19 November 2017

Pouches, Folio and Other Makings

This week I had a couple of days off as well as my usual Wednesday day off.  Theres been some sorting of things around the house and the purchase of a new television - a smart one - to cover forthcoming birthdays, wedding anniversary and Christmas to each other.  Technology has changed so much over a short time but now up to date (for the time being).

However I've also had the opportunity to make things too.  On Instagram I've seen photos of people having made items from Aneela Hoey's book of "Stitched Sewing Organizers" (sorry for the Americanism - it is a US published book).  I bought the book back in August after FoQ as I couldn't see it there so had to be an Amazon purchase.  This is the pic I took back then with some yarn I'd also bought at that time.  It was when reading Jennie's Threads, whose blog I follow, that was the encouragement for me to have a go.

I haven't followed the SAL (sew along) as I've come into this late and I have also used what I've had and have probably not used the correct items to make what I have, but what I already have in stash. If you wish to know more the person who's organised the SAL, Penny of Tuppence Ha'penny Quits has details on her blog here.

It has encouraged me to jump in and make this small Handy Fold Up Pouch.  It took a small amount of fabric and interfacing so was simple to do.


As you can see if has a flap that goes into a band on the front and it a size handy for some threads, or ear-phones - something small.  I've used this for some large needles for sewing up knitted items.

Next I made a small box container - the patters shows 2 small containers that fit into one larger and would be good as a stationary container.  This small one now sits to the right of my sewing machine, just handy for holding binding clips, pins and other bits until I can put them away in their proper places.

I had some, think it's called Fast to Fuse, to provide the stiffness to the box shape and also has a fusible glue to attach the fabrics front and back.  It was another simple project that just took an evening to do.

I also made a drawstring project bag, which had hexagon tabs at the end of the drawstrings.

This made use of the aboriginal style fabric that I had in purple with a grey contrast fabric at the drawstring channel.  There should have been fabric strings but I found that twill tap did the job just as well and I fussy cut some circles in the fabric pattern for the hexie ends.  It is padded out with a 100 gram ball of wool and the size just does nicely for a sock knitting project with yarn and circular needles.

I then went on to make another project bag but this time one for keeping cut out pieces in for sewing so that they don't go wandering!

 Although looking simple, this pouch involved vinyl, which I've never worked with but also making binding, which I have made previously but just joining strips end to end at an angle.  This binding worked cutting a square to make half square triangles and rejoining to make a rhombus then rejoining again before cutting a continuous binding strip.  Never made that before and took a bit of time to work it out but work it did and really pleased as it came in useful for this...

Pieces for the Fold Up Folio, which has two side pockets with zips, another pocket inside, pincushion and needle book

 Inside of the folio before being sewn to the exterior
 Finished folio
All joined together from the inside

I had a disaster right when I was pressing for the last time that I forgot the vinyl pocket (at the top) and melted part of it, only a small bit, but I don't fancy taking things apart to repair.  I may pretty it up with a bit of washi tape.

Of the five items made so far I think that the See-it-All pouch may be the most useful to me for all the little cut out pieces and may make some more in different sizes.  There are more items to make so watch this space, but I am enjoying this book and even though I've made a lot of bags and pouches over the years there's still something new to learn.

I am currently working on the Boxy Pocket Pouch, which will be interesting  attaching another zipped pocket to the side of a pouch.  See how that goes.

09 November 2017

Two finishes

It was my Mum's birthday on Tuesday and I went to visit her yesterday for a short trip out to Nicola's Craft and Gift shop at Sammy Miller's Motorcycle Museum, a lovely drive out between Christchurch and New Milton.  As well as craft units and coffee shop there are some animals there too - donkeys. alpacas, a goat and several others. Anyway Nicola's shop had a sale so a chance to stock up with fabric.

Before going there I gave Mum her birthday present.  This squishy bear. This is one of my finishes for this quarter which I couldn't say anything about!  I have to say that although it was easy to knit the Sirdar Snowflake yarn trying to sew up wasn't easy but the effect is a lovely soft fabric.  After making the outfit, this was from The Bear Book 2 which has sporty bears I had found the first Bear Book which had some other outfits so may make something else to ring the changes. But I'm pleased and more importantly Mum's pleased so much so she share a pic on Facebook!

Amongst my purchases from Nicola's which wasn't very much I bought a bag kit.

I've made a lot of bags, pouches so you may wonder why I bought a kit.  I had reached a stitching hiatus and hadn't felt much like sewing of late so to have something where the fabric was already chosen and cut to size and all you have to do is just sew was what I needed and yesterday afternoon I completed the bag, which folds down to look like a purse, handy to take out and about.  The pattern instructions gave sizes of fabric pieces to make another.  I'm really pleased with something so quick and easy with the bonus of lovely cheery fabric too.

 The outside of the bag (the photo was taken in the evening so please excuse the phone's shadow!)
And folded into a purse.

I'm pleased to say that I have 2 finishes under my belt this week.

30 October 2017

This and That

Or bits and bobs, odds and sods.  Whatever you want to call it.  I don't like that British Summer Time has ended and the day is darker earlier, in fact almost dark by the time I get home from work.  I feel the first week as though I have jet lag and struggle until my body gets used to the new time.  Ugh!

Last weekend we had a lovely time in West Sussex where my son Alex lives, with his wife and daughters and it was nice to see them all.  Next weekend will be taken up with more visiting to my sister and husband in Berkshire then my brother-in-law and his wife in Surrey, so a busy time.

Anyway, Saturday before last I went Shepton Mallet in Somerset for the Craft 4 Crafters Show at the Royal Bath and West Showground.  It was a lovely to enjoy a drive in spite of the occasional heavy shower.  I went on my own as no-one else wanted to come with me, but it meant I could go at my own pace.  The reason was to see the Magna Carta quilt which is actually 8 quilts joined at angles to give a pictorial history of the Magna Carta, signed in Runnymede, Surrey, along with images of people who made history defending human rights.  The back side of the quilts had a pixilated view of of the Thames in greens and blues with names of people who contributed in some way towards the making of the quilt.  The quilt has been travelling to various locations, but this was the first time I've seen it.  It will eventually have a permanent home at Royal Holloway College in Egham, Surrey.
I've not taken pics but I did buy a booklet about the quilt, but have a look at the website link above for more details.

Near the Magna Carta Quilt was a collection of Canadian Red Cross quilts called Comfort from Kindness which was from the collection of the late Dr Anna Mansi.  There are several images from Google here, but for those unfamiliar to the quilts, these were quilts made and donated by people from Canada to the UK during the Second World War and were made from whatever fabric was available.  I did take some photos of these as I find these old quilts fascinating.

 The first quilt above was a nine patch made from assorted cottons, as you can see the yellow fabric hasn't worn quite as well as the others and has shredded.
 This one was of squares and rectangles in strips.
 A traditional Maple Leaf quilt
 I was wondering how this quilt above was tied, it seems to be quite a thick yarn that looks almost like bobbles.
This quilt was made from woollen patches, probably suiting or from coats?  I'm not sure.  It was difficult to get to find out as I didn't want to touch.

Although the show had some lovely quilts exhibited and quilt suppliers I didn't buy anything! I did buy a hand dyed sock blank, which is a knitted piece of yarn which has been dyed and can be unravelled and knitted into socks or a shawlette, in lovely rainbow shades.

When going to West Sussex we stopped briefly in Chichester as I found on Facebook just the day before that Chichester Quilters had an exhibition in the Assembly Rooms in North Street.  As the former Town Hall it was a lovely old building that holds the Mayoral regalia and charters given to the town, so that was as interesting as the quilts.  Anyway here are a few pics.

 The group had a workshop with Gail Lawther, whose bird designs were used in several quilted objects which are appliquéd though made to look like they've been stencilled. Very effective.
The lady who made this kaleidoscope quilt showed us how she made it from some Kaffe Fassett fabric, the back of the quilt had the who piece of the same fabric.

Then we saw pumpkins.  In the afternoon, David and I met up our daughter-in-law, Mary and the granddaughters to see the pumpkin display in Slindon, between Chichester and Arundel., which raises money for charity.

This is snakes and ladders made from different pumpkins and squashes and a very effective display. Below the flags are photos of displays in previous years.  Different varieties of pumpkins were for sale there too.

Want to see some pumpkin inspired knitting? Saw this yarn in Salisbury the other day which I went and bought.

This was a pic I put on Instagram (@suewilduk, in case you're interested). I tried a sample piece to see how this would turn out.  I have started knitting the Easy Lace Socks from the Winwick Mum blog.  I seem to have got the bug for sock knitting and quite enjoy making them and this is something a bit different.  I just hope I can keep track of the lace pattern!

So that's my this and that.

11 October 2017

Sometimes You Just Have to Play

My time to create is limited and have to take opportunities to sew, knit, whatever.  One of the Facebook groups I belong to is a postcard sub-group of UK Quilters United, although I didn't take part in the Autumn swap that they had.  So when there was a random "flash" swap over a few days I quickly made a postcard of autumnal leaves on Sunday evening just before the deadline.  Simple fused leaves with outline stitching and some veins which took just over the hour.

 And below is the back, the iron mark from fusing the fabric onto the back of the postcard is showing but it's not really that bad.  I used a strip of selvedge fabric to divide the message area from the address.  It was sent out today and should get to Nicola, my swap partner, before the end of this week.

I haven't made postcards for a long time as the Yahoo group I used to belong to had swaps in groups of up to 6 and postage became expensive and at the time it was to move onto something else. I enjoyed making the leaves postcard so I think it I will explore the postcard making again.

On Monday lunchtime I bought a Quilting Arts magazine as the local WH Smith occasionally stocks it.  One article in there was Fused Geometry by Tracy Williams (sorry, no link here), but basically a fused piece of fabric is cut into a shape and a smaller one cut from it by folding the shape and cutting around so there is a framed and solid of that shape.  I didn't do that, I cut out one outline shape and then cut another.

Then I cut  along the folded edges instead of the outside of the folded shape and got a cross! There you are, not exactly wrong but different.  I did get 4 solid small squares from that though. Ironed then attaching fusible fleece I quilted around the shapes and some echo quilting around the outside edges.  I enjoyed that!

Here's the back

As well as another selvedge I found a stamp from a little kit that I bought at Flying Tiger shop last year, it seemed appropriate.

Here's another in progress which will be quilted later this week

Sort of circles and because I was cutting the original circle from a square of fabric I had enough scrap to cut some small circle shapes by drawing around cotton reels.

It was an enjoyable bit of playtime.

Taking part in a swap however, means that I get a card in return and this came from Nicola who will be receiving my card.  Hers was from an earlier swap called Under the Sea and although you can't appreciate it in the photo the scaly bit of the fish is from shiny fabric.  Lovely.  It is good to take part in a swap.

02 October 2017

Finish-A-Long Quarter 4

Following on from the last quarter I have outstanding things which I'm adding to the list for this last quarter of the year.  One I can't guarantee will be finished - the Frivols quilt, but another - the Hexie runner most definitely will be.

Here they are - The Frivols Quilt.  I've been wanting one of those Moda boxes of fabric with the instructions for some time. I loved the quilt top and it's got wadding and backing so I should get it done, but somehow the impetus has gone.  If I do get down to doing it then it may become a lap quilt for the Teenage Cancer Trust as it seems a bit old for Linus.
The Hexie runner was from a Bramble Patch Box of Delights subscription box which has been hanging around for a while and feel I need to get this finished, even though it is a slow project.
This quarter I have some knitting projects to get done, but they are a bit secretive as are Christmas presents (sorry, I've used the C word, but they have to be done in time!) but here's a sneak peek of a sock for someone (not saying who!)

A bit of crochet on the go too.  This continues to be the Vintage Sweethearts CAL (crochet a long) in the Crochet Now Magazine.  This will be an ongoing project as issues of the magazine appear.

Back to quilting and the Beanstalk wallhanging which I have to decide how I'm going to finish this off, but I haven't done anything with this so far

And finally I've also got a machine stitching project.  This was a kit I bought at FoQ back in August by Wendy Dolan.  I painted the fabric last month just before the wedding, and will need to be free machine stitched with the details.

And really, finally, I've got some hand stitching with a Kantha kit from Angela Daymond of Fenland Textile Studios.  You can just about see the pencil marks on the fabrics, but its a start.

So I have enough to keep me busy. Better crack on then....

Linking up with 2017 Finish-A-Long

Charm About You

27 September 2017

Finish-A-Long Finishes or Not

It is getting towards the end of Quarter 3 of the 2017 Finish-A-Long and three quarters of the way through 2017 - yikes!  The Christmas countdown has already started at work and as at today is 89 sleeps until Christmas - I know, this year is whizzing away fast!!

Ok, so I hoped in Quarter 3 I would finish the Frivols Quilt - no progress there, I haven't even done any sewing at all.  Next is the Hexies table runner, which is now a quilt top and in process of being quilted.  It is slow sewing but I hope I can finish in the next quarter. Here are a couple of pics so far..

Back in June, the hexies were all joined together

And above, on their background fabric, a grey Mode Grunge (not sure of the shade).  There has been quilting in the seams and also around the outline of the appliquéd hexies but it will have some echo quilting and the quilted fabric will be cut to an elongated hexagon shape.

The third item was to knit a pair of socks on short circulars.  Well I found that I wasn't comfortable with short circular needles and was much happier with Magic Loop on longer circular needles.  It is heaps better than using a set of double pointed needles (less stitches to lose is one advantage!).

For those not familiar with the above knitting terms circular needles are a pair of needles joined by a flexible cable in between them.  The short ones (about 12" from tip to tip) are just long enough to keep continuously knit in the round in a spiral.  The long ones mean that the amount of stitches are divided in two so half the stitches are the front and the other half are at the back with a loop of cable between them.  The circular needles I was using were 80cm long so I felt that I had more room.  Anyway these are my first pair, My Favourite Vanilla Sock pattern by Meaghan Schmaltz knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners  Peacock colour way.

So a finish there!  One out of three finishes that I had for Quarter 3.

But I have been doing other things besides.  Blog debut here for another pair of socks, this time for my sister, which I gave to her earlier this month for her birthday.

These socks are knitted in Stylecraft Head Over Heels in the Olympus colour way and the pattern that I've used is Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder, which is another free pattern on Ravelry here.

There is another pair on the go for Christmas - so I can't share these with you yet - shame. But I'm really enjoying knitting socks so there may be more to come.

Other sewing finishes this month has been the mini quilt for Gillian in a swap organised by UK Quilters United Facebook Group, which I blogged about here.

I've yet to decide how I finish off the first quilt that I made, but I can add that to Quarter 4.

I have made some more pouches recently.  I make them from scraps and bought some zips cheaply so they've really cost me nothing but my sewing time and they will sell at charity sales.

So that's all for my finishes in Quarter 3 of the Finish-A-Long.

Linking my blog here

Charm About You