Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 Goals Review

Back in January (which feels both ages ago and not that long ago at all!), I set myself some crafting targets.

Here they are, with how I did!

To Finish:
  • Beauty and the Beast cross-stitch - FINISHED
  • Baby quilt for work colleagues (by February) - FINISHED AND GIFTED
  • Crochet doll and dress-up clothes - DOLL FINISHED. CLOTHES IN PROGRESS

To Learn:
  • How to embroider - NOT DONE
  • How to English Paper Piece - NOT DONE

Would Like to Work On:
  • Beauty and the Beast material - NOT DONE

Overall I think I have done quite well - especially considering all the other projects I completed! I think Beauty and the Beast and my advent calendar have to be my favourites, followed by the baby quilt I made this Autumn. I also may not have learnt how to embroider or EPP but I did learn how to make a dress out of jersey, among other dressmaking skills (pictures of all 4 below).

Thank you to everyone who has read my posts, commented and given me advice, as well as given me wonderful blogs to read. Here's to a wonderful 2019 and lots more crafting!

Friday, 21 December 2018

Advent Calendar Blog Hop

As it is the 21st December (finally!) in the UK, it is my turn to post in Jo's amazing Advent Calendar Blog Hop.

Jo has posed us a question - what is my favourite Christmas song? I must admit that I have really struggled with an answer! I have tried to decide between classics like Wizzard's 'I wish it could be Christmas', Band Aid, and more traditional songs like '12 Days of Christmas'.

But I think my favourite has to be Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Mainly because I was in a choir until the age of 18, and it was such fun to sing. Especially the descant in the last verse - I remember being very proud when I was able to hit all those high notes! Not something I can do anymore, particularly as my voice has decided it wants to take a holiday this week. Hopefully this link will take you to the song.

I bizarrely don't have much Christmas stitching, but the one I do have I am incredibly proud of. It is the advent calendar I made myself this year (and a rather apt choice for an Advent Calendar blog hop!)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, or festive break

Sunday, 16 December 2018

OPAM November

Now, don't be too shocked but I have actually managed a few more finishes! Considering this is my busiest time of year work-wise, I'm very amazed I've managed it. It has however taken me about half a month to post this!

The first finishes are my 5 mug rugs, which were all in varying states of finished. I have done a full post about them, so just a picture for you to enjoy:

The second finish is a surprise item commissioned by my big brother. More to follow after Christmas, but it took me out of my comfort zone as I had no pattern to follow - just photos of his idea!

Thank you as always to Peg and Kris for hosting

Saturday, 8 December 2018

A Spot of Applique

In my continuing race through projects, I decided on what I was going to do with some Harry Potter material I bought.
(Yes, I bought material without a proper plan for it, other than 'it will be something for the little sister'. I am now ignoring my own rules!)

I have decided to make a cushion, with the Hogwarts crest appliqued onto it. I sketched it out, and made some quick pattern pieces for it.

Now just decided whether to sew the pieces together before appliqueing them onto the cushion front itself....any advice is welcome

A couple of random additions to my post...I picked up this rather lovely pin this weekend. It's designed by a Cambridge-based Etsy seller, Pink Coat Club who has now branched out into a website. She does lots of lovely items but I thought this would be perfect for my pin badge collection!

And I finally gifted the rainbow cowl I made last year. Here it is being modeled by my friend Becky's dog, Brienne. Apparently Brienne was most annoyed when the cowl was taken off her and Becky wore it!!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Mug Rugs - A Year in the Making

I have had a huge spurt of getting projects done recently - it's quite nice making a dent in the project bags (just so I can fill them again!!!). I've also had quite a few small victories - relatively quick little projects!

Last year, I started making some mug rugs. I'm not sure whether I posted about them. They got abandoned as I was having a nightmare getting the binding on and it was getting close to Christmas. And the marking pile was getting alarmingly large.

However, I decided to give them another go. The binding was going wrong as I was sewing it on with too much of an allowance, so I made that shorter. Some were quilted and had half the binding on, some had been quilted and some got abandoned before the quilting.

I forgot to get many before pictures, but in a couple of evenings they all got finished. One had A LOT of ends to tuck in as I had decided to be clever last year and quilt over some of the snowflakes.

One had me practicing my free motion - I'm pretty chuffed with the result!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Traditional Wednesday Sewing

Almost a month ago now (wow time flies!), we had our half term holiday; can you tell by the amount of sewing I managed in October??

As I had finished the baby quilt before half term, I was able to start a new project. On the Wednesday of half term, I headed to my friend's house, in what is fast becoming a holiday tradition. I decided to sew myself an advent calendar I had bought in March at the Duxford Quilting Show.

We had had home made advent calendars when I was little, and I remember watching my big sister making one (or I'm pretty convinced I do!). It is definitely something  I have wanted to do for a very long time.

After one day of sewing, I had most of it together, other than hand sewing the binding on and making some loops for it to hang on. I also had a couple of singed fingers - it turns out box pleats are a little fiddly and fabric gets very warm!

I will get a shot of it hanging up soon (ish), but I'm pretty chuffed with the result! I absolutely love the backing fabric - it's just a bit of a shame no-one will really see it.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

A Sort-of Leafy Finish

The lovely baby quilt I was working on had to be handed over to the recipient before our half term holiday (almost a month ago now!). The recipient went on maternity leave a bit earlier than I thought she would, so cue late night sewing on the Thursday before half term! No matter how early I get the material I always seem to see an am time that I shouldn't!

I pinned the backing and wadding in place, quilted around alternating chevrons, put the binding together and sewed most of both sides of it on, all between about 7pm and 1am.

I then ended up finishing the last bit of binding in work - my colleagues thought it was excellent that I was using my non-teaching periods to finish sewing! I have never done that before, and it didn't take too long, but it's not something I'm intending to do too often!

But, I was able to hand the quilt over and it was well liked. Other than some lining up issues, I am pretty chuffed with this quilt. Especially how the pattern looks a bit like falling leaves, both in shape and colour.

Friday, 16 November 2018

OPAM October 2018

I keep queuing up posts and then forgetting what order to post them in, so goodness knows when this will get posted or what I'll have posted about!

BUT. This month (or October anyway) I finished three projects - and actually only started them this month also! I'm pretty chuffed. I'm sure I'll do more posts about them, so here is a shot of each.

Thanks as always to the lovely Peg and Kris for hosting!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Weekend Sewing

A few weekends ago now, I finally decided to brave sewing my half square triangles together into the pattern I had laid out. I find HSTs really challenging, especially when ensuring points match up and so on. This was particularly challenging

It wasn't too bad. There are some points where it doesn't match up perfectly, but the nesting seams trick really works. My husband and his friend who was visiting at the time didn't notice that the lining up wasn't perfect, so that's all good.

I think my next step with HSTs is to actually remember to square off the blocks before sewing them together. As I was against a clock, I forgot to do that - or was a little impatient to do that anyway!

I also managed to find the perfect backing fabric at The Cambridge Fabric Company. They had a couple of fat quarters which I fell in love with, and very luckily they had an off-cut left that was the right size! It completely fits with my trademark non-plain backings!

Monday, 5 November 2018

Quilt Planning

After a lovely visit from the in-laws a few weekends ago (where we got very soggy!), I settled down on the Sunday afternoon to work a little more on the baby quilt.

I didn't do much, but I pressed all the seams open and worked out a layout.

I came across the pattern on Pinterest, and it turns out it's a Cluck Cluck Sew pattern. I've linked it here. I probably won't do the borders, but I enjoyed this HST pattern, rather than doing zig zags.

Now just to be brave and sew it together!

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Sewing Bag

There is a little shop in Cambridge (and London) that myself and my friend absolutley love - Podarok. They always have quirky items that are made by independent traders or similar.

My parents-in-law bought some vouchers for there for me for my birthday. They went towards an absolutely amazing handbag. I'd been eyeing up a slightly different one for a while (just slightly different colour and straps), but when this version was pointed out to me, I had to have it - I love the idea of a backpack handbag!

It's perfect isn't it?! If you can't quite see, there are actual rolls of fabric, and the sign swings out!

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A Little Bit of Crafting

Alongside the early nights and theatre trips I mentioned in my previous post, I have actually managed to squeeze in a little bit of crafting. Not as much as I intended, but more than I usually do at this point in the year.

I have continued the baby quilt for my friend. I sewed the pattern blocks and dotty blocks together and then cut them in half, forming a neat pile of HSTs.

I'm planning on sewing them together in chevrons/zig-zags. Before I do, I need to work out if I want to do the colours in order, or muddle them up!

I have also dug out the cross-stitch. Only a few stitches have been added, but I did move the hoop a couple of times. I also think I'm close to another colour swap!

Thanks for sticking with me whilst I've had limited blogging energy. Hopefully it will be a bit better now

And Continuing the Rainbow Theme...

One of my best friends is expecting a baby, which means only one thing - time for a baby quilt! This one was easy to pick fabric for - I h...