Sunday, 20 April 2014

Giveaway Shoutout

Pop on over to Lily's Quilts.  She is holding a big easter giveaway with loads of her sponsers and fantastic prizes.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Finish Along Quarter 2

It was great having the FAL to work to last quarter.  I have so many unfinished projects driving me mad.  Here's my list for the second quarter:

1.  So for a second time I'll start with the quilt I made for Sandra, just needs quilting and binding.

2.  Second is the still the scrappy trip, still needs quilting and binding.

3.  Third is still the Gen X Quilter's BOM from last year. All the blocks except one are now done and the sashing is cut, so some progress has been made.

4.  Where's my quilt mum, is it done mum, when's it gonna be finished mum. He's still asking.  Three more blocks are done.  The ones left are definately not in my area of expertise, or to be more precise the things I find really difficult or just plain don't like.  Truth be told those things mean one and the same thing to me.

5.  Something I started for my sister for Christmas 2012, not finished but much further along than it was so progress, yay.

6.  The quilt top that had disappeared is now laid out on the bedroom floor full of pins waiting to be quilted.  I've decided I will give it to my parents as I made it with them in mind.

7.  The HST quilt now named in our house as the Carnival Pants Quilt which Ruby wants for her birthday next month.  I have made a lot of progress with it but whether or not it'll be finished by then is another matter!

8.  I have a another Half Square Triangle quilt I started for the kid's dad who originally didn't want a quilt, but saw it in the making and realised he didn't know what he was thinking!!

I really want to get through this stuff as I'm enjoying having things hanging around so, onward!

I'm linking up with Katy again

Saturday, 5 April 2014


My sewing is semi-organised:

PROJECTS in bags on shelves

STUFF more properly called notions but when Ruby is looking to use something we refer to it as "in the stuff"

A BIG BOX OF DRESSMAKING PATTERNS - including the first skirt I made which if I recollect ended up having more than twenty different incarnations through my teenage remnant sewing years


A SMALL CRATE OF WIERD/OR UNALLOCATED FABRIC - including net, felt, that piece of stuff the kid's dad's mum gave me that I can't find a use for but she gave me it and I wont part with it
then comes the quilting fabric



BIG CRATE OF SCRAPS (this is the box that the lid barely fits on)

I am obsessed with fabric (no).  Get me, I always say fabric.  I remember being admonished by Mrs Gow (Needlecraft and Dress Teacher Extraordinaire) for saying material.  Apparently everything man made was made of some kind of material, the kind of material we used was fabric. 

So, I've joined this swap.  (Yes, the reason for this post, what it's long already and I havn't started yet, oh, yeah).  This meant that I had to go rummaging through the scrap box.  It's a walk through my quilt history.  I loved it

Here's a quick pic of what I've sent:

First Quarter Finish Along

Finish Along 2014

I have to say my results are a little bit rubbish.  Out of my list of ten, I have finished one thing and that was drastically changed.  Still I have made a lot of progress on some of the others so fingers crossed for second quarter.  To be fair to myself, for the amount of time I've been at home in the last three months that's an achievement in itself.

What I finished was the bag for my friend, Sandra.  I havn't given it to her yet as every time I go round there I go from somewhere that isn't here and so don't have it with me.  I'm not massively sure about it now.  I mean, it's a good bag, but me and Sands, we're little short birds and it seems a bit big.  Still, knowing her she'll find a good use for it, I can't see her not.  I think I may have to make another smaller one just to check it out ...
Front of bag, based on tripple zippy pouch made bigger into a bag

Back with jeans style pocket

Even if I didn't finish a lot of stuff I have moved my UFOs on a bit. I've got into the habit of making notes about what I'm doing in one of the many notebooks and all in all I'm glad I joined in and am looking forward to the next quarter.  I'll post about that later, I'm going to help Ruby make Pineapple Upside Down Cake now.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

I Pull My Blue Jeans On

Just how has my personal history informed the way I dress.  Well I'm 48 and no longer wear those multi-coloured mini skirts made from the remnant bins.  I don't have those size 10 jeans with 37 patches (patches on patches) and the size 10 boat sailed so long ago I don't remember how many masts it had.

I used to dress in whatever I liked.  Not in the so what way but what I liked the touch, feel, style, fabric of whether or not it suited me, was practical for what I was doing or, ahem, even if it fitted well.

I'm still swayed by the feel and the drape, but I cannot afford to make a mistake which often evens itself up as "if in doubt, do without" and I also have the starlings to feather first.  I'm still a sucker for the bright, bold and out there and over the years that is where most errors have been made.  The other note to self has to be NO WHITE, my lifestyle just cannot support it.  I love it but it does not mix with kids, cats, dogs, motorbikes, gardening, cooking.  "You rake around too much for that" my mum used to say.  I thought she was having a go but she was just being honest.  I do rake around, I like it that way.  I want to be all Audrey Hepburn but ... 
The very beautiful and demur Audrey Hepburn

Being a fashion guru in the lovely Sand's back garden

I'm not and no amount of wanting will make me be.

My most famous faux pas was a silver zoot suit  - I am 5', I'd seen a tall leggy model wear one she looked great I looked crap.  Hey it was the 1980's.

I think having children was the major turning point.  It felt like I was smeared in other peoples puke, piss and bodily detritis for years.  What do I mean felt like, I was.  My body filled out and fell downwards and whilst I must for my own health give it a bit of an overhaul at the same time I have learnt to love my body fat or thin, young or old most of the time.  In fact in its naked state its really ok with me.  It's the stretched, soft, scarred temple MY soul lives in.  My actual body is not the problem.  The problem comes when I put things on it don't that suit it and it ends up looking very wrong.

I have found that although casual and practical I look good in jeans, dressed up or down.  I have all sorts of jeans in different widths and colours, even shorts, but even then its boot leg or skinny not straight they don't suit.  They're warm, practical and occasionally long lasting.  I've found colours and styles of tops that suit the massive bazoomas, arms and short waist.  I would like to wear more dresses but it is hard to get them to a) fit and b) look good so because of the cost issues I tend not to bother for fear of getting it wrong but maybe this summer is the year of the dress.


It's been a long time, been a long time ...

I started my sewing journey with a four by four tapestry of a grass hut on a desert island with a single palm tree I bought in the co-op when I was eight.  I took it everywhere with me until it was done.  It was never framed and I no longer have it but it was my first step.  I arrived at my senior school sewing classes with much more enthusiasm than ability and worked at it.  I loved it then and I love it now.  At school we were taught to sew clothes, the O Level we took was Needlecraft and Dress.  I had little money and made mini skirts from the remnant bins of the local sewing stores.  You could get fabric from so many places then, all three of our local department stores had a haberdashery department. There were three independants and the market too.  I had a sewing hiatus whilst the kids were young and then I found quilting and I've been sewing more and more but I have not been sewing many clothes.  Not that I can't or don't want to, I've been buying fabric and patterns aplenty.  I've been watching what other bloggers are making and wearing and thinking, me too but I still havn't actually ...

So, whilst browsing I went to which is a fine blog full of sewing inspiration written by Sarai Mitnick.  She is running some posts called Wardrobe Architect encouraging people to examine what they sew, why, whether it does or doesn't work for them and and ultimately to build a wardrobe of items they will love.

She has done it brilliantly spreading it out with printable worksheets.  I have also seen other bloggers forming capsule wardrobes.  Although a bit late to the party I'm loving this idea and will be posting on my responses to Sarai's worksheets and exercises.

Friday, 21 February 2014

One Down, Nine To Go!

Along with lots of others, you know who you are, I have joined Katy at The Littlest Thistle in the Finish Along 2014.  I duly went through all the WIPs and number 5 on the list was a denim bag I had started in a rush for my friend which then went horribly wrong.  I think the clue to myself is that phrase "in a rush".  Never a good start!  Still, today I wrestled it out from the back of the cupboard and took it apart.  I discarded the patchwork side, completely, added more denim and a different lining material and sewed it up again.

In truth, it is a completely different style using a large amount of different fabric, but as it is partly the same and the same project for the same person I'm sticking with it as a finish.

I based it on the Triple Zippy Pouch from Debbie at A Quilters Table.  I used 10 inch zips and worked out the sizes of the fabrics whilst watching a double barrel of The Deathly Hallows this morning.  I then spent most of the afternoon and early evening (with a quick stop to cook pasta) sewing it up.

I forgot exactly how to sew the very last bit together until after I ended up with a three inch gap on the outside so I had to bodge it a little with some Pritt Stick and topstitching but in the end I don't think anyone would actually know (I didn't need to say that did I) so alls well that ends well.

I am actually surprisingly pleased with it and I hope my friend is to.  Phew, a finish at last!

Linking up with TGIFF :)