Miz Lizzie: Cushion creatures

Miz Lizzie has a couple of new adornments.

In addition to sorting out temporary hacks for fitted bunk sheets (aka strategically placed quilting safety pins to hold them tight), and in lieu of making the 4 sets of curtains I’d promised myself, and which the cyclone clear-up cancelled due to lack of time, I’ve managed to get a couple of cushion covers done. We have one each, same fabric, different binding. They’re the perfect plumpness for leaning on while we’re reading or doing something online.

Don’t you just adore that fabric? Mostly Australian birds and butterflies, and it’s a really nice weight of cotton/linen blend décor fabric. I just couldn’t resist it when I saw it, and a metre was plenty for these two. The colour scheme is not exactly right to match the curtain fabric, but close enough that it doesn’t clash visually. And I needed a tiny bit of pink in the future ocean of blues and neutrals…

The process of making them was not without its moments… Originally, both cushions had a zipper in the back. However, as I was inserting the cushion pad into the pink-bound cushion, the zipper pull self-destructed. I couldn’t face the prospect of removing the binding, taking the cover apart and extracting the zip so I could replace it.

So I thought of buttons, and that’s what I’ve got, holding the opening closed with elastic loops. I’d probably have replaced the zip if it was for someone else, but this was my cushion, and although it’s not perfect, I find it quite OK; the buttons blend well with the colour scheme and they do a good job of holding the cover closed without gaping.

Just a few days now before we go away. And still so much to do!

SAL 45: no excuses!

I’ve got a bit more done 🙂

No cyclones to hold me up this time, but I haven’t got as far as I’d intended because of needing to finish the TWX quilt in time for the beginning of May.

Here’s the previous version, crumpled hoop mark and all…

And here’s the update. Not a lot, but not totally shameful either 🙂 And at least this time it’s pressed.

I’ll be taking this sampler away with me on holiday, and hopefully I’ll find time to put some stitches in it amongst all the other fun. Don’t you just love that little fan border at the bottom – so cute!  Next come three large square motifs in a row, each about the height of two rows of letters. I can’t decide whether to work left to right, right to left, or middle out. Well, you’ll see soon enough!

Do go and see what all the other SAL members are up to. There are some truly beautiful and amazing pieces being worked on. We’re all over the world so posting happens at different times. If you don’t see a SAL post the first time you look, it’ll be worth going back to check. Here are the links:

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusanKathy,
MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherine,
WendyMary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 14th May.

SAL 44: It’s Debbie’s fault…

I didn’t have much of a chance to stitch recently.

A lack of electricity and lots of big scary wind and rain will do that. Big bad Tropical Cyclone Debbie paid us a visit, in case you don’t follow this blog regularly. Anyway, extremely good excuses over, here’s the stitching.

This is where I was before:

And this is where I am now. Apologies for the wrinkly fabric; having only just had electricity restored and with so much else to do, I couldn’t find time to press it. Getting the flood mud out of the house takes priority over embroidery projects right now 🙂

This new pattern will repeat across to the opposite border, and after that I start the larger blocks of stitching. Do take time to go and see what all the others  in the Stitch Along are working on, there’s some really beautiful work in progress. Remember we’re in all sorts of time zones and I’m one of the earlier ones, so if you’ve come here first, it might be an idea to wait a while before you visit the others.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusanKathy,
MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy,
Mary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 23 April. Hopefully by that time, I’ll have been able to use my iron!

 

On a roll with a roll

I’ve found a small and gentle job on which to reintroduce my squished finger to sewing.

It’s a crochet hook roll for Alys at Gardening Nirvana, a thank you gift for sending me some jumbo crochet hooks from the US, sizes I couldn’t get here. It all started when I was making the chunky denim yarn mat to put in Miz Lizzie, and now that I’m making another mat with ‘plarn’ (plastic bag yarn), the big hooks have come in very useful.

Having very recently sorted my scraps into usable colour order, I was able to dip straight in and select suitable strips in her favoured colours of blue, green and purple. Alys is just starting out with crochet and doesn’t have a huge hook collection (yet!) but I’m sure that if her enthusiasm takes off there will be many more, so I’ve tried to allow for a couple of hooks in several sizes from weeny to big and chunky. There’s also a slot for a small pair of scissors. Fortunately I also had scrap batting in roughly the right size too, so the project came together quickly and easily. The binding around the edge is identical to what I use for quilts, but half an inch narrower for a tidier effect. I’m rather pleased with the whole thing.

The process is pretty simple – I didn’t think about doing it as a tutorial till it was finished, and too late, so sorry about the lack of photos. Hopefully it’s fairly self-explanatory:

  • Make a piece of fabric up using scrap strips, or use whole cloth if you prefer. Make a lining piece or again, use whole cloth. Trim a 1 inch strip off the outer fabric – you’ll need this later. Trim everything so it’s square and straight, and spray baste together in a sandwich with batting in the middle.
  • Make or cut a piece of fabric to form the inner pocket for the hooks. It needs to be at least 3 inches shorter than the roll itself. Bind the top edge of this with the 1 inch strip you cut off the outer fabric, and topstitch down. Lay the pocket piece down onto the inside of the sandwiched fabrics. Pin the left and right edge in place.
  • Take a ruler and quilt marker, and mark out pockets for the scissors and crochet hooks, up and down the full height of the tool roll, from the bottom of the pocket, across the binding and onto the lining fabric. Ensure you create pockets of a variety of sizes.
  • Quilt the lines you have marked through all layers, including the pocket. Trim out the roll to get rid of uneven edges and any threads. Cut a 2 inch wide strip of binding fabric the circumference of the roll plus a few extra inches. Press it in half along its length.
  • Bind the roll with this narrow binding. (I’ve done a binding tutorial elsewhere, which you can find here) I hand-stitched down the inside edge rather than the outer one as I felt this would be more durable. Stitch on a button loop or piece of elastic to the centre of the right hand outer edge. Stitch a button to the approximate vertical and horizontal centre of the outside of the roll. You may need to move it slightly left or right to accommodate something inside, so test with tools in the roll before you finalise the button position.
  • Put tools into roll. Roll up into three sections and secure with button. You’re done!

Now that I know the finger’s up to sewing, I’ll be returning to the projects in hand. It’s time to get quilting on a couple of things, including making a start on the TWX blocks

SAL 43: Time for something different

Here we are again, time to show what I’ve been stitching away at.

I took my embroidery away with me when I went on holiday recently, but due to have far too much of a good time, I got none at all done while I was away!  Since my return, I’ve managed to get the right hand border filled in down to the design either side of the Z. After this, there’ll be another decorative band, and then it’s time for the Big Stuff.

Here’s where I was before:

And here’s progress to date:

Do hop on over to everyone else’s posts and see what they’ve been up to; we’re all working on something different, and in different time zones, so if you don’t see anything new, try again later.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSueConstanzeDebbierose,
ChristinaSusan, Kathy MargaretCindyHelenStephLinda,
Catherine, Wendy

The next SAL post is due on 2 April. See you then 🙂

A whole different way of camping

Up to now, camping has been a balancing act.

You balance the things you want and need against the space or carrying capacity available. I’ve backpacked; I don’t enjoy the weightlifting involved. I’ve camped with a bicycle and panniers, a motorbike and trailer, and with a car. In all these cases, you have to discard things because there’s no space for them, often things you later wish you had. It’s mostly a case of cramming things into every available corner.

laundry-bagsMiz Lizzie has changed all that. I have places for things, permanent places. One of the most refreshing changes is clothes and laundry. We have a wardrobe, and drawers, for goodness’ sake. When I realised this morning that dirty laundry no longer had to be hung outside the tent in a skimpy plastic bag till I could deal with it, I made us each (drum roll) a laundry bag! To hang inside the wardrobe door on a hook, and corral all the mis-matched socks, used underwear and sweaty shirts, so that Miz Lizzie stays tidy, clean and pleasant-smelling.

pocket-hangingAnd remember I said I’d tell you another time what I did with the pockets from the jeans I cut up for rug yarn? It’s another ‘stuff’-corralling item, some-where to put all those bits and pieces that otherwise get put down, forgotten and lost. It’ll hang inside by the door, or possible on the back of the door itself, so you can find the torch easily in the middle of the night when you have to go to the loo, or you need your car keys or sun-screen before you head out. It’s not especially beautiful or straight – old denim can be a bit baggy to work with – but it is useful, and made from a recycled pair of jeans and a fabric remnant for which I paid $3.

Our first outing is on Saturday. I’m in a frenzy of list-making now that I have space to play with. With the bike and trailer I knew what I had and could take. This is a whole new ball game – does anyone out there have any gems of good advice or experience I could benefit from?

But it’s still better to take too little than too much, wouldn’t you say?

SAL 42: A line under the alphabet

I got the border under the letters finished!

Here’s where I was last time:

sampler-middle-border

And here’s where I am now 🙂

letters-bottom-borderIt felt good to ‘draw a line’ under the letters, which I found slow going, especially at the end. Now, I can let go and enjoy myself with the borders, blocks and patterns which happen below the line, as it were.

Don’t forget to hop over and inspect progress on all the other SAL projects; links below. We’re all in different time zones, so if there’s nothing up yet, give it a few hours and try again

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSueConstanzeDebbierose,
ChristinaSusanKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLinda,
Catherine, Wendy

See you next time, on 12th March.