Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sheds, babies and projects

This summer in Northland has been one of the wettest in known history.  Not the greatest conditions to try and finish one's quilt shed!!  We finally got the roof on... after hubby had a bout of covid, and the rain and wind decided to behave itself.

Doors, windows and roof...

Once the outside was done, it was time to look at the interior.  First a bit of a clean up of construction rubbish...

Much cleaner!  We decided on mdf panels for half the flooring, and foam tiles for the other half.  This worked out to the cheapest way to cover the floor space in the most useful manner - a work area and a basting area.  

Then it was time to outfit it with all the important stuff I had accumulated in Sewing Shed number one, but had got too out of hand to be able to find anything, so the storage solutions were the most important element.

I ended up placing the sewing table on the right hand short end to avoid afternoon sun in the eyes... and plenty of storage for smaller items in this zone... quilting rulers, patterns, small scraps etc.

The back corner has a new cutting table and my old shelves were installed above, the ironing board is just to the left.  

A batting covered design wall covers the entire back wall...

The left hand short end is filled with cupboards and open shelving.  I have fabric cupboards, and WIP cubbies... a bit of a book shelf... still a work in progress but the piles on the floor are getting smaller.

Swinging back around to the front, we have the front door and that is my sewing shed!!

One of the projects/sew alongs that I have been patiently waiting to start was Corey Yoder's new Sunny Patches mystery sew along which uses a jelly roll and assorted yardage.

I have this Flowers for Freya jelly roll with a few of the matching fabric in fat quarters...

Then I pulled a whole heap of fabric from my new stash containers...

And this was the first mystery block.

It wasn't long before the design wall had projects on it... this is going to be a new The Country Yard project... using a range called Sun Washed.

And I pulled out last years rainbow challenge and have been plugging away filling up the empty spaces.  I just have two more star blocks to finish, and to the right you can see the start of the Mystery quilt with the jelly roll creating setting blocks.

Little Amarni is not quite so little any more.  Being about 4 months now, she is quite a character.  Here she had just worked out how to get her thumb in her mouth.

She came to visit me at work...

Just generally looking cute :o)

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

More News from 2022

 Other exciting things happened in 2022 that I don't think I have ever shared.  My local quilt shop - The Country Yard was having a bit of a change around of staff and I offered to work one day per month to help things along.  I got offered the opportunity to create a new project!!  Woohoo, my dream job.  Jumping straight in the deep end we decided to offer the It's A Lot Quilt as a BOM project with three different colour palettes to choose from.

This was my original selection - what we called Retro Vintage.  Based around a Basic Grey print from the Cidar range... I don't think all the prints are shown here but you get the general idea.

We broke the quilt into a basic nine patch so each month was a square made up of various simple units.  This quilt is a scrap quilt - so the challenge was to recreate the scrappy vibe within the BOM programme and not be too prescriptive.  What I do love about it is that everyone is going to end up with a different quilt - we have suggested people add to their fabrics from their own stash... so potentially there could be some VERY different versions.

I fused the applique pieces onto Block 1 to illustrate how it could potentially look but these were never blanket stitched.

The second palette was a dreamy blue and brown version based around the floral prints shown on the left by Lella's Boutique.

This gave a more restful overall feel... although it has higher contrast.

I have just started blanket stitching adding the applique elements to the Retro Vintage version. Although the pattern uses needleturn applique I am doing fusible applique with machine blanket stitch - using a mid grey aurifil thread for all the elements.

It really does add an extra depth to the overall design. 

The only problem with sewing along to create a shop sample is that you actually have to finish things!!  I am onto the fourth block so I am counting that as a win.  Although I start back at my day job tomorrow... and we are already planning 2023 shop projects... hmmm, will have to see how that goes :0).

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year

 Well 2022 was definitely not the year of the Blog that's for sure.  I'm thinking that I want to be more bloggish next year - and the purchase of a new computer should help that along.  I must admit that I miss the freedom of typing on a keyboard instead of pecking at a screen... I enjoy the flow of typing thoughts, having learnt touch typing in the 1980's has never lead me astray although I also type a whole heap more rubbish... more like how my brain works so there's that :0).  Anyway I digress... what's been happening in the sewing shed/life.

The most exciting occurrence has been the birth of my first grandchild on Xmas Day!!  We welcome Amarni-Jade to our family.  She was a healthy 8pd 4oz at birth and has grown during her first week of life.  Woohoo... another baby to create quilts for.

After much discussion and analysis of various quilt patterns and fabrics with my daughter Nadia, we both agreed on the Cabin Nights pattern using a lovely animal print at the feature fabric.  Blues, greens, greys and browns and a bit of pink also.

I though a nine-block layout would be a great size - but of course it is enormous so I have spent the last few days finishing up the four block version which will be a better size for bassinettes and car seats etc... and one day would make an excellent doll quilt.  I just have the binding to hand stitch on and unlike my own children, I will actually finish this before using the quilt.  Dylan's baby quilt never had the binding sewn down until after Nadia was on the scene so this Nana has learnt something over the past 19 odd years - basically that binding is my arch nemesis.

Anyway... isn't she a cute wee dot?

The other major news is the addition of a new sewing shed!  After much looking and comparing sizes and prices we bought a flat pack shed 6 x 4m and hubby is well on the way to getting it erected.  It does have the doors installed now... and he is working on the floor, before the roof is started.  To say that I cannot wait until the shed is completed is somewhat of an understatement - I CANNOT WAIT!!  The whole back wall is going to be covered in cotton batting for a design wall (come on Spotlight, give me a batting sale of at least 40% off) and cupboards are going to cover the left-hand short wall.  My sewing desk will sit under the window at the front, and a mobile (yet to be built) cutting/worktable will probably act like an island bench in the middle and be moved to the side for activities such as basting and floor layouts.

Having a new space will allow my old space to be utilised as family storage - excess linens, clothes and all the other things that families seem to collect can be stored safely and neatly.  This is something that I also can't wait to happen.

I managed to get most of my sample BOM project completed - just a border treatment to design and it will be ready for quilting.  I am really happy with the way it turned out with a creative sashing giving a lot of movement to the basic nine patch block layout.  I know that I need to repeat the little triangles and plus blocks in the outer sashing but this resulted in the mojo indicator moving to zero so no progress has been made on this in recent history.

Another short and simple but unfinished project was this jelly roll quilt...

Some blocks done but I found this was one of those things I needed to layout and distribute the colours evenly as I was making blocks - and once my previous design wall became unusable and Dylan took over my design floor when he moved into the sleepout, well... this project also hit the wall.

Did I mention how much I can't wait until my new shed is finished?

I feel like this was the year of not getting much done, I completed a baby quilt right at the beginning of the year, the Tiger Plant quilt which is a free pattern.  While the recipient was extra happy to receive it - and I receive semi regular photos of the little person it was for on it - I can't help but notice that the quilt is always upside down.  Oh well, at least it is being used.

Using the #apqresolution challenge I worked on many of my WIPs throughout the first half of the year, and although there weren't many finished I did manage to get something achieved.  My Patchwork City quilt (started as part of a sew along in 2018) finally had it's binding sewn down.

I finished piecing my scrappy Brightly Quilt.  I absolutely love this pattern and all those scraps.  Note, it is not written as a scrappy pattern but easy enough to adjust.

A second baby quilt was finished for my husbands 5th grandchild in Australia.  I don't seem to have a photo of the finished item.

Hmmm... and that seems to be it in the finishing department.  I have lots of plans for 2023 - just need to work out how to get more time to sew.

All the best for New Years wherever you might be... and we'll catch you in 2023. 


Sunday, August 21, 2022

More ideas and WIPs than you can shake a stick at

Of course it's not fair to be working full time and not have the time to sew and create as much as I want to.  Although this has not stopped me from starting new projects.  Sometimes I am just too easily lead astray ๐Ÿ˜‚.  

First up is a new monthly project I am involved with at my local quilt shop - The Country Yard.  It is a small skillbuilding project that focuses on new piecing techniques (triangle rulers) and putting together fabric combinations.

There is a secondary block pattern going on with the feature fabric forming the large central unit.

On the other design wall I have the It's A Lot Quilt in the second colour way.  This one has been a bit slower coming together but focusing on one block at a time means it does grow rather quickly once you start sewing.

My #apqresolution for August is to piece together my The Scrappy Star Quilt Adventure blocks.  I laid them all out then needed to convert the design floor back into guest bedroom facilities... Watch this space ๐Ÿ˜‚.

I joined the Astra Quilt sew-along and made one block for the first week, part of block 2 for the second week then run out of background.  Some more arrived in the mail this week so there is hope this project will continue - the blocks are large and have simple piecing so there is no reason for it not to plod along in the background of life (well, maybe the hundred other projects might be a hindrance).

My #apqresolution for July was to quilt my Ray Quilt from a sew-along a couple of years ago.  Was this during lockdown 2020?  Anyway I finished the simple straight quilting and got the binding machined on, just need the time to stitch by hand.  One day I might add some more quilting but it is perfectly serviceable as it is.  Love the colours in this ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿงก.

My monthly rainbow challenge is coming together nicely.  I still need to do the August block.  I decided to use this layout and use a multicolour print in the center.

I just have one block left to piece in the original colour way of the It's A Lot Quilt then I can start on the applique elements.

This will really add another layer of scrappiness as well as depth of design and explains some of the areas that look a bit pale and unexciting.  Just wait for the exciting to arrive ๐Ÿฅฐ.

I started and finished a new cot quilt for a new grandbaby due in Australia later in the year.  These purple blue and soft teal fabrics are so delicate and pretty.

I did finish the last applique block in my variation of Flea Market Flowers.

And got the center of the quilt pieced.  I am going to use the aqua butterfly fabric as a border but need to finalize inner border decisions first - like which fabrics have enough left of them to make it work??

 And that's caught me up to date with the last few months of crafting.