Re-entry

Re-entry to work has been a little harder than I anticipated. In fact, it’s kicked my butt. I’m tired and sore and fairly stressed. The first two have put a major dent in my sewing time, while the last one means I need it all the more! Hopefully things are settling down now, between a new routine and new medication. Fingers crossed, eh?

I haven’t sewn much, but I have cut things out. First up, a t-shirt:

I got some inexpensive cotton jersey from good old Abakhan to fiddle around with this t-shirt pattern. Just two pieces, and it looks cute. I cut the pieces, then realise that stripes were perhaps not the best choice for a first go. The stripes match on one side, but not the other. Ooops! Nevermind, it will do for proof of concept. With any luck, I’ll sew it up this weekend.

I also cut out squares from my stack of Kona Modern Quilts:

I’m going to make a simple sashed square quilt. I think the fabric needs large, simple pieces, because they’re busy enough on their own. I briefly considered big equilateral triangles, but went with squares because it was the end of a long day and I had run out of brain. They’ll be sashed with Kona Ash (the background in the pic). I’ll get the sashing cut out today, I think.

And I got happy mail! I entered some giveaways in the recent ‘Back to School’ blog hop, and I won! In fact, slightly to my embarassment (I’m English, it’s a national sport), I won four! In no particular order, I won some buttons and floral fabrics from Miss Beau Jangles, and some scraps from The Fuzzy Hat Quilter, which I’ll post about when they get here. Two parcels arrived yesterday:

A pack of gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics from Vicki Welsh. They’re so pretty! I’m contemplating what to do with them. They might become lovely fish swimming in a blue sea – the hand-dyed fabric has great depth and movement.

And last, but by no means least, Kristy from Quiet Play sent me some of her paper piecing patterns and a charm pack of Pure by Sweetwater. Pretty fabric! I love the chocolate and pale blue combination 🙂

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for a Friday Whoop Whoop! I think I need one just for getting this far into September!

A finished skirt!

Yep, green skirt has gone from WIP Wednesday to Finished Friday!

It fits and everything! I’m thrilled with it 😀

Stats:

Random cotton knit from the by-kilo bins at Abakhan. I think I had about 1.6 metres. No pattern. I just drew around a skirt I own and love, and added a seam allowance. I sort of figured out the waistband as I went (leading to a bit of learning by trial and error). Side seams and hems were super easy. My vintage machine doesn’t have fancy stretch stitches, so I just used zig-zag and it was fine.

I love this fabric. It’s something I would definitely have ignored in a clothes shop, but it jumped out at me in the fabric store. The pattern reminds me of a wrap skirt my mum had in the late 70s/early 80s in red and black.

Waistband shenanigans meant I gave up fighting my machine for one seam and hand-sewed. I used this tutorial to do herringbone stitch, a stretchy handsewing stitch. Troubleshooting my machine’s skipped stitch issues also meant I learned how to adjust my machine’s timing, which was a groovy bonus 🙂

Next time I’ll make the waistband a little narrower. I used 40mm elastic and it kind of sticks straight up at the front – my tummy, on the other hand, doesn’t. I think narrower elastic will fix that. And oh yes, there’ll be a next time! Sewing clothing was much easier than I feared! I’ve got a t-shirt pattern to try out next, on some lovely purple stripey jersey.

My biggest reason for a Whoop Whoop this week is more personal. I started quilting and sewing just a few months ago (back in May, just before I started this blog). I was very bored; I’d been off work ill for a couple of months and needed something creative I could do at my own pace. I’ve knitted for years, but I was giving myself tendon problems by sitting and knitting all day!

My illness is nothing major or life-threatening, just some incredibly painful complications from a simple little operation at the beginning of the year. And now, finally, I’m well enough to go back to work! There’s my WHOOP WHOOP! I’m not fully recovered yet, but enough to get back to the office next week. I’m so happy to be going back to my work and my colleagues. Even with quilting, I’ve been so bored stuck at home!

The best thing is, I’ve gained an addictive new hobby. Quilting has occupied my time and my brain, and given me a great deal of pleasure, both from the finished items and from learning something new. I’m even starting to learn how to sew clothes, something I’ve dreamed about for years but had written off as ‘too complicated’. It will take some adjustment to figure out how to fit sewing and quilting time into my back-at-work schedule, but I’ll make it happen. I love the sewing too much to stop 🙂

But first, we’re celebrating my return to health with a little weekend away. Peaceful countryside and some good food, what could be better?

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for a WHOOP WHOOP!, and TGIFF over at Mama Love Quilts this week.

The best laid plans…

I had such plans for this week, I did. There’s a quilt all basted and ready for quilting, now my walking foot has arrived. There’s another quilt top I want to piece, all cut out and waiting for me. There’s my cutting mat bag, with not a whole lot more to be done on it. And what did I do? Very little on that list. We’ve had some domestic upheaval for the last few months and this week, there was suddenly a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. And that’s when I realised just how exhausted I was. So most of my spare (sewing) time this week has been taken up by reading and relaxing. I’ve got through almost all of my stash of Little House books, but sewed only a little. I think I decided I was my most important WIP this week.

I did make a little progress with my cutting mat bag. I ‘quilted’ the outsides (my batting is a cheap Ikea fleece blanket!).

I attached pockets, buttons and button loops.

I even sewed it together with binding around the edges. There’s no picture of that, though, because I buggered it up and have spent the afternoon ripping it. I’m visiting family next week, which means the bag will just have to wait until next weekend to be finished, and my modifed Hexagon Park pieces will stay in pieces for now. But next weekend, I’ll get there!