Friday, 29 April 2016

Big Jack Little Jack

Another Union Jack is finished for today's link up at Finish It up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

This is going to go in the top left hand corner of the New Zealand flag and so is quarter of the size of the first flag block I made.

This is made up of 1 1/2" squares and will finish at 25" x 12 1/2".

Lots of people asked for a pattern after I finished the first flag and so, whilst making this one up, I wrote one.  That's now finished aswell and is winging its way to pattern testers today!  It has been such an exciting time but just before I posted them off today I had a huge bout of nerves.  And I do mean HUGE ..... I actually felt really sick and couldn't catch my breath properly!!  What was that all about?  It's a quilt pattern for goodness sake!!
So I have two weeks left  to get the rest of the New Zealand flag finished and to combine both flags into a cohesive quilt.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

And onto New Zealand ...

So work is still continuing on Should I Stay or Should I Go?  Click here, here and here for previous updates.
I needed to make a smaller scale Union Jack for the New Zealand flag and took the opportunity of making that to start to write the pattern for it.  Phew - there's a lot of toing and froing when writing a pattern.  If I had just been making the flag it would have been finished by the weekend but having to document each stage has slowed down the actual making stage. 
It certainly has been a steep learning curve writing a pattern, but I am almost at pattern testing stage.  I had already bookmarked the Pattern Writing Series that Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs had put together.  It really was a great read with lots of great advice and tips from her and other prominent pattern writing bloggers to boot.
This Union Jack is made up of 1" finished squares and will measure 25" wide by 12 1/2" high.  Luckily I used a Sizzix 1 1/2" square die to cut the squares approx 230 of them in all!  So this is where I am up to - fingers crossed I will get time to finish this today.
I also worked on the paper pieced stars for the body of this flag.  Paper piecing is really new to me and I am not sure yet whether I am a fan or not!!  I will post more about my process in another post but for now you can see the steps below ....

It looks such a mess at the stage below ....

But what I was left with, after much unpicking, resewing and maybe just a bit of cursing is this ....

I have to say that as a novice to this I am really pleased.  There are a couple of white strips that don't match up precisely but I think I may drive myself crazy if I try for 100% perfection.  Also those white strips finish at 1/8" so there's really not much room for manoeuvre!  I have another 3 to make so it will be interesting to see if they get better ..... or worse!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social today.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Work in Progress .....

is currently my Should I Stay or Should I Go? quilt.  It has certainly moved on from last week, thank goodness because the days just keep slipping by - I have just over 3 weeks to get this finished, quilted and bound.
So there was a 111 red squares to cut out and arrange ....

and rearrange ....

and sew together.  I get so much pleasure from such a simple piece of patchwork - I love it!

Resulting in this ....

Then there were the quadrants to trim and border in white, followed by putting it all together.  Ta-da!!

The sun even came out that day so I could get outside to take some photos!

I am so happy with how this has turned out - could you tell be the number of pictures I've taken?  I also had some amazing feedback from a FB group I am a member of and the upshot is that I am going to write a pattern for this.  Who knew the Union Jack would be quite so popular?!! 

I am so excited, a little nervous and a little apprehensive but I have to do this all over again in a smaller scale for the New Zealand flag.  This gives me the perfect opportunity to refine the techniques and get some cutting and piecing instructions written down.  Then off to pattern testers!!!  If you were here, you would have just heard me squeak because I am that excited - what's hard is that with my husband away I can't just fully dive into it - there's still children to look after and home educate!!!

It is just so cute in the smaller version - each square finishes at just 1".  And yes, those are my pyjama trousers - you've got to strike whilst the iron's hot don't you?!!  If you fancy being a pattern tester then please do leave a comment below and I can get in touch. 

I am linking up to Let's Bee Social over at Lorna's blog today.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Last Wednesday I showed you the start of a new project, which has now been named Should I Stay or Should I Go?  I spent the majority of Thursday working on the pattern and trying different methods of getting the same result.  I posted a 'finish' on Friday as the fact I had two patterns for the two different quadrants that were reproducible.
So progress since then amounts to .... a lot of work but only one photo!!!
These blocks need to be trimmed and will square up to 12 1/2" by 20 1/2" and be bordered on two sides by 2" white, which is cut and waiting to be sewn on.  The next step is to cut 111 2 1/2" squares in the red materials and get piecing!
My husband left for New Zealand on Sunday so the weekend was spent with him and then the last couple of days have been spent finding a new rhythm to our days ...... Tomorrow morning is planned as child free studio time so I am hoping to have this flag close to finished - then I just have the NZ flag to tackle!
I am linking up to Let's Bee Social again this week over at Sew Fresh Quilts. x

Monday, 11 April 2016

2016 Finish Along - Quarter 2

I have really enjoyed playing along with the Finish Along again this year - it really does motivate me to get projects finished and there's always a finish in there that goes back a looong time!
I recently linked up all my Quarter 1 finishes and now here's the rather long list for Quarter 2 ....

The rolled over projects first:

1.  ANZAC Hearts - is being rolled over AGAIN :(  It was made in the first Quilting Bee I was part of and I really want to get it finished.  I now have an idea for how I am going to quilt it and just need to order the thread.  Fingers crossed for this quarter!  UPDATED - finished 14 May 2016 - read all about it here

2.  Project Linus House Blocks - These blocks were collected from Festival of Quilts and need to be pieced together and quilted.  UPDATED 17/06/2016 - this is now finished and blogged about over here.
3.  My studio blind didn't get touched last quarter ...... so here it is again!
4.  My version of the Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap for me to keep - I loved the mini I made to send off in the swap and am determined to have something similar in my studio!  UPDATED 28/06/2016 - this is now completed .... but in a totally different colourway!  Head over here to take a look.

5.  Crocheted hexagons!  I now know what I am doing with these and actually bought the cushion inner last quarter.  Have to decided exactly how they will become a cushion cover and make it!
 6.  A Christmas top already pieced, from the same box of donations for Project Linus!!  Yet again it needs to be quilted and bound ready for distribution.  Maybe if I keep adding it to my list it will be done in time for Christmas! 

7.  Italian Houses - this was started in October 2015 at a workshop with Gillian Travis.  It had to go on the shelf for a while because I didn't have the right blue for the sky ..... but now I do plus I have the wadding for inside.   Now all I need is the time!

8.  EPP hand pieced hexagons - this is going back a long time.  I finally got them all pieced the quarter before last but then shelved it again.  This quarter I am going to make it into something!

Project Linus items to finish:

9, 10 & 11  These tops were pieced by some of my regions Young Quilter's and were given to me by their teacher.  These need quilting and binding.  UPDATED - 03/06/16  You can see the completed quilts here, here and here.

12, 13, 14 & 15  These tops were pieced at a local Home Ed group - the children enjoyed choosing the fabric and making the tops .... with a little bit of help.  They also need quilting and binding. 

UPDATED 03/06/16  No 12 this is now completed and can be seen here.

UPDATED 13/06/16 No 13 this is now completed and you can read about it here.

UPDATED 15/06/16 No 14 this is now completed and you can read about it here.

UPDATED 16/06/16 No 15 this is now completed and you can read about it here.

16.  Hearts for Project Linus - in the new year I put a call out for heart blocks for Project Linus and lots came in.  It's now time to get these made up into tops.  I'm not sure how many there will be in the end!

And onto new projects started since January:

17.  Pears - from a workshop with Gillian Travis.  This will be made into a wall hanging.

18.  Say Cheese! This requires quilting and binding.  UPDATED - 13/05/2016 All done - head over here to have look!

19.  Should I Stay or Should I Go? Lots to do on this yet ......  UPDATED Finished on 16/05/16 - head over to the final reveal post!

20.  Back to Front - this started life as a pieced backing but had a life of it's own!  With a little bit more work it will become a quilt of it's own, probably for my niece.

21.  The alternate quilt for my daughter - having decided she didn't want a bloack a dn white (when it was half finished) we have, together, decided on a feather quilt.  This is a very new project so will probably roll over into next quarter but if it's on my list it's on my mind!

22.  Purse for my daughter - she has requested a zippered purse with a pocket for her library card - I think I can oblige!

23.  Bean bag for my other daughter - the calico inner has been made for a while now but not the outer.  It really doesn't take long so must get this ticked off!  UPDATED 30/06/2016 - finished this morning just in time!  Head over here for the finish post.

Dressmaking projects:

24.  Summer top for me

25.  Pyjama trousers for youngest daughter - in vintage sheeting to match mine!  UPDATED 13/06/2016 all done and being worn - hooray!  Read all about them here.

Phew that's my longest list yet!!  Even if they don't all get finished, which in truth I probably won't, it has at least clarified what I want to make in my mind.  Dressmaking has taken a real back seat lately and I would love to get back into the habit of making clothes for the girls ... whilst they still want them!
Are you playing along?  There are still a few days left to get your list made and link up.  I am linking up at Mrs Sew and Sow - hopefully see you there!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Part 1 finished ....

On Wednesday I showed you the start of new project. Yesterday I started on the Union Jack flag.  Today it will just be pictures, although I do have rather a lot to say about the process!!

If you are wondering what 'the finish' is .... it is the fact that I now have two patterns for the different quadrants that are fully reproducible.  For me, after the last couple of days, that certainly is a finish!!  Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday. x

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Let's Bee Social ....

It seems like ages since I have linked up to Lorna's lovely little (or rather big really!) gathering, aka Let's Bee Social, on a Wednesday.  Today I have made a concerted effort to take some photos and get a post up!
It's a new project and it's got to be fully finished by Friday 13 May - just counted the days and that is just over 5 weeks.  I should get it done, although there's the added issue of my husband disappearing for 3 1/2 of those weeks back to New Zealand!  I made my first entry for a show in 3 1/2 weeks last summer and was fully encouraged by all the support I got here each Wednesday.  I think I may use this link up as a push to show my progress.
It's based on flags - the Union Jack and the New Zealand flag ...

When I wasn't so well before Easter I started planning and practicing the little paper pieced stars ....

Then onto the design of the Union Jack.  I know that there are some patterns out there but, as is my way, I wanted to design it myself.  That way I know it will fit my required measurements and also be as true to the flag's dimensions as I can make it.

It's going to be made up of 2 1/2 squares - a lot of them ....

I have finally put chalk to blackboard in my studio and have written up a rather long list of things to be done!

Finally got to the stage of playing around with some of the squares ....

So there's some serious sewing to do in this house, but we're off ice skating now!!! x


I am so pleased to announce that my new website has been launched.  It's taken me some time to build and it's not all finished yet b...