Tuesday, 18 February 2014

making decisions

As much as I am loving being even more creatively inspired than usual, I find myself struggling to make the necessary creative decisions of my own.

Exactly which of my fabrics should I put together?

What colours of yarn should I use and in which order?

I have been seeing so many gorgeous combinations on blogs and on pinterest but this inspiration has almost crippled my own imagination through the fear of not getting it quite right.

I only seem to be able to cope with different fabrics of the same or similar colours.

I think this is why my rainbow hexies were so appealing, and why I was pleased with my diamond mini quilt. And when I made my first project from Patchwork Please I followed Ayumi's design and went for a single colour scheme - and it does make me happy, but it's not very brave, is it.

I almost find myself unable to imagine how MY fabrics will go together when they are not the exact same ones that I am seeing being used elsewhere. I know I can't go out and buy an entirely new stash (although it is tempting!!) just to match something I have seen online so I need to find some way of making the best use of what I have. But what if I get it wrong and end up making a mess?

I had to abandon a pair of fairisle wrist warmers for my boss because I kept repeatedly getting the colour choices wrong and having to rip it out endlessly - until I was thoroughly sick of the sight of them when I have previously loved the pattern. In the end I had to compromise and knit her a nice safe pair of Susie's Reading Mitts in one solitary, safe colour.

I find myself craving some simple sock knitting for it's basic decision-free round-and-roundness - when this would have seemed too boring a week ago.

Does anyone else have this problem? Where brilliant inspiration leads to a complete loss of creative confidence? If so, how have you overcome it?

Answers on the back of a postcard please!

Thursday, 13 February 2014


This week has been when I only have to work two days  (every other week I work 3), so I have had lots of fun playing with sewing on my days off.

I can't remember what I achieved on Monday, but yesterday I spent the day making these fabulously quick pouches for the little Lockets using this tutorial. I love the dense quilting on them.  Bizarrely my special walking foot makes straight line quilting bunch up instantly whereas my standard foot lets me quilt beautifully - does anyone else have this problem?

I am giving them to the children tomorrow for Valentine's Day and have filled them with Jelly Babies and chocolate so I know they will be pleased!  I bought Mr Locket a pair of beautiful cards from Celia and I can't decide which one to give him - maybe he will get both :)

I also made this pouch for my mummy so I hope she doesn't read this post before I get it sent to her.

I like the bottom the best - even if it does look strangely misshapen.

Today I wanted to play with half square triangles so I made a batch of 2.5" and laid them out in a couple of different ways.

I decided I liked the diamond best so I pieced this panel

and then quilted the life out of it - and I have to say I absolutely love it.

I love how the colours and fabrics work together and I love the quilting.

I had been going to make it into another pouch but it was such a shame to fold the diamond in half and lose the effect of it so now I have another mini quilt to bind.

Daisy has said she would like a quilt for her birthday in May and I'm thinking this combination of blues and diamonds would be perfect for her - but she is keen to play with other layouts too which will be fun, especially as she isn't normally all that interested in my sewing shenanigans :)

I really don't have time to go to work tomorrow!  I just have too much sewing to play with!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Inspiration overload

It's official.  My brain is going to pop!

There are so many amazing sewy creations out there in blogland - I find myself staying up until the early hours reading post after post and getting so many ideas that I can't get to sleep!  Maybe taking my Kindle to bed with me is a bad idea.

It got to the point when I didn't think I could actually make anything because I just had too many projects whizzing round my mind, but I have managed to focus and although my hexie obsession is on the wane this week (because I think I overdid it a bit!) my passion for mini quilts and rainbow colours is still going strong and the children (mostly Dot) and I also made Aunty Mo a hexagon bag and card for her 80th birthday.

These are some more of the blogs I have been reading: the appropriately named My Quilt Infatuation (in the school holidays she makes a quilt a week and doesn't start a new project until that one is completely finished, bound and labelled - no startitis here), Simplify (and I have bought her most recent book and some pdf patterns too - they are lovely) and Mama Love Quilts (her colour wheel mini quilt is gorgeous).

I've been reading through lots of old posts on these blogs and a common theme seems to be fabric storage which has left me unsettled about the fabrics I have and the way they are sorted.

I have a lot of fabric.  At the moment it is sorted in (quite large) plastic boxes by colour and then there is a box for novelty fabric (and various other boxes too if I'm honest).

A lot of the fabrics were bought years ago when I made appliqued fleece blankets, so I have the perfect colour and pattern for a lion's mane or a sheep's fleece for example, but my tastes have moved on.  Then I had a phase of making wallets with novelty fabrics - but again, I have moved on. 

All these no longer loved fabrics were getting me down and making me feel guilty so on Saturday I had a massive colour by colour sort out and pulled out all the pieces that I could no longer see myself using.  It was very therapeutic - but the box of cast offs was pretty large. So I offered them to my sewing friends who chose the pieces they would like, then I plan to show two other friends as I think they would like some too - but what should I do with the rest of it?  My ultimate plan is to donate some to the children's school textiles department but do you have any suggestions first?

And how do you store your fabric?  My sewing room is out in the garage but having read all those inspirational blog posts about fancy storage, I would love to have the fabric stacked by colour on my shelves in the house (that's not going to happen though!) but maybe instead of having them stuffed in boxes I should iron and fold them and have the boxes facing outwards on the shelves so I can see the fabrics and be inspired.

Here's a final photo of a project I stitched before Christmas

Miss Maggie Rabbit from the design by Posie gets Cozy - she was fun to make :o)