Sunday, August 11, 2019

The importance of mini goals

After patting myself on the back for being so organised, August has been passing me by with barely a skerrit of progress.  Although I jotted down some monthly goals... I neglected to write down any mini goals... resulting in almost nothing being achieved.  Some of this I will blame on winter and rain and cold and general dreariness.  Some of it is just poor planning and minimal motivation.

So, this weekend it all changed and I wrote those goals... And you know what?  Quite a lot of them happened!

Last weekend I got partly through the next This Little Piggy block...

And it took most of the week to decide on chicken colours and get some eyes and nostrils on the cow... And decide on block backgrounds and placements.

Filling up nicely.

So the mini goal for the next block was to trace the elements.  Done!  And you know what... it was pretty easy to do the trunk... then the tree... the piggies were a bit more detailed, but in the end not really that much work.  And look, another block ready for blanket stitch.

Now we're really getting somewhere!

Oops, forgot the sun!  This is going to be positioned partly outside the block so is not attached until the sashing and borders are completed.

Also on the agenda was to cut another Meadowland block ready to stitch up during the week. 

And to start piecing the Dash to the Finish quilt into rows.  Row 1 is done.

I have started construction of Nadias half square triangle quilt and have been using this as an intermittent leader and ender project.  My goal for this month is to get this bottom left third constructed.

Just need a few more half square triangles to fill in the blanks! 

I may be sick of half square triangles by the end of this one 😂

Saturday, August 3, 2019

As July slides into August...

The start of August means that another birthday has been celebrated over this last week.

I had ordered some fabric at the end of June which finally arrived... must have been having a pretty fabric moment while I was ordering, because it is very PRETTY AND FLORAL!

Yellow is not one of my go to colours, but I am trying to buy it more frequently and especially when I see one that i actually like!

These two belong to the same range.  Love me some dots.

These two greens and the pink are from the same range, although the light background floral stripe fits in very nicely with it.

And this was a remnant... Love it!

I got 4 yards of this rich orangey red floral.  I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with it, but it had to be bought!

I also spent some money at my local shop The Country Yard, adding to my fat 1/4 and 1/8th collection and got some notions as well... new pins, a small square ruler and a hem gauge.

This fabric has a nice selection of fun and neutral colours to match up with.

Hmmm... these all work in nice together.  And see that yellow, already working its way in.

Choosing fat 1/8ths is like picking candy...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The end of the holidays...

Two weeks of school holidays has meant reduced work hours and supposedly more time to sew.  I spent 5 partial days at work, took Dylan to a scan for his knee, and took the car for a service.  I managed to clean my gas stove top and glass rangehood hood which had both been neglected for way too long.  Several days were spent with low grade headaches... just general blahs... and doing Mum taxi duty as Nadia required this trip or that; so not surprisingly, I haven't sewn as much as I had intended.

I did get caught up in the Quilty Love patterns Quilty Stars sew along.  Making four scrappy star blocks (with pattern variations) to make a baby size quilt for a new baby within the wider whanau (family).

One block...

Became two with variation...

Became 4 with sashing variation...

And that plus sign extended to the outer border and resulted in a grey border variation...

And some final strips of a dark star print top and bottom to make a perfectly sized and shaped baby quilt!

One of my goals for this holidays was to get some clothes sewing done.  I had purchased the Megan Nielsen River dress pattern when it first came out... printed it, and then second guessed my decision and left it.  River is a raglan sleeve reversible dress or top with a round neck one side and a V neck the other.  My initial plan was to wear it loose as a tunic over a long sleeve top. 

I used a fine cotton broadcloth with lots of drape that had been on a super special from Spotlight for my  (optimistically wearable) muslin.  With front, back, sleeve and pockets it is a straightforward cutting and sewing project.  At the last minute I decided to omit the in seam pockets as I wanted to experiment with adding elastic at the waist and thought the pockets might not sit well.

I decided to not follow the instructions for the neckline (which should be a visible band) and used a purchased yellow bias binding which I sewed so that it was fully turned to the wrong side.  At this stage it was looking very hospital gown! 

Although I followed the instructions and checked the tutorial, I found the underarm seam did not sit well.  Although the instructions did not mention trimming or clipping the seam, it obviously needed it.

I restitched closer to the seamline with a mock overlocking stitch and trimmed that seam right back.

It did end up sitting much better although I always have the option of clipping that seam if needed.  Although I was worried about the raglan sleeve not sitting right... it actually looks very nice.  I'm not sure whether the tucks under the arm are how it is supposed to look.  While I thought I might wear this over a long sleeved top, I would need to size up as there is not enough room under the arms or through the sleeve.  I also think it would need to be a heavier weight fabric for a tunic length, and this lightweight fabric looks better cinched.

Turns out I prefer the V neck at the front, but no matter how I trimmed or sewed the round neck, I couldn't get the bias to sit flat.

Which is expertly illustrated here!  It is also quite low for a back neck which I don't like.

And sorry for a poorly lit selfie but you can see here that there is definite possibility with this.  It sits nicely through the shoulders and bust and the V neckline is a nice shape and depth.  I hemmed the one sleeve, and at this stage I am going to recut a different shaped neck, cut a neck facing and see if that helps.  If I can nail the neckline, I will probably hem it into a top length and consider it wearable.  If the neck is not fixable I might play with a waist casing for elastic insertion for future possibilities.

I am wondering whether this pattern is not close enough to what I mentally pictured.  Clothes sewing is tricky!  This is why my experiments tend to end before a finished wearable garment is achieved, because I can't be bothered with starting the process again.  As this pattern has so few pieces... I can see light at the end of the tunnel, but looks like I won't have a finished project by the end of the holidays 😣

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Six Monthly Review

Wow!  I can't believe we are halfway through the year already.  Looking through my planning journal on the one hand I feel like I've made some huge progress, and on the other I still feel like there is so much to do.  Of course, both statements are correct..., I just shouldn't have so much on my plate.

On my To Quilt list I have three quilts completely finished, and one more that is about three quarters completed.  This is EPIC and I am sure that this would not have been achieved without this whole planning process.  Looking forward to next month I am planning to finish the rest of my Modern Applique hand stitched binding and continue with hand quilting the 3 applique blocks.  I also want to start basting the Trip Around the World quilt as i have a quilting plan more or less formulated.

Harder to judge progress with my WIP list  (and maybe this could do with a better layout for future endeavours).  Although I have completely finished/quilted one - Loosely Woven, and finished the top of another - Patchwork City.

I have been plugging away at Dash to the Finish, which started the year with 3 or 4 blocks... and now there are just 4 blocks to complete a square setting!  These are 17" blocks so quite large and effective for the large scale florals.

Timeless Traditions has taken a back seat due to the quilting going on earlier in the year, but having caught up with the blanket stitch, yesterday I remade the block that had been irritating me...

And I feel it sits quite nicely with the other blocks and balances out the other low contrast blocks.

I've just got one more seam and this section is fully complete!  This is the top three rows, with only two more rows to finish the centre panel... this means well over halfway!

Meadowland has become a long and slow piecing process.  15 blocks complete so that's another 10 to have a 5 x 5 layout.  In hindsight I should have cut out all the fabrics in the beginning (even though this is not the way I work).

Laid out like this it has a very soothing palette.  Long term I can see this one getting sewn together by the end of the year.

Although I made a list of projects to start, I haven't started any of the ones I should have, instead picking up the Meadowland and the new This Little Piggy applique BOM.  I have accumulated fabric for a Thimbleblossom log cabin pattern and I'm thinking about a scrap project... even though last year's scrap project is unfinished.

Once again, the hardest thing is not starting new projects.  I have some clothes sewing ambitions also but I always find this the hardest to get around to!

Rock on the second half of 2019!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

One finish... one start

Patchwork City is now a finished top!  After more months than i really want to admit to, the final seams were sewn... including borders... And now it just needs to wait for its turn in the quilting line.

I made the final border slightly smaller than pattern so the whole quilt is around 86 inches square.

This little dot was totally unplanned but is probably my favouritest thing!

This pattern and the solids bundle I worked with really pushed my limits on colours I am comfortable working with.

It also stretched my piecing abilities with heaps of different construction ideas and various different angles. Not necessarily my favourite, but a great learning experience.

Getting block 25 done was a mission in itself... but getting the last few quilt seams sewn was easy due to getting the bulk of the construction finished earlier in the year and keeping up to date with piecing each row as the blocks were finished.

Ok, now onto the new quilt.  I saw a mystery BOM on instagram run by The Red Boot Quilt Company called This Little Piggy and fell in love with the cute farm animal shapes.

Some fun fabrics for the piggies...

The blocks are large at 17 inches including the frame.  Makes the applique relatively quick and painless.

I think I'll use this striped fabric for the binding.

And partial construction of the centre block... took me a long time to narrow down the fabrics.  The blanket stitch will help differentiate their skintone from the background and highlight them holding hands.

This quilt is destined for grandchildren in Australia (two little girls which explains the girls on the block)... although I have warned that the finishing of this quilt may well not happen until after Xmas.