Tuesday, 25 February 2014

2014 Sewing To Do List

This is my sewing to do list for 2014. I am a little bit obsessed with making lists of things. It helps motivate me and keep me on track, which is necessary as I have a rather short attention span and become distracted easily.

Sewing To Do List 2014

Learn to make piping
Learn to sew a work blouse/shirt
Learn to make button holes
Hidden Stars quilt
Alexander McQueen tweed skirt
Wool work shift dress (and jacket?)
At least two work blouses
Alter shirts for work
Forest friends quilt for A
Forest friends quilt for M
Finish Snowflake wall hanging for TQQ 
Green chiffon slip

All of these projects are things for which I already have the fabrics so, hopefully, all I will have to buy is things like buttons, lining and interfacing. Unfortunately, my obsession with textures and silky things will probably result in me buying all sorts of things that aren't on the list. Luckily, my new job means that I'll be working a lot so hopefully the lack of time will curb my spending.

Me x

Saturday, 15 February 2014

ZigZag Quilt

ZigZag Quilt for D

D's ZigZag Quilt - Leo loves photo bombing
The boy's sister, D, got this quilt for Christmas. It was originally meant to be a birthday present. Her birthday is in August. Do you think there might be a pattern here? Whoops. Unfortunately, a small detail known as the PhD submission deadline got in the way of the birthday present completion deadline. Anyway, all's well that ends well and she loved her birthday/Christmas present when she finally got it.

I decided on a black, white, and grey zigzag pattern because D recently bought some grey and white zigzag patterned sheets that she loves and also because her room is decorated in black and white, with light blue walls. She is frighteningly stylish and generally looks too cool for school. I really wanted the design to complement her personality and style.

Started: December 2013 (I sewed exactly one seam in August)
Finished: December 2013
Size: lap sized 130 x ??? cm
Quilt top: Bella solids 5" charm pack in black (9900PP-99), silver (9900PP-183), and bleached white (9900PP-98). I used 20 silver charms, 40 black, and 60 white.
Backing: Tula Pink's Salt Water Sea Debris in aqua because D loves kite surfing and the sea.
Binding: Tula Pink's Salt Water Sea Stripes in aqua The grey/blue progression really tied in well with the grey chevrons on the quilt top and the blue backing fabric.
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom wool batting. SO much better than everything else I've ever tried
Quilting: Machine quilted on my mother's Singer Samba 60 with some random white thread she gave me from her sewing cabinet.

Back of D's ZigZag Quilt: Tula Pink backing and binding
I pieced the top using half square triangles, which was a new technique for me. As it turns out, neither my rotary cutting skills nor my quarter inch seam allowance skills were consistent enough to be able to finish this quilt without the help of The Quilt Queen (a.k.a. my mother, who has nothing to do with the quilting queen of interweb fame). As demonstrated by the reject block below, things just weren't matching up to my exacting bordering on OCD standards. Luckily TQQ was around to save the day! I learned so much just from her going through and correcting my blocks so that they were up to scratch. My half square triangles aren't half bad now. Just keep practising!

Rogue block - so much for consistent seam allowances.
I embroidered a quilt label and whip stitched it to the back of the quilt. This is one of my favourite steps of quilt making. I keep promising myself that one of these days I will finish a quilt with enough time left to get really creative with the quilt label instead of just stitching the recipient's name and the date.

D's ZigZag quilt: quilt label
Here are some photos of the quilt in progress. I need to get better at taking photos as I go along. Isn't that what I started this blog for in the first place?

Quilt in progess: pin basting
Quilt in progress: quilting

I'm really happy with the colour combinations in this quilt. I generally find choosing colours and prints that complement each other quite difficult so this is a big thing for me. I really like the contrasting binding and the way the colours in the binding tie together the front and the back of the quilt.

I learned SO much, both on my own and from the TQQ while making this quilt. All of the half square triangles from now on!

Love, me xx

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Completed: hexagon travel sewing kit

Finished hexagon travel sewing kit - pattern by thezenofmaking

I finished my hexagon travel sewing kit today. Yay! I used this wonderful tutorial from Haley at thezenofmaking. It was really very quick to make- Haley's tutorial is really straightforward, well illustrated, and clearly described. Also, I liked the fact that there was a significant bit of hand sewing involved because I like hand sewing. It is small enough to fit in most of my handbags, while also fitting my YLI thread spools and enough hexagon sewing bits and bobs to carry around and keep me occupied. My next plan is to make some of Haley's altoid tin sewing kits- I have a lot of altoids to get through first though!

Sewing kit with altoid tins and hexagons

The other great thing about this bag is that I didn't have to buy anything except a magnetic handbag snap for it. Making things that don't require spending money on new materials always makes me feel like I'm winning. The hexagon flowers are made from my favourite Liberty of London tana lawn: Lodden in green. This fabric is simply a joy to work with. I could go on and on about the amazing properties of Liberty's tana lawns.

The main green solid is from Kaufmann I think and it's pretty close to my favourite shade of green. The lining fabric is a blue and white polka dot which is, in my opinion, the perfect blue. Now, if only I could remember where I got it from (Kaufmann perhaps?). It's been in my stash since this quilt and just waiting for the perfect little project as there was only a tiny bit of it left. Now there are only a few scraps left but I can't bear to throw them away. I have so many fabrics that I wish I had bought more of!

                      Supplies                             WIP bag goes travelling (on the train)
I embroidered my initials on the centre hexagons with some embroidery floss that I inherited from my great grandmother (yes, my initials are ET). Using her things always makes projects more special and, generally, I only ever use them on things that I make for myself or my mother. I like remembering my grandmother and great-grandmother by wearing their jewellery and using their crafty things. I'm currently debating whether to attach this doily which my great-grandmother crocheted to the back of the bag, which is currently just plain green. Hmmm.... Choices, choices. Oh, I also embroidered a needle and thread on the inside hexagon flower.

Embroidered hexagon flowers. Bottom right now has a needle & thread on it.

I'm so pleased to have replaced my ubiquitous hexagon transportation system, a plastic zip lock bag, with something so much better thanks to the lovely zenofmaking. Now back to the monster hexagon quilt and the five other projects that I've started but not yet finished!

Old and new hexagon paper piecing travel solutions

Love, me x