Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hexie Windows Shaping Up

It's slowly coming together. All my folded hexagons have been pressed and the centres secured and now I'm slowly sewing them together. I'm using ladder stitch as my preferred blind stitch.

To be continued...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Slight hitch

So I spent last night ironing folds and it turns out that I've misjudged how thick some of my seams are which means they won't fold back on themselves to overlap the colour window insert. Duped by the thinness of my paper template. But after playing with it some more this morning, if I snip this and tuck that it still might work. I'm determined to get this. After all I've already cut the fabric so really what have I got to lose by hacking it some more?

To be continued....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Project

My sewing mojo is back thanks to a couple of recent Sit and Sew sessions with the gals at the MMQG. In particular Rachel and Bek have got me thinking about catherdal windows and while I don't want to make a whole quilt, I'd love to make a few pillows to dress up my couch. I'm not sure if a sew-along will happen just yet but I couldn't wait so when Spotlight had a 30% off storewide sale earlier this week I went to stock up on base fabric. As usual they were out of white but there was a roll of unbleached quilters homespun that had a linen-like weave which was down to $4 a metre so I picked up 3.5m, enough for 3 pillows I hope. And I've got plenty of coloured bits for the windows in my stash.

But here's the catch. I don't want to do square catherdal windows. You see, the other project I want to do is make a light summer weight quilt for each of my little monkeys to sleep under this summer and at the moment I'm thinking one of them, probably Little Lady's, will be based on the Candied Hexagon quilt like the one on the cover of Australian Quilters Companion Vol 5.2 Issue 18 (2005) which was designed by Kerry Dear. By the way, this issue is out of print and I don't have a pattern but that's nothing new.

Anyway, with hexagons in mind I want to make a hexagon catherdal window pillow. I can't find a pattern online anywhere and it's taken me 2 days but I finally figured out how to fold the hexagons and now that I've got it I don't want to stop in case I forget so I've been busy making templates...

...and cutting today.

Now I'm up to ironing and folding my hexies. It's going to have to be all hand sewn because the sides don't unfold like a traditional square but I want to hand sew the windows in anyway so whats a little more hand sewing. Famous last words no doubt!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Feminist much?

I resisted, truly I did. At one point there was no way I'd buy a toy ironing board for my little girl, NO WAY! It's a job I loath and I hate the expectation that boys get tool sets and toy lawn mowers (cool stuff in my books since I love tinkering and gardening) and girls get ironing boards and cleaning trolleys (in my head complete with images of being chained to the laundry and toilet brush). It sets my teeth on edge just thinking about it. And before you jump down my throat, yes I know that you can buy all these toys for boys AND girls but as free thinking and equal as we are it is still implied and more often the norm that females do the vast majority of the washing and cleaning and cooking and other 'home duties' and such toys are targeted accordingly.

Then my sister got my nephew a toy iron which makes steam noises and a little ironing board and Little Lady and my niece just loved it and in all honesty it didn't seem so distasteful once I saw them play. I know, where were my high and mighty principles then? They were watching my baby have a ball playing with another toy which made cool noises, not learning a lesson in 'life roles'. Funny how so much continues to change after you have kids.

But being in a bit of a cash flow situation and still stubbornly adamant about NOT buying an ironing board, I did the next best thing.

I made one.

A quick search on Google found only this which is a vintage toy ironing board plan with some basic measurements for me to start with. Then I read the instructions that went with it...

"While your little girl happily joins mom in doing the family ironing..."

Ahem. Well... lets just say I would not have been popular in the 1950's. But the plans were simple and exactly what I was after... with a few adjustments from me of course.

It took me a couple of hours each day over 3 days with both kids sick and myself and Gorgeous Man sleep deprived as a result though it could easily be finished in a day if I hadn't painted it... or started it at 6pm, and easily in a lazy weekend.

Pink is apparently the flavour of the moment

And God love her she only wants to iron fabric. A future sewer/fabriholic in the making. Gotta love that!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stained Glass Quilt Backing

The MMQG had a Sit and Sew Evening recently at G.J's in Brunswick which I wrangled time away from the fam to attend. I've lost my sewing mojo recently and while I have ideas for new quilts I'd like to make, in my current frame of mind I thought an easy quick thing to sew would be a pieced backing for the pink and yellow freckled whimsy quilt which has become another UFO of late.

I had a particular fabric in mind

but didn't realise how much I would need and of course didn't have so instead I sketched out an idea that would use almost all of it with the pink and yellow fabrics from the front thrown in. And on paper it looked pretty simple.

Quickly as a side note, I haven't been to a Sit and Sew Day for a while and I'd forgotten how lovely it is to be with other wonderful, talented, sew-insane people. Sewing can be a pretty solitary hobby. My sewing habit looks like I've simply dipped my toe in while they are completely drenched in comparison and I love the inspiration it provides.

I didn't get it all sewn at the SASE as the centre took way longer than I thought to sew up with all the interlocking pieces (and I spent a lot of time chatting and laughing with Rach, Bek and Sally) so even though I didn't get home until after 11:30pm I was still buzzed to keep going and quickly sewed the rest.

Stained Glass Quilt

I think it'd make a great simple quilt front too so I'll definately be making more of these.

There's another Sit and Sew Day mid August so hopefully I'll have this basted by then so I can quilt it and maybe, just maybe it might be finished in time to give to little Emma before she graduates high school!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Long Time Coming

My mum taught me to knit and crochet when I was a girl, something I will one day teach to my kids. I'm a decent knitter and thanks to the wonders of the internet I now know how to sew knitted garments together. But most of my knitting endeavors still get ripped out (my family love to tease me about how I'm unravelling it YET again) or left unfinished and stashed in the cupboard when I run out of knitting steam.

So recently while looking for something else, I stumbled on bags and bags of unfinished knitted projects which all got unravelled as I have no intention of finishing them and hopefully the yarn might have half a chance to unkink if it's stretched around in a ball. Can that happen or do I have to steam it or something to straighten the yarn again?

Anyway, I also found a bag with a whole bunch of crocheted log cabin squares which got stashed because I ran out of the wool having grossly underestimated how much I'd actually need since I wasn't following a pattern. Did I forget to mention that I started this project over 10 years ago? I'm not going to even bother trying to find wool to match now.

Little Lady is in a zone at the moment where all her dolls need naps and everyone and everything gets a blankie which not surprisingly seem to be in short supply here. And not wanting to unravel these squares I got online and found how to join the squares using a flat braid and have been happily sitting at night watching Gorgeous Man play Assassin's Creed II (that is when I haven't been hogging the Xbox myself to play it) and crocheting the squares together.

I still need to sew in all the ends and haven't decided what kind of border to put on it or even if I need a border as the flat braid leaves a small scalloped edge on the squares but it is a bit small for a lap blanket and I think a border would finish it properly. Guess I'll need more wool after all.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pink Cardigan Finished

I've finally finished the pink cardigan that I started back here. I sewed it up and blocked it before crocheting the hems (row 1: 3 dc into every stitch, row 2: 2 dc into every stitch) to give a ruffle effect. On the 2nd row I incorporated pink and clear beads spaced out every three or four stitches. Then she wanted buttons so I crocheted small chains to attach large heart shaped buttons and also to make a matching loop. I deliberately made both long so that the cardigan would close so you could see both the ruffle and the buttons. She hasn't worn it yet and I'm really hoping it won't be too small. Overall though I'm really happy with how it turned out.

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