Friday, 11 September 2015

Q3 Finish

It hasn't been a tremendously productive quarter for me creatively, however I have managed to do quite a bit of mending! I actually quite enjoy mending as favourite old things get a new lease of life. It's so satisfying to get them back in business. Often I have a quite a pile of things sitting waiting for quite a while and lately I've managed to finish off a few which has been great. Doesn't quite fit for the finish along though and that Q3 list has been sadly neglected except for one thing...

In the last week I have managed to make a bag (No 6. on my Q3 list) for my Mum which came together quite quickly once I finally got the right interfacing and cut out and fused all the pattern pieces.

In the past I have had difficulty here in NZ finding the exact interfacing called for in American patterns and it can be hard to work out what stiffness to use, so this time, as a reference, I ordered the exact ones called for online, so now I can keep a labelled scrap to find a suitable equivalent in a local shop. It took a little while for them to arrive, but now I have a reference in the future and the bag has the right amount of flexibility.

Mum wanted a bag to be used primarily for her knitting and she wanted it to be able to stand up by itself on the floor beside her. We decided the Noodlehead Super-tote would fit the bill with its outside pocket (for the pattern perhaps?) and divided inner spaces. The zippered top keeps everything contained. And any extra long needles can poke out beside the zipper tabs if need be.

Mum gave me the music print fabric to repurpose from a favourite old duvet cover and the lining is made from the back of the cover too.

I used a grey/black denim I had in my stash for the body and outer handles of the bag.

I think I learn something new each time I sew something and this time was no exception. This time I learned that I should trust my instincts. The elastic divider inside is too floppy. I'm not sure if this was  due to the elastic I used, or whether this is a pattern issue, having not made this bag before. I did have a scrap of elastic at home which I noticed afterwards was a bit stronger and perhaps I inadvertently bought looser elastic, not realising they come in different strengths when the same width. I opted to divide one elasticated inner pocket in half and leave one full width. I didn't adjust the elastic at the time as I wasn't sure how it would turn out once the bag was assembled. A bit disappointing but I'm sure it's not that much of a biggie.

A satisfying finish just before I head off overseas. My next couple of posts will be about the highlights of Barcelona and Lisbon! Get excited- I am! Otherwise I guess I'll be posting my Q4 Finish Along List before long- not much might have changed from my Q3 list, except it might get a bit longer...!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Q3 Finish Along List

Ok I've decided to take the bull by the horns and, like some other lists I've seen this quarter, actually dig out from all their lurking places, some of the unfinished projects I have. As well as getting to some of the new projects I'm more excited about, it'd feel freeing to deal to some of these UFOs...
Generally I don't consider myself too bad at starting things and leaving them unfinished but each of these present a problem of some kind which I haven't figured out how to resolve... It'd be great if 3rd Quarter might drive me to some decisions, even if that's abandonment (shock horror)! At least it'd be decided abandonment rather than guilty denial.

1. Have a quilt worth of cross blocks here, but I need to resolve the colour scheme which I liked better before I added the rust colours?


2. Have finished this quilt except for the binding. Was considering cutting it and resetting it- that discussion is for another day- which is why the quilt is still a UFO.  

3 This quilt is from the Simply Solids Bee that I was in a few years ago. I have 12 blocks of varying  sizes due to everyone's 1/4" seam being different! Can't face remaking them all- not such a good choice for a bee block- so a problem...!

But I'm dying to see the secondary pattern emerge so maybe I can think of something.

4. This was an early effort at paper piecing and I'd like to do something with this orphan block. Not quite square because I failed to print two of the pieces at 100%. Again it'd be good to have another go and see the secondary pattern emerge.

Then from last quarter these next few...

5. A quilt with these shot cottons has had a change of plan.

6.  Knitting Bag for my Mum and
7. Another bag featuring this fabric

8. Widen and complete this oven Mitt. This is only the front (or back)

9. A table runner (promised about 3 years ago) for my sister in law- design problem here...

10. Bags for our Yaktrax- often used in the ice this winter.

Then the alluring new projects:

11. A leather tote bag

12. Another quilt in the Gum Tree series (so far numbering 1!!) I have the fabric and am thinking of a chevron based design.

13. A Grunge quilt inspired by the walls in the Wallander TV series.

Of course I have other ideas of things to make, but these are so far down the list so as to be not worth mentioning!

Wish me luck!

Actually I have no thought of completing all these but good to have them itemised for my own record and accountability

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Ah the Task of Photographing a Q2 Finish...Plus an unlisted Pouch

Hereby my third finish for Q2 !

This is two for one- kinda!
on my list was my son's 21st quilt but the original idea wasn't coming together well at all.

It wasn't going to be this one but he likes it a lot; pronouncing it my best ever- good enough for me , so very happy to call this a 21st quilt!

I press ganged the kids to go on a photo shoot in the industrial area. Fair to say commitment and enthusiasm was a bit lacking, plus the low winter light was a bit harsh. Some good potential spots but not good photos.

This mustard doorway was nice

Clearly I have a lot to learn about quilt photography. 

Yesterday one of the other kids and I (and the dog, who's not actually an asset in the business of quilt photography) tried to get some early evening shots at the beach, but were thwarted by erosion after a recent storm, which blocked access to my location of choice and by the dual task of exercising the dog... Maybe I'll try again for the beach shots later...?

I washed this after completion so it's very wrinkly which I like in general, but wondered if it'd look better ironed here.
I settled on one pocket for the back into which I will tuck a label.

You can see I stitched mostly in the ditch for the quilting except for a double line of yellow either side of each block

Very happy with the mustard Botanics binding.

Overall very simple but good to have the family's favourite jeans preserved for posterity.

These are the 21 year old's current favourite jeans which look like they're overdue for this quilt too!?

Just whipped up this little pouch on Saturday for a friend's birthday.

Nice metal zipper and handy for things like chargers when travelling!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Gloves are Off

I made a quick oven glove with this improv panel which has been languishing in a drawer for too long

I learnt a few things:

Make it bigger than you think you need.

I made it nice and long but it's quite slim around the wrist, which makes it tricky over a winter jersey! I drew around my hand in what I thought was a generous manner. But clearly I'm not as generous as I should be! And it's didn't fit over the free arm of the sewing machine which made the binding stitching a bit wonky :-( I followed Maria's instructions to put the binding on the inside then topstitch on the front. Maybe try the other way next time?

It's OK it works and I still quite like it but Mark II will be better.

Annoyed that I cut out 3 hands before I tried it out...! Maybe I can try adding some wider sides...!

When all's said and done it's still a Q2 finish!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Back Pockets

Current work in progress is the back of the jeans quilt. I was planning to use a vintage floral flannel but plans have changed a little.

My son saw this quilt top last week and really liked it and I think it's quite a good fit for him, he's keen on his denims and this quilt represents a tour through the family's jeans of the last few years.

Also the shot cotton colour plan is still not gelling for me despite basically restarting and spending several more hours.

Sam preferred the idea of a plainer back, perhaps making use of a row of back pockets.

So I framed some back pockets but it's not quite right yet.

I think I need to narrow the frames so the blocks are closer and add another pocket and possibly move them inboard a bit. I've folded it up a bit here to try to get the visual effect.


Please excuse the picture quality. We had a deluge yesterday and the sun has not quite reappeared yet so the light is very bad today.

I kind of like the idea of using some other parts of the jeans but of course the alternative is just to stick with a plain back...Or maybe just one pocket to form the label? Maybe I like that idea better...

Linking up with Lee for WiP Wednesday.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Jeans Love

Once the cutting was done this top has come together quite quickly.
I love how the jeans seams show here and there and you can see the wear and tear where our knees have been

An earlier post about this can be found here.

Now I'm putting together the back and pondering how to quilt it. One idea is to use yellow jeans topstitching thread to highlight the darkest and lightest windmill shapes but maybe that will be too busy and distract from the simplicity which is the appeal of this. Feel free to offer an opinion (which may or may not be heeded)!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced

Friday, 22 May 2015

Shirt Love

I have been working on this quilt off and on for several months. And it's the first finish in my Q2 goals for the Finish Along. Yay! The collection of materials for this quilt has taken place over several years. I had asked my husband and brother to save their cotton shirts for this project once the collar and cuffs got too scruffy for work wear. The beautiful soft cottons are destined probably for several quilts.

Here's the first which I'm entering in the nick of time for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival. Fading light and uncharged proper cameras make for less than perfect pics for the time being unfortunately. 
Maybe I can update this post with some better ones in a day or two.

I based it roughly on a Kaffe Fassett design which is conveniently constructed in four panels: asymmetrical left and right panels and a top and bottom panel across the width of the quilt.

I constructed the back from a lovely piece of paisley flannel I've had in my stash for a few years. It was made up to size with some favourite old kids' pyjamas and flannel scraps from another quilt.

I considered calling this quilt Working Style since that seems to be the favoured shirt brand! I left several of the labels in place to allude to the former life of these fabrics.

For the binding I ended up deciding to add two strips of the red I used in the back to echo the few reds in the quilt itself and they provide a nice counterpoint to the more sober Architextures crosshatch which provides the majority of the binding.

I've quilted it in widely spaced lines along the piecing. I may or may not add some red hand quilting in due course?!

 For time saving, although I generally enjoy the hand sewing process to finish, I elected to machine this one in the ditch on the front to catch in the edge of the double fold.

 I can see this one getting lots of use in the cooler months for sitting reading or watching. It's the prototype for a few more quilts using these fabrics and more which keep coming my way :-)

Quilt Stats:
Size 70x75" Total 290"
Cotton Shirts with cotton flannel backing
Bamboo cotton batting
Machine bound and quilted

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