Monday, 29 September 2014

Trick or Treat

I know it isn't October yet and Halloween is still a little way off but I joined this lovely swap on Instagram/Flicker to make a Trick or Treat Bag using this tutorial. The deadline for sending the package is tomorrow and for once I have sent before the deadline! How amazing!

Anyway, I had found this lovely paper pieced block to make Witch Shoes and thought it would make a cute bag front! So I played with a little paper piecing for a few evenings (I hadn't done any paper piecing for a while so it was nice to get back to it!) and from a shoe,
I got to a pair of witchy toes
For the back of the bag, I had a lovely selection of fabrics (most of them I ordered for the swap) that I used to make a simple block.

And for the lining I used this lovely large scale print. If my partner doesn't like the outside of her bag, she could always turn it on the lining side, it is Halloween too!

And here is the finished bag (with the lining still sticking out).

In addition to the bag, I made a little pincushion with lots of bright scraps. I didn't use Halloween fabric as I thought a pin cushion is not just for Halloween!

I collected a few goodies for my partner too before sending it on its way this morning.

So I will be counting 3 more blocks for the 350-blocks challenge. And these also 2 more OPAMs for this month as well as another item for my NewFO challenge.

And just as I came home from the post office this morning, this lovely package from Michelle was waiting for me. A perfect bag made of hexies - could it be better? A lovely cross-stitch hoop and lots of treats, Definitely no tricks!

Linking to Anything Goes Monday.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Apple dumpling swap

With the very limited time I have at the moment for any quilting related activity, I just realised that I haven't shown my latest swap items sent and received. I joined my second dumpling swap organised by the lovely Mary-Ann over the summer. For this round, the theme was apple, perfect for a September swap. I  made this dumpling for my partner

and a mug rug inspired by Ayumills' book Patchwork Please

and added a few goodies to the package to my partner.

And I received a gorgeous package from Mary (it is the second time I received a lovely swap package from Mary as she was my secret partner last year for the Christmas Modernista swap) -  a cute pouch, some lovely fabric and stickers and yummy sweets (the package smelt so nice!)

These little dumpling pouches are easy to make and can be declined into so many different version. I love that they open wide as well so you can see what is in the pouch. A great pattern by Michelle's pattern.
And that's 2 more OPAMs this month!
Linking to Whoop Whoop Friday, NewFO challenge and Q3 Finish Along

Thursday, 18 September 2014

In the works

Sewing is really my sanity at the moment. And even if I don't have time to do much, it feels so good to do a little in the evening before bed time. This week I have been paper-piecing. I am working on my bee block for Stash Bee

as well as on my bag for the Trick or Treat Halloween Swap

Love this pattern by Soma.

Linking to WOW, Needle and Thread Thursday.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Slowly catching up on my bee blocks

I have fallen behind quite badly on my bee blocks, there are so many fun swaps at the moment that it is very hard to resist and then of course I stretch myself so much! I was hoping to catch up over the summer but it didn't quite happen. Anyway, I have finally pieced 3 of my blocks that are on their way!
There is a flying geese block in white and cream for Alissa for the Stash Bee
and a chevron block for Natalie for the Little Blog Bee
and finally a 30s inspired Patchwork of the Cross block for Hannah for I love Lucy International.
These will count as my first 3 blocks for the 350-blocks challenge.

And I also started on my apple dumpling swap for round 3. Love the theme!

Linking to Building Blocks Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, WOW

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Not one but two bags!

This week has been very very busy, very very stressful and very very tiring! But I did manage to fit little sewing time. And because I am so much better with deadlines and a queen of last-minute, I did manage to finish 2 bags this week! The kiddies were back to school this week, Tuesday for the 2 eldest and Friday for the first time for Miss Baby.

A few years back I won a messenger bag pattern by Candied Fabrics during the Blogger's Quilt Festival. The pattern is available in 2 sizes and gives lots of pockets options. I had pre-cut all my pieces for both bags during the holidays and prepared them with the interfacing I was going to use so it was *JUST* a matter of sitting at the sewing machine and stitching, *just*!

I started by constructing the multiple pockets for the bag which took a few evenings like the bottle pocket

and eventually on Monday I sat down with all the pieces and a fast-apporaching deadline as the bag needed to be finished for the following evening.
And I made it! I used Decovil for this bag (that was my first try).

The drape is nice and the bag is sturdy but it was also very hard to turn it back to the right side once finished! I had to ask hubby to do it for me and to model it too!

It makes the layers quite thick too so I was glad I have a strong sewing machine. But I also really like the finish of the bag and would most probably use it again in the future.

For Miss Baby I had found a coated fabric
for the outside so I used a reasonably thin interfacing for the pieces. I was to use some wadding too but I left it out in the end. I made less pockets on this one as she is only going to pre-school anyway and worked on my bag late on Thursday night
and the "beauty of the late, last minute" sewing time meant that I had to redo the last step to put together the outside and inside bags 3 times as I kept sewing it the wrong way...
but eventually I finished it the right way and had a bag ready to go!

And that's my 2 first OPAMs for September!
Linking to Whoop Whoop Friday, Anything goes Monday, Finish Along Q3, A lovely year of finishes.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

It's a Sister Thing Swap

Earlier in the summer, Michele proposed a fun little swap: It's a Sister Thing. I haven't got a sister (in my real life) but I have a lovely brother (although he doesn't quilt! He has other passions though) so I thought it would be a fun swap and signed up. I knew straight away that I would make a sewing kit that I had made before and cut the fabric while I was away. I noticed that Penny had joined the hexie swap so I applique some little tiny hexies on my kit.

I also wanted to do a mini quilt for Penny but I wasn't sure what to make, even after stalking her. I went through my (large) collection of quilting book and selected the Fractal design from Ali's lovely Quilt Lab book which is rather neutral and made it with solids too. I really like the design and I can see more of these in my future!
I decided on a spiral for the quilting to contrast with the squares in the design

I finished the binding all by machine using a black batik I had left from my Batik Stars quilt.

Quilt stats: Fractal
Top: kona cotton solids and klona cotton solids
Backing and binding fabric: black batik
Size: 24' square
Machine pieced and machine quilted with Aurifil #4654.
Started and finished 30 Aug 14

These were my 2 last OPAMs for August and another item of my Q3 Finish-Along list
And this is the package I sent to Penny, with items picked at the Festival of Quilts, on holidays in France and here at home.

Now let me show you how Gina, my secret sister spoiled me rotten. Dive with me in the fantastic parcel that was waiting for me on my return from my holidays:
And now for a closer look at the goodies,
how cute is this mug rug, so cute and so white that I have actually hanged it onto the wall so nobody can touch it.

And now for the mini, I just completely love it. It is wonderful, fresh, modern, original... The mini made it straight from the box to my bedroom wall where it looks fantastic. Hubby loves it too actually.
Look at Gina's fantastic free-motion quilting as well (there is even my name on the quilt!)

Thank you very much Gina, I feel truly blessed to have such a generous and caring Secret Sister and I really appreciate your very thoughful and wonderful package. And thanks to Michele for organising such a fun swap.
Linking to It's a Sister's Thing Swap Linky Party and to Q3 Finish Along.


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