Friday, 10 October 2014

Finish Along quarter 4

The year seems to go by very quickly when you measure it in quarters, and so here we are at Q4 of the Finish Along, bravely hosted this year by Katy at The Littlest Thistle. Time to lay out goals for the very end of the year. I've said before that I am generally something of a completer finisher, I don't have *that* many WIPs laying about and I really, really hate a UFO. So let's have a look at them and see if I can end the year with no WIPs. Ha.

1) #IGminiswap

An easy win to start off with, not only is this a commitment with a deadline but it's also actually well on its way to being done, having made great progress with it this week. Just the binding to choose, make and add and then I need to store it carefully and not forget to post it at the start of December!! I am thoroughly enjoying the process of working outside of my usual comfort zone and thrilled to see how this is turning out.

2) Pouch commission

I don't do commissions, ugh, but these are for a great friend and ex Temple Spa colleague and will be worth their while in Temple Spa products. Five Noodlehead open wide zip pouches. Fabric all chosen and cut, should be easy enough, right? Once the mini quilt is done these are next, I want them done and out of the way asap. 

And now onto the longer standing WIPs ...

3) Vaguely festive giant churn dash

This one's a double rollover. And we are now actually heading towards Christmas, so I'd better get it done, hadn't I? The girls would be thrilled with a Chrismassy quilt to snuggle under.

I was so excited to start this, I can't even remember why it got set aside.

This is a proper UFO, ugh. It's the 2013 Skill Builder BOM from Pile O Fabric. The blocks aren't finished and none of them are quilted. Why the appearance on the FAL list?? It is a QAYG quilt, and the quilting called for is FMQ. Not my thing at all, but tomorrow I am lucky enough to be going on a FMQ workshop with the highly impressive and respected quilter Trudi Wood. And if Trudi can't teach me to FMQ, no one can. So as well as my practice sandwiches for tomorrow I have my already basted BOM blocks. And if I don't crack FMQ tomorrow I'll be wonky straight line quilting the little buggers and calling it done. 

And because I can't resist the lure of something new ...

5) I can't stop thinking about making myself a Super Tote. Even though I should be focussing on the WIPs above, I'm torn. But it's Purse Palooza at the moment. Always a great reason to make a bag.

Well I have fabric, and pattern, so let's add it on for luck. 

I think that's enough to be going on with! Linking up with Katy of course. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Finish Along Q3 round up

Time to reflect back on my sewing efforts over the Summer! Feels like Autumn is well upon us now with a day of howling wind and rain here in Yorkshire (joys!). Let's see how I got on with my Q3 FAL list

1) Siblings Together quilts.

All finished and blogged here.

2) Teacher gifts

Nothing like some end of term pressure to get some tedious gift crafting out of the way. Finished and blogged and here's an appalling photo as proof!

3) Secret quilt

This is done, but as predicted I can't share yet!! So that's a FAL entry fail, but a huge personal Summer sewing success!

4) Other secret EPP sewing. This is a fail on every count. I lost the will to live with it, sorry. 

5) Roundabout mini

Hurrah! Finished, blogged and happily on my wall.

6) Travel duffel 2

Finished and blogged! I am extra happy about this as it was a rollover. I hate UFOs!

7) Vaguely festive giant churn dash

Absolutely no progress whatsoever. Not even touched. 

So that's officially 4 out of 7 which isn't bad at all! 

Linking up with Katy at The Littlest Thistle and starting to put together plans for Q4. Can I end the year with no WIPs???

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

I'm done

So regular readers will know, as I harp on about it frequently, that in December last year I signed up for Fabriholics Anonymous. A pledge not to buy fabric for 6 months, with a possible extension to 12. A fabric fast indeed. You can read all the nitty gritty rules here.

And I've stuck to it, I really have. I am quite a tenacious sort and when I set my mind to something I generally see it through. The end of June came and went and I decided to press on, as all my original reasons for fasting stayed valid, still so many planned projects with fabric bought and waiting. I think I've done pretty well. And frankly it's starting to feel like I am the only person still fabric fasting in the entire blogisphere. Everyone else has fallen/ leapt off the wagon. The link ups stopped months ago. Just poor little me left in my joyless non purchasing world.

I have bought some permitted items recently. My only fabric purchases at Festival of Quilts were for a secret sewing project. I turned down a lot of bargains and it was mildly disappointing, if eminently sensible.

I've also splashed out on some fabrics for my effort in the #IGminiswap, as my partner has such wildly different tastes from me that a quick peek at my stash revealed it contained absolutely nothing at all that she would like. That was both fun, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and into someone else's shoes, and again mildly disappointing, given the amount of gorgeous fabric that I haven't bought for myself this year.

I keep looking at this stack. And procrastinating. And looking again. Way out of my comfort zone but I think it could be awesome. #igminiswap #teamrosanne

And then last month my lovely Grandma died, and I just though: Sod it. I'm done. My stash is full of prints I haven't used during the last 8 and a half months. Many prints that I have looked at repeatedly and known I will never use. But I've held onto them, because when nothing's coming in it's hard to let anything go. And I was stalling on stash busting projects due the same hoarding tendancies and so I decided it just really needed a bit of  revamp, an injection of something new. A 25% off bundles voucher for Pink Castle Fabrics was the clincher. So off I went.

I decided to go for some colour coded stash building bundles. I have long debated joining the Pink Castle stash stack club but frankly the thought of paying for a half empty flat rate envelope each month makes me wince. And there, in the in stock bundles section were some leftover bundles. I went for half yard half stacks -  a half yard is my preferred stashing cut and I wanted maximum colour options.


Dots, sketch and squared elements among others! Love.

Yellow (this is proper buttery yellow not citrussy yellow):

More sketch, woodgrain and minimalista plus others

And green:

Lizzy House jewels - my favourite ever blender and binding print. Plus dots, stripes and bigger scale prints.

And then because I have a policy of always filling a flat rate envelope to the very brim I added this mini bundle of Cotton and Steel basics, FQs this time.

Metallics, yay!

I'm really not done. It is my birthday this weekend and there are lovelies on the way, plus some pennies to spend at Simply Solids. I'm saving up for Katy's Priory Square collection and hoping to indulge in the Black Friday and Christmas sales too. Then that will be it, I'm going to restock on my basics, rebuild my stash, scratch that itch and start 2015 back on the fabric fast wagon. Because I need to sew, not just shop.

And because I need to fund this little habit, I've been doing some IG destashing which will be ongoing.

This has all sold, follow me on Instagram for more in the future!

Oh I'm and selling all the baby stuff too. Sob.

End of September, start of October

Yet again, another month has flown by. An incredibly busy month on a personal level. My big girl went back to school, which always makes me sad even though we enjoy our daily routine. The month in which I lost my lovely Grandma. Completed my second Whole 30. And we've had some massive changes at home too with my husband finally realising his dream of buying his own business. Stressful but exciting times and lots of mixed emotions. Under normal circumstances sewing would have probably taken a back seat but I had my first ever secret sewing deadline to meet. I can't share yet but it has been a thrill and a challenge to push myself creatively.

So from a round up point of view little to share I'm afraid. Just the longstanding WIP travel duffle which is happily all done.

Travel duffle is done and up on the blog! Link in profile. V pleased it's done! #travelduffel #travelduffle #travelhandmade

Oh and I bought fabric. Full confession here!

I stalled so long that the light is bad now, but here's my first #fabricpost in 8 and a half months. 10.5 yards of stash building happiness thanks to @pinkcastlefabrics hurrah! #sodthefabricfast

So my plan for October is:

1. #igminiswap
Pushing myself again with this little plan and some production line paper piecing.

I keep looking at this stack. And procrastinating. And looking again. Way out of my comfort zone but I think it could be awesome. #igminiswap #teamrosanne

2. A commission! I don't take commissions, but here we are. Some open wide pouches for a dear friend. These will be traded against indulging in my guilty pleasure, Temple Spa goodies.

3. Some sewing for me, that aviatrix medallion perhaps. Or one of the million other things I want to sew!

Wish me luck! With the no longer napping baby and a husband working a million hours sewing time is at a premium round here at the moment. Lucky I have lots of time with the Leeds MQG ladies this month to keep me sane, starting with the Grand Opening of Simply Solids' bricks and mortar shop in Huddersfield this Saturday. See you there?!

Linking up with Lynne over at Lily's quilts of course for Fresh Sewing Day.

Fresh Sewing Day

And by happy coincidence I've just realised it's Wednesday so i'll go link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced too.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday finish - Travel Duffle 2

Ooof this finish has been a long time coming. I made a Studio Cherie Travel Duffle bag back in April this year, and even though it was a bit of a battle I quickly forgot that and pulled fabrics for another one.

I had bought a couple of metres of this Kokka Ladybug print (From Stamped by Ellen Luckett-Baker) to make cushions for my ladybird mad mother-in-law. In the event I made her a Supertote instead and therefore still had plenty of yardage left to make a fun travel bag for the girls to share.

Linen and Ladybug Super Tote

I cracked on and made the hessian handles as before, then ground to a halt. I don't know why really, but this project has languished on my Finish-Along list ever since. I picked it up again this month, when I was procrastinating on some mentally challenging secret sewing, and even took it as my sewing day project with Leeds MQG. I learnt from some of last time's mistakes, but not all of them. Used Kona Snow again for the lining as I had nothing else big enough. But hey, it's just the inside of a bag isn't it? And this inside of this bag always looks like a dog's dinner as it's unlined, so no point wasting any good stuff! I did remember to cut my lining a little bigger. I also remembered not to bind my end pieces until the pockets were on. This time I added two end zipper pockets but skipped the (uselessly small) side pockets. 

Let's see if I can turn these into a bag today ..... #travelduffle #travelduffel #sewing #travelhandmade
3 quilts which miraculously become a bag ...

Yet again, the final construction of this was epic. I broke 3 needles, had a million skipped stitches, fell out with it and chucked it in the corner of my sewing room while I got on with meeting my September deadline. That (almost) done, I picked it up again tonight, got lucky with a new needle and managed to get one of the ends firmly attached. 2 more broken needles on the other end but it is DONE. Seriously, I love making bags but my machine hates it so much, it breaks my heart. #shouldaboughtajuki

I do recommend this pattern, really I do. This is the best sized bag for a weekend away if you can't pack light and the way the handles wrap round to support its weight is very clever. It is a bit of a puzzle, and definitely requires a sew through anything machine, but it is a very satisfying thing to have made.

I'm afraid it is dark here already now and I was being impatient to get this post up so the photos are a bit lacking, apologies. This has 2 quilts and 2 cushions in and isn't even full!!

Simple cross hatch quilting in matching Aurifil #2000

I topstitched along the main zipper again to secure the flaps down.

I'm sure the zipper tabs on the other weren't as big as these!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday ...

Monday, 15 September 2014

Siblings Together quilts

I am very happy to report that the Siblings Together quilts that I made with the invaluable help of Leeds Modern Quilt Guild  were indeed finished in time to be sent down to Fat Quarterly Retreat and handed over. So pleased! We pieced the blocks at our June meeting, all 48 of them.

I was absolutely determined to get these finished by this year's deadline. I do work well with a bit of focus, so I sashed, basted, quilted and had the binding chopped up and ready in time for our July guild sewing day. 

No pins here! 505 spray ftw

Second one all quilted. Now I desperately need to crack on with teacher gifts! #leedsmqg #grannysquarequilt #siblingstogether
Easy peasy wavy line quilting

@lisasew @leedsmqg I've cut the binding! But do you have hexie dies for the sissix? Could you bring them tomorrow please?
Binding strips all cut and ready

The day of our July meet was an absolute scorcher. Remember Summer, people? Yes, that was just a few weeks ago. Just the perfect kind of day for binding two huge quilts. But that deadline was just a week away, along with the end of term, our family holiday and a whole load of gift making and packing stress! So I cracked on, and got the bindings attached and machined down. I usually prefer to hand finish my bindings but when speed is of the essence it has to be machine finished. Just a few finishing tasks to be done, attaching the labels and hand finishing the corners (I always like to do this for durability). Luckily many hands came to the rescue! We had some illustrious names at our meeting that month and so I am proud to say that the lovely Katy, Amy and Justine all had a hand in finishing off these quilts. It was a  busy, productive and super fun day. 

I left the finished quilts with Lisa who handed them over to Karen (you still with me, yes?). And Karen took them down to Fat Quarterly Retreat! This was a real team effort and I am so grateful to everyone involved.

Siblings Together

Siblings Together is such an important charity. It helps to reunite and rebuild relationships between siblings separated by the UK care system. Each year it holds summer camps for these children, and each child who attends gets to take away their own quilt, a special handmade item infused with happy memories and love. I have donated 3 quilts to the charity this year, including these two, and been involved in 11 more! I hope to do the same again this year as once again I am part of the Siblings Together quilting bee. And Leeds Modern Quilt Guild will be making quilts to send again too, although we may give ourselves a little more time this year!!

I didn't manage to get any pictures of the finished quilts as they had to be handed over as soon as they were done, but Lisa did. Thanks Lisa!

So to summarise ...
Pattern: Granny square blocks in a 4 by 6 arrangement
Fabric: Potluck scraps plus others, Kona snow for sashing
Backing: IKEA fabrics donated by Lisa and Hannah
Binding: Chicopee plaid and Lizzy House orange jewels
Quilting: Simple wavy lines on the diagonal, I think 3" apart.
Size: 78" ish by 53" ish

Thanks everyone! 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Roundabout giveaway winner at last

Apologies that it has taken me a little while to announce the winner of the Roundabout pattern giveaway. I've had a rather stressful and horrible week culminating in my lovely Grandma dying yesterday morning so of course anything blog related has been rather low down the priority list this week. 

Anyway I finally managed to pop to and the RNG said...

... comment number 4 which is Gill who said:

Thanks so much Gill, I will send your email to Jess so that she can send you your copy of the pattern. I look forward to seeing your version!

Thanks so much to all who entered, I have managed some sewing progress since my last post so hopefully I will be back to update soon. Here's a peek ...