A Lovely Year of Finishes: May project completed (tick)

ALYOF logoHenry Lee gently chided me a few days ago about my lack of blogging of late, and he’s right:  the last time I posted was at the beginning of the month, when I shared what I had planned for my May project for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF) (I was goal setter No. 84).  And I’m pleased to say that it has now been completed! 🙂

Once again I went for minimal quilting (just simple stitch in the ditch), in part due to lack of confidence and experience in doing any fancy stuff myself, but also because I sometimes feel (please don’t shoot me for saying this) that some quilts are all about the quilting design and how much of it there is, rather than letting the fabrics speak for themselves …  I don’t mean to offend anyone or disparage anyone’s quilting efforts by saying this:  I’m just very comfortable with less being more in the case of my own quilts.

Anyway, here are some photos of the finished project, which isn’t perfect, but which I’m happy with  (I do so love working with batik fabrics …) 🙂

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During the month I managed to find a universal walking foot which fits my old sewing machine, and it certainly made the stitch in the ditch part easier – although I do need to work on my accuracy in sticking to ‘the ditch’!

A little batik project for May

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My May project for A Lovely Year of Finishes will be finishing off a UFO:  a very simple, single bed quilt with some lovely batik strips, which was started … a year ago?  Two years ago??  I forget now.  It was going to be my project last month, before I got kidnapped ambushed by that one-block wonder which muscled its way into the production line and took over the month of April … 🙂

Here’s a photo of some of the blocks I have sewn together so far for the May project:


I love working with batiks, with their beautiful colours and patterns, sometimes rich and vibrant, other times subtle and delicate:  such a variety to choose from, which is why I love the jelly roll packs which do all the cutting and colour blending for me!  Then all I have to do is come up with a pattern and sew it all together:  easy peasy! 🙂

A tip from a friend during the week (thanks, T.!) made me aware of a very interesting programme which I watched this morning on The Living Channel:  it’s called The Great British Sewing Bee, and it’s sort of like Masterchef for amateur sewers 🙂  Normally I don’t watch that kind of programme because I don’t like them, but I really did enjoy this one, so I’ll have to set myself some sort of reminder to watch it each week.  (I’m not normally watching TV at 8.30am on a Sunday …)  This week the contestants were tested on three core fabrics:  cotton, wool, and silk, with a different challenge for each fabric (a sleeveless blouse in cotton; remodelling of a full-length woollen skirt; and a nightdress in silk), with varying times for each project, ranging from 2.5 hours to 5 hours.  There were three men and 9 women in the challenge, although one of the men became unwell half way through the second project, so he withdrew.  It was fun watching how each person handled the challenges, and interesting to see the different ways they tackled the projects, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress each week.  The two judges are May Martin from the Women’s Institute, who has been sewing for over 40 years, specialising in garment making and home accessories; and Patrick Grant from Savile Row, who has no formal training in tailoring, having started his career in science and engineering, but whose passion has re-established and enhanced the reputation of Norton and Sons, the Savile Row tailors which he purchased in 2005.

And to finish off the weekend on a high, the Kiwis sprung a wonderful surprise for all their supporters by outmuscling and outplaying the Kangaroos, beating them 26-12!  Although it’s the third time in the last six months that we’ve beaten them, it’s the first time we’ve won the Anzac test (played once a year around the time of Anzac Day on 25 April) since 1998, which made the victory all the sweeter.  (Any time we can beat them it’s sweet, but three times in a row, within six months?  Awesome!) 

And after a lovely weekend, it’s back to work tomorrow … *sigh*   







Yay, another project done and dusted!

ALYOF logoI felt quite pleased with myself last Thursday, as I managed to get my April project for ALYoF (A Lovely Year of Finishes) fully completed by the end of the month, rather than just to the flimsy stage which I had set as my original goal.  Having a 4-day weekend over Easter, as well as a 3-day weekend towards the end of the month for Anzac Day observance certainly helped. 🙂

It was a good learning curve, this project, and at the end I probably felt about 60% happy with how it finished up.  I definitely need to work on matching my seams better, and need to take a little more care with the cutting process as well, but it was still a fun project to work on 🙂  I ended up doing some big stitch quilting to tie it all together, using a variegated thread which created a pattern of its own on the reverse side which I found quite pleasing.

First up, a photo of the finished quilt:

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Next, a photo of the reverse – you can see the sort of ‘improv’ effect of the variegated thread 😉

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And finally, a close-up of the big stitch quilting on the front and back:

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As I mentioned in a previous post, there’s a Facebook page for OBW fans (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1435295876732150/), and I’m really enjoying seeing some of the projects people are working on.  I’ve already decided on my May ALYoF project (coming up in a separate post), but have been sorely tempted to change my mind and try another OBW after seeing some of the beautiful projects being created …  However, since my intention in taking part in ALYoF is actually to finish off some of my UFOs, I’m going to be strong and resist the temptation!

It’s been a lovely weekend weather-wise here in Christchurch – actually, the forecast looked pretty good for the whole of the country – unlike Brisbane on Friday night, when the Anzac rugby league test between the Kiwis and the Australian Kangaroos had to be postponed due to torrential rain and a waterlogged pitch.  The match was rescheduled for this evening and is due to start in about 20 minutes – our record in these matches has been horrible, but that doesn’t stop me saying, Go, Kiwis! 🙂