Saturday, August 18, 2018

Additions to the To Do List...

Earlier in the month, I wrote up my new months To Do List, adding some cleaning jobs to attend to in the sewing shed... and a brand new project... to make up for it :0)

Before I could even contemplate starting that shiny new project, I promised myself that I really needed to get some of those jobs crossed off first.  So after cleaning off the sofa, I have been spending odd little bits of time getting the Month 6 of the Homespun Magazine Tilda fabric BOM finished. 

I really enjoyed this block as it has the perfect amount of simple applique and piecing... although some of those pieces were a bit smaller than I totally enjoyed.   This little saw tooth star was 4 1/2" - a bit fiddley especially with that linen background.

This has also been the first block that I made major fabric substitutions as there were a whole heap of fabrics in the lineup and I felt it was a bit unnecessary to have SO MANY and I was happy to choose some fabrics that gave a bit more contrast.  It is still very floral... and floral on top of floral... but at least the piecing is now visible.

So today was the day to have a look at the first months requirements for my new project!  The Timeless Tradition BOM by Bits n Pieces.  To be honest the cover design leaves a lot to be desired, however I had seen it made up in another colourway and loved the crisp colours against a plain background, the combination of pieced and appliqued blocks... and the neat setting.

The pattern comes with a few different variations, including different sizes, and applique levels.  No surprise that I'm going for the 90x90 version with applique elements in the corners.

Remember this assortment of stash fabrics?  All loosely chosen to match with the floral fabric on the right.  I chose a Bella Solid - Feather - for the plain background; it picks up the neutral tones in the floral although is slightly lighter and will look crisp and lovely against the mixture of coloured fabrics.

The hardest part of the day was choosing fabrics to make the first 12" block from.  It was just my luck that the only block that I really didn't like the look of was the first one!  So I decided to choose the most beautiful combination of fabrics.

And my block turned out beautiful!  I think choosing a mid toned fabric for the odd stripe element in the corners has helped with the overall look of the block.

There were also two 6" blocks to make this month... so I chose a green block...

And a red/orange one.

My accomplishments for the day... very happy!

I am loving returning to quite traditional patchwork designs... just updated a little with some fun fabric choices.  Don't know if I can wait until next month to do some more on this project.

Monday, August 6, 2018

July monthly goals

Each month seems to roll around quicker and quicker.  August is going to turn in December real quick!  Determined to get the last few items crossed off my July To Do List... it has been a busy few weekends.

The Tilda BOM components came together into a cute block.

And with four blocks completed, I can start to see how it is going to look together.  And it is going to look FINE!

Although completed was a little bit of an overstatement, as I still had quite a bit of the blanket stitch to do on Month Three.

But I finally got all these little bits completed over the weekend.  Woohoo!  So satisfying!

And the Red RSC block was another late contender, but these blocks are so straightforward, that once the pieces are cut out, it is just a pleasure to put together.

I got most of the pieces fused for the Backyard Birds red block - but managed to lose the beak and eye fusible shapes.  He looks a bit weird without these bits.

Yes, another little task that got finished off on the weekend.  Much better.  Placement of the eyes and beak are the most important part of this process.  It somehow makes the pieces become a bird.  Here I have also shown the dot fabric that I have been using to cut the eyes from, which sneakily gives a lot of life and a bit of a glint to their eyes.  A great fabric that has been in the stash for EVER, and has been well worth holding onto all these years.  You never know when something is going to be a perfect match.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Homespun Magazine BOM

Monthly goals disappear in a puff of smoke when I get my teeth into another project.

Catching up before the month is over, the last couple of days I have focused on Block 4 of the Tilda fabrics BOM from the Homespun Magazine.  This month is made up of a few smaller units... so it is easier to get it done in small chunks.

I started with the 6 inch Ohio star blocks (which are probably my favourite block) before getting stuck into the simple applique blocks.

If you were to compare this to the magazine original, you would find some differences... but that is the least of my worries and I'm very happy with how things are turning out.

Cutting these 1.5 inch sashing squares was a pain in the neck, but I got it done.  Only one more applique block then I can sew all this together.  One more day of school holidays, then back to work on Monday.  I can do it!

Friday, July 13, 2018

All the Stuff...

Sometimes life just has a way of getting in the way of things... doesn't it?  Three weeks ago I had a call from school to say my daughter was sick, at the sick bay (there were bugs going around) and needed to be picked up.  By the time I got there - less than 30 minutes - I was informed my son had dislocated his knee cap, and was waiting for the ambulance to arrive... so the last couple of weeks have been a bit up in the air - looking after Dylan when he needed extra care - checking in with Nadia who turned out just had a bit of a cold coming on which started with a high temperature and general crappiness - and finishing up the last week of work before the {well deserved} school holidays started.

Now almost at the end of the first week of the two week term holiday, Dylan has attended a specialist appointment about his knee {fortunately he seems to have avoided major injury - and just needs to be careful and avoid sports for another month before he can use it fully}.  Still a little bit sore at times and a bit swollen, he was very lucky!

Nadia and I have both spent the first week of the holidays doing bedroom cleaning, sorting and tidying.  Her room is finally moving from a childhood bedroom, into more of a teenage bedroom - a bit of a bittersweet moment. 

Nadia inherited the smallest room in the house - and we installed these shelves for all her little girlie stuff.  It didn't remain this tidy for very long - but it did look good, and keep track of a lot of stuff, for quite a while.

The toys have turned into clothes storage with sleek grey baskets.  Still a work in progress, but I am really hoping that this will be finished by the end of the holidays.  One week to go!

Before Xmas I located a fabric shop in the US that sold fabric in pre-cut bundles complete with a pattern that suited the fabric.  This was awesome because the hardest thing about buying dress fabrics is judging the weight - and matching it to the pattern requirements.  Although they didn't ship to NZ, they put me on to a shipping go between that organised that side of things.  And so finally, I had a rather large bundle arrive with three different patterns and fabrics enclosed (for quite an exorbitant postal charge I might add and I'll never do it again!)

 I chose a pattern for a jacket and black "sweater knit" fabric, half because I quite liked the simple nature of the jacket that I thought would be a useful addition to my wardrobe, and half because I wanted to know what "sweater knit" was.  I chose view A.

As the fabric was calculated for the view and size that used the most, I worked out there should be some left over as I was sewing the smallest size on the pattern, and chose the shortest, sleekest view.  With the left over yardage, I had the extra cool idea of seeing whether I could squeeze this Bibi dress from Tilly and the Buttons book Stretch from the same length of fabric - YES! I was off and running and I cut the two items out at the same time and commenced sewing.

 It turns out that sweater knit is just a relatively heavyweight, maybe double? knit.  Still not entirely sure.  I sewed up the dress in the size for my measurements - not noticing that it has negative ease, which means it is designed to fit smaller than your body measurements... not a look I was going for.

So, yeah... I made a dress that is too small... while simultaneously sewing a jacket that ended up too big.
I have some weird pulling on one side, and it hangs rather loose.  The collar also sits a bit weirdly at the bottom.
I am not completely disheartened by this, and next I'm hoping to make a dress from this book...

... from a grey and black stripe.

We shall see!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Wow, what a month!

Me and technology are just not happening at the moment.  First up the photo problem.  Then the blogger comment thing... which I was a bit slow to the party about and hadn't realised it wasn't just me that was having problems.  And then, to top it all off - the space bar on my computer stopped working.  This really has been most frustrating.  So... after a couple of short and sweet posts made on a small tablet (I will never get used to not touch typing) and a very swift replacement of the keyboard on our laptop, I am back in the swing of things.  I have done the "suggested fix" for the comment situation, and am still looking for a better solution for the photo thing - but I will get there!

Right... sewing... I have been getting lots done - just not exactly what I had planned to do.

After buying a new walking foot, I had to finish the final border on the quilt I wanted to baste, so that got done first - then the massive task of pin basting a large quilt in a space that was slightly too small.  This was the first quilt I had tried basting after reorganising my sewing and ironing area - and I worked out pretty quickly that my layout was not ideal.

Time for another change around - this time moving the sewing table along the other wall - and moving some odd furniture items to leave more free open floor space.  We tend to move junk out into this room - and it is a really bad habit.  This room is not the prettiest... but is the only room we own that is even vaguely big enough for basting.

I also created a bit of a new seating area around my design wall... I figured it was easy enough to move the coffee table out to reach the bottom of the design wall when I need it, and makes quite a cosy place to sit and contemplate.  AND I can stand on the coffee table to reach the top of the wall - so maybe an added bonus.  As you can see - there is more things looking for homes before I can sit down however!

My main cutting zone... on top of the chest freezer and secondary sewing zone...

The view from the outside door - and the white door you can see here goes through to the other sewing/basting space shown above.

I did get my quilt straight line quilted in the manner I wanted - and it appeared to work quite well.  Sewing cream stitching lines on cream fabric does not lend itself to halfway decent photos... so you'll have to excuse the lack of photo evidence.  The project has now been put aside for a little while so I could focus back on those other pesky To Do list items.

I managed to fuse all the pieces for my Homespun Magazine Block Three BOM.

And have started the long and tedious task of machine blanket stitching these...

I also finished up the teal/blue/green RSC block for this month.

I ordered a new pattern - an apron dress that just fascinates me, and bought some odd bits of fabric and a length of premade bias tape, thanks to Fibresmith in Australia.

And after a successful sewing day at The Country Yard yesterday, I came home with some new fat quarters... loosely inspired by the coffee mug fabric.

For some reason the green fabric would not photograph well above - it is much more accurate in the photo below - although even greener in real life.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Fabric, books and blocks!

I finally found some striped fabric I liked... with the intention of sewing another Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress.

BEWARE of bargain fabric from Spotlight!  Check out that cutting line, that was approximately where the straight was on the folded bolt!  I washed and dried the fabric, giving it a spin in the dryer to help remove all the fold lines.  Then spent some time with my chalk marker and traced out the full pattern, flipping the pattern pieces instead of cutting on the fold.  It worked a treat and now I just need to take photos of the finished dress.

I have also added to my pattern stash.  I succumbed to these sewing with knits books, even though i struggle to find knitted fabric i like and can afford, and i really like these Indygo Junction patterns for woven fabric, and hope they turn out something like the pictures.

On the patchwork agenda, I completed two new cupcake blocks.  These are made with 1.5in finished half square triangles making a 6in finished block.  This time I tried using three charm squares plus background and I really like the effect.

The blocks use exactly the same layout with a couple of colour adjustments.  Amazing how different they look.

Now to add on the three frames to make them into a 12in block like these ones.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

BOM Progress

Just a little post as I highlight my progress on Block 2 of the Homespun magazine Tilda BOM.

This block is an interesting mixture of piecing and EPP with a dresden fan block and a scallop block made with these paper pieces, a heart applique block and pieced drunkards path blocks. 

I completed all of these with fusible web and machine blanket stitch!

The scallops were the most complicated, with a lot of different fabrics used.

I decided to simplify the Dresden fan by using only two fabrics.  The bottom set of petals I cut as one shape, then laid the blue single petals on top, with the central circle placed last.

Once I worked out the drunkards path fourpatches were 2 inch finished, I knew I was going to fuse them.  I had intended to fuse the multicolored inner circle too, but once I'd had got this far, it made just as much sense to fuse a circle in a single colour.

And it was a complete no brainer that the applique would be fused!