Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Finish Along Q3 [round up]

It's that time again: rounding up my Q3 finishes. Or lack thereof.

But first I have a final finish to share with you today and it's actually a finish from months ago that I mentioned in my blog post rounding up the #handpiecedminiswap but that never got it's own blog post. On my original list was a zippy pouch extra for this swap. I used some fabrics that I received in another swap, as in a roundabout way I thought my partner would like them - she had said in the sign up that she liked Liberty of London fabric, but I didn't own any. Liberty of London are quite floral, and I had been gifted a C&S floral print which seemed perfect. I added in some coordinates, a little hand quilting, a matching pincushion and needlecase and had an extra that my partner seemed to like!

But how did the rest of my list go? Well, not great, but with a really good reason - I hope you agree! In case you missed it, here is the reason: Baby Craigs, due April, 2016!

Just like my last pregnancy, the minute I hit 7 weeks and 3 days pregnant, the sickness started and I had absolutely no energy. That was mid August, so I have a few finishes from July which I can link up as well as the zippy above. First up was the hand-pieced mini swap quilt.

And another swap: the Thimble Blossoms mini quilt.

Plus the extra zippy pouch.

And a third swap: the Harry Potter mini quilt. I had planned a zippy pouch for this too and that was another item on my finish along list. It didn't happen. I still have the fabric prepared, so maybe I'll make it for me one day!

That's it. There were 24 things on the original list and I finished 5 things. I think you'll be seeing a lot of the other 19 on next quarter's list!

Linking up with Adrianne for that final finish!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

ALYoF [October goal]

I haven't been very successful with my ALYoF goals recently. I didn't make my July goal, with no real excuse. My August goal remained untouched. And I didn't even bother to make a September goal. But gradually I think my energy is returning - slowly. So I'm going to try a goal for October. It's a repeat.... my July goal was a baby quilt. The quilt is a christening present. The christening was last weekend!

It's a finished quilt top, but I do now have backing material, and I got it basted yesterday evening! Bring on the quilting!

That gives me plenty of time to get it quilted and finished by the end of the month!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Farmer's Wife: Here we go again

It's been a while since I wrote a post about the Farmer's Wife quilt hasn't it?

My 1920s Farmer's Wife Quilt made in batiks
Well, I'm starting on a new one. We've moved on from the 1920s farmer's wife to the 1930s: a new book, 99 new blocks and considerably more pieces. There are two quilt alongs happening: one organised by Kerry and the other by Angie. There's a Facebook group with nearly 4000 members. I'm a sucker for a sampler quilt and a sucker for a quilt-along, so I'm diving in.

Last time I was pregnant I made the City Sampler quilt (as yet unfinished), so this pregnancy - and undoubtedly beyond - I will make a Farmer's Wife quilt. But if the children think they are getting their paws on any of these quilts, they can think again!

Lots of people have been posting photos of their fabric pull for the quilt - the specially-curated bundle offered online contains 50 fat quarters, so it's clear you need variety. This is my fabric pull.

Yep - my entire stash! Anything and everything is up for grabs! And it'll all look fine in the end, because I love all of those fabrics.

I'm planning to keep up with the QALs by making a couple of blocks a week, using a mix of techniques: standard rotary cutting, foundation piecing and English paper piecing. But I think it's unlikely I will make exactly the same blocks every week. Kerry is working through from front to back - I prefer to jump about and pick out a block that I like the look of. Angie is working through from simplest to most complex - personally I know from previous experience that leaving all the difficult blocks to the end would be a recipe for disaster.

The first block that grabbed me was no. 13: Belle. It lent itself to English paper piecing to avoid some Y-seams if I had been machine piecing, and I could draft it without needing to print it out - our printer is in need of yellow ink - not vital for printing patchwork patterns, but apparently vital for it working!

I picked a floral print from Recollection by Katarina Rocella for Art Gallery - I used this recently on my La Pass quilt and then picked up a large piece which can go towards a quilt back sometime soon! The solid isn't actually completely solid, but it was the perfect match and reads as a solid from pretty close. The letter that accompanies this block is all about celebrating Christmas - it makes our Christmas gathering of 25 people look small!

I've also pieced the three blocks from this week of Angie's quilt along: Becky. Having spent last weekend picking apples, I decided it would be appropriate for this block. The yellow is Michael Miller, and the larger green spots are Fig Tree.

Bonnie: I think the blue is Drift from Art Gallery, the dark aqua is Alison Glass, and the light Aqua is Cotton and Steel.

And Aunt: the two navy fabrics are cotton and steel, and the pink is Art Gallery Lace Elements. I foundation pieced the central economy square for this block.

And I've made a start on another EPP block - Ann: I have also suddenly realised just how ridiculously small some of the pieces are in this quilt - this is just one quarter of a finished block and those orange pieces are TINY!

I'm going to link up with Angie this evening!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Modern Fabric Postcard Swap

I signed up for the modern fabric postcard swap on a bit of a whim. I'd never come across fabric postcards before (but got a lovely arty one from Lin a few years ago - she might call it a fabric postcard, but it's beyond anything I could achieve with fabric!). It sounded so simple: make three postcards and send by the end of September. I got my partners in July. Loads of time.

And that's the killer isn't it - I knew none of the postcards would take long, so I kept putting them off. And then I fell ill with pregnancy and disaster was on the horizon. Luckily I found a little bit of sewjo in time to complete the three postcards just a few days late. This is the first time I've ever been late with a swap, and it doesn't feel great... 

My machine did not enjoy the free motion applique through the thick interfacing and a lot of the dark thread from the front created a knotted mess on the back, which you can see through the fabric... so rather than make all three using this technique, I went back to the drawing board with piecing and basic straight line quilting for the final two.

So far I've received two post cards in return from @pascaleion...

And from @fisty_muff

Thursday, 1 October 2015

August and September

Time flies when you're throwing up in the morning, and it's been a couple of months since I did a bit of a review. So here's what August and September looked like:

We found out that we are expecting again - Mia will be a big sister in April next year.

We spent a week in Sidmouth, and Mia has got over her fear of Morris Men, which is just as well really. This is Dad in Mendip kit.

There hasn't been much sewing, but what has happened has been focused on my La Passacaglia project - this photo is a month old now, so I'll do a post soon to show recent progress.

I completed my Thimbleblossoms Mini swap:

But then as August progressed, the Harry Potter swap started stressing me out a bit - with limited energy, I struggled to complete this on time - but I just managed it and sent off my interpretation of The Burrow on the deadline! I've also re-read all 7 of the books in the last few weeks. It's amazing how much I'd forgotten and how much the films leave out!

And just last weekend Autumn arrived - we visited Wrest Park and left with a very exhausted 19-month-old - perfect! And picked 75 kilos of apples from my parents' tree.

I finished off September with a burst of energy and made a small embroidery to celebrate a friend's wedding. Hopefully this burst of energy is the start of better times ahead!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A little embroidery

This weekend we stayed with my parents and went to the wedding of an old school friend. It was one of those wedding invites that didn't come with a gift list. And as I haven't seen this old school friend in quite a few years, and never met her now husband before, I had no idea what to give them. If in doubt, sew something. I can at least be sure that no one else got them the same thing!

I did some pinning, and came across this pin, which linked back to a no-longer-open Etsy shop. I googled a bit and found nothing more except broken links - all I know is that the original design was by someone called Bec Groves. With the printer not working, I ended up redrawing the image I had found. I surprised myself at how well that step went.  I also added in names and date which weren't part of the original.

My finished embroidery is definitely a copy of the pin I found, but with a few personal touches. As well as the names and date, I also did a chunkier leaf border using feathered chain stitch as my base, with some lazy daisy stitches and French knots.

It was also apple-picking weekend! We now have more apples than we know what to do with! About 75 kilos....

Monday, 28 September 2015

Zippy Pouch [a finish]

In the current sewing drought I forgot to share something with you that I actually finished. Back in July. It was an extra for the Thimble Blossoms mini quilts swap. I work on the basis that everyone loves zippy pouches and you can never have too many!

I used a mini charm pack of Odds and Ends by Julie Comstock which I've had for ages. I always struggle to know how to use them, but this was the perfect project: I laid them out in two 5x4 grids, carefully positioning the lowest volume charms together on one side. This gave me a canvas for a small sewing machine embroidery.

It's hand stitched in one or two strands of DMC stranded cotton in dark grey and I added some basic cross hatch quilting by machine.

The 5x4 layout left two mini charms over, which I used to add tags to each end of the zip when I made the pouch up. Unfortunately I totally forgot to square off the corners! And I struck gold with this extra - apparently the fabric line was one of my partner's favourites!

This was on my Finish Along list at the start of the quarter.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side