Sunday, November 11, 2012

Failure and Success

I'm not very good at following patterns. I know that I should be with all the sewing I do but I find it really hard to imagine what the process is supposed to look like and I make lots of mistakes and get very, very annoyed.
So the failure of this story was my attempt at following a Zakka pattern. I though I might make something for the teachers I work with at school. What could be better than a couple of pencil cases? I know that there are restrictions on how much info you can give in a book because each page published is an added expense but I need pictures - lots of pictures. These little fellows were eventually finished but they are not what I envisioned at all, especially their size which was tiny.
The one in the book is gorgeous and it is not to blame, I'm just a bit lacking. 

You can't even fit a normal sized pencil in it and close the flap.
I'm sure I could adapt the measurements now that I've done it all the way through but then I decided that I didn't want to give pencil cases anymore so I'm ditching the idea.
Today was my success story.
I was reading Nikki's blog (You Sew Girl) during the week.
She was wearing a rather neat little apron that I thought I might like to make.
You can have a peek at hers if you go here.
On an impulse I bought the pattern and within seconds I could download it - all 19 pages of it!
I was already cursing myself as I flicked through the pages and trembled at the thought of getting through it all. You see now that I had spent money on it, I had to make the thing. What I noticed with this tome of instructions was that it contained lots and lots of pictures and handy hints for the innocent and inexperienced.
I cut out the fabric last night and set to stitching today.
I won't say it was easy, because for me, it wasn't but I will say that I managed to finish the apron within a few hours and I only made one mistake that took about 5 minutes to fix.
Thank you Nikki for an excellently written pattern that even I could follow.

My photos aren't great. There are 2 zippered pockets hiding inside and lots of compartments which is very handy for money and keys.
I put in zips! Yippee!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Pigs Made Me Do It.

Not so long ago I found myself making an x + quilt. It was filled with lots of lovely 2" squares and tiny little triangles. It was fiddly, time consuming and annoying until the end when I decided it was fabulous. Despite the happy ending, I swore if I ever made another one it would be with bigger blocks.
Then along came these sweet little pigs.

I didn't even need new fabric but I had a gift voucher for fabric at Central Park Patchwork and discovered that they were selling all their patchwork fabric off and changing the whole shop around to sell just Liberty and linen. Not one to waste a perfectly good gift voucher, the pigs came home with me. Pouring over all the blocks in Judy Hopkin's '501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks' book, I found a sort of donut block that I could centre the pigs in. The only problem was that it required lots of dreaded 2" blocks. Despite this shortcoming I started cutting fabric last weekend.
I discovered that I was not nearly as irritated by all the little pieces as last time. This was much easier to piece and I could use up so many little pieces from my scrap pile.

I've made about 30 blocks now and 20 more are nearly done. I will have to make another 6 to get it to 7x8 size and then I will decide if I will add borders. 

It's actually been very good therapy for me.
I've been writing reports and I usually have trouble sitting at the PC for long periods of time. Whenever I got sick of the reports I just picked up where I left off on the blocks.
This weekend was very good for working. Two of my sons are studying for exams so we have all been peacefully working on our projects.