day with a different friend helped the process of hand sewing the binding along - having a nice little chat really makes putting the binding on go a lot quicker than when you are sat on your own!

After all the nightmares with my binding, the final part went very smoothly. I am so pleased with the finish, and the size works out great for a lap quilt!

I found the pattern on Pinterest (that site is both amazing and dangerous!) and if you're interested you can find it here. It was so easy to follow and I love the fact it has made sure I have used up most of my material, so it's not very wasteful. I now have a lot of half-square triangles to do something with!

Thursday, 2 August 2018

OPAM July 2018

I'm getting better at posting this closer to the end of the month! It is time to post my finishes for OPAM, hosted by Peg and Kris.

I have had another successful month - 2 finishes!

The first is the crochet snood/cowl I made for my friends' birthday:

The other is the lap quilt I have been working on:

There will be a full post about it in the next few days when I get some daylight photos!

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Pesky Binding

After a really productive and smooth day working on my lap quilt, I decided to do my binding - my first scrappy binding!

I put the binding together. It went really smoothly, and I got the fabric the right way round the whole time; I usually piece some parts together wrong. I was slightly suspicious yet pleased it had gone together so quickly and well. I trimmed the triangles and then popped out.

Cue getting home and realising my mistake - I had managed to sew my binding with the seams on the outside. Argh! So much unpicking. I then had to trim the ends of the material and then re-sew the binding (if there was a way to do this without trimming the ends, please give it a few days before you tell me!).

I then realised the binding would be way too short. I cut out some red and blue fabric that I had had spare that was part of the range and attached that to the binding in a few places - cue yet more unpicking so I could put the new fabrics in randomly.

3 hours (and dinner) later, I finally had the binding on the quilt. As it has been about 33 degrees celsius here (warm for me!), I haven't done the hand binding part yet as  I don't fancy sitting under a quilt!

And after all my worrying about having enough fabric to do the binding, I had this much to spare:


Saturday, 28 July 2018

A Wednesday of Sewing

Taking full advantage of the holidays and proximity, I spent all of Wednesday at my friend's house doing some sewing. She lives about 5 minutes around the corner from me, so it wasn't too far to walk a sewing machine and bag of fabric (and close enough to run home when you realise you have left your navy thread at home!)

My aim of the day (when I finally decided what to do) was to put some more work into the lap quilt I am working on.

My first task was to piece the back together. The quilt is a bit bigger and square-er than I thought, so I had to do a panel of fabric in the back. I had just planned to do a strip of the green fabric between the blues, but it was a bit shorter than I expected. It took some time and a lot of lining up and trimming to get it right, but I'm pretty pleased with it. I didn't obsessively measure pieces and it actually worked out pretty central - more than my picture below suggests!

I then layered the quilt up ready to do the quilting. I decided to quilt the diamonds - a bit of stitch in ditch! One day I will progress to FMQ, but I didn't want to detract from the stunning fabrics. It was a bit awkward getting the material through my machine at times though!

I came away from my friends with a quilted piece, ready for binding!

Meanwhile, my friend was working on a skirt made out of Doctor Who fabric (I only got one picture). She also has the most amazing thread collection! Unfortunately, when I had left my blue at home, it turns out it was the shade she was using for her skirt, which is why I had to run home for mine. Considering she had so many threads, it's so funny we were using the same one!

I then spent a bit of time in the evening, learning how to play Magic the Gathering (my husbands' favourite game!). I was quite proud that I got him from 20 to 7 lives. I also decided to make it clear which card box was mine - he has a lot and I quite like the set I have learnt with!

Thursday, 26 July 2018

A Really Weather Appropriate Finish

I came across this wonderful gradient wool at my favourite fabric shop, The Cambridge Fabric Company. The blues in it just screamed perfection for my good friend.

I decided I would make a snood/cowl with it, following a pattern I have used before - the Spring Bean Cowl. The pattern is found here. It is such a simple pattern to crochet, but very effective.

Last time I made a cowl, I got a twist in it, which ended up working well but as I crochet quite tightly it can be a bit of a nightmare to put on. With this project, I managed to not get a twist in it (not sure how I managed that but really chuffed!). I spent most of a weekend creating this, whilst listening to my Harry Potter audiobooks. A pretty perfect way to spend a weekend!

The cowl/snood was finished in time for my friend's birthday - I actually managed to finish it early! It is obviously perfect for the 30 degree weather we are having in the UK at the moment (!). Below is a shot of me modelling it and making sure it was big enough.

Monday, 23 July 2018

FNSI and IHSW July 2018

I decided to make the most of my first weekend of the holidays, and combined Wendy's Friday Night Sew In with International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (they always coincide, which is great!)

I didn't get much done on Friday, as I was so exhausted! But this is where I started:

And finished:

Saturday, Darren and I planned to hermit, which was perfect to get a lot of stitching done:

On Sunday, we had a couple of friends visit, which meant I ended up at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Botanic Gardens. I didn't get many pictures, except for the lovely ducks at the Botanic Gardens!

I did manage a small amount of stitching on Sunday evening:

Overall I am really chuffed with my stitching this weekend. I'm aiming to stitch or sew a little each day of the holidays, so we will see what happens!

A Few Random Bits and Bobs

This is going to be a bit of a random post! Now I have the lap quilt finished, it's time to start thinking about my lap quilt. The prev...