Friday, 17 April 2015

a whizzing week


What a busy week this was. It started last weekend when I gave up quilting the Granny's garden in favor of knitting winter run around socks. Even though we live in Africa and our winters are mild, our houses are set up for summer. 
We leave the windows open throughout the year and we do not have a central air conditioner. We have air au naturel. Fun in summer with a fan blowing, but in winter it can be just a tad nippy. We also have stone floors in most of the house which once again is delightful in summer, but can make you weep in winter. 
We have multiple rugs on the stone floor. The game in winter in to get to wherever you are going on these rugs. One little misstep and your feet get freezing. This is where house socks come in. they allow you to skid around the house and not have freezing toes. The truth be told the study is probably the coldest as there seems to be a sneaky draft that is at toe level. The socks are normally used when playing in the study. It really is not that bad. I have before run in snow without shoes on and that was way worse. That horrid feeling of losing feeling in your toes. I did the soles of the booties in a different colour to the tops. I like the pattern as even though it is crocheted it appears quite solid.

I need to get a second ball of wool for the pink booties. Whilst I was in the shop I spotted some cotton wool/ thread.... you know wool that is cotton.
I had never heard of this before, but the internet has shown me many new and interesting things. One of these were  kitchen towels made out of this stuff. With my theory of trying whatever you see, as not everything will be a disaster I bought some and knitted one.
The pattern is excessively simple, but good enough for a first attempt. Does anyone have a nice pattern for kitchen towels? Please let me know if you do. Cotton is not bad to knit with. I would have thought that it would have been harsher on the fingers. Well what do you think of my attempt?

The next thing I did was make 2 mug rugs. It is so much fun to make this small items. This next week I am going to use some of my stars that never made it into a quilt, and make them into mug rugs.


I did manage to quilt a little after work yesterday. Here are some pictures of the back and the front.
I must say that the silk batting is delightful. The needle just bops in and out and creates a very small stitch. The only thing is that it is a thin batting so it does not have a dramatic loft.
I love the natural battings, but, I have seen quilts that have polyester inners, and the quilting on them pops. Oh well I will have to live with understated stitches. I can almost see a self help group for understated stitches. Let them be a pushy as popping stitches  as well.

Have an amazing weekend, and I hope you all have a fun project to keep you busy.

Have a good one.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sock it to me


This is what has kept me from quilting this weekend.  The yearly creation of socks has begun. I have completed one pair and still have one to go.

Previously we made Schlocks    We made a dozen pairs out of fleece and gave many pairs away. 

This time I found a cute pattern on the internet and decided to crochet this years socks. As you can see I am wearing a plaster as the constant pressure has made my poor thumb sore.
 My poor quilt sits in a wash basket and feels so forlorn. I may take a break from sock-creation and do a few stitches later on today.  Can you see the quilting? I have quilted about 12 flowers so far. There are 203 flowers in the quilt. *PHEW*


This cat has decided that I am peaceful enough to sit with. This is better than yesterday when I was trying to count the number of stitches and trying to remind myself that I knew how to crochet.


Hope you have an amazingly creative day. All that are in autumn, maybe you need to make some socks and all that are in spring, enjoy getting rid of you socks for 6 months.


Have a good one.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

And now to Quilt...



This is where the quilt is now. It has a backing and batting all nicely sandwiched together and ready to quilt. We started at 9:00 this morning and I finished at about 13:00. 1 hour of my husband and daughter helping with the pinning and then another 3 hours of me tacking the borders to keep every thing nice and tidy. 

I have been click happy this morning. Here is how the morning went. Firstly a nice cup of tea and a little play on the computer. The old girl cat sitting on her seat looking all fluffy. I think she is ready for winter. She seems twice as fluffy as she was in summer. She is having a moments peace. This kittens are chasing each other around the house.


This was not likely to last. The little girl bounced all around and came to say hi to the bigger browner cat. The kittens are now six months old. Happy half a year birthday to them. I like the fact that no hissing happens any more.


Tea finished and I thought that I would mug rug today. As I passed my sewing room I thought I would just take a peak at my batting and make sure that it looked ok. This time I am using silk batting. 
The backing goes down first
This is the 12th quilt that I have made and I have tried 5 different battings. I suppose that I should settle for one, but it is too much fun trying a different batting each time.
 Well after staring at the batting for a while, i decided it was time to prepare for quilting. T
Then the batting
his is always an ominous time in our house hold. This is a make or break for the next three month activity. Ok it is really not that dramatic. Firstly down goes the backing and then the batting. 

The top is the top of the sandwich
Lastly the top goes on and then it is pinning time. I  previously used straight pins and then tacked the whole quilt. This was not as much fun as using quilting pins.




The pinning is slow and laborious.  The kitten could not help himself, he had to help with the proceedings. First he had to bite the batting to see if it squeaked on his teeth. This went on for a while until he was satisfied with the quality.

Next he took it upon himself to supervise my husband. I think he was unhappy about something. It looks as though clear instructions are being given. 


Oh goodness has he spotted an error in pinning, This is why he need to be so vigilant whilst supervising. He may need to have another chat. A kitties work is never done. All of this and being cute as well. *SIGH*

The pinning is now done. Time to roll it into a long tube and take it for the next steps in preparation.  I hope he has not spotted a mess. I think he wants to know, why all the pins weren't used.
Here I am tidying up all of the edges. I find this is necessary as this help with keeping the quilt tidy whilst stitching. I cut off the excess batting and the curled the back overt to form the hem. 


All feels well. The backing is soft to the touch. I have found the quilting circle and all of the tiny needles. I am actually writing this blog so that I put off starting the gargantuan task of quilting this quilt. I may only start tomorrow, Maybe there is still time to play with Mug Rugs.


Hope all have an amazing Saturday on this Easter weekend.
Have a good one.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Friday- stuff Done



As I said in my previous post. I am planning on being so busy this weekend. I have been saying for months now that I really want to make mug rugs. Well now I have made one. I have a whole lot more that need completing and then I will be doing some applique ones as well. I was quite happy with how this one turned out. Quilting was fun again except the thimbles that would not stick on my finger.

Eventually I just gave up and used my rubber based thimble. Possible it was the waterproof plaster that I had put on my finger to aid in pressure release. I found that it was two stitches, pull through and then pick up the thimble off the floor where it has rolled to. 


I have finished the backing for my Granny's garden. It is really delicate flowers. I needed to enhance the photo so the the colours could be seen. Without the enhancing it looked like I had taken a photo of a whole lot of white blocks. I think it is pretty.

Here are the bindings that I bought yesterday. Are they not the most fabulous colours. The mug rugs and quilt will look quite handsome wearing these. I made the binding for my Dear Jane . It was actually quite a task. Eventually my whole family was involved in the production. We made about 20 meters, so I still have enough for another quilt.


Hope you all had a great and productive day.

Have a good one!

Happy Easter weekend!

Happy Easter Weekend or Happy First Full moon after the equinox. Hope you have a great break from work and find fun ways to spend the weekend. Yes. I know it only supposed to be on Sunday, but I am happy to have all of the days off. This year I have taken off the Thursday and the Tuesday. This gives 6 days of sewing. Oh bliss.

I have started with the backing. I have stitched together 11 stripes. There was a bit of an incident where I had followed the second pattern that I had created in Xcel, but luckily there was only a little swearing and some light un-picking. 


I have started making some mug rugs with some of the left over blocks from the granny's garden. I am using them to update my quilting skills. It takes a while to get my fingers into the rhythm of quilting. This way all the really bad stitching will happen on an item other than my quilt. This in no way exempts me from doing bad stitching when I start on the actual quilt. After such a long time,
I had forgotten how much quilting hurts the fingers. I have been using a rubber thimble whilst piecing. I once again realized that although lovely to use, the rubber thimble is just not strong enough to do the quilting. I will go hunt out the metal thimbles and the plasters needed to stop them from hurting my delicate little fingers.


I went out and bought a whole lot of binding. So beautiful, I will share a picture later. I even bought the binding for the large quilt.

Hope you all have break from work and a project to keep your  fingers happy. Hope you enjoy the cute Easter quilts that I found.

Have a good one.