Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time is running out!

I have a new set of classes starting on 7th January and I need to have a quilt designed and finished by then. I have decided to do a row by row quilt as this is something we haven't done before and will enable me to use some quilt blocks that are new to me and will be useful teaching tools. So far I have designed what I think will be the finished quilt and have six blocks interspersed with plain bands,flying geese strips and one Broken Sash strip which uses diamonds. Most of the blocks are eight inches square but I've also included a sailing ship block which is twelve inches square. Now I have to print out templates and start sewing each row. Then put it all together and back and bind it. If I have time I'll add more than one border. The size at the moment is 78 x 64. I've sorted out the fabric I'll use and I have the idea of scanning it into EQ5 so that I can do some trial colourations. The only thing is that I have to remember how to do this as it is a long time since I've used this program. I've used it to design the quilt but that is as far as I've got. I do have EQ6 but for some reason it dislikes being on my computer and is forever  crashing so I am sticking with EQ5 for the time being. I'm tempted by EQ7 but really don't use this program enough to warrant an upgrade.

On the Christmas front I am all prepared. Well I have a few presents still to wrap and I have to go food shopping tomorrow. Not something I'm looking forward to as it is sure to be crowded! I'm looking forward to a lovely quiet Christmas with time off from work to read and sew and generally refresh for the coming year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time is racing by!

I have been busy making cushions using photo printed fabric. This elephant one is a present so I have been rushing to get it into the post! Why is it that no matter how much one measures the size for the cushion pad there is always a dearth of filling in the corners! The answer is obviously to make one's own pads. Feathers would be better but then they are so heavy to post!
I have just looked at the weather forecast and it seems that we are due to have heavy snow at midnight! However it doesn't say how long this heavy snow will fall for. A minute and it won't amount to much but an hour and we could be snowed in, especially as it is blowing a gale too! Everything is done except for getting the Christmas food. All parcels are posted and presents bought and/or made. In fact I am feeling surprisingly chipper about the whole thing! So tonight instead of feeling I have to make something I'll take the opportunity to tidy the workroom up and see the worktop again!  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I even found time to make a new bag!

I have finished the second cushion kit and put it onto the website. I have enjoyed doing these cushions and found once the applique shapes were cut out that they were very quick and easy to do! 
The next cushions will done using printed

photos on fabric plus some toning hand-dyed cotton.
I then had time to make a new bag! I love bags and can't have too many of them. This one was so easy to do! 

I used some wool for the outside and some hand-dyed cotton for the lining. The bag also has wadding to give it body. I am a sucker for pockets so inside there is a large patch pocket on one side and a small pocket for a mobile phone on the other. Outside there are two pockets on either side of the bag. I used grosgrain ribbon to edge the outside pockets and to strengthen the strap. 

 I wasn't happy with the finishing of the strap so added a mother of pearl button and then not content with one button I added several and some twisted cord! This gave the bag a very funky look. I finished off by adding snaps to the outside pockets so that they wouldn't gape. I also put a magnetic clasp in when I did the lining. All in all a very useful bag and so simple to do!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Little Boxes

Now that I have a lovely new workroom to work in I have been making some little boxes for Christmas. I have done these before but thought that I'd make some more and share the method again as they are so useful for putting little things in and also I really enjoy making them! I hope you do too!  

Start by cutting a square of fabric and adding bondaweb to it. Then place the fabric over some paper and bondaweb to the paper. Cut off waste. You should cut 1 x *1/4 plus 1 x *. The size is up to you but one of the squares must be 1/4inch bigger to make the lid. A 6 inch square makes a small 2" box.

Fold the corners in to the centre to make a marked square. Then fold up the corners to the first crease as shown above.

Cut up to the middle square on opposite sides of the fabric as shown above. Fold the uncut sides in once and then again. Do this on both sides.

Fold in the cut edges as shown below and then fold over the end flap. Press the crease well.

Repeat at opposite end.

 Cut a square of fabric or card and push into the bottom of the box shape. Do this for both bottom and top. A dab of glue will hold them in place.

Now for the fun part. Decorate the top of the box with glitter glue and add beads, buttons, ribbon etc. Go to town!

I'm going into Truro tomorrow to buy some small gifties to put into them. I've seem some cute small chocolate Christmas puddings which will be just the thing for folk at work!   

Monday, December 06, 2010

Another overhaul!

 I am absolutely exhausted as I've spent the weekend changing my workroom. I was using the smallest bedroom as a workroom but at 7ft by 6ft it was proving to be too small for all the work that is going on now. So we decided to swap rooms and turn the second bedroom which is 8ft by 11ft into the workroom and as we rarely have visitors make the smaller room the spare room! The picture on the left is of the workroom as it was showing worktop over Ikea cupboards complete with drawers!

Well the first problem was that the smaller room just wouldn't take the furniture that had been earmarked for it! If we had the bunk bed set up then the wardrobe door wouldn't open and there was no room for the small chest of drawers either. So we have ended up with an enormous Victorian wardrobe which is 5ft in length and reaches the ceiling plus a double bed which folds up as a sofa when not in use! That all took time and left me worn out! Graeme had dismantled all the shelving and then put it all up again in the new workroom. Half way through this we had to go and buy a drill and some drill bits as my ex had taken all the drills with him! Eventually the shelves were up. While all this was going on the majority of stuff was piled in our bedroom and it was touch and go whether we would actually be able to go to bed that night! I then had fun finding spaces for all the boxes, books, fabric etc. I was amazed at how much came out of the little room. It must have been like the Tardis! While I was frantically trying to find homes for everything Graeme was putting two Ikea cupboards together. I already have two cupboards from Ikea with transparent drawers and the six foot worktop sits on top of them. I have another worktop and I wanted to put this up as well, hence the extra cupboards. However since I first ordered from Ikea they had stopped sending the transparent drawers by carrier and these are only available in store so I am drawer-less! I am waiting for a friend's son to collect her drawers and collect mine at the same time. So for the time being fabric and stuff is just stuffed into the spaces! This does mean that I can't find anything easily and as is always the case remembering where things are is going to take time and effort! I have been pretty good at labelling boxes.

Well to cut a long story short everything was either found a home or junked! The new workroom is brilliant and I can't wait to get in there and do some work. I have a new worktop area 6ft x 4ft with ironing and cutting out facilities in place. I even treated myself to a new iron! My Bernina sewing machine is set up separately on my sewing table so I can sew regardless of what is going on on the worktop. And I have all my books available! Just writing about it is making me quite tired! 

Lovely lot of space! 

I am getting quite excited because I have a small article coming out in the next issue of Popular Patchwork re our new packs. Now I have somewhere to work I can really get to grips with things!