Thursday, 30 May 2013

WIP Update: LOTR Wall Hanging

And just to show that I did some sewing last night....

Here's the start of the Gandalf block. This is the first 5 sections done and there's just 2 to go.

Start of Gandalf block
There's a little secret about this next piece but it's the first part of Helm's Deep:

Section 1 of Helm's Deep

FO: Hearts Wall Hanging

I managed to finish the hearts wall hanging the other day but forgot to take a picture of it. The pattern is from A Passion For Patchwork and is one I've made before.

Hearts Wall Hanging
Ignore how it's hanging, that's not where it will stay. I haven't decided where I'll be hanging it yet.

One of the best things about this project is that it didn't cost anything. It was all made from scraps. All the rectangles, hearts & backing were from pieces of fabric in my scrap box, the binding was from 2 leftover jelly roll strips, the wadding was a leftover piece that just happened to be big enough and even the thread used to quilt it was leftover from Erin's ClothKits dress!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

WIP Weds: Lord Of The Rings

I have been pondering making a Lord Of The Rings themed 'something' for a while now. Initially I was planning on a crocheted Gandalf but then I learned about foundation piecing at the quilting class I go to. It was then that I stumbled on these patterns at Fandom In Stitches. Now I'm not sure I have the patience to make an entire quilt and I wouldn't really know how I could display it if I ever finished it so I decided to make something smaller; a wall hanging. This also allowed me to choose the blocks I wanted.

At the moment the plan is to make "The Precious", "Gandalf", "Helm's Deep" and "Smaug". I did count up the pieces in Smaug and there's 94 so I may change my mind!

When I printed them out they came out at 6 1/2 inches finished rather than the 7" but as size doesn't really matter where wall hangings are concerned I decided to make them that size.

Here's the first one which I managed to make while sorting today's roast dinner!

"The Precious"

FO: Quilt

On Monday we spent the day at the National Coal Mining Museum with some friends. Although it's not far away we've not been before. The main reason for this is the underground tours are for 5+ so Orla is too young. I assumed there wouldn't be much to do if we weren't going underground so left it as "something to do when the kids are a bit older". However there was a craft fair on and a few half term events plus Alan was able to go with us with it being a bank holiday. He took Erin down the mine while I entertained Orla in the under 5's play area and seeing the horses.

There was lots to do even without going down the mine so I was definitely wrong to assume otherwise. Along with the displays and play area there was a train ride (50p single per person) and a nature trail. With it being half term there were lots of craft activities on too.

Making canaries in birdcages
Erin did really well going in the mine. It's an hour and 15 mins of walking with a battery pack to carry. She got a lump of coal when they were coming out and that is the reason for my post. Who would have thought a lump of coal would keep two kids entertained for so long. They spent most of the afternoon playing "going in the coal mine for some coal" while I sat downstairs hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt. That is how I have managed to finish it despite it being half term.

Finished quilt
This quilt has been made from a couple of charm packs. I bought one at the Festival Of Quilts last year and then thought afterwards that I should have bought two. I then decided it went quite well with another charm pack I had in my stash. I started by deciding on a layout of the squares and sewing them all together. However it wasn't really big enough so I ended up buying a bit of fabric from the same collection for the top strip. I kept the quilting simple (and quick!) and the binding was made from some leftover jelly roll strips.

One less UFO on the list!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

And The Progress Continues...

After some really horrible weather recently, including hail the other day, it was lovely to see the sun shining today. Of course the kids wanted to play in the garden so it was quite easy for me to get a little more sewing done. I started by making binding for the wallhanging and Erin's quilt because it's just some very short lines of stitching and then mainly ironing; nice and easy to do while keeping an eye out of the window to watch the kids.

Binding for Erin's quilt
My husband was very pleased I'd got this done while he was out because he usually gets the job of ironing it while I get on with some sewing.

Once he was back and doing some gardening I could focus more on sewing. I sewed the binding to the front of the wall hanging but left Erin's quilt as it needed trimmed and I wanted more space to do that.

Some hand sewing for this evening!
I then got some Xmas projects out. First I whizzed up a coaster with the 2 leftover charm squares.

Xmas coaster
Then I cut wadding and backing for the mats. I quilted these using stitch in the ditch. I then trimmed them down but I need to make some binding for them. If there's a lot leftover from Erin's quilt I may use that as the colours are similar.

Xmas mats, awaiting binding

Friday, 24 May 2013

FO Friday: Cushion Covers

I managed to get some time this evening to do a bit more sewing and I started with adding some borders to a wallhanging I started a long time ago. I was running out of black thread so decided to do the quilting with purple as it seemed to go with the colours in the other fabrics. I also manged to make the hanging sleeve while our tea was cooking and get that attached. I still have the binding to make and sew on.

Heart Wallhanging
It's not as oddly shaped as it looks in the picture, honestly!

Then after the kids went to bed I decided I might as well finish off the cushion covers I quilted earlier as it would be another UFO finished. My husband said he preferred the grey fabric for the backs and it goes better with our living room which has grey walls.

Cushion Covers - quilted patchwork front, plain grey back

Working On The UFO's

Every year I say that I'm going to do my best to finish off all the projects I've started and put to one side. I expect most crafters are the same. For me, it tends to come down to things like how much time I have. I might put one project aside to start a quicker one and then not find the time for the other one for ages. Other times I try to make the most of the classes I go to so I'll put aside a simple project to work on something I need help & advice with. Soon I find that I have a stack of unfinished projects.

Today I managed to have a large chunk of time where I could just sew. Both kids were at school and I decided that working on some of the UFO's would be a really nice way to spend the day and be productive. It's not often I give so much time to my hobby because I tend to prioritise the house, studying and the kids.

I started a couple of cushion covers at sewing class one night and I finished the fronts today. These are made from the leftover strips of a jelly roll I made a wallhanging from. I finished piecing them and then quilted them with simple diagonal lines.

Fronts Of Cushion Covers

I need to choose a fabric for the backs of the cushion covers. I'll just be doing simple envelope style cushions.

Having got that done I decided to have a quick look at the other projects. I decided to work on the quilt I started for Erin months ago. It only needed a small amount of sewing to finish the top and then I chose a backing fabric, basted it and did the quilting.

Quilt For Erin
This just needs some binding now.

Ok, so technically they're both still unfinished but I've made good progress on them and I have a couple of weeks at sewing to fill before the holidays so there's a good chance I'll get these done!

I did manage to finish one thing today though. I did the cross-stitch Tux quite some time ago and used a hoop while stitching. After taking it out of the hoop I realised I'd stitched it the wrong way on the fabric, which wasn't quite square (it had a chunk out). My plan had been to stitch the thinner head part of the picture in the smaller bit of fabric and then shape the border around it. It's sat in the cabinet for a while now as I pondered what to do about my mistake. Today I decided to just sew a bit of fabric in that corner. So here is my finished mouse mat.

Tux Mouse Mat

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

To Boldly Sew...

Ok, very predictable blog post title! I couldn't resist this pattern from Pixel Power Designs after booking my ticket to the new Star Trek film. Luckily it's not a huge picture (less than 12" x 4") so it didn't take long to do despite my incredibly slow cross-stitching.

Star Trek The Next Generation
It might be a while before it gets hung up anywhere though as I'm yet to find a frame that fits so will probably have to order a custom frame.

Oh and in case anyone is wondering I took advantage of the 3 patterns deal and also bought the Lord Of The Rings pattern and The Munsters pattern. Not sure when I'll get around to sewing them though.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Sampler Quilt Update

And just a quick update on the sampler quilt. Here are all the blocks so far laid out on one of the options I have for the sashing (probably not the final choice because I think the purple fades into it).

There's one more block to go, which I'll be doing tomorrow afternoon. I'll also be taking lots of potential sashing fabric and making a decision on that.

FO Friday: Dress Number 2

If you've been following my blog you will probably have guessed that I've had an assignment due and so haven't had the time to fit a blog post in. You'll probably also remember that I had finished making Erin a dress in my last post. I let her have it before her actual birthday because she had a school disco a couple of weeks before it, so she was able to wear the dress to that and her birthday party.

Erin at her karaoke party in her new dress
I then set about making Orla's dress. It too is a Cloth Kits dress. Now Erin isn't big, in fact she's probably the smallest in her class and there wasn't loads of growing room in the dress above so I had a bit of a dilemma with Orla's dress. I could cut out 3-4 or 5-6. She'll be 4 in August and is also small but I decided to cut out the bigger size. My main reason for this was the small fitting of Erin's dress and the style of Orla's. It's pulled in by buttons at the back and I figured I could adjust the placement of the button and/or add another buttonhole if needed or I could just adjust the dress. After all, you can always make something smaller.

The next problem I had was that the seam allowance on the dress meant that you could see the cutting lines for the smaller size along part of the neckline at the front. (For those not familiar with Cloth Kits, the pattern is printed onto the fabric so you cut out the pieces directly, there's no paper pattern to pin on). I really didn't like this at all so I ended up adjusting the seam allowance to hide it. I realised later that you can still see some cutting lines down the side seam of the dress and it annoys me but it's a lot of work to hide them because any adjustment would have to be made in a way that keeps the shape of the dress so I decided just to leave it.

Here it is. The picture above is when I was pinning the straps in place to figure out where the buttons needed to go and they've now been sewn on. Orla is really pleased with it.