Wednesday 31 May 2023

To Do Tuesday #22

Forgot to make a list last week! Never mind...I do know what I had in mind of finishing.

Very productive week for me...really knuckled down and got a lot of things done that have been on my 'mental' list.

But first of all, let me show you my little knitting adventure. Bought a beanie the week before and thought I could really knit that myself. Although a bit rusty in my knitting, I did find a number of patterns on the internet that seemed do-able and so I proceeded to knit up this little hat. Bit of a rocky start as I had forgotten quite a few things and reading the English patterns was a struggle (I knitted way back when I was still living in Germany and all the knitting terminology was obviously in German). After a bit of research and looking at a lot of pictures I got going...funny how quickly things come back to you. My only problem was that I needed to re-calculate my casting on stitches as I did not have the corresponding wool to the patterns I found. The hat took me about 2 days to knit. Loved it as I had some fun variegated yarn.

Here it is
Not perfect, but very cute. The next one I do I will need to cast on my stitches a bit firmer though, this one got a bit loose, however if you fold that over it fits perfectly. The decrease towards the top was an adventure as I did not have the right needles and had to improvise. Knitting this was a real pleasure and send me right back to those times when I was a very serious knitter. Will knit another one and then may attempt some socks, however will have to watch some YouTube videos before attempting that. I think I got the bug!

After this it was back to my quilting tasks.
Currently sewing on the binding on the table runner which is destined for a workshop in September. 

Had a lovely little surprise when Auribuzz featured part of my table runner in their Showcase Sunday post.
Nearly missed it as I did not read this post this time which actually was unusual as I normally read them. However I was alerted to it via Instagram where Aurifil had tagged me. That was really nice. The photo they took from IG was really clear and close up, so it looks really nice. Was a bit chuffed.

Also finished my charity quilts. Yah! Definintely was dragging my feet with this, but got the last one done in about a day.
A very brown quilt in country style fabrics. Initially I was going to do some ruler work in there, however decided against it as I needed to get these quilts out of the house. Had this lot for about three months by now and the charity quilters group only meets certain times, so I needed to get this done by the end of the month. So I meandered over this in a brown thread (which you actually can't even see in this photo). Felt that this suited this quilt as the brown pinwheels are very striking and I think ruler work in the cream parts would have been too much. Anyway, it's done.

Also basted my panel (and another little quilt which will showcase a new pattern).
For this panel I will probably do an edge-to-edge design over it using my trusted Golden Threads paper. Find that very relaxing and so rewarding. Just need to make a decision on what design to use.

A bit off topic, but last not least, I made another bread...this time following a definite recipe!
This is a Marbled Rye bread. Very yummy! If you are interested in bread making, I can highly recommend the following Craftsy class: "Artisan Bread Making"  with Peter Reinhart. This is just one of the breads that he is teaching. I have had this class for a while now and have made the beginner's bread a number of times and now moved on to the Rye bread. Still heaps more to explore. Peter is an excellent teacher and the recipes seem to work out great every time.

Now, my list for next week:
- start on an edge-to-edge design for the baby quilt panel; this will take some time as I need to trace the design a number of times on to the Golden Threads paper. Also I am a bit undecided about which design to use...feel like something new and have been exploring designs over at Urban Elementz (always dangerous as I end up spending money!)
- if time allows, start quilting in the ditch around my other small baby quilt and maybe even working on the draft for the pattern. We shall see.
- start knitting another the right needles now for the decrease of the top of the hat, so that should come together quickly.
- finish sewing on the binding on the table runner.

Linking up to To Do Tuesday #22 over at Quilt Schmilt


Friday 26 May 2023

To Do Tuesday #21 (On A Friday!)

Busy over here as usual and I am running behind all sorts of things. However I thought that I will post on my To Do Tuesday list so as to not lose momentum.

My list from two weeks ago was as follows:
- completing the quilt top for the new pattern (fingers crossed, nothing else goes wrong)
- making a start on the new table runner, i.e. minimal marking, probably just with some chalk and trialing a new thread (Robinson-Anton). Planning to have elements in there that will be stitched with variegated thread.
- cut and sew some borders to the panel
- not hopeful but let's put it on...baste a charity quilt.

Well, completed my quilt top for a new pattern. Very cute, 'just' need to do the write up
Then I made a start on the new table runner and actually finished it, except for the binding which I will put on tomorrow.

A truly improvisional little project. While I had my drawn out design, getting this on the actual fabric proofed different. Keeping as close to the measurements as I could, however bending the curves ever so slightly distinct from the picture gave me a few variations. Most notably, my feather section proofed too large to fill with just lines, so I pebbled around that to reduce the space. Will need to change that a bit to make it more stitching-friendly and easier to execute for a class. Apart from that worked out really well and came together quite easily. Lots of options for a class to put their own spin on it or use different designs to fill. I stitched this with Aurifil 50/2 thread on a cotton batting. I think I will repeat this on a light background using wool/poly batting to see what that looks like. Like this, it is truly flat as a pancake. 

Next was the panel...finished this by now just putting some borders on and will complete with an edge-to-edge design to go in my Etsy shop. Love those bright and happy!
After all this I got majorly sidetracked. Bought a slouched knitted hat in one of the galleries out of town.
Really nice little hat and best of all, covers your ears really well. In looking at it, I thought that I should knit my own. I used to be quite a prolific knitter when I was young living in Germany. Obviously in Australia the need for handknitted jumpers that keep you warm is not as great and over the years quilting replaced my hobby. I did knit a fair few jumpers and vests for my children when they were growing up but that eventually stopped. So over the last few days I have been researching these little plenty of wool still lying around and found a number of patterns (feeling a bit rusty to just work it out on my own). Let's see whether I still can get this together.

Also attempted bread-making earlier in the fail as I went with intuition rather than a solid recipe. Bread turned out hard as rock! Will try again over the weekend following a Craftsy class on bread-making, hopefully making a marbled rye bread 😅.

Linking up to To-Do-Tuesday over at Quilt to look at what other people are working on.


Wednesday 10 May 2023

To Do Tuesday #19 - Nothing Going To Plan

I am having a bit of an interesting week.

My tasks for the last two weeks were:
- sew some blocks together for the new pattern, actually start with the 10 easy four patch ones!
- continue stitching out the formal table runner
- discuss the organic table runner with the shop
- baste the last charity quilt.

I had a bit of a disaster with my 'formal' table runner. As posted earlier, several of my blue water erasable lines did not come out and left a faint brownish line behind. This has never happened to me before! To make matters worse, I tried to get that out with a stain removal soap product and this took out some of the dye from the fabric, so I got a bit of a faded spot instead of the brown line.

Disappointing, I think this did look quite nice
Nothing much I can do about reader suggested dying the whole thing. Not a bad idea, but would need to investigate this as I have never dyed anything before. For the moment though that project was put on hold as there was no point continuing. I might finish it off for myself, but not sure yet.

So I made a start on my next pattern...sewed some simple four patch blocks together and started on the alternate block the other day, merrily piecing along. I am piecing the Fancy Foot block which is an old fashioned type of block, but I think it looks great in bright colours.
Made 3 of those blocks yesterday...took me a while as I am a bit out of practice with my piecing.
Towards the late afternoon, I discovered what I thought was a slightly discoloured piece (in the photo above it is the white background in the yellow half square rectangle. Pays to have good lighting in your sewing room, as I only saw that when I took my block into the kitchen area to take a photo. Initially I thought that I had burnt the fabric...went ahead and replaced that section...only to find that the other cut pieces looked exactly the same! Then it dawned on me...I had cut those rectangles from different lots of what I thought was the same fabric. When I bought this, obviously thought they were exactly the same, but when you hold them against each other in daylight, one is slightly more on the cream side. Inspecting my three blocks, they all had one or two of the more creamy fabric in there which looked awful as the other white background is really white.

So today, I cut new rectangles from the bit of the snow white fabric that I had left (just enough!) and undid all 3 blocks and replaced the offending sections. As you are working on the bias with those rectangles, this was annoyingly tricky but I got there in the end. Now have a total of four have to laugh really...this should not have taken more than one afternoon to piece together!

Apart from this, I did discuss another table runner for a workshop with the sewing shop and will need to get stitching on that shortly. Also bought a new panel while I was there. Too cute!
Just needs some borders and some quilting and then this can go in the Etsy shop. Love doing those panels.

So, all in all, not the bestest of weeks, but I am hoping that I am now on my way to get some things finished.

For the coming week I am planning on:
- completing the quilt top for the new pattern (fingers crossed, nothing else goes wrong)
- making a start on the new table runner, i.e. minimal marking, probably just with some chalk and trialing a new thread (Robinson-Anton). Planning to have elements in there that will be stitched with variegated thread.
- cut and sew some borders to the panel
- not hopeful but let's put it on...baste a charity quilt.
Hopefully things are starting to look up. LInking up to Quilt Schmilt for the To Do Tuesday #19 Linky Party


Monday 8 May 2023

Win Some, Lose Some

Well, I had an interesting two weeks. I have been working steadily away on my 'formal' table runner. It took ages to do the grid on there and I decided to take out the markings closer to the end as I found the blue lines were starting to be very distracting in terms of deciding whether to fill more or leave it.

It looked great so far. So I took the markings out by rinsing it in cold water as I always do. This time though I noticed that I had some brownish lines left, particularly on the center lines 😒. What happened?

This has never happened to me before in all the years of quilting using the blue water erasable markers. Tried to get this out with a bit of stain remover soap...bad mistake, as it also whitened the fabric a touch.

Can you believe it? I tried to think whether I did anything differently this time, but can't really come up with anything. I washed my fabric before quilting as I always do, I used the same old markers...too weird. The only thing I could come up with was that I usually go through my draws and get a handful of markers out and then see which one has the most colour left rather than take a brand-new marker out of a packet. I remember I did mark the center lines in parts with one of the older markers which also happened to be a different brand. As it turned out too weak I then used my normal, newer marker to finish off the lines. Could it be that these markers have a shelf life and somehow chemically change after a while? I certainly have heard people talking about having brown lines left but this was usually in the context of having left the marker on the fabric for some time. This certainly was not the case for my project. The marking and quilting happened in the last two weeks.

Well, so it is spoilt...I was going to sell it but this is obviously not going to happen now. On the positive side, it freed me up to start the next table runner as I am not going to fill in any other areas on this one now. Bit of a pity but what can you do. Just glad that I did not start my larger wholecloth and have this happen...that would have been terrible and I would have been beside myself. Definitely will buy all new markers when I am ready to quilt that one! 

My new table runner should be interesting...less formal with a lot of fun elements which does not require any tracing.
Something similar to this...again, designed in Affinity Designer 2 this should be a bit more versatile than my 'formal' table runner was and should be a lot more fun to do. Thinking of quilting this out on a grey fabric with a light-green thread. 

Never boring over here!


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