Friday, 17 May 2019

A Finish: Sunrise Socks


finishalong logo 200px


I have two pairs of socks on this quarter's FAL list and I've finished the first pair!  They're for a friend who likes tailor-made knitted socks which fit just how she prefers so I consulted my copious notes from the previous 4 ply pair I made for her and knitted these, but with a little bit more room (two extra stitches) across the top of the foot. Aren't they a glorious colour?  Like having a sunrise at the end of your legs!



This is item 15 on my Q2 list and my first finish of this quarter, which I'll be linking up when the time comes.

Mini Archie has a new friend, Billy Fishermouse:

Ahoy there!!
A 'Mystery Luffly Person' arranged with Sue @wool.i.am to send Billy to live with us - you can see the pictures of his arrival on my Instagram feed here and here (you don't need an instagram account to view them).  His arrival caused a flurry of measuring to see where he fitted in the family:

From left: Alf, Mini Archie, Billy, Peter, The Squeaks

And then some clothes arrived, again courtesy of MLP, this time conspiring with Debbie @themousetailor so that his undercarriage was covered.  As he's a fishermouse (and Pirate Hunter), she made him an outfit suitable for fishing and they all set out on a test run:


That's all for now (I'm attempting to write shorter posts so that I can, eventually, post slightly more often and not feel as though I've got loads to catch up on) - thanks for popping in!


Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Mini Archie's April Furtle Around The Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

Hello and welcome to the April Furtle! Once again, the month has got away from me and I haven't managed a mid-month blog post, but I did manage to write my Q2 FAL list, so I'm counting that as a partial win!  I have high hopes for a May blog post because I'm almost finished the socks I'm knitting for a friend and I'm going to try to blog all my finishes this quarter.  ('All' sounds like I'm expecting loads but, in truth, I fear it's going to be a thin month for finishes.) Oh, and I've started catching up on the Summersville stories, so perhaps I've managed more blogging than I'd realised?  Just not 'posts'...


As I said, I've been knitting a pair of socks for a friend and have used my Socker's Rule for the first time (I got mine from My Mama Knits), which made it a lot easier to quickly check whether the foot (and leg) was long enough - I wasn't sure it would be much faster/easier/clearer than a tape measure, but I have to say that I do like it.  The only problem with it is that it doesn't fit in my knitting pouch and I wish they did a folding version...  (And also that if you're knitting a size 12 sock, then the ruler isn't long enough.  Fortunately, I don't knit any socks that long!)



And here are the socks, almost finished and just requiring Kitchener stitch to close the toes and then ends to be darned in:


See why I'm fairly confident of a May finish?!! 

That's all the crafting I've done this month as I haven't been well enough to do anything else, but at least I've managed something as, at one point, all I'd done was cast on two socks!  I do hope your months have had more crafting in them!



Linking up to the April Furtle

If you're linking up, please add a link (one per person, please) to your blog post, which could contain: a mosaic of all you've made in the month, something you've made/started/worked on, a goal which you'd like to achieve in the next month (and then in next month's post you can reflect on that goal and set yourself another one - I find this particularly handy if I'm in the midst of a big project and finding the making of hundreds of blocks to be interminable), anything crafty you'd like to share.  This isn't just for sewing or quilting, but is for all crafts so if you knit, make lace, make clothes, do anything which could come under the heading of 'craft', then please link up.

Please visit the link immediately before and after you and leave an encouraging comment, and more if you can manage it - we all know that comments create joy, so let's spread some around. Also, please treat all the linked posts and their authors with respect - I want this to be an inclusive space for all crafters and crafts and all are welcome.  If you're not sure if you're welcome or you belong, you do - this is by no means a closed space and if you want to join, then you are most welcome. If you need help linking up, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help.

Please add the Furtling button to your blog post, please copy the code below and paste it into your blog post - it should then magically appear when you publish your blog post (I'll do my best to help if you have any problems) and it will help people find the Furtling page with all the details of the link up.


<p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com/p/furtling.html"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fJ7oo6tyMM0/XFF5HxcQW1I/AAAAAAAAEJU/BZnZPfse8k0BXwjt6KAOJIMwySjnfDHbQCLcBGAs/s200/textgram_1548790799.png" alt="Archie The Wonder Dog" /></a></p>


To link up, go to the link at the bottom of this page and click on 'link up' (it's a blue button) and then add your link (website URL), a title (this could be your blog name but could also be something interesting to draw people to it (keep it clean!) if you prefer), and your email.  This last one doesn't appear on the link (I will have access to it - I won't use it unless there's a problem and I need to contact you) so don't worry that you're about to share your email address with the world (or the handful of people who find this link), you're not! The link will remain open until 11pm (GMT) on 14th May; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the April Furtle, but you can link next month if you like.


Mini Archie has taken a liking to the socks:

It's luffly and cosy in here, but mine nose is cold..

I finks that's a bit betterer!  Now, this is for I, yes?



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter












Sunday, 31 March 2019

Mini Archie's March Furtle Around The Blogosphere


Archie The Wonder Dog


Hello and welcome to March's Furtle!  I really don't know where the time goes, do you?  I'd hoped to blog at least once between Furtling posts this month, but just haven't managed it.  Maybe April will be my month...


This month, I have finished a pair of socks:



And I finally cut up the embroidered tablecloth that I bought in 2015 and (wait for it) made something from it!


As soon as I saw the Bloem Basket by Johanna Weidner (find the pattern here), I knew that the tablecloth and Liberty lawn combination that I'd been intending to make a table runner with would be absolutely perfect for it, much better, in fact, than my initial idea. I made the small size and have enough to make another one that size and then lots of bits for other projects/bloem baskets.



March was another month where I was confined to my sewing room for days on end (while the floor being laid in the front room), but this time I had internet access (although no telly for just under a week) and I put my time to good use.  I (and you might want to sit down for this bit) started cutting the fabric for the nine patches to go with my Summersville blocks!  Yes!  Only three years after I finished embroidering the house squares and six and a half years after first starting the project!  The not-very-interesting picture below is all the pieces I'll need for the nine patch blocks - these will be set on point and the embroidered blocks will be set square.  I'm also going to try to get back to writing the stories for each block, with the aim that they will be finished by the time the quilt top is finished.

Each print has been paired with a plain (not the same colour as in the print) so all I have to do is fill the bobbin and start sewing - no thinking required!

I've also made another two LV scrappy trip blocks - I'm not sure how I managed that (I suspect no knitting for half the month is the answer) but I can already tell you that that won't be happening in April!

Block three:

Just in case anyone is wondering what the backs look like...

Block four (at least I think that's the right way round, this could actually be block three...):

(Spot the new floor)

And all of them so far.  This is how they'll be arranged in the quilt and it's nice to see them laid out like they've been in my head:


Another busy month!  I'm hoping to not be confined to my sewing room morning, noon and night for a week straight in April so there'll be a considerable decrease in output...


Linking up to the March Furtle

If you're linking up, please add a link (one per person, please) to your blog post, which could contain: a mosaic of all you've made in the month, something you've made/started/worked on, a goal which you'd like to achieve in the next month (and then in next month's post you can reflect on that goal and set yourself another one - I find this particularly handy if I'm in the midst of a big project and finding the making of hundreds of blocks to be interminable), anything crafty you'd like to share.  This isn't just for sewing or quilting, but is for all crafts so if you knit, make lace, make clothes, do anything which could come under the heading of 'craft', then please link up.

Please visit the link immediately before and after you and leave an encouraging comment, and more if you can manage it - we all know that comments create joy, so let's spread some around. Also, please treat all the linked posts and their authors with respect - I want this to be an inclusive space for all crafters and crafts and all are welcome.  If you're not sure if you're welcome or you belong, you do - this is by no means a closed space and if you want to join, then you are most welcome. If you need help linking up, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help.

Please add the Furtling button to your blog post, please copy the code below and paste it into your blog post - it should then magically appear when you publish your blog post (I'll do my best to help if you have any problems) and it will help people find the Furtling page with all the details of the link up.


<p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com/p/furtling.html"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fJ7oo6tyMM0/XFF5HxcQW1I/AAAAAAAAEJU/BZnZPfse8k0BXwjt6KAOJIMwySjnfDHbQCLcBGAs/s200/textgram_1548790799.png" alt="Archie The Wonder Dog" /></a></p>


To link up, go to the link at the bottom of this page and click on 'link up' (it's a blue button) and then add your link (website URL), a title (this could be your blog name but could also be something interesting to draw people to it (keep it clean!) if you prefer), and your email.  This last one doesn't appear on the link (I will have access to it - I won't use it unless there's a problem and I need to contact you) so don't worry that you're about to share your email address with the world (or the handful of people who find this link), you're not! The link will remain open until 11pm (GMT) on 21st April; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the March Furtle, but you can link next month if you like.


Mini Archie has laid claim to the bloem basket as his preferred fine-weather transport...

It's luffly and cosy in here, with plenty of room for Tuna Sandwiches and Teacayks...

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Thanks for popping in - don't forget to visit some of the other Furtlers!



Thursday, 28 February 2019

Mini Archie's February Furtle Around The Blogosphere



Archie The Wonder Dog


Hello! Welcome to February's Furtle!  Thank you to everyone who linked up last time (how exciting was that?!), I hope you all had a good time reading about people's furtling?


This month, I have finished four things from my Finish-Along list while I was confined to my sewing room while the decorator was here and I was unable to rest:


The little ipod sleeping bag from my Finish-Along list:



A pair of socks:



My hot water bottle cover:




The Oakshott table runner on my Finish-Along list, which I quilted in the ditch (many, many ends to darn in, which was quite good as in addition to being confined to my sewing room, I had no telly and no internet - thank goodness for the radio!):



And I've pieced the second LV scrappy trip block:



 Phew, what a month!


Linking up to the February Furtle

If you're linking up, please add a link (one per person, please) to your blog post, which could contain: a mosaic of all you've made in January, something you've made/started/worked on, a goal which you'd like to achieve in February (and then in February's post you can reflect on that goal and set yourself another one - I find this particularly handy if I'm in the midst of a big project and finding the making of hundreds of blocks to be interminable), anything crafty you'd like to share.  This isn't just for sewing or quilting, but is for all crafts so if you knit, make lace, make clothes, do anything which could come under the heading of 'craft', then please link up.

Please visit the link immediately before and after you and leave an encouraging comment, and more if you can manage it - we all know that comments create joy, so let's spread some around. Also, please treat all the linked posts and their authors with respect - I want this to be an inclusive space for all crafters and crafts and all are welcome.  If you're not sure if you're welcome or you belong, you do - this is by no means a closed space and if you want to join, then you are most welcome. If you need help linking up, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help.

Please add the Furtling button to your blog post, please copy the code below and paste it into your blog post - it should then magically appear when you publish your blog post (I'll do my best to help if you have any problems) and it will help people find the Furtling page with all the details of the link up.


<p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com/p/furtling.html"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fJ7oo6tyMM0/XFF5HxcQW1I/AAAAAAAAEJU/BZnZPfse8k0BXwjt6KAOJIMwySjnfDHbQCLcBGAs/s200/textgram_1548790799.png" alt="Archie The Wonder Dog" /></a></p>


To link up, go to the link at the bottom of this page and click on 'link up' (it's a blue button) and then add your link (website URL), a title (this could be your blog name but could also be something interesting to draw people to it (keep it clean!) if you prefer), and your email.  This last one doesn't appear on the link (I will have access to it - I won't use it unless there's a problem and I need to contact you) so don't worry that you're about to share your email address with the world (or the handful of people who find this link), you're not! The link will remain open until 11pm (GMT) on 6th March; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the February Furtle, but can link next month if you like.



Mini Archie has also had a busy month with various duties, but he stood still long enough (before rushing off to join the search for Sally Sloth) for me to take this photo of him in front of my new wallpaper:

Wearing his tam so Sally Sloth, and Mini Edward and Steve can spot him...

Thanks for popping in!  Please visit some of the Furtle links, even if you haven't linked up - thank you!


Inlinkz Link Party

P.S.  As I'm using a free Inklinkz account, I'm afraid that there are adverts (like link 6) - please ignore them!!

P.P.S.  Nicky missed the link up, so here is a link to her February Furtle  http://mrsssewandsow.blogspot.com/2019/03/furtling-time.html

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Quilt Stamps

Hello!

Thank you very much to all who linked up to the January Furtling post - I had planned to pop on a few days later to write this post but then my router died and I've had to wait for a new one to be delivered.

In my last post, I mentioned that I got a set of quilt stamps for Christmas and had a few enquiries about them so I thought I'd write a post explaining all about them and where to find them.

I first saw these stamps on Instagram, on Annie's Patch Pix feed in August (she got hers at Festival of Quilts) and had quite a few chats to her about them while I dithered about which set to start off with and which ink pad(s) to buy.  In the end, I decided to get the large Le Moyne Star set because that included a 2" (finished) square and that was the size/shape I thought I'd get most use out of in the initial months - I have plans to sit and stamp my way through my scrap boxes, making postage stamp/nine patch/double nine patch/Irish Chain blocks as well as room in my sewing room (it's a little room with a lot in it). I also bought the small acrylic block to attach the stamps to - the description for each set tells you which size you will need.



Let me first talk about buying the stamps.  If you are in the UK, you need to go to https://www.rinskestevens.co.uk/quilt-stamps-1/ to buy the stamps.  If you are in Canada or the USA, you need to go to https://www.rinskestevens.com/.  Currently, there doesn't seem to be a way for an individual to buy direct if they're in the EU but not in the UK (you can use the .com site for wholesale orders) or anywhere else in the world, but I think some shops are starting to stock them and you can always see if a friend will have them sent to them and then forward them to you. I found the Rinske Stevens staff very helpful when I used their contact page to make an enquiry, so that might also be a way forward if you don't live in the UK/USA/Canada.  They're also on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rinskestevensdesign/ and have featured on Hochanda, so maybe that might work for non-UK EU folks?

I didn't buy the ink recommended on their site, but bought Versacraft fabric ink pads from HandPrinted instead because I'm awkward like that! I bought the white one first but soon realised I needed a second colour and couldn't decide so bought the three which I thought would be most useful and have already used them all.

Versacraft fabric ink pads in (clockwise from top left) Sand, Ash Rose, White, Cool Grey.
The stamps are stored between two plastic sheets in the packaging they come in and you simply peel off the stamp you want and stick it to the acrylic block - no glue or faff involved!  When you've finished with it, wash it (I just run it under a cold tap, but you can use soap if you wish), peel it off and put it back in the packaging once it's dry. It's really easy to swap from one stamp to the next, but I can see that additional acrylic blocks could be useful if you're doing a lot of stamping with several blocks to, say, prep a complex block or several blocks.  As it is, I'm only using the 2" square at the moment.

2" square block on the small acrylic block, ready for use.

I tend to work a lot on my lap rather than at a table (I find sitting at a table very tiring and really can't do it for long without symptoms flaring), so I use a table mat as a sturdy but light surface to work on when I'm stamping.  (Which explains the background in the photo above!)

I realised after ordering the stamp set (Mam found the website confusing as each set doesn't have a separate page so I couldn't just email her the link - in the end, I ordered it myself and had it posted to her house so that she knew the right one was ordered) that it would be perfect for my LV scrappy trip quilt - I had intended to machine piece the quilt (it was supposed to be a quick make *chuckles*  I started the cutting in January 2017.  Quick! *laughs so much it goes silent*)

...where was I?  Oh, yes!  I had intended to machine piece the top so all the 2.5" squares (well over a thousand of them) had been rotary cut and I just couldn't face drawing on all the sewing lines so I could hand piece it, but neither could I sit at the machine for long enough to even make one block a week.  Then it struck me that I could use the 2" square stamp to stamp on the sewing lines and actually get the piecing started.  Hooray!  This is my set up for stamping (usually on my knee, but in this case on a piece of white card so I didn't have to crop out my knees):

Ink pad, stamp, coaster (purpose will become clear) on a table mat.
 Of course, because I'm stamping pre-cut fabric, rather than stamping a bigger piece of fabric and then cutting along the (stamped) cutting lines, I can't stamp in the usual wrong-side-of-the-fabric-facing-up-and-press-the-stamp-onto-it method because I can't see the edges of the fabric clearly enough to line everything up.  Instead, I ink up the stamp and place it ink up on the mat:

I've found that one light press on the ink pad on one half of the square and then the same on the other (it doesn't quite fit on the ink pad) is sufficient to stamp two pieces, but it's all personal taste and practice.

Then I place the fabric square right side up on the stamp, making sure I can feel the ridged edges of the dotted lines on the edges of the fabric:



Place the coaster over the top and give it a quick, firm squash with the flat of my hand.


Then, I remove the coaster and peel off the fabric and check that the dotted cutting lines can be seen either on the edge or close to the edge on all four sides of the square.  As I am hand piecing, I will be matching up the sewing lines, not the raw edges or the dotted lines, so that smidge of fabric round the edge will remain there.  (Unless, as in the case of the medium and dark solid aqua fabrics, they will shadow through - those get trimmed to the cutting line before being pieced.)


As you can see, it is a very fine line, but is visible enough to see in artificial light.  I found the white ink to be fine in daylight, but as soon as that faded or it failed to arrive (it is, after all Britain in the winter) and I had to rely on artificial light, I had problems seeing it on the very light fabrics.


It does slightly show through to the front, but no more than a pencil line does, which is what I've been using for years.  And once they're pieced together, that line falls in the ditch and can no longer be seen:

Sewn ink lines are in the ditch and can't be seen, in contrast to the unsewn lines which can still be seen at the top and bottom of the pieces.

Sometimes, I don't always get the fabric lined up quite right on the stamp (usually once or twice for each block - a fail rate of one or two out of forty-nine isn't too bad, I don't think!) and this is where the other colours come in handy.  I wish I could say that I did this deliberately to create a teaching point but...


The sewing line is too light on the left-hand side (which could be worked around as I could just sew with the adjoining piece uppermost) and is too close to the edge because the cutting line can't be seen at all.  (You may be wondering why, on a 2.5" square, there is any leeway at all in the placement of the stamp.  It's because the measurement between the sewing line and the cutting line is a scant quarter inch, so the whole stamp (from cutting line to cutting line) actually measures around 2 7/16ths. This is because, as I've said before, hand piecing lines up the sewing lines, not the cutting lines/raw edges and so the unfinished size of the piece doesn't matter as long as there's a decent seam allowance along all the edges.)

Getting back to my point, if I re-stamped this with the same colour, I wouldn't know which line was which without measuring, but, if I re-stamp with a different colour, I'll immediately be able to tell which one to follow and which to ignore.  I ink the stamp with a different colour and then follow the same procedure as before, but with a bit of extra care when feeling the ridges round the edges and this is the result:

The grey ink (or more white ink on the stamp) would probably have been a better choice, in hindsight, but this is fine for me.
As the lines are so close together, I don't need to worry about the first line showing through on the front, which is another reason to be slightly mean with the ink rather than slightly too generous.

I hope this has helped answer your questions, but please let me know if you have any more queries and I'll do my best to help - I'll also answer them in the comments as well as by email, so that they're visible to everyone reading this post and the comments.


Mini Archie and his chums are very, very busy (I've barely seen them!) on a top-secret mission to escort a VIP to his new home, but found time to pop home for a group photo and to berate me for not finishing loads of things while the internet was down:

I finked you'd have doned thiiiiiis much work while you wasn't distracted by the internet but you hasn't.  I is verrry disappointed in you, BC. 

Thanks for popping in!  

P.S.  (Don't forget that there'll be another Furtling link up at the end of the month - if you want to start writing your post, the code for the Furtling button is always available on the Furtling page - shout if you need a hand getting it into your blog post!)

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Mini Archie's January Furtle Around The Blogosphere



Archie The Wonder Dog

Hello!  And welcome to the very first furtle! I've added a Furtling page to my permanent pages but here's a brief explanation:

Back in the day (gosh, I sound old!), Lynne at Lily's Quilts had a monthly link up (called Fresh Sewing Day) where people shared sewing which had made them happy or which they wanted advice on, or just a round up of all they had done that month.  I loved those posts and connecting with quilters round the world and made lots of friends through them.  As happens, times change and many blogs became neglected in favour of Instagram.  I managed to blog fairly regularly until 2015/16 and I've really missed it.  I decided that having a monthly link up like the old days would help me get back into blogging regularly (well, once a month at least!) so I asked Lynne if I could revive FSD or do something similar and she said generously said yes. With the help of a group of friends (which we named The Furtlers after a comment from one of us) who've been talking about reviving their blogs/have recently started a blog/never neglected theirs in the first place and so are a shining example to us all, I've set up this monthly link up and hope that it helps us rediscover the enjoyment of blogging and the slower pace of life on a blog rather than the often frantic pace which Instagram brings.  (That's not to say that I don't love Instagram, I do, it's just that I find myself longing for a deeper look into a project and to read the story behind it and I think a blog is the best place to do that.)

Please add a link (one per person, please) to your blog post, which could contain: a mosaic of all you've made in January, something you've made/started/worked on, a goal which you'd like to achieve in February (and then in February's post you can reflect on that goal and set yourself another one - I find this particularly handy if I'm in the midst of a big project and finding the making of hundreds of blocks to be interminable), anything crafty you'd like to share.  This isn't just for sewing or quilting, but is for all crafts so if you knit, make lace, make clothes, do anything which could come under the heading of 'craft', then please link up.

If you link up, please visit the link immediately before and after you and leave an encouraging comment - we all know that comments create joy, so let's spread some around. Also, please treat all the linked posts and their authors with respect - I want this to be an inclusive space for all crafters and crafts and all are welcome.  If you're not sure if you're welcome or you belong, you do - this is by no means a closed space and if you want to join, then you are most welcome. If you need help linking up, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help.

To link up, go to the link at the bottom of this page and click on 'link up' (it's a blue button) and then add your link (website URL), a title (this could be your blog name but could also be something interesting to draw people to it (keep it clean!) if you prefer), and your email.  This last one doesn't appear on the link (I will have access to it - I won't use it unless there's a problem and I need to contact you) so don't worry that you're about to share your email address with the world (or the handful of people who find this link), you're not! The link will remain open until 11pm (GMT) on 4th February; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the January Furtle, but can link next month if you like.


This month, I have finally started piecing my aqua/low volume scrappy trip blocks.  I've had this project prepped for months (years, possibly) but have never seemed to have the time to sit at the machine and get started.  For Christmas, I requested a set of quilt stamps (find them here) and chose one which had a 2" square so that I could stamp my pieces (they're already cut as I was going to machine piece) and hand piece them instead. So far, I love the stamps (well, stamp - I've only used the 2" square) and it's a lot easier than my usual way of prepping.  Of course, they're no good if you want to create your own blocks made of non-standard pieces, but there are many sets and for the projects I want to hand piece using standard pieces, they're ideal.  I have a fancy to work my way through my scrap boxes stamping 2" squares to make some postage stamp rainbow blocks. At some point...


Here's my first block:


And the back (if you look closely, you can just see some of the stamped lines - for this one I mainly used the white ink pad, but struggled to see the lines at night so have swapped to the sand ink pad for the second block, which I'll hopefully show next month):



Needless to say, Mini Archie is keeping a close eye on progress (which, while slow, is faster than no progress at all!):
Get back to your sewing, missy!


Thanks for popping in!


Inlinkz Link Party

Hazel missed the link up by a few hours, but here's the link to her post: https://haallred.blogspot.com/2019/02/furtling-first.html - it would be lovely if some of you could visit her! Thank you!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Coming Soon...


Hello!  I hope you're well and are keeping your spirits up if you live in the northern hemisphere and haven't seen sun in what feels like years. If you live in the southern hemisphere, I hope you haven't melted...

I have a plan for a revival and renaming of an old blog favourite (of mine, at least), so come back on Thursday (31st) to see what's happening...



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