Friday, January 31, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
I don't know, I seem incapable of just doing one project at a time. The sawtooth star is overwhelming that I have put it to one side. I have been working on the MapleO which is going great... But...
Then I saw Lizzy House was doing a dressmaking contest using her Catnap fabric. What a perfect idea! I had been about to buy some of the line anyway as I just love it. I am annoyed that nowhere in the UK sells the entire range, but then I shouldn't really be buying all of it anyway. In the end I bought some from Backstitch which is fast becoming a favourite online retailer for me. It is so quick! You can see the Catnap range she stocks here.
I was really torn between two of the fabrics. I just couldn't make up my mind. So I bought both! Shocking. I am so poor! What is wrong with me? But I knew that it was strong love I felt and that this range was going to be like Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy where I kicked myself for months and months after it had all gone out of stock so quickly. These days I have a stern talk with myself and try and only buy fabric I really, reaaaally like. I have quite enough in my stash that I really am not that keen on. Yet there are some fabrics I return to again and again. These latter ones are the only ones I want to buy these days. Anyhow, Catnap is a keeper!
I have decided to make Penelope another Sally dress as I really like the pattern and the one she is in now won't fit her that much longer. I can barely get her into it. So I thought I could make her a size 3 bodice with a size two bottom bit. I am not that great at choosing fabrics that match or combining colour unless it is really obvious. I ended up with two choices.
I have decided to go with the beige and purple group as I just love the big cat faces. I cut out the fabric today and didn't have enough of the purple bracelet fabric so I decided to make the pockets odd colours with odd linings. A test really to see what goes. Plus it will look quirky I hope. Or a mess. Yes it could just look like a mess.
I have also decided to do a little appliqué! Ooooh. I want a big cat face on the pocket. Why not? I was going to sew it on as felt but I thought appliqué would be more special. Penelope will probably just pick it off. It gives me a chance to use my black gold appliqué sharps which mum bought me for Christmas two years a go. So far so good. They really mega sharp so they glide through the layers. I like how the black metal has a Matt finish - for no particular reason - they just look cool.
My cat is going to bleed off the side of my pocket. I don't want him to appear too symetrical as I don't feel that is in keeping with the fabric. Sorry the pictures are so gloomy. Project time is almost always in the evenings these days.
So I roughly drew a cat face from the fabric. But now I have period pains so no sewing it tonight. I need to get into bed and watch some Swedish/Danish thriller. Tak!
Join me on Instagram and see the catnapdresscontest hashtag thingamajig. I am so down with the kids.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
So I spent the last few days trying to finish this quilt off. I put some ramshackle extra bits on the sides of the single girl blocks as they were too small. I don't know how I messed that up. I purposefully made them a bit bigger so I could trim them down to fit, but they ended up being too small. Stupid maths. You can see the tiny strip I have added on the right hand side of the block. I decided they were just going to be a feature.
Then it was onto the sashing. I've been sewing a bit in the evenings of late just so I can get it done. It's been really nice picking out favourite scraps and sewing them together. I haven't been hugely accurate with my cutting by I am okay with that. I like the hodge podge nature of it. It feels warm and welcoming already. Sorry the pictures are so dark but it was evening. The mankey green carpet doesn't help. We'll all laugh about this carpet and the blue walls one day when it's all been fixed up white and pretty.
I'm really pleased with some of the details. I loved Amanda's quilt so much that I really tried to emulate as many details as I could, even though the fabrics are different. I feel that everything fits really well together, even though I used a lot of different fabrics, many of which I wasn't too sure about. Basically the ones with lettering in them and some of the creams and whites together. But I am really pleased with how it all looks.
I wasn't sure how much I should make things line up. I didn't want to make it over accurate as Amanda's has a lovely free flowing nature to it, so I let it slide. It was quite difficult to let go, but I did and I am really pleased with it as a result. I wasn't that into the butterfly print but I feel it's worked pretty well. It was pretty wasteful though as I only cut out the bits I liked.
So now I just need to create the backing and baste it. I have bought some more Pearl Bracelets for the backing. Basting is my least favourite part of the process so we'll see how long it takes me. I'm tempted to buy some 505 and give it a try again.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
I really need to finish off the sawtooth star quilt. It's all in strips waiting for me to sew it together. I am putting it off because then I will have to buy wadding and backing which is expensive and then I will have to lay it out somewhere to baste it and the house is so full of boxes and junk that I just can't imagine where. But. I still want to finish it.
I also really want to finish my postage stamp quilt because I need the fabric for other projects afterwards. I am only half way through though and it's fiddly exacting work. I would reeeeeaaaaly like to do more of it though. I know exactly where the project bag lives so I have no excuse not to set it all up. It's just such a lot of work! I really want to do it right. I tried to do one block and nothing matched up because I was rushing it too much.
So this is the year of the small project. The above might all get shelved until Penelope is a bit older, we'll see. So I need some small project ideas. So I am sniffing some out to make a list of. Pinterest and me have a date.
I managed to totally break my rotary cutter this christmas. Heaven knows what happened to it, but it's busticated. I was gutted. It has served me well though. Mumple gave it to me at the very beginning of all this quilting lark. So my new one arrived from The Quilted Bear today. A Christmas present to myself. A sign that I need to get going again!
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Bizarrely, I dreamt I made a needle case. Not the most thrilling thing to dream, but weird to create something so random in your head without meaning to. It was so vivid that when I woke up I decided to actually make it. The dream has faded a bit now but I think this is pretty much it. I decided to do it all by hand as I wanted to be able to do it in front of the TV. No rulers either. It's given it the rustic feel I often feel is missing from things I make. I am very happy with it. All made from scraps so no cost involved.
Above is the front. Or the back I suppose. I need to remove the white pen I used to mark the lines. I also now know that I have no idea how to do a French knot.
Here's the back, with a bit of extra stitching where the whole thing started to come apart! Bad sewing on my part there.
The whole thingis basically just random log cabin which I am really into at the moment, but all in the same colour except for a few bits. That was the dream. It came out really well. I thought you might not really see it and it would be a waste of time, but I like it. I did some very basic embroidery on the front, which makes me wish I knew more about it. I have some of mum's old embroidery books in a box, one of them is full of Danish designs from the seventies, but, well, they are in a box somewhere so I just make some stuff up. It makes it look a bit like a child made it, but I quite like that.
I decided to make it into a Christmas present for Rachel. We have been talking about knitting socks so I bought some knitting notions: Some big safety pins for cabling on the go. Some big stitch markers in the shape of tear drops Some small stitch markers in the shape of hearts Some hingeless safety pins. Some needles in various sizes. I was going to sew some measuring tape ribbon we bought into it so you could measure your gauge on the go. We bought some together I think years a go, but the ribbon is all packed away in boxes somewhere. Sigh. Another time.
I'd really like to make one for myself now
Friday, January 03, 2014
This year has been more prolific than I thought. I really thought I had only made two things but it's interesting how the little things all add up. Compared with last year it seems a lot but it's all mostly little projects.
1. Cardy. I was really pleased with this. I wish I had knitted more this year. I might make another cardigan now that I have been given a book of patterns for xmas. I am just so slow.
2. A baby quilt. I enjoyed making this tiny quilt. I wish I had more of the fabric. I love it. I wish I hadn't backed it with pink though. I feel it's a little loud.
3. Tripp Trapp seat. This has been used and abused I can tell you. I think we are finally nearing the end of its use. It has been great though and I have enjoyed its jollyness. Now I just need to recycle it into something else somehow.
4. iPad holder. This was so useful. Our white noise days are over now though and so it's been out of commission for a while. I'd like to make it into something which hangs off the sofa in some way but I haven't worked it out yet.
5. Sewing machine cover. It looks a bit silly as it's short, but it works perfectly. I am annoyed I didn't quilt it properly though. I'd like to make the whole thing again, but properly. And I have since found the special foot you use for piping, that makes everything so much easier!
6. Crochet roll. I love making these. I can't believe I haven't made one for myself yet. It was a good stash buster too. I was never going to use the old Amy Butler fabric otherwise. I am just not into it any more.
7. Taggie. It's hour was short lived, but it was dribbled on for that short time. I should really pass it on to another baby but I can't. I have put it in a small box of Penelope things to remember some of those early days by.
8. Bunting. Ah ha! The bunting that never got used in the end. Hopefully this birthday it will be out in all its glory. I'm still really pleased with the quality and all the bright colours.
9. Dribble bib. Penelope stopped dribbling as soon as I made this. I put it on her anyway though.
10. Behold! The Sally Dress. This has to be my greatest achievement of 2013. I learnt a lot and I am well impressed with myself. I wish she would hurry up and walk though as it's too impractical for her to wear whilst she is crawling, I fear it will be too small by the time she starts walking. Part of me would like to make the whole thing again though, so I can make it better.
11. Teeny Quilt. A great project for a few hours work and a nice use of liberty fabric.
12. Sewing kit. I love this. It's so wonky, but I love it.
13. Cat winter. This coat was so easy to make, a really great pattern.
14. Spring. The bow tie was Simon's idea. Showman cat! I'd love to make some of the trousers for Penelope, but perhaps baggier and without the turnups... and not it gold.
15. Summer. A bit of a cheat but at least I made the cloak.
16. Bike blanket I forgot about this! I made a bike blanket for Penny. It's one of the best things I have made her! We use it everyday and it works brilliantly. It keeps off the rain and protects her in the wind and cold. One of my better ideas.
Oh I totally missed off the car quilt which really does take the top spot in useful things. It's just a bit of Simon's cashmere jumpers sewn together. It's really soft and a perfect size to wrap round her in the car or the buggy. It gets taken everywhere.
Jeez. That's it!
I'd like to keep up with the small projects this year but maybe do a bit more quilting. I'd like to make a bag and do more knitting this year. I am trying to make a quilt at the moment but it's quite hard to fit any progress into the odd hour or two I get. I didn't finish any of last year's unfinished projects so they're all still to do. Courses Those days are just over. Let's face it. I did go to Birmingham though and I'd like to go every year!
Resolutions for 2014
To use up scraps
To not buy new fabric unless it's for something specific
To make time for sewing
To do more knitting specially a pair of socks!
Resolutions from last year
To continue finishing things off instead of starting big new projects - didn't do so well on that but I haven't started anything huge. I nearly have, but luckily I couldn't even manage that!
To not buy new fabric - I didn't do too well with that, specially at Birmingham. D'oh. But I think I have cut down.
To get back into sewing now that Penelope is a bit more independent. I think I have done really well!
To do more knitting and crochet so I don't forget. Not so good on that point.