Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Stash busting

Following on from previous post about items I've made recently, I had a plough through my fabric stash and decided that I really, really needed to start using some of it up.

I also need to finish some projects I've started, and then not completely finished!

Like this....

Which only got as far as the cutting out stage, and a bit of stay stitching
And this..

Yet another Mae blouse from Bluegingerdoll,which needs a hem, and a back fastening.

So the plan was to finish these.  The Mae blouse is easy, I've decided to put poppers on the back, rather than buttons, so just need to mark the positions properly. The maroon Jersey is another thing altogether. I bought the fabric on impulse, cut out the pattern, and then my courage failed me. I don't possess an overlocker, so needed to practice with my machines overcasting foot. Not a problem, but sewing with twin needles was. The reason? My machine has a needle threader, something I couldn't be without, and you can't use it with twin needles. After 20 minutes trying to thread the things I gave up, threw the fabric back in the bag, and it's been there ever since.

Yesterday I came across a free pattern, and a tutorial at so sew easy, so I'm going to try again. I may need to tweak a bit, as it's already cut out, but I've spare fabric, so should be able make something wearable. Fingers crossed. All I've got to do is work out an alternative to twin needles, or else get someone else to thread them for me!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A quiet weekend after a hectic week

This week was always going to be a busy one.  March seems to be manic normally for most people; there are year end processes to be completed, projects to be finished before the money runs out etc. and for me, and my colleagues that means being on site supporting customers through some of those things.

As my customer this week was a 3 hour drive (on a good day) I'd agreed to travel at my leisure on Sunday afternoon, rather than risk Monday traffic.

Arrived at site and for various reasons, virtually lived there for the rest of the week. Sustained by supplies of chocolate, coffee, cakes and the occasional bacon buttie, the team plodded along, working long hours and remaining positive throughout.

I was dreading the journey home. The M6 heading North on a Friday night is normally horrendous, just one long car park, accidents in the road works and so on. But not this week. I arrived at the point where the M6 Toll joins and discovered that the usual traffic jam was missing. No idea why, but I'll take it thanks. I spend many hours in my car, and usually listen to the radio, or to audiobooks, I'm not a big fan of music in the car; but this week I've been listening to a podcast, The Serial from This American Life, and I've been hooked, even though I knew how it was going to end.

So this weekend was just for chilling. Not much in the way of housework has been done, some baking and some essential tidying and ironing but that's about it.

Having sorted through my fabric stash last weekend, I realised I should make a start on something. But what? I've promised  that this year I'll embark on a BIG project, and here we are, in March and I haven't even started.
I've got a Moda charm pack which was a prize giveaway ( I wish I could find the label, as I've forgotten the name) and a jelly roll that I bought on impulse

A bit of juggling later, and I've started to put the charm pack squares together
Of course, at the moment, they're just a glorified ironing board cover!

Plans for next week are to put some of them together as a cushion cover and do some hand quilting, and look for patterns for a jelly roll quilt.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

To keep, or not to keep?

My last few posts have been about making things.
This is about throwing things away.

When my brother came to fit my new cooker he commented that I need to get rid of stuff, looking at this

This was my Nan's rocking chair, and I won't be parting with it. Why not? Because it's used, most days, is a lovely chair, just for sitting and thinking. 

I've got a bit of a problem with de cluttering- I like clutter, and admit to being a hoarder. But recently, someone put it into perspective for me "would you take it with you if you moved house / would your relatives just chuck it when you die?"
So I've been trying to get rid of things, I've boxed up books and CDs, but going through old photos is difficult. I have all my Dads old photos, and have decided that if they're from before he met Mum, and I don't know anyone else in the photo, they can go.
And you come across some gems

Mum and Dad, probably on holiday. I can vaguely remember that car too!
There are lots of holiday snaps, I'll keep a few, for the memories, and maybe scan some others and save them 'just in case'

And of course, therein lies the dilemma, I am my fathers daughter, and keep things 'just in case'; in case what?
Why do I have over 30 mugs? 3 different cafetieres are different sizes, so I may keep those, but why do I have 6 carving knives and 3 sets of cutlery. Only 2 people live in this house.
So when I'm decluttering I get disheartened, and move from room to room just picking up random things, and then not throwing them away after all.

But then I come across something that's been kept for a reason - my trusty tin opener

I bought this in 1985 when I moved into my first flat, and realised I didn't have one. I've had a couple of posh ones, even an electric one once, but they haven't lasted. These days, lots of tins have a ring pull, and I don't use much tinned stuff, but there are some essentials like tinned tomatoes, that tend not to have a posh pull. But my trusty tin opener is starting to fail me, I've tried adjusting it, but it doesn't cut the tins evenly any more, and I've the cuts on my hands to show for it!

So yesterday, I went to the chandlers and for the grand sum of £1.49 I replaced it

Sorry to see it go, but after 30 years, I think it's time to change.

Who knows? Maybe I'll throw something else away!