Saturday, 2 May 2020

March goals - April goals - May goals

I spent the end of March and all of April working from home, and I expect to continue to do so for at least another fortnight. Our family are lucky to be healthy and happy, both of us have been able to move to working from home pretty seamlessly, and all three boys are engaged in some shape of online learning. Spending 40h every week in front of my work computer, I haven't really felt like blogging, but I have posted some of my pictures on Instagram - about time I catch up on my March and my April goals here!

Not entirely surprising with everything else that was going on, I did not complete all my March goals, and some of them moved into April. For the first time in history (I think) I can say I achieved all my goals!

MetroringsGhost quilt the melon shapes incl. feathers (9 in total) - COMPLETED IN APRIL

Patchworkcity: Sew first couple of rows together to check on size, then add next row - DONE

After consulting IG friends, I settled on 3 1/2" wide sashing
This shot was to check the quilt will be large enough for my bed :)
Rainbow at Sea: Finish the orange blocks, then cut fabric for the yellow blocks - COMPLETED IN APRIL
Officially half-way!
This project is dragging along, but seeing the blocks laid out on my bed in this picture will keep me going :)

Linedried: Piece Section 3 blocks, then Section 4 blocks - DONE

I will wait until I have all blocks pieced before I put the sections together. For the smallest star blocks, I will substitute every second one with a 3" square - who would want to match all those teeny-tiny points?
Section 3
Section 4
Summer Sampler 2017: Piece blocks for weeks 1 & 2, then week 3 - DONE
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3 - my favourite block yet.
Venus: Continue as leader / ender project -  CONTINUING
This started from a project Suz had shared with me on IG, I cut out a gazillion curved shapes and pinned them to a flat sheet. Hubby has stepped on pins that poke out the sheet, pieces have lost their place, I have pieced the wrong blocks together - but when I see it come together, slowly, leader-ender style, the issues seem insignificant :) I won't rush it, but I look forward to the finished top (baby quilt size) which I will quilt to death eventually.
We are officially halfway!
Sparkler: My March goal was to piece another 4 blocks, but I ended up finishing it at 12 blocks and gifting it to a young couple at work who have now had their first baby girl, so this is DONE.

There is some pink ;) 
I hope they get lots of use out of this :)
I liked the pattern enough to start a mini version with just 1 1/2" wide strips; for a change I am using black as the background with a jumble of scraps. We will see where this goes:

Celebration: SID around the 'in between' blocks, then around the outside blocks - COMPLETED IN APRIL

Generous on a double bed
I laid it out on one of my sons' bed to check size on a double bed; it sits nicely with plenty of overhang, just the way I like it. After seeing it there, youngest DS has now claimed this for himself; he would have been happy with no further quilting on it at all, but once I showed him a few examples of custom quilting, I am now allowed to do some more on it :)

That leaves me to commit to my May goals:
Metrorings: Quilt 20 of the diamond shapes on the white background
Patchworkcity: Add row 4
Rainbow at Sea: Piece approx. half of the yellow blocks
Linedried: Piece section 4A
Summer Sampler 2017: Piece weeks 4 & 5
Venus: Continue (leader/ender)
Mini Sparkler: Complete another 4 blocks
Celebration: Design part / all of the ruler quilting, then trial one area / section

To quote our Prime Minister "stay safe and be kind!"

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Silver linings in an unreal situation

This post is probably mostly for my own benefit: Some time in the future I might look back at this time and try to remember what it was like.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

March goals

Despite the short month, I managed to achieve most of my February goals:

Metrorings: Finish quilting the feathers between the melon shapes  DONE
Patchworkcity: Prepare the sashing strips - have prepared enough for 2 or 3 rows
Rainbow at Sea: Finish piecing the six 'orange' blocks - not quite there yet, still the middle SiaS to go, then piece the parts together
Linedried: Piece the three larger blocks for Section 2; make a decision on the smallest blocks (follow pattern or substitute?) - DONE
Summer Sampler 2017: Decide on fabrics / colours - DONE
Venus: Keep on working away on this, 1 block per 'sewing session' - first column DONE
Sparkler: Cut enough white 2 1/2" strips to piece another 3 blocks (which will bring total to 10) - DONE
Celebration / Perseverance: SID around all centre blocks - DONE

After years of hit and miss goals I had finally picked some achievable goals 😍. Let's see if I can do this for March, too.

March goals:
Metrorings: Ghost quilt the melon shapes incl. feathers (9 in total)
Patchworkcity: Sew first couple of rows together to check on size
Rainbow at Sea: Finish the orange blocks, then cut fabric for the yellow blocks
Linedried: Piece Section 3 blocks. 
Summer Sampler 2017: Piece blocks for weeks 1 & 2
Venus: Continue as leader / ender project
Sparkler: Piece 4 blocks
Celebration: SID around the 'in between' blocks

In other 'news', while today marks the official start of autumn, the endless summer seems to continue, and still no rain on the horizon. Parts of the region are on Level 4 water restrictions, we are still on Level 3 but I have basically given up watering the veggie garden now, the tomatoes and capsicums are still going, some small courgettes are still appearing but that's basically the end of it. One positive is that the grass doesn't need much mowing lol and the temperature of our pool, which is luckily still full enough to operate, is still at 29 degC.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 23 February 2020

More progress on February goals

Sometimes I surprise myself by how much progress I can make. It’s taken several years to get the mixture of projects and the breakdown of steps refined, and this month it seems just right!

Linedriedquilt: The blocks for section 2 are completed - even the teeny-tiny ones! Don’t worry, though, I’ll alternate them with 3 1/2” blocks so I won’t have to match the points. On track for #monikasuzchallenge2020!

Venusquilt: The first column is done :) The pieces go together better than I had feared though I can foresee some seams matching better than others - so far so good.

Sparklerquilt: The blocks go together so quickly, even more so when pre-cutting the strips. One more block to go to meet my 10/20 blocks goal for February.

Patchworkcity2020: I have started cutting the sashing strips (after much deliberation I have cut 5 1/2” wide after all). I won’t cut all just yet, I want to see the first couple of rows pieced together first.

Metrorings: The feathers are done (TG, I really want to get this finished...). March goal will be to finish the 9 corresponding ghost blocks

This gives me time to finish the centre SID on Celebration / Perseverance next weekend.

Rainbow at Sea Quilt: 2 more parts to piece before I can piece my 9 ‘orange ‘ blocks together. I need to think carefully how I break this project down so it doesn’t still hang around as WIP in 2025...

Summer Sampler 2017: I’ll make up my mind on the fabric choices by next weekend. I want to use my Alison Glass Rainbow FQ pack that also makes Linedried but the colours don’t quite match the pattern so I need to do a bit of juggling.

While work has been no less busy than a couple of weeks ago, some of the stress has lessened and I have been able to do some ‘other stuff’, too. With the very dry summer (officially in drought) the peaches and tomatoes have been plentiful so I got back into some of my past homemade pursuits: Bottled peaches, frozen tomatoe paste and soap :)

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 16 February 2020

February progress (copied from IG)

As expected too busy to sew regularly but small goals help me make some progress:

#linedried needs just one more block to piece from Section 2 for by #februarygoals 

#sparklerquilt has plenty of coloured strips pre-cut and 1 of 3 blocks for the month pieced.

#rainbowatseaquilt: The current colourway is slowly coming together.

I have also started cutting the sashing for #patchworkcity2018

Any progress is good, right? #sewdayfromacrosstheditch 

Saturday, 8 February 2020

February goals

Having been back at work for 3 weeks I do feel like I need another holiday, and that is despite two Public Holidays thrown in! A week of hui (meetings) with the nationwide Raranga Matihiko team, followed by our annual Waitangi Day festivities at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds PLUS  the opening of our new museum Te Rau Aroha have taken their toll already - and we have barely started teaching...

Luckily, life is not just about work and we have enjoyed two weekends of camping over the last month. This summer seems endless at this stage, and while the lack of rain is starting to cause serious problems for many communities, thankfully we are still fine at this stage. The pool is a balmy 30degC (without any form of heating), so we are really enjoying ourselves at the moment. Our oldest DS has settled into the Finnish weather and his uni routine, and the two younger ones have returned to high school, so things are getting back into some resemblance of normal.

I hadn't quite gotten to the point of setting monthly goals in my Happy New Year post. I can see from January that I will need to include small, achievable goals, especially as work gets busier. These are my February goals:

Metrorings: Finish quilting the feathers between the melon shapes (14 to go)
Patchworkcity: Prepare the sashing strips
Rainbow at Sea: Finish piecing the six 'orange' blocks
Linedried: Piece the three larger blocks for Section 2; make a decision on the smallest blocks (follow pattern or substitute?)
Summer Sampler 2017: Decide on fabrics / colours
Venus: Keep on working away on this, 1 block per 'sewing session'
Sparkler: Cut enough white 2 1/2" strips to piece another 3 blocks (which will bring total to 10)
Celebration / Perseverance: SID around all centre blocks

The Scraptherapy top and the Footstool keep on getting put off, but I will keep them on my list so they are on my radar.

Some of my progress to date:
Section 1 is pieced but not sewn together as I want to be able to swap blocks across the top.
The larger blocks for Section 2 are prepared.
Missing are two of the smallest size blocks:
At 3" finished I'm not sure yet if I am up for the challenge or if I will substitute them
I feel I am starting to get better at piecing the hourglass blocks: I had struggled getting them to fit and sit flat when I realised that my 1/4" seams were too generous. I have since corrected my needle position, have started starching the fabric before cutting and changed my method. Rather than cutting triangles, I make two HSTs by putting two squares on top of each other, I mark a diagonal with my Hera marker and then stitch to either side. Cut along the diagonal to end with two HSTs, press seams to the darker side, put both squares back together, right sides facing but one square rotated by 90º and  voila! you get beautiful hourglass blocks:) Thanks as usual goes to Suz who always has a solution to my sewing conundrums :)

Seven blocks so far
It's almost too easy to put this together; I'll stick with light blue, dark blue and aqua for this quilt and work on distributing the colours when all 20 blocks are pieced. There are many beautiful examples of this online, but the limited colour way works with my goal of reducing stash and scraps. One of the few patterns I could well imagine repeating...

Celebration / Perseverance:

So far just some SID
I have to keep on reminding myself that I don't need to love every project: At this stage I don't love this one. I'm not in love with the feel of the material or with the colours, and this is the second quilt I'm using the new to me cotton-poly batting which, after years of 100% cotton or cotton-bamboo mixes, I struggle with. Just looking at it now I could imagine leaving it as a simple SID, but I will try to get push through that and make this my ruler quilting practice.

Hope you have your monthly goals sorted? Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Sparkler quilt

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the Sparkler pattern came as a freebie from Freshly Pieced after I purchased the 2017 Summer Sampler pattern. Just recently I had looked over my 2.5” strips in my scrap box, there’s a large number of blue and aquas in there - tada!
I looked over the instructions, they suggest 2.5” strips for the lap quilt version, resulting in 12 1/2” blocks - a 4x5 block layout will give me a nice little rectangular  baby quilt, just the size I like.

I slightly simplified the block construction, only cutting 6 1/2” and 4 1/2” rectangles. I use my Hera marker to help with the diagonal and them trim back to 1/4” from the seam.

It takes me less than 30 minutes to construct a block, and overall there is very little seam matching required. So far I’m up to 3 (of 20) blocks; there are enough strips for a few of these in my scrap bin 😉

Happy Sewing!!!