Tag Archives: sewing

Getting Un-Organised

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It seems being too organised was actually getting in the way of my doing stuff. I’d plot out what I wanted to do for the week and then split up tasks by day. Wednesday I would have task C to do and Thursday I would have task D to do. For some reason or other I would end up not doing C on Wednesday and then I couldn’t do D on Thursday because I hadn’t done C and the whole plan would end up in a heap. And…I wouldn’t do things even if I had the time and the energy because they were scheduled for another day.

So this week I stopped organising at the list of things to do for the week. I just left it at that and am just slowly working my way through the list, looking at the list when I have motivation to do something and picking something that appeals. It seems to be working as I am quickly ticking things off the list. Though in order to stay focused I have had to start a second list of ‘things I think of that I should do but don’t want to do because it would distract me from finishing the list’. I figure the second list can be the start of next week’s list.

So far this week, I finally fixed a bag I made some time ago where the seams were starting to fray, and I made this cushion from a piece of patchwork that I made so long ago that I forgot what I was meant to be doing with it.

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I started getting organised for Christmas, wrapping presents for everyone I am done shopping for.

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I even managed to go out and get some gardening done, though that might be more to do with the fact that I gave myself a specific gardening task rather than just adding ‘garden’ to my daily list.

And…a few days ago I went to the acrylic painting class I booked myself into back in September. A pretty impressive effort if I might say so for my first attempt, though the class was very good and I don’t think that anyone’s painting looked hideously bad.

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Now, off to make myself some lunch and then pin a quilt for quilting this afternoon.

 

 

 

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Where does the time go?

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I can’t believe it has been so long since I last posted. Time just seems to run away sometimes.

Only the usual stuff happening here. Finished one uni subject and have started another. Doing Christmas shopping and all the normal preparations for the end of the year. And…trying to stay out of the heat. Summer seems to have come early this year and is making its presence felt.

Despite having gone away on one quilting retreat and having one extra long, long weekend, I don’t seem to be getting a lot done. Not the big stuff anyway. I am experimenting with bags, with varying degrees of success.

This one didn’t turn out too badly, but I am a little concerned that my self-invented construction methodology is not going to stand up very well to the actual rigours of bag use. So…I have bought a book on bag making and the next step is to work through it and try out some of the techniques, to see if I can make a better bag. I will endeavour to keep you informed.

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Making a duvet cover

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Its funny sometimes when you have an idea and then all of a sudden bits of information come your way about it. Well probably not. Probably the bits of information would have come your way anyway, and you would have ignored them because you weren’t interested. Surprisingly, this has to do with duvet covers.

When I moved into my house I had no bedding left after being flooded, and I had not a lot of money on account of having just bought a house. But it was winter, just a little freezing and I needed something warm for my bed. I ended up buying this quilted duvet thing off the internet. I think it cost me $20 including postage. It’s really warm, but there’s one problem. It doesn’t have a removable cover and it’s too big to fit in my washing machine. Which is kind of gross, because I’m of the opinion that you should wash your bedding every now and then, especially if you are like me and eat in bed. There are several ways of dealing with this: I could find a laundromat with a big washing machine (a rarity around where I live), take it to the dry cleaners (expensive) or hand wash it. So over the christmas holidays I was hand washing this thing in my bath, trying to get some chocolate stains out and giving it a general clean, when I had the thought that I should probably make a cover for it. That’s were the coincidence comes in to it. A couple of days later on my email quilt list people started talking about making patchwork duvet covers. Which is great, because I happen to currently be in possession of a large amount of large pieces of patchwork just sitting around waiting to be quilted. Of course none of them were the right size, but that’s easily fixed.

I picked a couple that were almost big enough and added some extra borders in matching fabric.  Then I placed them face sides together and pinned round three edges.

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I trimmed off the edges of the larger one so they were the same size.

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On the fourth edge I made a hem on both quilt tops, and then I bagged it.

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Kind of like making a cushion cover. Sewed about three quarters of the way round, turned it inside out and then put some press studs along the opening so it will close once I put the duvet inside.

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Some people on the email list suggested you should back the quilt top before sewing the two sides together, but I didn’t. While adding the backing might protect the patchwork, if I had to pay for two large pieces of wideback fabric it would have been cheaper just to go out and buy a duvet cover from the shops. Not to mention that joining the backing to the patchwork pieces would have required quilting the two pieces together and would have made the whole process hugely time-consuming. In the end, I’m quite glad that I didn’t because the finished thing is actually quite heavy, and I’m not sure adding extra weight would have been wise. I’m quite happy with the finished product and when it comes time to put the winter duvet back on the bed it will have a new cover to go on it, and because it has a different quilt on each side I can flip it to suit my mood.

In other news here it is raining. A lot. This is my rain gauge.

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When I came home from work on Thursday night it was empty. Thankfully I stopped off at the library on the way home from work on Thursday and have a stack of books and DVDs. A perfect way to spend a rainy long weekend. I may even make another duvet cover.

Frugality

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I am trying to cut back a little on spending at the moment, so I can finish paying off my credit card which is still looking horrendous post holiday and start saving up some money for some stuff I need to do around the house. Which is hard because I am really bad at frugality. It’s not so much the frugality that’s the problem, its more the impulse control. Once I think about something that I want I have a really hard time not buying it (or eating it if its food). And there is so much cool stuff out there to think about – Tablet computers, fabric, paints, DVDs, incredibly beautiful pieces of glass (http://www.melbourne-art-glass.com/glass_art.html). Plus I have noticed that my hankering for shopping gets worse at certain times of the month, and at the moment I am feeling incredibly antsy. I want to go out and buy something, anything. I don’t really need anything, that doesn’t really make any difference.

So I have locked myself in the house this weekend, and am sticking to my determined resolution that I will not go to the shops. I keep telling myself that since it is only two weeks to go before Christmas the shops are liable to be horrendous, crammed with people all madly scurrying around trying to do their Christmas shopping. Finding a park will be near impossible, traffic a nightmare and there will be screaming children and fake santas charging said children for the privilege of a 2 minute sit on their lap. I’m much better staying at home really.

I have loads of sewing to do this weekend. I want to get all my machine sewable blocks made into something before I start my week off. That way I can spend the holiday curled up on the couch finishing off some hand sewing.

I have been making odd blocks into small pieces that I can make into journal covers, place mats and bags. The added bonus is they’ll be really good for practicing my machine quilting on before I start tackling some of the bigger quilts.

Here’s a journal cover I actually managed to finish.

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Sewer’s Block

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I am having a bit of a sewing block at the moment. For some reason I just don’t want to do it. I thought I might just need to try sewing something that wasn’t blocks, so I got started on a pink lap quilt made from new fabric I picked up at the craft fair. I didn’t get very far. I did however manage to get most of the tangled web that is my computer’s hard drive mostly sorted out. Everything except for the photos, of which I have thousands. It’s a job I have been procrastinating over for more than six months now, which just goes to show how under motivated I am about the sewing.

Sometimes though you have to go with the flow and not push it. So I have a big bundle of trashy novels from the library and a jumper to knit. The sewing will still be there when I am ready. Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission not to do something. If it is really what you want you will come back to it in your own time. 

The new quilt in progress

frustrated

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I did manage to get a fair bit done yesterday, but am just feeling frustrated because as usual it wasn’t anywhere near as much as I wanted to do. Plus the blocks I did do were kind of fiddly and each one seemed like it took forever. Then there was the huge amount of time I spent piecing inset seams on one block with hexagons and diamonds. The block is still not finished. I managed to get the hexagons to go together alright but I couldn’t get the diamonds to fit. Am hoping that I will be able to fix it by cutting new diamonds slightly bigger, I just have to figure out how big they need to be. Hopefully I won’t have to restart the whole thing from scratch. Though turning it into an appliqued block does have some appeal at this stage.

Saturday and its raining

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I was hoping for a sleep in this morning, but I was awake at 5am. The rain woke me up, and it has been raining fairly steadily ever since. It never used to bother me really, but ever since the flooding last year every time it rains I have in the back of your mind that it could happen again. I guess there is no point worrying about it until it does.

Not much happening here really, I have been reading but none of it is really sticking in my head, or standing out as really pertinent when I read it. Still on the topic of freedom and now looking at the role death plays.

I am starting to feel a little less tired, I had a big bowl of pasta for the first time in ages Thursday night and I perked right up, so I figure I haven’t been getting enough carbohydrates. I got loads of cutting out done last night and so am hoping to get a lot of blocks done today. Might have to make an excursion to the shops at some point to get some bread and need some new clothes for a trip away over Christmas. All my casual clothes at the moment seem to fall into either winter, or never be seen outside the house in categories. More importantly I also need to start preparing some sewing for the trip.