Cargo Duffle Take 2 and Socks

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I’ve been slowly ‘de-cluttering’ for about a year now; donating books to the library, getting rid of furniture that I don’t love and don’t want to give space to any more, parting with hand-made clothes that I just don’t wear and generally trying to pare down what I have so that it’s things I like and want rather than stuff that’s been around for a while that I don’t even look at. Of course, the house I’ve found to move into is actually bigger than this one so I probably didn’t need to be quite as harsh on the getting rid of stuff, but it feels nice to free myself of some of the weight that possessions feel like sometimes.

Of course, my crafty things have also been subjected to this mindset and I’ve gotten rid of knitting needles, patterns, yarn etc. as I’ve come across things I don’t feel I will use or just don’t like any more. I will sort my fabric when I pack it as there’s no room to do that with the furniture in the room and I still need to find time to list all the vintage patterns that I cleared out over a year ago that are still sitting in bags on the landing, maybe I’ll work on that this summer.

I have been thinking about the projects I have on the go and things that I started with great enthusiasm and then threw aside when the next fun thing came along and I appear to have started my ‘finish everything the hell up’ routine much earlier in the year than I normally do. I have two cardigans and a jumper on the needles along with a lace stole that I’ve not touched in a very long time that I would like to finish sometime soon. I moved the sofa and cleared out behind it and under it the other week and found a crochet blanket that I haven’t worked on or wanted to work on in what must be 3 years. I discovered that I had actually sewn together the blocks I’d finished and that square is the right size for a cushion cover so I’m going to block it and put a back on it and call it a FO, the rest of the yarn returned to my stash for future projects.

In my sewing room I have 3 quilts that need finishing. The first is my Christmas quilt which I started quilting at the end of November and it all went wrong. I now need to unpick about 30 rows of straight line stitching and then pin baste it again and try quilting once more as the backing shifted on the poly batting I picked to use. I’m thinking I may need to spray baste it too so that it doesn’t move again though as that batting is really slidy, or I might just yank the poly batting out and stick in some cotton instead as almost 6 months later I’m still really pissed off with the batting, I’ve never had this issue with cotton batting. I have backing fabric for my Scrap Vomit quilt now and need to check if I have enough batting then that can go together too. Also needing to be done is my Siblings Together Bee quilt which I got all the blocks for in February, it’s all there and just needs for me to sash it and then quilt and bind it. There are also other bits still sitting around from the piles I showed you a few months back and I’d like to get some more of that done too so I don’t lose bits in the move.

I got a EPP book for Christmas and inspired by it I dove into my scrap basket and started sewing stars, feeling slightly guilty that my Hexy MF was sitting there untouched while I worked on something new. A few weeks back I put away the stars and pulled out the flowers, finally finishing up all 72 of them, and got a nice hole in my thumb from sticking the needle into it repeatedly…

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I then started sewing them together, and this is how far I am into it:

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I’m going to keep working on this and hopefully it will get done in the next month or so. I need to decide on fabric to go behind the flowers on the quilt  and buy it (I have the backing fabric already) and figure out how I’m going to shape it as I don’t want to do the stalks and leaves at the top and bottom like the pattern calls for, I’m thinking some sort of Tetris like effect with some flowers falling away from the bottom, if that makes sense!

I also have my Woodland Sampler to finish off. Why did I work so hard on it and keep up to date until November and then drop the whole thing and not touch it since?? Near that stashed under a chair is the yarn for three animal head cushions that I want to crochet, I got the pattern at the Knitting and Stitching Show and the yarn soon after, crocheted about half a face and then put it down. I hate the crochet hook I bought so maybe if I invest in a better one that doesn’t hurt my hand so much I can get those done too. See what I mean, stuff every damn where!

I did manage to make Piggle his Cargo Tote bag that he’s been asking about ever since I finished Jim’s. He chose the Bungle Jungle fabric that I had left over from the quilt I made his cousin and I added a zip from stash, some Essex Linen and buttons, again from stash. I even used up almost all the scraps of batting I had from previous projects so besides the duck cloth that I bought specifically for the bag this was all already paid for!

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This went together easily again, although I did mess up attaching the bottom panels on the sides by getting carried away and quilting them before trying to sew them on so I ended up doing a french seam which was fun with so many layers! I didn’t take a picture of the binding inside as it’s a bit messy, but it’s done with the coordinating polka dot from the fabric collection.

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We’re both really pleased with it and it suits his personality at the moment perfectly. It’s nice when something is wanted and then appreciated when it’s done, especially something like a bag that takes a lot of sewing time, much of it tedious quilting!

Another project out of the way is this pair of bamboo socks using Wendy Happy. Just my standard 72 stitch socks on 2.25mm needles. I worked on these while I was doing my research reading as I find it hard to sit still when I don’t need to take notes on every part of a book.

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You can never have too many pairs of soft bamboo socks, especially bright pink ones!

So, that’s where my head is with my crafting at the moment, clearing the decks and finishing things off, hopefully I can stick to it. I’ve just given myself a few days to work on a project that wasn’t on the list but I have put that back in its box now and will try not to go back to it until some of these other things are done!

Catching Up Again

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I’m just going to throw out everything I’ve made recently in one post and then try to keep things a little more up to date from now on!

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This is the dress that was cut out probably last summer and sat there forever. It’s the Reglise dress and it was really nice to sew, even though I made things harder for myself by using a really slippery synthetic (from Abakhan) rather than the cotton called for by the pattern.

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This went together really easily once I got on with it and I will use this pattern again for sure, although I’ll try it with a cotton next time to see how that looks.

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I didn’t make any changes to the pattern except for adding pockets from another pattern as most of my cardigans that I would wear with this don’t have pockets for my phone and car keys which are the minimum I carry with me on the school run. The pockets worked out really well, I just wish I could find the rest of the pattern that the pocket pattern piece came from as it was an expensive one, it’s in that tiny room somewhere…

The only part of this dress I’m not sure about is using bias binding on the hem. I’ve said before, I’m sure, how English bias binding is very stiff compared to the stuff you can buy in the States (and maybe France). I found some synthetic binding and used that instead hoping that it would give it a softer edge but it’s still a little bit sticky out for my liking.

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I think next time I might hem it, or maybe make sure I have enough fabric to make binding and see if that solves my problems with it.

I had an amusing moment of stupidity when making this. I wasn’t sure if it was going to fit (it does, but I’ve not added elastic to the waistband as it doesn’t need it on me) so I tried on the waistband after I’d made it. Of course it was then a real contortion to try to get it off as it wasn’t connected to anything else and for a few minutes I thought I was going to have to cut it off and make another one, but I finally got myself out of it, lesson learnt!

Next up was the March Siblings Together Bee Block.

003 004We’re almost done with the year of these now, it’s flown by! This block looked a lot harder than it was and I really liked making it so I have put the pattern on my mental list to use for a quilt in the future. I still haven’t worked on my quilt yet, I need to make my block and then assemble it, I will try to get on that over the Easter Holiday.

I have been knitting quite a bit recently too. I made two shawls in quick succession, the first one hasn’t been blocked yet so I will show you that when I get around to that bit but this is the second one.

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The pattern is called Brickless by Martina Behm whose patterns I’ve used before and always enjoy. The yarn is Yarntopia Treasures 100% cotton in Seashells.

006007The pattern alternates garter stitch, rib and holes and starts of small getting bigger each section. It’s got a nice stepped edge to it which I really like. I didn’t bother blocking this as bamboo on its own won’t hold a block anyway. The weight of it pulls the holes open enough for me to be happy with it so that’s fine.

I decided that I wanted some new t-shirts as I’m bored with mine so I pulled out some patterns and fabric and made two in one day the other weekend. First up was the Plantain T-shirt that everyone and their sister has already made.

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This fabric came from Abakhan and I have it in another 3 colours, plus enough of this colour to make a short sleeve t-shirt from it in the future. It’s a lot more see-through than I thought it would be, I’m hoping the darker colours are better as I have to wear a tank top under this. The pattern went together really nicely, my only change was to add an inch to the length as I like my t-shirts a little longer than the current trend. I’m happy with the result so no doubt I will make a few more versions (minus the elbow patches which I also left off this one as they’re not my thing).

Finally I pulled out my favourite Scout T-shirt pattern and came across a piece of fabric, can’t remember the technical term for it, edge print, selvedge print? Anyway, I’ve had it at least 7 years if not longer and it was time for it to go out into the world as a garment. There was only about a yard of it so it took some inventive cutting but I got there and am really happy with the result.

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I used fold over elastic for the neckline and luckily the flowers are just low enough that there aren’t any bulls eyes to worry about! It’s quite a thick knit, don’t know what it’s made of either tencel or synthetic with cotton but I think it will be really comfortable to wear. I added my usual extra length to it and it fits really well. I’m planning more Scouts as I had to throw out the white one with pink flowers because I’d worn the poor thing to death. I have a synthetic that I’d love to use as the drape will be great but I need to make sure I’m nice and relaxed as french seams on slippy fabric are going to be a challenge, but it will need them!

So, that’s that, up to date! I’m currently working on a duffle bag for Piggle which I hope to finish this weekend and I’ve also been FINALLY working on my Hexy MF quilt which has sat and sat and sat forever. In a week I’ve sewn up almost all of the remaining flowers so this weekend I can lay it out and then start sewing them to each other.

Also, just because life isn’t busy enough, we’re going to be moving sometime after the middle of May. The house is having some work done to it so the dates aren’t set which means we don’t have a contract and I can’t pay the deposit yet but I’m told it’s ours so I have to stop worrying so much about it and just get on with what I can get done without a move date. I have two schools to arrange this time plus the usual packing etc and a neurotic cat (plus two other slightly less neurotic cats and an Autistic child and his brother) to somehow get there but hopefully it will all be ok in the end and a huge bonus is that I get a much bigger sewing room where I can have shelves to put my fabric on so I can actually see it again which will be lovely!

Lagging

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I just don’t seem to be able to get it together to do a blog post very often at the moment, and my sewing has been really lethargic and slow so there’s not much really to show, but still…

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This is Viajante which I made using 2 skeins of custom dyed tencel from Yarntopia Treasures. I wanted something plainish and comfortable to sling around my neck and this big trumpet like tube solved that requirement.

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There are tons of different ways to wear this and I’ve worn it quite a lot since I finished it in February. The knitting itself was very easy and mindless once it gets joined into the round, I kept it on my lap whilst doing reading for my research and worked on it whenever I didn’t need to be taking notes.

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I love the variegation in the greys in it, subtle but it stops it from being plain silver. I didn’t block this in the end as it’s pretty damn big and also shawls tend to get scrunched up anyway which means a lot of the blocking gets lost along the way.

I’m either late making these for the boys or very early, you decide.

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It’s the same tutorial I used for the ones I made my sister and her family but this time I used up strips of fabric that came in a box of scraps I bought. I had only intended to make one but then I discovered that there was quite a lot of fabric once I’d sewn all the strips together so I did one for each of them. The letters were supposed to be from the same fabric but in different colours, I always forget that you have to cut an S backwards if you’re sticking it on with heat and bond type products and there wasn’t enough to cut a second one so that S is actually pieced together, but hopefully not too noticeable from a distance. I probably won’t find out if they actually like them until we get them out in December as they weren’t that interested in stockings in February, can’t blame them really but it was another project off my list!

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And finally for today, another pile taken care of and item ticked off my list. This is a cushion cover made from the leftover scraps of my flannel log cabin quilt. I sewed a lot more scraps together for the binding than I needed and didn’t want to throw/give the whole lot away especially as I like the fabric so much.

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There wasn’t a lot of planning for this cushion cover. I sewed the strips together and then I thought ‘I wonder what it’d look like if I cut it into triangles and mixed it up a bit then added sashing in an X’ so that’s what I did and I like the way it came out!

I quilted it in a triangle pattern for each section and I’m proud of how it looks and that I thought of something a bit more special than stippling or straight lines which are my fallbacks!

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It’s got a simple overlapping back using up more of the white sashing I had left over along with some longer strips of fabric, I didn’t quilt the back at all or even put any batting on it, I can never really see the point with cushions. I finally remembered to order the cushion to go in this so it’ll be joining the rest of my collection sometime this week.

So, that’s it for today, I have one more thing I’ve finished but it needs a better blog post than I have time to write for it right now!

Mojo, Maybe?

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So, it’s been a while. I have had periods of working on specific projects and then I just give up on them and move onto something else, I’ve just not been feeling it at all for some reason but I have decided just to go with it and hope that at some point I get back into making things and enjoying it again.

Saying that, I do have some things to show you that I have finished. This week I’ve been sewing quite a bit while the boys are on half term from school so we’ll see if the forward momentum continues. I have been finding going in my sewing room quite stressful as there is just so much STUFF in there and so many projects that I want to do and the piles of crap everywhere. I’ve decided to try to focus on one thing at a time, whatever it is I feel like sewing and to stop feeling bad that I’m not working on the 47 other things waiting, we’ll see how that goes.

January makes were very slim, I did the Siblings Together block which looked as so:

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I then did a practice block for my Siblings Together quilt which is this month’s. We’re using the Pinwheels in the Park pattern that I made for Piggle with the Rik Rak Rabbits fabric but are making bigger blocks. I pulled some leftovers of the Brrrr fabric that I adore out of my stash and made yet another pillow, with sashing this came to about 20″ square.

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This fabric makes me smile whenever I see it on the sofa. I’m not so sure the white was a great idea in a house with 3 cats and 2 boys, plus my habit of throwing coffee all over the place, but we’ll see how long it lasts I guess.

Just after Christmas I got the idea to make the boys their own travel bags to take to their Dad’s so that they can begin to pack their own things and decide what they want to take in their own bags. Jim loved the map fabric I got from the Knitting and Stitching Show and as I’m not planning on making the Ottoman I bought it for any time soon and I think the other piece I got will be big enough on its own I decided he could have it. I put it together with some natural Essex Linen and used leftover batting and Duck Cloth from The Cotton Patch and finally got around to completing it earlier in the week.

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I decided to use wooden buttons rather than the snaps the pattern calls for as I’ve not had a lot of luck with hammer on snaps and I don’t want to be replacing them over and over again.

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I hate the price of zips, this one cost £5.50 but it does go perfectly with the fabric so I guess it was worth it. I’ve always found it odd that the fabric can often be the cheapest part of a sewing project but when you add the pattern, thread, zips, interfacing, buttons etc the price just goes up and up.  Anyway, it went in really easily following the pattern instructions and I love the way it looks. The top pieces are actually the same piece of the map, Brazil, reversed, Jim and I are a little bit geeky about details like that…

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The bag won’t quite stand up on its own, it’s not that firm, but it does hold its shape nicely and it’s big enough for probably a week’s worth of clothing if you fold it neatly, something Jim has yet to learn to do.

If you’ve seen pictures of this bag around the internet, it’s been made by everyone and their dog I think, you may wonder why mine is a slightly different shape. I couldn’t figure it out without emailing Anna of Noodlehead who designed the bag and asking her where I went wrong and why I had to insert a 9″ section to the bottom of the gusset like this.

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Turns out that I need to read better and not make assumptions about a pattern. I placed the pockets at the bottom of the front piece and then attached the bottom piece to the bottom of that. The pattern actually tells you to put the bottom piece layered on top. I actually prefer my version as I think it’s a shame to use nice fabric and then cover half of it up, so when I make Piggle’s bag (which he’s already picked the fabric for) I will be repeating the same ‘mistake’ but will cut the bottom gusset longer so I don’t have to patch it.

I do have two more finished projects to show you, a shawl that I’ve been working on since September and a quick scrap project, plus we’ll see if I get anything else made over the weekend while the boys are away.

2013 Sewing Round-Up

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Sewing has also felt slower this year, I was thinking earlier that I haven’t made much for the boys this year as Piggle has grown into stuff Jim grew out of and Jim has just grown through the size he’s wearing rather than needing a new size. Maybe next year I can make more than pyjamas for them!

So, the final projects of 2013. I had intended to have a Christmas quilt to show you but things went wrong when it came to the quilting and for some reason, I’m thinking due to the fact I used poly batting, the top and backing slid quite badly despite it being well pin basted. I thought I could deal with it and kept going, but now, of course, I have hours and hours of unpicking to do at some point. I love the quilt and I will get to it but I need to stop being disappointed in not finishing it before I pull it out again. Failing to finish the quilt also meant that I didn’t reach my goal of sewing more fabric than I bought. I would have only been a few yards over but it would have been nice to meet the goal! I’ve done really well deleting all sale emails over the holidays and have only bought 2 metres of duck cloth to make some bags for the boys so I’m off to a better start than last year when by this time I had about 5 stuffed flat rate envelopes making their way to me…

With the quilt off the sewing table I got to make a few other things and cross a few things off my list. I finished the peg bag for my Mother (no pictures of that as I didn’t actually make the thing, just totally ignored the instructions given and sewed it together!). I made this Scottie cushion which is from a free online tutorial.

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I made it a bit bigger than the pattern by using the cutting machine to do the squares 2.5″ rather than 2.25″, all the patterned fabric is from my scrap basket, the only new fabric I used is the linen. I also added a row of 3 squares to his belly as I thought he was too short without it. This wasn’t that hard to do until I somehow totally sewed the second side of the linen out of line with the first side. A lot of unpicking and pinning later I managed to get it to line up. I adore this cushion and I may make a few more in the future as they make me laugh.

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This is the night-dress that I made for my Mother’s Christmas present at her request. She approved the fabric and as it’s been in my stash for about 8 years now it was nice to see it finally become something! The pattern is Kwik Sew 3144 that I have always used for her, very fast sewing and she was very happy with it.

And finally, Christmas stockings for my sister, her husband and their son. These are from a Fabric Worm tutorial and all the fabric is from my stash.

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These were really fast and easy to make so I’m thinking that I might make a few for my boys before I put the pattern away. I have some strips of Christmas fabric I got with some scraps I bought so maybe I will piece those for one of them, we’ll see, the list of things to finish from all my piles of stuff is still long!

The long-term projects for 2013 fared ok. I am on the November block of the Woodland sampler so only 2 to go after that and it’s done. I slacked off in December on it and didn’t touch it at all but hopefully I will find some motivation for it! The Scrap Vomit quilt top is finished, I need to buy some batting, backing and binding at some point but I’m not in a hurry to finish it so I will wait for a good deal on those. The Hexy MF quilt is coming along, I have cut out and basted all the hexies and I’m about 2/3 of the way along with sewing the flowers together, so about 1/4 of the way with the quilt I guess. I need to try to get on with this but I have started another EPP project from a book I got for Christmas so it now has competition! The Lucky Stars BOM didn’t go too well, I have made 3 blocks (well 6 as I’ve done a large and a small of each). I think once I get started with the rest I will probably just work through start to finish and make the entire quilt, I enjoy doing these blocks once I’ve picked the fabric for each one so I don’t know why I haven’t worked on this. The final project from the list is a total failure as I’ve not done anything beyond buy the fabric and stuff it in a bag for the Rainbow Ripple Quilt. I just never got enthused about working on it, again, like the Lucky Stars, I think that once I get going on this I’ll make it start to finish so I’m not too worried about it, especially as it’s a lap sized quilt.

So, the totals:

Stockings – 3

Nightdress – 1

Quilts – 6 – Vintage Linens, This and That, Charmed Windings, Zig Zag Rail Fence, Scrappy Tripalong, On The Fence

Cushions – 4

Pyjamas – 9

Dressing Up Skirt – 1

Shorts – 2

Purse – 1

Kindle Stand – 1

Machine Covers – 2

Hot Water Bottle Cover – 1

Baby Nightdresses – 3

Pillowcase Dresses – 16

Pouches/Covers/Bags – 6

T-shirt – 1

57 things (last year was 56 so I seem not to have slowed down too much), not as bad as I thought! What amazes me about that list is that this year I made myself 1 garment, a Scout T-shirt which was recycled from a dress. I had a charity shop purge of my closet and got rid of 6 shirts that I don’t wear or were worn out plus a couple of pairs of trousers so I have a little space for things now. I think after years of making garment after garment for myself I was just a bit burnt out, maybe I should have a look through my patterns to see if anything takes my fancy, or maybe finish that dress that’s been cut out for about 6 months now!

My only sewing goal for 2014 is to consider what I’m making to ensure I actually like it and want/need it before I take time on it. It’s amazing how many things I’ve made over the years that have never been worn or that didn’t suit me or my lifestyle. I love to make things, but there’s no point wasting time and money on things that just take up space in my really small wardrobe and then end up going to the charity shop a year later. I will still be aiming to sew more fabric than I buy and to try to knit down my yarn stash a little as it’s taking up a lot of room. Hopefully I will get a new sewing room soonish though (please please please please PLEASE let me find a house soon, I’ve been looking since May….) which will hopefully be inspiring and allow me to organise my things better.

Happy New Year to you all and thanks, as always, for reading my ramblings!

Last of the 2013 Knitting

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None of the other projects on my needles are far enough along to have a hope of being finished before New Year, even if I were to just sit and do nothing else, so these are the final bits in what has been a pretty quiet knitting year for me.

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It’s really hard to photograph bright red and the flecks in the yarn look a lot better in real life! This is the much used Sirdar 1645 pattern, both my boys have worn several versions of this cardigan and this one is Piggle’s using yarn he picked out himself in Boyes and it’s the largest size, so no more versions for either of my two. It’s just a cheap acrylic DK but he has worn it twice already since I finished it including to school yesterday when he got to wear his own clothes for a Christmas party so I think he’s pleased with it. My Mother had knit the back and half a front before her stroke and I re-knit the front as our gauges are very different and then finished the rest. The buttons are plastic but look wooden.

Next up are some Panda Cotton socks done in a 3×1 rib.

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I made the cuffs of these a bit longer than normal and then panicked that I was going to run out of yarn for the feet, as you do.  I like the colours in this yarn and they’re nice and comfortable as all Panda Cotton socks are.

So, this year I have knit:

4 pairs of socks

4 cardigans (two for children)

3 jumpers (two for children)

2 shawls

2 dinosaurs

Just 15 things which is way down on my usual numbers, last year it was 23 items and the years before that 30. I’m happy with what I’ve made though and I’ve run out of storage space for hand knits anyway!

I have four things on the needles at the moment; two cardigans, one huge shawl and one jumper. I’m also crocheting a giant monkey head cushion but not making much progress on that really, maybe while the boys are off school I’ll get some done.

I’ve got a couple more sewing projects that I want to get done before the end of the year so I will wrap up what I’ve sewn this year nearer the end of the year!

Vintage Linens Log Cabin Quilt

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The pattern is called Vintage Linens but mine is modern flannels instead. Funnily, the quilt in the book Modern Log Cabin Quilting uses fabric for the sashing that was a set of my childhood sheets, it is a funny place to see them again.

I love flannel and wanted a nice bright quilt made from it so I started collecting fat quarters and kept an eye out for a pattern. When I got the book this one jumped right out at me so I sped up with the collecting and finally had enough to get to work on it.

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They are a rather peculiar collection of prints as near the end I was basically having to buy whatever I could find. Of course, when I was nearly done making this a few new flannel collections were released, I would have loved to have used some elephants or foxes but it wasn’t meant to be. Two of the centre squares are owls from the flannel I used to back my owls quilt as I didn’t have enough different prints to make every single one different.

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This quilt is the perfect size for my double bed, just the right length and width, if the bed weren’t against the wall it wouldn’t need to hand so long on one side! We had to remove the table and chairs from my parents kitchen in order to pin baste it and it took the entire floor, it’s definitely the largest quilt I’ve made to date!

I had intended to use a coloured sashing but the flannel I dyed to use not only came out the wrong colour but also would not stop leaking dye so I had to give up on it and bought some white instead. I love the look of the white but it already has cat footprints all over it and a nice circle of black cat fur at the bottom where Lorenzo sleeps. The cats love this quilt and sleep on my bed all the time now as it’s really cozy and soft!

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This was my first time doing log cabin blocks and I enjoyed it, although they didn’t come out as evenly as they probably should have for some reason. I starched all the flannel before using it to try to stop it stretching out of shape but wasn’t completely successful. Hopefully there’s nothing too noticeably wrong with it! I kept the quilting simple, I had wanted to do the spiral quilting but this was just too big for my machine and I also broke my walking foot where the quilting bar fits in so I wasn’t able to. I’m happy with what I did do though and how it looks finished.

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The backing is a light green typeface print, the colour in these pictures is totally wrong. I had to save up for the backing as I needed 5 yards and that fills a FRE. I got this on sale though, I had thought about using grey but it was out of stock by the time I had the money but I’m glad now I got the green instead.

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And finally, the binding is made from some of the leftover strips I cut for the blocks. It’s a quite thin binding but I like the way it pulls it all together. The batting is a white 100% cotton one and there are over 12 yards of fabric in this quilt so it’s quite weighty. I have actually had to fold it back on my bed some nights as I get too hot! I’m really happy with this one and I look forward to trying other quilts from this book in the future.

Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate 2013

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Um, yeah, this post is a little overdue… So I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show again this year with my Mother and my Aunt. We went on the Thursday and it was not too busy which was nice. I didn’t have much of a list and I actually managed to find a few things off it. Once again though I didn’t manage to find yarn for a sweater that was on my list. I did actually find some yarn I liked but the seller didn’t have enough balls of it so I spent the money on something else!

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The owl fabric is for a bag of some sort, the samples hanging up were so cute that I had to have some. The map fabric is furnishing weight and for an Ottoman that I want to make at some point which will also use linen.

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I got two books of patterns, the single pattern for that blue sweater which looked much better in the sample and I also got some patterns to crochet giant animal head cushions which isn’t pictured as it was emailed to me. The yarn is some cotton to make a dishcloth, there are some strong magnets to hold my needle and scissors on my cross stitch and a pom-pom for a hat as it was such a cool colour.

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Some more of the green fabric from Monkey Buttons was first on my list as I love it. I bought three half metres and intend to make some cushions at some point from it. The fabric under the bag pattern is for that pattern but I subbed some fabric in it and now I’m not sure I like it all together or not. I think I might get some plain grey linen for the outside and then use a few of the other bits with it, I have too many bright bags that don’t go with any of my clothes already!

And that was it. We had a lovely lunch at Wagamama’s as usual and wandered around each hall several times before making our way home. We thought it was a well-balanced show this year with a nice mix of knitting and sewing. I imagine if you only do one or the other you can find this show a little annoying but for me it’s nice to be able to look at all the crafts I do in the same place.

Piles Everywhere

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I am seriously lacking motivation and drive at the moment which isn’t good considering I’m supposed to finish some writing for University by next Friday and I’ve not done the reading yet. Anyway, I can at least try to catch up on some blog posts that I took pictures for ages ago!

Something that has been bugging me about my sewing room (besides the tiny size which has always bugged me) is that over this year I seem to have developed a terrible habit of making piles of things all over the place rather than actually making them. My New Year’s crafting/sewing resolution is to tackle these piles of things and get them done so I can find out what’s under them and move on to new things.

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In this blurry pile we have my Christmas quilt which I’m about to star the quilting on with the aim of having it done by the weekend and on the sofa. It looks lovely, I just am unmotivated in a lot of areas at the moment. Under it is the fabric I pulled to do shorts for the Dress a Girl charity and some more fabric for dresses. I bought the elastic and then never got around to making any. Under that are a few bags with the supplies for quilts in them. I need to buy some storage boxes so I can put those away neatly until I’m ready to work on them.

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In the basket are the supplies to make a hand sewn bunny, including yarn for a cardigan for it and fabric for clothes.  The fabric is the leftover strips from my log cabin quilt that I will blog about soon that I want to make into a cushion cover. The blue pile to the left is a dress that I cut out and then never made. This is a risky pile as there are two dress patterns in it (I am adding pockets from one into the other) so the potential to waste a lot of money should I lose bits of them.

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This is a terrible pile of stuff balanced on top of the fabric stash and it often slides off onto the floor. There’s the Scrap Vomit quilt top that needs backing and batting. In the black bag is a dressing gown my Mother asked me to finish off for her many moons ago. The orange thing on top is a knitted peg bag that needs fabric lining that is again for my Mother and she asks me about constantly and somewhere in there is a half-finished bag for her too that she passed on to me to complete after her stroke in the summer… The Amazon box holds the star blocks that I did manage to finish this year before slacking off and also a stack of flowers for my Hexy MF quilt waiting for me to get on with it again. The pile of greenish fabric and the big bit of grey are for a 16 patch quilt at some point. The half done and waiting quilts need storage boxes, the other bits need to get done.

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This is some PUL to make more sandwich wraps for the boys as Jim’s in particular are wearing out now, they picked it out in August and it’s sat there ever since. I also intended to make some pouches to put crackers and other things in for their lunch boxes. Yes, they chose the pink rabbit fabric. Also the elastic for the shorts and some interfacing that I bought for an organiser but I’m not convinced is stiff enough so it’s just sat there. The paper is two  printed off sewing patterns I’d like to make…

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And finally, the sock with a hole that would take 3 minutes to fix, a sewing organiser thingy that I started and then dropped, the fabric and patterns for the star BOMs and a half sewn owl cushion all reside in this pile. I’m sure there’s more in there that I’m forgetting…

So, these are the things I want to work on to clear the decks and space in my head. I will finish the Christmas quilt and then make a nightdress for my Mother for Christmas as apparently the one I made her 7 years ago has worn out and then I will do the bloody peg bag!! After that I will start making my way through the other things until order is hopefully restored and I will try to resist pulling out more things along the way!

I knew that I wouldn’t have as much time once I started the PhD but my sewing time has really suffered and in the winter it’s too cold in my sewing room to work up there  in the evenings, plus I’m usually too tired anyway, so it’s really ground down to what feels like hardly any sewing this year (the knitting has slowed right down too). Then when I do make something it takes forever to find the time to blog about it. Maybe I will find a little more balance next year, and hopefully a bigger and tidier sewing room!