Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reading Challenge - 13 in 2013

Rachel has thrown down the challenge - to read 13 grown-up books in 2013.
Hah - realistic challenge! I like!

While at the library yesterday I was browsing the shelves looking for inspiration and grabbed a book of short stories for some light, easy, pick-up-put-down holiday reading and then remembered the pile of books languishing on the shelves at home.

So home I went with only the one library book and dug out all the 'when I get time' books, gave them their own shelf and found out that I'll only need 3 more and then I've got an entire year of reading planned.

First up will be the Nick Earls short stories and Mary Poppins. I'm sure there will be another pile after I visit my parents and raid their shelves. I bought the Anh Doh biography and the Mary Poppins anthology recently, and the Nick Earls book is from the library but everything else was courtesy of Mum and Dad and their bulging shelves.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Breaking the creative drought


I spent last weekend sorting all my uni stuff and arranging my lesson plans and resources. I threw out mountains of stuff and actually managed to totally clear the surface of the desk - the first time I've seen it it a very long time. The shelves are sorted, folders labeled and I finally have a tidy space to play in again.

So, I spent today messing it up again. Two pairs of shorts for Jack, both from the Burda pattern I bought for a kids clothing swap about two years ago. The spider fabric (Eric Carle) was from Milly's recent destash and I teamed it with emerald green top stitching. The Superman fabric came from East Coast fabrics and I used red top stitching.

These shorts sit a little funny on Jack - sort of baggy at the front - so I tried them on him and pinned the elastic and fabric so that most of the gathers are at the back and then stitched in the side seams of the waist band to hold it. This sort of mimics a flat-front. The pockets are fairly shallow so not very useful for anything except collecting sand. I made a size 6, which is the largest size in the pattern and it only took 60cm of 112cm-wide fabric to make a pair, with scraps of contrast fabric for the front pocket facings. I didn't bother with back pockets as the would have been lost in the fabric design.
If I use this one again I think I would change the front pockets to make them deeper, but it might be time to look for different design.

And guess what? I cleaned up when I finished making them! My room looks as tidy as it was this morning before I started. I even put away all the fabric scraps and checked the carpet for pins. I stopped short of vacuuming up all the threads...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Giant Star Quilt

(suggestions for quilting and finishing most welcome)

The four centre squares will yield a quilt center of 74 in square.

Option 1. I'm thinking of using the charm squares to surrond them (will finish at 4.5in), then adding another plain grey border around that. If I use the same width as the charms then the quilt will end up at 94 in square. I'd make a scrappy binding.

Option 2. Instead of the grey outer border I could use the charms to sash between the four blocks and around the outside and it would end up 88 in square. I'd use the grey for binding.

Option 3. Scrap the queen size quilt and make the stars into four baby-size play quilts or two single bed quilts.

The whole ide of this quilt was to use some stash and to create something simple to practice some free-motion quilting on. I was planning on some free-motion design in the stars, a grid in the grey and cables in the border or grid/lines in the stars and free-motion in the grey.

What do you think?

(I have two charm packs and 9 layer cake squares to use)

Happy smurf and grumpy smurf

Can you tell them apart?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday Star and Sunday Star

Yep - I've been seeing stars again - very, very big ones...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Angelina Ballerina

The doll quilt has been delivered - and stashed for a certain little girl's birthday in a few weeks.
Perfect timing.

So here it is...

The lovely little ballerina mouse is adapted from a very cute quilt I saw on Flikr some time ago.

I drew my own version of her mouse, and used backstitch rather than running stitch, and appliqued the bodice-part of the tutu in place. A scrap of favourite lace was used to make the 3D skirt.

I used a photo of the completed top as the label, edited in Publisher to add the details, and printed on Matilda's Own printable fabric.

The quilt has hanging corners on the back in case the new owner wants to put it on the wall, but I also made a little pillow out of scraps so it can make a bed for a special doll. (I do hope it gets cuddled and snuggled and well-worn).

The whole thing is a stash-busting project...I didn't have to buy a thing! I need a few more of these projects to clear out the stash.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Finish - but only a sneak peek

Finally finished - a little past the due date - and in the mail is this little doll quilt.
It should have arrived so I'm just waiting for the recipient to let me know it has been recieved so I can post the final pics.

I posted some peeks here and admitted to insanity.
See those pinwheels below?
Each of them is about 2 inches square. I thought sewing them together was bad enough, but the quilting took insanity to a new level. Lots and lots of seam intersections...lots and lots of unpicking! I gave up on the free-motion attempts and stuck to the tried-and-true walking foot and straight lines.
I love the final quilt but I'm not in a hurry to attempt tiny pinwheels again any time soon.

This quilt is also my first finish for 2012. Makes me a late starter, but lets me join in with the rest of the girls doing AJ's '12 in 2012' WIP challenge.
(Full details here )
Being totally realistic, there is no way I'm going to finish 12 quilting WIPs by the end of this year. I'll be happy just to get a few crossed off the list and clear some space in the sewing cupboard.

Speaking of lists - here is mine:

I wrote it out quite a while ago and have added a few things to it over the last year.
But look - those crossed out ones have been finished!
It isn't all quilting. There are all sorts of projects on there. Some are started, some are kits ready to go, some are just wishes.
It would be nice to get a few more crossed off.