Hectic weeks

This week has been hectic.  Some weeks are normal and everything flows nicely, others you juggle events and appointments for everyday and try to avoid double booking yourself.  This week has been one of the later.

However I did finish one of the pouches I started last week.

Nail Pouch 1

This one is for Sweetpea to use for nail polishes etc.  I think she likes it as it disappeared before I could take a picture.  I had to retrieve it from a drawer to take these.

I have also been working on my checkerboard quilt.

blocks sewn

I have sewn 20 blocks.

Strips left to sew

Only 16 left to go.

My treat yesterday, a Christmas present from my mom, was a ticket to Sewing for Pleasure.  We had a lovely day, unfortunately missing the sunshine, but you can’t win them all.

SFP 2016 goodies bought

I was quite restrained with my spending and only buying things I need or have specific plans for.

Must dash, need to add syrup to a cake that we need for Sunday.

Have a good weekend.

Fiona

Last minute gifts

My mom’s birthday was last week.  I had chosen some nice toiletries for her and was crocheting a face cloth to go with them.  I showed you the start of it in a previous post.  Then at the last minute, well two days to go, thought a small storage box to put them all in would be nice.

I pulled fabric, made a pattern and was feeling quite satisfied that it could be done without buying more fabric. But…  Could I find any firm interfacing?  No.  After a thorough search of various cupboards and boxes, I decided buying more would be easier.  So off to the shops I went.  The interfacing will get used, well, it will, as long as I don’t put it some where so sensible that I can’t find it.  I am sure I have some but as yet it has not surfaced.

I was good as well, as I didn’t buy anything else.  Did look and covet, but as I am going to the Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC this week I held onto my pennies.

Box 1

So here is my fabric all cut out and ready for assembly.

Box 2

I was very pleased how my corners turned out.  Not sure if the best way was to attached the sides to the base and then sew up the sides or to sew all the sides together and attach them to the base?  Which way do you do it?  I tried both, outer one way and the lining the other.

Box 4

They did fit together, with some persuasion to get all the seams to sit nicely.

Box 5

It’s really starting to look good with the binding pinned in place.

Box 7

I did machine the binding to the outside, then fold it over and hand finish it on the inside.  I wanted a neat finish as it was to be a present.

Face Cloth 1

The face cloth came out like this.  I have never made a face cloth before so wasn’t sure what to expect from the finish.  I used Rowan Softknit Cotton and a 5mm hook and followed this pattern.  I did however change the pattern repeat to 10 as I used different yarn to the pattern maker, to get a face cloth the right size.  I am really pleased.  It had a lovely feel and I can see me making more of these.

Face Cloth 2

I had some ribbon that was free from a magazine ( don’t ask me which one or when ) that finished it off perfectly.

Box & Face Cloth

Here it is all ready for wrapping.

I love being able to make things to add to something bought.

What have you made to add to a gift?

Fiona

Sewing mojo?…..

sewing mojo pouchesI have found it really hard to find any motivation to do much crafting so far this year.  I have been trying, but I haven’t been able to get that buzz you get when excited about a project. I have picked up things and put them down again.  Can’t seem to settle.  But I am determined to get out of thin funk.  My cupboards and drawers are groaning with stash that needs using.  Well they don’t need using, but those areas are looking messy and its irritating me.

books 03.2016

I have treated myself to a couple of books, hoping they will help.  I have been coveting them for a while and thought why wait?

books em

This one was actually a birthday present in November.  So I started the Emma bunny, with the plan to have two for the kids for Easter.

em body 1

One body done.  Small steps.

Bu as for sewing, well….

Last year, on various travels, I bought quite a bit of dressmaking fabric, with the plan of using it obviously.  But the funk arrived and being honest, part of me is a bit nervous about cutting into it.  Stupid I know.  Its just fabric.  I have not made many clothes recently for myself, so wanted to start again.  Plus I wanted to sew with knits, so again my books are helping here.

So to help kick the sewing mojo back into action, I decided to sew something I have made before and the kids need.  Well I say they need.  I am making some pouches for them.  They each got headphones for Christmas last year, so we don’t have to listen to tablet games, and a bag to keep them neat and tidy will be useful.

sewing mojo pouches

The third is an extra for Sweetpea as she was given nail varnishes, etc for her birthday.  The little bottles are currently living on top of her bedside table, so a better home needs to be made.

Not wanting to do one thing at a time, that would be far too sensible, I started this this afternoon.

new crochet

Can’t say too much as it’s going to be part of a birthday gift.  I am pleased at the look and feel of it as it grows though.

Must go and start putting those pouches together.

Fiona

Under the weather…

I can’t seem to get my teeth into anything properly at the moment before my energy levels bottom out.  Lots of good intentions that are not making it to completion.  I am very frustrated.  It’s February already and the bulbs are poking their heads out of the soil and I haven’t done half of what was on my mental list.  But being realistic, my mental list is frequently as my husband says – mental.

Saying this, I did finish all the first set of blocks for my checkerboard quilt top.

checkerboard strips

Then cut them into strips, to my son’s amazement.  He was at home with a high temperature fluey thing.  He doesn’t understand cutting fabric and sewing it together in attractive combinations, then cutting it up again.  Putting it like this, it does sound a bit nuts.

checkerboard strips cut

I then laid out all my strips and worked out my blocks.

pinned blocks before sewing

Very satisfying to know that when I have 10 minutes, I can pick up a set and sew together a block.  Not so good is the lack of energy to sew them since.

This is the first of the five I did last week.

Checkerboard block

There are either 30 or 31 left to sew.  I haven’t decided whether to do 6 x 6 blocks or 7 x 5 blocks and use the last one for a matching cushion.  I’ll decide when I lay them out for joining.  They are so pretty, just wish I had more energy at the moment.

What project is frustrating you at the moment?

Take care

Fiona

January….

New year, new starts and resolutions…

I am trying not to make any, but the list voice in my head seems to have other plans.

So, my aim for 2016 is to do more sewing and feel less guilty when life means things don’t go quite to plan.  Like blog posts not happening.  I have been making, but not had time to post or life gets in the way.

Today is a good example, I planned on a quick whizz round of tidying up, a zumba class and then sewing.  However my son came home from Cubs last night coughing, sneezing, runny nose and looking thoroughly fed up.  So one child at home means snuggles on the sofa in front of the TV (tick), but no zumba.  After this post, (another aim: quick short posts) I am going to carry on with a quilt top I am making.  No photos as yet, but I am doing a checkerboard design.  Red Pepper Quilts have some fantastic ones, go and see.

So in short, I am still here and trying to be better about posts.

What are you trying to be better at?

Take care

Fiona

Thank goodness its Friday…

Its been a busy week with lots of running round, so not a lot of sewing has happened.  I have joined the Finish Along being hosted by Adrianne of On the Windy Side and you can see my list in the previous post.  So I plan on working on something later today.

I did however finish the pencil roll that Sweetpea needed for last Saturday in plenty of time, just not enough time to post about it.  I did manage to get photos.  So you are warned, lots of pretty pictures to follow.

pencil roll ready to fill

Here it is ready for filling.

pencil roll filled 1

I make them with 14 slots, enough for a pack of 12 pencils and two extra.

Perhaps for a standard drawing pencil or a pen?

pencil roll rolled up

This is what it looks like rolled up.

Just the right size for your bag.

I know a pencil-case would work too, but I like the fact that the pencils can be seen, makes choosing colours easier without emptying the case out.  Not great when you are in a restaurant or coffee shop.  Guarantee they will roll every where just when you don’t want them too.

pencil roll end

pencil roll top end

label

I’m loving my new labels.

Ooooo.  Cute.

Well this one has a new home, gifted with a nice new colouring book.

I have three more of these to make, so they are on my FAL list.  They were already cut out, just need putting together.

But I got distracted.

With this.

sewing project

Once a month, a friend and I, organise a sewing evening.  We book a local community hall and anyone can come.  They let us know through the group facebook page and we make sure we have enough tables set up.  And cake of course.  We have to have cake.  It means  there is lots of space for pattern cutting or layering up a quilt, and any issues or problems, someone will know how to solve them.

So I needed, of course needed, a project that could be interrupted.

I bought a Kate Spain, In from the cold, stocking panel last year and made up one of the stockings, but this one has a lot more detail than the other.  I wanted to quilt all the lines to do it justice.  I know its fake patchwork, but its so pretty.

FAL 2015 stocking

I only managed to do the straight lines across, as yes I did get interrupted.  So as I didn’t want this hanging around I added it to my FAL list.

Maybe doing this will help get my head into thinking about Christmas presents.  Its not that early!  And my head is a fuzzy blank space when it comes to presents this year, I need as much time as I can get.

Have you done your Christmas lists yet?

Have a good weekend.

Fiona

Q4 Finish Along List

To try and finish some WIPs, so that I can do other things without feeling guilty, and to make space on my sewing table, I am linking up with the FAL Q4 2015.  Its the first time I have done this, so we shall see where we get to.

My list is:

FAL 2015 pjs

These are supposed to be PJs for my son.  The pattern is cut, the fabric washed and ironed.  I have even bought T-shirts, but no PJs yet.  He will have grown out of the T-shirts if I don’t make these soon.

FAL 2015 apronAgain for Dr S.  Last year, he wanted a new apron, like his Dads, for when he was doing the seasonal baking that we do.  I’ve had the fabric and the tape since then, so need to make this before we start this years seasonal baking!

FAL 2015 pencil rolls

These pieces are for pencil rolls, two are needed for gifts.  I was asked for these, I think, in April, so again need to get these done.

FAL 2015 stocking

This has a definite deadline of before Christmas.  Its one of a pair and the other was made last year, so need this one done ready for filling!

FAL 2015 sampler quilt

I have had a push to finish my sampler quilt, but again am flagging.  I have layered up and pin basted the third panel for quilting, so by committing to this FAL, fingers crossed I can get this ticked off the list.

FAL 2015 jumper

Last but not least, a non-sewing WIP.  I started this jumper, I think, at the end of last year, and with the colder weather arriving already here in the UK, I would like this done.  This is what I do while watching TV in the evenings.  I find that I can’t sit and just watch.  It feels like a waste.

Well that me.  Lets see how I get on.

What are you trying to finish before the end of the year?

Fiona

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

WIP Wed…

I have been cutting out this morning.

cutting out wip 07.10.15

Cutting out always takes so long and when you are done, it never looks that impressive for the time it takes.  Anyone else ever feel like this?

Well, these are to become pencil rolls, like this one.  This was a gift for Sweetpea’s best friend last year.

Open pencil roll for iris

And when rolled up, they look like this.

pencil roll and colouring book

One is a gift Sweetpea needs for Saturday, so it has a deadline. The second is an order for a customer and the third?  Well, I realised that I have made these for gifts and orders, but never for us.  I always have a pencils (thank goodness it’s not crayons anymore as they make so much mess in the bottom of your bag) rolling around in my handbag and a spare note pad.  They are so useful.  But, have you seen the new colouring in books that you can get now?  We bought one a couple of weeks ago and even Dr S has been tempted to sit and colour.  I like them that the pages are decent paper and are perforated so each page can be removed.  No more battling the book to get it to lie flat and I don’t have to have a book per child.  Result!  So a pencil roll for me is in order and I am not going to complain with a little colouring, just to help of course, I won’t get obsessed about the lines, honest!

Over the weekend, I did get time at my machine and carried on quilting my sampler quilt.  I was on the second panel, did you notice that slip?  I was.  Yes I have done the second panel.

Here is the front and all my hard work is not really obvious.

2nd row sampler quilted

However, when you turn it over and look at the back…

2nd middle quilted back

I have used each block as a guide for the quilting.  I looks lovely, but it does mean lots of stop starts, direction changes and ends to finish.  But…. I love the finish it is giving it.

2nd end middle quilted back

I am now appreciating the fact that they are in panels as manipulating bigger pieces through my machine would have been much harder.  I may have given up and opted for an easier repeat pattern.

2nd middle end quilted back

As much as I love the finish it is getting, if I did another one, I would hand quilt it.  When I hand quilted my cushion cover I loved the flexibility it gave me.  Each project is different.  Which do you prefer?  Hand or machine quilting?

Lunch now.

Take care

Fiona

This week I have mostly……

..been running around like I don’t know what.  The kids are back at school and I am still not sure what happened to the summer.  I found myself hanging washing in the garden and looking round, felt out of place.  It had been a long time since I had been there.  How could I feel like this?  I’d cut the grass, hung out washing, put stuff in the compost bin and watered plants, but actually spend time there?  No!  I realised that we hadn’t had any days where we just played in the garden.  No dens or tents had been put up, no toys migrated nor had the paddling pool been unpacked.  Was I sleeping? I feel like a piece of time has been stolen from me.

I usually enjoy the summer holidays with the kids, no packed lunches, no timetables, etc.  This year, it all seems to have flown by and no, the weather has not helped.  Here is north oxon, the summer peaked at the beginning of July.  It is most definitely autumn now.

I am trying to be more organised, selfishly, so I can get more sewing done.  I am breaking projects down into smaller parts and just completing sections at a time, rather than trying to squeeze a gallon into a pint pot.

This is how I have been getting on….

At the start of the week, I was working on the edging for my ripple blanket.  I have finally finished, well, made it large enough for my daughters bed, the ripple blanket.  I have enjoyed making it, but did fall out of love for a while.  I think trying to do too much of it in one go, did that.

Edging being done

I finished the edging one evening and it was promptly grabbed by Sweatpea and taken to bed.  She has been sleeping under it for the last couple of nights.  As there was some sun this morning, here are a couple of pictures.

IMG_1547IMG_1548

I am really pleased with it and walking past her door this morning, this site made me smile.

bedroom door

Her brothers is in the same place!

Dr S's bed

On taking this photo though, I do think his needs a wash (next week, I have sewing to do).

Between this and sewing, I will get to that, I managed to bake Lemon Drizzle cake.

lemon drizzle cake

We all need a bit of cake.  My kids like having a piece in their lunch boxes, which may or may not be better than a small chocolate bar.  I say its better, but that might just be me justifying me baking something else equally yummy.

The sewing, well a couple of years ago, I went on a sampler quilt course, and yes you guessed it.  It is a WIP.  There blocks are done, they are attached, so what is the problem.  Well I normally make a whole top, baste layers, quilt them, bind them and voila!  This course wanted you to make it in sections, not quite quilt as you go, but sort of in the vein.  Being truthful, I can’t quite get my head round it.  I think I am further along than I feel, because its all in sections, but …..

Last week I quilted one set of three blocks.

1st row sampler quilt

Yesterday, I layered up and pin basted the next set of three, which is what I am planning on quilting later today.

Row 2 sampler quilt

Here are all nine.

sampler quilt 2015

There is to be a pieced border, if I follow the original instructions.  I am going to quilt these, join them and decide.

So these are my makes for the week.  What have you been making?

Fingers crossed the sun stays around a bit longer.

Talk soon

Fiona

Summer Holidays Week 1…

The kids were exhausted, so low key activities were planned, plus after a busy weekend I was tired.  Even when tired I find my kids need things to do or the bickering starts and that totally does my head in.

They rediscovered games (no electronic gadgets), like dominos, lego, playing café and made up games in the garden.

I have no idea what they are doing here!

garden games

I did manage some sewing and finished off my beach bag.  I can’t wait to take it to the beach!  Now all I need is for the British weather to play ball and its not that brilliant at the moment.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it improves for when we are away.

Finished beach bag

I do have WIPs (which I got out the cupboard) but I have started some EPP.  I have wanted to do some for ages and as normal I having been mulling what to do and where to start.  Faffing as my OH calls it.

I came across this book at the library and have followed some advise and started on some diamond stars.  No pics yet, will take some later.  I thought that an EPP would be good as a portable project for the summer.

I did get a large WIP out of the cupboard, a sampler quilt I started 2 years ago.  The top is done (will find the pics), but it was a quilt as you go which I had not done before.  I was having to go against my instincts and follow the instructions for each section.  Plus life happened, I think it was chicken pox, and it got tidied away.  Out of sight, so out of mind, well sort of.  I have been reminding myself of where I got to.  So we shall see, not sure I have fallen out of love with it…

It felt like a short week for me as the OH and I went to Stratford to the RSC, and the munchkins stayed at Grandma’s overnight.  It was lovely to have 2 days with the OH and do adult things.  We went to see Othello which was fantastic and I would highly recommend it.  Going to the RSC in Stratford is fantastic in itself.  We have been before and it is a lovely town to visit and wander around.  I did leave my camera at home, so sorry no picture overload.  If you do visit, try and do the tour of the theatre itself, you get to go backstage, hear its secrets and inside stories about previous productions.  Its a great insight to the world of the RSC.

I did do some sewing orientated shopping while in Stratford.  It was here and I was very good and did not buy any fabric.  Well I was with the OH and we don’t want him to fully understand the costs of my sewing hobby.  That may not work in my favour.  Pictures to follow, as one item is a present, so I will reveal after the fact.

And I did buy these during the week, well there was a sale and it seemed rude not to.

beautiful fabric

Sunday was a wind down day for all as the munchkins had been to Crocodile World the day before.  We were all tired so OH felt cake was needed so he made banana bread.

banana bread

Then there was building of Mousetrap and much giggling followed.  And that was before we started the game!  How long does it take you to build mousetrap?  Getting the traps to work was a fiddle, but we got there in the end.  It was a good thing we had cake though!

I thought we had a quiet week, but writing this, I am not so sure.

How is your summer unfolding?

Take care

Fiona