Wednesday 30 November 2016

More small sewing

 Did I hit my 16 block target this week?

A resounding 'no'!

However, as I had both a broken down boiler (and thus an unscheduled boiler replacement) and a lovely weekend away, this isn't a total surprise!

This was the 6 1/2" block for the week.
 And four smaller blocks.  The bottom RHS one doesn't look at all right - I may need to revisit that and check that I wrote the measurements down correctly!
 These are the final four that I made.  I like the one on the RHS - but I'm still not sure how I managed to make a set of fabric strips and squares to make a second block!  I changed the colours on the half square triangles a little, so it's not identical, but I really don't know why I thought that I hadn't already made it!
Lastly, a postcard for Inge for my fabric postcard birthday swap.  Always fun to build up something fun for someone else!

Another busy week coming up, so I'd better start making some more blocks now to see how I get on with the 16 block target again!

Frosty weather here, and thoughts turning to early Christmas festivities.  Hope that you too are enjoying the season!

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Blocking Along

 So, do you think that I managed to make my target 16 x 365 challenge blocks this week?

Count along and we'll see!

This is the first block that I had to make.  Of course, I hadn't realised that I'd have a 12" square 'special' on my list  - I was tempted to call that 16 blocks done - it's the right area for 16 blocks, after all, but I realised that it wouldn't help my block count / date target to do that, so I persevered!
 Four blocks here - so up to five in total.

Points missing, I'm afraid..... but not a bad crop overall.
 Another four (with a howling mistake on the ivy leaf - I might have to go back and fix that!).  So that's nine blocks.
 This little cutie - I can hardly wait to see this simple block made up in 2 1/2" strips.  I need to do the maths and see how big a block this would make.  It makes me smile.

Ten blocks so far..... keep counting!
 Ah.  Ok.  Stop counting!

So, no, I didn't make my target - I haven't even got 16 blocks cut out!  Oh well.  Fun to have a target but I'm not going to berate myself for not quite making it, but carry on playing with a smile on my face.
 One post card here - sheer fabric over printed houses. Start of a play of overlays.
Last (but not least!) a lovely fabric wristlet from my lovely friend Benta.  Thanks, Benta - its fab!

I'm off to see how I do with my block target this week.  Happy sewing, everyone!

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Block Blast!

 I've made lots of blocks this week!  Three sets of nine (one of each set shown here) for the mystery quilt.  Very fast, as they were 1) the same for each set and 2) already cut out ready to be sewn.
 Those 27 blocks probably only took 90 minutes to sew together.

The 365 challenge blocks take a bit longer, as each is different to cut and sew.  I'm guessing that the fastest I could make them would be 90 minutes for four, unless they were incredibly simple ones!
 I've decided to try and make 16 blocks a week in an effort to catch up.  Of course, that's only getting ahead by 9 blocks a week.  I've calculated that if I can average 16 a week (even over Christmas / school holidays / anything else that comes along) I will finish making the last block in mid January 2017.

Not sure that is realistic, but I'll give it my best shot!
 This week I made 14 blocks.  I was pleased with the bottom RH one here, with the tiny pinwheel in the middle.
 These two are 6" square rather than the others which are the smaller 3" squares.
 I also added the final hand stitches into these trays, ready for Christmas.
 I'm thinking that this looks even more festive, but wonder if it trivialises the tray to a 'mere' bonbon receptacle.  If sent empty, it might also encourage alternative uses.

Something to ponder (and my DD's have offered to eat the choccies if I don't send them - kind girls!).
I was quite pleased how they turned out, though.

Right, back to the 365 blocks and some other sewing that I need to complete this week.

Happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday 9 November 2016

It's *That* time of the year.

 I've never been awfully keen on November - it always feels dark and windy and miserable.  When DH and I were both working (and child free!) we used to plan a holiday abroad in December so that we had something lovely to look forward to once we were through November.

I thought that I'd grown out of that.  But the news from American this morning and the cold wet weather we have here today has brought the November blues flooding back.  Not even my two lovely girls having an INSET day from school so being at home with me has stopped me from feeling grumpy.
 Of course, getting up at 4.00am this morning in order to try and will the US election result to go a different way may not be helping me at this point!

I decided to put the time to good use, and with the BBC World Service on the radio got to work on my 365 challenge blocks.  I'm working on August at the moment, so just three months behind (gulp!).
 I'm hoping to complete four blocks a day on four days of the week.....  first, though, I have to revist this one, where I seem to have sewn and lost some of the component parts since cutting them out!

Why is it always more frustrating to have to go back to something that is part done than it is to start afresh?  I should be full of joy that at least some of the parts are still on my paper plate where I thought I'd left them all!
 The other sewing that I've done this week was an act of necessity (actually, two acts of necessity now that I think about it - I had to mend a coat too!).

Our oven gloves, made by me some years ago (and almost as faded as they look in this photo!) were wearing a bit thin.

DH suffered quite a nasty burn, which made me focus on making some more.  We have been trying to buy the right shape and size for some time, but can't find anything that we like as much as this homemade pattern.
This time I've used two layers of InsulBright inside.  The fabric isn't as fancy, but so long as we don't burn ourselves we'll be happy with them!

The rain is easing up now, so I'll chase my girls into their waterproofs so we can go out for a damp autumn walk, with perhaps a hot chocolate at the end to lift our spirits.

Hope that you are dealing with life in the most positive way that you can too - and perhaps good crafty or sewn things come out of your time too.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Small things

 Half term holidays mean that not much sewing has been done here.

A couple of post cards..... both 6" x 4".
 I wasn't awfully pleased with this one - I want to retry a small scale disappearing nine patch with more defined colours - perhaps solids would be better!
 The other sewing I've done has been to get up to date with my quilt group's mystery quilt (from the Quilters Guild, I believe).

Lots of cutting and putting pieces into plastic bags to start off with.  A little construction - can you see that each block (I made nine of each) has one more piece than the last?  Three more types of block to make
I had to make myself a 'crib sheet' with a sample of each fabric so that I didn't get muddled about what I was cutting!

All fabrics from stash - I'm not sure whether I've got sufficient contrast or not, but it seems to be more or less OK so far.... With mystery quilts it's always a bit of a gamble, isn't it?

It will be fun to see what the other group members who are making it come up with for their fabric choices.

Hope that you are enjoying some sewing or crafting time too!