Thursday, 19 December 2013

Change is inevitable.

I've finished two quilts since we last spoke. They are quilt twins, made for a lady I know who wanted one for her grandchild and one for the first grandchild of her next door neighbour. I've talked a little about them before, using Ann Kelle Urban Zoologie teamed with various Sketch colours and white.

Max's Quilt - lovely and crinkly all over from the wash!

The tops went together relatively easily, the quilting on Max's made me tear out my hair and almost swear off machine sewing. Thankfully, Kyle's quilting went like a dream and I was slightly mollified.

Pucks and Tuckers - the worst I've ever had on a quilt, including ones
I quilted before I learned about the magic walking foot, which didn't save
me here. I've put it down to bad piecing on my part and also to vengeful
quilt gods. Thank god for crinkling up in the wash!

The binding is a diagonal red and white stripe - I love it. I should have bought more, I want to use it on everything!

I embroidered labels for each little boy, and even put my very first printed labels on too.

These quilts were delivered the day before I left Ireland - nothing like last minute stress! I'm back in DC, but not for long - just for Christmas. In the time I've been away Paul has gotten a new job in Houston. It starts on the 7th of January and so once Christmas Day is over us (our first), we'll be putting everything into boxes, heading to Houston to find a new apartment, our first car, the new grocery stores, new library, new everything.

Rare Winter sun in Ireland made this a bit washed out...

I'm daunted. The last few months have been constant go, though thankfully all the associated worry is over and my family are all well again. But the idea of going into another state of flux, a new place to settle into, new routines to find, new people to meet - it's a little overwhelming. So I'm taking it one day and week at a time.

I'm grateful to have my sewing machine right now, I'm pottering, doing what takes my fancy. Once we start moving, hand-sewing will be my outlet. I have no idea how often I'll manage to pop in here, or when we'll have internet. I'll do my best. It's more likely that Instagram will provide the quick connections over the next while!

Kyle's Quilt

Having just written it all out, I feel lighter. I am looking forward to the adventure of it, and getting to choose a place to live together (another first)!

I think I'll try popping in and out with picture updates when possible, love to all and

Happy Winter Holidays!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Cuzco Charm Crossing

In early July I shared the top of this quilt, and estimated that it would all be quilted and bound in a month. Well, it's been over 4 months since then and it's finally finished. Yay!!

Cold, clear, crisp Winter's day.

When I started quilting it I had plans of using bright pink and bright orange thread to do a double grid on the diagonal across the front. By the time I got to the end of making the grid in the pink thread I'd had enough, so I said done and started binding.

Phone pic, but love the binding all rolled up!!

Do you ever start a post and just not know the most coherent order to say things? That's me today, so I apologise if this is a little all over the shop.

The front of the quilt is Charm Crossing, a Moda Bake Shop recipe by Crafty Tammie. I was trying to figure out how to make a charm pack of Cuzco by Kate Spain into something big enough for me to keep and use when I came across the pattern. I have to say I found the making of the hourglass blocks horrifically boring, though Tammie does warn you and give you good ideas on how to make it more enjoyable! But now that the quilt is finished I actually wish I'd gone nuts and made it twice the size...

I love this quilt though. It's already keeping my toes warm on the bottom of my bed at night!

The backing is the solid colours recommended by Tammie to go with the quilt pattern. They're fabulously bold and vibrant. I made up strips at varying widths and then sewed them together like a jelly roll strip quilt for the backing. Adding in a few of the leftover Cuzco hourglasses - the leftover solid hourglasses are all grouped together in a wee bag, and waiting to be made into a baby quilt at some point in the future!

Then I took my leftovers and made scrappy binding!! I love scrappy binding.

I have to say I found the quilting on this really frustrating. The sewing machine here is really reliant on constant speed for regular stitches and even with a walking foot I found it hard to get this quilt going smoothly. It didn't help that my machine backs onto a wall, and that by deciding to make a diagonal grid I ended up with a long roll of quilt going through the machine.

I'm also trying out all-machine binding, as practice. I like to do it on baby quilts for security, and thought I'd practice on this quilt because I'm keeping it so it doesn't matter if there are lumps, bumps, and wobbles. I know it's practice, but I get quite frustrated when the result is a lot poorer than I'd like. However, Maureen Cracknell wrote a post this week which helped ease those frustrations a little, and I'm feeling slightly more upbeat now about practicing and improving.

One more for the road!

I've run out of things to say now, so this is probably a good place to leave it! Linking up with TGIFF over at Never Too Hot To Stitch and Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

WIP: Max's Quilt

I've been making two quilts from the same materials since the middle-ish of October. They're going to end up at just over 50" square and are fairly simple patterns that I decided on myself. However, I totally got into a rut with Max's quilt a couple of weeks ago. I tried to force myself to work on it for a week and ended up browsing the internet, eating, going for walks, tidying around, basically anything that wasn't working on the quilt.

I had gotten this far.

It took me that whole week of self-annoyance and beration before I just decided to do something else. And it worked. I spent a week quilting and binding a quilt top that I finished in July (more this Friday). And this week I've been speeding along and now have Max's quilt top finished and am about to start the second quilt top this afternoon!! Woohoo!!

I'm using a fat quarter bundle of Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle, a variety of colours in Sketch and some white solids in both quilts. Max's quilt features fussy-ish cut prints of the Urban Zoologie surrounded by the bright colours of Sketch and then sashed in white.

Slightly odd angle, but I couldn't resist the pretty morning light on the final seam!

I designed the patterns, worked out yardage, and ordered it all. Which worked great, thank god. Because since then I have made multiple mistakes in piecing and cutting maths. I have had to cut extra strips of both the Sketch and the white fabrics because I calculated wrong first time round. And annoyingly it wasn't just one mistake that I kept repeating, but I managed to make whole different mistakes each and every time.

And the last night, when I was ironing my finished blocks I notice these two:

Yep, I sewed the sashing on backwards with a lovely big seam on the front of two blocks... Either this quilt is haunted or I'm losing my marbles this month.

And the final piece of annoyance. Sketch, in my experience which is just with these two quilts, frays like a mad thing. It has been driving me crazy. Even when I go along and clip the threads away they just return to get caught in seams and snag and generally make me growl in frustration. This experience has turned me off buying Sketch again.

I'm going to do a final clip of threads right before basting, but I am a little worried about how the quilt will hold up in the long term. I've been thinking about it the last couple of days, and have decided that instead of quilting on either side of the seams, I'm going to zig-zag stitch over the seams in the hopes that it will reinforce them. But really, I shouldn't have to worry about this sort of thing with modern quilting fabrics. In my opinion.

Admiring the look of the sashing before bed last night.

Enough ranting, it looks pretty and there are solutions to the problems so all in all this is a happy work in progress!!

Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced!

Friday, 15 November 2013

George's Quilt - finished!!

This is the largest and heaviest quilt I've made. Last Winter after hearing I'd made a couple of baby quilts my uncle asked me to make him a quilt. His duvet kept slipping off his bed and he needed something heavy that would stay in place. He stomped off upstairs with a measuring tape and came back to say he needed a 5' by 7' quilt (60" x 84"). It's nice when people are so definite in their quilting desires!

Slightly dodgy phone pic!

George lives in a drafty house, on the side of a mountain, in eastern Ireland. I knew the quilt was going to have to be heavy, and manly. No room for florals or busy patterns here. My mother (George's sister) bought the fabrics for the top as his Christmas present last year.

Bit ripply at the edges... Not well smoothed at all - shame on me!
I learned lots making this. I used chenille and wool and something that felt closer to canvas. The chenille clearly has a nap. I didn't know anything about nap before this quilt. I did know that the brown velvet trousers I owned as a teenager felt nicest when stroked in one direction, but that was the extent of my knowledge.

You can tell from the above photo that despite my efforts to  discern the nap when joining the chenille for the central stripe that I failed miserably. Miserably. I blame the poor light in Ireland, in Winter (technically I put this together last Spring but let's not quibble). I did just now realise that if I had taken a photo with the flash on of the fabric aligned before sewing then I would have known whether I had it right or not! Next time, I guess...

Anyway, the top was heavy, but we wanted to make sure to keep George warm up that mountain. So we found a heavy wool blanket and a brushed cotton sheet about the house that were perfectly sized for this quilt!

After moving the dining room furniture out, I got down to basting. And then, I got cross. Our trusty old sewing machine just couldn't handle this thickness of fabrics. There were skipped stitches. There were bad words. There may even have been some stomping. My mother and I decided that we'd ask the very excellent seamstress in town if she had an industrial machine that could handle it. She said yes! Relief.

I used every basting and safety pin in the house.

The quilting is not very dense. She did small diamonds of stitching dotted around the quilted, kind of similar, I guess, to hand-tied quilting but with an industrial sewing machine. It works. It's not particularly pretty, but you can barely see it on the quilt top, and I didn't have to do it!

This only left the binding. But at this point I was leaving for DC again. I left the binding undone and headed off, with promises of finishing when I came home in September for our big wedding bash. This is where love and luck came back in; Mammy took it on herself to do the binding. I think there was more than once when she wanted to eat the quilt rather than continue to put the binding on. But with the help of some online tutorials she got the WHOLE THING FINISHED!!! On the machine that I had given up on when quilting! She has a lot more patience and stamina than me, that's for sure. So in July my parents brought the quilt around the house and took photos to send to me - no more photos of the dining room floor!

Hanging on the line...

And being modelled by Dad!
The verdict from the man on the mountain, now that the weather has turned towards Winter here, is good, excellent in fact! Woop!

George's Quilt marks the end of the quilts I was making on the side and now I can get back to stuff I'm currently making/struggling with/dreaming of!

I'm very happily linking up to TGIFF this week, over at Audrey's lovely blog Hot Pink Quilts :)

Friday, 8 November 2013

Apple of My Eye Improv (Emilia's Quilt)

So I have two more quilts that I finished in the first half of the year, but that weren't gifted until September that I haven't shown you. Emilia's Quilt is first up.

I knew there was going to be a plethora of babies arriving over the summer to friends and family, so I started making quilts. I had the end of some yardage and a jelly roll of Apple of My Eye, which I think is just so perfect for little girls - not too girly or babyish, possible to be useful for picnics and tea-parties and forts until you're heading off to school! I had bought the fabric originally to make this quilt:

Freya's Quilt
And after doing Stitched in Color's Curves Class at the start of this year, I wanted to try out some improv (no added curves though, as I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew on my first solo improv-ing). All I did was take out the scraps and sort them by relative size and then start laying them out on the couch willy-nilly. There were two larger scraps and I decided they could be the central pieces on either end of the quilt and then I just had to figure out how to use the other pieces to join them together...

It took me just one day to go from scraps to quilt top. I'm not saying it's the most interesting or beautiful quilt top out there, but I had so much fun making it. Once I started I couldn't stop and it came together so quickly! Admittedly, the jelly roll strips helped in keeping the improv quite simple. I just strip pieced in various orientations to break up the quilt top. I also added in three QST blocks, which I just adored. Though they blend in very well with the top and can be hard to pick out (centre bottom in the above picture, staggered placement).

To try and make the QST blocks stand out a bit more I decided to do the quilting along all the seam lines. Which meant that in some areas of the quilt there is a grid and in other areas you get some diagonal lines cutting through - the picture above illustrates it best.

In fact, I'm quite cross with myself. The fact that I knew this would be a gift meant I took minimal photos while making this, and then I ran out of time before giving the gift to Emilia's parents! I wish I had a picture of the back with the quilting showing, it would show up so much better. I think this is a lesson learned.

Finally I backed the quilt in just one piece of fabric, which I can't remember the name of, so here's a weird photo of the quilt hanging off a door that shows it:

And finally, a picture of the finished quilt. Bound in a solid green, from the leftover backing of Freya's Quilt - this quilt really is sort of the full stop to that quilt... I can't tell if that makes sense but I'm going with it!

A small part of me wishes I could go back and put a felt applique 'E' on one of the large squares with blanket stitch all around and have it slightly puffy and stuffed... But I didn't have time for that this summer, nor did the idea really occur to me until after it was gifted! Something to keep in mind for the future.

All in all, I really love this quilt. It feels very happy to me, and girly without being in your face pink. I had a blast making it, and really need to find regular time in the New Year to play with my scraps - so much fun!!

Linking to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday which is hosted at Quokka Quilts this week :)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Greek Cross Cushion

Recently I've been trying to get my sewing projects into some sort of order. Picking out a few to focus on before Christmas and getting all the bits and pieces needed to complete them into one place. For some reason, my brain doesn't find that sort of organsing to be conducive to blogging. But, hopefully, now that I'm actually moving on these projects I'll be writing with more regularity!

Today I'm going to talk about the Greek Cross cushion I made over the last month. Originally I cut the pieces to put them into a charity quilt at my guild. But life had different plans for me and I couldn't attend that sewing day. I sewed the blocks up anyway because I loved the colours, had them already cut, and desperately needed to sew something.

Basting front and back.
Once I got back to my stash I pulled the same colours and strip-pieced a backing. I decided to baste the front and back as normal, using a plentiful but mystery blue and white polka dot in my stash as the backing. My thinking there was that the cushion inner would wear away the cotton less than it might pull at the batting by itself.

I know that with these being so small (~24" square) I could have used this opportunity to break out my new darning foot and trying out some FMQ for the first time. In the end I just didn't know where to start and I had an idea of how I'd straight line quilt it. Now, even though I've been quilting for over a year now I only got a walking foot for my machine this summer. So I'm still only testing out various things I've seen around blogland. This time I decided to try straight line quilting ¼" apart on the backing.

I learned lots. First, straight line quilting so densely makes me really dizzy!

Second, they're not lying. Holy god does this quilting shrink your fabric. The backing started off an inch larger than the front on all sides. When I reached halfway I realised that if I did the quilting all over the back then they just wouldn't fit together at all without seriously cutting into my piecing on the front. Luckily, I also love the contrast in texture on the back!

Finally, even though my camera's not good enough to pick it up. I started and did the majority of this quilting on my machine in DC, but I finished it just a couple of nights ago on my mother's machine in Ireland. Both are Brother sewing machines. But the difference in stitch size and length is not something I was expecting. Also, my mother's machine is really sensitive to small changes in speed through the machine and stitches can easily go from large to tiny without changing any of the settings. I have to really be awake when I'm using it for quilting.

Since I'm so new to the walking foot I'm still not 100% sure of all the tips and tricks. I've found it brilliant, but occasionally I do still get the top material being pushed over quilting lines going perpendicularly. Causing very tiny rucks, but not everywhere just now and again. The top right pink cross was particularly prone to it on this cushion. Is this a basting problem? Have I just not stuck the top down firmly enough? If I was using basting pins would this problem be more prevalent or less?

Because of all these questions, and because I've learned so much in the last few weeks already I'm linking up to Gemma at Pretty Bobbins for the I Quilt Linky Party!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

WIP Wednesday (it took 3 goes to spell Wednesday, I might give up here...)

I have a couple of ongoing bits of sewing right now. They may be ongoing for a while, as I've only managed to sit down at the machine twice in the last week and a half. But, I'm quite excited for these two projects, one brand new and accidental, and the other over a year old and sort of ignored.

First up, the brand new! I brought the pieces required to make four Greek Cross blocks home. They are in the colour scheme put forward by Katie for a charity quilt to be put together at the DCMQG last Saturday for her brilliant 100 Quilts for Kids. I planned to make them in Ireland, and have them ready for the sew-in a few days after I got back to DC. But now I'm in Ireland for a little longer, and these had no way of magically becoming done and getting to DC in just a few days (the post takes horribly long sometimes!). So I'm making them up anyway.

I can take no credit for anything with this, but I'm hoping to quilt it up and use it to re-cover an enormous pillow/cushion I got as a teenager. Or else, I'll be seduced and turn it into a mini-quilt, or go crazy and add borders and make a baby quilt.... We'll see. It's taken me a full week to just get this far so it might never get finished! Lots of possibilities :)

I've taken the opportunity to haul out my Medallion quilt from Handstitched Class, which I started in ~May 2012. I stopped at the third border, because my two side pieces were too long (my piecing wasn't/isn't very accurate) and I didn't know how to solve the problem. There might be an old photo on the blog to show what I'm talking about...

And there is! See how the top and bottom are too long?
Anyway, impatience and a dislike of unpicking all those little squares meant that I just sewed a new seam in on every second row 1/8th of an inch further in.

I'm hoping that subsequent busy borders, and the fact that this was never going to be anything resembling a show quilt, will mean that very few will notice that some of the squares are not square!

The final thing that I'm working slowly on is the Farmer's Wife Quilt. I've finished a few blocks since I've been home (though a transatlantic flight and and 8 hour layover helped enormously!).

Instagram is proving to be enormously helpful for sewing. Last night when I finished Honey's Choice (the pinwheels in the top left corner) they were all buckled because I have to bend the shapes in order to get my seams to align while sewing. I can't see a way around this practice and it's the only way I've found so far to get aligned seams in blocks that have larger units joined to lots of smaller ones. So I put a plea out on instagram for information on how to help EPP'd blocks lie flat, other than putting them under heavy books. And Melinda from Quirky Granola Girl told me to leave the papers in (which I've done anyway as I plan to piece the sashing too) and give them a good steam press. Which I did, and it worked like a charm!

Woohoo for Melinda!! And Instagram!! And for asking the 'stupid questions'!!

Hopefully next week I might be further on again :)

Linking up to WIP Wednesday (ooh, I got it in one that time!!) at Freshly Pieced (that took a few tries) guested hosted this week by Kristy.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Conor's Quilt

I think I need to start actually naming my quilts and not just calling them after the person I gift them to, but I'm not starting today :) I made this quilt back in March/April time, for a little boy who just turned 3 last week! Conor loves all things farm, including tractors and has his own little one to 'drive' around just like his grandad.

When I saw Oink-A-Doodle-Moo by Jenn Ski, I knew it was the one for him. I bought my first ever layer cake, and set about sorting the fabrics and pairing them off.

I decided to sew them into giant HSTs, using the no-loss method.  One blender and one print to make up each one. Then layout deciding took a few days, and the whole of my bed.

Realising I want the blenders as diamonds, but feeling a bit messy.

Till I found the perfect one!

Paired blenders in each diamond, much more cohesive and still crazy colourful!
From this point the quilt was easy to sew together. And I had a lot of fun making the back. I used the end of the green Ikea sheet that has been in almost all of my first ten quilts, some leftover blocks (that ended up too small because the rotary cutter got carried away by itself - totally the rotary cutter's fault) and a lovely soft deep orange fabric.

Please excuse my jumper in the top right of these, running up and down
stairs was hot work!
Then came the marathon basting day, when we moved all the furniture in our dining room.

I've slowly been adding more and more quilting to my projects as I've along. I quilted all the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines on this one - with a line of stitching a ¼" on either side of the seams. It turned out so soft and beautiful to touch.

I bound it in a sort of denim blue solid, and then put it through the wash!

I don't think that if left to my own devices I would ever have put this amount of colours and prints and patterns into one quilt, but I love how this turned out. It feels to me like it's right on the edge of crazy, and exactly suited to an exuberant 3 year old.

This one's been really hard to keep under my hat for so long, so I'm really glad to send it out today. It was very cheerful to work on during the sometimes grey and dreary spring.

Hoping to be back again in a few more days, with yet another finished hidden quilt. Have a great weekend!!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Up the Dubs!

In some ways this post is perfectly timed, in most other ways it's long overdue!

A college friend of mine had her second boy this summer, a total dote. Not having been into quilting when her first boy arrived, I decided that I needed to celebrate Ciarán's arrival with quilts for both boys!

Ciarán, the newbie, actually surprised me by being a boy. I was convinced he'd be a girl and so after his arrival I set about making a quilt using Tsuru ...and old lace in both cerulean and indigo. Originally I was gung-ho about a whole cloth quilt in just the cerulean, but sitting on the couch one night I sketched out a quilt plan and knew it was the one!

I set about finding all the navy I had in my stash and used the white with pale blue polka dot cotton as my 'white' and backing!

I really love this quilt, which I think I might say about all my quilts. This one is the twin of the St Louis 16 Patch I shared in my last post.

They're both 36" square, and have the same polka dot blue backing, which is then doubled over and brought around as the binding.

I added an embroidered label to the back. Happily this whole quilt is made in the Dublin colours, and having a Dub for a Mammy I'm hoping this colour scheme is going to suit Ciarán down to the ground. He certainly picked an excellent summer to come along!

Which I've just realised is upside down in this picture :-o, but reads,
Made for Ciarán 2013 By AOH'
I plan to show you all Conor's quilt in the next couple of days!

I'd like to say sorry to anyone who wrote me a comment on the last post, this trip to Ireland has been more manic than I was expecting and the only decent computer here is refusing to recognise my USB stick. Right now, I'm bashing this out on an ancient desktop that has been here more than a decade and runs about as slow as a dead snail. I do plan to answer/send a couple of emails a day this week so hopefully I won't be so badly behind next Monday!

However, I am going to have a bit of a routine for the rest of this week so I should be able to start getting you all caught up on the finished projects I've been hoarding since Easter (there's not that many, just 3 more)! I'm even hoping to get the sewing machine out here so I can be making some things.

I'd been really looking forward to partaking in Selfish Sewing Week co-hosted over at Made with Moxie and Imagine Gnats. However, all my planned projects are in DC and I'm now staying in Ireland for a few more weeks where I can be a useful taxi service for a bit. I am still looking forward to browsing the linky, however, and gaining some selfish sewing inspiration for the future!!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Late Summer Round-up

Hello, again! The summer has been slipping away from me and I'm about to spend the next, almost, month without my laptop. I will, however, have my camera and the ability to steal time on the laptops of others! Projects I've been working on since earlier this year are all going to be delivered in this next month so I can finally share them!! Yay!

In the meantime I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with the other little bits and bobs I've done recently.

Earlier in the summer I was tidying my fabric cubbyholes and tossed down these fabrics beside each other...

I've never been a big fan of pastels in my wardrobe, but I just loved these together. The patterns are all by Amy Butler, I've no idea which collection and I bought them in the first ever online fabric shopping trip I went on. The solids have just amassed slowly over time. That yellow in the back is not as crazy yellow in real life, but it just loves to shine like crazy in photos. It is definitely the stronger yellow in real life though, but I kept it.

I'd seen the hundreds of St Louis 16 patch quilts popping up all over the blogs, and been attracted by their simplicity and ability to show off patterns. And there was just enough of these cuts to make a small baby quilt, so I did!

I embroidered a little matching label for the back, and used the backing as binding courtesy of Rae's tutorial. Very useful!

The label's upside down , I tried inverting the picture but because I took it on a slope it just gave me vertigo, so upside down won out! I quilted it with horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines in a yellow thread, that blended surprisingly well, and used my walking foot for the first time. I am a total convert, it's such an ingenious invention!

I really ended up loving this quilt a lot. Even with the mess up in that central square! I drew out my colour placements beforehand, laid it out, looked at that block multiple times thinking surely there's a way to distribute the colour more evenly in this block... It wasn't until I was basting it that my brain came up with the 'duh, green, yellow, green, yellow' answer... Sigh, it's still pretty with 'green, yellow, yellow, green' in there. What a lapse in logic and reasoning!

This quilt is destined to be donated as part of Swim, Bike, Quilt's 100 Quilts for Kids.

I have also made a few small things as gifts here and there over the summer. First up, there are these burp cloths:

They are double-sided flannel burp cloths, with the handy little shaping to help them sit beside your neck on your shoulder. There are loads of tutorials on these, I read a lot of them, and then just went for it. Each cloth turned out slightly differently, for instance I now know that rounded corners all around the burp cloth will give you a much easier time when turning them and topstitching!

I also made my very first zippy pouch! Someone who started at Paul's work soon after he did landed her dream job this last month and headed off last weekend on the six hour drive to relocate for it. So I thought a pouch filled with sweets for the journey, but useable for make-up/nail polish/emergency food upon arrival would be useful.

The genius tutorial is by Pretty Modern and the pouch is completely lined, with all the seams fully encased. It was surprisingly easy to follow (I'm always a little daunted by zips) and I even managed to get the zig-zags lined up on the top!!

Finally, I made two hot pads from Patchwork, Please by Ayumi Mills. Some of the ladies in the DC Modern had made these back in June as part of the Zakka-Along 2.0 and increased the size so instead of bell pepper coasters they got hot pads! I got the book for my birthday so I figured why not go for it!

I'm not 100% happy with them. I used two layers of Insul-Bright batting because I wanted to make sure that no matter which side you used to pick up hot things that your fingers would be protected. That seems to have made them a bit bulkier and puffier than I would have liked. Again, with these, I read the instructions a few times, found them slightly confusing in places, got the general gist of the thing, and then did it in a way that made sense to me.

That worked and didn't work. One of those has a white tag for hanging them up trapped inside and no-one will ever see it again! I'm just lucky that I didn't trap a pin in there too. I think I'll probably use Patchwork, Please to try and make the fabric covered box later in the year. I need something to put hair bobbins and clips in on my dresser, but to be honest, I'm not in a hurry to start deciphering the instructions again.

And that's it. I have no idea as to what sort of schedule I'll be able to update things on when I'm home. But I'll try and make a couple of Finished Friday link-ups.

I'm hoping to start truly making and blogging in a considered way. I think I got caught up in buying fabric just because I felt I had to have it, and over the summer I realised some of the projects that have made me happiest are ones that came from my stash, from things I didn't love love in the first place. I'm also learning that I have more fun designing and making things from scratch, I'm not such a big fan of quilt patterns...

That being said, I've now found a sort of zen in doing the curved piecing for Retro Flowers (right in time to have to put it down for a month!). Still though, now I know the zen is there, I'll definitely be back!