Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Stash Organising!

Once a upon a time, not that long ago, we lived in a small, Welsh, terraced house. The only storage we had was our wardrobe, the airing cupboard and kitchen cupboards. Quite frankly the kitchen cupboards were not suitable for storing sewing items and full of cookware or food. At that time the kids were all under 6 years so the airing cupboard was permanently full of drying clothes since we didn't own a tumble dryer and it was quite often too wet to hang it outside! This left our wardrobe which had to accommodate clothes and any remaining stuff that needed a home. 

This meant my sewing fabric was confined to three of these fat quarter bags! Not a pretty sight (especially given poor night time lighting!).

We now live in a large Canadian home where storage is not a problem and I have part of the basement for my sewing 'room'! No more setting up my sewing machine on the kitchen table any time I wanted to sew and making sure it was all packed away by the time the kids got up! Needless to say a lot more hand sewing happened back then.

Any purchases since arriving in our new location got prime place on an old Ikea CD shelving unit (ideal sized shelves for fat quarters!). But the fabrics that came with me from the UK have been sat in these bags getting messier and messier. So I decided to do something about it.

I used a tutorial from the Sunday Morning Quilts book by Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg to make some fabric boxes to store these fabrics so I can access the fabrics easier! 

I am also quite bad at discarding fabrics, even very tiny bits! I have several mandarin boxes full of tiny scraps in all colours! So, I used a lot of these little scraps to construct the side panels for the boxes and some larger pieces of those fabrics I was not so keen on anymore for the linings. Rather time consuming but very satisfying!

I now have four colours finished and have maybe another 3 or 4 to go! But I have to stop for now as we have run out of cereal box cardboard to line the box to make it sturdy! The kids usually claim any kind of cardboard they can, for making things like robots or fairy houses! I have swiped a box from their stash but if I take too much it will be noticed, so my alternative is to tell them to eat more cereals! :)

Whilst it feels productive, it has rather put a halt to anything else I should have been doing, like quilting the Mario quilt!! Ah well, still got 25 days to get that one done! 

Linking up with others at Freshly pieced and The Needle and Thread Network.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


My design wall seems a bit full at the moment! But I guess that's good as it means I am actually working on finishing some things!

First up, some hexies! Very slow progress here! Although swimming lessons have started again and this is the project of choice to take along!

Playing with Hexes

Next up is a Christmas wall hanging I started many years ago. I am trying to finish a block a month. It is appliqué using steam-a-seam and then button hole stitched around the edge. I used to do a lot of this kind of sewing by hand, but don't seem to find the time now, or maybe my interests have changed! So I have been doing this on the machine!

Christmas Quilt

I have also just started a mini swoon wall hanging - like I didn't have enough to keep me busy! This has been on my list of things to do for a while. So I finally cut the pieces for the first block from some very pretty scrumptious fabrics by Bonnie & Camille

Mini Swoon first block

Although not on my design wall, this WIP is very much on my mind! The Mario quilt. It's been sat patiently waiting for me to quilt it! I now have two threads to choose from. My fabric mule bought me an aurifil #4670 last weekend and I have a Mettler variegated thread in aqua/grey. So there really is no excuse. Plus the Boy turns 8 next month so it would be good to finally finish it and give it to him, before he completely outgrows Mario!

Mario Quilt

I have made no further progress on the Doctor Who blocks! 

Linking up with others at Freshly pieced and The Needle and Thread Network.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

First Bee Block!

I joined a Bee! I have wanted to do something like this for ages but didn't know quite where to start. Plus I saw so many great blocks I was nervous about taking the plunge!

Then, a little while ago, I started using Instagram and saw Lindsay of Lindsay Sews advertise a new hive in the #moderninstabee2014. So I took the leap and joined. This bee follows Lindsay's Modern Bee book, so at least I knew what I was in for having got the book.

Katie, the Queen Bee for this month chose the Stacked Windmill pattern and sent a picture of the colours she was using. It was fun picking colours out that I don't normally put together. There were a lot of HSTs to sew together in this block, it was quite a challenge. The first time I constructed the block it ended up over half an inch too big, clearly my seams were too scant! So I started it again and now it's only just big enough!

Here is the final block which I put in the post today. I hope Katie likes it. 

Looking forward to next month now and the next challenge!