Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sewing and keeping dry

 It's raining here, which seems to be more often than not these days. Now I think I know what it must be like to live in the UK with endless days of rain, grey skies and blah weather. The only upside with all this crappy weather is that with nothing better to do, I sat and hand sewed the binding on South Pacific Stars aka Hopscotch quilt.  I was determined to finish this before the end of the month. At least it was nice to work on something bright and cheerful instead of looking at the rain pelting against the windows.

Until the weather improves I won't be able to take some decent photos of the full quilt.

A close up of the front and my minimal quilting I used Aurifil thread for the first time and I'm very impressed with it. I will be purchasing more, I much prefer it to Rasant thread.

The back with a stray thread that I didn't see when I took the photo, sigh.

The binding, it just had to be stripey.

In  my ongoing quest to become more organised, (something that is highly unlikely to happen),  I found these containers, 12 inches square and about 1 1/2 inches deep.

They are the perfect size to store blocks I'm working on, especially the blocks for the Circle Game.

The A4 page pattern directions for the block doesn't quite fit flat in the container, but it does fit and  I can place all the pieces, the pattern, thread, needles and scissors together in there and it keeps the pieces nice and flat. Great for transporting hand piecing projects.

Last week in Brisbane I went to The Quilters Store and found some lovely flannel for the backing for the scooter baby quilt. I had already started to piece together a backing but when I saw this I just had to have it. I love flannel backing on baby quilts.

I like The Quilters Store, they have a huge range of fabric and they sell Aurifil thread too, yay.

On a final note, I mentioned the rain at the top of this post. As of today, since the 1st January we have had 1150mm (over 45 inches) of rain. That's over 1 metre in less than 2 months.  I live on the Sunshine Coast, ha, I think it should be renamed the Very Wet and Not Very Much Sunshine Coast. That's why I  originally named my blog Sunshine? Paradise? both words are questionable, especially this summer.

Edited to add: Can someone please tell me how facebook is the main referring website for this post? Can you let me know how by leaving a comment how you found this post please?  I have had more than triple the usual number of readers for this post.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Favourite Things Friday

I used to live in a quite hilly area.  There weren't any bike or footpaths in my old neighbourhood and the speed limit on the busy road was 80kmph (50mph).

One of the many benefits of my new neighbourhood is it's much more pedestrian and bike friendly, there are footpaths and bike paths to ride on, roads with speed limits of 50kmph,  and no steep hills to climb. 

So I just had to buy myself something fun.

I love it.  I love the colour, it makes it go faster and makes me look cooler!  BP and I ride around the neighbourhood when she is here on the weekends.  It's so much fun and it's great exercise.

I had to have a bike with a basket. I haven't used it yet, but it looks cute, eventually I'll make a fabric lining for it.

I'm linking up with Shay for Favourite Things Friday.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Plan B


Do you remember this bundle I put together the other day? I was thinking about making a baby quilt for a boy.
Playing with my stash

BP had other ideas. She is waaaaaaaaay closer in age to the mother-to-be than I am, and thought that frankly, my idea sucked.  So after far too long faffing around with more ideas, I came up with Plan B.
Which involved some of these


When I showed BP the result of Plan B,  I was underwhelmed by the lack of enthusiasm from her, and now I'm not convinced Plan B was any better than Plan A.
It's not quite as bright as in the photo above. At this stage the grey will be the binding, I think it needs a "frame".

Baby quilt

Why do I second guess myself?????????????????????? AND why do I listen to a 19 year old?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Playing with my stash

I'm back to doing what I love the most - playing with my stash.
I like nothing better than to sit on the floor in my sewing room, search out my fabric and play. I love finding fabrics that work together. It takes time, partly to find what I'm looking for as I'm not a very organised person, and partly because each stack evolves. I add fabric, I cull it, and it's so satisfying.

My latest playtime produced

Playing with my stash
a possible wall hanging for BP's room.

the beginnings of a baby quilt for a boy.

Quite often nothing eventuates from my playtime, but I don't mind, it's just nice to be able to play.

Starflowers are coming along too..........slowly but I'm making progress.

I'm now trying to sew in pieces individually or in small groups to make it easier to attach. I gave up making a star and then adding it as it was very difficult. I wish I'd thought of this sooner. This piece will slot into the gap on the bottom left hand side in the photo below.
The papers in the back are becoming more and more crumpled as it has become bigger and I'm working on it.  I've pressed it a couple of times but it's a losing battle and I've pulled some of the papers out already but honestly it's almost easier with them left in. I'm just going to put up with it until I finish it. I am loving how it looks though. Can't wait to show you the finished panel.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Paper pieced block and a circle

In the last few days I found some some of my mojo and motivation to work on a couple of projects. Firstly I tackled January's paper pieced block by Katy from The Littlest Thistle. I had the devil of a time with this one. It wasn't Katy's fault at all. I just had brain fog when I was making it. I think I'll use this one as a test block and try again. Considering it's paper pieced there are some decidedly wonky lines in this block.

The Amitie Circle Game block.  I can't believe I hadn't bothered to make this block below already. It was dead easy, although I took the liberty of making it my way and not Jenny's way in the pattern.  Instead of making templates for the strips and then hand sewing them together, I used a ruler and rotary cut the strips longer than was needed. Sewed the strips together, then made a template of the circle block from the pattern provided, and cut around it to get the circular shape, using a rotary cutter. So easy, and no stress, hmm, well almost no stress. It would have been quicker if I double checked and not cut out the strips first time around 1/2 inch too thin.
The third strip from the right is a very light cotton voile. The fabric that was sent out each month was very varied. Generally quilting cotton but sometimes voiles or linens. I find the voiles are quite difficult to hand sew as they are "slippery". I've been avoiding using them but as this block was machine sewn I thought I should use at least one.

This block is so far out of my controlled scrappy comfort zone, I'm not in love with it. I've already chosen the fabrics for the next block and you will see that they are much more controlled.

Tonight, I'm going to be watching TV whilst working on those pesky starflowers.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Favourite Things Friday

 I love living a few minutes from this view.  It used to take me 20+ minutes to drive to it. Now it's just around the corner.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Putting It Out There

I'm trying to stay accountable, folks. This is a list of what I would like to make in the next few months/years! Feel free to nag me occasionally and remind me of this list.

Do something with these 2 1/2 inch squares.
2 1/2 inch squares

The original plan was to make something influenced by this.
Taken from here
Now I'm having serious reservations whether I can stick at sewing a squillion hexies. If you can come up with any other ideas of what I can do with about 500 x 2 1/2 inch squares that are not accurately cut, as they were for EPP so accuracy was not an issue, help me out, pretty please.

Quilt for Karma, the dog. Another one, so that he has somewhere else to sit besides my very nice rug.

A quilt to go over the back of the new sofa so that the cats can't  sit on the back and sharpen their claws, bastards.
For that, I'm posting this photo of him.
Try to complete some more Amitie and Material Obsession BOM blocks.

Keep up with Katy and her Everything And The Kitchen Sink paper piecing blocks.

A wall hanging for my bedroom. I'd love to start on that but I need to buy more fabric, argh. I hardly have any fabric at all in  the colour I need, typical. I have hundreds lots of yards in every other colour but a total of about half a yard of washed out denim blue.
It's a little more blue in real life.

FInish the quilt I was supposed to make for my sister's *0th birthday last year. I finished the top in time to give it to her on her birthday. Maybe I should aim to make a backing and baste it this year and give it to her like that as this years present. Then I could take it back, again, and quilt and bind it and give it to her as next year's present.  

Gay Paris
Then there's all the WIP's I should finish. I'm not sure whether I should list them as I was so rude to someone about her 38 WIP's, cough, Katy, cough, and I'm worried I may come close.  

There's no time limit on any of these, except for my sister's, it's more as a reference to remind me of what I'm aiming for this year.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February challenge

I'm determined to finish some WIP's this year and to make time to sew.  I'm joining in for the first time ever, A lovely Year of Finishes at Bittersweet and Fiber of all Sorts and Just Three at Traceyjay Quilts.
I'm crossing fingers and toes that it will give me an incentive to manage my time a little better and push me to finish at least one thing each month.

1.  Finish South Pacific Stars,  a Thimble Blossoms pattern, Hopscotch.
Hopscotch quilt top finished.
 I'm half way through quilting it.
Quilting Hopscotch

2. Square up the starflowers to use as a quilt centre panel.
Starflowers progress

3.  Make one BOM block.
I started the Amitie Circle Game BOM in 2011, so far I think I've made 4 or 5 blocks. I'm determined to do at least one block this month.

traceyjay quilts

Friday, February 1, 2013

Favourite Things Friday

It's been quite a long time since I last joined in on FTF, and I'm determined to be a better friend and blogger this year.  My favourite thing this week is a new toy.
It's called a Seam-fix and it's the next best thing to a seam ripper, in fact I might even go so far as to say it's better than a seam ripper.  It fixes all the mess that the seam ripper makes.  No more little pieces of thread that you have to pick out of your project one by one when you have had to unpick a seam. Now I just run this little baby across the seam where the threads are lying and it pulls them out of the seam and into neat little piles that are a lot easier to pick up. It even comes with it's own seam ripper/unpicker. Best toy ever, until the next one, lol.

Now all we have to wait for, is my time management skills to improve. At the current time I think a kindergarten child or even Bailey the slothful cat, could manage time better than me. Hopefully in the not too distant future, I'll finally get down and jiggy with my sewing machine, and odds are, I'll need this baby within the first couple of hours of sewing.

Mosey on over to Mrs P at Quilting In My Pyjamas and see what she has scored.  I wonder if Shay will notice it missing after I've visited her. Note to self, take a mahoosive suitcase.