Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sunday Progress - a little late but (almost) worth the wait

The less exciting news first. I have finished another patch on my knitted blanket.

This one seemed really quick as it was pretty much just 2 rows repeated 25 times. 

Only three more squares to go (unless I've managed to miss another patch somewhere along the line).

And now onto the star of the show...

The Xmas quilt is finished ... binding on, ends sewn in and tacks removed. Started over Xmas 2011 it's finally done for Xmas 2017!

With the finishes slowly building up I'm considering what other UFOs and unstarted projects to focus on next.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Feeling Fruity

My crafting this week seems to have developed a fruit theme (assuming you can call baking crafting). 

I have finally started a project using the RJR Farmer's Market fabric, which I've probably had longer than this blog.

I'd always intended on making something for a dining table for the but wasn't entirely sure about a design. I bit the bullet and cut them into 3.5inch squares which I will use to make a simple table runner (maybe two if I have enough squares).

I love the almost photographic nature of the print.

The other fruit I have been working with is the fruit for a Christmas cake, once again I'm using the Pink Which recipe ... HERE ...tried and tested and all that.

Ideally the fruit has to soak in brandy and sweetened orange juice for six weeks, being stirred daily for the first week - smells amazing! Last year I made my cake very last minute and only soaked the fruit for a couple of days, still tasted good though.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Sunday Progress

Having been away for a week I wasn't expecting to have much progress to report but an unexpected sewing night on Friday has significantly helped matters.

For the first time I used the sewing table set up in our new house.

The room is yet to be decorated and the furniture is likely to be changed but, with the addition of a lamp behind machine, I think this will be fine. And I can always go and use the dining room table!

So what got progressed? Well from my UFO list I actually finished the Kindle case...

I think this one is definitely the best yet, although there is a little bit of bulkiness inside which may be due to missing a pressing step or being too nervous when trimming the seams.  The only thing which is slightly irritating is the upside down hedgehogs on the flap. Ah well!
I also started my 47th ish block on the knitted blanket.

Not on my UFO to-do list, yet, is the 365 quilt blocks...

8 and 9 Jan completed, I think I will be joining the 2018 challenge too!

I'm now going to curl up with my binding sewing and see if I can achieve another finish this week.

Friday, 6 October 2017

The Woollen Mill...or what we did on our holidays!

I'd originally intended this post to be about the week away we've just had, until we visited Trefriw Wool Mill and I realised that deserved a post all of its own.

We decided to go to the mill because of the lovely bed throw in our hotel room. When we first arrived the scene in the shop was less than inspiring, as they were moving all the stock up to one end of the shop and covering over any stock they couldn't move due to their turbine being serviced that day. 

Whilst umming and ahing about whether to buy ourselves a throw we thought we might as well have a quick look at the mill workings which were open to the public (at least until the turbine servicing began).

I didn't really expect much from the loom we saw on the way up to the mill, but when we got up to the spinning! I was fascinated.

This machine stretches the wool rovings into thread as it moves across the floor and the winds the thread onto bobbins as it moves back, just like a woman with a spinning wheel but on an industrial scale.

The thread is then wound onto cones and the cones of thread and twisted together to increase strength.

This machine winds the thread into hanks ready for dying.

A few other steps occur, including winding the warp threads from many cones onto a beam, before the weaving happens...

This is just one of several looms and is dedicated to weaving the bed throws. You can see some of the mills historic bed throws in the background.

The mill was a water mill using the mill wheel to drive all the machines constantly. Nowadays the machines are powered by electricity but not from the national grid. The previously mentioned turbine generates the electricity required using the flow of the mill stream. So this historic mill is still water powered...

And after wandering around all this industrial machinery we managed to decide on a bed throw...

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Progress Update

So around a week off work spent decorating a large bedroom I have managed to make some progress on my UFOs, or at least some of them. I haven't done anything on the Kindle cover or the socks.

I am pleased with progress on the Xmas quilt, I'm over half way with the binding. I was a bit impatient to get this one finished so I bought some fabric called craft cotton for the binding. Regretting that a little now as I don't know why but it's stiffer than normal cotton so a bit awkward to manipulate but it seems to look okay sewn on so I'm persevering.

The knitted blanket is going well...

This should be the 46th square of 49, with the remaining ones being duplicates of the ones below it, nothing too tricky or time consuming there.
You may have noticed I said should be...while searching for this final strip I noticed that one strip is missing it's top square. Not too sure how this happened as I've been working through the books in order. Luckily it's a simple one so quickly sorted, just taking the shineout of finishing the above strip a little. Oh well!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

An early quilt top...unsurprisingly unfinished!

So in checking my blog for whether I'd ever mentioned this quilt top before I learnt a few things:

1. I make a lot of kindle covers (not all for other people, I think I've lost two so far)

2. I'm rubbish at finishing things, my early to-do lists seem to contain projects which are still in progress 

3. I need some quality control on my blog as I've posted about the same thing twice at least once (if that makes sense).

Anyway the point of today's post is the dilemma I'm having over an unfinished top. My very first quilting class was how to make a french braid, or at least that was the outcome of it. Which I then made in to a top. Unfortunately my choice of fabrics as based on a random jelly roll I'd picked up some time before and to tell the truth I'm not madly keen about the colours.

The top consists of four columns of braid and a fairly large quantity  of the border fabric - it seems I always had a taste for large quilts!

I feel bad leaving this top unfinished and I really can't bring myself to bin it, so I am going to finish it and them decide it's fate. At the moment I'm leaning towards donating it to Project Linus or a charity raffle prize but we'll see.  Judging on my past abilities to finish things that decision will be way off in the future!