Lovely show at the YMCA last weekend.

It was a fun show at the YMCA Boutique and Home Tour at the weekend. Meeting up with artist friends and catching up with friends I’ve not seen for ages. There was so much on offer for those who were still Christmas shopping. Many thanks to all those who stopped by, and to Donna, who gave me a bag of nice bags and some other bits.

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I didn’t deactivate items in my Etsy shop: Something Old, Something Blue, but spent the day checking to make sure I didn’t sell the same item twice!

I found some more cute Christmas fabrics that were begging to be made into a tree throw!

IMG_20141112_160528          IMG_20141112_160625

Front (feet not part of quilt!)                 Back: love the white snowflakes

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Joann’s had this adorable retro train fabric which I couldn’t resist! So the Santa train chugs quietly around the tree!

Looking through the end of line fabrics I found Angry Birds Star Wars fabric which made me laugh (out loud in the shop)! Again, I couldn’t resist it so I bought some Star Wars fabrics and made a throw (now in my Etsy shop).

star wars 7x7 top        Angry bird star wars back

I thought it was such a hoot and was longed for by several people at the show!

I found some Olaf from Frozen flannel on sale and thought it would be fun in the turquoise border of a Christmas tree throw, but there was more fabric left!

Then I found some Frozen fabrics with the two princesses and I made a throw from those fabrics using the Olaf flannel for the back.

frozen front        frozen back

Cute but I’d rather have Angry birds meets Star Wars!

These two can be found in the Etsy shop.

Now the show season is over. The City of Redlands cancelled the last one at Olive market next weekend, but rain could be an issue?!, so I’m only dropping off replacement pieces at the Redlands Art Association (a service they offer artists – to ring and inform them a piece has sold and invite them to bring in a replacement piece). Now, I can think about the end of the semester with the boys, Will’s 20th birthday and Christmas. Thankfully Geraint has always been on the ball with the boys big Christmas pressies and Santa and I have liaised over stockings!

So housework calls, along with decorations for birthday parties and Christmas, then there are the New Year celebrations. Reflections on the out going year and sadness that some loved ones will no longer be there with us, for me that will be my Dad, and for my step-mum another major first to get over. Its been such a tough year for her. I hope the new one brings happiness and prosperity for everyone.

Christmas tree raggy throws.

I find it hard to plan for the holiday season in August but once September arrives it seems a slippery slope to December. Making Christmas Tree raggy throws and wall hangings takes time and I always seem to take longer than I think!

This year my friend Jillian O’Dwyer persuaded me to open my own Etsy shop – Something Old, Something Blue by Bizzi Lizzi Creations. I was very skeptical and had to put it on hold while I was away in the summer but I reopened for business in August. I was thrilled to see people were looking at my shop but made no sales with the jewelry and bags I was putting up.

I made a Halloween raggy throw from my Halloween fabric stash and took it along to the August Mission Gables Art Show and there was some interest. So I thought nothing ventured nothing gained and posted it in my Etsy shop  – you can’t imagine my surprise and thrill when it sold! I ended up buying some more Halloween fabrics, made three more throws and sold two.

Inspired, I made two Christmas tree raggy throws. I call them throws because I don’t put batting in the centre of the squares. It takes longer to make them into quilts because there are 110 squares of batting to be cut, then each square becomes a sandwich which needs the batting held in place (otherwise it bunches up as a lump in the square) so they have to be “x” d and then sewn into rows and the rows sewn together.

The triangle squares at the tips of the tree branches create their own drama! To make a triangle you first need to cut a slightly larger square, then divide it to make a triangle. But you can’t just then sew the two triangles together, you have to take into account if the fabric is directional. Directional fabrics create considerable wastage because the “other” piece of the triangle is usually unusable. The pattern becomes upside down, horizontal or vertical and goes into the scrap pile! And this applies to all four pieces of fabric that make-up the completed square. If you are putting batting into triangle squares then each little triangle has its own small piece of batting and that needs x’ing once its pieced! And once the 80 triangles become 20 squares they need to be trimmed to size which I find satisfying because then they are ready to use!

Once the throw is finished I sew round the outside of the throw with a double stitch.

Finally there is the snipping! I’ve found the triangle squares are better snipped before I add them to the throw. But then there is the rest of the throw to snip and that usually takes 2 evenings!

But that isn’t the end of the journey. The throws need to be washed to start the ragging process. I put Retayn  (a dye fixative) into hot water and use a colour catcher because sometimes the dye in the flannel runs, especially the red which turns the white or creams a round the tree cream! After the hot wash I tumble dry it – it’s the friction in the washing and tumbling that starts the ragging process.

So about 8 yards of fussy cut fabric and 18 hours later there is a throw.

I’ve always made green trees with a cream or white surround with a red border but this year I’ve experimented and made blue trees, white surround with pale blue or turquoise borders…

Blue and white tree – cotton top, flannel back

navity throw front                                                 2014-11-09 14.22.50       

Blue & white with Mickey & Mini Mouse                                                 The back with Olaf from Frozen border

& Goofy on the white

 

Nativity theme tree – cotton top, flannel back

real nativity front                                       Nativity back

Some of my favourite fabrics are in this one                                  The back  snowflake tree and border

Now to turn my hand some some mini wall hangings…still the same number of squares but either 3 or 4 inch ones… more like an I-spy wall hanging but in the tree shape and no pine needles to sweep up afterwards. Feel free to check out my Etsy shop.

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