Friday, January 23, 2015

12, 12 and 12 in Twelve

12, 12 and 12 in Twelve

What the heck am I on about?

I'm hoping to have twelve quilty, twelve sewy and twelve knitty finishes in twelve months.

My aim is finish up some UFO's as well as start AND finish some new things each month.
I'm not going to be overly strict with myself, I'm just aiming to get things done. For example I have about four quilts that just need the binding sewn down - I'm only going to count them as one finish as they were nearly finished last year. Each new clothing sewing pattern will be one finish - eg if I make three pairs of pyjama pants like I did today, it's just one finish, not three.

Wish me luck and feel free to join me!

I really want to make a dent in my clothes fabric and pattern stash. I seem to be very good at buying the fabric and even better at buying the patterns but not so good at actually sewing some clothes.
I needed a break from the Swoon quilt - I made a few frustratingly stupid mistakes yesterday so I decided the universe was trying to tell me something so I put it aside and got out my kids PJ pants TNT pattern, the 'Snug as a Bug' pattern by Make it Perfect.

I made a pair of shark PJ shorts for Harvey - all sharks are called Bruce the Shark in our family so these will be his Bruce the Shark jarmies. 
Lachy got some long foxy pants. The majority of his clothes are hand-me-downs as the boys are born at the same time of year, all of Harvey's old clothes are the right size in the right season. Even though he has heaps of jarmies, I figured I should still make some just for him.

I also made some Bruce the Shark PJ pants for my nephew. He too will be enjoying many hand-me-downs pre worn by my boys so he definitely deserves some new duds too.

Due to being a somewhat selfish sewist, I have also been making for me.
I made my first 'Saltspring' dress, a pattern by Sewahaloic
Like most people who have made this dress before me, I didn't bother with the zip in the back.
It's really pretty and feels lovely and swishy to wear. It's a cotton voile from Spotlight and lined with some plain black voile. I accidentally ripped one of the back straps when wearing it yesterday but it won't stay on the mending pile for long because I love it and want to wear it again.
So much so....
That I made a short version.
Once again some Spotty voile. This time I just self-lined it as it can be a bit see through.
I went a size down from my first one and made the lining shorter so it's less blousey.
It almost seems like I know what I'm talking about with this clothes sewing malarkey.
I don't.
I do enjoy reading sewing blogs and sewing pattern reviews and I feel like I am learning heaps which hopefully help avoid some novice mistakes.

As for my knitting...
 I knitted the sleeves on this little number.
It's far from perfect as I decided to alter the pattern and when I started it I knew at lot less than I do now. Anyway, I'll stash it for a while...just in case...or gift it to a tall baby with a thin neck.

So my 12, 12 and 12 in Twelve is going bloody well so far.

I should have a few more finishes before the end of the month so I am definitely on track for my goal but then again, it's early days.

Emails were bouncing back but I think I've managed to fix it - if not, thanks for reading and commenting, it's good to be back!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bikinis and cardigans

I've continued on with my knitting and am definitely getting better and quicker and of course making lots of mistakes and learning as I go.

On a whim I decided I wanted a long, squish cardy and I had some gorgeous raspberry coloured wool/bamboo yarn that needed to be knit.
So began the 'bikini Cardy'.
Although the idea of a big cardy and a tiny bikini doesn't necessarily make much sense the cardigan pattern did, so I took the plunge (sorry for the pun). I only had about 3/4's of the amount of yarn that the pattern called for so I was never going to make it as long as the pattern.

Done. Well sort of, it still needs buttons but I've worn it several times without them. Fortunately, although it is summer and today is 40 degrees Celsius, I have had cause to wear it several times lately as we've had a few cold snaps.

As soon as the Bikini Cardy was off the needles I started my first ever sock. Since this pic I have turned the heal but I've stalled, becoming distracted with the next project. 
A coat/cardy, the 'Moonshine Cardy' which I'm knitting with Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Stellar' 50/50 wool/bamboo. 
So you don't think I've completely gone over to the yarny dark side - the last few weeks of 2014 saw me itching to sew but I was reluctant to start something new. Well, I wasn't reluctant, I really wanted to start something new but I decided to be sensible and try and get some things finished.
So the 'Swoon' quilt saw the light of day. I completed the block on the bottom left and have since done another and cut two more.

In order to keep myselve on track with my sewing and maybe, just maybe get through some UFO's and be a finisher rather than a starter with a nasty case of Startitis, I thought I'd set myself a challenge in 2015.
More to come...

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Grand Tour - Part 2

Of course the ultimate destination was the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.
We arrived a few days before the quilt festival started so that we could go to some luncheons and enjoy some classes.
The class I was most excited about was the 'Longarm Quilting - Maybes, Gonna be's and Wanna be's' with Linda Taylor.
The stars and loops was my first attempt with the pantograph pattern on the machine. I'd love to claim the border print but that was pre-done for us and we then quilted a ballerina. It was great fun to get the chance to use the Gammil Longarm but I didn't manage to fit one in my suitcase to bring home. 

Other than the massive market hall at the George R. Brown Convention Centre, there was the quilt displays.
We saw some amazing and awe inspiring quilts.
The following are a tiny example of all we saw...

Of course I managed to spend a bit over the four days at the show.
I extended my foxy fabric collection -  
It's not the greatest photo but that giant pile of stuff on the table is what I brought home.
Some were gifts but most was for little old me! 
Some cultural delights to take home to share. 
And not one, but two pairs of cowgirl boots
When I got home, I was greeted by Harvey holding this sign at the airport 
And then another tasty Mr CP cake creation. 
Lucky me!
I missed the boys and of course Mr CP and feel very, very lucky that I was able to take the time away and fulfill a dream with my aunt.
We had a wonderful trip together and we're still speaking after spending 24/7 with each other!

After such an inspiring and quilt-filled few weeks -There's so much to sew!!!
I have big sewing plans for 2015....


Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Grand Tour - Part One

 In October 2014 I was lucky enough to to fulfill a big dream.
My aunt and I travelled to the U.S. on the quiltiest of holidays.

First stop on our itinerary was Paducah, Kentucky.
Paducah is known for its quilt festival in Spring but for the rest of the year it doesn't get a lot of tourists. When we told people we were from Australia we usually got the response of "what the heck are you doing in Paducah?!?!?!"
Pretty buildings like this downtown are a good start.
The National Quilt Museum was our ultimate destination.
We got to see an amazing collection of quilts but of course couldn't take pictures inside. 
The second reason of going to Paducah and if I'm honest, one of things I was most looking forward to on the whole trip was visiting the Hancocks of Paducah fabric shop.
It was amazing.
Almost overwhelming. 
I've shopped online with Hancocks many times and it was great to finally see the place in person.

I was somewhat restrained and in hindsight, shouldn't have been but luggage weight was always on our minds.   
From Paducah we flew to Washington DC where we played tourist...

and I spent some pocket money at a very cool yarn store. 
We walked and walked around the city, enjoying the sights - so many landmarks and buildings that we've seen in movies and TV shows.

From DC we caught a train to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, an area heavily populated by the Amish.

It took me a while to realise that what was missing was the power lines.

As you can see, it's not hard to buy a quilt in Lancaster.
We spent the day shopping in the towns of 'Bird in Hand' and 'Intercourse' and then an  at a farm, having dinner with an Amish family.

Next up, Houston....


Friday, January 2, 2015

I think I might get back to this blogging shindig

I'm hoping to get back to blogging, I miss having a document of all I have made.
I need to take some photos so in the mean time.
I've been crafting aplenty in my absence but for the most part my life is full of my boys.
Lachy is finally in his big boy bed as of last night.
Not that he sleeps all that much....
We had a long bout of gastro. Unfortunately I got my turn on Christmas Day :(

And my wee boys partied hard. 
But Lachy knows to sleep with one eye open - always a good idea when you're the youngest. 
Catch you again soon,

Sunday, April 20, 2014

When you ail, knit.

Last weekend I came down with a yucky cold. I haven't felt that awful for a long time.
I figured some quiet knitting time would heal me.
Turns out it was a good decision as I got worse and spent two days in bed.
Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Luxury' in Ruby
Look! I've made a very cropped sleeveless cardy which will eventually (hopefully not too far away) become a long, long-sleeved cardy.
I'm making Harvest by Tin Can Knits and I'm loving it.
There was a fair bit of frustration until I got the hang on the raglan increases but considering a week and a half ago I didn't really know what a raglan increase was....I'm stoked.

My arms were getting a little tired as the Harvest cardy is getting a little heavy so I decided to give up on my 'one project at a time' (foolish) dream.
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Stellar' Wool/Bamboo
This is a non mystery knit along (KAL), designed by Georgie Hallam of tikki knits.
I awaiting the next 'clue' so I thought I'd cast on another in the meantime. There's a few babies to be born at the end of winter and I feel like small knits allow me to get a feel of what I like to do/knit while getting a handmade gift at the same time. 
Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Cameo' - Discontinued Wool/Angora
BWM - Luxury...seeing a theme here?
I haven't done too much more crochet, I guess my hands have been busy.
I think he likes his blanket already.
BWM 100% Cotton
Harvey's hasn't got much bigger yet either. Definitely a slow burn project.

One should always have a helper when you are trying to take blog pics.
Foxy Baby Mills - in Lachy
Because it's so helpful when they pull the computer cord out, tug the crochet off the table, try and unzip the craft bag....Lucky he's cute!

Wishing you all a Happy Easter and that no matter what you celebrate, you have some chocolate!!