Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Lots of Work-in-Progress

As I've had a unexpected day off today and Hubby's birthday is tomorrow, I thought that I may as well spend some of the day working on his present - and it's neaaaaarly finished.

I completed the last few rows earlier in the week, so today included lots of ironing, some spray basting (glue fumes!!) and then quilting - aka wrestling lots of fabric through the gap between the body of the machine and the needle. There was lots and lots of snipping out threads too - thank goodness for lint rollers and for lovely people who suggest using such things!

It's nowhere near perfect - lots of wobbly lines, wonky corners and a huge number of wrinkles - but I'm proud of it especially as it's my first.

Now to crack on with the binding - or perhaps its time to go enjoy this lovely sunshine!

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A quick update

It's been a busy week here with lots of late nights and visitors. My parents are visiting this weekend too for the first time since our wedding nearly 2 years ago.

I've managed to fit in some sewing on Hubby's present (spot the mistake though!) and started MY quilt top which I love so far. I'm quite proud of myself for getting all the cutting accurate again, even the 25 x 1 1/2inch strips - a funny thing to be proud of i know!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Pattern or No Pattern?

Thanks Moira and Kelly for the fabric suggestions for Hubby's quilt - I've gone with these:

from The Eternal Maker in consultation with Hubs.

I've made some more progress on the quilt (one row left!) and have been playing with my machine too. We had a little falling out earlier (thread had somehow come undone from the thread taker up lever - identified and solved by the "superhero technician" as he's now calling himself!) but I think I'm getting more proficient.

I've made one "thing" using a pattern, and one without - both worked quite well.

My new needlebook was made without a pattern as I couldn't find any that I liked so I bodged it. I used two charm squares, backed with felt, and joined as I thought best - the second time anyway!

You can probably see the dodgy seams here! The popper took two attempts as they went on back to front the first time :blushes:

I'm more pleased with the outside, and glad that I found a use for one of my Gran's buttons:

It's been very useful in helping with the hand piecing, especially as it involves a lot of pins which I have been attacking myself with.

This is the tutorial I followed for my second "thing", and Ayumi's instructions were really easy to follow - as long as you don't skip steps! The organiser is now on my bedside table ready to hold my glasses and mobile overnight so that I've got a greater chance to switch off my alarm without throwing both these items across the room.

"Yes, those are a pair of Minnie Mouse ears on a headband... No, I don't have any children..."

I liked experimenting and working the needlebook out for myself, but on reflection, I need to follow a few more tutorials and build my skills before I go too mental.

Note to self - it's all well and good being able to use the quilter's guide - but if the first line's not straight........

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A work in progress

I'm making slow progress on Hubby's birthday quilt (which was a surprise until I called it "your birthday present" to him!)

It's hand pieced squares, and I know I could finish it much quicker on the machine - but would this be a good idea? Would the machined piecing be "tighter" and cause problems?

I also have no clue what to back or bind it with - any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

This is my only work in progress at the minute - everything else just exists in my head. I'm linking this up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday to try to keep me motivated and on track.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 12 March 2012

In love with Jenny the Janome

I made napkins! With mitred corners!
And I'm a little worried that I've become obsessed, I woke up this morning and was I thinking about opening my cards?? Nope - just about what I could sew after work!
Apologies for the rubbish pic, apparently I need to spend my birthday money on a new camera as well as at the new shop that Susan at Canadian Abroad has been blogging about.
PS - I got new earrings too! Feeling very loved today x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Part Deux

I got a new machine! My lovely Hubs got annoyed with me for stressing over the broken machine - it was lovely to look at but expensive to repair and quite clunky to use. I'm keeping the old one and watching Ebay for cheap replacement parts, but now I've got......

Jenny the Janome! I know naming inanimate objects can be a bit weird, but the name popped into my head.

So far, she's been making a cushion cover for my lovely Mum, who very nearly shares her birthday with me. She's a twin too, so doesn't often get much glory for herself, but hopefully she'll like her cushion. It's quite similar to one that I made for a friend recently which she said that she liked.

In progress - can you see the bits where I ran out of fabric that was long enough? I tried to match the patches up with the corners of the middle blocks so hopefully it doesn't look too odd.

The finished cushion - no quilting on this one as it was a bit tight even without wadding etc.

Also made this weekend, a present for a uni friend and her newborn girl:

And the cakes have been iced ready for after tea tomorrow (fajitas - I cook so I get to have my favourite meal on my birthday!)

Notice that this is a different angle from that shown yesterday...not that the kitchen is covered in mess.......

These are Beetroot Brownies and Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake - I messed up the quantity of chocolate in the brownies so had to add chocolate icing to counteract some of the beetroot taste. I love beetroot but Hubs isn't a fan. It is a vegetable so I shouldn't really be suprised!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Extended Birthday Weekend Part One

As it's my birthday on Monday when we're at work, and Hubs is out all day tomorrow, I'm having an extended celebration.

Today is cake baking and pizza (dinner plans had to be abandoned after baking took too long!). Tomorrow I'm getting an early present and having a sewing day with NO marking for once....

Here's what the kitchen looked like before baking commenced

Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Quiet Weekend

I'm very glad we went out for a walk in the Lea Valley yesterday

Borrowed from Wikipedia (we need a new camera!) but it's a fairly accurate depiction of what it looked like yesterday!

rather than today!

It's been a nice quiet weekend here. Hubs has been clearing the spare room (aka bombsite) of the boxes than seem to have laid untouched since they were packed when we left uni! It's my birthday next week and there's a nicer box containing my birthday present waiting to be unpacked, which needs a bit of space...

I've been trying to get some marking done so no school work is necessary next weekend, and I've been working on the hand pieced quilt too. Some of the points are not very accurate, but I can't seem to get them to match - can't think why though.

Please ignore the mess! And that is a new cutting board which is a present of my in laws  I'm not using it ahead of time I promise - it's just too big and waiting for it's space in the spare room to be clear!