Sew Me Silly!

A Little of this and a little of that and before you know it there is more than you can do! Join me in a quest to save myself........

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It has been a while!

I have been absent for a week or two. End of the school term, preparing students for the HSC and the big Christening has kept me away from the computer and blog world.

Sewing myself silly has been not quite the focus but I have been sewing away.I have had the two Christening gowns to get done - the boys looked lovely. The dresses and jackets were simple but effective. The main thing is that my daughter liked them.
Fraser on the right and Oscar on the left. The gowns are white lawn lined with blue poplin. They have a line of white cotton heirloom lace down the centre front. The little kimono jackets are hand sewn and lined and have the lace down each side of the front edge. Little Oscar had to have the XXS size cut down even further. The boys were perfect on the day.

So finally home again from the trip out west to see the grandchildren. Had a lovely time cuddling my granddaughter and taking her her babushka quilt and pretty tee shirts.

I have finally got some time to do some catch up sewing and get back to my project. I finally finished a quilt I have been making for some time. It was a cut and slash block made out of a layer cake I made myself of Kaffe Fassat and other fabrics from my stash. I used black strips to create a stained glass look to the finished quilt. The quilt is heavily machine quilted with lime green wavy lines about 2-3 cm apart over the blocks. The black sashes are machine embroidered with glossy black vines. Many of the blocks feature detailed embroidery echoing the crazy patch feel of the quilt. I finished putting on the bindings yesterday ending a two year project. Nice to get back to the project..

This quilt will go to daughter number two to add to her collection. I am still making her bed quilt for the new flat but have run out of fabric and have to get more before I can finish. Might be a few weeks. I am happy to see this quilt finished; it looks lovely on the bed.

So, what should I get to today. I have three more days of school holidays and as I finished all the school work and marking in the first week I can now get a little stitching done. I have a stained glass crazy patch wall quilt to take out of a frame. I rent now so cannot hand it anywhere so have decided to pick up my plans to recycle the quilt from the frame and back and bind it. It is a favourite piece of mine. Made some ten years ago and has been carried around as a framed image for years and never hung. So that is today's project. Features some of my favourite fabrics ever. I will post a before and after pic.

I also have a wonderful yellow and black quilt to finish which is a strippy looking quilt. I will try and get back to that this week. Might get finished if I am snappy. Have a day out on Friday to spend with my girl so no sewing then but the weekend looms and as it is my last weekend before the rush of HSC and the final very busy term of the year I am going to have to put myself under some pressure to get through the last items to meet my goal of 100 in 100.

Hopefully be back tonight with more.

To keep up the tally:

100 - 7 - 1 - 2 - 3 -1 - 3 -1-0-7 -1 -3 -10 -1 -1- 1 - 1= 57 UFOs left to do with just 54 days left!!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sunday Retro

I have had an indulgent day. Today I cut out and sewed together a dress for myself - a rare thing indeed!

I found a great retro summer dress pattern and some retro look fabrics and hey presto....

just love the fabric in the skirt

the empire line with the gathered drawstring is quite flattering.
I am really pleased with the finished dress. It is probably a size too big but hey, a few choccy bars will fix that.

I fully lined the bodice (which is a complimentary coloured fabric to the skirt) with the skirt fabric. I used a different fabric for the waistband and repeated that fabric on the hem - which still needs finishing. I plan to put some old buttons on the shoulders for detail.I have top stitched all the seams and edges so looks quite snazzy.

Next time I will make a size smaller, in hot pink and orange fabrics. I like that I can alter the neckline - this one is a sweetheart neckline -  might do a round neckline next. I think a square neckline would be snazzy too. I was thinking some pockets might be cool- oversized on the side fronts, or even old doilies would be very pretty. Will try some other versions ...

.....and yes of course I have started something new when there is still so much to finish - but the fabrics did come from my stash and have been sitting there for a while and so whilst not strictly a UFO I am allowing myself the indulgence of sewing something pretty for myself.

The scrap fabrics left over will make a lovely little dress for my granddaughter.

I finished off almost all the little tee shirts last night - have four more to do tonight and can then count them in my UFO tally.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Higgledy Piggledy Babushka for Rory

Such as busy and productive day!

Yes, it is still Finish it off Saturday and I have 'finished another UFO off the list.

This little babushka inspired quilt was started earlier this year while I was living in the hospital residences with my granddaughter, then 20 months. We were living close by to support her mumma with the new twinny boys. I started the quilt in our fourth week of incarceration as my Rory girl didn't have any Granny love quilts with her. I had made her a hoot and a dolly while we were there but with the prospect of us being there for another few weeks I thought I would make her a quilt.

I bought the fabric- either from Spotlight or from Addicted to Fabric- cannot remember which. I cut out the blocks and the circles of babushka fabric and appliqued them on using buttonhole stitch. As things have a tendency to do, we had an all change when the twins and my daughter were suddenly transferred to a hospital closer to home and so I had to pack up and move out of the residences and move Rory and I back to her house. The bag with the quilt got stashed ready to come home here and has not seen the light of day since.

Out it came this morning after surfacing when looking for the backing for this morning's finished UFO. I have sat all day and finished the appliques - cheated on one and satin stitched on by machine - and then put the quilt together using a strip pieced design. I have placed two rows parallel and the third off kilter to add some eye interest.I was limited by the amount of fabric I had and did not want to go purchasing more so have restricted the size to a large cot quilt/cuddle quilt. My Rory girl is about to move into a big bed so I will have to make her a king single size eventually - but  not this week!

I have just sewn the last stitch on the binding and given the quilt a press. I am really happy with it - looks quirky but still very feminine and sweet.

I have put a beautiful Michael Miller fabric on the  back that I bought from Hancocks of Paducah last year when the dollar was high. It looks amazing. I was going to use for a dress for Rory but it looks so good on the back of the quilt.

The little babushkas.

Soooooooooo good to have finished another project. I might add some ric rac to the quilt yet but it is, for all intensive purposes, finished!

What a good day, what a good week. Two quilts finished off today, three in the last week. So many more to finish but cannot do them all at once - the wadding and backs cost so much. Getting there though.

I have the quilt for my youngest daughter still on the go; at least I have found all the blocks and fabric I purchased for it and have placed it in one bag.

Tonight I will get the cleaning up done - so many little scraps and bits of thread but I cannot risk any mess in case we get any sudden house inspections. Tomorrow is cooking and school work so the embroidery pile can go down a little as I get through more tee shirts and tops in the evening but that may be the end of the sewing for the weekend - we'll see how we go tomorrow.

So that would be:

100 - 7 - 1 - 2 - 3 -1 - 3 -1-0-7 -1 -3 -10 -1 -1- 1 = 58 UFOs left to do with 79 days left!

Sounds good but there are a lot of quilts up there in the sewing room and I don't think two each weekend will get me across the line. There are lots of half finished cushion blocks to do; dresses cut out to sew for summer babies; christening gowns and receiving blankets ( which have a  tight deadline), and  a cross stitch or two...three.... four.....

Keep on keeping on. They are getting done!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Finish it off Saturday!!!!!

Welcome to Finish it off Saturday!!!!

Today is a beautiful sunny day here on the Eurobodalla coast. Sun is shining, the ocean is bluer than blue and the smell of spring resonates through the tree ferns at my door.

No open house inspections today so a lovely chance to relax ...and to get the sewing out again.

I so often berate myself for the unfinished things in my world then have to remind myself of the variables that present me with no time to get things done. I have had to pack up the sewing and put away so many times now that I am reticent to get it all out and start again - but with washing to be done, marking to get to, twinny christening gowns to get started on and a few other little projects to be realised I still need to have some time for me ( I have promised year 12 that I will cook - grrrrr hate cooking - afternoon tea for them for finishing off an essay and coming to an after school study session).

Today, just for me, I plan to sew. Went to the UFO box and fished for something I could finish before lunch. Found a quilt that I started a few years ago.

Initially I began this quilt when my oldest daughter was pregnant with her first baby. She had just bought an enormous king size sleigh bed and I wanted to make her a quilt for it. As with all my plans and projects I tried to think how I would be able to get something done that would not take years to create and finish - hahahaha!

I decided to try a Baltimore album style quilt - using the scherenschnitte concept. I thought I would make 16 blocks or so and then put a detailed appliqued floral border surrounding the blocks. Things got started and I decided on 16 inch blocks so I could see the quilt develop quickly in terms of size. I cut out and appliqued the four blocks in this finished quilt and then something happened ( probably school) and things got put away. A few months later I cut out  four more blocks but then realised that I had cut the background squares too small and they would not match. Not happy Jan! I had already cut out and appliqued long panels ( I was doing quilt as you go and then sewing all the pieces together at the end) but had lost the little bag of leaves I had cut out  so was getting quite frustrated.

In my frustration I decided to change the whole concept for the quilt. I made the decision to put the four completed  big blocks together then put a border around those - with floral appliqued vines and then use the four other blocks as corner setting blocks thus creating a medallion style quilt. What I would do with the border appliques was not an issue at the time - I put them away in the nether regions of the sewing cupboard and hoped they would not fall out and haunt me for a few years ( now I will have to search them out and make some decision as to what to do with them).

When the baby finally came along the quilt  was still in an unfinished state- had so many baby quilts to make in the meantime. I went out to stay with my daughter for most of the Christmas holidays and the future of this quilt went awry. Cleaning her house and moving things that just did not fit out to the garage I found  a precious Sunbonnet Sue quilt I had made and hand embroidered for my girl when she was about eight years old. There it was, lying on the floor of the garage, half covered in mud and grit. What could/did I say ?... too much probably!
My daughter had no realisation that the quilt had been taken out and dumped there ( the garage was not somewhere she frequented); her husband had thrown it out at some stage. I salvaged the quilt and have it now home here with me where it has been carefully cleaned and is in the process of being restored to its former glory (SO IN EFFECT IS ANOTHER UFO!). I was not inclined, however, to present her hubby with something else to discard, especially considering the colour scheme of the cream background.
So the quilt was put away.

I pulled it out about a year ago and decided to quilt each block separately and make cushions. I did some heavy echo quilting around each applique  and once the initial four blocks were quilted decided they would still make a nice lap quilt. I quilted the sashing separately with a green embroidery thread design of leaves and stitched the quilted pieces together. Loved it then left it. The quilt top has been sitting in the UFO box in its quilted state for about a year now. Today I put a back on it and finally some bindings.

I am really pleased with the finished product; may not be what I initially intended and will probably be something I give away but it is now a completed UFO.

Here are some pictures of the blocks and sashing and finally the finished quilt. The quilt measures approx 1.5 metres square.

So, in terms of finishing off a UFO - this is item number 41 completed.

100 - 7 - 1 - 2 - 3 -1 - 3 -1-0-7 -1 -3 -10 -1 -1 = 59 UFOs left with 79days to go.

Now onto finishing the babushka quilt for my granddaughter. So far have blocks started, some appliqued, some pieced. I will try to get the top completed today and then machine quilt so it can live up the the terrors of the washing machine.

 Onwards, forwards.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A little of the pretty.

Just a little pretty applique for a pretty girl in my world.

Love the lilac and the bow
pretty little birdies
This is a newby so cannot include in my 100 things in 100 days - but I think is pretty.

I am working on another quilt- will photograph at whatever stage of finished/unfinished tomorrow and put up an image. Really want to finish off this week.

I have to get going on the quilt I started for daughter number 2. Lots more to do.

Back tomorrow.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This is Exciting!


I am so happy. I finally finished the postage stamp quilt. This little baby has been going for a long time- I think I started about 1992/93.

I saw the image of a similar antique quilt in an American book or magazine, cannot remember which. I chose colours similar to the one in the book to try and simulate the antique look. I strip pieced the blocks- remember making lots of mistakes and it being tedious. I was always in such a hurry that I didn't take enough care with the strip sewing. After piecing the top I sun-bleached and then tea-dyed it. The top was then put in a box for one of the many moves I made over the years ( 19 in the last 25 years) and only resurfaced about two years ago when I unpacked a box of sewing materials.

About 10 years ago I packed all the sewing away, gave away my sewing machine and nearly all my fabrics and most of my books and had decided not to sew again - that was until my daughter became pregnant with my granddaughter. We sat and planned quilts and then it all began again- the obsession, the boxes started to get unpacked looking for any scraps I had suitable for a baby quilt.

When this surfaced I was a little sad. On one hand it was amazing that it had held together, but the sewing was so bad. I remember not having much money and sewing it together with blue cotton and the machine tension was wonky. I had  given up on the top due to its dreadful piecing but in bringing it out again I fell back in love with the design.

The first thing I had to do was to stabilise the piecing. I ironed stabiliser onto the back over all the holes and stitching that had become undone over time. I hand sewed other bits and have had  to darn the odd hole. I then decided that if I was going to keep the quilt - and there were moments I thought I should just throw out or use  under a new top - I should machine quilt and hopefully cover all the other bad stitching.

I quilted in straight lines each side of the strips earlier this year. Not too tidy but seems to suit the odd antique look. I didn't have any backing fabric and felt the quilt top was not worthy of spending 60 dollars or so on a back so went op-shopping. Found some gorgeous ochre brocade and embroidered curtaining. I cut to fit and attached after the quilting was done.

I stitched the turkey red bindings on to two parallel  sides of the quilt and somehow it got put away again. They were hemmed down today during the power blackout. I decided after my last blog post to finish this quilt tonight so went on a hunt for the other two binding strips which I had packed away wit the house inspections happening. Took a while to locate. I found them and stitched them on tonight and have just finished hemming the bindings down. This quilt was a priority for the UFO project. I decided that no matter how odd and badly stitched it was the design was so nice and if I take my glasses off or look at it from a distance it still looks great.

So here it is, 5 September 2010, some 17 or 18 years after it was begun, it is finished!

The edges are a little wonky but they will soften once the quilt has been cuddled for a while.
Just hanging on the rail. Love the colours. Don't zoom in too much or you will see all the errors.

So a special finish.

100 - 7 - 1 - 2 - 3 -1 - 3 -1-0-7 -1 -3 -10 -1 = 60 with 86 days to go.

No Power for the day!

What an interesting but long day. I awoke shivering about 5am and realised the power had gone down. here it is, 8: 54 and I have must had the power returned- well about thirty minutes ago. I am sooooo relieved. I had already gone to bed and was not enjoying the fact that a cup of tea had not happened today - so addicted to caffeine!!!!!!

I did , however, get through some hand sewing UFOs. All the tee shirts are now finished. I am feeling quite chuffed. I also hemmed the bindings on to two sides of a quilt begun in 1992/3. I will try and finish this week and will have completed a really really big UFO.

Five size 0 suits, five size 00 and four size 000 ( sold one last week.
They look so cool all set out. The little babushka is sweet. Might have to do more of those when I catch up with the rest of the UFOs.

So, in effect, I finished ten tees. I am back on track - woo hoo -t!

100 - 7 - 1 - 2 - 3 -1 - 3 -1-0-7 -1 -3 -10 = 61 with 86 days to go. Sounds good but the big things are coming up, the two quilts that need binding and the two quilts that need  finishing in terms of piecing then quilting. I finished off the piecing of one other quilt that needs quilting now and finished echo quilting a laptop. I will hopefully get all of these done in the next 86 days as well as finish of the embroideries and other bits and pieces still sitting in the box. I had better get onto the scarves as they will not sell soon; it will be summery before we know it.

The day was a little desperate for me. I rely on the food business for sustenance - hate cooking and with the need ( or excuse) to keep  the house spotless avoid even purchasing food. The fact that no businesses were open anywhere today caused me minor panic. Finally found a takeaway at Surf Beach who, despite not having power, put on the gas and cooked hot chips, hamburgers and steak sandwiches. For the first time in a long time I had a steak sandwich with the lot - all the gooey pineapple, egg and bacon. Regretted as always afterwards but oh so good in the moment.

Now  I will have to eat healthy for a few days to make up for the grease!!!!!

Enjoy the rest of your night. I am going to fill up on tea and enjoy.

Be back tomorrow