First quilt for 2019 finished! I started this Sweetest Things sampler at the beginning of 2018. They released one block a month. Next month the post on how to finish the quilt will be posted, but I knew how I wanted to finsh it. Have to say, I am glad it is done. I used supersoft minky for the backing

 

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2019 ideas

I actually think this is the first time I write ‘2019’ anywhere, and it is already the 10th of January! Yes, it is here. It arrived quietly in our house where everyone went to bed around 10 ish. I was awake at midnight to send messages to my children spread all over the world, and to family in South Africa

The year started with us giving the lounge and computer room a good clean. We washed the carpets, washed windows, polished everything, the new curtains (which I bought early in 2018) went up. Rubbish into the rubbish bags. It looks sparkling clean there. I then gave the kitchen a good clean too, although it is one room I like clean and tidy all the time

My ideas/plans for 2019:

  • Breadmaking! I want to bake bread and bread rolls and everything bread related and would love to do it at least once a week. I have never really been into breadmaking and used the breadmaker for dough for ‘vetkoek‘, a yummy SA dish I make about once a year. We love having it with mince meat, mustard and tomato sauce. But this year I want to bake bread in the oven. Mix it in the breadmaker, but bake in the oven. Of course, as it happens when you plan stuff like this, the breadmaker decided it’s not on and stopped working. I ordered a new one and it should be here tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I am going to get the ingredients for a basic white bread and bread rolls
  • Sew underwear. Since my breast cancer journey my breasts are quite uneven and I find it hard to find comfy bras. I tend to wear bralettes now, but they are not really very pretty. And I love pretty undies. No, I am definitely not going to attempt a fancy bra!!!!! But I have found several bralette patterns and tutorials which I am keen to try.
    I have also found several easy panty patterns, different styles and plan to try those as well. And when I decide which ones are the most comfy, after trying all these patterns I am going to make myself really pretty underwear sets. I started thinking about this last year already and bough stretchy lace and knit fabric for the big undie sewing year 🙂
  • I am going to sew for myself! I need new tops and  have several patterns I want to try out. My fabric is ready, just need the courage. When my children were small I made all their clothes, as well as my own. But life happened and I just didn’t get to it for many years. Not sure how well it will go, after so many years of not sewing for myself I have lost a bit of self-confidence
  • Sell online. Last year I tried one market, I didn’t enjoy the experience and do not even want to think about it again. But I have joined a FB group where members sell their goodies. It is open to the public, but they have quite strict rules to sell. Luckily my stuff past the test, my care labels are ready. I added my advert for Reading Pillows a couple of days ago and basically immediately received my first order. The pillow has been made, it has been paid for and will be posted tomorrow. Eventually I am going to add dolls clothes and other bits and pieces. But there is no rushIMG_3289.JPG
  • Hardanger. Yes, this is the year. Kathy, a fellow blogger is developing an online course/tutorial to follow as a SAL. My materials are ready. I am ready 🙂 Can’t wait!
  • I also hope to finish my SS2 quilt. Still 7 blocks to complete, then crochet the border rows. It won’t take long to complete, I think if I set aside a week and make a block or two everyday I can get it done quickly. I planned from the beginning to make a 7×7 quilt and I am happy with the size. Mollie is happy with it too
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  • Finish the Honeybee quilt. The last block will be released this month, with instructions on how to complete the quilt in February. I should be able to have a completed quilt by the end of February. It is such a pretty design
  • Make cloth shopping bags. Here in our town there are no more plastic shopping bags at the supermarkets and we must take our own bags/boxes/container. I found a lovely pattern for shopping bags. It even has a lining which will make them stronger. The plan is to use cheap, but strong, calico
  • Make machine covers for my sewing machines. I do sew a lot, but there are times when, for example, my embroidery machine is not used. I am going to make pretty machine covers for the embroidery machine, the sewing machine, the serger and the cheap sewing machine

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I have a long list of things I want to sew, some in the above list, but many just random ideas or patterns I want to try out. I want to embroder the shopping cloth bags, I want to embroider the machine covers before making the covers. I need a new bag for my Hardanger supplies as I gave the one I made for myself away. I am busy making touletry bags for my daughter and her partner, to be mailed to Canada. I also want o make my daughter a zipped infinity scarf, to be mailed with the toiletry bags. I want to smock and make a rainbow dress. Maybe a rag quilt………

Sewing room update

This is a very cold winter and we have found that heating this old house is turning out to be a very expensive experience. We mostly use a woodburner upstairs, which means it is lovely and warm there and still freezing cold downstairs. It is the same on the days we decide to use the heat pump instead of making a fire, but although the heat pump does the job upstairs it is very expensive to run

At first we considered installing a heat pump downstairs too, but when my husband retires we will be on a limited income and definitely would not be able to afford to run it upstairs and downstairs, it will simply be too expensive

So we decided to get a second woodburner downstairs in my sewing room. Of course I am very happy about this because the is my ‘hang out’ space with all my needlework stuff, a comfy chair, television, books and sewing machines and fabric. A very expensive one-off expense, but the payoff will be cheaper living costs in future winters.

The negative is that, because the sewing room is downstairs, immediately below the lounge, the flue had to be channeled through the lounge and we now have this big round black pipe running through the lounge area. On the positive side – when the woodburner is going downstairs the lounge will automatically be heated a little bit too. And because heat rises this could mean that we will only have to light both fires on extremely cold days. Or that is the theory 🙂

Does it look good with a flue running through the lounge, where there is already a woodburner? No, not necessarily, but we have to heat this place to have a comfortable and affordable life and the sacrifice had to be made. If this is where we will be in the future we had to do something about heating it and this was a good solution. I even think it could be a positive point when we eventually sell the place as it would suit a big family and they can use the sewing room as a children’s place. There are still plenty of other bedrooms left to fill with said children

I love my sewing room even more now as I can see myself all snug and warm, sitting in my chair with hand sewing, in front of the fire, watching perfectly good rubbish on the tv. With the cats enjoying the warmth with me (the sewing room turned out to be a ‘no man, no dog’ area)

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We will be hanging blinds in the window next to the woodburner as curtains could be a fire hazard.

The woodburner wiil not be used this winter as I am leaving for my trip to see the children in 3 sleeps’ time. Still can’t believe this is happening as it was a very late-minute decision to take the trip now. Friday we will drive over to Christchurch we the airport is (about 3 hours over the Southern Alps), then fly to Sydney, then Hong Kong and at this stage it seems Japan! After a few weeks in Japan and then Hong Kong it could maybe be New York, before leaving for Canada to visit my daughter. According to her I will be there for at least a month

I am potentially planning a little detour when in New York – maybe fly to Tampa, Florida and surprise an old primary school friends who lives there. We haven’t seen each other for nearly 50 years and I think it could be time for a catch up. We’ll see if this plan comes together

I have packed some hand appliqué blocks to sew a my daughter’s. This is for a cat quilt I was tempted to make. Once a month a block is released of this mystery quilt (The Little Red Hen’s Wooly Mysteries)  and the layout will be released in December. Seven blocks have been released already but I joined quite late and haven’t made a single block yet. In preparation to my trip I prepared all seven blocks, packed thread and needles and hope to come back home with completed blocks. The face details will be embroidered and the plan is to use small buttons for the eyes (Can’t believe I am making ANOTHER quilt!!!!!!)

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In the meantime I am up to date with the Splendid Sampler and the Sweetest Little Things QAL’s. I have made all the blocks released up to date. When I come back there will be two Sweetest Little Things blocks to make and quite a few for the Splendid Sampler.

Cat quilt done

The cat quilt is done, and it even comes with authentic cat hair! It is lovely and warm with the cuddly minky backing. I had to order the fabric for the backing online and, of course, did it without measuring the quilt first. It was a huge relief when it was just enough! I am planning to use the quilt as it is freezing cold here in New Zealand. We are definitely experiencing a very cold winter this year

Also had a lazy day in front of the embroidery machine today. Decided to make myself a needlework bag. The eight blocks which will be used for the front of the bag are all completed and ready to be turned into a bag. And because I am making it for myself I could go into blue overload!img_0582.jpg

2018 – the year of quilting

It is funny how I suddenly find myself in the middle of four quilts! The cat quilt topping was made last year and then put away. I have now added the batting and done the quilting, just to add the backing and binding and it will be finished! As with the SS quilt I decided to give it a minky backing. The moment it arrives (I ordered the fabric online as we the closest fabric shop to me is nearly 4 hours away) I’ll finish the quilt and it will be ready to be used. Mollie already tested it and I think it has her approval.

The second quilt is the Sweetest Things Sampler QAL. A third of the blocks has been completed and joined. One block a month is released and block 6 will be released in July. In the meantime I am making the Irish Chain blocks. Five done, eight more to go. I have a feeling this quilt will also get a soft and cuddly backing

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And then the Splendid Sampler QAL. Block 3 will be released tonight. I am completing the blocks as I go, back and front, and crochet a border around each before joining the blocks

I have another quilt topping completed (Going to the Zoo), it just needs backing and binding. I am definitely planning to complete this quilt soon too, it has been put away since last year.

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This is turning into a quilting year, not what I expected at all!

Splendid Sampler 2

Can’t believe block 2 has just been released – we only started with block 1 the other day! I decided to use the Splendid Sampler blocks for a crochet fusion quilt instead of a normal quilt. I usually enjoy making the blocks, but do not enjoy finishing off the whole quilt, and I am not really very good with it. But in the past I enjoyed making fusion quilts. This way I complete each block – with minky fabric on the back of the block and crochet around each block; these blocks can then be joined and I can add as many blocks as I like. With the previous SS QAL I completed just over 50 blocks and used it for a quilt. My aim this time is at least 49, for a 7×7 quilt, but it will be possible to add more if I feel like it. And then crochet a border around it

So here are my first 2 blocks 🙂 The main colour will be blue, with a touch of yellow, green, white and navy; and of course white around all the blocks as well as the border eventually

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Sewing the blanket stitch around the block before I could crochet was a huge problem for the first block. I used the same yarn for the blanket stitches and it was really difficult to get the needle through the layers of the block. For block 2 I used DMC for the blanket stitches – it was much easier to do and actually looks better. I am going to leave block 1 as it is, but will use DMC for all the future blocks. I think this is going to be a pretty quilt