Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Goal ALYoF - Smashed!

Done and dusted.  Well, apart from the hand stitching down the binding bit...

Outer circles, segments, petals, crosses...


... sashing, cornerstones and cornerstone circles all handquilted using 12wt Aurifil cotton thread.


Click here to check out the original goal post

We've also been doing a little bit of recycling around here... this dolls cot which has become one of those unloved items in Nadia's room, is just the right size for the dog... she feels really special and it keeps her up off the cold floor.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Steps Forwards and Backwards and Forwards again...

Right, the bag.  The term erectile dysfunction comes to mind.  It just didn't stand up unaided.  I didn't take a photo, but it wasn't pretty.  I'd got to the last few steps of the bag construction, and knew it wasn't worth continuing, without having to do some sort of surgery.

Some bags are still useable even if they are a bit floppy.  This is not one of those bags - it needs to be self supporting so that you can load up all the pockets before filling the actual bag with loot.  It's a big bag, it will fit in lots of loot!

The last Saturday of the month is an open sewing day at The Country Yard.  Yay, perfect for some friendly advice and product assistance.  After much hmming and hawing... we decided it needed some bag interfacing - a sew in product that provides firmness and support. 

I unsewed where I'd attached the lining to the bag exterior, and removed the base of the lining from the lining sides.  Then I cut pieces of interfacing to fit from seam to seam along each of the four sides of the lining and topstitched along the seamlines, to catch the interfacing.  I also topstitched along the panels where the elasticated pockets had a tendency to pull in, making it all sit much flatter.  Sounds very complicated, and by this stage I was really hoping it was all going to work.  Then the steps forward, added the lining base back onto the lining sides, and re-inserted the lining into the bag outer.

We have lift-off!

So now I'm back at the stage I was at on Tuesday.  I need to trim the excess interfacing from the top edge, make and attach the small handles and fit the top facing.

Now for the glaring error.  One of these pockets is not like the others...

It wasn't until it was fully assembled that I realised that the teal spotted pocket was backwards!  Oops.  You should see a white/grey spot with the teal lining peaking over the top.  This will just have to be the special pocket for putting chocolate into.

Some more happy fabric came home with me from The Country Yard...

... and this pattern wanted to come home with me too... not that I need any more new projects!

My sewing progress included starting the stem on the second panel like this one... and starting the blanket stitch on the first panel.  Remember this was the goal for ALYoF for February... an epic fail... which hasn't seen the light of day since. 

I'm also slowly making progress  with my May Tokyo subway block... all those 2.5" squares turning into four patches...

And finally, we purchased a very handy box.  Can you guess what it is for?

Note the wheels, it has a pull out handle and large spacious interior...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Still not much to see

I have worked on my Sewing Circle tote this week, but I've discovered a major failing in my fabric selection... and need to work on a solution to make the bag work.  Very Pissed!  The pattern instructions however were wonderful - I inserted zips and created elasticated pockets left right and centre... and the only glaring error was entirely my own (photos will have to wait for another day).

On the plus side, I ordered some sale fabric from Thousands of Bolts last Friday... and it arrived yesterday.  That must break some sort of inter-continental land speed record.  I don't often "show" my fabric purchases, it just gets squirrelled away to appear later, as if I've had it for ages... but fabric makes me happy, and we all need a bit of happy now don't we?

This is some of that "just because it was on special and I might need it" sort of fabric :0)

Two yards of this one...

Just liked these cute buttons...

and this one has been in and out of my cart like a yoyo for ages... finally managed to stay in.
 For statistical reasons:
9 yards @ $3.95US per yard
Postage was $25.95 (large envelope fits 9 yards, 6 yards fit into the $23.95 envelope)
NZ conversion $77.97
NZ per yard $8.66
Cheap.  As.  Chips.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Storm before the Calm

Not much crafting going on in the All The Good Ones household.  But there has been quite a bit of tidying and reorganising going on.  Must be autumn.  With growing kids, it is inevitable that as the seasons change, their clothes need to be weeded out, and too small items removed to be passed on.  Check out the pile on the right!  No wonder they couldn't fit all their clothes in their drawers anymore.

I've also attacked our wardrobe, which explains the pile on the left, as well as this pile... hmm, what to do with all those quilts?

One of the joys of living in a very small house, is that storage is at a premium, and whenever you tidy one area, another area will become untidy as it absorbs the overflow.

Some of the positives.
* I love my open plan kitchen, dining & lounge.
* I accept that it is not a showhome and that we live in this room 24/7 - it's comfy, cosy and practical.
* Bonus, we have finally got the lighting adequately sorted that I can stitch at night and actually see!

It looks especially lovely when it is tidy and relatively clutter free.  But there is still a pile of books under the table...

And the cupboard above the TV has become a knick-knack dumping zone...

 The start of winter means the fireplace gets cleared off and assorted plants positioned as far away from the heat as possible.  But I do miss dumping my handbag on top of it!  And we've still got the puzzles out from the holidays...

OK, now for the wardrobe... as the top shelf is out of my reaching comfort zone, I take no responsibility for it's state.  But other than that, I'm pretty happy with how it is looking...

And I've even got space inside to store my upright vacuum... which has sat in various locations throughout the house for the last three years... usually in the middle of a room.

Now this has been todays project - a new cubby storage shelf, in the entranceway/laundry (and if I could change one thing about my house it would be that visitors didn't enter through the laundry... although to be honest, we don't have all that many visitors - maybe that's why??)... to store all my lovely books, including the pile that was under the coffee table, and highlights some of my lovely decorative pieces - reducing the clutter on the entertainment unit.  And yip, even space for the handbag and library books at the bottom... and look, room for even more books.  Woot!

I have been doing "things" in my sewing cave too, but it's still in the "looks worse before it looks better" stage.

Arriving in my letter box lately have been some pattern purchases... even the envelope looked suitably chic...

And the pattern I need for one of the classes I'm taking at Taupo Symposium.

All this tidying might mean that some real sewing could occur during the weekend... wouldn't that be nice???

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tokyo Subway - May

Before we actually get to the end of the month, I should advise that the colour of the month is Purple/Violet.  I have cut the strips... and laid out Block 4, with the second block being Block 18.

The remaining colours to be cut are Pink, Dark Green and Blue/Green - so we are definitely making progress.

But I've been busy hand quilting today... no rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ALYoF - May Goal

It's taken me a while to decide what to put down for this months goal, as I haven't really been sure what I could potentially finish.  With the deadline rapidly approaching - I had to make a choice.

One of my dream goals for the school holidays was to finished hand quilting my Hometown Wagon Wheels quilt - progress of which was sort of glossed over in the holiday roundup posts... but it has been happening, and I would like to get it finished - as in QUILTED and BOUND (but maybe the handstitching of the binding still to finish) by the end of MAY.  Now, is that specific enough for everyone?

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Friday, May 3, 2013

Catching up with the small stuff

Back in March I signed up for an actual real BOM - not just a big project that I've randomly decided to tackle on a month-by-month basis.  This is a mystery stitchery BOM being run by The Country Yard.  Due to a number of other events, I didn't get to pick up my month one or two packages until last week - and the third month has just been released.  So a bit of catching up to do...

So far, Block One

Looks like fun doesn't it?

Also under the microscope is another old old project, that coincidentally was in the same box as the orphan blocks from previous posts.  A cute wee teddy in a teacup - a pattern from an old Australian Patchwork and Quilting (or Stitching) magazine.

Last week (while running a temperature and figuring that operating the rotary cutter was probably unwise), I very slowly straight stitched around the shapes.

And added in the little bit of backstitch...

Today I've backed it onto batting and added a pieced frame - roughly 18 x 19 1/2" - but now I'm stumped.  Would you turn it into a bag or a cushion?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

No rest for the wicked

Today has been a successful day.  Four loads of washing and one bag - FINISHED.

Add the 241 Tote by Noodlehead pattern download, one fat quarter of penguin fabric, 1/2 yard/metre each of green and navy solid, magnetic closure and you have tote bag bliss.  This pattern has an internal patch pocket, and incase you can't tell, the green bits on the sides are the external pockets.  Went together like a dream...



Pocket lining:

Action shot (photo courtesy of Little Miss Nadia, aged 7):

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Holiday to do list

With a few more days left these holidays, it seems I have accomplished all I wanted to do over this period, according to my to do list.

The last project to receive attention... the jelly roll sampler...

And total progress so far.  The quilt layout is 25 blocks laid out 5x5 so I'm roughly half way.  These blocks are so addictive...