Wednesday, 28 August 2013

W.i.P. - Quilting

The batting for our anniversary arrived on, well, our anniversary. I spray basted the top Saturday afternoon before we went to the wedding reception of my husband's teacher colleague. Whew, I had to move our sofa and the dining sewing table and still this 102'' square beast wouldn't perfectly fit on the floor. I huffed and puffed a lot but didn't let it defeat me.


I love this stage. Batting makes a finish so much more palpable. Don't you just love how a project feels much more real simply because it has more body to it? I've started hand quilting a few details on the solid strip before adding the backing and now it's time to start freaking about quilting this on my tiny machine. Uh oh.

I also finished this and my friend had the brilliant idea of adding a rattle for toddler interest. How come I didn't think of this before? I really appreciate the input by the non-sewing peeps in my life lately. She also asked whether I could sew the little one as if his belly were spilling over his trousers so I obligingly sewed a curve and it came out great. Maybe I should include curves in future projects, I seem to have eschewed them so far.



The stats before I'm off again.

Finishes - 1
one of three monsters

Ongoing Projects - 4
Anniversary quilt
square baby quilt
Red Riding -
cushion cover for the husband

Stalled Projects - 3
Grecian Waters/Emerald HST quilt - finished the top! - stalled until deadline projects have been dealt with
EPP hexies
EPP parallelograms/stars - once more stalled

Planning Stage - 2
Summer dress 2 - Darling Ranges
Skirt

Happy sewing!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 26 August 2013

Final Reveal: The Fish & HSTs Baby Quilt

Last week, finally, ten weeks after his birthday my nephew finally got his baby quilt.


My sister had decided on a monster theme for his room. Hence the card and the little something I wanted to add to the backing. Unfortunately it came off in the first wash? Gah, ah well, you win some you lose some.


So here's the finished backing complete with the dotty binding, just block out the little monster in the top left corner.


The quilt has been a huge hit.




Bonus: Anniversary impressions.

We had a wonderful afternoon and evening. I decided to open "Chez Mareen" instead of going out for dinner after all and cooked up a lovely three-course dinner to accompany the champagne we received as a wedding gift by a very good friend and kept safe for a year. A year - still blows my mind. We ended up with lots of yummy leftovers to be had over the weekend which is always a plus.





Also, beautiful flowers!

Happy sewing!

Go and have a look at everybody else's finishes over at Em's Sewing by Moonlight. Find me at my regular Tuesday hangouts, too.


IMG_6373
Better Off ThreadFresh Poppy Design



Wednesday, 21 August 2013

W.i.P. - Waiting

How I wish I were working away on my anniversary quilt. But despite having ordered my batting last Wednesday - I had to wait for my check and it should have arrived on Saturday or yesterday the latest - the parcel hasn't been sent out until today. So, if I'm mega-├╝ber-lucky it might arrive tomorrow morning and I could sit down with some quilting and eventually pull an all-nighter. But do I want that rush?

And it might not arrive until early Friday morning - when I've got a breakfast date with a friend planned whilst the husband is away at work. And I certainly don't feel like spending our anniversary with the sewing machine instead of him. Love you, darling machine but there are limits. xo


I'm the tiniest bit annoyed, can you tell? This state has been exacerbated by too much time spent scouring various job databases. Blergh. I've only been at home for a week and a half after my internship and already it feels like it's been half a year. Big dislike.

Well, at least I can report a finish. The Fish & HSTs baby quilt has been finished and given to my adorable nephew today. Pictures will follow this weekend.

Finishes - 1
Fish & HSTs baby quilt

Ongoing Projects - 4
Anniversary quilt

square baby quilt
Red Riding - quilting is making progress
cushion cover for the husband

Stalled Projects - 3
Grecian Waters/Emerald HST quilt - finished the top! - stalled until deadline projects have been dealt with
EPP hexies
EPP parallelograms/stars - once more stalled

Planning Stage - 2
Summer dress 2 - Darling Ranges
Skirt

Happy sewing!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, 16 August 2013

TGIFF - People Without Blogs Have Finishes, Too!

Last week, on the night before my final day at my internship - I already miss my colleagues! -, I got a wonderful and uplifting email. Sandra from Queensland, Australia, shared a quilt she made for her son's birthday being inspired by my Yoshi journey and mosaic tiles around the web. I'm happy to say, though absolutely in no way surprised, that it was a huge success. Sandra doesn't have a blog but I think she deserves a big cheer for all her hard work so I simply had to share it here and at TGIFF.


Don't you just love that scrap-busting multicoloured binding? I wish I had thought of that instead of going down the safe route. Sandra made a surprise back egg as well choosing her son's favourite lime green and she made the whole quilt bigger finishing at 80'' x 100''. I think it turned out fantastic and am reminded that one day I really need to up my quilting ante.


Well, on top, I can also share a finish, if only a top finish. Here is the Echo anniversary quilt top all assembled with added strips in Klona dark navy currently measuring 98'' square.


At the moment the strips start just at the sides. Let's see how much the quilt will shrink after quilting and washing. I couldn't be bothered with pre-treating this time because I actually wanted to go for a crinkly look and it might just come back to bite me now. Sigh.

As planned from the outset I'm going to keep the quilting of the Echo body simple with horizontal and vertical lines (see?) but have decided this afternoon to add a personal touch and more dense quilting to the side strips. If I don't change the plan again until the batting arrives. You can never be sure.


Either way, I'm very happy how this is turning out. See how perfectly it fits my favourite bed linen? I might even keep my deadline (fingers crossed the batting arrives in time!). Is it really only another week until our first wedding anniversary and sixth altogether?

Happy weekend and happy sewing!

Link party's being hosted by Amy this time. Hop on over!


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Baring it All

I very much enjoy Fiona's Sunday Stash whenever I've gorged on pretties made a well-considered, project-related purchase but that only provides the tiniest glimpse and I've never bared it all. Well, Sarah of Sarah Quilts has a fun link party to do just that and it came timely as well. My stash nook suffered from a lot of pulling and cramming lately and it was high time to sit down and do some sorting.


Cute anecdote: My husband came home whilst I was still in the middle of this process sitting on the sofa surrounded by boxes, fabric, scraps and bags. He gave me a look, a smile and a properly gollum-y "My PRECIOUS!", dispappeared for a moment to put away his shoes and came back saying "Is sitting on the couch!" Yep, I melted a little. No word about me having too much fabric, either - could it be that he's given up come around?


Well, here are my two boxes of fabric sorted by colour. I will always keep these even though I will sometimes make specific project boxes.


And here's a box full of kidlet and baby friendly fabric as well as two small boxes for solids (minus the black and white I'm currently working with).


My precious Australian handprinted fabrics as well as thicker and more coarse fabrics to the left, Echo scraps (so precious, they've got to have their own place) and fabrics which haven't been washed yet on the right.


To the left my scrap box and bags. I purged quite a lot of less useful scraps yesterday. You know them, those tiny pieces that you tell yourself could be useful but end up not being touched ever. To the right my box with stray blocks like an unfinished Dresden, my leftover HSTs from my Emerald challenge quilt top, my finished hexies..


Not to be forgotten, my fashion fabrics, some bed linen, funky 80s GDR fabric from my mother-in-law.


And last but not least: Interfacing, felt, wool.

*Obviously not pictured: Batting, fiberfill, more interfacing, my growing stash of patterns, books, BurdaStyle magazines, sewing basket, notions, more knitting needles, ...

Turns out it looks like a lot less fabric when it's all neatly packed away. Well, umm, to be honest, there's still a couple of plastic bags underneath my desk with old scraps and fabrics given to me by friends or their mothers. So, yeah, it might be a little more once I take a moment to sort and purge that chaos. Another day.

Oh, another plus of keeping your stash organised? It is much easier for friends to spot fabric they like! These have been pulled for a bunch of little monster gifts. (Check out RevoluzZza's tutorial if you don't know it yet. You can find monsters - and a kitten - I've made before in my Flickr stream.)


Happy sewing and don't forget to take a look at the other stash confessions!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hand Quilted Fish & HSTs = This Close to a Finish

So I've finished hand quilting the stars in each Fish & HST block...


...which leaves the back looking like this. Finally time for some backing!


Once I ditched my idea of paper piecing N's birth date, weight and height (yes, it definitely would have been a great detail but I didn't feel it in the end) I settled on this gorgeous Summersville print from my stash. I'd secured 1.5 yards shortly after it came out for a future child of mine but really couldn't resist using it here. It fits so perfectly and who else should you splurge some of your most treasured fabric on? Roughly half a yard is left anyway. So there.


I've even started machine quilting the small and big octagons. As soon as these are done I will quilt the small fish squares and then it should be ready for binding. Phew, I'm this close to finishing what has been in the making for a long time and, believe it or not, I'm still falling in love more deeply. With my nephew as well. No worries.

Well, here's the unchanged stats although both the baby and the anniversary quilt are making awesome progress.

Finishes - 0

Ongoing Projects - 5
Anniversary quilt
Fish & HSTs
square baby quilt
Red Riding - quilting is making progress
cushion cover for the husband

Stalled Projects - 3
Grecian Waters/Emerald HST quilt - finished the top! - stalled until deadline projects have been dealt with
EPP hexies
EPP parallelograms/stars - once more stalled

Planning Stage - 2
Summer dress 2 - Darling Ranges
Skirt

Happy sewing!

IMG_6373Fresh Poppy Design



WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Sunday Stash

Whoa, has it really been a week and a half since I last blogged? That was an unplanned absence on my part but here I am resurfacing just in time for Sunday Stash. My intern ended on Friday - so weird to say goodbye to the colleagues! - and whilst I wrapped up all my tasks in the daytime I spent most of my late afternoons and evenings meeting the sis and nephew as well as scouring job portals, writing cover letters and taking new photographs to be included in my job applications. Let's see where life takes me next.

Down project completion road is a serious short term goal and not incredibly unlikely, either. Need evidence? Yesterday a much anticipated parcel from the UK arrived.


My sister helped me to pick a colour for the solid stripes down the sides of my anniversary quilt. Thanks for everybody's input on my horizontal / vertical dilemma! I think I can officially let the cat out of the bag and announce that I decided to stick with horizontal layout. Back onto the solid - I had considered going down the light aqua or grey route which are both dominant in the quilt but my sister gave me the excellent piece of advice to go with the less prominent navy.


She had some really good reasons to sway me in an instant.

1) It'll look more interesting and dramatic to pick up the less prominent colour.

2) It'll add a masculine touch to the overall more subdued look which will appeal to my husband.

What a clever sis, eh? She should take up sewing or something. Well, a couple for days later I'm about to chop up 7 metres of dark navy Klona cotton.


During the ordering process this Jeni Baker print easily sneaked into my shopping basket and is the real stash acquisition. I don't have an immediate project for it but it'll make an excellent baby quilt back if I ever get to make one for a girl. It's 3:1 in my really close circle of friends from uni and family so far. I'm curious to know what the the next two expecting sets of friends are cooking and how it will impact this statistic.

Now, hop on over to Fiona and take a look at everyone else's pretties. I know I will.

Happy sewing!