09 May 2017

Some May Stuff

Last weekend has been a busy one but still a little time to sew.  I caught up with a February subscription box from The Bramble Patch.  I had a job to keep up with monthly boxes, though lovely surprises of fabrics and pattern, few bits and bobs but with my own projects too it got all too much and had to stop.  So this is what I made

From a lovely collection of coastal themed fabrics from Makower, the pack of the seaside town fabric with eighths of others to make this cushion.  I used the wavy decorative stitch on my machine to quilt it.  There are small pieces of fabric to make another front but will have to use some of my stash to make the back, but that's no problem.  This was quick to put together in the end, just an afternoon. Why didn't I make this sooner?

Progress was made with the crochet tea cosy that was in the making last week, another finished item!

Here it is modelled by my blue teapot

and in use last Thursday evening

This was a pattern from Crochet Now magazine issue 14

As I'm getting more into knitting and crochet I'm using Ravelry more and if you want to follow me I'm on there as suewilduk.  I've been to logging my projects there and following a few online groups.

I've watched quite a few You Tube vlogs (or podcasts) of several knitters and crocheters.  The latest word I've come across is bi-stitchual - one who knits and crochets.  I've enjoyed learning new techniques in both disciplines.  These are the ones I'm currently following

Crafternoon Treats  - Katherine, a crocheter from Yorkshire who also does yarn dyeing with locally spun yarn.  She also has some short tutorial videos too.

Cherry Heart - Another crocheter and pattern designer Sandra also has tutorials on her blog and also is the designer for the new CAL coming up soon in Crochet Now

Sew Sweet Violet - Jools who sews, crochets and knits (mainly socks - theres a growing sock collection!)

Simply in Stitches - I've recently discovered this knitting tutorial podcast presented by Tina who has demonstrated sock knitting using short circular needles and is currently working on a top down knitted jumper.

It's so easy to get carried away with iPad in hand and using earphones to "waste" time watching You Tube!

Over on Instagram (I'm identified there as @suewilduk) some lovely crochet inspiration has come from The Patchwork Heart who has made some lovely colourful blankets and I loved the Beautiful Shells pattern that I had a go too, so this is my sample.  Not sure yet if it will get bigger....

I've been typing this on the computer this evening, hence all the links, which I can't put on when composing this on the Blogger app on the iPad.

David and I are going away this for a week's holiday from this Saturday.  Going to Malvern Spring Garden show and then back to Malvern the end of next week for Quilts UK.

01 May 2017

Another Month Passes

It's May already. I've posted already about my crochet blanket and there will be another on the way.  Crochet Now Magazine have a new Crochet A Long (CAL).  I managed to get a pack of yarn, Scheepjes Colour Crafter acrylic before they were sold out and the pack is ready and waiting for the first set of instructions in the next magazine.

Meanwhile the magazine has Tea Party design challenge and I've been crocheting a tea cosy from the pattern in he magazine.  This cosy is in two halves to begin with, then joined at the top. Here's one half of this.

On Saturday I went to a workshop at Pauline's Patchworks in Dorchester.  After a busy month at work. I could only go to a workshop held on a Saturday and felt in need of a bit of social sewing. I liked the look of this 'mystery' workshop subject of which was announced earlier this month. I should have bought a layer cake pack, but instead opted for cutting out 10" squares from stash.

This was called Ups and Downs and (I thank) a variation on Delectable Mountains block.  I sewed some of the blocks by the end of the workshop and more were done when I got home and then on Sunday afternoon. After ironing this afternoon I laid them out of the bed.  It's effective when strips of the same colours (not the same fabrics ) merge together, so it looks ok but will have to juggle the arrangement of the blocks.

There is always something to learn at a workshop and as well as the technique I learned about a product called On The Dot which are repositionable markers.

These marked out the correct width of the strips to cut on the ruler, which takes out the guesswork of measuring and making the incorrect cut. It was handy on the square ruler, which has half inch measurements on 2 sides and it is so easy to pick up the wrong side and cut the incorrect size of square.

Being a Bank Holiday today I had a sort out of my fabrics having pulled out and cut up a lot before the workshop and to also give my room a good tidy up.  Looking a lot neater by this afternoon I then had some time to do some embrodery, which I don't do that often.  This is the second of 2 mini hoops with  a cactus picture. This was for my colleague, who bought the magazine, Molly Makes, which had the kits. The hoops are tiny, just 2" across.

It'll go with the one I made a few months ago.

Weekend before last I went to Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta with my Mum. I didn't buy a lot there but I did see a felt making kit to make a couple of brooches.  Wet felting was quicker than I thought and made 3 small pieces of felt and cut out the pieces today to make one flower brooch. It's joined with a bead in the middle.

Now armed with a bit more knowledge about wet felting and having had the sort out, this'll be something I may do a bit more of the the future. I've still got a fair bit of wool roving from when I used to have the needlefelting machine which I could use.

So that was my weekend, but at least a short working week this week as I won't be working on Friday.  

26 April 2017

A Finish!

My Cosy Stripe blanket was finished yesterday evening and has taken me nearly 2 months to complete, having started on 1st March.  To recap, this was a yarn and pattern pack from Wool Warehouse with the pattern designed by Lucy of Attic 24. The yarn is Stylecraft Special acrylic double knit. The blanket has a four row pattern consisting of 2 rows of continuous trebles and 2 rows of Granny treble clusters.  Colours, of which there were 15 were changed every 2 rows.  I didn't do all 90 colour changes as instructed in the pattern but stopped at 75 instead, which was large enough for me.

This was the first few rows.

The border came next and the photo above shows the first border row.  I had to change colour choice from the pattern and used Khaki as the Copper didn't go all the way around the blanket.  I kept to the colours for the second and third rows, but changed again for the fourth and final border and chose the lighter Lime colour instead of Willow, which had a slightly yellow tone to it.

I'm really pleased how it's turned out. It was certainly lovely and warm working on this while it was draped over my lap and its certainly colourful.

Last week I bought another yarn pack from Wool Warehouse, this time I've got some Scheepjes yarn in preparation for a new Crochet a Long (CAL) in Crochet Now magazine designed by Sandra Paul, Cherry Heart which starts next month.

14 April 2017

I Didn't Think There Was Much to Report....

April has been a busy month as I've been working full time because of Tax Year End and a shorter working month due to the Easter holidays falling in the middle so there has been a lot of extra work.  Its nice to have a few days off for the Easter holidays and catching up with things at home and with family.  It'll be our son Jamie's birthday on Sunday so there will be a family gathering at his house.

So far I've continued crocheting of an evening so my Cosy blanket continues to grow.  I'm going to do just a few more rows until I reach colour change 70 (or 140 rows) and will leave it at that.  It should have 90 colour changes (180 rows) but I think it might be just too big. There will be all those ends to finish off and then to start on the border rows, of which there are 3.  Finish by the end of the month? I hope so.

The Dolly Dress Up quilt is coming along nicely.  I finished of hand quilting the last Dresden plate block and cut out and joined the sashing strips for front and back.  The blocks are joined at the front but the doubled over strips sewn on the back have to be slip stitched in place, which I've yet to do.

I've done a couple of little bits and pieces to use up stuff.  I have, what I think, is quite a lot of crafty stuff and when I went to a local table top sale where people were selling their excess fabric and notions and not selling that much I came to the conclusion the only to go "let go" was to make things.  I am trying to use up stash and other bits that are lingering and make us of them

First off I have some small "lobster claw" clasps in my bead and findings box.   I've used one before with a charm to put on the zip of a pouch but haven't done this with others.  I'd recently bought some silver metal charms in Hobbycraft and made this into small clips to put on zips then found that crocheters use these as stitch markers.  Very handy. I might use the Russian dolly and heart ones for myself as markers and whats left will go on some pouches.

I also came across some samples of machine embroidery which I didn't know what to do with.  I sold the embroidery machine last year as I found it really wasn't for me.  I found they fitted some wooden embroidery hoops in my stash.  So framed and backed with some felt these will do for a charity stall to help raise funds and uses up stuff. I think its a good used for some stitching which would be shame to dump in the bin!

I came across and article in the Quilters' Guild regional newsletter that there was a regional challenge for the Miniature section of the Guild asking for 12" wide x 6" high mini quilts.  I had some small pieces of hand dyed fabrics which I bought at the Quilters' Guild conference a couple of years ago.  I had a go at Mondrian style colour blocks with the coloured pieces with white and black.  It didn't take too long to do and machine quilted with repeated lines so it looks quite modern.  I will have to contact the lady coordinating this challenge to see if this is acceptable.

I hope you all have an enjoyable Easter.  Being the nature of weekends it'll go just as quick as normal weekends!

02 April 2017

Knitting and Crochet

I don't quite know when it happened but last year I started to take up crochet although I have been following a few crochet blogs for some time. I found a crochet-a-long in Crochet Now magazine and although I started its not been progressed as I keep losing the number of stitches in each row. I may go back to this later.

I was also taken with making crochet sheep from a Yarndale pattern designed by Lucy of Attic 24 and made not one but two. Keeping the purple one and the turquoise one went to Yarndale.

Then another, knitted this time, sheep.

Then of course there's been the knitted clowns.

They were fun to make and I've shared progress on the blog and Instagram about these. They have their new homes with my granddaughters in Sussex.

But this is was in working on now. I bought the yarn pack back in January and because Godfrey Gadabout was nearly finished I started the Cozy blanket on 1st March and at 31st March this a is where I've got to
It is big and I've got nearly two thirds done. The cozy blanket has 15 colours of Stylecraft Special acrylic yarn and the colour changes are every two rows and it is lovely and colourful and so easy to pick up and work a few rows of and evening while watching the television. Even watching a You Tube video yesterday morning I could also crochet another row and here's a photo a posted yesterday on Instagram 
Just love the colours.

Back at Christmas when David and I returned home from Cornwall we stopped in a town in Devon for lunch and it was right by a wool shop. One of the yarns a bought was a sock yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners. As the blanket nears the end I will be starting on a pair of socks next.  I have mixed fortunes with making socks so I had a look at Winwick Mum's blog who has instructions on sock making and has published a sock book, she suggested using a small circular needle however enquiring at a wool shop in Dorchester said about using larger circulars using magic loop.  Going to You Tube I found a video by Knitting Expat which demonstrates that and also how to knit two socks at a time.  Oh dear looks like I've gone down another rabbit hole as this is what I've been practising this afternoon. This is not the yarn I will be using but some double knitting yarn from my stash.

So as well as the sewing, knitting and crochet as now become a new obsession.  Keeping my busy!

Finish A Long Quarter 2

It comes as no surprise that I will carry on the things I didn't finish from the last quarter, which are:

1 Dolly Dress Up quilt - I just have one last block to hand quilt, which I will finish this month. The remaining blocks but one have been trimmed ready to be sashed. I hope for a finish by the end of this quarter.

2. Frivols quilt.  I started machine quilting and left it so I hope I can get on with continuing to quilt it.

3 Hexies.  Hmmm, must get on and progress this to make a table centre.

In addition to these I have to add

4  The Cozy Blanket, a crochet blanket from a pack of yarn designed by Lucy of Attic 24 I started this on 1 March and is nearly 2/3 reds in length.  Obviously I will have borders to crochet on too so probably about half done.

This photo was taken on Friday with it draped over an armchair.

5 Disappearing nine patch quilt.  I started this week before last and using up a few children's prints as a large nine patch. I've started machine quilting but not added any further quilting. This quilt will go to The local Project Linus.

Think that's all for now. There will be other things along the way I'm sure, as I've posted about other smaller items during the last quarter.

This post will be linked to FAL 2017.

29 March 2017

Finish A Long 2017 1st Quarter

Sarah of Sew Me reminded that the first quarter was almost over and time to post of progress with outstanding projects. We haven't had internet for over a week so this was the first opportunity for me to update my blog.

Here were mine, three quilting and one knitting projects

1. Dolly Dress Up Quilt
2. Frivols Quilt
3. Godfrey Gadabout
4. Hexies

Out of the four I have one finish - Godfrey Gadabout.  He was knitted and given to my granddaughter weekend before last.

Here are a few pics
 This was how he looked at the beginning of February, body made, hair, nose and hat brim added but still had to have arms, shoes and other bits to go on.
 This photo was back in January and keeping all those bits and pieces together in a poly bag
 All finished, ready for his travels
And another view before he departed to West Sussex.  Isobel was delighted with Godfrey.  He comes from a knitting pattern book called Jean Greenhowe's Knitted Clowns, The Red Nose Gang and she has a website here.  Amazingiy this lady has now just retired at the age of 83 and won't be producing more patterns.  It's nice to know that her clowns are still appreciated and knitters will still enjoy knitting the clowns.

For my other projects the Dress Up Dolly quilt has not been lingering.  This is a slow project but I can say that progress has been made with 7 out of the 9 blocks finished and trimmed.  This will be joined quilt as you go method and I bought some red fabric at Farnham in January to provide the sashing strips.

They are arranged on the floor though this may change. The missing blocks are both Dresden ones, one sewn with markings to be removed and another still in progress with hand quilting. This will go onto the next quarter.

Next is the Frivols Quilt.  This has been layered and started machine quilting but has been on hold.  This will go onto next quarter.

Here's a view of the backing, which I bought last year and has so far done 2 quilts.

Lastly is the hexagons table centre which I haven't touched this quarter.  Now that lighter evenings are here then I may tackle that in the next quarter too.

If you look back at my blog I've had other things on the go with starts and finishes.

And my crochet blanket too

So keeping busy.

18 March 2017

Today is ....

So today I have been sewing. Unlike some other years where either I've helped arranged something or have been to a quilting event I'm sewing at home alone and using social media to chart my progress.

I wanted to use quilt as you go squares to make zippy pouches for Project Hope to sell Cherry Tree Nursery next Saturday. This will raise funds for materials for quilts for teenage cancer patients. I know that the pouches have sold well.  I haven't had time today but I was also thinking of making small round pouches for ear buds so will have a go one evening this week.

I've shared photos on Instagram (@suewilduk) and on the UK Quilter's United page on Facebook during today.  I made all 4 squares and by lunchtime one was completed.
This was on my bed settee with the Keep Calm cushion in the background.

By mid afternoon, time for tea (no cake to go with it, mind) I'd finished 3.
Afterwards the 4th one was finished 

Then I added the one I finished one evening earlier this week
They look so colourful. I'm pleased to use the day to make something useful and have a lovely relaxing day.  I hope that whatever you've been doing for International Quilting Day you've had an enjoyable one too.