Thursday, 27 April 2017

Ezri chooses the fabrics for her quilt

   The cold weather has continued this week and, despite the blue skies and sunshine, that north wind is bitterly cold. So Ezri and I decided to stay indoors where it's warm and make a start on her quilt. The first job was the hardest- choosing the fabrics. I have a big bag of leftover bits and as Ezri's quilt won't take much fabric there was sure to be something in there. Ezri had a good root through the bag. Decisions, decisions...

It was very difficult deciding which colours she wanted and which fabric patterns she liked best

Pretty flowers

This one's interesting with the hands and hearts

This will go nice with the other two

After what seemed like hours, Ezri finally decided on the colours she liked best. Russet, gold, cream and navy

   Now I get the fun bit. I sketched a quick idea for a simple strip quilt and I've decided to have a go at piecing this one entirely by machine. I haven't used my machine a great deal, so this will be good practice. This is also the smallest quilting project I have attempted. It'll be about 48cm x 36cm. My previous smallest quilting project was a wall hanging for a golden anniversary that was 60cm x 60cm.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Where did spring go? Ezri's new cable sweater

   I have been doing a bit of knitting this week. The cooler weather that has returned has kept me indoors more. So I had a root through my wool stash and found an almost full ball of James C. Brett Legacy 100% wool ( # denim blue ) from a sweater I knitted a while back. I decided on a simple top-down, seamless raglan, as this is my preferred way of knitting ( I love knitting, but I hate the tedium of sewing up ) This little sweater features a simple 4-strand, celtic style open cable design. I like these open cable patterns as they stand proud of the background and look so cool. It's back fastening with 5 little MoP buttons. You can find this pattern in the gadget bar on over there on the right.
   I also want to get around to making Ezri a pair of jeans. I think jeans look great on Sasha dolls. I have 2 pairs of old jeans lying in the bottom of the wardrobe, but I am loathe to hack them up. I got them 14 years ago and they are literally washed and worn to shreds ( I know people pay a fortune for tattered jeans ) I wore a pair last week, with thick magenta tights underneath, which were visible through the rips ( very trendy, although I feel I may be to old for this look now ) so I am trying to steal myself to cut them up to make jeans for Ezri.
Ezri's new sweater

Thursday, 13 April 2017

A little more time for experimentation

   Although I'd always knit and sewn for my dolls ( up until my late teens ) all my efforts were rather basic ( elasticated waist skirts and ribbon strap tops sewn by hand ) and over the years I've carried on with some knitting for my children and grandchildren, but with little time for leisure, it was never very much. Now I have ample time on my hands, and with Ezri's help, I am going to do more!
   This week I have fashioned another pair of trousers. They are very simple in style, with a couple of darts for shaping and a waistband rather than elastic. I made them from a James Pringle cotton/linen shirt that my husband had outgrown! I added a few of the buttons for decoration too. I think next time I will shave about 1cm off the pattern to make them a little narrower. I mentioned last week that I was experimenting with shapes and pleats using patchwork fabric. I made a smock with ruffly sleeves and a mock button-band ( inspired by some of the wonderful creations I have seen on other blogs ) I made the mock button-band separately and stitched it on, but I wonder if it could be done all-in-one, like a box pleat. My creations are far from perfect, but I am very happy with them. The colour of the smock also goes well with the new wig. I'm getting used to it now and resist trying to do anything with it as it just makes it frizzier!
   I feel a bit of knitting coming on next!
...and other musings
   The warm spring weather has given way to cool, wet and windy. However, this hasn't deterred us from getting out in the garden and preparing the veg beds for this years planting. We got 800kg of top soil ( all in 20kg bags, so no heavy shovelling and no mess! ) to refresh all the beds, the herb bed and the greenhouse beds. Now we wait until the seedlings are big enough and strong enough to go out.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A new wig? Maybe, maybe not...

   Last week I ordered a new wig for Ezri. The photo, with the wig on a disembodied head, looked quite good. A light auburn/blonde shade with a bit of curl. It was only £3.99 inc P&P, so I wasn't expecting to much of it. The description said there might be glue in the cap and that it measured 8.5". The wig arrived today. The cap is very, very small and very stiff with a lot of old glue and the hair is very frizzy rather than curly. I gave it a gentle wash and trimmed off about an inch of the worst of the frizz at the ends then hung it out on the line to dry.  
   In the meantime I have also been doing some sewing. I'm doing a bit of experimenting with shapes and pleating, so I'm just using old patchwork fabric from my stash and making notes as I go. If I like it and it works out OK I'll use some proper dress fabric. No sense wasting good fabric.
   So, back to the new wig. It didn't look all that bad hanging on the line ( bottom right picture. It looks darker than it actually is ) However, as it dried it frizzed up again. I tried to tame it, but it only got worse. It's alright if you like the wild and unruly look. It doesn't look that bad in the photos, but the slightest touch and it slides off. I put a piece of blue-tack inside to try and hold it on! As you can see the cap only just perches on top of her head! Keep it or not?

... and other musings
   This quilt I have been working on during the summer months for the last couple of years. I rooted it out for this summer and it needed a good press. It's made using Mary's Triangle blocks. There are 324 triangle blocks ( 2 in each fabric colour to mirror image ) then 76 edging blocks with 2 colours and a plain strip on each one. Some pieces are still individual squares and some are joined into 4 and then into strips and so on. It wasn't going to be this big, but as each piece only takes a very small amount of fabric, it got bigger and bigger! The whole thing is entirely stitched by hand as it's for when I'm sitting in the garden and I can just work on it in my lap. It's going to take a couple more summers yet!