Sunday, 13 November 2011

Starry Night finish!

need I say more?

Well, yes actually, the four quarters were lightly starched before I removed the paper, and then went together just the way they ought. Matched effortlessly, and sewed a dream!

Now if I could work out how to do it without paper piecing, I may have another project....

Starry night block

This is the next block for the skill builder. Or perhaps it is the patience builder. I am just ripping out my third seam. Because, with great care being taken, my pieces are still not quite covering the way they ought. HUMPH.
Looks fine right upuntil it gets ironed. Then it reveals that it just will not do. Contrary. so I am ripping out again.

But, Tip of the week, I think ripping out on paper piecing is easier if you cut between the paper and the fabric, rather than between the two layers of fabric. Not sure why, but it is working for me! First Quarter of this block,
  Looks really crisp and smart. You really cannot see the frustration levels here.
So despite the frustration of the first three quarters all requiring multiple rippings out, I now have four quarters of the block. The final one made up perfectly. Perhaps because it happened after a good night's sleep, and I have been fighting off a lurgy, which my DD2 donated to the cause, but feel a bit brighter today.

I will makethe block up according to instructions. BUT, playing with them, there are loads of possibilities. Now I want a non paper piecing method of putting these together, so I can make loads, I really see a whole quilt with this block, and it is exciting!

this is the suggested layout, for this block, a whole load of these would give this second pattern  which looks great, and also this one,

but this modern twist also looks good   and this isn't bad either  or

 this one
or this    I love the modern feel to these. As a traditional lass, this is a strange thing to say. What do you think?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Back again!

I have had some frustration this week. All of a sudden the computer couldn't find google. it would accept emails, and if I knew where something was, I could get to that. But I couldn't sign in to google. Nor would it find bing, or yahoo search engines. And we didn't know why.
Luckily my son came home on Friday, and took 10 minutes to sort us out, so now I can write here again.
What have I been doing?
I took Thursday off work and went to make fabric origami Christmas decorations. They are very pretty, so I better show you what is there.
this was the first one we made, obviously they may be as decorative or as simple as you wish, but a good contrast of fabrics is helpful. The first three were designed on a circle, then one on a square and one on an octagon.



I am really struggling to get these pictures where I want them, so you will have to excuse that, for the moment... 

I have also had a few tries at the next FMQ design. This is pine needles. I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. That doesn't mean it looks particularly good, just that I felt reasonably relaxed with it. I forgot to changethe colour of cotton, ok, I couldn't be bothered to change the cotton, so the result doesn't really show up, but this is the result
front of first try,

second attempt
and the backs.. 

yes, I ought to have clipped the tails, but I hadn't. Now I can visit the others who have been doing this too, via Fluffy sheep  and see how they fare.

And I also made a hat. For the Knave of Hearts, though I expect it is too big, but will take some tucks as required. 

I think it will do the job. 
And now I will go attempt Leila's next block. It is more paper piecing, which doesn't thrill, but the finished block looks lovely.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

minnesota done!

The block for this week is done. In one direction it does measure 12.5", in another it only achieves 12.25" at its shortest point. Grrr. At least it looks crisp and fresh. there are several places where there is a lot of bulk in the seams, which makes interesting pressing, and it felt like a lot of wasted paper and fabric. But, hey I am in this to do different... I have said that every time I have not enjoyed a block as much as I might. Done for the night.

Birthday cards.

A few years ago I had the joy of making 'The best costume I have ever worn' Quote from a lad who is now a professional dancer.  The matador costume for Carmen. It was a last minute affair, and no way could I do all that gold embroidery at the time, so I got a pack of the rose petal confetti, which is still available, in gold, and some openweave ribbon in gold mesh, and did patterns down the sleeves and legs, petals and leaves, in symmetrical designs, with the mesh ribbon over the top, and zig-zagged down. It worked.
I have had lurking, the rest of the confetti for years. This afternoon DD2 and I are off out to a girly party, for the afternoon/evening. We all provide food, and we play a variety of games, and gossip and chat and have a good time generally. Those of us who like fiddling make cards to give to the Birthday girl, of whatever age, and those who do not make just buy, and that is fine.
Now, I am a last minute merchant, so whatever I do is at the last gasp, so trhis morning, I have made, lemon drizzle cake, milk chocolate cake, and two cards!
 I still have scones to make..

But here are the cards. Hot glue, confetti, net and a covered button later

I like it when things are quick and work well!

Anyone a knitter? I have come across this tutorial, and whether you think you are an expert, or have never knitted one stitch in your life, you should go and look at this. It will revolutionise your view of knitting. It did mine...  


The latest skill builder block is this one.
 I hadn't realised that it might be quite difficult to even print it out. I printed the template, without a care in the world, and only got the top half. My printer couldn't 'see' the second half of the page. So I saved it into Word, and tried to print it again. But the printer wanted to print it about three inches long. The whole page three inches long. In the middle of an A4 page. So I fiddled around and it did finally print sensibly. But. Leila pointed out that there might be a size discrepancy, and there is. The one inch test is just very slightly shy of reaching it's one inch. So I shall look at resizing and see if that helps.
Ok. Reading Freshly Pieced again,  directs you to a page which gives instructions for getting the template the right size!
and can you see the size difference?
a little small.
spot on!
Print again and Yippee! the one inch inch!
So now we are cooking with gas!

So I have traced the paper pieces, and cut fabric to size for sewing. We are instructed to cut diagonally, the rectangles. But we are not told, which would be helpful, to cut half one way, and half the other. This would make assembly slightly simpler.  And I chose to do a line of stitching round the edge, to crisp it up a bit.
this produces a lovely crisp result.

And that is it for the night!

Tragedy has struck. It is so sad. Abakhan has opened a branch in Bolton. Oh dear. It is accessible. It opens late two evenings a week. And Sundays. They even have parking. Why tragedy? Because I can actually go there, and might spend money. I had to go today, to see what was there. I had a ghastly time in Bolton two weeks ago, not finding the fabric I wanted. And fell over, making a total fool of myself, grazed my knee, and wrenched my shoulder, leaving me with a sore arm and other sore bits for a fortnight so far, and still not right. And Abakhan was already there, but I didn't know! Imight have got exactly what I needed there, if I had known. Now, I know. and it is dangerous, because it is so accessible. I no longer have to trek to North Wales, or try to park in Manchester or Liverpool. I am not sure my husband will cope.

Aren't you sorry for me?
I did get a few bits while I was there,  after all, it would be a waste of petrol otherwise, would it not? But I cannot show them all, because there is a season coming up and certain people might get a sneak peek if I am not careful. But I will show a couple of not prior intentioned bits, just because they are so pretty!

  The birds are just lovely, I do not often go for anything quite so cute, but this just begged to come home..
aren't they just lovely? Or is it just me?

And then these, again the floral just refused to stay behind without me... Lovely subtle shades, and really pretty- yes I do do pretty, just not cute!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

tips on FMQ going free...

I have just been looking at Lily's quilts, and she is asking about FMQ.Lots of replies, so I am busy reading them up, and thought I would stick this up for anyone else to pop over if they wish!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Free motion Friday

It is Friday and time to try posting this weeks 'stomach lining' project with Fluffy Sheep, and have a look at what everyone else has done. The whole basis for this is that we try to do 10 minutes every day- I do not succeed in this. I do a mad scramble at the last minute, and what ever I do, that is it. I have been tied up with other projects, not literally, of course, but busy, too busy to be doing that as well. So this weeks effort started badly. I had not quite got the bobbin in properly, and so the machine seized up slightly. Sorted that out and the first try was awful. Truly dire. Crossing over itself, sharp corners instead of gentle curves, all awry.
see number one here

I am secretly- ok not so secretly- pleased, I free motioned my numbers on the corners!
The back views go something like this

See all those sharp corners? and the crissy-crossy bits. Not good.

try 2 went a bit better, here is the back view of that one,
  still a few sharp corners, and one place where the lines of stitching meet, but definitely an improvement. I was going for try 3, but other life intervened, so I may try again tomorrow.

I have also been making these 

which are intended to have a safety pin attached on the back, and they will then go to a friend, who has craft stalls at times, raising money for autism. I think they will look well on a jacket or a coat, and hope someone may buy them to raise funds. If anyone asks I will do a mini tutorial for them- they are fiddly but not difficult.

All for now, I am off to try to link up with the FMQ Friday lot! See what the others have been doing, I expet they have done their homework and will look fabulous!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Hurrah! the trousers for the hatter are done. I just hope they fit. It is so difficult making costumes at one remove. You have to rely on someone else's measurements, and I may never see the costumes in use, as the performances will be on the day we return from holiday.

Anyway, the Hatter will be wearing tartan check trousers-I know, that is tautological, but you know what I mean- in black and white with a fine red line in the middle of the check. They look surprisingly good. I trust they are long enough.

Why can you not show off trousers well, unless they are on a body?

but they should be dramatic enough on stage.

And Dormouse is well started. A soft green jacket is under way- Sew and the City may recognise the fabric, as she received something made in it for her PIF. (I am waiting till she blogs about it before I do, 'cos that feels fair.)
Dormouse is going to wear a little pair of velour hot pants, and has a cute little cap with ears in the same fabric. Little green jacket over the top, should look ok.

However, it does help if you sew the left front on the right way round, and do not end up trying to set the sleeve into the neck of the front, and armhole of the back....
And I now have to invent the collar. Ho hum. 

I have been over to Lily's quilts and she is doing another of her giveaways, now, I wouldn't mind receiving the goodies here, though they are so popular, the lucky one will be very lucky, but I have also had to bookmark the supplier backstitch, because I instantly got the 'I want's. Badly. So I might end up treating myself, or one or both my girls anyway. 'Cos there are some beauties there. Sigh. Sorry.
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