Thursday, 3 September 2015

A Plus Quilt

A few weeks ago I pulled out my Denise Schmidt Florence collection to make a plus quilt. There are a few other fabrics in this photo that aren't from the collection but initially I wanted some more light colours.

I kind of had it in my mind to have a colour gradation from light to dark. However, after much moving of fabric around I decided it wasn't working. I guess partly because there are so many colours in this collection and I just wasn't feeling it. So abandoned my initial idea before I lost complete interest in the entire project!

I added some solid colours and split the collection by colour and tried again. The arrangement I ended up with is this:

I rarely buy large quantities of a fabric unless it has a specific purpose. So not having anything large enough for a backing I created one using the same fabrics. These pluses are larger than the ones on the front, and finished at 12 inches rather than 9 inches. I only just had enough of the Kona Ash (I think it's ash!) to complete it!

I am liking the back more than the front now! Possibly because it is simpler, less busy than the front.

It's now basted and patiently waiting for me to quilt it! I think I might have just enough of the aurifil 4670 to quilt it. However, I have now hit my usual problem of how should I quilt it! So it will no doubt sit for a while until I can decide on a design or the deadline will get so close that I am forced to get on with it! 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Charm Packs

There are just so many adorable fabric collections around! But without the space to store, the time to use and certainly not the cash to buy complete sets I often opt for a charm pack. So I have a shelf of charm packs that I find hard to use - saving for something special! Ha! So I decided last week I was going to use one.

So my challenge was to use a charm pack and just add some kona white, since that's usually one of the only fabrics I have more than a fat quarter of in my stash! 
This is my latest favourite V and Co's Simply Colorful! I love them all! Just look at those adorable oranges, reds and yellows! 

There are only 30 different fabrics in the range but there are 42 squares, so there are a few duplicates. Because of this I decided to make some pinwheels by simply combining 2 different fabrics. Before long I had a small collection:

The selection of duplicate prints determined the amount of pinwheels I could make and the colours. I ended up with just 2 yellow, 4 orange and 3 red. But several charms remained so I added some smaller pinwheels and simple squares to make a block 12" x 10" (yellow and red) and 10" x 8" (orange).

I continued until every single charm was used and not a scrap of coloured fabric was left. No waste at all!! Yay! It's not a particularly useful size at 41" x 39". I guess I could have added larger borders. The final quilt top looks like this. 

I am now longing more yardage of many of these prints. They are so lovely, colourful and happy! And lets not even mention the impending arrival of the second collection - Simpy Colorful II in blue, purple, and green! I really might need some yardage of those! And have you seen the Ombre collection to be released early next year? That really is a must!!

Anyway, for now my top is done. Now back to some of the other things that I should be focusing on rather than starting something new!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Pyjama shorts

These pyjama shorts whipped up in about 2 hours, once I had found the pattern! I have made them several times before, so I guess that helps. And they are forgiving too, when fudging the measurements!

I changed a couple things because I was running short on the ball fabric. So I added the waistband in orange. I also added cuffs as when I put them on the boy, they were plenty big enough but given he seems to be on a growth spurt, they would be too short in now time. So this way they are a bit long now, but should (hopefully) last longer!

I finished them at 8.35pm and he was very pleased to wear them to bed!

So now, of course, I have to whip up another 2 pairs for the girls. Trouble is, I didn't find the pattern for them which is a bit annoying. I might get away with the boy pattern for the 6 year old girl but not sure the style will fit the 11 year old girl so well.

I found some white knit fabric that made some excellent vest style shirts to go with the shorts. Since plain white is not much fun, we decided to tie dye them and some other shirts we found. They turned out quite good!

The shorts were one of my goals for Q3 in the Finish Along!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Finish Along - Q3 Goals

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wow, Quarter 3 of the Finish Along!

I lost my sewing mojo around the middle of the last quarter so I did not manage to complete much of my list. But the last couple of weeks I have at least made it into my sewing area, if only to look at the fabrics! I am hoping that making this list will help get me back to it. So to start me off I am going to start a new project rather than focus on a WIP.

1. Plus Quilt
I want to make a plus quilt for some friends of ours. In my mind I see a gradation from dark to light, but with a little randomness mixed in. I have a collection of Denyse Schmidt to use, and a couple of lighter fabrics added. This will hopefully be a start and finish project!

2. Who Quilt
I really would like to get this quilt finished, ideally before the end of the summer! I am stumbling with the sashing though. I have the fabric all ready to go. The blocks range in size from 11.5" to 12.5" square, basically because I didn't check the scaling when I printed the patterns! Oops! I don't want to highlight the differences so kind of want a random layout and different sized sashing, but this is proving tricky in the planning.

3. Boy Shorts
These really shouldn't take me long to complete. It would be good to do it before the cold weather hits and he doesn't want to wear them! These are the bright fabrics, the zip is obviously not needed for this project! 

4. Old Romance Cardigan
This has been in the working for about a year now so I really would like to finish it. I have made some progress but it still needs a good few inches in length!

A short list, but maybe manageable this time!? 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Wild Winnie Mini ** Finish **!

I was browsing an edition of Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine a little while back and saw a paper pieced block that caught my attention, not sure why but I felt I had to make it. The block was the BOM by Lynne at Lily's Quilts.

I started by making just 1 block! I used some fabrics from the collection Juggling Summer By Zen Chic, in orange.

Wild Winnie block

It didn't take long to add more blocks to the collection! I had the whole range of colours for this collection so kept to the same pattern and just changed the colour. It was at this point that I thought I ought to plan where I was going with this!

I decided I had to have 4 blocks of each colour. But I didn't like the way the colours didn't match at the point they joined a different colour. The picture below show how the blocks would have ended up and the bit I didn't like - the multicoloured square in the middle.

So I had to make some adjustments to the blocks I had made. I added another colour, the black, to border the resultant inner square, and another colour. Like in this picture below.

The final quilt top looked like this:

The downside of paper piecing is taking the papers off! I seem to get in a right mess and have to be careful not to pull the stitches too hard.

Removing the papers

The back of this mini was a random pull together of some of the other fabrics from the collection.

The back

I quilted straight lines 1/4 inch apart using a variegated silver Aurifil 50 wt thread.

Straight line quilting

I bound it in the same black fabric as used in the quilt top for continuity. I think it framed it quite nicely. 

The Front

The back

I am really happy with this finish, very bold! Now I just need to find a place to hang it. 

Having started it last quarter I made it one of this quarter's Finish Along Q2 goals! And I succeeded, now I really should tackle one of the more long term WIPs on my list!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern (front): Wild Winnie block by Lynne at Lily's Quilt.
Pattern (back): Thrown together by me using fabrics from the same collection.
Fabrics: Juggling Summer by Zen Chic.
Quilted: Straight line quilting by me using a variegated aurifil 50 wt thread (4060: Silver Moon)
Started: Mar 2015
Finished: Apr 2015
Size: 21" x 21"

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A bookshelf gift

I have just spent the last couple of weeks shadowing a librarian in my local library as part of one of my college courses. I wanted to make gift to say thank you.

I thought some books might be appropriate for a librarian! So I set to making a mug rug using the bookshelf block by Don't Call Me Betsy

Bookshelf Block

I have a small collection of selvedges that I searched through for good book names. As a signature I embroidered my name and the year onto one book spine - the blue circle spine. It's almost visible in this picture.
After layering it I quilted around the books.

A bookshelf with book names

I used some just type (I think) fabric for the back.
The Back

The binding is a Kona solid, maybe teal or something like that. I did a single binding because of the size but I didn't do the mitre corners like I normally do, I now wish I had. I don't like the square corners that result from not using the mitred corner method. 

Binding corners

Here is the finished mug rug! It finished up larger than I had anticipated! But I guess the recipient could hang it up instead of using it as a mug rug.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Boy lunch bag

I didn't find a pattern to use for the boy's lunch bag so I made it up as I went!

These were the fabrics I had to work with and also some babyville boutique fabrics, oh and a lot of interfacing!

I started with the top and got this far before realizing I should have thought about how the ends of my zip were going to look not attached to anything! 

So I unpicked all the top stitching and the seams and sorted out the ends of the zip and reconstructed the top half to look like this:

Top half of the lunch bag

It took quite some brain power to figure out how I should attach the top and bottom halves. But after some seam ripping and much tea drinking I worked it out! And this was the result:

Outside of the bag

Inside of the bag

There is plenty I would change about this bag if I were to make it again, but it works! It's a little big and the zip needs a larger pull or tab (or whatever the right word is for it?!) to make it easier to open. He has attached a key ring to the zipper to help open it. He likes it and it works, so I'm happy.

It was also one of my goals for Q2 of the Finish along with Adrianne at

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Finish Along - Q2 Goals

I think I did quite well last quarter with my ambitious to do list. I managed to finish 4 out of the 8 things listed. I finished 2 quilts, my first sew together bag and the Christmas gift placemats.



I did plenty of other sewing, but as usual they weren't things on my list of things to do! Always the way! Finish one thing, start two more!

Some things are being rolled over in the hope that they get finished this quarter:

1. The red and white double 9 patch quilt - still needs quilting! 

Double 9 patch

2. The pile of Whovian blocks still needs assembling, quilting and binding! 

Whovian Blocks

3. I remembered there is still a Christmas wall hanging that has been on the go for many years! Perhaps I could focus on this one for a while.

Friends for Christmas

4. I made new lunch bags for my daughters last month. The boy needs a new one too, I have the fabric but the pattern that was great for the girls is not really suitable for the boy so I have stumbled on some fabric with sports balls in a blue and orange (sadly no picture yet). But it needs to be done soon ... like before the kids are done for summer! :)

5. I am hoping there is enough fabric left over from #4 to make the boy some pj shorts. Why do kids keep growing! 

6. Something I started this month was some foundation piecing blocks. Not sure why, but I liked the pattern. It's Wild Winnie by Lilysquilts and was the block of the month in Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine issue 19. I have 8 blocks done. I think this is heading toward a mini as there is no way I'm dedicated to piecing enough of these 5" blocks to make a full size quilt!

Wild Winnie Blocks

7. The Old Romance Cardigan - I made some progress on my cardigan last quarter but not enough to be able to wear it yet!

8. This one might not really count but it's going to involve a lot of sewing and some appliqué! In our family there is a beaver, a cub, a scout and a beaver leader! We have quite a pile of badges they have collected from the many events they all take part in. The campfire blankets were bought quite some time ago in the hope I might actually sew the badges on. All four of the scouting troop are off to camp in June, so I really should focus on this one and have it done before then.

Camp blanket badges

I think that's probably enough of a list for now.

Linking up with the 2015 Finish-Along with Adrianne at On The Windy Side:

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

New Lunch Bags

I made some new lunch bags over the spring break, for the girls to take to school. The old ones were really quite revolting and smelly and falling apart. 

The pattern is by Ayumi of Pink Penguin. It's a great pattern, so easy to follow and quick and doesn't use large pieces of fabric. I made 2 in two days, so it must be quick and easy if I can manage that! 

I had just enough of these adorable cupcake flannel fabrics that were perfect and some Babyville Boutique fabrics. These are water resistance so I used them for the insides, just in case something should spill it might stay contained, possibly!

Pink cupcake lunch bag

More cupcakes on the inside!

More cupcakes on the inside

Blue cupcake lunch bag

I still need to make a new bag for the boy, but I'm not sure this pattern really suites a boy lunch bag. So I am on the hunt for a more boy-like pattern or I might have to make one up based on his current bag. 

The fabrics are patiently sat waiting for me

I am going to make this my April goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes! It will hopefully make me get on and do it! Linking to