Sew together bags

I finally finished my sew together bags! My friend Gina kindly (and calmly) fixed my dress for me last night as I had a bit of a disaster involving an iron and then realising it was possibly too big for me now too. While she did that, I sat and hand stitched the binding down on my pouches. I originally machine bound, but it looked so awful I unpicked it and went with hand stitching.

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They’re in use already with toiletries in one and my sewing kit in the other. Fabrics are Alison Glass Field Day (from sample packs at my LQS) in one and the reddish one is Malka Dubrawsky’s From Outside In that was a mini charm pack from Simply Solids. The internal fabrics were picked by the future husband man.

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Right, I’m going, see you on the other side!

I caved

I have been trying to stick to 200 pieces of fabric at any one time for so long but it clearly wasn’t working. I have been doing this by only owning 200 comic cards, which I used to store anything from a FQ upwards on two bookcase shelves. Thing is, for well over a year I’ve had a basket of fabrics waiting for cards to come free and as they have been put on the shelves, new purchases have been made and the basket hasn’t got any less full.

So I’ve caved and bought another 100 cards and cleared some shelf space. Now there’s more breathing space for existing fabrics so they will get less crumpled and it will be more appealing to put them back on the shelves without my arm muscles getting a workout. Plus I plan to bring fabric back with me when we go away so I can now see where the “gaps” in my stash are… ;)

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In fact, I’ve had a bit of a general sort out of late. All of the other non-sewing craft supplies have been sold or donated to others to allow me to move my scraps out of my scrap drawer and get rid of the drawers blocking the window entirely…

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This set of drawers now holds my scraps by colour instead of too-small drawer organisers.

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The cupboards are now free to hold WIPs, finished items etc and so my bookcase not only can hold more fabric and stuff, but it looks prettier too! The cutting area can be accessed at the sides now since moving the little drawers not used for scrap, which has been useful already.

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The school desk has been cleared out and my wadding and misc fabrics live in there now. Next job is to try and find a solution to my too-thin-design-wall problem- I’m hoping I can grab a couple of metres of waste foamex from the skip at work and get it to butt up against the corner.

Most importantly though, my clock is on the wall after years on the floor!

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Next job is to prep templates and hand sewing for the three flights coming up soon- it will be for my partner in the IG mini quilt swap….

Finally, a summer finish reveal

I made two things this summer that I thought would be inconsiderate of me to show when I had actually finished them, but since this magazine is now arriving with subscribers (and in shops Tuesday)…

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I can show you my Kantha tote bag :D

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I used some of the Rustique range by Emily Herrick and obnoxiously paired it with brown. The flap took a couple of attempts to make it the right length but I got there. It’s very simple and closes with a magnetic snap. The handle is adjustable and there’s an internal pocket, plus I’ve hand quilted areas in a Kantha style with perle. Yeah I hand stitched something and I liked it!

Here is the proof it’s in print…

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And actually, this looks like an excellent edition of Quilt Now. I am going to be honest and say I didn’t really like the second one as much as the first, but this one is definitely on par with issue 1, if not better. There’s at least 2-3 projects I want to make from this magazine and I’ve only had a quick flick through.

There’s one more reveal to come that I’ve not posted on the blog. And the back of it is just about visible on the next issue page…

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Not much time left!

As some of you will know, I’m working on quite a large project on the computer than needs completing this week (no it’s nothing exciting or quilty in any way) so I can order my holiday spending money, so this is taking priority, BUT…

imageimage2There’s always a little time for sewing isn’t there? I’ve started making two sew together bags which will be made in a batch of two, one for my wedding make up (the Field Day one- totally got inspiration from Sonia on the fabric choice for this) and one for my in-flight hand sewing which shockingly will be for my Instagram Mini swap. Yes you heard right- I am HAND PIECING.

Don’t get used to it!

It’s a shame but the quilting tension on my panels isn’t great, my machine seems to be hiccuping again so I’m going to have to patiently experiment with the tension, etc. Again.

This time next week I will be frantically packing my suitcases and probably forgetting all of the make-up/jewellery/shoes/formal documentation/tickets/general holiday stuff, etc needed. OK now I’m nervous. Tomorrow evening is itinerary-writing-with-Port night, then I will know when I am going to make the trip to Edmonton, when I will have free time between hockey games (Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks) , going to Canmore for a photographer meeting, going to Banff town hall for our wedding license, the helicopter tour and visiting the restaurants I already know I want to go to… it’s not going to be relaxing but we won’t get bored!

I will not be having any FAL finishes this quarter for the first time in three years but I have an excellent reason.

Not your usual WIP plus Hug Hearts

I haven’t actually been sewing at all the last few days, which makes blogging a bit harder. The usual times have been filled with taking Hank to puppy day care, getting shin splints, boring appointments, going out for a carvery and that kind of thing, but I have kind of been working.

I’ll have more photos when I’m finally all done (hopefully this weekend) but the workroom is getting an overhaul and a helluva lot of stuff is being thrown away. In fact, anyone who wants some Sizzix dies for paper and maybe a couple suitable for appliqué, please give me a yell as I have a bunch I was going to put on eBay but I’m not sure I can be bothered. My scraps are moving location and being resorted with the stupidly small bits being chucked, I’m losing an entire piece of furniture and I’m hoping my clock will get put on the wall! WIP pics…

And the always expressionless Hank… thankfully he’s not such an annoying companion in the sewing room anymore. Solution? Give the dog a bone! He’s seven months old now.

Before I forget, I got a surprise in the post yesterday from the ladies on the Popular Patchwork forum (where I’ve been MIA for a few weeks, oops). How sweet of them! I got some “hug hearts” which are heart appliqué blocks usually sent to members who are having a stressful time, etc. I think someone who reads this blog (Margaret?!) may have tipped them off about my imminent wedding, totally unexpected thank you! Love the card too, thanks Katy, it’s gone on my wall :) I really should make some for others, especially now I’ve received some!

Having a doodle

I’ve decided to move onto quilting my neglected Lone Star quilt (btw any suggestions for names?) – it’s been sat on top of my shelves for a couple of months now since I basted it. I printed off a photo of the finished top and had a doodle…

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Other than the bubbles (I hate doing them, so I’m probably going to continue with the little stipple from the applique areas), this is the plan!

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Yeah after winding bobbins, changing needles and cleaning out the fluff, I managed to stitch in the ditch around one diamond today, that’s it!

Diospyros quilt top

I’ve been working with a Basic Grey Persimmon jelly roll lately and have finally finished the top, ready for basting on my favourite extra large floor this weekend (once I have sorted the backing of course). I’ve not yet decided on a quilt pattern, but I’m thinking something nature-y, like maybe some vines and leaves, and an orange peel border.

A happy coincidence is that the flower shapes look like the flowers of the Persimmon (or Sharon Fruit in the UK) plant, part of the Diaspyros genus, hence the name I’ve decided upon for this quilt.

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I’m now getting on with some longer term WIPs!

English Country Garden BOM – Block 6 – Dahlia

This one will be up for an extra week folks as I’m going on holiday to get married and won’t be back the first monday of October. Luckily I made this one a good one!

Here’s your next pattern for the BOM, the Dahlia. The next one is out on the 13th October so this pattern is free to download until then. Previous templates are $1.50 in my Craftsy shop if you missed out.
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Click here to download

This pattern includes repeat instructions from the last block, but with new templates. The instructions are: making bias tape stems, turned edge and raw edge machine applique, thread choices and the pattern in standard and mirrored formats depending on which type of applique you opt for. Instructions are included for an inset circle background too.

I’m on the end of an e-mail if you get stuck, just leave a comment or email me.

For previous posts on the BOM, please click the button below. Don’t forget to share your photos in the Flickr group!

WIP Wednesday

You know how I have a BOM design to do, an appliqué bear quilt, a pixel quilt and a magazine project (not to mention an untouched Finish Along list) I’m working on, or SHOULD be working on? I’ve also got a 100-180 page manual I’m working on on the side for holiday spending money (one month!!!). Yeah I’ve been making this quilt instead…

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I love the autumnal-ness of Basic Grey’s Persimmon line. I’m now thinking I have made a quilt from a considerable number of their ranges, especially this year. Off the top of my head I have a Max and Whiskers footstool, a Curio quilt, a PB&J quilt, a 25th and Pine quilt (still under wraps for a little while longer but complete) and a Hello Luscious quilt in my long term WIPs before we even consider this one. This will be my 6th proper size Basic Grey creation.

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I’ve got three more blocks to finish up and then sew together the four patches when I’m happy with the diversity of prints. Then it will be sashed with coloured cornerstones and a border of squares also from the Persimmon range. This quilt will be square and it uses exactly a jelly roll, and I’m pretty pleased with myself that the idea worked out that way as precuts are hard to gauge until you just get stuck in! I’ll have to be good for now as I’m almost out of Kona Glacier and need another 1/2 yard (I think) to finish this. Funny how I never gauge the solids quite so well!

I’m hoping this will be a magazine project in the future too.

Right, well I have a new bike this evening, time to find out if I still hate cycling or of I can embrace it. My new bike isn’t red but that’s pretty much the only thing wrong with it (especially since I didn’t buy it!). Time to work off that massive Maltesers bar I ate all of today…

What do you think?

OK so I have three projects on the go right now, only one of which you have actually seen. And then I want to make OH the bear quilt.

I’ve been thinking though, I would kinda like to make another pixel quilt. OH says I should go for smaller pixels so I am thinking 3/4″ finished squares, otherwise there will be as much fabric in the seam allowances as in the top if I go smaller. It’s probably not going to happen this side of Christmas but I like to think ahead, and this is where you come in.

Who do I make a quilt of? I’ve decided to limit myself to someone British, an entertainer and someone still alive, and that’s pretty much it. Part of me thinks it should be a woman this time, but I don’t want to miss a fab idea by dismissing the male gender completely. I also would like it to be of someone who was around any time from 1990 to the present day rather than going more historic than that. My list in my head at the minute is…

French and Saunders

Bill Bailey

Celia Imrie

Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder

Any other suggestions, or votes for any of the above?