Sunday, September 9, 2018

September catch up

Today I spent some time looking at the Month Five Homespun Tilda BOM - the central block of the nine patch.

Looking at the instructions briefly, it seemed to be mostly embroidery.  Gasp!  That could not be good.  I made up the pieced background per the instructions, and started laying out some applique elements based on the embroidered designs instead.

Keeping it fairy simple, and after a few tweaks, and shifts around - I have ended up with a design I really like that shows off the fabrics as much as possible (after all, that background is pretty full on) and it is all fused down.

I still have the blanket stitch to do, but overall I think it looks very happy in the centre of the design.

Six blocks of nine done!  Over half way!

Also on the agenda this week is a hmm... new project... if I say that really quickly will anyone really notice?

An insta-friend is running a sew along of the Patchwork City book by Elizabeth Hartman, and I decided to follow along.  With a few different options for final layouts in the book - I decided I really like the first layout which is a rainbow grid - and finding that I had a bundle of 25 solid fat quarters in a somewhat rainbow meant that half the hard work had already been done.

I numbered each of the fat quarters so that I could reference the progression of colour with the quilt layout - and found that pulling matching fabrics out of my stash was embarrassingly easy.

Having sewn a few Elizabeth Hartman quilts before I knew that there would be a lot of pieces - and that some of them would probably be quite tiny (this square in the middle is 1" x 1" cut).  Laying the bits out on my big square ruler makes it easy to cart them off to my sewing machine to sew.

And so the first block was sewn.  I managed to get really weird stretching with this one... even though all the pieces went together really easily and accurately.

Another couple of afternoons sewing and I had completed the full set of 3 multisized blocks that makes up the first week.

And completed with the Robert Kaufman Essex Linen "Black" sashing.

Luckily the sashing has helped to pull those distorted seams - and this black linen has such a great texture and provides ample contrast.

As these blocks require quite small quantities of fabric - I managed to mix in some of my scraps too.  Always a bonus!

The blocks sit a bit awkwardly on the design wall colourwise... but variety is the spice of life

And I have continued to play with the Timeless Traditions BOM blocks, starting the addition of the setting triangles around the 6" blocks.  And isn't this little coral block just the cutest?

I'm using one of the lighter neutral sketch fabrics - which is actually perfect! I wanted something that was similar to the Feather background - but provided a bit of contrast... and set off the colours in the blocks... couldn't be more perfect.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Another week of August!

*Gasp* does this mean I might actually get the rest of my To Do list finished??

For some reason I feel like I have a bonus week.  Another week of odd moments of sewing, plus a sewing day at my favourite shop The Country Yard, and I have managed to get the RSC Orange block completed...

And I *accidentally* did another months worth of blocks in the Timeless Traditions BOM, with the 12" block...

And the two 6" blocks...

Just quietly, I seem to be addicted to these blocks and I'm thinking that this project could easily push all the other projects to the side.

This weekend I even managed to get my sleepout/sewing space vacuumed and the bathroom floor cleaned and four loads of washing done!  What a bonus.  All that is left on my list now is to do the black outlines on three Backyard Birds blocks, and complete the hand quilting on seven crosses (Cross Tiles)... very do-able if I don't get distracted.

In a bit of an aside... I am currently trialing the "Flatter" solution which you spray on your block before ironing... to make the seams flatter.  After a few test sprays, I am thinking that it does actually work and they do seem to sit flatter!  Which is just really totally weird, but if it works... I figure go with it!

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!