Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WIP Wednesday

Its a wild and wet Wednesday in in Central Queensland. Yesterday at lunchtime a category 4 cyclone named "Debbie" crossed the coast a little south of Bowen. It was a not only a powerful cyclone but had a large "eye" and was slow moving so caused damage over a large area for a prolonged period.

Satellite image of Debbie tracking toward the coast

The shore at shute harbour

Since then it has weakened and become a rain depression as it has moved over the inland. Where we live we have been experiencing rain since last night. Its been raining pretty constantly but we haven't had much wind at all. 

Fixit Guy and I prepared just in case - putting away loose stuff from around the yard, tieing down the the trampoline and basically staying put inside. Our regular sewing day at the Club Rooms was a non starter as we all decided to stay home, out of the wet and off the roads

I got to sew at home all day - not as much fun and fellowship as sewing with my quilting friends - its always great to share ideas, get suggestions and see what others are working on - but it was very productive. I got 11 ear bud pouches made for the Comic Con Stall I am going to have in September.

I had so much fun making them, using up scraps of fabric.




I'm working with little bits of fabric but still had enough to fussy cut a little for cute effects.


I used up the last of some "Mighty Mouse" fabric that I was given really early on in my quilting life.


I managed to get Mike and Sully both the right way up but Meowth and Squirtle had to work it both ways.


I love the science geek fabric I bought. Formula and the periodic table. Not sure if the formulas make sense... should ask my science orientated family (3 of the 4 kids plus my husband all did chemistry and several did physics too... not me though. )


My favourite ones though were the Betty Boop pouches. I loved the way they turned out. I was especially delighted with the top left hand one. Isn't it special!


And the backs were just as gorgeous. I am not sure I am going to be able to part with all of them.


Its been a pretty busy week... not just with the threatening cyclone and ensuing wet weather but it was also my birthday on Monday. I had a lovely day with phone calls from all 4 of my kids and lots of loving attention from my husband. I got to spend the morning sewing away downstairs and finished off 4 Easy Cosmetics bags - all for the Comic Con stall. 



I'm reliably informed that I got the










We went out to dinner with friends on the night of my birthday and when we got home I sewed another small messenger bag... got to use up all the birthday productively. This one featured a combination of the two science fabrics - the formula and the period table. I haven't got a photo of it yet.

I am still waiting for the opportunity to load two quilts onto the long arm and get them quilted. I really want to get them done before I go away at the end of next week but it might not happen. With the current weather no one is going to want to go out

I have sorted through some scraps that I have been given - pressed them and trimmed them into useful units. I have anothe pile pressed but not yet trimmed and the basket I keep my scraps in is not yet empty sigh. Its an ongoing job.

So its been a busy productive week even though I have really advanced any of my works in progress!

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Stash Report

I didn't get around to writing my Sunday stash report last week... and to be honest it was because I had some input and no output so I avoided having to confess my sins by not writing. Simples.

So now 2 weeks later and I confess to some more input BUT I have had a couple of finishes too so all is not lost.

Firstly lets do the finishes.

Actually I did have a few finishes that first week I avoided writing my stash report (week 11)- some little things.

Whilst in Brisbane I had finished off 2 easy cosmetics bags, a dodgey small boxy bag and then when I got home I made a large messenger bag, the size to take a lap top. Apart from the dodgey boxy bag which will probably be given to some small unsuspecting child, the other items I made are all for the Comic Con stall I am going to be having for Handmade With Love in September.



This past week (week 12) I have had 2 big finishes. I managed to finish off my En Provence quilt. I had quilted it on the long arm at our club, using a pantograph. It was my first go at doing a pantograph and I was quite pleased with how it turned out. I chose a pink checked fabric to bind it in and think that it has turned out really well. I still haven't come up with a special name for the quilt so its going to just be En Provence and I'll be done with it! 10.15m






My second finish for the week is a t'shirt quilt that I have made for my daughter aka Fangirl. Its been a long time in the coming... she's been giving me t'shirts to go in it for about 10 years. She has nothing to complain about though.... her brother aka The Beast has only ever received 2 quilts from me where as she has already been given 3. His is coming... eventually. 5.93m 
There will be no photos because whilst she knows its coming I still want it to be a surprise for her

And now to my purchases. 

Whilst in Brisbane I bought on metre of some cute spider web fabric. It was 150cm wide so was 1.5m

At home a local  shop had a big big sale on. The sad reason is that they are probably going to go out of selling fabric. Anyway, they had a 40% off sale and I succumbed... 

My first forray into the shop was quite legitimate. I needed some fabric to finish off the backing for my A to Z quilt. I found some suitable stuff (but didn't get enough and ended up having to spend ages piecing the back with lots of little bits). No photos of this yet though as it is part of the A to Z challenge which starts in 5 days (eek)


 but whilst I was there also bought some stuff that will be good for the Comic Con stall - some cute ghosty type characters plus some co-ordinating red and greys that will be great for linings. 7.57m

Then... that 40% kept ringing in my ears. I had seen some red and grey Star Wars fabric - brilliant for the stall... and also I have the Labrynth pattern. I bought it a few years ago but then forgot about it and only found it again in January. It is one that I really couldn't make from scraps at all. It has to be made from the 4 fabrics - tones of a colour in order for the illusion to work. I really want to make it ... and so ... off I went and purchased all the fabric for it in one hit. (apart from the backing). Because I had to do the conversion from yards to metres I wasn't sure that I had bought enough. The sale was ending the next day so I came home and cut it all out so as to be able to go back and get any extra the next day if I didn't have enough whilst they still had it and whilst it was still on sale (I think I told my dear readers all of this in my WIP Wednesday post... sorry) 13.88M

Anyway

Weeks 11 and 12
Fabric used          17.44
Fabric added        21.45
Net usage            -4.01m

Year to Date     
Fabric used       78.47
Fabric Added     43.05
Net Usage        35.42m

linking up with Patchwork Times

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Its Whoopsday Again... WIP Thursday

Once again I am a day late with my WIP - Work in Progress report. Its coming to you on Thursday BUT its still Wednesday somewhere.

This past week I have achieved some great things. I was going to settle for Good but no I will claim GREAT. This week I learned how to do a Pantograph on the longarm. Well I started to learn. I will still need lots of help doing them but I did use the pantograph on 2 quilts and that rates as great. My friend Lorraine had to help me each time we had to advance the quilt, and help solve any hassles BUT I got 2 quilts quilted AND I used a pantograph so that rates as Great. No photos (I feel a bit self conscious taking photos in public so to speak for my blog... silly probably but you get that).

I did the quilting Friday and Saturday. I have since then trimmed both quilts and made and attached the binding on one of them and tied off the ends of the threads. So one, En Provence is completely finished (apart from the label) and the other still needs to be bound. I have also loaded (With lots of help from Lyndi) another quilt and I plan to go and quilt it today (in between bible study, house work and helping with worship at our aged care facility). This one will be free motion quilting but I am hoping to mimic the pattern from one of the pantographs I used... a series of circles in circles... a bit like bubbles.

A local quilt shop is having a 40% off sale this past 2 weeks and I am afraid I caved (my Stash figures are going to be woeful this week). Whilst cleaning up and sorting my craft cupboards in January I found that I had the Labrynth pattern - that gorgeous puzzle like pattern that was doing the rounds on the internet last year and a few years before that too. I got tagged in it numerous times by various people who really liked it. Obviously I must have too (the first time it went around) and bought the pattern and then forgot about it. Anyway... I decided since it was a pattern that I had to buy fabric for, that I couldn't shop from my stash to make, I would lash out and take advantage of this sale.

So yesterday I visited the shop and purchased the many metres of fabric that I was going to need and came home, went back to get my pattern that I had left on the shop counter, and THEN when home started cutting for the quilt. I wanted to get it all cut out for 2 reasons.

1. I had to convert the required fabric from yards to metres and I wasn't confident that I had got it correct
2. If I had made a mistake and needed more then I needed to get back before they sold all the fabric and before the sale was over!

So I spent the rest of the late afternoon and evening cutting fabric and... I had heaps. The patterns are usually pretty generous and I didn't cut back too much for each measurement (A metre is about 3" more than a yard).

So that was another great achievement. I am not sure when I will actually start sewing it. I want to get on with some more sewing for Comic Con but with it cut I can take it with me when we got away and work on the blocks as we travel.

I made another large messenger bag for Handmade With Love during the week using some gorgeous monkey fabric. Whilst not strictly pop culture it is cute and quirky so should appeal to the crowd that goes to Comic Con (at least I am  hoping it will)

My other sewing for HWL this week has been sewing 2 size one rompers at our weekly get together. I am not a great one for sewing clothing with cotton fabric (I learned to sew clothes using knit fabric and was confident sewing that for many years although since I got into patchwork I haven't sewn much of the other) Anyway Peggy, our HWL leader is a fantastic sewer. She had cut out two pairs of rompers and I sewed them with help from her. She did a fair bit of pinning and we would work out the next steps together. She did the overlocking. The look really cute.

That is about it for me... a great week of sewing. Hope you too have had a good week.

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#AtoZChallenge The Great and Powerful Theme Reveal

This is my 3rd year of participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and its the first time I have managed to almost get the theme reveal out there on the right day. I never seem to be able to keep up with when it is supposed to be.


It case you were wondering - it was Monday and its now Wednesday!
2017 Participation Badge!
The A to Z Challenge runs throughout April. Bloggers are challenged to write one post a day, (excluding Sundays) gradually working their way through the alphabet. 1st April is A, 3rd April B, 4th April C etc. Most participants focus on a theme to guide and structure their blog post. Participants are encouraged to go visit other blogs in the challenge. (I always stumble over how to explain what the challenge is and I now confess that I have basically lifted this explanation from my daughter, Fangirl's, blog post on the event. To see her theme reveal go here


This year I have chosen to make a patchwork block whose name starts with a different letter of the alphabet for each day of the challenge. I started getting organised for this not long after last year's challenge ended, combing through lists of blocks and choosing ones that I liked.

I left it for a while and then a couple of months back I went back through the blocks and made a short list of ones that I would make and then selected my blocks for each day. 

Then I started to make the blocks. Life can get hectic and I wanted to be sure to have the blocks done before the days came up that I would actually need to have the block done. 

Patchworkers all know that all those blocks out there that you see in quilts have their own special names. Some, particularly traditional blocks, can have multiple names. Funnily enough it seems that the more common and traditional the block the more names it can have. Patchworkers like to design their own blocks and quilts and in doing so give them names. Because patchwork has been out there for such a long time there isn't much new under the sun and many of these new designs and blocks are really just variations on a theme of blocks that have been around for decades.

Life has a way of ... well getting in the way of blogging. And as seems to happen to me April this year is going to be very busy.

The first year I did the challenge (2015) Fangirl, Fixit Guy (my husband) and I went to Malaysia for a week (plus travel days) in April. 

2016 I had 2 weddings (one of which i was bridesmaid for) in Yeppoon and Newcastle (that's were 1500 kms apart.) Then we travelled down to Melbourne to visit with our oldest son (The Beast) and to pick up our new caravan. 

This year I will be home for the first week, then I will be flyng to Brisbane to go see My Fair Lady at the theatre and will stay on with Fangirl till Easter when our family will gather together in the Gold Coast Hinterland to celebrate Fixit Guy's 60th birthday. I am really looking forward to that.

We will then have another week in Brisbane before we head down to Sydney to see my family and to celebrate FG's actual birthday and then return home in early May! So I felt I once again had to get really organised.

I have not only completed all the blocks but I have assembled the quilt top and back and am hoping that by the time I leave for Brisbane I will have managed to get it quilted. I really really really want to have a completed quilt by the end of April and because I am going away that means having it done by April 6th.

I have also pre written most of my posts or at least started to and scheduled them. This is what I have done in past years to help me keep up only I have now found out that this year the organisers of the challenge have changed the way they do things. In the past you put your name on a master list and the other participants in the challenge could go to that list and work their way through it in order to visit other A to Z challenge blogs. 

Because of the challenges to the organisers and moderators of the challenge to maintain the list (weeding out non participants, dead links etc) this year they are going to a daily tweet or facebook link up for participants to go to. That means my scheduling of posts isn't going to be as effective. I am still going to need to tweet the links and comment on facebook each day. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

WIP Whoopsday -

I'm running late again with my WIP post but its still Wednesday somewhere in the world.

Having been away for part of the week and travelling for 2 full days I haven't accomplished as much sewing this week as I would have liked. I did take my smaller sewing machine with me to Brisbane (and have left it there to use when I am down in a couple of weeks time). I had planned to do the March clue in Charlotte Hawks mystery quilt which had been due to be released the day before we left. However due to severe storms taking out power and cable services in the area she lives in she was late in getting it posted. It was released the day we left to come home.

I did work on the backing for the A to Z quilt, getting the 3 blocks (2 remade and the Z block) pieced together with left over fabric from the second border and lots of letter/school/writing related fabric from my stash.
I bought some word fabric to complete the backing 

and have realised that I didn't get enough so more fiddling about to get it big enough

I made 3 items for the Comic Con stall - 2 Easy Cosmetic Bags and a boxy zipper bag. The boxy bag looked so bad it didn't rate a photo.





Once home I was able to get the March Clue completed in Charlotte's Mystery quilt. All the units are now assembled and next month we are to be told how to assemble the units into blocks. They are looking really great and I am looking forward to seeing the completed blocks and quilt.



Its midway through the month so its time to review the monthly goals I set myself.

  Complete my secret project I've made good progress on this
   Make 20 items for Comic Con Stall I've made good progress here too. The 8 teeny tiny pouches, one ear bud pouch, a large messenger bag and 2 easy cosmetic purses. So I've made 12 items - over half way. I am now awaiting delivery of more of the lobster swivel clips and zippers so the small pouches are on hold but I can get on with more messenger bags cause the magnetic clips are here.

 

Complete March clue of Charlotte's mystery Quilt.I got this done over the last 2 days Yay


                     

4 A to Z Challenge quilt I've started work on it (as detailed above) The top is completed and I'm working on the back. 

Work on En Provence. I have organised to quilt this on Friday using our club long arm. Lorraine is going to help me load it on the frame and then I am going to try to do a pantogram for the first time 

So - I'm making good progress with all 5 of my goals 

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday


Monday, March 13, 2017

Smunday Stash Report - late again this week

My week can be divided into 2 distinct parts - productive and not so much. LOL. At the beginning of the week I was able to get stuck into a variety of projects, all for Handmade With Love, particularly for the Comic Con stall we will have. Its not till September but since I will be out of the country from the end of July and have some other travel before then I am trying to get as much as I can made before I then.

This month I have set myself a challenge to make 20 things for the stall (I managed 12 last month) but had done nothing in the first week or so.

This week I got my act into gear and I made 8 Teeny Tiny Zipper Purses, using this pattern by So Sew Easy. .41m


 I made one ear bud pouch - Tardis fabric is so cool .07m


  and I tried out this new messenger bag pattern by Crazy Little Projects. 1.87m



Its big enough to carry a full size laptop (mine pictured is 15" and there is heaps of room for a bigger one) I talked about the hassles I had with it (all stemming from me assuming I knew what to do.. hint. I didn't ) on my Wip Wednesday blog post 

No purchases this week so all profit!

Week 10
Fabric used          2.35
Fabric added        0.00
Net usage            2.35m

Year to Date     
Fabric used       61.03
Fabric Added     21.60
Net Usage        39.43m

linking up with Patchwork Times


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WIP Wednesday

How has your week been? Have you been making progress on your WIPs? I've been busy and very happy with the progress I have made on a number of fronts.

I unpicked the dog cushion that I had mentioned last week that I felt was over stuffed and removed some of the stuffing and it was then much more suitable for the dog to snuggle onto... he no longer looked like he was going to bounce straight off it. I got 2 more completed as well so Jack and Digby have new beds in the laundry where they sleep at night as well as 2 cushions in the rumpus room/sewing area. That is all that they need so future dog beds will be given away as they get stuffed.

I have finished off 2 more secret project quilt tops and have made the backings for them so I have somewhat of a quilting pile up....4 quilts and backs ready to be quilted and one more that I am making the backing for now.

Today at Patchwork I put the borders on A to Z Challenge Quilt.

 Its ended up much bigger than anticipated (90" square). adding 3 borders does that too a quilt! Sorry I have no photos of the completed quilt top... but its supposed to be a secret till A to Z blog challenge starts 1st April. This is the 3rd border fabric

I am working on the backing for it (as mentioned above) I have 3 blocks left over from the front to incorporate - the Z block plus the 2 blocks that got replaced on the front. I have a little of the border fabric left over to go on the back as well but I am going to have to work out what to do with the rest of it.

At Handmade With Love yesterday Peggy had cut out a couple of little dresses and some rompers. I am not big on clothes sewing, but its cutting things out that causes me the most angst. With them already cut and Peggy on hand to say what to sew when and where I was able to get stuck in and between us we got the 2 dresses made in the morning and they looked really lovely. I forgot to photograph them too (not doing too well here am I)

I have been busy with a some other HWL projects. One of my goals this month is to get 20 items sewn for the Comic Con stall I am having in September. Over the last 2 days I managed to sew 8 of the Teeny Tiny zipper pouches. (pattern is here on Sew So Easy)

 and one ear buds pouch. (no photo of it either... I forgot) So 9 things down and 11 to go!

I started working on a different Messenger bag tonight. I did a number of major stuff ups because instead of reading the instructions properly I made some assumptions and they were WRONG. I had a lot of unpicking to do.... I'd assumed that the big piece I cut was the front and back of the bag and the small piece I cut was the flap cause that is what they had been on the kids messenger bags I've been making. (despite them being called front and back) The big piece was actually the back and the flap. I had stitched the pockets on incorrectly and also when I'd cut the one way fabric in half and sewed it so that the pieces would be the right way when folded... yeah they were both upside down. I managed to get them all fixed up but have had to call it a night with only a little more stitching done. The pattern looks good though and works well. You can find it here on Crazy Little Projects.

I've also restarted my crotcheting. Last October I offered to make 12 water bottle carriers for a Kyros Outside walk that is being held in North Queensland (Its part of the Emmaus movement we belong to) I got 8 made pretty quickly but it has languished somewhat but I found the stuff a few days ago and have since made one more and nearly finished a second. I have a return car trip to Brisbane this coming weekend which is about 20 hours driving - only some of which I will be driving for so hopefully I will get a few done then.

Linking up with 

WIPs on Wednesday