Sunday, 31 May 2020

WIPocalypse May 2020 Check In

Well here we are, another WIPocalypse check in! Time is moving so weirdly with lockdown - it feels so slow but we are already at another check in. I hope you have all been keeping safe and well.

Very briefly for anyone new to WIPocalypse; this is a SAL that was started 9 years ago by Measi at Measi's Musings. The aim is to stitch on as many projects as you can before the end of the world (I think it used to be to stop the end of the world!). Pop over to her blog here to see what everyone else has been up to.

I have had a really productive month stitching wise! If you want to see what my WIPocalypse list was, check out the post here.

I have now completed all but one project on my 'must stitch' to do list. The first theatre quilt was finished and got sent to my friend (she is holding up the quilt!). I am so pleased with how it turned out, and actually looking forward to working on the next one.

Onto my 'ideally like to' stitch list: I got my Sirocco jumpsuit made. It was technically a toile as it was cheaper fabric than the main intended fabric, but I always planned to wear it if it worked. I think it may be a bit baggy around the tops of my legs but it is oh so comfy. It only took about 2 months of procrastination after cutting out the pattern pieces to actually get it done.

The Disney cross-stitch is creeping along slowly. This was it on the 19th April:

And this is it now:

It is getting really satisfying, as so many gaps are closing as I stitch.

I'm beginning to think that in next months half-way post I may need to add to my list. There are definitely other crafting projects going on that aren't on my WIPocalypse list.

Every month Measi poses a question for us to talk about. This month's is: Tell us about a piece you absolutely loved stitching.

I think it has to be one of my favourite baby quilts - the Whatever the Weather one. It is just so bright, and the HSTs ended up looking so neat.

Although, a project I have just completed (and will do a full post about) comes a close second. I made an on the go organiser, using a pattern I had never used before, and inserting two zips. There were so many pieces and I managed to do it in an evening, with it looking so good at the end!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

I Made A Jumpsuit!

A while ago I cut out the material for my Deer and Doe Sirocco jumpsuit during my sewing class. Then lockdown happened and I got very nervous about sewing it up (basically because I'm not sure what to do to adjust the fit). The material was bought from The Cambridge Fabric Company.

But this weekend I finally got up the nerve to sew it. One of my local sewing shops, Backstitch, had kindly matched thread to my swatch, and I had everything I needed to sew it - aka no excuses.

It was another learning process. Most was straightforward to stitch - and I was very proud of how neat my pockets were! I had to add elastic to them to reinforce them, which turned out quite nicely.

I learnt two new stretch stitches to use on the sewing machine, instead of the zig zag stitch. I had read a blog by Like Sew Amazing (about half way through the process) suggesting using the triple stitch (number 18) on the waistband as there is a lot of strain there. I can really see the difference in the waistband between where I used zig zag and where I used the triple stitch. The stitching imaged is number 5.

I also tried out using a twin needle. I had a quick practice run to check which stitch length to use to prevent tunnelling (hence the two different coloured threads), and then used it when hemming the sleeves and legs.

I'm overall pretty happy with the jumpsuit. I think it's a bit baggy at the front below the waistband, and the back, so I'm tempted to do a smaller size there on my next one. But there will be a next one!

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Theatre Quilt #1 Complete

Yes, you have read the title correctly. A year after being given all the tshirts, and about 4 months since finally braving cutting them up, the first of the theatre tshirt quilts is complete!

For those who don't know, my friend Lauren collects tshirts from all the theatre shows she goes to. She used to wear them but wanted to do something with them that would make them last. And this is where I step in!

It was quite terrifying cutting them up - these tshirts aren't cheap, and some are irreplaceable.

Last weekend, I quilted and added the binding to the quilt. I took it nice and slowly, and it seemed to go well. I need to add a few more tacks when basting the quilt (but that is something I need to do generally anyway).

I was so pleased I didn't cut off the 'I' here - it was a bit touch and go!!

I then hand finished the binding. I use the tutorial from Missouri Star Quilting Company to put my binding on, and it works a charm each time. Really annoyingly, I lost the game of thread chicken so close to the end of finishing the binding! I did have plenty of thread, it was just annoying to re-thread my needle so close.

Anyway. Enough burbling. Here is the finished piece:

The backing is from Elephant in my Handbag, and seemed very appropriate! The binding and borders material is from Backstitch, a local shop to us. I posted a piece of the backing to Backstitch so that Alice could match it, which meant I could get it finished even with lockdown!

Sunday, 10 May 2020

FNwF May 2020 #2

Yes that's right, I have managed to join not once, but twice in a row! Thank you Cheryll for reminding me.

Friday night with friends is hosted by the lovely Cheryll, and is usually the first Friday of the month. It is a virtual sewing/crafting session with lots of other crafters. This month it has been the first two Fridays, which is lovely. Hop over here to see what everyone else got up to!

As Friday was a bank holiday in the UK for 75 years since VE Day, I got a bit of a jump on FNwF and made it just Friday with friends.

My first job was finishing off the theatre quilt! I had finished hand sewing the binding the night before - and annoyingly ran out of the thread on my needle with such a tiny bit to go. Friday was spent tucking all the ends in and taking out my tacks. I'll do a full post separately with the finish next.

I then moved onto an important job - cleaning out my sewing machine. I definitely do not do it often (which is something I will be changing). Such a satisfying job to do though - and look how much fluff came out!


The actual Friday evening was spent with my cross-stitch. I'm back onto green - the most common shade of green in the whole piece. There are a lot of gaps around the edges to fill. Unusually, I'm quite excited to go back to this green as it feels like once it is finished, the piece will have jumped ahead in progress.

I hope you all had a lovely Friday and weekend, and are keeping safe and well.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

FNwF May 2020

I did it! I actually remembered to join in with Friday Night with Friends! I have only just remembered to sign up but small steps!

The night is hosted by Cheryll, and is a chance on the first Friday of the month for us all to stitch virtually together. Pop over here to see what everyone else got up to.

I was working on my cross-stitch on Friday, and reached a small milestone. I finished the second of 3 sorted cards of threads! So now I only have one card of threads left (about 25), plus some tweeding colours to do, before backstitching and french knots. I would estimate I am about 5/8s of the way through the project. It's really spurred me on to get stitching!

Here it is now (forgot to take a picture at the start of the evening!):

Hope you all have a safe and happy week

Sunday, 26 April 2020

WIPocalypse April 2020 Check In

How are we approaching the end of April already? I'm finding time is moving really weirdly - I'm about to start my 7th week of working from home but it feels like its been much, much longer. However, the months are slipping by! I am definitely loosing my perception of time. I haven't managed to stitch much more than I normally would, due to working, but I have been able to make a dent in the to do pile.

I hope you are all keeping safe and well and not bouncing off the walls with whatever type of lockdown you are in.

Onto my post! The point of the WIPocalypse is to complete/work on your projects before the end of the world. It is hosted by the lovely Measi at Measi's Musings - pop over there to see what everyone else has been up to.

My must work on WIPocalypse list has gotten much shorter - it is now just the theatre tshirt quilt(s). I have actually made progress on this this month. I finally braved putting it through the sewing machine! It was quite nerve wracking but stitched up so quickly!

I love the effect of the grey - it looks a bit like a film reel to me, especially with just the centre strip.

Hopefully I will get this done by next weekend (wadding arrival depending!).

My potentially work on WIPocalypse list has also shrunk a little bit. Easter Monday and the Tuesday found me working on the lovely Flo the Flamingo. She crocheted up very quickly and is now in our spare room/office, lurking in the background of video calls!

Every month, Measi poses a question for us to talk about in our check in. This months is:
Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO

This ties in nicely with the final project I have been working on this month. My Disney cross-stitch!

This is entering it's third year of stitching, and feeling like it is crawling towards a finish (which is nice, because sometimes no matter how much I stitch it doesn't seem to progress!). This was it as of 19th April:

I have already stitched a Beauty and the Beast one of these, which took 5 years in total - including a one year hiatus whilst I did wedding cross-stitch. I'm hoping this current one takes less than 5 years! This is the Beauty and the Beast one:

You could also argue that this UFO is part of a bigger WIP. I have 3 further cross-stitches in this range sat on my shelf waiting to be stitched up. The aim is that all 5 will be finished, framed and put up on the wall! Based at my current rate of stitching, that won't be for another 13-15 years minimum - yikes. Luckily, I really love these designs!

Friday, 17 April 2020

A Productive Easter Break

I decided to take a couple of days off around Easter just to have a bit of a break and took the time to get some crafting done.

On the Friday, I managed to get around to cutting out the toile fabric for my Sirocco jumpsuit. It felt like such a saga - the leg pattern needed shortening; the material needed a lot of pressing after being washed and stuffed in a bag; I then pressed the fold and realised I had put the wrong sides together so had to repress it; I started to cut it out but my scissors had a big blunt patch right in the middle and I could only make teeny tiny cuts (so very tedious); I then realised my rotary blade would work, especially as I had cut out the legs already. And yes, you guessed it, the rotary blade was blunt! Luckily I had a spare blade and was able to get it all cut out!

Now I just need to wait until some elastic arrives and I can get it made. Hopefully.

On Monday, I started Flo the Flamingo. It was a bit of a bumpy start as the instructions weren't the clearest, but I puzzled it out and off I went! The wool for her was so amazing and pink! And such a giant ball of wool!

I spent Tuesday working on her, and in less than 24 hours after starting, Flo was finished! She is now relaxing on our spare bed, lurking in the background of video calls to colleagues. It feels nice to have a finish - and such a quick one!

I also decided to try to make my own Yorkshire puddings. They are my favourite part of a roast dinner but I either buy them or don't bother. Not anymore! I am pretty chuffed with my efforts - and yes, they were massive!

WIPocalypse May 2020 Check In

Well here we are, another WIPocalypse check in! Time is moving so weirdly with lockdown - it feels so slow but we are already at another che...