Wednesday, 31 October 2012

making bias bindings

Today I made some more bias binding. I had a fairly big piece of red gingham so used a 31" square to make this huge pile.

Want to know how many metres there are in that pile?

19! I have no idea what I'll use it for but I think it might last me quite a wee while!

I then used up a smaller piece of fabric to make this lot.

I decided that that was enough bias making for one day so I got out my Maths set and drew a couple of 8" circles to make some wee and round oven gloves. I usually make them 7" but decided to try 8" just because I could. Please note that I remembered the formula for the circumference of a circle - and worked it out without using a calculator!! (Not really surprising when you learn that I got my very first calculator for my 21st birthday ... AFTER I'd left university clutching my Maths degree!)

I cut out the fabrics for the outsides and the insides and the Insul-Bright and bump for inside when I realised that I needed bias binding to go with the fabrics. So much for that being the end of the bias binding making for today!

Here's everything ready to get sewn together tomorrow.

Fingers crossed that tomorrow is a better day for taking photos. I've been trying all week to get decent photos of the diaries and the owl to put them in the shop but no luck so far. I even got Douglas to take some with his fancy schmancy camera today but they're not much better than the ones I took. He says the weather is meant to be brighter tomorrow so here's hoping he's right!

Monday, 29 October 2012

a week's worth!

I knew I hadn't blogged much last week but I was surprised to see it had been a whole week I'd taken off! Jings!

Anyway, here's what I made in the last 7 days.

A couple of diary covers for the tartan bee shop. They're not loaded in yet but they will be soon.

I used up some oddments of fabric by making them into bias binding. I got approx 4.2m out of a 15" square of this one ...

... and 7.2m out of a 21" square of this one:

I knitted myself some mittens but they were quite long in the fingers so I gave them to Joanna. Rosie was very interested in them when Joanna was trying them on.

She - Rosie - loves to play with hands that are in gloves! The fuzzyness of her tail shows how quickly it was wagging! :oD

And finally, I made a slightly modified version of the wee owl which I blogged about here. I much prefer this one as the closing isn't on the curve which is always difficult to keep neat. This will also end up in the shop - soon.

I'm in the middle of my second pair of mittens and this pair fit me much better. It's been fun knitting something that comes up quickly. I sometimes think I'd like to knit myself a scarf to go with the mittens but that could take ages so I'm not so sure I should even start it. I'll finish the mittens first and then see what I think.

sunrise ~ sunset 29 October

Our clocks moved back an hour yesterday so it's lighter in the mornings and darker in the evenings now - for a wee while anyway.

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 10 hours and 41 minutes (29 minutes less than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 9 hours and 22 minutes (32 minutes less than last week)

Monday, 22 October 2012

finished - 5 pinnies

I managed to finish off the last of the 5 pinnies/aprons today. I'll need to take better photographs of them tomorrow to put them into the tartan bee but these'll be fine for showing them here.

Aren't they fun? I think so anyway! :oD

sunrise ~ sunset 22 October

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 11 hours and 10 minutes (30 minutes less than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 9 hours and 54 minutes (31 minutes less than last week)

Friday, 19 October 2012

at last!

At 10pm last night, I typed the last title into the computer and that was the end of the music sorting. As quite a few of the songs in the list said "Hallelujah".

Here's the emptied crate - this was taken this morning as, at 10pm these days, it's pitch dark around this neck of the woods. (Please excuse the tatty dog bed. Rosie is hoping that Santa might bring her a new one - or that her mum will sort this one. Either option is fine by her! :oD)

And here's the second of the organised crates.

The music is now all upstairs waiting for me to put it all into cardboard storage boxes and stack it out of the way until I need to look for something.

Another "at last" is the fact that I actually got some sewing done today. I didn't know what I was going to do when I remembered that I had a few flirty frilly half pinnies (aprons) cut out and ready to sew. Why didn't I sew them when I cut them out? Well, Joanna had one, Debbie had one and I don't wear short pinnies as I wipe my hands everywhere when I cook/bake so I *need* to wear a full length pinny! Now that I have the tartan bee shop, I can make the pinnies up and add them to my stock.

So here are the 5 pinnies all sitting on my sewing room table waiting for the next step in their construction - the attaching of the frills. Hopefully I'll get that done this weekend.

And finally - how could I resist taking this photo of Rosie? She is such a silly wee dog!

PS: (feel free to ignore this bit) - Christmas stockings, a Christmas wallhanging and a couple more pairs of oven gloves were added to the tartan bee this morning. Sue, I hope to get some owls made soon which I'll add in if I think they're good enough. :o)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

the continuing saga of the music sorting

I decided I really needed to get the Singers' music sorted and put away upstairs. The fact that it was sitting in the dining room which was getting messier by the minute because of my moment of madness on Monday, helped push me on.

So I started listing it all on a spreadsheet on the computer yesterday. Here's the pile of Cs with the 2 crates sitting on the floor on the left waiting to be tackled. *gulp*

It's a slow, time-consuming job but I'm getting there. I was on the Ls at lunchtime today.

Down to only one crate to go.

And here's the stuff that's already in order and spreadsheeted. (I'm pretty sure that's not a word ... but it should be!)

As of this minute, I've done up to the end of the Rs so not too many to do now. Hopefully I'll get them all finished tomorrow and then I can get into my sewing room and do some sewing. I need to sew something. I don't know what I'll sew but I need to sew!!

Monday, 15 October 2012

a moment of madness

In a moment of madness this morning, I suggested to Douglas that we might move our dining room around a wee bit so that he could have a desk in it for doing his work on. (He works from home.) The idea took root and, a bit like Jack's beanstalk, took off like a bat out of hell. I think I've got my metaphors mixed up there but I'm sure you understand.

Anyway, a bookcase needed to be shifted so, of course, all the books had to be emptied out of said bookcase and then the bookcase moved and the books put back in - haphazardly for now. The sideboard needed to be moved over by about 12" so my happy shelves had to get taken off in case they fell down so all that stuff is sitting untidily on another cabinet. (I thought I had a photo of my happy shelf but the one I have only shows about a third of the things that sit on it now. If you want to see that photo, it's in the first of these posts and the other posts on that page show some of the additions to those shelves.) The dining room table is buried under stuff and every chair at the table is weighed down with even more stuff.

I'm really hoping that order will come out of all this chaos really quickly - ie tomorrow - but I think I might be being a bit hopeful. I keep telling myself it's my own fault that the place is a tip as it was my idea in the first place. Serves me right! :oD

So, because no sewing got done at all today - I don't think I even set foot in the sewing room!! - here are a couple of photos just to brighten this blog post up a wee bit. First of all the wee owls I made which I forgot to show at the time:

And my bargain of the month. I had bought some Anchor Pearl Cotton thread for quilting in a craft shop a few weeks ago and paid £2.20 for each 10g/85m spool. I had thought I'd get quite a few colours but not at that price so I only bought red and green. I decided to see if I could get some online for less money and, sure enough, I found 50 of the exact same thread on e-bay for £16.99 + £5.99 postage. So my e-bay threads cost me just less than 46p each - a much better price! And the colours are wonderful. A great bargain! :o)

sunrise ~ sunset 15 October

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 11 hours and 40 minutes (32 minutes less than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 10 hours and 25minutes (32 minutes less than last week)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

4 Christmas stockings

I finished off the 2 new, unpadded Christmas stockings today alongside the 2 new ones which I made from prototype 1. Confused? Okay, let me explain. I unpicked the prototype 1 stocking which I made earlier this week as it was too fat and basically not nice. I then used the 2 patched sides along with 2 backs and made another 2 stockings. Does that make any more sense? I'm not so sure it does!

Why don't I just show the photo of the four stockings and have done with it?

It's just as well nobody saw me taking this photo as I was underneath the dining room table to get all 4 stockings in the photo. What I have to do for my art! :oD

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Christmas stocking - prototype 2

I didn't get my second prototype finished today but I thought I'd show what I've done so far. I decided to not use wadding (batting) in the stocking at all so the patchworked piece will look the same but it won't be padded. That way it'll not be so bulky. Or at least that's the plan. If it doesn't look good when it's finished, I can always make a prototype 3 with the front padded! What's that saying about "if plan A doesn't work, remember there are 25 other letters to use!". Mmmmmm.

Anyway, here's the start of the patchworking process:

The top part's done, now it's just the foot to do.

And here it is all patched and cut ready to be sewn to the back of the stocking - tomorrow.

And, just keeping it real - this is how messy my table gets when I'm doing this kind of patchwork! Wooops! :oD

Monday, 8 October 2012

Christmas stocking - the prototype

First of all, thank you to all of you who took the time to comment on my new Etsy shop. I am truly touched by all your best wishes! :o)

The thing I'm looking forward to most about having the shop is not having to justify - mostly to myself - why I would make something. Now my answer to the question "what's that for?" will be "it's for the tartan bee!". The best excuse ever to make things just because I want to make them! :oD

So, on that note, I decided I'd like to make some Christmas stockings. Out came the paper and the pencil and I drew a rough shape which actually turned out really well on my first attempt!

I wanted to make the outsides patchworked and quilted and the insides would be lined so there wouldn't be any raw edges in there. I didn't take any photos of the process - don't know why - but here are the two sides of the finished stocking.

And the inside lining.

Now, the best thing about making a prototype is that you can see where things could be improved. This stocking is really bulky around the seams which meant I couldn't top-stitch the top edge to keep that lining tamed. I suppose I could do it by hand but do I want to? Not particularly.

It also took me quite a long time to make the stocking - about 3 hours in total! - and being able to make only one stocking a day isn't exactly going to fill the shelves of my virtual shop very quickly. So I'm now thinking I might just do patchwork on one side rather than both. It would cut down the bulk and speed up the process as well. I feel another prototype coming on.

sunrise ~ sunset 8 October

Today's figures are:

dawn to dusk = 12 hours and 12 minutes (32 minutes less than last week)

sunrise to sunset = 10 hours and 57 minutes (33 minutes less than last week)

I managed to catch this morning's sunrise. It had already become more golden and less pink/red in the time it took me to run downstairs for the camera!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

the tartan bee is open!

Oh my goodness, my stomach is churning and I'm just a wee bit afraid. Why? I've done something that I've been thinking of doing for years. Years. Decades!

It's been in the final stages of planning for months and today I wouldn't let myself do any sewing until I'd taken the plunge.

What did I do? I only set up an Etsy shop to sell some of the things I make. *gasp* Want to see it? Here it is - the tartan bee.

I'd be really happy if you'd take a look and let me know what you think. If you see any mistakes, please tell me so I can sort them. Proof-reading your own stuff isn't foolproof - or at least it isn't when I do it.

I think I'll go and lie down in a darkened room now - either that or put on some wild music and dance around the livingroom shouting at the top of my lungs that I did it. I actually did it! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

musical sortings

I sing in a choir and, over the summer holidays, our musical director moved from quite a big house to a much smaller flat. She told me she just didn't have the room to store the music for the choir any more so I (foolishly??) offered to take it.

I didn't realise when I offered that the music was loose and not in any semblance of order. Naturally I just had to do something about that. I decided it all had to go into polypockets and then had to be filed alphabetically.

Yesterday I got it all into the polypockets. (This isn't it all. Soooo much music!)

And today I decided to put it all into ABC piles. So I cleared all the cushions off the couches and put wee bits of paper around the room.

In case you're worried that I missed out J to Q, they're on the chair, pouffée and couch on the other side of the room.

All was going well until Rosie decided she *had* to be allowed to sit on her part of the couch. No amount of telling her she couldn't get up there until I'd finished worked so I had to move piles A and B so she could take her rightful place!

It took me just short of 2 hours to get the piles all done. I didn't go through each letter's pile to properly alphabetise them. The computer will do that for me when I put them on a spreadsheet. In the meantime, there are 3 crates of semi-sorted music waiting for the next stage in the procedure.

Monday, 1 October 2012

wee owls

On Saturday I made this wee owl.

Isn't it just adorable? The pattern is from here.

Yesterday my niece had a wee baby girl so it just seemed obvious to me that I had to make another wee owl in pink. It looks a bit lopsided but that's because the side is pinned waiting to be sewn up.

There are another 2 wee owls waiting to be finished.

I can see myself making tons of these owls. Before I know where I am, I'll have a parliament of owls. (Yes, the collective noun for a lot of owls is a parliament. Hoooo knows why?? :oD)