Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Fabriholics Anonymous - Check In Time - February

Well, I've spent another month on the not-buying-fabric-waggon and I am pleased to report I haven't even started to fall off. (Although when Jo started selling off her Liberty stock to make way for new season Liberty I could have cried. All that lovely reduced Liberty, including Hello Kitty and I couldn't buy!!!)

The only fabric to cross my threshold this month has been in the form of a fab prize from a give away Helen did to guess where she was going and what she would be doing. As luck would have it, my name was drawn out of the hat of correct answers and I got some treats!

Valentines Day
The little packet contains needles and they're a joy to sew with!

The only time not buying fabric has been a big challenge this month is in the planning of a lap quilt for a birthday present.  I have been musing on ideas for a quilt. I want something quick and simple (so I don't start a project, find I've bitten off more than I can chew and relegate it to the WIP's basket for a good few years.) but the trouble with anything I was thinking of that's not random squares from my stash sewn together was: needing things I don't have. By things I'm really thinking solids.

Maybe there is a big message about being a fabriholic in here. You see I'd say I have a pretty reasonable sized stash. It's not going to fill a closet or a sewing room. But it does spill out of a decent sized chest of drawers. However, I'm beginning to think those that can restrict themselves to a few lovelies they can't live without and then only buying what they need on a quilt by quilt, bag by bag basis might be onto a winner. No wasted pennies on a load of lovelies that might take them years to use - when really what they're crying out for is a yard of Kona in a bright colour.

I decided as I wouldn't be buying Kona or even swapping for it I'd go back to my stash and see if I could approach it like I was in a fabric shop. I pulled open the drawer where my fat quarters are stashed and pulled out a couple I thought my friend might like. Then I pulled out some others that matched at least one or two colours in the first two and went from there. Before I knew it I'd pulled out 11 fat quarters and a half yard and had everything I needed to make the front of a quilt.  I tried really hard to only look at colour and patterns and not get precious about whether that was some bit of special fabric I was saving. I  mean saving for what exactly? A special project? Well, this was that project. It made it much easier to let go and just use the fabric.

I pulled out enough fabric to get started on a St Louis 16 Patch. It's all cut up and waiting for me to have enough time to sew it together!

I'm thinking st louis 16 patch lap sized for a birthday gift?


Sunday, 16 February 2014

My First Quilt Finish of the Year

There is actual bright sunshine. (Shock horror!) So this morning after the usual trip to the supermarket I went outside to try and get some pictures of my first quilt finish of the year. Now I know I said I'd be more creative with my photography, but I can think of where I can go which won't be damp and muddy right now, so the garden it is. The quilt hasn't been washed so I wasn't too bothered by a bit of dirt (As long as it doesn't mark the quilt back forever!)

Mum's vintage sheet quilt
I'm not going to complain about the sunshine being so bright there are shadows!

The quilt is made entirely from vintage sheets. The backing is half a single duvet I found in a charity shop. One of my first vintage sheet finds. The majority of the rest of the quilt is pieced from 5" charms or fat quarters bought from Mary, I also used some of the left over bits of sheeting from backing my first vintage sheet quilt and Helen kindly sent me a couple of pieces of her latest vintage sheet finds. Both lovely additions to the quilt. 

I quilted it in diagonal lines in both directions through each square using some neutral 50wt Aurifil.  The binding was a vintage pillowcase cut into strips and joined so it would create this stripy binding. I still have about a quarter of the pillowcase left so it's amazing how much just one can yield. I don't have the exact size of this quilt, but it's single bed sized - round about 5' x 6'.  (which made it a nightmare to baste and I didn't really get that right and have a few puckers on the back to show for it!)

Mum's vintage sheet quilt

Not only is this my first quilt finish of the year, but it's my first finish for the FAL first quarter 2014. You can see it on my original list here.

Finish Along 2014

Saturday, 15 February 2014

It feels like forever...

...since I've been here in blogland. It probably isn't that long. I've just had my head in another place of late. Trying to figure some stuff out and so I've not been around here that much writing, reading or commenting. Somewhere along the line my sewing mojo resurfaced. It had been on a little holiday when I had a cold and then with all my birthday celebrations there was no time to sew. I really needed to get back to it. I can't tell you how good it has been to get playing with fabric again.  In fact I have finished Mum's birthday quilt and in time for her birthday. She still doesn't know it's for her. I just need to do a label and get some decent pics.

And it's done!

I had all these plans that this year I'd make more effort with photographing my makes. Not sure how I'm going to achieve that with the weather we've been having of late. Still until I can get some better shots I'm sure you get the idea from the above IG picture.

I hope wherever you are in the world right now that weather is not being too troublesome and you're all keeping safe. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Stitchy pressies

The whole birthday thing this year has been a little overwhelming. Even more so than other years that I remember. Many stitchy friends asked if I was getting fabric as presents given the fabric diet. And yes that would have been a sneaky cunning way of getting a fabric fix during the fabric fast, as technically I wouldn't be buying it. The only flaw in that cunning plan is my family and non sewy friends don't really do fabric purchasing as presents.

However, I did get some stitchy presents which I haven't managed to photograph and blog about until now.

First up is this pincushion, tape measure and Cath Kidson mending box. It'll make a great project on the sofa box and everything will brighten up my sewing area.


Next up is this home made notebook cover and key fob made for me by Tanya of Second Chance Tan. Isn't it lovely? When I've used up the notebook I'm going to use it as a writing case as I still write letters with pen and paper.


Last but not least was this great nail varnish set from Lynz.

  Birthday gift

It was quite funny when I opened it. I was sat on the sofa next to Chief and Mum was sat in the chair the other side of me. Chief was waiting patiently whilst I opened all the cards and presents.  I opened this one and squealed. Then I started to explain to him about Lizzy House and the pearl bracelet fabric and what the nail varnish was all about. His eyes positively glazed over. So I turned to Mum and decided to explain to her instead. At least she looks interested even when she hasn't a clue what I'm on about. At the end of it Chief said something like: well as long as you're happy with it. Men eh?!

Happy with this lot? Really stupid statement, I was over the moon!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sshhhhhh Don't Tell Mum!

Hmmm I'm not sure this is a very well kept secret. After all I'm going down the 'hiding in plain sight' route on this particular quilt. You see Mum's birthday is later this month. If I'm going to give her another quilt for her bed (one she can sleep under whilst the other is in the wash - she won't let me remove the last quilt I made from her bed to wash it, because she now likes a quilt on top of the duvet.) and give it as a birthday present, then I really need to get on with making it.

So far all I had was my little vintage sheet stash. Most of which was in the form of fat quarters and charm squares purchased from Mary, a duvet to use as backing and as of the other weekend, 4 pink and white stripy pillowcases I could use for binding. What I hadn't done is any sewing.  So I rectified that this weekend with some not so secret sewing. Well, I can hardly claim it to be secret when Mum's reading the news paper on the sofa and I'm sat sorting charm squares into piles to see how many more I need to cut. She even asked if I was making a quilt to send away somewhere.

Planning Mum's quilt
Sorting out piles for the rows of squares.

I'm was going to have to try and sew the top without her seeing realising it's for her, to put at least a little surprise element into it. I have the quilt top pieced (I just have to check the size is correct as despite counting the squares in her previous quilt, this top seems smaller.) and will baste and quilt another day. As she goes to bed early I hope I can at least bind it after she's tucked up in bed.

Quilt Top Finish
Completed top - the next time you see it I hope it's finished!
One thing I'm really hoping is I can be a bit more inventive on the photographing of things I make this year, particularly quilts. I have the equipment camera wise, even if I don't always have decent light. It would be so nice to have some interesting quilty photo shoots. (Not just drag a quilt out to the garden and throw it over the lawn/front bench/back fence.)  Don't you just love quilts photographed in interesting locations? I will be location scouting all the while now! There has to be some more interesting places I can photograph what I make around these parts!

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