Monday 31 August 2015

Me Me Me Monday

Monday 31st August. Fortunately a bank holiday, unfortunately the last day of my holidays! But I spent it wisely! I sewed for me!

A while ago I won a bag pattern: the Everyday Tote Bag. Jackie and I made one and then one each in February, and two more in July.

My July version went to a friend as a birthday pressie and I wanted to tweak a few things in a new version for me.

I wanted wider, two internal zip pockets, the right length straps, a secret slip pocket, a key clip and slightly more subdued colours.

So that's what I did! The blue and cream version is the new one

The main internal slip pockets are designed for my wallet and my card wallet, and there are two zip pickets for car park tickets etc, intentionally different colours so I *might* not have to check both to find anything,

The secret slip pocket is in the lining, and is the full depth of the bag: it's ideal to sling my phone it - no one can surreptitiously take it but I can easily find it.

I like my straps to be long enough I can hold them in my hand and swing my elbow through - so I can put it on my shoulder with the one hand, so I've done that, and I've filled it with all my necessary essentials

My keys are on the ribbon - not my house and car keys, but my work keys: they are accessible but not weighing down my personal key ring.

I used all "home dec" weight fabric so it's quite sturdy, especially as I used interfacing too, but I like bags that stand open for me to throw things into, and there is plenty of room for all my cr@p and shopping too.

A well spent final day of freedom!

Sunday 30 August 2015

Wool On Sundays

My friend Janine blogs at Rainbow Hare and is a keen knitter and crochet-er, and runs a linkie every Sunday.

I very rarely link up as I don't (can't) knit, but I can crochet one stitch if someone can cast on for me. A while ago the lovely Carolyn at church started me off for some fingerless gloves. She felt I was ready to progress to a new stitch, but I ended up with this, so clearly I wasn't ready!


She very patiently started me off again, and I now have this:


It needs to be much longer and then I need to do the same again for the other hand, but these will be perfect to driving to school in the autumn / winter when the car is cold and I'm waiting for it to heat up!

(Do you like my ergonomic crochet hook - made with two packs of Sugru - I love that stuff!)


Saturday 29 August 2015

Bottle Bag

I try and drink plenty of water, but I like it REALLY cold.  I generally freeze half a bottle overnight and then top up when I'm drinking so all the liquid is ice cold.

The down side is the condensation it leaves everywhere, so I had half a plan to make a container out of towelling, then I stumbled across this post.  Susie made a patchwork bottle bag that I thought would work fine with a sacrificed towel as the lining.  I wasn't overly fussed about cutting 40 squares of fabric so I joined two width-of-fabric strips and turned them into a chequerboard arrangement the right size and shape

I used the patchwork as a pattern piece to cut the lining and finally figured out the spiral joining method (the two pins need to be touching)

The lining was a bit bulky, but its exactly what I want, and will absorb all the condensation so I am delighted with my battle bag.  I think it will also insulate it so it stays cold for longer - I hope so.  I added one strap and also two rings so I can attach a shoulder strap if I'm going for a walk

Friday 28 August 2015

Friday Finishes

It's been rubbish weather most of this week: torrential rain and cold enough I've needed my slippers!! In that sort of weather all I've wanted to do is curl up with a quilt and watch TV.

But I'm also aware that my school holiday is rapidly coming to an end, and I'd like to get my UFO list down a bit before next week, so instead of curling up under a finished quilt I've been under an unfinished quilt, finished the binding on . . .

This one: Five a Day


And this one: Tessellated Red and Cream Stars


And this one: Jilly's Garden Gate


There are, of course, plenty more UFOs, but these are now finished, yippee!



Thursday 27 August 2015

La Passacaglia and Polly

My La Passacaglia EPP block has been progressing: I took the very brave step to add some fussy print fabric into the solids.  I'm really pleased with the way it is progressing

A few days ago Polly, a friend of Niki's, came over.

Polly had mentioned she had a load of t-shirts that she wanted to make a t-shirt quilt with, could I help?

We started with a pile of t-shirts, and a couple of metres of fusible interfacing.

We reckoned the maximum square we could get from the t-shirts was 12.5", so cut the interfacing to 14" squares and ironed it to the inside of each t-shirt: after a few false starts and a bit of fusible fused to the iron rather than a t-shirt, we then set to cutting.  Polly was new to using a rotary cutter or a 12.5" square ruler, but got the hang of it pretty quickly, so soon we had a good sized pile of t-shirt squares

We then did a bit of speed dating until she was happy with the layout, and she then learnt the easiest way to make a quilt: Stitch the squares into five columns, arrange column #3 in the centre of a fleece blanket, pin #2 to its left, pinning through #3 AND the fleece, then stitch along the pinned line.  Press #2 open, spray baste in place, and then pin #1 in place and repeat until all done: 4 lines of stitching has assembled the quilt, and has adequately quilted it.

A further two lines to baste down the two outer edges and within seven hours she has gone from a pile of t-shirts to a quilt (OK, "coverlet") she can sleep under until we get time to cover the binding lesson

The pic of Niki and Polly is from a few years ago, but its a lovely pic of them both, and that t-shirt is included in this quilt (left hand side, just above Polly 14)

And here is an up to date pic of Lisa: The sign says "You are standing at the Northernmost point of the Australian Continent"  She got there!  Now sadly she is heading back south, further away again :-(

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Terrific Traffic

I was loading up my Blogger page to create a post when I noticed a spike in my views

I then noticed a new 'traffic source' of www.freequiltpatterns, so I investigated.

I know some people have had problems with their blog posts being re posted as someone else's work, but surely that couldn't account for extra visits to *my* blog.  But if you go to the Free Quilt Patterns website and scroll down a bit you see this

And the links all link back to my blog - imagine me doing a happy dance! I am, as the kids say, "well chuffed"!

Monday 24 August 2015

Linking at Last

I keep meaning to link up with Fiona's "New to Me" and her "Ho Ho Ho and on we Sew", and I'm finally remembering to do so!

I have blogged about this before, but here is my Ho Ho Ho offering:

Hand dyed / marbled fabric sewn into zippy pouches for friends for Christmas

And for "New To Me" I'm offering these, some already posted, some new

Peg bags made for a friend: the opening is under the bone

La Passacaglia

Tool store / pin cushions

And binding caddy and hexie caddy

Saturday 22 August 2015

Slogging and Sewing

I'm slogging through the pre-school uniforms: 45 down, no idea how many to do, but plenty still in the box!  Also a delivery of four dressing gowns, and two PE kits, and a few school jumpers - not sure I'll have time to go back to work in September!!!

The pre-school embroidery is fairly routine, and I can generally hear a change in the sound if its going to play up, so I've been taking the risk of multitasking

I've made myself a thinner version of this credit card wallet (original instructions here)

The museum added a cover for a Guest Book to their order, so I did the embroidery, and then covered a ring binder

The plan is that they can reuse the ring binder - I can just make them a new cover each time

I made some more sweet 16 blocks - thanks Wren for most of these fabrics!

And I spent a bit of time on the computer - I received these lovely photos of Samuel and his I-spy quilt (and mum and dad looking very happy parents!)

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Embroidery Extra

I've had embroidery requests from two customers - the more interesting one has been from Chertsey Museum.  They are changing the display on the fashion room and from September will have exhibits from five decades: from the 1960s to the 2000s.  As well as clothing and accessories they will have a perfume representing each decade.  The perfumes will be sprayed daily onto silk - could I embroider the perfume name, designers and decades (see post dated 16th August).

The silks have now been done and will be delivered tomorrow: 

Meanwhile the village preschool dropped off a few items of uniform...


The boxes in the top photo have been done, but there is plenty more to keep me busy for the next week or so!

Added to the embroidery the new curate (trainee vicar) at church asked me to mend a surplice, 

I think it's been eaten by mice!  I've just tacked the ribbon back in place and ironed interfacing on to stop the fabric shreds from hanging down - I have no idea how to do it properly, but I have made notes on the interfacing as to what I did and when, just in case someone comes to do it properly on the future!

And husband picked blackberries and apples - so it would have been rude not to make a crumble!!

Hope you are enjoying the summer!

Monday 17 August 2015

Marking, Mending and Making

 Niki and I went to Ikea the other night, and amongst other things we bought a wireless charger for our phones.  the way the system works meant we had to have new phone cases - and they only came in boring white, so I jazzed mine up a bit

It helped that Tesco was selling this fab pack of sharpies for just £7 - about 1/3 of the usual price!

I've had a few bits and pieces in the sewing room that have broken.  Husband has passed on some Sugru stuff (see here for other inspiration).  It's like BluTak, but sets into a permanent but rubbery shape, and is great for fixing or creating!

I fixed a broken embroidery hoop, and broken scissor grip, and I used some more to put ends onto my felting needles, and to make a chunky handle for a crochet hook!

 My Rainbow Hexie project has stalled a bit

But some of the hexies that hadn't made the cut were bugging me. They were in shades of turquoise and teal and looked lovely together, but didn't belong in the quilt.  At Ikea I picked up some hessian/jute/burlap fabric and added it to a band of hexies I had joined together.  I added a lining of  hessian but it wasn't very stable, so I added craft/pelmet vilene inside.  I then hand quilted it to stop the whole lot shifting around too much

I'm not quite sure what it will be used for - but it's pretty, and it used up unwanted fabric!