Saturday, January 29, 2011

One step closer to a finished quilt

The back is done!

I finally sat down and got the last of this quilt back put together.

I'm not sure about the 'train squares' panel in the top third - I'm thinking about pulling that section apart and replacing that bit....I'll let it go for a few weeks than have another look.

What do you think?

Here is the front.

I might bind it with a blue and white spot or something red to pick up the colours in the sashing.

And here are the two sides together.

I think I will add something around the edges of the backing to give myself a little extra playing room for quilting - maybe some strips of the binding fabric.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pillowcases - and another January finish

I bought some pillowcase kits about two years ago and when they arrived I was dissappointed to find the main fabric was cut so that the directional print would end up running in the wrong direction if I used the pattern provided. The pattern also didn't have the 'flap' inside to prevent the pillow falling out.

Lets face it - pillowcases aren't exactly difficult. My challenge was to use the lengths of fabric provided in the kit without any unnecessary joins and patches. They got put away until I had time to think.

I unearthed the kits while cleaning up a few weeks ago. Yesterday I pulled out the tape measure and the overlocker and got stuck in.

Within a few hours I had two very nice, very bright and very neatly made pillowcases that will look great with Jack's I-spy quilt (which is what I was meant to be working on instead of making pillowcases!). I also wrote out measurements and a rough pattern so I can do it again without all the thinking :).

And as you can see Jack was straight into a game of 'What's your favourite, Mum?'.


I had the bright idea of organising a sew-along/swap in the on-line craft group so that I'd be forced to try out some of the techniques I've been putting off, and to use up some of the stash.

The idea is to make a batch of potholders, send them off and get a whole lot back in return.

I need to make five by the end of February and I've only managed three tops so far, but enjoying the challenge I set myself - to make them without spending any money!

January finishes

I'm loving actually finishing off some of the half-made projects that have been lying around feeling sad and lonely...

Joanna Goanna was intended for a baby shower gift in September or October but I got as far as the feet and had a craft-melt-down. Those things were mighty hard to turn, and there were four of the things!
So I pulled her out at the start of the month and stuffed and stitched and finished her off.
She is from Homespun magazine and I think is designed by Melly and Me.
I used polar fleece for her belly and underside of her feet to make her extra cuddly. She is totally made from the stash, so it is nice to have her finished off.
(I'd better go and remove the blue marker from her eyes and nose before I decide what to do with her!)

One of the problems with doing some hand sewing in front of the TV is that my husband has an issue with pins and needles - particularly when I stick them in the couch while I'm sewing - not that I've ever left them there but for some reason he doesn't trust me....
So I made my own little 'safety sewing stash' from a plastic screw-top jar and some scrap fabric and ribbon.

The jar is big enough to hold a pair of embroidery scissors, a thimble, threader, pins, needles, a few cards of embroidery thread or a reel of cotton and also gives me a spot to stash all the little thread off-cuts (another pet peeve of the other half!).
Because it is plastic it is safe if it gets dropped on to the tile floors.
And I also got to mess around with the hot glue gun...:)

Better late than never...

This is really for my own benefit - I've got a photo from each Christmas morning since I started the blog and thought it would be a shame to miss it just because I'm running a month late!

More pre-Christmas craft

This one isn't really my handiwork - but I helped with the paint and the glitter (mainly cleaning up the mess afterwards) and the pins and paid for the whole thing...
On a pre-christmas trip to the shops we spotted a lolly Christmas tree in the window of a local craft shop and Jack decided that we needed one as well.

A foam cone, a foam star, a pack of glitter and some wrapped lollies found their way into the shopping trolly. When we got home I had a few goes at making one like the shop one but gave up in disgust before deciding we could do a better one ourselves.
It looked great on our new table runner!

And this was one of my favorite 'Christmas Moments'....
...Doesn't every nativity have a racing car and an excavator right in the middle?
I didn't manage to get a photo of baby Jesus going for a ride in the back of the jeep although it happened quite often. I also regularly had to find him inside one of the babushka santas during games of 'hide and seek'.
The advent calendar - despite best intentions it wasn't finished to use this year, but I got the last few ornaments sewn together and hung on the tree in time to pack it away for next year. I'm hoping to get a few years use while Jack is still young enough to enjoy it.
This was given to me (partly made - got to love other people's UFOs) a while ago and I've been meaning to finish it of for a while. There are 24 ornaments, each with a ribbon loop. I sewed gold ornamental buttons to the tree for the ornaments to hang on.
I'm thinking of adding a row of red buttons to the bottom border so all the ornaments can be on display while they wait their turn to go on the tree on the correct day.
I still need to add a hanging sleeve but that will wait until next Chrismas when I know where I want to hang it. I might add a bit more quilting and a bit more bling as well - we will see how I feel in November!

Pre-Christmas crafting

Yep, I know it is nearly the end of January, but I wanted to remind myself of the 'completed' list because the WIP list grew at a rapid rate when I cleaned out the sewing cupboard and found lots of forgotten treasures.

Firstly - two 'Make it Perfect Versatile Wrap Skirts'. I cut these out way back in...?... when I made one in the blue/brown colourway for a swap. I'm not sure why I never finished them but now I have and they have bothe been worn several times.
(And no, they are not as tiny as they look in the picture - just folded to hang neatly on the hanger for the photo.)
Secondly, Jack's rocket outfit. Again started for a swap way back in...?... and all they needed was elastic in the shorts and the applique stitched down. I didn't get the matching button-up shirt made (actually not even cut out) but these were done and ready for Christmas day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tablerunner reveal

Yep - back in November I finished this and sent it off.

Not sure if it ever turned up but haven't heard otherwise, so I hope it got there.

The fabrics are from the 'Wrap It Up' Christmas collection from Hoffman Fabrics.