Sunday, 31 August 2014

August All Gone.... FAL Finish 2, Q3

Well almost, and I am just sneaking in on the final day with a blog post after a near 6 week break.  No surprise this pretty much exactly coincided with the kids summer holidays, which ended on Thursday when C went back to school *hooray*, although Mr HOC has been off since then so normal service hasn't entirely resumed.  

I have managed to sneak in a bit of sewing during those few weeks, but haven't exactly conquered my FAL at two per month as hoped, oh well, the top of Hexy 2 is now about 75% finished :

Both House quilts have been planned in terms of layout (and some of the sewing is completed), and I've received lots more of my plus blocks for the NYBCFG quilt from my fabulous Stitch Tease Bee sisters :o).  

Which means all of the quilts are moving forward at the same time, all good stuff.

I have (started and) finished one of the items from my FAL today, a nice simple upscale version of a peg bag to make it into a laundry bag for the nursery, using up my orphan block from FQR 2013 made during Lu's Portholes Class.  I cannot for the life of me find the other block, v annoying, but when/if I do, it will probably end up as another one for eldest daughter :o)
It's not wonky despite this dodgy photo :o)

A couple of other starts and finishes this month, firstly, I did a little pattern testing for Sara of Sew Sweetness, as she has a series of embroidery patterns awaiting release, and as it was unicorns, I couldn't resist.

I originally intended to make this up into a gift for my niece who is unicorn mad, but my eldest daughter dropped so many unsubtle hints that she wanted it, so I made it into a nameplate for her bedroom.  I added the phrase "Live Yours Dreams" underneath, which seemed appropriate given the embroidery subject.

And the other finish for the month, was a bag for eldest daughter to go back to school with.  Despite me considering the fabric incredibly ugly, she absolutely adores it, and very proudly sported it on her first day back on Thursday.  
Using this tutorial as a guideline

For those not "up" with little girl trends, the fabric features the 2 sisters from the film Frozen, so I have been told I am "the best mummy in the world", which lasted all of five minutes ;o).

Hopefully I will be blogging more regularly now school is back, and making some more progress on the FAL mountain I have to climb, we'll see!

Ange x

Monday, 21 July 2014

FAL Q2 1st Finish & Combining WIP's

Well, after 2 and a half years I have finally finished up my Sampler Quilt!  

This was one of the projects I started before I found all of the fab online shops, so a few of the fabric choices are not necessarily to my current tastes, but now it's finished with a riot of polka dots (my faves as I may well have mentioned before!) and stripes, I rather like it.  The blocks are from the 2012 Craftsy block of the month, and I think there are a couple of months missing, when I ran out of steam towards the end of the year!

This was always intended to be a sofa quilt for me, so finally after 3 and a half years of quilting I have my own quilt- not that I need it at the moment as it has been sweltering in the UK for the past few weeks and I feel like I am about to melt!
For quilting, I have added my trademark "light touch quilting" (anyone who suggests I'm a lazy quilter who doesn't like the actual quilting process may well have a point, but I can't guarantee I wont smother them!!!)  with a cross hatch across the blocks both ways, and then a little straight lining around the blocks.  Overall it's come up as a respectable 55 inches/140cm square, just perfect for me to snuggle under this winter.

This is the first quilt I've actually backed with the Britten Nummers fabric from Ikea, but I rather like it, and it seems just perfect for this Monochrome Sample quilt, first tick off of the list, yay!
I am now turning my attention to some of my other WIP's, and decided rather cleverly (in my humble opinion) to combine a couple, and to get some of the additional blocks made up for my month (August) as Queen Bee for Stitch Tease.  Those with a long memory, may remember the plus blocks I started last year, with the aim of making a Super King Size quilt (apologies for the murky pic).
Some selfish sewing for my own bed quilt.

Well I was contemplating how to increase their numbers significantly, when I remembered the New York Beauty Circle of Flying Geese block I made recently, and decided it could be the centrepiece of the quilt, genius!
I adore this block, it's a fab pattern and I think it will make an amazing centrepiece for a quilt, and with the help of my Bee buddies I can move it closer to being a quilt, and further away from a WIP.  Just to clarify, I am only asking my fellow Stitch Teasers to make plus blocks, not more of these NYB blocks (can someone please resuscitate Susan, we know her feelings on foundation paper piecing!)


Sorry, I couldn't help myself, I had to throw a few more photos in, I adore this block, can you tell?
Ange x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

FAL Q3- The Usual Suspects Plus A Couple of Newbies

So, there are 12 items left on the list for this quarter, and with the previous pattern/aim of 2 items per month my goal is to have all of these finished by the end of the year.  Yes, i know that's ambitious, but you don't get anywhere without aiming high, and I need to focus on getting them done.  It's clear from previous quarters that there is enough space in my month to fit in a few other projects too, so I can still start some other smaller things, but no more quilts until a few of these are done!

And here it is, in all it's glory:
1. Hexy 2
Started: December
Current Status:  About 1/3 of the way through this, need to cut and prep a load more hexies.
Plan: Aiming for end of year finish

 Up a little early so a little epp to ease me into the day....

  2. The Weekender
Started: Spring 2013
Current Status: Taken back apart.  Reduce size of the base, re-sew together and then fix the lining
Plan: Get it done so I can face making another bag (one day)
My wrestling partner for the morning! Just the lining to do tonight. #weekenderbagiwillbevictorious

3. My Sampler Quilt
Started: 2012
Current Status: Half quilted yesterday (hooray)
Plan: Finished July 2014
Quilt top finished.

4. Plus Quilt
Started: Summer 2013
Current Status: Handful of blocks, plus I have added the New York Beauty to this plan, as the centre piece, still need around 200 pluses.
Plan:  Have the pluses as my Stitch Tease block (next month), so my Bee sisters can help me get this one finished!
Some selfish sewing for my own bed quilt.

5 & 6.  Stitch Tease House Quilt
Started: Nov 2013
Current Status: Enough for 2 I think, will decide once I get to it!
Plan: Make into a quilt/picnic throw for summer in the garden

2 more beautiful blocks arrived for my Stitch Tease quilt, thx so much @lifesrichpattern!
Gorgeous blocks from @valbetweenquilts arrived last week, thank you so much :-)

7. Simply Solids Quilt
Started: August 2013
Current Status: Just blocks
Plan: Make into a quilt/picnic throw for summer in the garden
Simply Solids August Block, finished.

8. Star/Bright Sampler Blocks
Started: January 2013
Current Status:  Just blocks
Plan: Piece into a quilt!
12 blocks from grp 11 & 13 of 3x6 Bee

9. Portholes blocks
Started: Retreat 2013
Current Status: Just 2 blocks
Plan:Find a use for them I can only find the top one at the moment, vague idea of hanging laundry bags.
Portholes Technique from #fqretreat

10. Hand Hoop
Started: Early 2013
Current Status: Needs hoop finishing off
Plan: Finish and hang!
Hand Hoop WIP

11.Crochet Blanket
Started: End of 2012
Current Status: All blocks finished, need joining and lining
Plan:Sew them together and get them made into a little blanket

12. Jumper Blanket
Started: June 2014
Current Status: A big pile of squares cut from some of my old, favourite, felted jumpers
Plan: Sew them together for a winter blanket, fabric backed

Should keep me quite busy, and I'd better get a few of these done as I have ideas hovering in my brain for a Christmas Quilt, Single Girl Quilt, something Polka Dotty, an Oakshott Quilt, and a day to day bag as mine is falling apart after 5 years, how inconvenient! :o)

Ange xxx

Finish Along 2014

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Q2 FAL Success- 6 finishes

Well it's finally time to stand up and be counted with the FAL, and it's been a busy 3 months.  I had 16 items on my original list (see below), and managed to finish 6 of them, and make progress on a couple of others. I think it is pretty reasonable considering there is a small baby in the house (excuses, excuses), and it was my aim to get a minimum of 2 off the list per month, which I managed. 

So here are the details:
1. Christening Cushion for Amelia- DONE

2. Potholder- DONE

I love a bit of hand binding, all done and ready for it's kitchen debut. Pattern by @quietplay 
3.Crochet Blanket- fail
4. Hexy 2- quite a bit of progress
5. The Weekender- fail
6. Secret Squirrel- DONE
My 5 craft it forward gifts were finally completed, posted, and at least 2 of them have already been received (check out Duck Egg Threads on IG or Lias Handmade on Flickr- just trying not to completely ruin the surprise for my other recipients).
7. My Sampler Quilt - fail
8. Siblings Together Quilt- DONE

Ignore Jerry the Giraffe trying to photobomb hanging off the fridge!

9. Plus Quilt- fail, but progress made :o)
10. Stitch Tease House Quilt- fail
11. Simply Solids Quilt- fail

12. Star/Bright Sampler Blocks- fail
13. Improv Mini- DONE

14. Portholes blocks
15. EPP Star Embroidery- DONE

16. Hand Hoop- fail

Aside from these, I also completed 20 fabric party bags, 5 bee blocks, 2 peg bags, a New York Beauty Circle of Flying Geese block, and a hexy pushchair pouch, and no-one starved to death, drowned in a sea of dust, or ate cereals for tea (except me, but it doesn't count when i'm flying solo!!), so counts as success right?!?!

Now off to start compiling next quarters list...

Ange x

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Q2 FAL Finish 5, plus a little extra

With the end of the month fast approaching, I needed to do some work on my FAL if I am going to have at least 2 projects finished each month, and get the list down to 10 (far more respectable than 16!)

I decided to tackle the Improv panel I made at FQR 2013 in Lu Summers' class next, as I only needed to do some Improv stitching/quilting on it, and then make it into something.  So I decided to make one of my current "go to" projects, a cushion, as you can never have toooooooo many on the sofa, right?  Well Rob might disagree, but as I have short legs and a deep seat on the sofa, so I do sometimes find it hard to sit upright comfortably and need extra cushions, well that's my excuse and i'm sticking to it!

So with a little bit more hand stitching this week, we went from this...
 Channeling @lusummers today and trying to finish up this wip from last years FOR. Im liking the addition of black perle. :-)
 to this...
I used solids for the back too, and the fabulous Svetlanas hidden zip method, works every time, absolute genius :o).

I have also been putting all of my sofa time to good use, and a couple of weeks back finished this Hexy Pushchair Pouch. 
Hexy Pushchair pouch.
It's just big enough for a shorter trip out to the shops with the little one, when I just need the basics.  

I attached the zip to the side for easy access when it's hanging, with velcro adjustable straps on the top to hang on the pushchair.  There is also an inside pocket running the opposite way to the outside zip so everything doesn't fall out if it's hanging and I need to use it, and of course the back uses a black polka dot.  It's had a few outings, and is proving itself invaluable in ensuring I don't head out without thefood and nappies (not for me I might add, although there is always room for a little chocolate).

I do have another of my FAL's done, but it's the Secret Squirrel one, so I can't do pics yet!

Ange x

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A little time....

Thank you to everyone for all of your cheering for good weather for the big birthday bash, the event started with a torrential storm, but the rain soon stopped pouring, and the kids embraced the fun of being out and about in the garden with wellies discarded; bouncing like mad on the castle, diving around in the teepee tent, and generally enjoying the outside.  The most popular event of the day seemed to be the individual cake decorating, they were like a swarm of locusts over the icing and array of sprinkles, just goes to show, it doesn't have to be complicated for them to enjoy it, and not one cake made it our alive!

So, all of that rather got in the way of my plans to complete my bee blocks right at the start of the month, but after a little fabric sorting last week I managed to pull these together for inspiration.
@trina_peterson hi, I've pulled these fabrics for your blocks, do they look ok generally? Just concerned i don't have much mustard, these are more oranges and yellows. Any that stand out? And it's a grey right? #stitchtease
Trina is this months Queen Bee (it's the start of a new year for our little bee), and has requested 2 star blocks, any star, using the colours above.  I managed to decide on the following block for the first one, it's a 5 pointed star, paper pieced, and the pattern is free here on Craftsy.
@trina_peterson #stitchtease first block :-)
And my second star will be a Lone Starburst, using this pattern, all of the fabrics are cut and ready to go, I just need a little time...

Ange x

Friday, 6 June 2014

It's been a while...

....since I managed to do any machine sewing.  Everything got a bit hectic with half term, preparations for the big 5th Birthday party (this weekend) and life.  So when I got to the machine I felt the need to progress this baby (it had been tormenting me from the sewing table for a few weeks).

A little bit of progress on my NY Circle of Flying Geese. #firsttimeatmysewingmachineinaweek :-(
And with a few hours work whilst little people ate, slept, coloured and danced around, I managed to get the first block complete, and quite frankly i'm rather chuffed with it.
Im thinking after a good press and block trim it won't look half so bad. @betteroffthread #thosecentrepiecesareabugger !
I have since removed the papers and given it a thorough press and it looks great (even if I do say so myself, and lets be honest, it's a great pattern- thanks to the talented Janice at Better Off Thread).  I'm really looking forward to selecting the fabrics for the next rainbow quarter block, but that will have to wait for now.

And so whilst I was on a roll I got my bum in gear and made the final block for my first year in Stitch Tease, and May's queen was the lovely Cindy.  She had selected barn blocks, including a completed 6 inch block, so I decided to do the non phallic version, (don't ask) and indulge my love of dots again. This was what I came up with from Lori Holts fab free pattern.
@cindylou327 all done except need to add my name and country, will do tomorrow. #stitchtease
The centre block is one from Lynne and Kerry's book, and is a version of a Broken Dishes block.

And then onto my final madness.  I decided to make party bags for the 20 kids joining us tomorrow- partly because awful weather is expected tomorrow and i figured they could decorate the bags to distract them from the torrential rain and thunderstorm  All I can say is I'm pleased they're all finished!!
Im getting extra mummy points for making party bags right?!?!
See you on the other side
Ange x