Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Newborn colour

I am struggling to keep up in here lately. Austy will not have day naps anymore, so is very tired by the end of the day when I'm trying to cook and then I have a huge mess to clean up when I finally win the battle to get him into bed, which eats into my sewing, knitting, quilting time. I have quite a few baby gifts in progress for all these new babies popping into the world this year, so am happy to say that this one has been DELIVERED!! I thought I'd better get it to her before she grows out of it. These little longies landed at Natalie's house for her sweet little princess Cheriese. I even got to have a good cuddle while I was there, despite it being a very rushed visit as Austy was wreaking havoc at home while his Dad was trying to run cables through the roof and needed me home to help him out.

This little pair was made using the picky pants pattern from little turtle knits, and I tried out the ruffle edge. There was no photo of it on the pattern so I was very scared it would turn out bad... but I really started to like them once they settled a bit after my cast off. I dyed the wool with a bit of jelly (the blue and pink and a touch of the lavender) and with Kool Aid (still loving that stash my lovely bag swapper sent me from the US last year!) was used to get the deep purple and bright green. It was nice to knit with such happy colours. I was kicking myself for hiding the wool in the cupboard for a week thinking the dye job was bad (I was shocked at how dark the purple came out). It wasn't so bad after all!

Oh, and I am absolutely addicted to swaps, and it really must stop! I am not getting a study break this year as I have set a deadline for myself that I MUST finish my Masters by December, so I really need to stop overcomitting myself with so many babies on their way and assignments to do. But I will just do one more swap to end my addiction for a little while! ;) I have signed up for the Sassy Apron Swap. I liked the idea of making an apron that is quite simple to make and would let me play with some designs of my own. Then, browsing through flickr for inspiration lead me to this pattern. I think I am in love! It is an apron that DOESN'T make you look frumpy, is very modern and in the right fabric would look FABULOUS. Now I'm tossing up whether to order that pattern (just because I love it so much) or make one of my sketches a reality. Better get cracking, I have 4 weeks!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Little things

I have finished my doll quilt for the swap but still need to label and wash it before it can be sent on it's long journey to America (and believe me, it IS a long journey... I spent two whole days flying to get there back in February!)

And a sneak peak at something little on the needles... I spoilt myself and bought two skeins of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Quite expensive yarn, but something small like this is okay. I just LOVE how wonderfully soft it is. It almost feels like cotton, not wool, but even softer. I might just splurge again...

Oh and that's the back of the doll quilt you can see underneath.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Now for the fun part!

Here is my little quilt in progress for the Doll Quilt Swap 3. There are 300 tiny pieces in the background alone, and at one point I thought I was making a big mistake as it seemed to be taking forever and I wanted to get to the applique.

I did a test run last night on my sewing machine doing applique with invisible thread and a button hole stitch, but decided it would be much nicer if I did it by hand especially with those little leaves as they need to stand out a bit more. The quilting will help but perhaps a slightly darker embroidery thread will do the trick. ANd maybe I need a leaf or two more on the bottom branch. We'll see how sick of the handstitching I get before I add more though!

I have a gazzillion embroidery threads, but unfortunately none of them where the right colours so that's a good excuse to go to the quilt shop right?

Monday, 7 April 2008

One block down...

And I've made a start on the doll quilt! I spent most the night quilting one of those baby quilts as I have a primary school buddy that is ready to give birth any day now and I really need to finish it but the quilting table, teamed with a too low chair was giving my shoulder agony. I got to the borders and stopped... and pulled out more fabric to start something tiny. Inspired by Austy's teddy quilt that the lovely AJ painstakingly created I decided to challenge myself with tiny triangles. The seams don't meet perfectly but it's pretty hard when you're working on 3" finished 9 patch blocks (each triange is only 1" across) so I'm hoping that cuteness makes up for it!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Back into it

Please excuse my MIA status lately – we have had no internet since we left the old house 3 weeks ago.

We’re all moved in now, and can you believe I have actually been sewing! I had an exam to do on the Thursday before Easter which meant my first week at the new house was spent catching up on missed lectures and studying, but the Easter holidays gave me a chance to get the boxes in my sewing room emptied (we used the sewing room as the room to put everything when we moved and then as things got unpacked they were moved to their new homes so that we didn’t get overwhelmed by all the boxes). Once I begun, I was on a mission and had DH move my sewing desk in off the trailer on Good Friday night (despite it being near 11pm!). I set it all up again and was sewing by Saturday night, completing a strip pieced baby quilt top I started when I should have been packing in the final week at the old house (I only did a couple of blocks then but it was procrastination all the same!).

Then, once that was done I started a new quilt top, this time a gift for my sister (who’s birthday was on Friday a week ago... and the quilt still isn't finished!) using the moda day dreams charm squares that I knew would be perfect for her the moment I saw them. Just a simple disappearing nine patch, but I looked like I was going to run out of squares so added a couple of aqua ones in from my stash and then some white ones ready for either embroidery or appliqué. It turns out I ended up changing my configuration anyway to make it a square quilt so would have had enough charm squares, (with the two aqua ones added into the mix) but I guess it’s better this way as there are now white squares incorporated into the body of the quilt not just the border so they are not just looking like an after thought. But now it has been sitting with me wondering what to do with the blank squares...

These two, plus my pinwheel baby quilt top, Austy’s quilt top and my own D9P from the EB quilters charm square swap brings the tally of quilt tops up to FIVE! Something tells me I had better overcome my fear of the actual quilting and get them finished… especially since my sister’s is now overdue (not that she minds as she still hasn’t given me the birthday gift she promised me back in January.) I have armed myself with a machine quilting book, Emma’s wadding scraps and some calico to try my skills at a few exercises. I reeeeeeeeally wish I could meander and stipple, but I think I’d be happy with just using my darning foot for the first time at the moment. It’s like a big scary monster to me!

Austy also needed a new pair of PJ’s so as a reward for getting two assignments done last week I let myself sew, whipping up these snugly cute things. The fabric was just too cute to pass up. I wanted to do a dinosaur machine embroidery on the front but needed the net on to find a design so it has had to wait as the net only got connected (along with our phone) on Friday.

On the knitting front not a lot has been going on there as we have just come out of a heat wave (thank goodness the new house has a pool!) but it’s suddenly getting cool now so it will certainly come out of hiding. I have a few WIPs to finish off, and then DH’s Aunty popped over to give me some old patterns and fabric she had. In the pile was this booklet and I fell in love with the outfit on the front! That’s on the to do list now – too cute!

And finally, I have signed up for the flickr doll quilt swap! Not that I actually need a doll quilt, but I love making that size quilt. Austy still loves his little teddy quilt and it now adorns his dark wood toy chest with all his soft toys sitting around it. But this time I might get something to hang in my new sewing room to make it more like a crafty room rather than a bedroom with a sewing desk shoved in the corner. I have a plan and some beautiful FQ's and look forward to starting. My recipient still hasn't posted her preferrences so I'm just going to do it and cling to hope that she loves it. Helen and a few other EB Quilters are in on the fun with me!