Sunday, 27 May 2012

Ever-Growing Project List

So, of course I somehow squeezed in time to try out HSTs and I'm so happy with them! They're even nearly perfect. Just look at those points.

I made two panels which will definitely become pillows, thinking of quilted tops and a simple envelope back in brown - remnants from the table runner - but spiced up with a bound edge. Aren't they pretty side by side?

They're also great next to my shamefully abandoned Dresden plates. I'm dead set on turning the three of them into pillows of the same size using the same brown solid, so I need to check whether the store I got it from still has it. That'd leave me with five pillows that work together nicely, although five are way too many for my sofa...

Either way, those HSTs have got me hooked and I've already cut these squares to try quarter square triangles.

And there's still the Polaroid blocks to turn into pillows, too. And my EEP hexies. Not being allowed to sew/restricted sewing time certainly cannot stop me from lining up small projects for besides and bigger ones for afterwards! Like this which I *must must must* make for my sister's birthday.

Kirby pillow
Taken from _name_taken's stream on Flickr

Kirby's Dreamland was her all-time favourite Game Boy game. Not sure how I'll take sewing together small squares from mostly the same fabric and pink at that, but there's on big advantage - I have time until late November for it!

My sister has received five pillowcases in the past two years, but I hope she won't tire of them anytime soon. I'd say that each has been better than the one before due to improved and newly acquired skills, starting with envelope style pillows made out of a single piece of fabric and upping my game with zippers, patchwork and quilting. The last one was actually made from our favourite bed linens as children. Our mother wanted to throw them away as they'd worn thin, but I rescued and re-purposed them and some batting and quilting later my sister had a new favourite cuddly pillow.

Oh well, I've whiled away enough time. Hopefully you've had a wonderful weekend with lots of sewing time and/or other favourite activities.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Bits and Bobs

It is and possibly will be a bit quiet over here. A bunch of exams spread over the next months and starting at the end of this one do force me into bouts of hibernation, weighing in on life in general but especially my cherished sewing time. This is tough because there's so much I'd want to get done before getting married in August, first and foremost a dress for my hen night and a large wedding quilt for our bed. However, I'm (sensibly) even more keen on getting these exams done in time. Fingers crossed that I manage all the exams and at least the dress. Sad but true, I don't think it's realistic to expect making a full size quilt with everything else going on and try not to stress myself about it. I'd rather have it done well in time for our first anniversary than rushed for the wedding.

Anyway, I still sneaked in a travel sewing kit last Saturday afternoon - I had to after seeing Jenelle's. Finally the right project for my sewing baubles fabric, plus it went really quickly. 
Like Jenelle I used Amy's tutorial, though I altered one tiny bit. For some reason the thread strap just wouldn't wouldn't work with my spools so I opted for two pieces of elastic with knotted ends. Also, I really liked the contrast of purple and aqua so I topstitched my tie with one of the few fancy stitches my machine offers.
Finally, a much more sophisticated way of carrying my hand sewing essentials - no more old plastic earplug boxes! The kit's storage options were also a good excuse to have a go at English Paper Piecing. It's been tempting me for a while and with my lack of sewing time it's nice to have something at hand for the odd half hour in the evening. Not that I knew exactly what it'll turn into but it's good for a quick fix when that nagging desire to sew takes over. Last week I found time for these.
Originally I thought I'd make an equal amount of both but I think I prefer the flowers with the grey petals and will make more of them. Either way, I'm curious where this will take me, possibly applique rather than joining them into one panel. Yesterday I managed to spare some time to cut a couple of squares.
These will become my first attempt at half-square triangles and then be turned into at least one pillow. See, despite my attempts to not stress myself and take things slow, I'm still trying to come up with a design for our wedding quilt (seems I can't stop calling it that). At first I considered large squares because my fiancé prefers simple designs but I'd also like to push my boundaries a bit and expand my skills. HSTs sprang to mind after having seen all those beautiful projects of the HST festival. I think a small project is a good way to see how I'll like them before I jump into something large and also help to imagine better what it might look like in a quilt.

This is a shot of the fabrics I originally intended to be in the quilt. I think I might take out a few, the two prints on the lower left and the two on the upper right. Should I decide on HSTs, I think I'd sort the fabric into two piles, "dark" and "light", which I'd then combine into HST.
 To wrap up this post, one last gratuitous picture of pillows.
I made the red one for my cousin's birthday a while back, as some of you might remember, but have finally bought an inset. Looks much nicer in 3D than just lying flat on a table. It works great with Maureen's appliqued fox pillow, so well actually, I might have to make one for myself! On the fox, isn't it adorable? It was one of the first things that drew me to Maureen's blog and I simply had to have one for myself and finally got one this Easter. I love it to bits!

With that, I'm back to my books. Hopefully it won't get too quiet. Happy sewing!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Snap Attack

These came together really quickly and I made two of each apart from the squirrel which I fussy-cut from a Little Apples 5'' charm. Now I'm trying to decide what exactly to use them for. Yeah, admittedly I got a bit carried away once I saw the Polaroids popping up on a couple of blogs. I do sometimes. A few Dresden Plates, for instance, are still waiting for their right place. Thing is, I knew instantly who to make them for and sometimes that's all you need and the rest will follow. And one Dresden has found a lovely place! Right? Right.

At the moment I'm in favour of a pillowcase as the intended (and photographically pretty talented) couple is still using their me-made Christmas decoration pillows because they like them so much. However, I'm also leaning towards making something like a pouch or tote. Probably no tote as no sane photographer will log around expensive equipment in a simple tote. They carry too much of that often also quite heavy stuff and prefer backpacks. So maybe a zippered pouch after all. For something.

One thing I would love to get some input on is the colour that will have to work as a background to pull all of these pics together. I'm drawn to red or black as both colours go well with their red sofa. Black would be nice in a slide show kind of way but could easily look too dark? Whereas red is a safe option not only with them but also because it occurs in some of the snapshots. Then again I should possibly risk mixing things up? What do you think?

I'll be linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Finish Line: Quilt Edition

They're finally done!
These quilts have been taking up most of my sewing hours for quite some time, comprising all in all about 37.5 hours of work, nearly 12 hours of which went into sewing the binding by hand, but they're finally taking a last spin in the washing machine before I can send them to their new owners. I hope the boys will be happy, well the bigger one at least, the baby brother, I guess, is more taken up with a cuddle, eat, sleep, repeat routine.

Last weekend I had high-flying dreams about a picture session outside. Our apartment block has a pretty nice courtyard with a big oak on a huge square of grass which looked just perfect amongst tons of sunshine and with dozens and dozens of dandelions in full bloom. Unfortunately, this weekend the dandelions already have seed heads. Now, this could make for a pretty backdrop, too, alas, the temperatures have dropped significantly and the days are cloudy-grey, cold, and generally uninviting. So I reverted to taking snaps on the balcony and inside. Can't have the weather spoil all the fun, right?

Warning: indulgence in not quite perfect pictures.

That's it for today. Work is calling me. Alas.

Linking up to Jenna's Manic Monday Linky Party tomorrow.

Sew Happy Geek

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May Day

I'm aware that today isn't an official holiday for most people, but is is in these parts. Before any envy finds time to creep into your hearts, though...despite the holiday and the oh so tempting sunshine I confined myself and tried my best to get some work done in the morning and over noon as I did on all of Monday when many others were enjoying a so-called Brückentag (literally bridge day.) We don't have bank holidays but when a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, like Ascension Day, for instance, we often get a long four-day weekend. Alas, I didn't and couldn't really set work aside entirely today, either, so it was only later in the afternoon that I was allowed some play time.

I really shouldn't complain too much here, though, as the holiday meant I got to play with my machine on a weekday at all. Usually that kind of fun is restricted to the weekends or I'd never get any work done - I'm convinced of that. Hand sewing to wind down in the evening is allowed, maybe a little knitting, but no more. Only exception: December present finishing mania. Of course.

Initially I'd set the afternoon down to tackling the quilting on the toddler quilt which I'd managed to get half done on Saturday noon before dedicating the rest of the incredibly sunny and warm weekend to a visit by my gran. Initially.. I just had to start a new project first to get myself motivated properly. Can you guess what I'll be making? I first saw these popping up maybe two weeks ago and knew instantly that they'd have to go on my to-do list.


After cutting these pieces I finally went back to my quilting. Working psychological tricks on myself! You see, I have to finish the quilting in order to be able to piece these. Sometimes I simply cannot be bothered to change my thread all the time to work on different projects at the same time (wouldn't a second machine be great in these situations?), so I need a little push to get one done so I can tackle the next. ;)

Anyway, right now the quilting is nearly done, lacking only a few more diagonals. Friday evening or Saturday morning I can attach the binding to the top and my machine will be free to embark on my latest project. You will excuse me now, I`m off for a little telly and the last bit of hand sewing on the baby quilt. 

Hope you had a good day wherever you are and whatever you're doing.