Sunday, 30 October 2016

Sunday Summary Christmas Cushion Confusion


(I know, I'm here again!  I can't quite believe it...)

This week has been a week of dithering and hand quilting yet more stars.  I've quilted just over two-thirds of the stars on the blue and white quilt, here are the latest two:
That's my daily quota done! A bit later than I'd hoped, but I'm going to sneak in a bit of hexy piecing before I go to bed. Joining @charmaboutyou for the #saturdaynightcraftalong

I started cutting the hexies for my first Christmas cushion, and discovered I was eight hexies short of a cushion (a phrase I'm hoping passes into common usage!):
Not the final layout and I'm eight hexies short of a cushion, but here's what my polar bear #Christmascushionalong cushion will look like. It's going to have a plain border (white? Red? Turquoise?) and partial hexies in the same colour to straighten up th

so I set about trying to work out what to put in the gaps, which is where the dithering started.  First of all I removed the plain hexies:
I think I prefer it without the plain teal/turquoise/grey hexies (see previous photo for comparison), but what should I put in the gaps? Veering towards white, I think. #Christmascushionalong
which I liked, but something's going to have to go in the gap so I searched through my stash and found some options:
#Christmascushionalong options for the gaps: white hexies (probably some with an embroidered snowflake on), shiny grey (it has a bit of rayon in it so gives a subtle sparkle in the right light), plain grey, stripes, teal snowflakes, red snowflakes, red/wh

and the only thing that helped me decide was that I'd use the stripy fabric for the binding.  (Thanks, Clare!)

I thought that laying the hexies over the options might help (that was less fun than you might think!, but it didn't:

#Christmascushionalong polar bear cushion: yet more options! Anti-clockwisef from top left: grey, shiny, white, grey and teals. I've had enough now!
but it didn't stop me trying again:
Last one! I think I like the options best when the teals are in the mix, so I thought I'd see what it would be like with teals and another colour. So, anti-clockwise from bottom left: red stars, grey with teals (as previous photo), red stars with teals, w
Still no decision.  In the end, I've decided that no decision is my decision for the time being, and I've started piecing together the hexies I have, together with gaps for the to-be-announced hexies.  It's harder than you might think to piece gaps!
I made a bit of progress on my #Christmascushionalong hexies last night. I'm leaving gaps for whatever I decide to use for the spare hexies, but it's harder than you might think to sew gaps and I think I need a map to keep me in track as I'm currently hav
I think that upside down polar bear on the left is the bottom left corner of the panel.  At least, it was when I started!

On Friday, I did some more dithering when I had to choose between the two darker greys in this photo:
Trying to decide between the dark and medium grey #Oakshottfabric #gettingreadyformyFALtutorialdateinJanuary #dithering

I went for the dark one, as I felt the tone went better with the pale grey background.  This is for a technique tutorial (not a pattern!) I'm writing for the Finish-Along (for January), so I remembered to take some photos as I was piecing.
Making (slow) progress. The dark grey was definitely the right choice, thank you!

A sneak peek, before borders:
Sneak peek

Ta dah!
Ta dah! Just in case you're wondering, it's a table runner! It's currently about 18" x 36", but the borders are deliberately oversized so I can square them after quilting. Strips are 1/4" wide and there'll be a tutorial on my blog in January about how to

And a closer look at those stripes:
A closer look at the strips #ridiculouslylongFALlist #ridiculouslylongFALlistgang #Oakshottfabric #Aurifil

At which point the next dither started: how on earth do I quilt it?!  I have a couple of ideas, but would love some suggestions!  (I don't do FMQ, so please nothing that can't be done with a walking foot!)

I realised I haven't shared many photos of my garden this year, so here's a couple I took about an hour ago:
Garden 30th October 2016

A touch of autumn colour and plenty of flowers #gardenersofinstagram

I'm amazed at the number of flowers I've still got!  That packet of wildflower seeds was well worth scattering in June!  As were growing some cosmos from seed, even though the birds ate loads of them.  As were the nasturtium seeds I picked up on a whim.

Eddie had a haircut, I don't think he was that impressed:

And it turns out that Archie doesn't have all the answers...
No, I don't know what you should use for your extra Christmas hexies, either.  It's a proper puzzle all right.

Thanks for popping in!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Saturday Summary And Another Finish! (AKA Don't Start Thinking I'm Going To Manage A Finish A Week!)

I've done it again!  Yes, two weeks on the trot see me sitting in front of my laptop with a pot of tea by my side, ready to think about what I've done in the week.  It must be a miracle!

First up is my second finish from my Q4 FAL list (item 26), socks for me:
As you can see, they don't quite match.  I think I used a slightly tighter tension on the heel flap of the second sock and that's why they're off.  I'm going to ask Father C. for another set of dpns (and a matching set of a smaller size for 4ply yarn) so I can knit the next pair in tandem in the hope that I'll be better able to keep an eye on the colour matching.  I used Adriafil Knitcol in Kandinsky, which is a dk merino yarn.  I used the basic top down pattern which came free with Regia sock yarn many years ago (and probably still does!) with the addition of a reinforced heel (S1 K1 on the knit rows, rather than all knit).  When the time comes, I'll be linking up with the Finish-Along
2016 FAL

Speaking of Fr. C., Lynz and I realised last year (earlier this year?) that we needed some Christmas cushions and decided we'd make them together.  And so, we've spent the entire year not making them, as you could have predicted!  In order that we have new cushions for this Christmas, we're starting an informal (very informal!) Christmas cushion-along on Instagram (see photos here).  There are two rules: try to have your plan ready by tomorrow (Sunday 23rd October), and then get sewing.  You can sew as fast or as slow as you want, you can start new cushions from scratch or you can finish a WIP, you can make as many (or as few) cushions as you wish.  See?  Very informal!

We started out with the pair of us, recruited Nicky (@nickyeglinton) and Sheila (@budsmam) and then a few more joined us.  We now have nineteen people in total, with a couple more dithering - I'm hoping they'll join us though!

I know not all of you are on instagram (find me here), but please don't let that stop you joining in if you wish to.  As I said, we're starting to sew any time from tomorrow/Monday and we're aiming to have the cushions finished for this Christmas.  If you fancy, you could leave a link to your plan in a comment and then I can see what you're up to!  (If you have Google+ comments enabled on your blog then I won't be able to comment, sorry about that!  Same goes if you have a Tumblr blog.)

Here are my plans:
@ochil_lynz and I are planning a very informal CCAL (Christmas Cushion-Along) because we're both short of Christmas cushions. We've managed to drag @nickyeglinton and @budsmam into the fun and you're more than welcome to join us! We're going to have our p

The first cushion is going to hand pieced from 1" hexies and I'm going to fussy cut as many polar bears and snowflakes as I can.  The rest of the hexies will be made from white fabric (probably plain white, but the odd one may have a snowflake embroidered on it) and I'll then machine quilt it.  It'll end up somewhere around 20" square.

The second cushion will be made from fussy cut penguins which will have a white frame around them (and white corner triangles so that I don't have another penguin's hat peeping in) and then the other frames will have the other prints in them (I won't have enough penguins, I don't think, but a friend has some on standby, just in case).  Again, it will end up around 20" square.  I think I'm going to machine piece and quilt this one.
And here's my second #Christmascushionalong plan - octagonal penguins! They'll have white frames round them and I doubt I'll have enough penguins for the whole cushion, so some of the other prints will also be used. Again, it'll end up around 20" square.

From the leftovers, I'm hoping to cobble together a table runner which will just be out for the relatively short time the tree is up (about 21st December through to around 3rd January).  It'll be made from strips and squares and, probably, the odd disembodied polar bear or penguin.

I've made progress on my pinafore dress and have attached the facings:
Facings attached, ready to grade seams and clip curves. That's a job for a less tired day, though.

Since this photo was taken, I've graded and clipped the seams and it's now ready for pressing and understitching.  Maybe next week I'll have the shoulder seams joined as well?  I really fancy some thick woolly (although not actual wool!) tights to wear with this, preferably with a cable or something on them.  Any ideas where to look?!

It's starting to get tedious, but I've been plodding on with the stars on the blue and white quilt and passed the halfway mark on Monday, which I celebrated by taking an awful night-time photo:

Since then, I've managed my target of two stars a night (just), and am now (I think) on row ten of seventeen.  And believe you me, row seventeen seems further away than ever!!!

I decided to admire my progress in the week and no sooner put it on the floor than Eddie (who was visiting for the day) started rolling round on it.  Seeing this, Archie decided to stake his claim and show Eddie how well brought up dogs behave when a quilt is on the floor:
What do you mean, we're not supposed to be on here?  We've all got clean paws!

Thanks for popping in!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Q3 Winners!

Finish A Long 2016

The winners of the third quarter prizes have been (randomly) picked from all the eligible finishes which were linked up, and today's the day we get to announce them!  Rhonda is going to email the winners and needs to hear back from you by 29th October or your prize will be passed to someone else.  Our sponsors have donated these prizes, please don't miss out on yours because of a simple email reply!

Here's the list of sponsors and winners (which were picked by random number generator).  Feel free to thank our sponsors for their generosity by clicking through to their shop and spending some money *grin*

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The winner of the €25 gift voucher from Fluffy Sheep Quilting goes to Izzy who blogs at Dizzy Quilts, for this finish:

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The winner of 3 patterns from Clover & Violet is Mel who blogs at Cloth & Paper Studio, for this finish:

The winner of the Oakshott Fabric £75 gift voucher goes to Georgi who blogs at The Shy One Sews, for this finish:

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The winner of 3 patterns from Tartankiwi goes to Ella who blogs at Throw a Wrench in the Works, for this finish:
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The winner of the choice of 3 patterns from Happy Quilting is Angela who blogs at Better'n Dog Biscuits, for this finish:

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A $25 gift voucher from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Cathy who blogs at Sane, Crazy and Crumby Quilts for this finish:
A copy of the full Aurora BOM Pattern from Blossom Heart Quilts goes to Sharla who blogs at Thistle Thicket Studio for this finish:
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The $40 gift voucher from Mad about Patchwork goes to Deanna (@sewasigo on IG) for this finish:


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The winner of Christa's curated Kona Solids Jelly Roll from Christa Quilts goes to Ann (@blueizca on IG) for this finish:

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A 6-month subscription to Make Modern goes to Emily, who blogs at The Darling Dogwood, for this finish:


The first winner of three patterns from Porch Swing Quilts is Sarah, who blogs at Sarah Goer Quilts, for this finish (which was a 12-year-old WIP!):
The second winner of three patterns from Porch Swing Quilts is Genevieve (@theorlaproject on IG) for this finish:

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The $30 gift voucher from Sunny Day Supply goes to Kristy (@kqdesign on IG) for this finish:

The winner of a copy of Windy City Bags from Sew Sweetness is Sally who blogs at Quimble for this finish:

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The $25 gift voucher to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Emilee (@amelialoveskat on IG) for this finish:

The $50 gift voucher from Mariner's Compass Quilt Shop goes to SarahZ who blogs at Cedar Fork Stitches for this finish (part of a collaborative project):

on the windy
The winner of the Pattern Pack from On the Windy Side goes to Kathryn (@kathrynjonesquilts on IG) for this finish:


The $50 gift voucher from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Dara (@sunchaser2626 on IG) for this finish:

The winner of two pin bowls from Laurel Bee Designs is Jane who blogs at Two Wednesdays for this finish:

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The winner of the $40 gift voucher to Imagine Gnats is Carmen for this finish:

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The winner of the $20 gift voucher from Sew Me a Song is Becky (@beckyallen5 on IG) for this finish:

knotted thread 125
The winner of the $30 gift voucher to Knotted Thread is Rebecca (@cleaverr at IG) for this finish:

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The winner of the £40 gift voucher from Simply Solids is Lisa (@shiraz_and_sewing on IG) for this finish:

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The $25 gift voucher from The Quilt Ranch goes to Ioleen who blogs at Back Home Quilter for this finish:

Congratulations to the winners (don't forget to reply to Rhonda's email!!) and thanks again to our lovely sponsors.  And for those of you who didn't win, I wish you better luck at the end of this quarter!  If you're looking for some motivation to tackle some of your list, why not have a browse through the Q3 finishes?  Find them here.

What do you mean, we're not supposed to be on here?
Thanks for popping in!

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