Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 - summing up - UFOs

As I mentioned in the previous post I have quite a few UFOs. There are 13 projects that are in some kind of unfinished or just started state. One of them is for a competition and will not be mentioned again until after the fact, but here are the remaining twelve.
The first four were on my UFO-list last year as well, although numbers 1 and 4 have been worked at consistently during the year. In fact, number 4 is now a quilt top waiting to be layered and quilted. Number 5 is going to be a big quilt, I have cut all the pieces which are from a stack of precuts from Amy Butler's Daisy Chain. I need to get my design wall back up and start playing with them.
Number 6 is also layered for quilting. It is in fact just a piece from an IKEA duvet cover which I intended to use as a practise piece for my machine quilting, inspired by Malka Dubrawsky's quilts from the same fabric. Copying is the best kind of flattery, is it not? 7 and 8 are both plans for bags. Number 7 is a Melly&Me pattern called Raspberry Ripple which I'm going to make with fabric from the Hometown line from Sweetwater. The leather handles and red zipper I wanted to use arrived just before Christmas, so I can get to work on this one right away. The next one will be a shopping bag full of memories as it will be decorated with various characters from TVshows from my childhood.
Then we get to the last row. Number 9 is my Lotta quilt, whic is layered and ready for quilting. Next is the Tuscany quilt. The picture is just a screen capture from EQ reminding myself of the pattern, but the placement of the fabric will be more random. I have a pile of fabric ready in patterns and colours that remind me of Italy that will be used for this.
Then there is the Bella Quilt. I bought just a few of the fabrics from Lotta Jansdotter's Bella line, and have picked out several fabrics from my stash to go with these. The pattern is chosen and everything is lying in wait on my cutting table. That is as good as started, is it not?
The last one is a table runner from the Danish company Quilt My Design, which I started in the beginning of December, intending to finish it for Christmas, but that didn't happen. It isn't all that christmassy, though - more of a winter theme with trees, snowmen and a cabin, so I'm working steadily along hoping to finish it before spring. It is worked in needleturn applique and is quite a relaxing task for quiet winter evenings.

So there you have it, my list of confessions... Not hat I feel bad about it or anything, it is more of a reminder to myself of what I have on the go, so I don't forget. Because there are just so many other tempting projects out there, that things I'm working on might be forgotten for a while, but as I am my own task master, there is no rush. Things will be finished eventually, but I'm going to have fun working on them, otherwise, what is the point?

2012 - Summing up

The year is ending and I spent last night mulling over what I have achieved when it comes to sewing at least. I was a bit surprised to see that there are so few large quilts this year and kept going back through my blog posts and Flickr photos to check that there really aren't any more, because I somehow felt that there were, but that turned out to be in 2011 - how time flies... :-P
This also explains why I have been such a lazy blogger this year - not much crafting to write about!

Well I did finish some items, though, although most are small. The list is as follows:

1 lapquilt, 2 wall quilts, 6 small art quilts, 1 pillow, 4 bags, 7 purses, 1 phone cosy, 1 ipad cosy, 1 ipad support, 14 mug rugs, 1 sewing bag, 1 tablecloth and 6 placemats.

Not too bad, but all my plans for larger quilts have fallen by the wayside. This means that I have quite a few UFOs as well, so I'll have no problems with finding things to sew.

I may not have been such a busy quilter during 2012, but I have kept myself busy buying fabric, so I had better get around to using some of it. I have plenty of ideas too, so let's get started! 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Backing up

I finished the backing for the crochet blanket last night. I'm not perfectly happy with it, but it will do. I used an old medley of fabric from Keepsake quilting for this project. I couldn't get enough information from the selvedges to tell you about it, but I remember buying it when my youngest nephew was little, so it is at least ten years old and probably no longer available. Somehow I never got round to making that Winnie the Pooh-quilt for him, but I never told anybody about my plans so his mum was none the wiser...
As I mentioned, I had a bit of a struggle with this one - I was just to add a fabric backing to a crochet blanket, but the thing took on a life of it's own and seemed reluctant to accept the fabric. I measured and re-measured and everything seemed to fit perfectly. One of the things I struggled with was that my friend wanted me to hide that it wasn't perfectly even along the edges as best I could, so I have created some rather creative corners, as you might see in the picture above!
I didn't want to quilt it, as I didn't want my stitches to draw attention away from a young mother's effort of making the first blanket for her baby - my contribution was only to provide backing, after all. I tried tying at the intersections, but I ended up with a sad and baggy blanket and concidered ripping my stitches out again, but that would have been quite hard to do, finding sewn stitches in thick wool.
After a few days away from it, I decided to tackle it again. I found that I could start from the middle, smooth the fabric out and tuck some fabric in along the seams to make it lie flat. I basted as I worked and then added running stitches along the folds stitching the fabric to itself without stitching into the wool. It was a lot more work than it should have been, and if I were to do it again, I would have gone about it differently, but it is finished now, and looks quite nice, in fact, so I'm glad I didn't give up, and I'm very pleased with the fact that I finally got to use those sweet Winne-the-Pooh-fabrics!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Baking street

Holiday preparations have officially started ;-) I  baked a batch of orange-chocolate biscotti today after sorting out my kitchen cupboards. Three half used packets of brown sugar have joined forces in one jar, ten year old spice has left the building and I have a feeling of control over my cupboards for a while... The kitchen is clean and I have plans for more baking tomorrow.

This evening, however, is dedicated to sewing. I'm working on a blanket for a girl I work with. She has just had her first baby, a lovely little boy. She had crocheted a blanket for him and wanted to have it backed with fabric. I offered to do it for her, and could have kicked myself several times for doing so, because it has been more complicated than I thought it would be. The yarn is quite bulky and one side is about six inches shorter than the other and to get this to work with a fabric backing was not as easy as I thought it would be. I thought that I could join the two with binding and just tie some knots here and there to keep the layers together. But the result was just too baggy on the fabric side, so I had to come up with a new solution which involves folding and running stitches. It looks much better now, so I hope it will be done before the evening is over. Pictures tomorrow!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Flowers in December

I know I should have been concentrating on getting things ready for Christmas, but I have been struggling to get into that good old Christmas Spirit this year. I think it might have something to do with still being in the same place - I started househunting at the beginning of the year, and when I packed all the Christmas decorations away it was with the thought that the next time I opened those boxes it would be in a new home. Now that didn't happen, but I can't let that bring me down. I need to get into a more festive frame of mind and leave the househunting till after christmas. That new flat with my own studio will materialize in the beginning of 2013, right?

It hasn't helped that this last week has been freezing - me and cold weather are not made for each other. Everything grinds to a halt and all I want to do is huddle under a pile of quilts and wait for spring...

Enough moaning. Look what I got to help cheer me up! My mum just finished stitching this cushion for me. It needs to be blocked and backed, but then it will become a lovely hope of spring to grace my sofa. In the meantime, I'll get cracking with Christmas prep. My list is made, the first presents bought and tomorrow I'll get those boxes from up from the basement and start adding some holiday touches here. Christmas will arrive this year too, there's no doubt about it!

The tapestry kit, by the way, is called "Primrose Path" and was bought at the lovely Ehrman tapestry shop in Lancer Square, Kensington, London years ago. I never got around to starting it, so thank heaven for mums with time on their hands :-)