Sunday, 25 January 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes - January Finish

My goal for January was to make two more fabric boxes to put the last of my messy scraps in - post is here.

The scraps I wanted to sort out looked like this at the start of January.

I managed to focus quite well at the start of the month and did well completing this goal. Having made some before they came together reasonably quickly.

I even got to test out the new wonder clips I received for Christmas! How did I ever manage without them!

So here is the finished black / grey fabric box. I guess I don't collect many of these colours as the box is half empty now I have used up all of the smaller scraps. Although that said, my solids are kept elsewhere and there's certainly a variety of greys in that pile! 

Black / grey fabric box

And the brown box:

Brown fabric box

Brown is another colour that I rarely use now, although there is still a reasonable size collection there! Once upon a time it was all about brown plaids and stars and often flannels too. How things change!

So here is my final collection of fabric boxes on the shelf:

All the colours together!
My youngest obviously felt a colour was missing and asked if I was going to make a purple box! Looking through my entire collection I have maybe 5 pieces of purple fabric! Not even enough to make the box! However, I suspect a colour that might be needed in the future will be aqua! If I ever get round to cutting into some of my collections and making some scraps :)

Linking up with :

A lovely year of finishes

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Chalkcloth Placemats

Christmas is such a busy time of year and this year I had plans for some handmade gifts that never happened! So shortly after Christmas I decided I would make a start on some of next years gifts before the year got going and I forgot about them! 

I have had some chalk cloth sitting around for well over a year with some grand plan of making placemats. So I checked our Flickr and pinterest and then just decided to make it up as I went along.

I had some Sweetwater Countdown to Christmas fabrics that weren't too over the top and some Kona red. One piece had the names of the reindeer printed on it.

I didn't take pictures as I went as I was so keen to sew them together. They came together really quickly. The only bit I struggled with was sewing the binding on with the machine. I usually hand sew the bind down but decided these might need to be a little more sturdy so machined the binding. I got there in the end, there's probably a technique that I am unaware of!

Here's my finished placemats. They finished at roughly 17" x 11" but they are all slightly different in size! Ah well! I was originally only going to make 2 for the children of the family, but then changed my mind and decided that I'm sure adults like to play with chalk too. Hence the change in the look of them, I was running out of the adorable reindeer name fabric.

Decent photo of the first 2 finished placemats

The 4 finished placemats

Back of the mats

This was one of the things I had listed in my FAL Q1 post! Yay to ticking one off the list! But now, where does one store Christmas gifts not needed for the next 11 months so as not to forget about them?!

Friday, 16 January 2015

My first Sew Together Bag!

The Sew Together Bag by Sew Demented is all over Instagram and probably other places too and I have been meaning to try this pattern for ages but haven't been brave enough until now. 

I kept it simple for this first attempt, so just a single piece of fabric quilted for the outside. Many others have made elaborate outer casings for the bag. I have plans to try other designs but not this one.

I had some Parson Gray fabrics which are I have not found a use for until now. I mixed in a kona solid too, a teal maybe, not sure what it's called though to calm down the patterns a bit!


The pattern said to cut all the pieces first, so I actually took some notice of this and prepared all my pieces. I must say it did help! Made putting it together much quicker!
If you are considering making one these bags I recommend checking out this great tutorial by The Quilt Barn.  It will lead you through the process of making this bag step by step, with loads of helpful pictures! Not sure I would have made it through to the end unscathed without it ;-)

All the Pieces cut and ready to go!

It didn't take too long to get to the point of having 3 zippers installed.

Three zippers installed

The hardest bit I found was doing the binding. I'm not very good at machine binding and this calls for it. I often find that when I am topstitching I miss the underside of the binding because I have sewn too close to the edge or I have pulled the binding too far over on the underside and the stitches are too far away from the edge that it looks wrong. I usually spend a lot of time with my stitch ripper at this point!

But I got there. It doesn't look too bad for a first attempt. It works which is even better! Now for a few pictures.

All zipped up and ready to fill!

I thought it was going to be a bit busy with all the different patterned fabrics but with the Kona solids it has toned it down a bit.

Now I have made one I think there will probably be more to follow! There is also a mini version worksheet available here!! Oh the possibilities are endless!!!

This was one of my Finish Along goals for the first quarter! Yay! 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Finish Along Q1 Goals

I have decided there are a few things I need to finish this year! Although that won't stop me starting things in between! :) So I am going to join On the Windy Side's quarterly Finish Along to help me focus a bit and try and get some long time WIPs finished.

Some goals for this first quarter!

1. To finish off the Flowering Star quilt! It's about 3/4 quilted and the binding is organized so what really is stopping me!! No deadline, just a desire to finish it!

Flowering Star

2. I always leave it too late to start sewing Christmas gifts and then run out of time or energy! So this time I made a start on next years Christmas sewing a few days after Christmas! I know the interest for this will soon fade so I am making this one of my early goals. Here are the 2 finished mats, the other 2 are partially constructed!

Chalk cloth placemats

3. This poor quilt has sat basted for too many years! It was supposed to be for my youngest daughter. I really should quilt it. I don't know if I still like it or not! Too many new and gorgeous fabrics around I wish I'd used instead! My stumbling point had been indecision on a quilting pattern. Anyway, I will finished it and decide what to do after I see it complete! Deadline of Nov 25th!

Red & White 9 Double Patch

4. I have this set of blocks that need putting together into an actual quilt! I know how I want this to look so it should be fairly straightforward. Deadline of October 2nd!

Dr Who blocks ready to assemble

5. I have as many of these moderninstabee blocks as I think I am going to receive! They are so big (18") are crowding my design wall too much so I want to get these sewn together and quilted! No real deadline for this one so I suspect it will end up being moved along!

Moderninstabee blocks ready to assemble

6. I have lost track of how many of the Sew Together bags I have seen on IG! I have had the pattern for a while and I really would like to make one! So this is on my list too! I have some Figures by Zen Chic which might work nicely for it!

7. I started this Old Romance Cardigan pattern by Jojiknits back in September! It has 2 sleeves so I think I have done the hard bit! Really must finish it off!

Old Romance Cardigan

8. I made a Minecraft hat for my son for Christmas and a skeleton one for my husband, sadly neither of them fit my husband very well!! My knitting is always too tight! That said, my husband has been squeezing into the Minecraft hat, so I am in the process of making him his own, larger hat. This needs finishing before our slightly cold weather turns into spring and he doesn't need it.

Well, given I have 3 college courses on the go this term and everything else that goes with family life, I think this list is far too ambitious for one quarter, but hey I can try!

Linking up with 
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Thursday, 1 January 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes - January goal

Happy New Year to everyone.

I am going to kick the year off with some organizing, and not only in my sewing room! The house needs some serious purging and organizing but won't go into that here!! 
In terms of sewing, this months goal is to make 2 more fabric boxes for my scraps. Back in the Spring of last year I made a series of fabric boxes using my scraps and blogged here about them.

Fabric boxes

I have 2 colours remaining, brown and black/grey. So using this box of scraps in the photo below I will finish off my collection of boxes. And I guess make some more room on the shelves for them, somehow!

Brown and black/grey scrap fabrics

A simple goal for this month to get me started.

Linking up with :

A lovely year of finishes