Friday, 12 January 2018

Finish Along Q1 Goals

Another year of the Finish Along begins and that means it's time for another ridiculously-long-finish-along list!

1. "It's Just a Phase" embroidery: This was supposed to be a Christmas present for my husband but I didn't get very far. His birthday is at the start of March, so that seems like a reasonable goal.

2. Fancy Forest Quilt: I'm piecing this as part of a quilt-along hosted by @Gnomeangel. If I manage to keep up with the pretty sharp pace being set, then I should have all the blocks pieced in the next few weeks, so I don't see why this shouldn't be a finish!

3. Super girl doll: If you saw my post a few days ago, I have already completed super boy, and it was not pleasant, but it was well received. The intended recipient of super girl has a birthday this quarter, so if it gets done, great, and if it doesn't, it may never!

4. Gypsy Wife: I was gutted that I didn't manage to get this quilt top pieced in time for the quilt along deadline, but I've kept up momentum and finished the last blocks this week. Construction of the quilt top will definitely be a challenge, but it's all cut and ready!

5. Neon City: I have a thing with my City Samplers...the big ones aren't finished. So I'm adding them all to this list - one of these lists, they will actually get done! For this particular quilt, it's the sashing that's holding me back. If I just did a little bit here and there it would soon be finished.

6. Original City Sampler: this is the oldest of my outstanding City Samplers, and the biggest. There will be another quilt along this year for these blocks which I'm planning on joining and it would be good for this to be finished before I start another. This is half-quilted, but I chose to do very dense quilting. Last time I got it out, I had done more than I remembered, but there is still a long way to go. To be honest, I'll be pleased with progress on this.

7. V and K's City Sampler: the third City Sampler that remains unfinished... this is a wedding present. I think we're aiming for their third wedding anniversary this summer. Again I'm stuck on the sashing...

8. Tula Butterfly: I managed to get this quilt top finished at the start of January for the end of the quilt along, but now I need to actually finish it, so I can enjoy using it on my own bed (not on my daughter's bed...). I've been looking out for a backing, but haven't spotted anything I fancy.

9. Summer Sampler 2016: Can you believe I'm only 3 blocks and some pesky sashing away from a finished quilt top. Can you believe it's been like this for months. I have the backing fabric ready to go, I know how I want to quilt it....

10. Zippy pouch for nail accessories. I've selected an Aneela Hoey pattern (because they are the best). And given that I keep losing my nail files, I should really prioritise this!

11. I'm taking part in the #Stitchedsewingorganizerssal on Instagram and coming up is an oversized zippy pouch. And it will be perfect for the Moccasin Dresden that keep on making an appearance on my list. I'm pretty confident this one will be a finish this quarter! I need to unpick it, split it in half, and then applique it to two bts of bigger background as a first step.

12. Gravity Quilt. Lol. I haven't touched this in 18 months, but when a friend started it as a BOM from one of the UK quilt shops, I said I'd join in when we got to the same point. I think we're about there... This is another quilt, where I think progress would be excellent.

13. 52 Weeks green and orange quilt: started this time last year, abandoned a few months later, but this will make a great baby quilt, and I know just the baby.

14. 52 weeks purple and teal. I only need a few more blocks....

15. Splendid Sampler. I have a plan. I need another 9 blocks, and then I've drawn up my setting pattern.
16. Dog quilt for Jessica: I've made one block of the three I need.

17. Cat quilt for Mia, because if one gets a quilt, the other does too. I'm going to use the Pen and Paper Patterns Kitten Around pattern but got a bit stumped picking "cat colours".

18. EJ+ Quilt. I made some more blocks for this recently and it has struck me that this isn't far from a finish either.

19.Narwhal Hoop for Mia - something I promoised for Christmas and failed to complete. I reserve the right to change the fabrics....

20 and 21. I want to make the girls hoops each every month this year, so last Autumn I took the opportunity of family travelling to the states to get a couple of pre-printed embroideries: a moon moth and a mermaid. I'm really looking forward to starting these. After I've given them a good press!

22. A cat embroidery design from Cinderberry Stitches is another hoop I'm excited to make. Though Mia has informed me she expects a Unicorn hoop as well (see fabric at the back!).

23. Last year I started a sampler for Easter but got a bit bogged down in a very intensive embroidery for it. The embroidery is done so it's time to finish it - the whole finished piece is less than 12"x12" so really I should manage!

24. I promised Steph and IPad case for Christmas and failed miserably. We're going for scrappy on the outside, to match her travel pouch and I'm going to upsize one of the patterns in the Stitched Sewing Organizers book.

25. I travel for work and for Christmas I got a new rucksack. It is definitely smarter than the old one (which I bought when I was at Uni) and it has a pocket for my laptop so I don't have to carry a really chunky laptop case with me, but I do want the laptop to be a little bit protected, so I want to make a case for it. I'm going to upsize the same pattern from the Stitched Sewing Organizers book as above for it and use the LV hexy flowers I started sewing last summer.

26. I'm going to make this pouch from Stitched Sewing Organizers as a birthday present using this beautiful peacock fabric I picked up recently and a bit of bling I picked up last year. This will be my first time with magnetic clippy things!

27. Mini half hexies: I bought some half-inch half-hexy papers and had a play. I really believe that if I were to concentrate on this project for just an evening, it would be done!

28. Threadfolk embroidery. When I pick this up, I really enjoy stitching it, but because it's for me, it's rarely prioritised.

Looking at that list, there are a lot of large quilts on it. If I get them all done, I'll have bought enough wadding to build a couple of tents! Whilst it isn't my longest list ever, it may well be my most ambitious! There are 10 good sized quilts listed and a few toddler ones on top. This time I may well be out of my mind!

Marci Girl Designs

Monday, 8 January 2018

Mandolin Quilt [A Start]

Last year, you may remember that I sewed along with the Ice Cream Soda quilt along. It was created by Jodi at Tales of Cloth, an Australian quilt shop. Each month I received a tiny little package full of paper pieces, and the plan was to stitch up 8 blossoms (or part blossoms each month). Inevitably I fell behind, but I thoroughly enjoy these blocks. They are quick and easy to stitch, I'm using a totally random fabric selection, and they look so pretty. There's no complex placement so these are the perfect sewing for travelling! All of Jodi's papers are cut from recycled paper, and they are just a little bit lighter-weight than the papers from Paper Pieces or available here in the UK. At first I was dubious, but they are so easy on the hands. I'm also working on the Round You Go quilt, using papers from another Australian source - Sue Daley Designs. These are the total opposite, glossy and slightly heavier weight than most. And you really can tell the difference. I'm much preferring the feel of sewing up the Ice Cream soda blocks.

With that in mind, it was a no-brainer that I would join in Jodi's latest offering. The 2018 quilt is called Mandolin. The blocks are bigger and there's fewer of them, but each has more, larger pieces. Jodi gave away some packs at the end of November - great bit of marketing! I was lucky enough to get my hands on one, and on boxing day I finally decided on my fabrics: I'm going to use a selection of fabrics from Tula Pink's Spirit Animal line, broken up with some pieces from my own stash. I'm not generally a huge fan of Tula's fabrics, but this one, with those little otters, seems to have got me. Thanks to the boxing day sales, I picked up a "few" fat quarters (and half yards of the otters).

I've put together that first block now. It was delightfully easy, the shapes were perfect for a bit of fussy cutting (something I want to try more of this year), and I love it (sadly, so does my daughter....)

If you want to join in, you can sign up at Tales of Cloth. I've paid for my whole year in advance, which saves postage - that comes to about a £20 saving over the course of the whole year, so definitely worth it! And I still get a little package from Australia each month! Do it - you know you want to!

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Finish Along Q4 review

It's the end of the quarter and time to take stock. I've also got a final finish to share. Back in October I planned to make some scrunchies for Mia - Christmas Eve was the day! Obviously. I used this tutorial and knocked up three scrunchies in just 45 minutes!

The rest of the list is a story of mixed results and reality! I have a total of  11 finishes: Two large quilts: Linda's owls and Pineapple Farm.

Two baby quilts: Fancy Forest and Allie Owl:

A Christmas lap quilt:

Two pouches: An open wide pouch

And a see-it-all Always pouch.

A hoop, a doll and Jessica's advent calendar (and the scrunchies of course)

Not bad for a busy quarter! But inevitably given the length of my list, some projects didn't make it. I was particularly disappointed that I wasn't able to give the girls a quilt each at Christmas as I had planned. Never mind - they'll go back on the next list which will inevitably be just as long!

You can find my original list here.

Fancy Forest II [A Finish]

I'm squeaking in a final finish before the deadline for linking up finishes for Q4 of the 2017 Finish Along before I compose my Q1 2018 goals. This is the second Fancy Forest baby quilt I've finished and is about 6 months late for it's recipient!

The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman. I've used fabrics from my stash for the most part, and the grey background is from a fabric range called To the Moon and Back by Lewis and Irene. It's quilted with a 2" cross hatch, and backed with a grey duvet cover! And finally, dark grey binding to frame it.

This will not be the last time you see a Fancy Forest this year... Mia and Jess both like this pattern, so I'm planning on making a full size Fancy Forest for us to keep!

This is a Finish Along finish for Q4 2017. You can find my original list here.

Super Boy [A Finish]

Last summer I bought a doll panel called Lil Superheroes. I bought it for Super Girl, but it came with a Super Boy and today was Finn's first birthday. You may remember he was the little boy, the son of Michael's cousin, who had to have open heart surgery aged 4 months to fix multiple holes in his heart. Well he's a little super hero so I decided to make it for his birthday.

Well, it will be something of a miracle if Super Girl ever gets made. This was not an enjoyable make and I have not inherited my Grandmother's doll-making abilities. Firstly the fabric was more like a tea-towel than quilting cotton, and it frayed a lot. And it was stiffer. And it was an absolute pig to turn the limbs through.

But it is done, and it was gifted and well-recieved today - Finn's Mum wanted to know where I'd bought it - I take that as a compliment (especially given the rather dodgy final seam thanks to the fraying I encountered).

This is a quarter 4 Finish Along finish - squeaking in before the deadline! You can find my original list here.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Round We Go [Month 4]

If November was tight, then December was just ridiculous. The December block was more involved than some of the earlier blocks, and this month they definitely took longer to piece - perfect for the busiest month of the year! I finished the final block with just 2 hours left of 2017. Here they are:

And you guessed it - still no applique happening over here!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Round We Go [month 3]

I have to confess that November saw some slippage... the idea of the Round We Go sew-along is to post a block every Friday, but to be in with a shot at the prizes, you just have to post four blocks by the end of the month. I just managed - it was close to the wire at the end! Here are the four blocks - thankfully quite straightforward!

And no, I haven't got any further with my mission to applique as I go... my plan for a Christmas miracle didn't happen!