Wednesday, 28 August 2013

WIP Wednesday: August 28

I spent the week doing very small bits of sewing now and then... but it paid off. I basted 113 hexagons and made 5 blocks for my Farmer's Wife Quilt.  I realized after making 3 of them that I needed a new thread/trimming/garbage collection system because everytime I moved I got covered in thread bits.
See, its was a mess. I found a tutorial by Tabitha at The Polka Dot Apron on making a thread catcher/pincushion and went for it! I used the neon orange fabric that I got for $1/m in the spring. I love the fabric, but find it way too bright to use on anything big (I considered recovering my ironing board with it, but it might induce migraines in such a large expanse).

The thread catcher is working great and my space feels so much cleaner. I wish I had taken time sooner to make one of these handy little tools. 

Lastly, here are the blocks I finished this week for my Farmer's Wife Quilt.

Block 41 - Friendship Star
Block 11 - Broken Dishes
Block 20 - Churn Dash
Block 4 - Basket Weave
Block 72 - Railroad

All 7 completed blocks
Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thanks for stopping by to have a look. Enjoy the last Wednesday of August.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday: Farmer's Wife Quilt

It has been nice to have small bits and pieces to tackle this week. I bought some cardstock so I could have some heavier paper to baste hexies on (why had I not done this sooner I have no idea...oh well). I have basted 108 white on white hexies... progress is slow. I have done a second block for my Farmer's Wife Quilt and prepped/cut fabric for 3 more blocks.
Block 2 - Autumn Tints

Block 26 and Block 2 together

Linking up with Freshly Pieced because thats what the cool quilters do.. 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Have a great week, thanks for stopping by to have a look.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Block 26

I did it. I made the first block for this sampler quilt. I probably should have started with a simpler one using only rectangles, but I didn't.

This was my first time making Half-Square Triangles (HSTs). I like them, but they are definitely one of the more challenging things I have tried. This block had lots, so lots of opportunities to succeed... And lots of opportunities to practice my stitch ripping skills.

Things I learned doing this block:
1. Direction that you press your seams is KEY. Some of mine worked well. Others are a mess (I was being pretty consistent until I added the squares, then it got out of hand).
2. I am sewing with Grandma's Elna again, and it does pretty good, but I miss having a needle up/down function. And it seems a little jumpy when you first start stitching.
3. I am pretty good a scant 1/4 inch seam until the last 3 stitches then I tend to veer into the block.
4. My block that was suppose to be 6.5 inches square is only 6 1/4 inches. Leaving very limited seam allowance for attaching it into a quilt with 6 inch blocks. Oh well. I think I may make another one of these further down the road when I have done more HSTs.

Without further ado:
Here is my Cut Glass Dish:

Thanks for stopping by to read and enjoy the rest of your weekend. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

WIP Wednesday: Hexies and Farmer's Wife

Good day to all. It has been nice to have a bit of a break from craziness that was trying to finish the secret project in time for my brother's wedding. I am so happy I got it done and him and my new sister-in-law love it. Since then I have spent some time cleaning my sewing room (because it got to be a complete disaster by the time I was done). I also hadn't complete put stuff away in the room since we moved into the house in June. Let's just say that taking the 3 bins of 'truck/vehicle' stuff out to the shed made a huge difference in there.

I have been busy finishing up my flowers for my silly little hexagon project. The last time I posted about this project was mid-July and I had sewn 44 flowers together. I now have 52 in total and have basted the first 48 white on white hexagons to go around the batik flowers. I also got the flowers laid out on the design wall. I have considered doing a traditional Grandma's Garden layout, but traditional isn't really my style. I came across the pattern Bloom by V& Co. and it spoke to me, but since I had already basted ~300 hexagons, I figured I could use their pattern as inspiration. So here is the first draft on the design wall:

My initial thoughts now that it has been up for a few days, is that it needs to be both slightly longer and wider to achieve the balance I want. The 3 hexagons trailing down to the bottom right corner are going to get moved, but I'm not quite sure where to yet. I also have 3 more peach flowers that I wasn't finished sewing when I put everything else on the design wall. 

Here are a few of the white on white prints that I plan to use. A whole bunch of these are from the awesome fabric sale I went to in the spring at a Red Deer church. There was one bundle I picked up that had 8 - fat 1/8ths and a half yard all of different white on whites. I think the bundle cost me about $2. I can get 32 hexies out of a a fat 1/8th and 112 out of a half yard. I also have a few fat quarters that I have found along the way. 

Here are a few of my white on white prints:

Since I don't want to handsew all the time, I have found a new project for machine piecing. I didn't want to spend any money on fabric and I wanted to learn some new skills, so I am starting a Farmer's Wife Quilt using some of the bits and pieces of fabric I have collected along the way. The Farmer's Wife Quilt is a sampler quilt of 111 different blocks made by Farmer's wives in the 1920's. I'm not sure this will be a quick finish, but it will be something that I can have on the go with the simple goal of making a few blocks now and then as I have time. I have 2 m of the pink, orange and yellow fabric in the center of the photo so that will be my base for choosing colors. The small bits are all fat quarters, most of which I used a bit of for Monkey's curtains in her room in Whitehorse.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Have a great week everyone. Thanks for stopping by to have a look

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Week 21 - 23 Fitness & End of July Weigh In

July and the first week of August have quickly disappeared. I was doing awesome on the burpees until I got to Red Deer for my brother's wedding. I managed to throw my back out in the first 2 days there and it took several more after returning home to get it moving comfortably again.

The wedding was awesome, and I am definitely pleased with how I did on my goals of losing weight and toning up before the big event. With just under a week before the wedding I weighed in at 218 lbs, which brings my total weight loss to that point to 24 lbs!! I felt great in my dress and enjoyed dancing with Monkey and GeoDad during the reception.

This is what I have been up to fitness wise for the last 3 weeks:

July 22: 52 burpees and walk with kiddos and dog. Work in the evening.
July 23: 53 burpees. Work in the evening.
July 24: 54 burpees.
July 25: 55 burpees and my first bike ride with both kids in the bike trailer (finally got a helmet for LB so he could come too). I tried to bring the dog, but she is stupid around bikes and was running into my front tire or pulling the bike sideways. We also managed to knock down 2 garbage cans in the alley within the first half block of riding. We went about 4.5 km total which was enough for LB but Monkey wanted to go longer.
July 26: 58 burpees (I miscounted and did 2 extra, oops). Worked in the evening.
July 27: 57 burpees. Worked the whole day. My feet are tired after doing that.
July 28: 58 burpees. Less than a week until the wedding, and I weighed in at 218 lbs. Woohoo down another 2. Feeling good. I also tried on the dress I plan to wear and it looks great with the right undergarments.

July 29: 59 burpees and worked in the evening.
July 30: Day 60 of the 100 day burpee challenge. I think it is definitely working to get me in better shape.
July 31: 61 burpees.
Aug 1: 62 burpees. Today I am wearing shorts that I bought the summer before I was pregnant with Monkey (2010), this is the first time I have fit into them since!!
Aug 2: 43 burpees. Ran out of time to do more before the rehearsal dinner we hosted at Mom's house for my brother's wedding.
Aug 3: Wedding Day - fell off the burpee bandwagon so much to do to get ready, and so many people to visit all day with lots of family coming from far away.
Aug 4: Had a great time yesterday, but did not sleep nearly enough. Continue to be off the burpee bandwagon. Rather than doing make up burpees for the next bunch of days I am going to give myself 2 more days to finish the 100-day challenge.

Aug 5: Burpees derailed by back pain. I have managed to get my hips and lower back into a state of discomfort that doesn't allow for me to do any pushups/burpees/etc. Rather than trying to do all the make up burpees I have missed over the last week I am going to start fresh at day 64 when I can move again. Make that about 4 or 5 extra days to finish the 100-day challenge.
Aug 6: Still in pain. Tried to see if a bike ride would loosen up my back, went for about 20 minutes with the kids in the trailer behind me. LB doesn't like wearing his helmet yet so he was freaking out most of the time.
Aug 7: Feeling way better and able to move again. 20 burpees to catch up on the ones I missed on Aug 2.
Aug 8: 64 burpees. I will not being doing make burpees from now on, I am going to get to 100 days of burpees, but it is going to take a few extras days to get there.

I would have liked a picture of myself without a kid in my arms at the wedding, but it didn't seem to work out that way. LB and Monkey were both long overdue for naps by the time the ceremony finished. Anyway, here is the current photo of me dressed up!

And finally, my end of July or early August weigh-in and measurement numbers:

As of August 8th:
Weight: 217 lbs (down 8 lbs since June 30, down 25 lbs total)
Chest: 35 inches (no change from June 30, down 2 inch total)
Waist: 38 inches (no change from June 30, down 4 inches total)
Hips: 48.5 inches (down 1.5 inches since June 30, down 2.5 inch total)

Thanks again for reading and being supportive. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Secret Project is Finished

My secret project is finally all finished. I stitched the back of the binding down Thursday night after getting the kiddos to bed and going grocery shopping. I took a few photos yesterday in my Mom's garden and ran it through the wash.
Finishing the binding. It was much to warm to be snuggled up under a quilt, but thats ok.

Today I can let you all know the rest of the details on the secret project, because it no longer has to be a secret. Yesterday, my brother married the girl of his dreams (who I think it totally awesome). They had a beautiful ceremony in the park, and my kids behaved the whole time. 

I had thought for quite sometime this spring that I would like to make them a quilt, but I had a hard time finding a pattern that suited them. Then I found Cynthia from Cynthia from Ahhh...Quilting's Wipey Box Quilt . It was perfect for my brother and his fiancé. 

I chose to do it in browns and greens to match their livingroom decor and quilted it using very dense organic lines on the background. I was hoping to a achieve a wood grain effect because my brother does woodworking for a living.
This is the fabric on their couch and chair (pretty funky, and a traditional quilt just didn't seem right to add to the mix)

For the back of the quilt I did mostly solid brown, but found some brown on brown polka dot fabric, which was ideal because my new sister-in-law loves polka dots. I added their initials in green, in the Playbill font as a tribute to her love of acting and theater. 

GeoDad and Monkey helped me take pictures.

I have a little label on the back, it says "Grow together, love one another and always remember to cuddle"

Finally for the quilters reading this:
Quilt Stats:
Date: Started June 15 and Finished August 1, 2013
Pattern: Wipey Box Quilt by Cynthia Muir from Ahhh...Quitling
Size: 56.5" x 70"
Fabric: Kona Solids in Snow, Peapod, Lime, Honeydew and Brown, Free Spirit Fabrics Solids in Chocolate, Brown and Bronze Green. And Nancy Halvorsen's Cookie Dots in Brown. 
Thread: Pieced with 50wt Aurifil. Appliquéd using Sulky invisible thread. Quilted with Presencia Egytian Cotton thread in 50wt. All bobbin thread was dark brown with spool thread matching fabric on front. 
Batting: Quilter's Dream Green Batting. This batting is made of recycled pop bottles which I think is pretty neat. 
Pieced and quilted: By me on my Grandma's Husqvarna Viking Sewing machine. Quilted using a walking foot. 
Notes: This was a super fun project to put together. The only snag I ran into was accidentally getting 12 yards of double-sided fusible web instead of single-sided lightweight interfacing. It definitely slowed the process down because I had to remove the paper in the multiple steps to get the circles to stay circular. Other than that it made me really happy to be making it as a wedding gift. 

The good news is, they opened it this afternoon and love it!!
I wish them all the best in their new life together.

Now what I am going to sew next?