More stuff

Monday, 28 January 2013

Super quick post


I am going to just post a couple of pictures so I can get on and sew!  This morning is my only sewing window all week so I have to make the most of it.

I have been chipping away at my Finish-a-Long stuff so hopefully I will have an update on at least one of those very soon.  In the meantime, I managed to put together this for the February LMQG challenge:
chinese new year mini quilt year of the snake script
The challenge theme is "Year of the Snake" and this is supposed to be the Chinese symbol for 'snake'.  It is approx 8.5" square, and so is too big for a mug rug, but is a bit small for a wall hanging, so I'm not sure what to do with it yet.  But I enjoyed making it.  Maybe I could make one for all 12 Chinese zodiac years and turn them into a quilt!

The other thing I made this week - and which was delightfully quick to do - was a Victorian style mob cap.  One of the mums at school asked if I could knock something together for her, as she is helping out at "Victorians Day" for one of her children's classes and the grown-ups have been asked to dress up.  I enlarged a child's pattern that I have in the depths of my pattern box, and came up with this:
victorian mob cap pattern
...skillfully modelled by Billy the Bear.  It's actually very comfy! 

Right now I am going to do a bit more sewing on my daughter's Nano Iro sundress, and if I have time I am going to start my Pervalong!  Fabric pressed, foundation papers prepped, and I'm ready to go!  Wheeeeeeeee!

Have a great week everyone x

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Curly Watts?

Let me explain my conundrum with a tenuous analogy:

Imagine you have a loaf of bread, dated tomorrow (say).  Then for some reason*, you suddenly have 2 more loaves of bread, both dated a week or so from now.  Experience tells you that you aren't going to eat 2 full loaves of bread in the space of a week.
loaf of sliced bread
Do you:
(a) open the bread dated tomorrow and use it until it starts to go mouldy?
(b) open the bread dated tomorrow and use it just for today, then chuck it?
(c) chuck the bread with tomorrow's date and move straight onto the fresh bread?

Out of habit, our family tends to go with (a), which always causes my Mum to declare "Curly Watts!".  Apparently Curly Watts, whilst managing his local supermarket on Coronation Street, often used to come home with surplus food, which he then insisted on eating in date order.  The running joke was that he came home with fresh bread every day but always ate stale bread.
curly watts supermarket

My conundrum is re: fabric.  Admittedly, fabric doesn't go mouldy (hopefully!) but it can seem a bit 'stale' once it's been hanging around in the cupboard for a while.

The Mrs Beeton's Household Management in me tells me that I should use up my old stuff first, so that I don't end up with very old stuff in my cupboard.

 mrs beetonmrs beeton

My impatient self shouts "Curly Watts!" as I worry that I will always be sewing with older stuff that I don't love any more instead of nice fresh stuff I've just bought.
chicopee FQ bundle denyse schmidt
What I really want to be sewing with right now...

Of course, the answer to all this is to sew more and buy less.  Yeah, right!

I am dutifully working through my Finish-a-Long - and getting through it, step by step - I will post an update soon.  However I always have one eye on what I will choose for my next big project.  Old or new?  What to do?
she can quilt

Answers on a postcard please....

G x

* P.S. The way you end up with twice as much food as you need is when your parents come to visit and they bring their own bags of food (literally the equivalent of a supermarket shopping trip) just in case I haven't been competent enough to stock my fridge and cupboards with edible produce.  Yes really.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

2013 Finish-a-Long

Oh boy.  Did ever I need the Finish-a-Long to carry on this year.  Hats off to Rhonda for hosting the fabulous 2012 FAL - which did wonders for my WIP last year - and an enormous thank you to Leanne for picking up the torch and carrying it into 2013!

she can quilt

I have been thinking long and hard about my list and here it is:

(1) Rouenneries Apple Crisp - I really am on the home straight for this now - it is back from Tracey who did a beautiful long arm custom quilting job on it.  Even my husband commented on the loveliness of Tracey's quilting - and don't forget this is the same quilt he unthinkingly threw his trousers onto last year.  This is just waiting for the binding.  Surely I can manage that?!
apple crisp evelyn sloppy quick cut quilt french general rouenneries courthouse steps

(2) Figgy's Zephyr Sundress in Nano Iro Little Letter - This will be a summer dress for my elder daughter and I have to get it finished by the time the weather gets nice and before she grows out of it!  I love this double gauze fabric, it is so lovely and floaty.  This is all cut and ready to go.

(3) Slouch bag in Spoonflower fabric - I love this pattern by Just Jude and I am hoping it will look quite funky in the Spoonflower fabric I ordered just before Christmas.  I have seen various versions on the interweb, like this one by Di @ Willowbeck Designs:
spoonflower purple vacuum tubes fabricslouch bag etsy just jude pattern

(4) Pervalong - I finally have all my foundation papers prepped and my fabric pressed and ready to go.  I can't wait to get this one underway.
pervalong kona solid PP paper pieced quilt

(5) Dolce quilt - blocks have been done since the beginning of October so quite why they are still in a box waiting to be made into a top is beyond me.  Must must must get this done in Q1.

I think this is probaby enough for Q1 - I must get this linked up to Leanne's FAL linky page now as it's half an hour to midnight on deadline day - a familiar feeling for me.

G x

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Dandelion delayed!

I must start this post with an apology to Liz of Dandelion Daydreams for the lateness of her (November) Bee blocks.  I am so sorry that these are late.  Two words - Christmas Fair.  Enough said.

Never mind - they are done now!  I am doubly excited about this, because until I actually got going on the blocks this morning, I didn't have a clue what I was going to make.  Liz gave us a nice simple brief: Selvedge blocks.  Any size, any shape.  Argh!  Too much choice!

I had never sewn selvedges before so I thought I would start with the simplest of the simple to minimise the chance of me stuffing it up - Pinwheels:

Then I thought I would try to do some applique as I will probably be doing applique for my January block so a bit of practice could come in handy:
selvedge flower applique quilt bee block
My first version of this went a bit wrong as I had envisaged outlining the blocks with bright zig zag stitch around each circle.  However, it looked dreadful.  Happily I managed to salvage the centre circle and half the little circles and start again.  It worked much better with a small blanket stitch in white.

The most fun thing about these blocks is that you can make something so pretty out of something that usually ends up in the waste paper basket.  I think I will be saving all my selvedges from now on.

Perhaps if you're feeling ambitious, you could attempt a selvedge dress, like these incredible creations:
selvedge dress jodie

selvedge dress

Wow - some seriously talented ladies at work!  Amazing.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Back into the groove

Until today I had not sewed a single stitch since just before the Christmas Fair, so I was delighted when I negotiated an hour and a half sewing window today after my plans to go to the LMQG were scuppered by various (small) members of my family.

I decided to get started on a paperback book carryalong bag as seen on the cover of from this past issue of Mollie Makes:
mollie makes issue book journal cover

...using this London fabric from Echino:
echino london linen fabric

The pattern said it would fit an average sized paperback of up to 500 pages.  Mine, however, seems to have supersized itself as it comfortably fits my too-tall-for-the-regular-bookshelf monster 1300+ page copy of Les Miserables :
mollie makes journal cover echino london fabric

I do like the pattern so I have measured a normal paperback against my monster Victor Hugo and am going to adjust the pattern accordingly so that I can make one that fits the majority of my paperbacks.  Nevertheless I expect that this monster bookbag will its share of wear, as Les Mis is going to take me a while to read.
mollie makes journal cover echino london fabric

I am also obliged to post an update about the marmalade.  It turns out that my "ridiculous husband" is also a curious soul who occasionally reads my blog.  Oops.  Hello, dear!

Anyway, here is the marmalade boiling away at 222F on the final straight towards marmalade-dom:
home made marmalade cooking thermometer

And here it is all bottled up:
home made marmalade jars

I am not normally a fan of marmalade at all, but I was asked to try a bit of this particular batch on a piece of toast (possibly as punishment for ridiculing the whole process in my previous blog post).  I have to say, as marmalade goes, it is definitely much more palatable than some of the other brands I have tasted.  Compliments to the chef!

Although, dear husband, if you are reading this blog again - THIS is the kind of Marmalade I really like....
marmalade bonnie and camille FQ bundle fabric
.... yum yum x

Edited to add: linking to Heart of Charnwood's monthly book challenge - by happy coincidence this month's challenge is to make something book related!

Here's the linky button if you want to enter too:
Heart of Charnwood

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Marmalade, anyone?

Consider a jar of marmalade.  Like this one:
A nice posh brand might set you back by a princely £3. 

Now imagine that you decide to make your own marmalade*.  Wait!  Let me stop you before you think too hard.

You might end up with a pot like this after a couple of days:
This pot is 36 hours into its marmalade evolution, with at least another 24 hours to go before it can even think about going into jam jars.  So far it has required the gas hob on full blast for a great number of hours.  Possibly more than 3 quid's worth.

Oh, and did I mention - my entire house now smells of Lemsip.

Conclusion: buy the damn stuff from the shop.

G x

* This should really read "Now imagine that your ridiculous husband decides to make his own marmalade".  I would never consider making my own marmalade because I can't stand the stuff.  However I do love candied orange dipped in chocolate.  Perhaps I will suggest that to him next time.