Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Finish Along 2015 Q1

It's a new year and that means the FAL has a new home.

2015's brave volunteer to manage this enormous beast is Adrianne of On the Windy Side. Adrianne lives in my most favourite place on earth, a long way from Yorkshire in beautiful New Zealand.

I've decided to fabric fast again for at least the first 6 months of 2015. I went a bit wild over Christmas replenishing my stash and so now it is time to sew. Let's see what's top of the list.

1. Bitches get stitches swap.
This is a fun little sweary swap I've joined on Instagram. My partner is apparently an exceptionally talented sewer with impeccable taste in fabric, so of course I thought it'd be sensible to make an item from a notoriously tricky pattern with some of my favourite ever fabric.

Even more cleverly I'm making two, production line style, because once I'm done I know I'll want one for myself. I don't want to spoil any surprises so you'll have to wait and see more once it is received.

2. Secret sewing

Deadline of February, so once number 1 is done this is next up.

3. Random churn dash block cushion

giant churn dash

Need to turn this block into a lovely cushion cover.

4 STQB quilt

December was my month and I asked for simple snow ball blocks in a limited palette of aquas, blues and greens.

December blocks so far for #stqb #siblingstogether

I have all my blocks back and just need to make my own and then some extras to boost the size a little. Then make this into a quilt, obviously.

Onto the rollover UFOs now.

4. Aviatrix medallion
I must finish this before I start any more quilts. I am a fool for abandoning it.

5. Pile o fabric skill builder BOM
Yep. Don't hold your breath for this one folks. To be fair though it's the only big UFO I have....

I find it hard to believe that these are the only WIPs in the house. But they are. Wouldn't it be amazing to get them done??

More likely is that I will add to them. I have piles and piles of planned projects, stashed fabric with a pattern in mind. I generally call these WNQIPs or works not quite in progress. I'll try to get a blog post up about them as these are the things that keep me awake at night, plotting and planning and wondering what do to start next and forgetting what patterns I've bought and what plans I have. Adding these to the FAL always seems a bit of a cheat when they aren't actually started, but you have to be in it to win it so I often do!

Maybe we need a start-along?? Kind of like a year/ quarter of specific sewing plans. After all, no one likes just finishing WIPs, do they??

Let me know your thoughts, if you happen to have any.

In the meantime I'm linking up my Q1 finish goals, while all the time pondering what else to start.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

FAL Q4 round up

So back in October I laid out my finishing goals for the end of 2014, including the hilarious line "let's see if I can end the year with no WIPS". Well here's a spoiler for you: I didn't. But I did do a reasonable job of cracking through the list.

1) IGminiswap

Done and blogged and sent and received and loved.

2) Pouch commission

All finished on time and blogged with a note to self to not take further commissions.

3) Vaguely festive churn dash quilt

I was really thrilled to get this one finished and onto the sofa at the very start of December. Lack of both daylight and motivation stopped me getting any decent photos of it however and it has therefore only just now been blogged. Still with crap photos.

4) Aviatrix medallion.

Umm, nope. Haven't even looked at it. Next ....

5) Skill builder BOM

This is also not in any way shape or form finished BUT I have FMQd some of the blocks following the workshop with Trudi. So, some small progress.

6) Super Tote

Another, finished, used and loved item that I have procrastinated on writing up. But done!

So that's 4 out of 6 which I think we can call not bad at all.

Linking up with Katy before she hands the FAL baton on to another brave soul for 2015 ...

Vaguely festive churn dash quilt finish

This quilt has been a LONG time in the making. It started in November 2013 (yes, really!) when I made a couple of test blocks for my Siblings Together Quilting Bee month block. I used some *vaguely* Christmassy fabrics that I had in my stash that I thought I was unlikely to ever do anything with, and rather liked them. 

giant churn dash 2

giant churn dash

I pulled together this little stack with a slightly Christmassy red/ green/aqua/ pink theme.

Christmas passed, and so did my motivation to make a Christmas quilt.

The actual Siblings Together quilt got finished.

And still no progress. It became a bit of a FAL rollover item, as I do hate having UFOs lying around. And then at the start of October I realised I was in danger of another Christmas passing without it done. So I got on with it. 

What I really want to do is turn this lot into a quilt top. but I'm going to be good and start cutting my super tote for #leedsmqg  @craftyhannah I'll let you know how far I get!

These are lovely big (20" unfinished) blocks which go together fast, and I tried not to agonise too much over the fabric choices while still getting a reasonable balance of colours and values, I think it was this that had paralysed my progress throughout the year. I had collected a few nice little festive prints to go in this quilt and enjoyed using them. Favorites are from Annela Hoey, Karen Lewis Textiles and Kate Spain.

More agonies over layout, which never seem to matter once the quilt is actually complete. I used a long ago won voucher for Button up and Stitch to buy a Christmassy backing:

#fabricpost ! This is my backing, better get my Christmas quilt finished!

Quilted with my standard wavy lines - life's too short to try anything new, you know. And (eventually) got it bound in perfect red on white squared elements. And I STILL haven't taken any decent photos of it, this will have to do.

And yes, there has been much festive snuggling. And silly face pulling.

One of those original blocks didn't actually make it into the final quilt due to being the wrong green. I have cushion plans afoot so expect to see it popping up on the 2015 Q1 FAL list!

So here we have it:
Pattern: Giant churn dash blocks
Size: 58"ish by 78"ish
Fabrics: Lots!
Quilting: Diagonal wavy lines in Aurifil 50wt #5007
Backing: Lizzie Mackay Christmas Wish
Binding: Art Gallery Squared Elements

And that's my final FAL post done! Linking up to Katy, just in the nick of time. 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Super Tote finish!

Back in October when I laid out my final quarter FAL plans I pulled out this little stack of fabric with the intention of making a Super Tote.

I hadn't made a bag for some time, and hadn't made a Super Tote for myself at all, just this fun ladybird one for my (ladybird mad) MIL back in 2013.

Linen and Ladybug Super Tote

I didn't really make any progress at all until the start of November when Hannah and I decided to make Super Tote making our project for our Leeds MQG sewing day. I spent a couple of evenings frantically cutting and interfacing and doing all the prep that you have to do before you can actually start sewing a bag. And then on the Saturday, we sewed and laughed, and laughed and sewed. And just about ended up with 2 unlined bags.

We made a finishing date and Hannah came round one evening the next week and we sewed until about 11.30pm. And hurrah! We we all finished. 

Her's is the much more cheerful bag on the left!

Apparently the late finish rendered me incapable of reading the pattern properly and so when I used my bag at the Harrogate knitting and stitching show I was dismayed to find the top edge rolling down. A couple of emails were sent to the lovely Anna aka Noodlehead who very politely suggested I read the last step of the pattern properly. I did so, and four simple lines of stitching sorted the problem out perfectly.

This isn't a day to day bag for me as I need a messenger strap for hands free child wrangling, but it's great if I need a bit of extra capacity and won't need to be carrying it and small child about. I'm thrilled with my fabric choices, it matches my new Seasalt coat perfectly, and I'm pleased that as before I added an interior zip pocket as well as one of the gathered pockets. Every bag needs a zip pocket I reckon.  

The straps, gusset and interior pocket are made from Essex yarn dyed linen in black. The main panels and main pocket are lovely metallic prints from Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander. The piping and main pocket lining are Botanics crosshatch prints and the whole thing is lined in a perfect metallic starry print I bought from Simply Solids (ooh look, it's on sale right now, go buy some!). It is all interfaced with a woven interfcaing (Pellon SF101 equivalent) and some fusible fleece. I have since bought the recommended Craft Fuse for next time though. 

This seemed an unlikely finish at the start of October, but here it is and done.

I definitely have an appetite to make some more of these ... watch this space. 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello lovely blog readers and Happy New Year to you all!

I'm starting 2015 as I absolutely do not intend to go on, with a ridiculously late night (saw in the new year plus 3 extra hours), a mild hangover and an ill advised Chinese takeaway because we forgot to take the roasting joint out of the freezer. I'm thinking 3 more days of indulgence then back on the wagon next week.

Anyway, sewing. December has been a busy one as for everyone. I have sewn, but as usual the effort of taking and uploading photos to the blog has proved too much. Not helped by the fact I seem to have scratched my phone camera so it only takes appalling blurry photos. And there are no daylight hours when I am unmithered by sweet small children. So as usual some crummy photos coming right up, apologies.

Anyway what did I make in amongst the busyness?

Some dresses for my girls. Two Geraniums for biggest girl and a sweet little Go Anywhere dress for the tiny one. I want to sew more with knits next year and this is an easy start. 

Geranium dress size 6T. Pleated skirt, faux cap sleeves, cut out neckline. Fabric by Anna Maria Horner. Can you just see the awesome blue leopard lining??

Finished this @madebyrae #geraniumdress late last night for today's school Christmas party. Better pictures when more light .... #alisonglasshandcrafted @alisonglass
Geranium dress 6T. Gathered skirt with extra width, sleeveless bodice. Fabric is Handcrafted by Alison Glass. 

Go Anywhere Dress size 12-18m. Briar Rose knit by Heather Ross

A simple Elsa dress hack too, no way I was making another sequinned lined voile bodice in this teeny size!! This is just a gathered satin skirt on a bought cotton top with a removable cape velcro-ed to the back.

Our vaguely festive churn dash was finished at the start of the month and had been happily snuggled under all Christmas. I need to write a blog post on this for the FAL, watch this space! I'm always very happy to pack the Christmas stuff away, and always before the New Year, but I know it'll be wonderful to get this out again next year among with my Snowy Starry Night quilt.

And the Christmas downtime allowed me to make a start on the little blue bird crewel work project that I bought at Harrogate knitting and stitching show. I haven't done embroidery for many many many years and am having to look up tutorial videos for every step but it is most absorbing and I am enjoying it thoroughly.

I have also bought a lot of fabric. Since Black Friday, I've gone pretty wild. Expect some upcoming Sunday Stash posts, if I can remember what day it is. But that's it, back on the fabric fast as of today. I have great sewing plans for 2015 but let's start with the month of January:

1) Bitches get Stitches swap. This is a fun little sweary swap I've joined on IG. Deadline to post is end of this month. I have a plan ....

2) STQB My blocks have been rolling in, I need to make mine and get this quilt whipped up for Siblings Together. I also have my January block to make of course.

December blocks so far for #stqb #siblingstogether

3) Another Geranium dress, this time for tiny girl. Fabric washed and ready, pattern is cut.

4) A 12.5" block for the Leeds MQG round robin. Need to get my brain in gear for this one.

5) Secret sewing commitments which I am most excited about. Looking forward to getting stuck in.

Phew! I have more posts to write in order to be able to link up with the FAL, so expect a flurry of activity here over the next few days.

Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day, although today has been a day neither of sewing nor of feeling fresh.

Fresh Sewing Day