Spring cleaning has taken over…

I’ve neglected my house for weeks and weeks, now it’s time to spend countless hours attempting to clean it and  declutter. I say declutter, but really I’m just shifting shit into different places. I did put in a “if it’s not used in a year it’s gone” policy…which I have never ever stuck too.

As if  the clutter isn’t bad enough in my little house,  the time has come to clean in the disgusting places, like under the food cabinets  and around the oven (sigh we did that not long ago mofo! ) and the fridge that everyone is too afraid to move out. ( I can still see a baby dummy on the side that was Rockettes).

Rockettes room is a mother flipping nightmare, I keep wanting to do something innovative with it, but just end up sticking more hot pink IKEA expedit (now kallax) shelves in there. I’ve been looking for some good charity to donate a massive  load of never played with soft toys too, but I’ve come up with nothing. If anyone knows of a place to donate to under privilege children’s charity please let me know. In the meantime they are hogging a lot of room and not doing a lot.

So because of all of this, I can not get on with the construction of my blouse, instead I’m just going to post the most organised thing in the house at the moment which is my stash cupboard. Housed in an old antique book cabinet, story has it it came from a old mansion clearance in the 1950’s  or 60’s.

    I’m worried that this is the most organised thing in the house..

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Betty Boop just doin’ the do.

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Sometimes I have projects that almost finish me off and I swear that I’m never touching my sewing machine again.

No matter how much I plan these things out it,  as a rule I always end up having a manic rush in the end. Its up till 2 am the night before, then  back up 7 am; and when I’m supposed to be at the birthday lunch and I’m still in my pyjama’s doing the bias binding.

This was the Brick wall pattern quilt which was designed by Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s quilts and was a feature in Issue 3 of Quilt Now magazine.

http://www.quiltnow.co.uk/item/420-qn3-onsale

The fabric was picked not by me but by the recipient, for it was her birthday after all (not that she was aware there was a reason behind my quizzing at Plush Addicts open day at the time) and her choice of fabric being the Betty Boop range by Camelot  and some racy Alexander Henry.

For me the fabric was way to chaotic. After looking at all the patterns around I decided on the Brick Wall one as it wouldn’t distort the feature fabric too much.  The print is so large, it’s difficult to do anything more intricate without losing the detail.
Now thinking of it I suppose I could have done some smaller circles appliqued on a white background fabric bit like bubbles in the air say. I Always get ideas much too late.

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Everything was going so well, all the squares were cut exact and everything was matching up. But I ran out of fabric (I forgot to buy an extra 5 FQ when I bought the bundle). Then when it came to piecing the lot together things began to unravel. I don’t know what happened but one panic attack later ,I spent all Friday & Saturday at my dining table . Bad Planning…I just underestimated how long it would take .

Then various other things started occurring such as

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I measured everything with precision, so I’m going to blame my measuring tape (maybe I used  the one that I had accidentally sliced off the top inch of) ;But all of my ends were 5 cm too short. I had to add extra stuff on everywhere!

Also this happened

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What in the F@$ck?!! How did that even happen??!! So that was annoying.

Also my machine needle decided to break, or fall out,  or the thread kept coming out, or just decide not to sew.

In the end I also tried and yet again failed to get mitered corners on my binding…I have read lots of books on technique and watched tutorials,  and I STILL cant do it!!! My BFF just finished her first quilt – with immaculate borders…I just do not have that ability. Mid (bias binding) meltdown my little Rockette did come up to me and say “you shouldn’t try to be like our friends mummy, you should be like yourself!” Well being myself is squared crappy corners.

There’s no picture of that, so I’ll just put another one in.

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I still have 4 rows of 66.5 cm long strips and I’ve no idea where they were supposed to go and a random 77.5 cm one too.

I used a bamboo wadding, which felt nice but got everywhere. Like one of those beardy shrubs.

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The backing was a mixture of beautiful expensive Alexander Henry and cheap and functional IKEA fabric. I love IKEA for backing fabric.

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But it worked out in the end, and the pain was worth it for my amazing mother in law who very much deserved it. So all’s well that ends well as the saying goes..

And now to something else

I’ve gone on a slight non-practical fabric binge.

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Why do I buy fabric that I lust for and not actually need? Because there’s normally 10- 20% off .

I finally bought some more Cotton and Steel and the pony Kokka stuff I’ve been hankering for 2 years. But the find was the Cotton and Steel Coral arrows. I’ve been looking for the same print in navy which appears to have sold out in the UK everywhere. (OK everywhere bar one place, which are charging quite a bit for it. On tight arse principles I not going to buy it at that price).

None of these fat quarters are practical for the girls dress making that I’m now looking towards for my next project, so I really didn’t need them…….But I wanted them….

What about the play list this week?

I have been listening to the debut album by fellow Melburnians Pearls. Part shoegazer ,part electronica (a bit like Goldfrapp) and part Jack Ladder (who sounds like Nick Cave.) . I have again judged this album by its cover and I’m happy I did. I’m really enjoying it.

Until next time you are free to go!

I make an actual skirt…

Whenever Tilly Walnes released ‘Love at first stitch” and around the time I started this blog in fact, I started to make a mock-up of her Clemence skirt. It looked easy but it took until last week to finish it. About 10 months! True, I have unfinished quilts older than that, but it was the first piece of adult clothing I attempted.

Anyway I don’t know what possessed me, but I got it in my head that I was going to finish that friggin’ thing and make the real thing. Surprisingly I did it all within a few days!

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I’m not entirely sure how it ended up looking perfect, seams matching up etc etc. I do have my BFF for helping with the zip  insertion. But as beginners go, It’s pretty bloody fine if I do say so myself. It does ride up slighty, I could have done with making the waistband a bit smaller but I love the swooshy feel of it. It was quite easy to make saying that from a quilter’s perspective.

I’ve already got the fabric to make at least another two. But they also have patterns on them, so now I’m faced with trying to pattern match…scarry stuff.

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Now I’m a woman possessed! I have started on making the Mimi blouse with fabric I bought from Walthamstow all that time ago. (Mr CM giving a surprised look”what your going to make it with buttons and all?”) I have a deadline for a quilt coming up soon, and I’ve just pushed that aside to itch this clothing scratch I’ve got.

It’s all quite a new adventure, dealing with pattern cutting and stuff. But it all seems quite logical.

Tilly’s website is pretty cool if you want to check it out.

http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/

What else this week?

I did go to another stitch show, the first one with Rockette…she got bored fast! I bribed her with quite a bit of cake and a Pez dispenser.

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I did buy a beautiful echino layer set which I have plans for it to meet the Patchwork City book. Hopefully  they will be great friends. But I’m not starting that until all of my other unfinished stuff is done! I’m determined. If I leave the quilt I started a year ago for Rockette any longer, she would have grown out of all of that pink.

I did also pick up all these other brilliant bit’s of fabric. It was hard to be restrained.

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On the baking shelf.

I made some cupcakes this week as is customary when it’s ones birthday in the UK (In Australia I recall people buying you a cake). I did whip up some Hummingbird bakery cupcakes which I thought turned out well.

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But I wasnt expecting the comments on the note I left.

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Its great when a bake turns out well.

And music?

Music wise I did get a turntable for my birthday (Along with Jack White and Pond lp’s) so I’ll be rediscovering the vinyl I’ve bought over the years. I have also been listening to Gaz Coombes (Supergrass) new album Matador. It’s brilliant. I’m always doubtful when artists go solo but this has been a pleasant surprise. Really enjoying it.

I’ll leave you alone now, you’re free to go!

 

Love Beads for a wedding.

I could see how that title could be misconstrued! (No it’s not of the Thai sort.)

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After the weeks of hen’s do’s, planning and panic, my friend’s wedding day came and it was beautiful. As I had said in last posts I had been making Sarah Fielke’s Love Beads quilt from the book “Hand Quilted with Love”. It’s the second quilt I have made from the book and I found It was quite easy to follow. I was orginally  thinking I should have gone for something a bit more complex (like say wedding rings) but with that and a cake to make I didn’t want to over exert myself, I know what I’m like. (and after looking at the complexity of the wedding rings block I just didn’t have the time)

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 I had been buying fabric from here there and everywhere for this. I used Amy Butler for all of  the center hexagons, plain Kona’s and Dashwood’s Flurry  for the little triangles and a mixture of Bark and Branch  (Eloise Renouf Cloud 9 Fabrics), Foliage Grid Botanics (Carolyn Friedlander Robert Kaufman) and Priory Square (Katy Jones Art Gallery fabric).

I forgot to buy the Priory Square fabric at the start. I only realised after I started laying it all out. So I thought I will sew it in two parts and then when that fabric arrives in the post I can just insert it in. That was a bad move. It was tricky to sew the two halves together.

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The cutting was easy and straight forward. They looked so pretty together but once I put it all together I really wasn’t sure if I had made the right fabric choices. But as with most things I should just trust my instincts, once it was all together it looked fine.

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Also in my failing’s in all things that require thought or purchasing or measuring; I under bought the bias binding by 60cm. The day before the wedding was when I realised. My local shops didn’t have the same fabric..I had to make my own with the green Dashwood flurry (I didn’t take a photo of this, I’m a donut).

…packing it up was a challenge, We couldn’t find a big enough box on the Friday afternoon..

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Did someone say cake?

I’ll just share the Wedding Cake photo too, It was my first foray into fondant icing (I am normally a buttercream person) and it didn’t turn out too bad really. I was too sacred to use Royal Icing in case I stuffed it up.

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This monster was 7  layers of Vanilla sponge (using Hummingbird Cupcake recipe).  In some crazed Thursday morning inspiration I thought I’d make it orange Ombre on the inside. The problem with doing this is that it’s difficult to see the end product. It was a bit wonky too, I’m hoping only I noticed that.

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Ii turns out I was way too conservative with my colours and was so disappointed when I was sent a photo ( it wasn’t cut up and served on the night) and seen that it didn’t really work. I was really upset to be honest…(no tears though) and I did get two layers mixed up, oops…donut.

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I’ll know for next time..but it did taste bloody nice if I do say so myself, and isn’t that the point?

Now that’s done, unfinished skirts and quilts demand my attention….

I almost forgot!

As my little blog is still very small, I’m linking up with the wonderful Lilys Quilt blog. Hello if your visitng for the first time!

Small Blog Meet

(That above link is acting weird, I’ll re check it in a bit).