Sneaky peak…

…at what I have been up to during my (unintentional) extended absence.
What do you think it is?


All will be revealed…

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Prepping Projects

Picklepiemama Projects

I have been prepping like crazy over the last couple of weeks, and now have loads of projects ready to go. I could have done them one at a time and actually got some finished, but I decided to take the opportunity of having no little people in the house to have the iron, pressing board, and cutting mat all out. Little fingers are far too inquisitive. So the hexies have been progressing in the evenings and the project prep during the day (in breaks from housework, cooking, and volunteering at Maxi Mister’s school).

 

I have worked out an order in which to do them, but it may well change. This is because I need to press some of them as I go along, and therefore can’t work on them when the children are around. And because I get distracted far too easily!

 

Here are my prepped projects. I plan to post about each as they are done, so look out for lots of pictures.

1. Angel Wings Bag – this is a commission from a friend for her daughter. It is based on the drawstring bag from Georgina Giles, which I have used before.

2. Tablet Cover – I have based this on the gorgeous one that Caroline from SewCanShe made in January. I have had to do some jiggling around of sizing to fit my tablet, so hopefully it will work…

3. Beach/Pool Bag- I spotted this tutorial a couple of weeks ago and plan to make 2 of them, as I can forsee we will probably need both while we are away.

4. Grandmother’s Flower Garden Pincushion – I started this over the Easter holidays as I wanted a handsewing project that I could finish quickly. It has taken me a while to get my bum in gear to get wadding for it, but it is now ready to quilt and make up. I bought it from Sew & Quilt, from the very helpful Jessie

5. Bionic Gear Bag – this was introduced to me by the lovely ladies on the UK Quilters United Facebook page. Not only was I amazed at how much you can squeeze into this little bag, I was also intrigued by the challenges it presents with making it, as it is apparently rather complex. I can’t help thinking it is a bit like an Ikea flat pack. This, by the way, is from a paid for tutorial via Craftsy. I don’t normally try things that have bought patterns, but it was just too tempting.

6. Maxi Mister’s Quilt – yes, I have finally prepped his quilt. I have had the fabric for over a year, and it has been pressed for about 2 months. But I have now made a start…

7. Pattern Weights – still haven’t decided which shape I am doing these, and they are not urgent, so bottom of the list they go.

If that lot isn’t enough, I also have a couple of other commissions in the offing as well, and of course my hexie quilt. I really need to get going! 😊

 

 

Hexies and Quilts and Half-Term Fun

A really good day today. Not only have I managed to complete my Jelly Roll Jam quilt top, I have also finished another set of hexies, ready to move on to a new colour and some miniscule shapes. And Maxi Mister and I had some quality time together.

The quilt top really shouldn’t have taken this long, since it is quite straightforward. But other things have got in the way. It needs pressing properly and then I have to quilt it and bind it. I think the scary bit is still to come! In the meantime, I get to choose some backing fabric and something for binding it, as well as deciding on the type and weight of batting/wadding to go in the middle. Who knew quilts were so complicated?! ☺

Jelly Roll Jam, Riley Blake Fancy Free

Central portion of Jelly Roll Jam quilt top

On the other hand, I have been very lucky to get some help and advice from Deborah at Fat Quarter Shop (where the pattern comes from). I emailed on a whim to ask about binding, and she has been full of suggestions and has even emailed me a video tutorial link. I will put all these bits on a proper summary post when the quilt is finished.

Back to hexies, and I have now hit 460 completed hexies! It sounds a lot, but considering I am aiming for at least a queen-size quilt, I have probably completed about a fifth of all those I need to baste. Don’t they look pretty though?

Hexies

I have 2 sets ready to baste, 3 to prep, and another 8 FQs ready to cut up. As I said previously, I am going to be doing this one for a loooong time. I have prepped some mini shapes this evening to have a go at over the weekend, so they may be ready for a post next week.

In other news, Hubby’s much-delayed birthday cake (with any luck) will be happening tomorrow, and I am going to be making him some cupcakes to take to work a week on Monday. He should have had them this Monday, but, as you know, we were all ill, and next week his co-workers are off on a test trip somewhere, so they have to wait another week.

I also have to make Maxi’s cake next week as he turns 6! How can I have a 6-year-old??? It only seems like yesterday he was a bouncing, giggling toddler. Now he is a bouncing, giggling giraffe of nearly 6-year-old gorgeousness. We had a great day today, going to the cinema and then out for lunch, just the 2 of us. I loved listening to him shriek with laughter watching Hotel Transylvania 2. And, of course, we had his choice of Wagamama for lunch (complete with his favourite ‘giant peas’ – edamame to the rest of us).

Hopefully tomorrow will be as good as today is all respects… 😊

Writing 101 – Inspiration from Social Media

Does it?

I practise the art of Procrastination. Always have and probably always will.

It possibly does mean I don’t get as much done, but I usually end up reflecting and replanning and refining and reorganising in my mind whilst I procrastinate, so arguably it produces a better outcome.

I read through the responses to the original tweet. I think I agree with the first. Surely it does both. That is what my response implies so far.

At the moment, my procrastination means that I keep going back again and again to the instructions and video for the quilt I am currently making. Maybe it will turn out better than it would have done as I have had more time to embed everything, and to plan the parts I have to create without help. I don’t know. It isn’t measurable is it?

On the other hand, my procrastination is going to mean I am more likely to get stressed out whilst trying to create Mini Mister’s birthday cake. I only have 2 weeks and really need to get going with the modelling now.

So, no more procrastinating by writing this post. Cake and quilt, here I come!

Calculating Hexagons

I have been working on building up basted hexagons for one of my quilts whilst we have been away. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I started including a Hexie Counter to my widgets a couple of weeks ago. It is not perfect, but it does the job of giving me a visual reminder about how many I have reached. I am actually keeping an Excel spreadsheet, just so I don’t lose count!

Screenshot_2015-08-19-16-34-29

Hexie Counter

Now you may think that this is a little obsessive, especially given that I have been sorting all the basted hexies into colour sets and storing them like that. OK, it probably is, but there is a good reason. I need a massive number of hexies for even a small quilt and since I am not following a pattern and haven’t yet decided on the final size, I need to keep a track.

I found a great site when Googled how to work out the number of hexies required. CD Designs has a variety of helpful pages, but the one that has been most useful to me is the Calculating Hexagons page. Some wonderfully helpful person has worked out some formulae that give you the number of rows, columns, hexagons and half hexagons you require, dependent on the size of your hexagons and your intended quilt.

As I haven’t yet decided on the size of my finished quilt, I put in the figures for a twin (single), a double, a queen and a king, keeping my hexies 1 inch. The differences are huge!

               No. Hexies.       No. Half Hexies

Twin:           2532                 60

Double:       2930                 62

Queen:        3692                 71

King:            5538                 79

I wasn’t happy with just these figures (oh dear…). So I then decided to work out how many flowers I would need to make overall if I was to stick with my original idea for a Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt. And that depends on the size of flower and whether I put any ‘paths’ between them. You see how much I really need to get round to deciding!!

1 layer hexie flower

1 layer hexie flower

2 layer hexie flower

2 layer hexie flower

1 layer hexie flower with paths

1 layer hexie flower with paths

The number of flowers would give me the number of centres required, and since I have decided to go with Kona Solids for the centres (Woo-hoo! A decision I have actually made!) I needed to know how much material to prep.

I won’t bore you with the table of figures I came up with. Suffice to say that I need anything from 54 to 400 centres! For the moment I am aiming for a mid-point in these figures.

So far, having basted almost all of the Zoe Pearn ‘A Beautiful Thing’ fabric, I am up to 160 hexagons with 72 more prepped to baste. I am going to be spending a long, long time making this quilt.

DSC_2539

I have, therefore, decided that when I have finished the current lot, I am going to take a break and try to complete another of my projects. I don’t want to get hexie fatigue! Keep an eye on the counter though, as I will update it as I complete more hexies.

(Please note that this is not a sponsored post in any way. All opinions are my own)😊

Projects, projects, projects!

It has occurred to me that I am trying to do 4 different projects at once. I think this may be a little too much, since I am bouncing from one to another without getting very far in any. I really need to prioritise and stick to completing one before moving on to another – please note that this may be wishful thinking! Here is my list (currently in no particular order):

  • Chair covers for a couple of childrens’ whicker chairs
  • Mum’s quilt
  • A Jelly Roll Jam quilt
  • My hexie quilt

Two of those, at least, are long term projects.

The most urgent is probably completing the chair covers as they are needed at my Dad’s in just over a week. However, since I won’t have access to my sewing machine for the next few days, I think that will have to be completed last minute before we visit Dad. Could be a long night!

The Jelly Roll Jam quilt will have to wait as I need spray starch before I do the next stage. I will have some lovely links for you with that one. Any suggestions on good spray starch would be gratefully received.

So, it is toss-up between Mum’s quilt and my hexies; flower-making or hexie-basting?

I prepped the fabric (or some of it) for my hexies over the last few nights. I have no idea how many squares I cut other than it being in 4 figures (eek!), but it still may not be enough. Don’t you think they are pretty though? (Camera and lighting do not do them justice – I really must refrain from taking photos at night with my tablet and not a decent camera!)

IMG_20150731_230212

Flower-making or hexie-basting?

I think I may see what mood I am in tomorrow!