Monday, February 13, 2012

Bee-ing adventurous

Sew. Bee. Create. :
This is my first bee, ever. I know I can find the time for it, and I'm pretty sure I can make blocks (with enough instructions), but I had not expected to feel so nervous cutting into someone else's fabric. No room for error, and I so want my fellow bee-ers to like the blocks. Performance anxiety, wow.

The good thing about a bee is that it gives you  chance to experiment with new techniques, colours and so on. I'd hoped for this, and that's just what happened.

January started with a bang (for me) with an improvised block. I'd never done this before. I learned several things from doing this:
1. Simple is better. Too late for that now, but I'll keep it in mind.
2. All those seams use lots of fabric. I had almost no fabric left, yet a few bee-ers managed two blocks. See 1. above.

Here's the unfinished block. It's to be trimmed by its' owner.

Feb's block seemed like more familiar ground. Framed squares. OK. This time I set off with more confidence. I knew what sizes I wanted the squares for a block. Again the lessons learned:

1. My math skills are very poor
I found it surprisingly difficult to calculate the widths of the surrounds to finish up with the right size block. I kept getting it wrong, over and over. Finally I got it on the fifth small block I made. I must be a very slow learner!

2. Make sure there is enough fabric for a complete surround before cutting and sewing. See 1. above.

Here are the two blocks I made:

I wonder what March's block will be like?

Linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Till next time,


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not Quilts - Gasp!!

This last few days I've been working on a few projects that are not quilts. Not even approaching quilts! I know!

Last Christmas I won a prize on the Sew Mama Sew giveaways. It was 2 yards of Heather Ross fabric in the Mendecino print. How excited was I! My first plan, and I said this in the prize draw, was to make a skirt for one of my GDs. There are 2 GDs however, and on more thought I nixed the idea.

There the fabric stayed, while I waited for a project worthy of my prize. Last week I thought of it, a new shower curtain! The one I had didn't match my colours, more of a make-do really. So I set to work measuring, and realized that a shower curtain is approximately 4 yards of fabric. No problem, off to the fabric store, where I found a perfect match that didn't overwhelm my lovely print, and it was on sale! Meant to be, obviously! Hours later of cutting and measuring, I sewed it together, with French seams everywhere, no raw edges for me! Luckily my sewing machine does a buttonhole that is so automatic, I hardly have to be there. It took more time to mark where they would go! And here it is, I'm so excited, every time I see it, it makes me smile!! ( I know, I'm overdoing the exclamation marks, put it down to too much caffeine.)

My other project has just been finished, and I can't wait to share!
A bit of background: I'm going on a short trip in 2 weeks, and another in April, lucky me! I decided I really want a tote to keep everything organized, but I could not find a pattern that worked for my requirements: has to be large, stay on my shoulder, look at least slightly stylish, have several zipped pockets, and have a recessed zip at the top. It seemed impossible to find all these in one, so I decided to modify a pattern to suit. The pattern I chose is the Nikki tote. The only thing it lacked was the zips. So I read tutorials for how to insert zippered pockets and how to put in a recessed zipper. Great tutorials both, but the recessed zipper in my situation was a little different and caused me quite a few groans and gritted teeth.

Here's the result, and I'm delighted that it has turned out better than I had hoped!

Here's a shot of the lining

the zips are set quite high in the body, just behind the edge of the zip there, I'll spare you the picture.

Here is the recessed zip closed:

Linking to everywhere I can find, no not really, but I am so happy with my sewing this week!

Linking to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Till next time,


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stars in my Eyes

Since it's now February,( I know it's not the first anymore, but near enough), I'm looking back at what I accomplished last month. It seems like there is a let down after the activity and pressure of Christmas, and I coasted on that for a while. Now I'm gearing up again!

At the moment I'm all about stars. First, the Oh My Stars quiltalong. I'm running to keep up, so far I'm still about on schedule.

Here's a pic of my latest variations on the sawtooth star:

Those little guys are 4 inches square, with not much room for error in cutting or sewing. Several of these stars were rejected and re-sewn due to not enough contrast or placement mistakes. Sigh! On the whole, I'm enjoying making them, and I still like my fabrics!

Next up are the Swoon blocks. I laid then all out on a sheet the size of the finished quilt to get a sense of how they will play together.

This is what I've got in mind. My quilty friends have advised me to "just wing it" when trying to join them together. I was hoping for some more concrete advice than that! I've started the QAYG process on them, I'm going to use Marianne's method to join the blocks. So far I've quilted about 5 blocks, here's today's one:

It certainly beats wrestling a large quilt through a small sewing machine!

The quilting pattern came from here , the link was shared by Katie Mae Quilts.

I also made a laptop sleeve for my DD. Here it is, front:

and back, another star, I can't help myself!

How about you? What have you been doing?

I'm linking to Lily Quilts Fresh Sewing Day, and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. There's so much great creativity for you to see at both those sites!

Fresh Sewing Day
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
and because I'm only a little blog, 

Small Blog Meet

Till next time,