Saturday, 30 January 2010

January stash buster!

I'm delighted to see everyone signing up to the 'make a month in 2010' flickr group. There are now lots of us milling round in there - it's like a stash-busting self help group!

Last day of the month tomorrow, so I thought I'd better get on with posting about my own personal challenge for January. Ok, so in itself this little shoulder bag hasn't made a huge indent on my stash, but it's more about the principle this time, that is using things I have been hoarding needlessly. I'm very prone to buying fabric, getting it out to stroke it and admire it occasionally, then putting it away uncut as it's too nice to use! The fabric in question is a lovely Paul Smith linen herringbone tweed that I bought in Fabrics Galore on a shopping trip with Joanne, Florence and Lisa eons ago (March last year). I also had in mind as a lining the lovely brown and aqua damask print cotton that I received in a lovely surprise package from Florence.

This is the bag I came up with - a soft bag with darts rather than corners to create a rounded shape. I used a Vilene thermolam fleece interlining for added pouffiness - another stash item that was sitting around unused.

tweed bag

damask lining

It did look a bit plain though, when I'd finished, which was the ideal opportunity to break into the button and ribbon stash.
buttons and bows

There were a few days of ribbon positioning, backing away, adding of buttons, more consideration. I realised along the way that it is pointless asking my husband 'what do you think?' - all I got was a very helpful scratching of the chin and 'well, the button is a totally different colour from the bag', followed by a look of panic which suggested 'was that the sort of thing I was meant to say?'.

After due consideration, I decided on a flower corsage. I've made these kanzashi flowers before, but never actually got around to attaching them to anything. This time I attached a brooch pin to the back so that it can be repositioned, or pinned to a coat instead. Julia has a great tutorial on her blog if you haven't come across these before.

corsage detail

I'm not going to stop at just one of these bags but try to make a few up in different fabrics so as to continue my stash-busting efforts. I've half a mind to write up the pattern too, but who knows how long that will take me!

Come along and see the flickr group if you haven't signed up already - so many lovely things already popping up in the photo pool.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A make a month in 2010

I have good intentions in 2010 to stop hoarding all my supplies and books and to start making instead. Is it just me that wants to save everything for the right project? I even have some interfacing that I'm saving for best, which makes me sound like a very sad case indeed. So this year, I have resolved to put an end to the stockpiling and to make sure that I make at least one thing each month that eats into my stash.

Here's a small glimpse of the things I've acquired but never used (and that doesn't even include the fabric and yarn)

stash in need of use

I'm including in this resolution all the lovely sewing books I own, or borrow from the library - they will be de-coffeetableized, not just leafed through imagining the things I might make, but choosing a pattern and actually following it.

I even made myself a little blog button to remind myself because I'd never made a blog button before and it seemed like a fun thing to do.

a make a month in 2010

Anyone else have a serious stash problem? Do you hoard new kinds of interfacing? Do you buy patterns and never use them? Join me!

I realise there's not much of January left, so I've started as I mean to go on and decisively cut into some herringbone tweed I was saving for a rainy day. I'll post pics of the finished bag in my next post once I've finished procrastinating over those final details!

edited to add: thanks for the enthusiastic response! I set up a flickr group, so please do join me so that I don't feel sad and friendless! You can find it here

Karin also asked about the blog button - feel free to use it, though it's very amateurish! The code can be found here

Monday, 18 January 2010

Rainy day window shopping

I'm currently filling in my tax return. In spite of having a husband who can do magical stuff with the formulae in an excel spreadsheet, saving me the horrors of individual dollars to pounds conversions (thank you, husband!) this is proving to be a real chore. Delaying the inevitable, I've been doing a bit of internet browsing in between typing figures into columns. Here are some of the lovely things I've been coveting looking at on etsy (there's something about looking at how much money you've spent in a year that leads to an uncontrollable urge to windowshop!):

Stunning Tori Japanese Style Bird Pendant by howlindoggie - this has been on my wishlist longterm!

London April Showers mini print by askey illustration - makes me smile thinking of my boy and girl be-hooded in the rain.

handprinted fabric by Melissa Bombardiere - the belbird design in this multi-coloured stack is my favourite.

I Like People Who Smile When It's Raining print by Heidi Burton. Another of Heidi's prints already cheers up my workspace, and I really agree with the sentiment of this one! See the Bob Dylan quotation on the item listing: 'Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet'.

scandi colour-it-yourself screenprinted poster by summersville. I love colouring in - the only problem is managing to wrestle the felt tips away from the children!

Little Vixen Necklace by Joanna Rutter. My sister bought me a pair of Joanna's beautiful bird earrings for my birthday last year - the finish on the silver is so pretty.

Printable customized stationery by yaelfran. Such a fantastic idea - the stationery is customized to illustrate your family - hair styles, colouring, everything!

... wondering whether publicly thanking the husband and making a list of things I want in the same post could prove an effective strategy ;)

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year!

A chilly start to the new year here, and a snow day for us yesterday, with more of the same today. I can't believe 2010 is here already - we were married in 2000, and always joked about how easy it would be to remember how many years it had been, but still I can't work out how it can possibly be 10 years this time around! We have an exciting year ahead with our new arrival, sister to my 6 year old girl and 4 year old boy due in May.

2009 seems to have gone by so quickly. Some handmade highlights have been the quilts I made for my boy and girl (I didn't know when I started them that I'd soon need to start on a third!). Yes, I did manage to complete the coin quilt sew along, though never got around to blogging the photos of the finished article. The girl (and often the cat too) snuggles up under it every night, and she is enchanted by the idea of me putting my love into every single stitch, spending ages tracing the lines of quilting.

stacked coin quilt

quilting coin quilt

(For the record, as I seem to remember saying I'd report back, i found the warm and natural batting I used for the boy's quilt about 100 times easier to work with than the hobbs heirloom I used here. The warm and natural seemed to adhere naturally to the fabric, leading to much less slippage and a neater finish, though the puckers are not that noticeable with the free motion quilting, so I think I got away with it! Had I pinned more, and checked more often as I went along, I would probably not have had this problem). It's so nice to tuck the boy and girl in at night under a layer of handmade; there's definitely room in my life for more quilts, even if the house is already bursting at the seams.

I had fun putting together this mosaic of some of the other things I made in 2009. Click on the photo to see larger images and more details.

Hopefully there'll be a productive year of making ahead, though there might be a small interlude around the beginning of May!
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