Sunday, 23 July 2017

Start of Summer

So Friday marked our last day of term - and a really lovely evening spent at the pub with a lot of colleagues (it's so amusing watching drunk people when you're sober!). It was a relaxing end to the term, and a really sunny evening.

In the run up to Friday, I spent a lot of evenings sewing - and I even managed to get some good progress shots! I decided to just focus on the section in my hoop, and then I moved my hoop to work on the second half of the page. I even got onto some sparkly tweeding, which was great but irritating too (it's not a flexible type of thread!). I also managed to start a new shade of blue that I had yet to use - quite impressive considering I have stitched more than I have left to stitch!

I was given a beautiful rose plant by one of my year 8s as an end of year gift. Such a lovely surprise, and it smells so wonderful. Just slightly concerned about how well it will survive as I seem to have a knack for killing plants no matter how well I look after them!

Last night, I took Darren to go and see Wicked for his first time (my fifth!). I'd seen it already this month, and fallen in love with Willemijn Verkaik & Suzie Mathers as the leads. It was their (among many) last show last night, so I was determined to see it. It was absolutely incredible; they and the rest of the cast were incredible, and Darren even admitted he loved it. Pretty good all around! I could waffle on about Wicked, and Willemijn & Suzie for hours, but all I will say is it's worth popping on Youtube and watching a video of the pair (West End Live from a few weeks ago would be good). Great chemistry and great voices. And Willemijn has done Wicked for 10 years, in German, Dutch and English. Mind-blowing. And that's probably enough Wicked advertising for a post!

Have a lovely week!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Little By Little..

...the giant cross-stitch is getting there!

I spent most of Friday afternoon and evening, as well as chunks of Saturday working on it. I've started taking more photos, and I honestly think I can get this section finished by the time school ends next week!

I've even managed to use some colours I've never used before!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Pirate Perfection

This weekend was a very pleasant weekend - 2 days of sewing!

Sunday involved a quick trip out to top up my thread (I ran out just as I ran into backing issues!) - that took a bit longer than planned because I briefly forgot about Sunday opening hours.

I cut and pieced together the backing fix, which I'm really pleased with. However, in the process I caught the end of my finger with my rotary blade. Whoops! Darren cut the finger off a marigold glove to stop any blood coming through the plaster getting any further; I must admit, it did help with my grip on the quilt!

I headed up to my friend Jo's house to do the quilting. It was a lovely afternoon, and made the quilting seem to go a lot faster. I also ended up teaching her some tips and tricks - in particular, the benefits of a walking foot over a normal foot for quilting! I also found she is pretty good at incredibly neat binding - the corners I ended up with during the hand quilting portion were amazing! The neatest corners I have ever had. I will need Jo to sew on my binding for me from now on.

The quilt was completed ready to give on Monday - just before the baby's due date. I was pretty pleased I had finished a quilt before the deadline (a running joke in our family is that we can't get our crafty quilts to the recipients until after they are born/married etc). Annoyingly, baby had arrived early, but I still take my finish as an 'in time' one.

I'm pretty pleased with the quilt - I love the weaving effect blocks. They looked really complex, but once you look at the pattern they are very simple; just very effective! They will be a block I do again!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

A Calculation Calamity (almost!)

Today has been a Saturday of sewing, pinning, pressing, sewing and a bit more pressing - you know how it goes! It's actually been quite productive and quick, give or take one or two minor unpicks.

I've also been enjoying my new 12 inch square ruler - I got it for another quilt, and this is my second time of using it. I've also been squaring off a lot more, which I have found to be (surprisingly!) quite useful! Also surprisingly, I have found a lot of my blocks have been a very similar size, just a little wonky. That's always a nice feeling!

I managed to get from separate pieces to blocks to a finished top and ready to back and quilt. And that's where it went a bit wrong!

I picked up some lovely backing and binding, based on my calculations of block size at the start of making my quilt. The red stripes are the binding - I'm not looking forward to cutting that material, as it is quite trippy on the eyes!

However, as I lay my backing out on the quilt to just double check, I noticed a problem:

The backing is too small!!!! And a tiny bit too narrow! Arghhhhh!!!

Cue a bit of a grumpy moment, as I had somehow made a quilt much larger than I had planned. Luckily the wadding is just wide enough otherwise teddy might have well and truly gone out of pram! (Have I mentioned this quilt needs to be finished by Monday? Nothing like a bit of time pressure!)

Luckily, big sister and best friend were both there with some advice. Either add some spare material through the centre (and I have a bit of one fat quarter left) or trim the quilt down so it's a bit more narrow and suitable for a pram. I think I'm going for the big sister's idea of the fat quarter split, as it will work well with the backing and I won't loose the front pattern as much (though it may need a tiny trim still). I'm glad I slightly overestimated my fat quarter needs!

And here is the pesky front (sorry for it not being as well-laid out as it could be - I'll get a better one when it's all done!)

Other than calculation errors holding me up, I'm pretty pleased with how this has ended up so far!

IHSW March Check In

I had been massively looking forward to this weekend - work has been hectic and non-stop. I decided to do no work this weekend and get sewin...