HandmadebyClaireBear

confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: Craftsy

No sew zone

The last few weeks (or maybe longer) my life has been full of job applications, job interviews, clearing out the house and tidying up what’s left. I rearranged my back room/study/computer room/boxroom a while ago on a whim, quickly shoving stuff into carrier bags to get them out of the way so I could paint the ceilings and the walls. I couldn’t put off unpacking those bags and putting away the contents properly  any longer.

I’ve had to get on with organising myself in case I actually get offered one of the (fab) teaching jobs I’ve applied for, as well as the one-evening-a-week placement I’ve already been offered so that I can do my Certificate in Education (UK qualification that allows/qualifies me to teach adults).  I went for a job interview, got offered a placement and a mentor for the course. Not a bad result, but I still need a paying job.

If I manage to pull this off, I would be teaching an evening class one evening a week, attending university a day a week both during term time and working a “normal” job four days a week as well. I say a four days a week because I know my limits and a part-time course, part-time placement on to of a full-time five-day-a-week job would be way too much for me to handle. Not that I’m panicking at all (maybe just a little bit, eeek!)

Not much sewing has been done since I finished this bathmat.

In fact, absolutely no sewing at all has been done. My whole life has been a no sew zone (sniff).

My WIPs are in exactly the same parlous state they were last month and now threatening to take over my living room. I sew in my living room: it has a lot of daylight and no-one moans about all my fabric. My Pile Of Shame (aka my mending) is still as embarrassingly shameful as it was last time I posted a photo of it so I won’t bore you with that one.

I know that I haven’t shown you my upcycled bags (mostly because I haven’t finished the purple one), and there are probably a few other things that have temporarily escaped my mind.

I am still incredibly behind on my Block of the Months (Blocks of the Month?). I wasn’t going to post about the new BOM for July (where did June go?), but I thought I’d look at the new blocks on Craftsy, if only for entertainment value.

Dresden Plate Blocks, oh dear.

I thought that the hand sewing on the paper piecing blocks back in April would be a stumbling block (sorry for the pun). If you’re wondering what a Dresden Plate block is….

…using parallelograms rather than squares or rectangles (I did tell you that my other life is a maths-teacher-for-adults right?).

Oh dear, oh de

ar oh dear.

I mean, I want to be able to do a dresden because I want to make a double wedding ring quilt (like this)

and it uses the same idea of piecing parallelograms to make a circle.

Now I have two completely different things to panic about, the July BOM and a potential university course (let me explain that I went to university once, I loved my course, the campus and the wonderful staff, but it didn’t go well, broke my heart to quit and I’m still on the tablets, enough said?).

I even tried to avoid going to university by tracking down the same course on a college campus instead, but the college that used to do the course I now need, now doesn’t. Insert rude word here.  In the meantime I have to write a university application, revise my own maths skills to make sure I pass that particular assessment, work on my telephone skills so that I can pass the telephone interview/speaking

and listening assessment for the course after I’ve submitted the application (did I mention I have a slight hearing problem on top of my dyslexia?).

And get a job.

Right now, I can only quote the late (and great) Douglas Adams and Dad’s Army, and a certain poster, towel and mug logo

Organisational Queen (and still slightly panicking,) Claire Bear

( I really wanted to have  a bear version of Munch’s “The Scream” instead of my ClaireBear logo here, but…)

For me – one completed bathmat

As soon as I saw the Cathedral Window Playmat on Amy Gibson’s blog, Stichery Dickery Dock I knew that it was what I wanted as a bathmat for my tiny bathroom.

Although I’ve always admired quilt with circles in and Cathederal Windows blocks in particular, I’ve never done them in any quilt before because circles or curves of any type scare the *** out of me.

I’ve got to say the Amy is a fabulous tutorial writer, but then I should have know that because I’m following her Craftsy Block of the Month course (which I’m hopelessly behind on, but we won’t go there).

Viola, one Cathedral Windows Bathmat, started and finished within 24 hours and I slept for some of that!

I had to wash the print fabric because the cotton towelling I was using was upcycled from a spare bath sheet. I ironed it all properly, and used a dinner plate to cut out the circles. I cut too many circles, it turns out I cut 12 towelling circles when I only needed 9 and I still don’t know what to do with the 9 circles I cut from the stripe fabric.

After posting about this project yesterday, I decided to use the batik print that I love so much (please ignore the state of my bathroom tiles, this is a sewing blog not a diy blog after all!):

Note to self: get larger dinner plates, this would be fab with bigger circles! Also, sewing this with towelling as a backing is harder than I thought, that’s probably why it’s a little wonky. It also probably needs ironing, but is that going to happen?

I’m glad that I decided to do this. I love my new bathmat and I don’t care what anyone else thinks (although if you think it’s lovely too, I wouldn’t mind being told).

I love my new bathmat  🙂

ClaireBear

For me – one bathmat

Ages ago I bought a lovely bathmat from Ikea (I love Ikea – just their fabric section can keep me happy for hours). Well it lasted for ages, looking lovely and blue (my favourite colour and obviously a good colour for my blue and white bathroom) and small and perfectly formed to fit in the minuscule space between the bath, the washbasin and the door. That is, it lasted well until a certain young lady of my family wasn’t as careful as she might have been when colouring her hair and got a big splodge of deep red hair dye on my lovely bathmat.

I put up with it for a bit and then decided that I could use an excess hand-towel for a bath mat instead. I have a whole set of duck egg blue (another favourite colour, which features in my living room) towels in the airing cupboard originally bought to deaden the sound of my son’s drums. When he went off to university the drum kit got packed away and the set of towels went to live in the airing cupboard with their new friends.

I’ve been looking for a replacement for the “dropped towel on the floor” look for a while now.  I’ve seen several I like,

this one:

this lovely one:

this one,

and this lovely one

But while they are all lovely, and importantly, do-able, nothing got me reaching for my clean used towels and quilting cotton stash. Until I saw this photo on Stichery Dickery Dock;

I’ve loved Cathedral Windows quilts since the first time I saw one, but how much work is in one? Too much.

So when I saw the link to Amy’s tutorial on her blog I clicked and then read through the tutorial.

Simple, maybe even easy. I know that this tutorial is for a playmat, but would this work with white towelling for the backing?

Well, I’ve spent all day waiting for the quilting cotton to wash and dry enough so I could iron it. I’ve even ironed all of my laundry while I was waiting for the quilting cotton to dry (desperate times…).  I’ve cut out the fabric circles (using a dinner plate as the template, because I don’t have Amy’s flash circle-drawing thingy) and now I’m stuck.

I have cut too many circles for a start (d’oh!). I think 3 by 3 will be a good size for my bathmat, so I cut out 9 towelling circles, and then 9 each of the two fabrics that I love and want to have in my bathroom. But I only need 4 of one and 5 of the other. Or I could have all the circles in the same fabric, but then I’d have to choose which fabric, and I can’t choose.

So I pinned some circles together to give myself an idea of what the finished mat might look like. I took some photos and I played with them on picmonkey to give myself all the options I could think of.  Now I need some help to decide which is best. Please bear in mind that my bathroom is white, with sky blue and white tiling and pale yellow painted walls above the tiles and pale yellow (non-slip vinyl flooring), and very small. Also the finished mat will be 3 by 3 but  the photos are only 2 by 2.

All batik

All stripe

Alternating batik and stripe

Rows

I really love the batik (it’s not real batik, it’s a print but I love it anyway and I don’t feel nervous about using it for something that’s going to get used a lot), but I want to use the stripe too. I suppose I could make two, one of each fabric and alternate them, but two bathmats? really?

I give up. What do you think?

ClaireBear

%d bloggers like this: