zaterdag 2 februari 2019

I've been down with flu like symptoms for more than a week now, and yesterday I was still ill: muscle aches, headache, bad cold and sooo tired. I do have a bit more energy than last week, so I did some sewing, as I figured it would help me feel better, and it did. Well, all the symptoms are still the same, but getting a little bit of sewing done did cheer me up a little. And I found myself enjoying those small, repetitive tasks that sometimes make me impatient.

I like where this is going!
I prepared all of the leaves for the baby quilt for appliqueing. I'm using the freezer paper method I found on the interweb. I needed about 50 leaves in all. They are now all prepared and pinned to the top, ready sewing them on by machine. I'm using a small zigzag in a cream Aurifil thread. Maybe I'll do that today.

I just managed to squeeze a size 40 out of my coupon. Hopefully, if I stitch a narrow seam, it will fit...

I'm using model 105 from the Knipmode Knit Special of May 2011, with longer legs.

I also finally decided what to do with a coupon I bought a while back. It's a fine knit, with a print of a little girl playing the flute. I had wanted to make a PJ top from it, but needed some coordinating fabric. On Friday I thought this flu was clearing up, so I decided to go to market in Tervuren, and went into the Fairy Tailors while I was there. Obviously the flu was not over and after 2 hours I was dead tired and still needed to get back home. I ended up having a hot chocolate in MiJoya to perk me up a bit, and found my way home on the bus. I spent the rest of day in the sofa. Anyway, at the Fairy Tailors I bought another coupon, of a blue knit, thinking it would go with my little flute player. It's obvious I wasn't thinking clearly, because not only does the colour not match at all, but it's also a much thicker, sweater like, knit. I can't believe I bought it without noticing that! Anyway, now I had two coupons that I didn't know what to do with. And then I decided to just make something, anything, and cut the pattern for a legging for the little flute player, and the pattern for a sweater from the blue knit. The legging was a really close fit to get it cut from the fabric I had, so I hope it fits when it's done!

The full extent of my stash (there is a little pile up there, too).

After starting yet another garment, I was feeling overwhelmed by all my projects, spread around the house, so I spent an hour tidying my fabrics cupboard. I ended up with a tidy cupboard, one basket of quilt projects and one with garments to be sewn. I don't have a big stash by any standard, but I can still get overwhelmed. And I do have a lot of WIP's! Now that I have an overview, I feel confident I'm going to get a lot of them finished in the coming months.

These are being used for the baby quilt, so they live in this basket for now.

One area where I still feel out of my depth is scrap management. I have a plastic bag of scraps which contains leftovers from garment sewing in all shapes and sizes, tiny snippets of cherished quilting fabrics and pieces of fabric that I don't like anymore, or that don't fit in with my stash. It sits in my "creative cupboard" in the living room. Over a year back I started a scrap quilt, in an attempt to reduce the amount of scraps, but the bag is full again! Maybe I have to be more ruthless and just discard a lot of fabric scraps. But on the other hand, sometimes a scrap comes in really handy. I also have a wicker trunk full of large cuts of fabric I don't really like in the cellar. Sometimes knowing it's there weighs on me, but sometimes I actually use it, for making a muslin or for some dress up thing for the children, so I can't seem to chuck it either. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking I should just move all the fabric that is not part of my small but beloved stash into the trunk in the cellar. And decide that if the trunk becomes to small, I have to get rid of some fabric. And allow myself to do so guilt free! I did start cutting 3 inch squares out of scraps, to make a simple quilt of scrappy squares alternated with a background (most likely simply white). I've found that it makes it easier for me to handle offcuts of garment sewing: I simply cut as many 3 inch squares as possible and chuck the rest (usually a triangular shape, hard to use later). It feels nice to know that a little bit of all these previous projects will be "documented" in this scrap quilt to be.

zaterdag 26 januari 2019

Sheep in a Meadow Quilt Finished and Photographed

I told Lucas I would finish his quilt in 2018 and I did. I stitched the last of the binding on on the 31st of December, so he could take his quilt and cuddle into the New Year.

Sheep in the backyard!

The colours make me smile!

Bunny

Fleur

Captain Slow

Daisy (Madeliefje)

Amadeus

Buttercup (Boterbloempje)

Frosty

Little Bow Tie (Strikje)
The pattern for the sheep is from Farm Girl Vintage, by Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet. It's a really fun book, with 45 blocks, both pictorial and abstract or traditional. The instructions are really easy to follow and every block can be sewn at 6 inches of 12 inches finished size. What I really love about the book is the second section, with lots of setting options and different ideas of what to make with the blocks. The photographs are so lovely, it's just a nice book to leaf through, even when you don't want to sew anything. I'm really itching to buy Lori's newest book, Vintage Christmas, as well!

"What do you love most about your quilt, Lucas?" "How soft it is!"

I got Farm Girl Vintage for my birthday last year and immediately made a sheep block, without any real plan. And then the herd grew and grew and it became a quilt. I found a coupon at the Fairy Tailors in Tervuren that was perfect for a prairie point picket fence, a 100% cotton fleece that makes a wonderful backing and makes batting unnecessary, and free motion quilted it with stars and zig zags in the sashing and borders and just outlines of the sheep.

Chunky colourful scrappy binding.

I added a chunky scrappy binding which I absolutely adore, and a sweet label in the corner.

For my sweet Lucas, from mum.
And most important of all: Lucas loves it! He names the sheep before going to sleep and puts the quilt under his duvet, so he can snuggle against the fleece. And when he's sad, he hides under it for a good cry. He's a bit ill now, with a bad ear infection, so he uses it for comfort.

He's so cute!
Update on my sewing machine. I'm still ill today, so I had my husband drive me to the shop to fetch my machine after it had been serviced. I got home, tried it, and it didn't work! Ever since I got it, there have been problems with sinking and raising the feed dogs. When I took it in to be serviced the were stuck in the up position. When I got it back this morning I could sink the feed dogs without problems, but now they are stuck in the sunken position, no amount of moving the lever up and down will bring them up! So frustrating! So I took a nap while my husband took the machine back to the shop. I guess I'll be installing my old Singer to sew on while my fancy new machine is gone, and will just have to be patient before I can do any more free motion quilting.


donderdag 24 januari 2019

Pickle Dish ... Yet Another Project

On the 26th of December I went shopping in Mechelen with my husband, while my parents took the kids to Technopolis.
I was fun to walk through the park together, shop for clothes for him, eat at Le Pain Quotidien and talk a bit without kids interrupting.
In a thrift shop I found a very pretty quilting book by Kaffe Fasset. It's in perfect condition and was only 4 euros, so I bought it, a little treat for me!

I really like the quilt on the cover, so I made two blocks, just to try it out. And I think I feel a complete quilt coming on!


pinks
teal

green
a bit of orange



I decided to go with a broader colour pallet than the quilt in the book. I had already picked colours to possibly make a quilt for my mum with, and I want to use those for this quilt: pink, orange, teal and green.
All my fabrics ... so far...

The background fabric is also a thrift store find, an old duvet cover.
If my mum likes it, this will be hers. But there is a distinct possibility it's too busy and bright for her. She keeps asking for a quilt to cover the tears in her comfy sofa, and I really want to make her one, but agreeing on a design and colour scheme is difficult. She wants something simple and beige. I agree that since it's main function will be to cover the tears, and for people to sit on, it shouldn't be too loud, but beige ... is not my thing... . So we sort of agreed I'd just make a pretty quilt, something I like and might fit the bill. Then we can "audition" it on the couch, and if she doesn't like it, I keep it and make another. I'm not sure this is a good plan. I'm a very slow quilter and she is quite picky, so it may take years before a quilt actually lands on that sofa!

woensdag 23 januari 2019

Some Little Things

I made these little things in December:

Mini mittens for a baby on the way ...

They are tiny and cute!

And soft and cuddly!

A simple snowflake of my own design.

Little pouches for Marieke and her friends Ava and Ayshe.
Unfortunately, my sewing machine broke. I've been having trouble with the feed dogs since I got it. First they kept getting stuck in the down position, and now I couldn't lower them. So it's been sent back to Pfaff. It's really frustrating, because I got the machine specifically for machine quilting, so dropping and raising the feed dogs is something I do regularly... I hope the issue will be resolved now, or that they give me a new machine. Since I can't sew much, I've been reading more, and even doing some knitting on a project I started 6 or 7 years ago, a dotty Kaffe cardigan for myself. Luckily, I still love the colours, and since I lost some weight last year, I think it will fit me, if I ever get it done!

woensdag 12 december 2018

Some Quick Christmas Quilting

Just for fun, and to relax a little after a stressful night, I made a little Christmas quilt ornament. I used this super easy tutorial by from A Quilting Life. I especially like the picture with all the cut fabric plus dimensions. That makes it so much easier to see what's going on than just a list in print of the cutting instructions. Anyway, that one micro quilt was so much fun, I just made another 3 today. i plan to use them as gift tags.

Three classic colour schemes, one frosty tree.

Pile of Christmassy goodness.

I still have to close the opening, and quilt my ornaments, but they are already pretty!

I had to take photos on the kitchen counter, it's the only place with proper light ... winter time...
I love doing a little quilty project like this on my sewing machine. It's so homely and heals the soul...

zaterdag 8 december 2018

Some stuff I've been making over the last few months:

We had lovely warm weather well into autumn so my dahlia and annuals kept blooming for longer than usual. It was my first year growing zinnias and I loved them. They are bright and cheerful, and they keep for over a week in a vase.

A last bouquet from the garden.

The zinnias were still going strong at the beginning of November.

I love the combination with Verbena bonariensis and dahlias.

Rich burgundy, lovely late summer colour.
 I've been doing some more sewing with my daughter Marieke. She designed this quilt a whole while back. Maybe it's a bit too much work for a first big project, but the end result will be beautiful. The log cabins are a bit wonky, but I managed to square up the blocks and assemble the quilt top. This morning we discussed option for the borders. Maybe we'll finish it this Christmas break?

Log cabin heart.

The designer and co-creator, Marieke.
 Then I made these pillow cases. A long time ago, I made four winter pillow cases, with a nice photo print fabric and a crochet border. Some time after that I bought some autumn photo print fabric and put it in my stash... for ages! It was an impulse buy and I don't really like the fabric, so I didn't feel like sewing anything from it. Then in 2017 I bought some iron-on woodland creature, which are just so lovely and pretty, and put them in my sewing cupboard ... for ages! And this autumn I finally decided I WOULD use the ugly fabric! So I bought some solid and some really pretty fabric and made some lovely pillow cases. I actually like them, despite the ugly fabric, and the kids love their little woodland friends. I only took pictures of two pillow cases, maybe I'll get round to photographing the other two and adding them in here some day, but probably not :-).

I made some autumn pillow cases.

I made four in total, one for each of my children.


Everyone got a different woodland creature.
 I made this pencil case for my daughter Marieke. She had an Hello Kitty pencil case with a broken zip. Her request was to fox the zip, but it was simpler to just dismantle the case and recuperate the fabric in a new case. I used this pattern by Caroline from Sew Can She. It is not the easiest to sew (a bit fidgety), but very easy to understand the construction (no turning or sewing inside out lining, or stuff like that). I found perfect pink for the zipper tape and a cute bow tie fabric for the lining in my stash. I used a decorative stitch to attach the zipper to the case. She loves it, so I am a happy mom. I made another for a friend of hers, but forgot to take pictures.

And finally, this is a project I finished just yesterday: a pretty Christmas pillow. It matches the advent calendar I made last year. I actually pieced it in January this year, because we needed a small pieced project to practice machine quilting on a course I took in March. It was quilted in March, and then lay waiting to be finished until last week. I had even cut the backing fabric and the binding, so it was an easy project to pick up and finish last Friday morning, when I had a free morning, happily spent machine quilting Lucas' sheep quilt and finishing the machine sewing on this pillow case. I finished hand sewing the binding yesterday morning. I' m very pleased with how it turned out.

Pretty pillow.

I'm quite proud of my FMQ feathers.

Christmas ambience in the sofa.
 And this is the fabric I picked for my next project. My mum has asked me to make throws for her scruffy sofa's, and I think these colours will look nice. I'm not sure I have enough fabric, however. I'm thinking I'll just start making flying geese blocks and see how big a quilt I can make. I like this colour combination, too, so if it's too small, it can be a throw, and I have to buy more fabric for my mum's quilts.
Anticipation ...