Summer seems to have hit with full force. Temperatures have been in the high 30’s and low 40s but with nowhere near as much rain as we are used to this time of year. At one point, we broke a record where I live for the most amount of time since it last rained. Then there’s the fires. It feels like there has been the smell of smoke in the air for over 3 months now. A week or so back there was one just round the corner from my house. Being about 3 houses outside the evacuation zone is a little too close for comfort. Thankful, they got it under control with only one house lost and no one hurt. Another fire this week, a couple of suburbs over and we don’t have it bad compared to Sydney where the whole city looks like it is ringed by fire.
I’m finally off work for the year and trying to get organised before Christmas. Not that there is a lot to do. Presents have already been bought and the house was cleaned yesterday. There is some cooking to do Christmas Eve and need to put some petrol in the car but until then I just get to chill, maybe do some sewing, read some of the books that have been on the to read pile for far too long.
It’s been a while since I last posted, and I last time I did I posted about a present I was making for a colleague who was having a baby. Well here is the rest of the present, which was finished just in the nick of time.
We are rapidly approaching the end of the year and it feels like I am rapidly running out of time on a couple of deadlines on Christmas presents and a baby gift I have been putting off for far too long.
So why am I procrastinating? On the baby gift I guess because it is something I have never done before. The Mum is a work colleague and she and her husband are big Star Wars fans and I came up with the plan that I would make a little dress in themed fabric. The only problem is I have never made a dress before. So far all I have managed is to make a couple of these cute nappy pants/diaper covers to go with it.
Now I just have to get started on the dress. I have a pattern, and it’s all cut up and ready to go but am avoiding it. Well, I’m about out of time. My colleague goes on maternity leave in a couple of weeks, so I have to finish it this weekend.
I don’t think its uncommon for long-time sewers like myself to have a scrap system, though I know some people would think mine is a little too serious or rigid.
To start with everything gets put in a small basket. Small because once the basket is full it gets cut up into standard sizes and if the basket were too big it would be a marathon effort. As it was I think I spent about 5 hours cutting scraps this weekend.
While it seems tedious its a good activity to do when I am feeling uninspired or not sure what project to tackle next. I cut into 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 inch strips, 5 inch squares, 3 1/2 inch squares and 2 inch squares. The idea being that one day I’ll have enough to make some delightful scrappy quilts. They also come in handy for other crafty purposes such as making bags like this one.
When I bought the pattern I was tossing up between the pattern and a kit which came with a lovely selection of Japanese fabrics. I ended up going with the pattern because I realised hexagons was a great use of some of my 3 1/2 inch squares.
I think the last time I posted was almost a month ago and I’d just got back from the Sydney Quilt Show. A couple of days after that I came down with a head cold that stuck around for almost 3 weeks. After so much time feeling sorry for myself I am now trying to get things back on track and struggling, because it’s amazing how ratty your house gets after no cleaning for 3 weeks and don’t get me started on the garden. We got a bit of rain and so the lawn needed mowing and the weeds are going nuts and still need to be dealt with. Of course not much sewing has been getting done. I have been trying to get a bit of knitting done and I did finally finish the bag I was procrastinating about (It’s a Liberty Applique Rice bag kit from Don’t Look Now). It didn’t turn out too badly despite my qualms about my machine quilting/thread drawing skills. Now just need to finish the matching zipper pouch.
A friend I used to work with recently challenged me to 31 days of Halloween craft. The idea was that we would post one craft related thing on Facebook every day during October with a Halloween theme. So I have been busy, and it has been fun. After months of avoiding my sewing room I am starting to feel like I am getting my mojo back. I have been making some old favourites as well as trying some new things including origami for the first time.
I am stretching the definition of Halloween just a little by including some day of the dead fabric, but it was just too nice to resist.
I am also still knitting. In addition to the little pants I finally finished I am in the process of knitting a baby hoody. I will save a picture of the hoody for next time as it isn’t quite finished yet. For now you will have to make do with pictures of my Halloween related stash.
So, I’m still working on the ugly zip theme, and experimenting with making different kinds of mini bags. I’m quite pleased with the fabric I got to go with the green zips. Other than that it’s been a pretty quiet weekend, watching some movies and finishing knitting a hat. Now I’m working on a scarf from the same wool.
My no TV thing worked ok during the week, though I don’t know that it made me more productive.
I can’t even remember where and when I got them, but at some point I bought a bulk bag of 81/2 inch zips in all different colours.
They’re handy little things, just the right size for putting pockets inside bags or making little pencil cases.
The problem is that some of them are just ugly. Green and yellow ugly. So this weekend, instead of working on the project which I spent all last weekend cutting out, I decided I would make myself do something with the ugly zips.
Step one – pull all the fabric out of my fabric cupboard and audition it against the zips. Surprisingly there were quite a few fabrics which didn’t look hideous up against the really bright zip colours.
Then to make some little pencil cases.
I think I like the grey and yellow better than I like the one with the green, but both turned out alright.
I’ve had to abandon the sewing room for now, as it is still getting too hot in the afternoons, so am off to do some knitting in the lounge and to struggle to resist temptation of the TV. I’ve convinced myself to try giving up TV (except for one show on a Friday night) for a month to see whether it results in me getting more done. I’m only one day in and already struggling, but really how many home renovation shows do I actually need to watch?