Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy Hump Day!

Oh Wednesday... the weekend is so close and yet so far...

Just to prove that I do things other than sew (sometimes), on my radar this week:

Baking for the kids cross country at school.  An opportunity to fundraise from someone elses pocket other than mine.

We have White Chocolate Crackles with apricot and chocolate bits

Are chocolate crackles a world wide phenenom?  Made with popped rice cereal (commonly known as ricies in NZ) and usually brown chocolate - these were a party must have as a child.

We really had to taste test these before they got packaged up... just in case they tasted terrible or something :0)

and Giant Chocolate Cookies with mint icing and coconut sprinkles

I also made some Lemonade cordial but this was for our own consumption!

I'm really enjoying the projects in the shed this week.

We have block 36 - this is in the darkest corner, but it's cool that it's still got some other colours in it too...

and Block 37 - my floral scrap was slightly too narrow, so I just added a fraction to my frame to upsize it...

I got from here to here in the blanket stitch...

And I'm already onto the second row of blocks on the straight stitching on Janet!

Hope your week is going well... I might just link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Plans for this week

No new photos today... so if you only read for the eye candy... skip this post.

Focus projects for this week:

This has progressed to being in 6 pieces

Piecing:  as this is the last week of August (are you reading this Monika??) that means that this months Tokyo Subway blocks need to be finished.  Last week it was a leader ender project, this week it is the main attraction.  I seem to have gotten behind with the 100 Modern Block sampler - that's what happens when you get a couple of blocks ahead, and let your big head get in the way.  So I should also be focusing on Blocks 36, 37, 38 & 39.  I've also stopped linking with the quilt along as it got so complicated... different blocks on different posts... then I'd forget what I'd done (that happens once you've turned 41 you know)... so I'm just going to use the group as a reminder of what I'm supposed to be doing.

Loving the rainbow effect
 Machine Applique: while I'm on a roll, I would like to get the second half of the My Tweets block that I started last week, done.  I have another block waiting as well, just in case I run out of things to do (snicker snicker)

This quilt really is going to be stunning if I ever get it finished

Janet: gosh, a new section.  I solemnly swear to complete a few lines of quilting on Janet before I start any of the other activities in the shed.  Machine quilting is relatively boring and tedious - I just need to keep plugging away at it.

Check out the freaky "cup of tea" fingers

Hand work: don't let the photo of the quilt on the bed fool you.  Eagle eyes will have noticed a slight problem with the binding... about 3/4 unfinished!  So the focus for this week is to get a little bit more of this done.
So far so good with the new bedroom layout - no one has tried walking into the wall yet.

Right - that's this week set.  What are your goals for the week?

Looks like it's time to get organised for tea... have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

One of THOSE sort of weekends...

I decided to turn my bedroom around late Friday afternoon... it wasn't pretty!

With a little bit of careful cropping, it was eventually safe to go to bed that night.

Saturday was a bit of a sewing free day, and Sunday morning disappeared in a sea of washing.

Finally, something happening in the shed!

Janet has been quiet for quite some time.  First of all she was annoying me with the joins in her plastic rails - so we replaced them with the metal strap bracing used in garages - perfect.  Then I had issues with the stop/start button.  Hubby came up with his own solution involving the brake handle and cable from a push bike.  Perfect.

Finally, we needed a new handle, which was bought for $2.00 from a garage sale - an arm rest off a 10 speed...  you guessed it.  Perfect.

I splashed out on a new second hand machine - a straight stitch Janome 1600P so that I had a dedicated machine on the frame.  We still need to come to an arrangement that gives me even tension and threads that don't shred... but we're getting there!

Throughout the week I got about half of a My Tweets block blanket stitched.

So just the second half to do next week.

I also finally did the last few seams for my Swoon back.  If I ever suggest doing anything like this ever again - shoot me!

And after much procrastinating I did finally get the last applique block applied to the background for this Gypsy Blooms quilt.

I'll have to give my focus projects for next week a bit of a think... so I'll let you know...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Something [old]... something [new]

I had instructions on Saturday... work all day in your sewing shed... so that hubby could finish doing his thing in there on Sunday.  Gosh, I wonder if I could find something to do ALL DAY!!!

First up, I finished the blanket stitch on the Bluebirds and Berries BOM side panels AND attached them to the central panel.

Now I just need to put my thinking cap on and come up with some ideas for the top and bottom panels.

I've made great progress throughout the week on my Swoon back.  Just four more seams and it will be done.  Whew.  Tokyo Subway block 21 is half constructed.  Double whew.

The hand work focus this week was my mystery stitchery.  I'm pleased to report I have finished Block 4 and started tracing Block 5.

Because I was evicted today (and I'd made good progress on my focus projects), I took advantage of the situation and some quiet time with the kids actually playing outside in the SUN (yes, it seems it does still exist) - and pulled out my orange, grey, green and black bundle from last time...

and this sketch of a pattern...

Decamped back into the house, and ended up with something a bit like this...

Or like this...

Or like this...

Or even like this...

Just to get the perspective right thanks to my Pink Assistant... we're talking 72" finished.

Now - was there a favourite?  I ran out of fabric for the two empty opposing corners (which will be the plain cream) and haven't made the final decision on the corner opposite the grey square.  Do you think the black is too dark/domineering?

Ceiling progress... it's all done. 

And I have a hessian board wall which is just perfect for hanging my mini quilts.  Not that there are that many of them!

So, focus projects for this coming week:

Piecing: finish the Swoon back and keep plugging away at the Tokyo Subway blocks for this month.  I'm looking forward to this one NOT being a focus project the following week :0)

Blanket Stitch: reacquaint myself with the My Tweets BOM.  Remember this?

Hand work: stitching down the overlaid applique blocks on the large floral/modern quilt - goodness, this one really needs a better name!  And a more up to date photo - because this was not how it ended up looking!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lights! Camera! Action!


 No, more like sewing! (This only really makes sense if you know that Lights Camera Action Wiggles is the name of a kids TV programme with The Wiggles as the presenters - still in the dark?  Google it!).

My sewing room is in the process of having a bit of an update.  Where I originally had one fluorescent light...

I then had two...

And thanks to some crafty selvedging selvaging... I now have the start of a ceiling happening up there.

No more bug bodies dropping on me when I'm sewing!

While all the tools were out - my sewing table received a recycled set of wheels... (somebody deserves a kiss!)

So I can swivel my table around to suit my requirements...

And my requirements at the moment are to have the design wall exposed to it's full limit - to start to fit this beauty on it.

I'm liking how this one is looking so far

My focus projects for last week had their positive and negative moments.  Like every good Brownie should know... we should always be prepared.  It is very hard to sew a block as a leader/ender when you haven't cut the bits out... 

Piecing: So while I should have been sewing Tokyo Subway blocks in between putting together the start of my Swoon back...

This is the start of my wonderful idea... how to turn a 60x72" piece of fabric into something closer to 85" square.

I instead put together another Modern Sampler Block.

[So this weekend I spent a little bit of time in preparation for next week (when I hope to be putting together Block 21 and 22) ]

Blanket Stitch: I finished the blanket stitch on the left hand panel for Bluebirds and Berries... but didn't have the right hand panel prepared.  Are you seeing a bit of a pattern develop here??

[Friday was spent putting together the stems for the right panel, and today getting the other applique elements stuck down.  So now I'm all ready to get this one blanket stitched next week.]

Hand work: I got almost one side of the binding hand stitched.  It wasn't the greatest week in the hand stitching department - but that's OK.  There is always next week and another project.

What else is happening in the world???

I put together this lovely little bundle...

I have plans for this lot... BIG PLANS
 Poppy and her war wounds.  After surgery on Tuesday, she was back to her normal bouncy self on Wednesday.

Right, to recap the focus projects for this week.

Blanket Stitch: continue with the Bluebirds/Berries BOM second panel.

Piecing: keep going on the Swoon back.  I'm scared that if I stop this one, I might not start again.  And give Tokyo Subway a bit of love.

Hand work: time for the Mystery Stitchery and a bit of back stitch.  Hmmm, maybe I should have spent some time tracing out the pattern for this one???

What are your plans this week?

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Tale of Two Circles

Well, it has been a busy old time in the All The Good Ones household.

First up, if you have read through last posts comments, you will know that I celebrated a birthday during the week, and received a very nice present from my husband.  This birthday I was determined to do a little something special for myself too - something I imagined I would have done last birthday (when it was a big one that began with a "fa" and rhymed with naughty) but somehow managed to NOT do.  So I organised a relaxing morning out being treated to a facial, eye brown shape and lash tint plus a fun reminder on how to apply makeup.

It's not every day you turn 41 and take your own photo!

Much fun was had on Saturday (visiting The Country Yard is as much about catching up with friends as visiting a patchwork shop) choosing some practical and visually non exciting items to come home with me... off white solid, a few fat quarters, a bright orange/red flannel wideback and a metre of a beige print for a background for a different project... but we'll get to that another day.

I've also been GOOD approaching my projects in a focused and organised manner.

PIECING: Good progress on the 100 Modern Blocks.  I need to double check but I think I'm up to date now.

This one needs to be spun around...

I don't really have all that many yellow scraps, so to turn a mottled yellow into more of a print - I used a text stamp and some permanent ink.  Turned out great!

And a start to the sashing application.  Check out the non exciting off white - exactly perfect for the purpose... a bit hard to see, but this forms the top left corner of the quilt.
Two for the price of one, I also finished another couple of Playground blocks as a leader/ender project while completing the above.

HAND WORK:  I completed the applique on the dresden fan block, and got two centres prepped, and one of those centres applied (this is where the post title came from...well, I had to call it something!).  I was surprised how quickly this got done, and realised, that just like painting - success is all in the preparation.

OK use your imagination... this is the one before it got finished!
MACHINE APPLIQUE: And I got two quarters completely blanket stitched on my Taupo Tiles, so just two more quarters to finish.

Right - onto the focus projects for this week.

MACHINE APPLIQUE: remember this one?  The side panels for my Bluebirds and Berries BOM...

HAND WORK: getting stuck into hand stitching the binding on the Hometown Wagon Wheels quilt.

PIECING: having a crack at the pieced backing for my Swoon quilt

These are the fabrics, and I've had an idea in my head for ages... just been waiting on the fabric
And my leader/ender project will be some more Tokyo Subway blocks... once I've decided which ones to do of course :0)

Sounds like another busy week...