A Billion WIPs

Doing that WIP Wednesday Thing again!  Does twice count as a habit?

I’ve been muddling along with quite a few different projects recently.  Why is finishing things so hard?  But actually, I am beginning to feel more on top of my current projects.  Woo!

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Tutorial – Tea Cosy v.2.0

After making one tea cosy for mum, I decided to make a second for her birthday because I wasn’t completely happy with how the first turned out.  This, then, is how I made tea cosy v.2.0, and it was actually rather easier than the first, as well as fitting the tea pot better.  🙂  (I’ll update with some pix if/when I take some.)Tea cosy

Required (for a good-sized tea pot):

  • Coordinating fabrics; enough to make 20 dresden plate blades 8″ long
  • Scrap of fabric big enough to make the centre circle of the dresden plate
  • 2 1/2″ wide strip of fabric for the elasticated strap (8-10″ long is good)
  • Wadding (I used a heat-resistant wadding, but I think ordinary wadding would be fine too)
  • Lining fabric; must be big enough to cover the completed dresden plate (I used therma-flec, but again, I think ordinary fabric would be fine)
  • Sturdy elastic

All seams are 1/4″ unless stated.

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Creative Oozings #30 – Looking Back, Looking Forward

Well that was an interesting year.  Not the easiest we’ve ever had, what with new babies and household crises, but we seem to have survived, just about!  It has also, for me, been a year of much quilting.  It’s very easy, when reading forum threads and blog posts from apparently super-human peeps churning out king-sized quilts every other day, to feel that I’m not managing much in comparison, but in fact I think I’ve had a fairly good year for actually finishing things, even though I still have some substantial projects outstanding.

Finished Things!

Actually, I think that’s quite a lot of things finished.  Especially since some of them are quite sizeable or have multiple parts.  And there were a couple of little projects that never made it to the point of being photographed (a couple of pot holders and a phone case for mum, iirc.)  *slightly proud face*

Not-Finished Things

  1. That Damn Wedding Quilt!  It’s becoming a serious bugbear now.  I have the fabric I need to do the necessary Bs (border, backing, binding) for it, I just need the confidence, time and space to tackle those last bits.  Oh, and the quilting.  Oh god, the quilting!  Though I seriously hope my new machine will help greatly there, what with the bigger throat space and the huge extension table.  After I’ve cleared mum’s birthday and a couple of outstanding unfinished Christmas presents, I must make this the number one priority; maybe it’ll be done by Sian’s birthday in March (or by their wedding anniversary in June at the latest!).All The Hearts
  2. Japan Fans door curtain.  I started the quilting, then had to stop because I was running out of my chosen metallic thread.  However, I bought plenty more so I have no excuse now.  Chances of me finishing this before mum’s birthday on the 5th are slim-to-none, but there’s always Mothering Sunday!Japan Fans Attic Windows door curtain
  3. Baby quilt #1.  *SO* nearly done!  ;A;  This is the one with the mangled quilting thanks to my cheap-ass walking foot copping out on me.  I’ve unpicked the snaggly bits, I just need to point the Pfaff at it and let ‘er rip.  So to speak.  And then spend AGES brushing off all the linty bits from the wadding that have coated ALL the black fabric.  🙁  Suddenly I get the point of black wadding!Coin stack
  4. Baby quilt #2.  Still in a pile of unconnected, untrimmed HSTs on my cutting table.  🙁  Though I did trim a few more yesterday.  It’s tedious but undemanding work, at least.  When I was doing the festive table set, I figured out a quicker way to trim HSTs before ironing them (very handy given the tiny size of the ones used there), but unfortunately all these are already ironed so I just have to grit my teeth and trim all the sides.HST blocks
  5. Disappearing Nine-Patch.  The back of this is still all over the floor of my craft room, looking sad and reproachful because it was shoved down the to-do list thanks to my focus on Christmas presents.  And the fact that I don’t much like sewing Y seams.  I must be brave and tackle it.Scrappy Lone Star
  6. …Other odds ‘n’ sods.  Like that weird tea-coloured D9P and the scrappy batik squares I made.  Oh, and the hilariously late Advent Calendar.  (It’ll have to be ready for *next* Christmas!)  I’m sure there are more that I just can’t remember right now!  :p  I’m also developing quite a mess of scraps, so at some point I need to spend some time trimming them down into usable squares and doing …something… with them.  Maybe a Linus quilt or two; one of my fellow Quilt Clubbers is now an organiser for the Linus Project and I’m sure she’d welcome the contribution.

I also have vague and not-so-vague plans for more quilty projects, fuelled at least in part by recent fabric purchases.  Sometimes I think I shouldn’t be allowed out unsupervised!  I’ll show off my recent acquisitions in a future post, though.  Whatever else 2015 might bring, I have a feeling there will be quilts in there too!

Creative Oozings #29 – Christmas Presents (Part 1?)

One day, I will totally follow through with my intention to start making Christmas presents early and finish them on time.  However, Christmas 2014 was no break from my usual tradition of being up in the wee small hours of Christmas Eve/Christmas Day frantically trying to finish making something, and I didn’t manage to finish anything like the amount of things I wanted to make.  That’s par for the course too, and a “tradition” I’d really like to give up!

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Creative Oozings #26 – That *PING* Moment and Quilting Worries

Cupid's Bow bargello
The first quilting *PING*: Must. Use. ALL. The. Colours. Ooo, Bargello? Perfect!

It seems that there’s a big debate in the quilting blog world over modern versus traditional styles, as though it were some black/white, either/or, “there can be only ONE!” situation instead of the spectrum that it clearly is.  It’s a discussion that I can only view as an outsider because I’m not very (read: at all) connected to the quilting blogosphere and I’m comparatively new to quilting (less than two years at time of writing).  How could I possibly define my style (or lack thereof) to the rest of the world when I’m still working to develop it?  This is not to say that I’m not inspired by the work of others.  Although I’m pretty anonymous in the grand scheme of things, a real face-in-the-crowd, I do read other blogs if I see things that appeal to me and they’re certainly not all quilting blogs (inspiration comes from the strangest places).  Sometimes I comment.  I try to credit ideas and inspiration wherever possible, and I’m drawn to many aspects and styles of quilting and patchwork, as well as several other crafts.  So I’m not going to say a whole bunch about the application of labels to the general concept of quilting because other people already did that, probably better than I can right now.  Instead, I’m going to take the challenge set by Pretty Bobbins at face value and talk about my quilting process, such as it is, and also some of the uncertainty I feel about quilting and calling myself a quilter (I can’t really talk about connecting with other quilters because I haven’t, really, except for the lovely ladies at Quilt Club).

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Creative Oozings #25 – Progress, Actually and WIP Wednesday

I’ve never done this before:

So that’s a Thing right there.  I hope I did it right.  Work’s been quiet recently so I’ve been doing quite a lot of sewing instead.  How did I do that with an apparently broken sewing machine?  Well, turned out that the problem wasn’t the machine, it was my walking foot.  As long as I don’t want to quilt anything, I can sew to my heart’s content.  And speaking of hearts, I’ve finally made a major leap forward with a major project, the project that kind of kicked all this off:

All The Hearts

Continue reading Creative Oozings #25 – Progress, Actually and WIP Wednesday

Creative Oozings #24 – Frus. Tra. Tion.

I’ve managed to get very little done recently.  Partly because I’ve had nowhere to set up a sewing machine and partly because all my sewing machines seem to be in various stages of death.  Mum’s Huskystar, which has been my principle machine for at least a year, got caught in a plumbing leak we had and was found sitting in a puddle of water.  I took it to my trusty sewing machine repair man and he worked minor miracles to clean out the rust and get it working again (fortunately it’s a purely mechanical machine), but when I came to use it at Quilt Club I found that the tension seemed to be all over the place, it was not sounding completely right, and then a screw fell out while I was doing a bit of free-motion quilting on the border.  Ack.  And Toby’s quilt is now partially quilted but I think I’m going to have to rip it all out and start again because the back is a nightmare of loops.  I’m going to take it back to Mr Knight to see if anything can be done to salvage it (again!).  But that’s ok, I thought – I have my cheap-ass AEG machine that I bought in Germany!  It’s been serviced and sorted after I accidentally nadgered it, let’s see how that works out.  It won’t FMQ (can’t drop the feed dogs), but maybe I can make a start on piecing Jess’s quilt!

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Creative Oozings #23 – More Baby Quilts

As well as the quilts I made for Nia and Chloe, I also decided to make quilts as Christmas presents for another cousin’s little boy and girl (I have a lot of cousins…).  Thanks to a bumper pack of charm squares from the Cotton Patch, I already have Toby’s quilt top pieced, it just needs quilting.Coin stack Continue reading Creative Oozings #23 – More Baby Quilts

Creative Oozings #22 – A Frugal Project

Over on Craftster, craft swaps are a very popular pastime with strict rules as to sending deadlines and how many swaps may be joined and/or run, to avoid people becoming overwhelmed.  For those who want to dodge the expense of postage, or have too many on-going swaps, or are just plain curious, there is the Fake Swap Craftalong thread.  You add a post stating your intention to fake-join a current swap, aim to craft your items according to the guidelines and deadline for the real swap and post the results on the fake swap thread for all to admire.  The “rules” for this thread are much more forgiving than the real swaps are!  Because I’m still a fairly new member and haven’t joined any real swaps, I was ineligible to join the Quilt Block Swap, so I decided to fake-join it with my Star Baby and Birds and Bees quilts, which I completed in very good time.  I also fake-joined the Frugal Living swap, which encourages participants to craft items only from their stash or other already-owned items, and with an eye to aiding frugal living for the recipient.  With that in mind, and after considering my growing pile of scraps and off-cuts, I declared I would make some scrappy draught excluders for the house, since I have enough usable scraps to decorate the outside and enough unusable scraps (and thread nests and scraps of batting) to stuff at least one excluder!

Unfortunately, life and a new baby then happened and I’ve missed the original deadline by a country mile.  However, we could really do with some draught excluders about the house so I am determined to make them anyway.  My other motivation for making them is to test out the vintage electric Singer sewing machine we had serviced recently.  It’s a solid, if elderly, machine with a nice smooth action and this could be the perfect project to try it on, since it doesn’t matter vastly if it makes a mess (though I hope it doesn’t).  I’m also planning to try a quilt-as-you-go method to piece my scraps onto a backing of calico and wadding, and use some of the plastic sheet left over from the changing mat to make a water-resistant base.  Or I might use the plastic to make an inner stuffed structure and use the quilted sections to make a removable, washable cover.  I haven’t quite decided yet!  But this is likely to be what I’ll do at Quilt Club on Friday, if I can get the basic structure and materials sorted out in time.

Creative Oozings #21 – Joining the Japan Fan Club

When I entered the Pembrokeshire Country Show, at pretty much the last possible minute, I had more ideas than actual finished articles.  I knew I wanted to do the two baby quilts for the patchwork quilt class, and had high hopes of finishing off mum’s door curtain and making up a new bag to enter into the patchwork items class, so I paid for two entries for each class and set to.Japanese fans Continue reading Creative Oozings #21 – Joining the Japan Fan Club