Sunday, 2 August 2020

A Birthday Organiser

Whoops I seem to have missed a Sunday! Sorry in advance for all the comments you will get - I'm using my week off wisely and catching up with everyone!

Following on from my quilt tops - quite literally, as I made this the next day! - I put together another on-the-go organiser. This time for my friend Hannah who I do sewing Wednesdays with (amongst other things). The pattern came from Love Quilting and Patchwork magazine, issue 61.

This was much faster this time around, unsurprisingly. There are so many pieces though! The pattern at times names them oddly (like the 'main fabric' is not the blue outer fabric. That is the 'exterior fabric'). I also ended up cutting out the wrong size for one bit of material, and ran out of it to cut more. Luckily swapping it out for one of the others worked well. My pattern now has notes scrawled all across it!

Unlike last time, I decided to sew this one with the suggested vinyl. I just couldn't resist this rainbow sparkly stuff! The smallest amount I could get is 1m - plenty of vinyl to keep me busy. It wasn't too bad to sew but it was actually really annoying to cut neatly and took several attempts. I'm pleased with the effect though.

I'm glad I cut out the fabric wrong - the panels either side of this were supposed to be the swirly material you can see behind the vinyl. I think having the panels matching the borders of the vinyl looks so much neater (and have now adapted my pattern to reflect this).

There are so many panels and components to this project - and so many offcuts!

I didn't have to unpick until a little bit at the end. I decided to add this fun ribbon (not quite ribbon) rather than the recommended elastic. Once I had turned the organiser out, it turns out the ribbon was on the inside. It took two more attempts to work out how to get it to poke out and be useful, as well as face the right way! I'm glad I did it, but I may use the elastic next time!

Hannah loved it too - which is always a bonus!

Sunday, 19 July 2020

2 Quilt Tops in a Day

I had a very productive weekend last weekend - I have definitely got the sewing and finishing things bug at the minute!

A while ago, Darren asked me to make a quilt for his friend, Oli, who had just had a baby. It took him some time to pick some fabric, but finally decided on this lovely Jungle Friends set by Makower. I bought it from one of our local shops, Escape and Create. As the baby had been born, and Darren wasn't seeing Oli for a while due to lockdown, it did creep down in the pile.

But inspiration struck this weekend and I got all the material out. As always, I buy the material and then work out what to make. I sketched out some ideas and realised I had enough for 2 baby quilts (although I wasn't convinced by my maths until I had cut it all out). Which is lucky, as another friend of ours, Rachel, is expecting baby number 2.

The fabric was cut in long quarters, so lent itself to 10 inch and 10.5 inch squares nicely. This dictated my designs.

Quilt 1 (Rachel's):

Quilt 2 (Oli's) - I did try to get it all the same direction but it's hard with triangles! It doesn't look to jarring though, and the stripes were all the same way:

And look at those points!! (don't look at the lack of pattern matching)

Amusingly, both Oli and Rachel are maths teachers and work in the same department. I think the fabric is just perfect - subtly mathsy and my layouts are different enough for me to gift them to them!

Now to get some backing and get them finished!

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Some little bits and pieces

Other than working on the pinwheel baby quilt, I have been working on some other bits and pieces (either on the Sunday after finishing the quilt or during the week).

The first was another batch of face masks - this time at the request of the parents-in-law. I bought the fabric from Sew Scrumptious (which is where I got the original pattern from).

I actually found the Japanese material was a bit thicker than quilting cotton, so think it would make even better masks. I forgot to get a close up, but I was so chuffed with how neat my top stitching was.

I've also been working on my cross-stitch, and have reached a milestone - 20 colours left to stitch! 3 are solid, and the rest involve some tweeding. There does seem to be quite a lot of empty space for so few colours, but ah well! Getting quite excited for a finish now! (And totally ignoring the fact I have backstitching and french knots to do!)

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Pretty Pinwheels

Another weekend, another finish!

We left off here, with me debating whether to just stitch the quilt up or turn it into a disappearing nine patch:

I decided to make it a disappearing nine patch!

The cutting up of the blocks took place during a Teams call with the craft group at work, and then in the garden later in the evening. It was on one of the days we reached 30 degrees here, and it probably wasn't the wisest move to press and then cut the blocks! Ah well. It was quite pleasant cutting the blocks in the garden in the evening air though.

Yesterday was spent quilting, cutting up the binding and adding it to the quilt. I usually use little plastic tags for holding it all in place, but I think I will try the curved pins instead. It feels a little less wasteful, and I am finding that I keep getting little tucks when quilting, which I hope the pins will help me avoid. I did try lots of the tags this time, and it was better, but I think it would make more sense to use the pins.

Sunday was spent handsewing the binding on, after a morning run. And I am very pleased with the results! You can't quite see, but I used a lime green to quilt it - oddly subtle but also stands out at the same time. I also finished it 3 days after the intended recipient was born - hopefully I will be able to gift it soon.

The fabrics used:
Front was Walk in the Woods by Dashwood Studios, bought from Doughty's
Binding (and a couple of the front materials) was Twist by Dashwood Studios, bought from Wool Warehouse
Backing was Noah's Ark by Riley Blake, bought from Elephant in my Handbag
Wadding was a 80/20 blend bought from Backstitch

Sunday, 28 June 2020

WIPocalypse 2020 - half year check in!

How have we gotten to half way through the year already?? I'm sure I am surprised every time a check in comes around, but this one has really surprised me!

Very briefly for anyone new to this SAL: this 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.

Usually I go through a quick update of all my projects and then answer the monthly question. However, this month's question is: Half year recap: How are you doing with your goals so far this year?
So I will go through my projects to answer the question! Firstly, I organised my list into Musts and Potentials, so lets start with the Musts:

  • Theatre t-shirt lap quilt - finish. Well, the one that I needed to do in time for my friend's birthday in August! There's still another one to do, but that wasn't in the original goal, and we'd like lockdown to be eased even more so she can come and consult on layout and so on with me.
  • Pinafore dress - finish. I think that was done in February!
  • Lap quilt - not started. This will be my focus the next half of the year.
  • Crochet jumper - finish. And it is very snuggly! I have even had a request from the big sister to make one for her.

Not bad going! Now for the Potentials:
  • Disney cross-stitch - in progress. I haven't given myself the goal to finish this one this year, but I want to make a big dent in it. I can safely say I am doing that!
  • Beauty and the Beast quilt - not started. Again, another focus for the second half of the year.
  • Sirocco jumpsuit - toile finish. I have made this up in the lovely orange fabric I got for a wearable toile. I will progress to the flowery material soon, but happy to call this a finish.
  • Flamingo - finish. Happily sat in our spare room/office. There are talks of a llama to join Flo at some point though!
  • Christmas Garland - not started. This will probably be done in a panic in November, but it is going to wait til closer to Christmas as it feels like a project that will suit curling up watching Christmas movies with.

I am really pretty chuffed so far! I made the must list pretty short because I wanted it to be achievable. I also find that I get projects that form during the year - usually baby quilts - so wanted to factor those in too! Here is a little collage of projects (featuring the hubby), both finished and ongoing, that are not on my WIPocalypse list but have also happened this year:

Sunday, 21 June 2020

FNSI and IHSW June 2020

So even though I forgot to sign up for it, I did remember to join in for FNSI! Pop over here to Wendy's blog to see what everyone else got up to.

I carried on working through the epic Disney cross-stitch. I don't want to jinx myself, but I feel like it won't take me the five years that Beauty and the Beast took me!

At the request of one of my sisters, I counted how many colours left to go - 27! That doesn't feel too much. Then there is backstitching and french knots to go...But we're getting there. I was back to some dreaded brown, but it is a lot of gap-filling so feeling very satisfying. It's also quite a 'big' colour, so it'll progress the project nicely. Here's a little comparison shot of some of what I did on Friday.

FNSI also coincides nicely with International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and over on Facebook. Any excuse for me to get some sewing done! I have spent Saturday and Sunday slowly working through a baby quilt using the beautiful Walk in the Woods design from Dashwood Studios. Saturday was spent making pinwheels, which I haven't done before. There was a good length of time spent trimming all the corners off the triangles - such a satisfying little pile!

I'm also quite chuffed with how neat some of them came out:

Sunday was spent squaring off the pinwheels, working on the rough layout and starting to sew the quilt together. I got further than I had intended and now have 12 nine patches ready to make disappearing! Or I may just leave them as it is and enjoy the half patterned, half random layout. I shall have a think before I cut or sew anymore!

I also honoured the weekend by heading out on one of my semi-regular runs wearing my crafty leggings!

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Mask Making

So in the last week of May, I had a couple of days off and was really productive with my sewing - you may be able to tell! Between making the jumpsuit and organiser pouch thing, I made a few masks. It was good timing, as we were then told to wear them in public spaces like shops.

I bought a little kit from Sew Scrumptious, which had material, lining material, elastic and templates - as well as instructions, both in the pack and on the website. In the images you will see, the fabric I bought was sciencey, with red polka dot lining! The original plan was to make Darren and I a few masks, for food shopping or if/when he goes back into school. I ended up making a few more masks for my friend, her husband and 3 children! My friend does sew (she is the one I do crafty days with), but with a 7 month old baby and 2 other children at home, she isn't getting chance. I thought I'd help her out, as I knew she wanted to have some masks ready for when we were told to wear them.

There were two pattern options, one with a pocket to put a filter in, and one without. I made both types for us all. It was a really great way to use up all the bits of fabric I have kept 'just in case'! Or some of Darren's Boston Celtics fabric that he was working out what to do with (there is plenty left for him to do something a little more fun with). It was a bit of a production line!

I also got chance to use my pattern weights the big sister gave me for Christmas!

I ended up making my friend and her family a matching set, using material that backed her elder son's quilt.

I then made individual ones for each of them - I only made one for the baby, and that was more because I thought his siblings would worry if he didn't have one. My friend is reading Harry Potter with her daughter, so it seemed sensible to give them both Harry Potter themed masks!

I made 5 each for Darren and I - not all are pictured (the ones at the bottom show you the filter pocket)

And here is me modelling one of mine just before the weekly food shop!

A Birthday Organiser

Whoops I seem to have missed a Sunday! Sorry in advance for all the comments you will get - I'm using my week off wisely and catching up...