Sunday, 19 November 2017

Now No.22 is finished - even if I did go a little off piste

I'm not only enjoying sewing. I'm enjoying blogging too. I've decided to only blog when I'm making or have made something. I think the pressure of trying to put my whole life on all parts of social media were just too much. It would be nice to document my getting back into creativity and it might spur me on to do a bit more blog reading than I have of late.

Anyway, I've gone and done another finish!

Item No22 on my Finish Along List was some Christmassy place mats. If I told you I bought this fabric (charm squares, some kona and a co-ordinating panel of fabric.) when it first came out, you'll have some idea of just how long this has been in my stash. No wonder it took me a while to re-find it. I'd even started cutting out parts of the panel and matching it to the fabric charms. I couldn't quite remember what I'd intended doing with it. Probably a feature panel with smaller squares around it.

The reason I probably didn't finish this sooner is I sort of fell out of love with some of the fabric. I liked all the colour-ways individually. But together I felt sort of meh about them.

Christmas place mats

Then Lily's Quilts was having a destash. (Yes, I've still not forgotten I intend to have one myself. Lets not think about getting rid of fabric when I was tempted to buy!) I haven't bought any fabric for ages. My fabric purchasing this year has gone right down. But this bundle of 20 10" layer cake squares spoke to me and I snapped it up.

Christmas Table Runner and Place Mats

From the moment it arrived I had a plan. I started cutting that very afternoon. I pulled out all the red and cream fabrics from the charm squares above and then cut all but two duplicated large squares in half and generated some more charm squares by cutting them in half again. 

It was at the cutting point I learned something about pre-cuts. Not all are cut equal. These were a bit shy of 10", which might have been something to do with the large zig zagged edges or just a different manufacturers ideas of what 10" is. I ploughed on because if I could remember to sew I surely could remember a bit of seam fudging. (There was plenty of that and a tonne of pins at some stages!)

I think the two fabric ranges mix in nicely, don't you?  The table runner is made of 5" squares. Some of the fabric has such a lovely bold design I didn't want to lose this by cutting out HST's or something. 

Christmas Table Runner and Place Mats

I cut out 2.5" squares for two place mats. There is only really Mum and I over Christmas and even though I'd originally cut fabric for four mats I thought I'd actually maybe like to do two totally different Christmas mats in the future, so I could mix and match and ring the changes. 

Christmas Table Runner and Place Mats

Christmas table mats and runners
Christmas table mats and runners

So here they are finally finished. Is it just me that's never happy with how binding joins on smaller projects? I always seem to end up with a lot of bulk that I end up wrangling. I tried to join these with two different methods and trimmed lots of excess fabric away but still wasn't happy. Thankfully nobody will be inspecting the backs! 

I tell you what though. I'm itching to get on with some more making! 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

No 7. Is finished - My first finish-a-long target is a tick!

I had really hoped that my 3 way wrap scarf would be finished first as I had high hopes of taking it to Scotland when I holidayed there for a week at the end of October. But life got in the way of all things creative. It's only now I'm back and recovered from the coach-lag (is that really a thing? No, Ok I just made that up.) that I'm back sewing.

Right before Scotland I bumped into the decorator who was going to organise some repairs and paint our kitchen before we went away.  I'd totally put that work to the back of my mind, so when he said he could come at the end of the next week, I said OK fine and then had to frantically clear the kitchen. Even a little kitchen has an awful lot of stuff in it. I found things in the backs of cupboards I'd forgotten I had. It was a good job done. Great to get it decorated, but it meant no time for sewing and no space. I normally sew on the dining room table. Everything was decanted onto the table and around the table and on the chairs. I couldn't get to the sewing machine, let alone use it!

My big motivator to get this project done is so I could send it off to a friend for her birthday.  A couple of birthday's ago she knitted me some lovely hand warmers which come on all my cooler weather trips in Gertie and were packed for Scotland too. I thought as she knits too she might like a knitting project bag. I find these so useful for storing projects safely when I'm not working on them. They'd also be great for storing larger sewing projects when you need to keep bigger bits all up together safely.

So I dug out the precut squares. Actually I'd managed to lose the first lot I photographed and in looking for them I found a second lot! Which did save a lot of work cutting out and meant I could get on with sewing at the weekend.

Knitting/project bag

I've decided that scraps are definitely my favourite way of working. I find working with scraps far more liberating than cutting into virgin fabric - particularly bundles. It takes me forever to decided on a plan for them (Hmm maybe that's why they end up in my stash for so long!) and then I worry about having made the wrong decision. I always feel much happier when I've generated some scraps to play with and of course other peoples scraps are always better.

So anyway, back to the project bag: 

Knitting/project bag

I lined it in *that* number print from Ikea. Apparently they no longer stock it! I love that print for linings and backings. The drawer string on the bag is actually a piece of ribbon that has tape measure markings on it. I thought that would be fun.

Knitting/project bag

So there it is. My first finish-a-long item completed. You can find my original list here.  I am already working on the second finish item. Although it has gone slightly off piste. I'll hopefully blog about that next time!
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