Saturday, 16 January 2016

Good Things Come in Small Packages

In 2015, I participated in various swaps and I have documented my efforts on the blog.  I have as yet failed to showcase the generous and beautiful mini quilts and gifts I have received from others - so here they all are!

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap

From AshleyPineapple who had (unbelievably) never made a quilt before!  Isn't it gorgeous?  I'd seen it on instagram and was overjoyed when it arrived at my house!

Scrappy Block Swap

This swap was organised by jessiemarie1202 and the blocks are from various others, all gorgeous and in colours I am lacking - thank you everyone!

Easy Swap UK

My mini was from jessiemarie1202, who was not only very thoughtful, but a mind reader!  Look how this mini perfectly fits on my dressing table!

 Stitch Gathering Notion Swap

My very kind partner made me this EPP set which has become a firm favourite and follows me from sofa to sofa!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Baby Quilt

A very dear friend had a baby in August and I made him a wee quilt in September/October/November 2015. As ever, choosing the fabrics was the most time consuming part.

I used this pattern from the Moda Bake Shop.  In hind sight, I could have saved on fabric by reading the pattern through to the end before cutting, as the pattern uses charms but I was cutting from yardage.

I quilted it using straight lines along the zig zags.  

I used a spool of thread from a box of old bobbins my Mum gave me last year (therefore, irreplaceable) and ended up dangerously close to the end of the spool.

I used different colour threads on each stripe which made the back look great and really blended in nicely on the front.  I have never done this before but will certainly be trying it again.

 Welcome to the world little guy!

Linking up with TGIFF

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap - DONE!

Happy New Year everyone!  It was a busy 2015 for me in terms of signing up to online swaps. You can catch up on my Stitch Gathering, UK Low Volume Plus, Scrappy Block and Easy Swap UK Mini Quilt swapping antics in previous posts.

Another of my "top of the swaps" commitments was participating in the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quit Swap.  In 2014, I was impressed by the number of people involved and the fabulous results of talented quilters, and I was keen to join in this time round.

The criteria for this swap were more challenging than that Easy Swap UK Mini Quilt as my partner had specific fabrics (rather than just colours) she loved and she requested a Sew Together bag as her extra.  

I was delighted to have the opportunity to buy additional fabric of course, but had previously never considered using either Tula Pink and Cotton and Steel.  The former because I was not sure I understood it and the hype, and the latter simply because I did not have any - how do you choose? My first task therefore was to buy some fabric.  I went with the suggested pink and aqua theme and decided that if I was going to do Tula, I was really going to do Tula, and went for Elizabeth.  Again, it's not that I don't like it, I just couldn't imagine what I'd do with it.

I couldn't decide what to do for a long time and was getting perilously close to the deadline when good old Love Quilting and Patchwork popped through the door with a suggested pattern for a mini. Hoorah!  I wonder how many other swappers ended up with this pattern, just in the nick of time?

I quilted it using one of the patterns I learned at the Stitch Gathering class on FMQ with Trudi Wood, a flowering pattern to mimic the flowers in the fabric.

The Sew Together Bag seemed to have a reputation for being hard but having seen them pop up all over blogs and instagram and at classes, I was keen to give it a go.  I tend to just jump into these things and don't question whether my ability matches my ambition until I'm elbow deep in zips and interfacing.  It took a while and a lot of zip related head-scratching, but I got there.

It was the bag, rather than the quilt, which made me fall for Elizabeth.  I was quite tempted not to part with the bag in the end as I was so chuffed I'd managed to get it together and that I liked the fabric.

My advice for anyone considering making this bag but questioning their abilities is GO FOR IT!  As long as you have a walking foot, you can do it.  I liked it so much, I made another as a Christmas gift so the pattern is paying for itself!

I found the following very helpful blog posts when making these bags:

I really enjoyed all the swapping in 2015.  I received two gorgeous minis (coming up...), boosted my sewing skills and confidence, and met some lovely people.  However, I did feel I concentrated too much on swaps and not enough on personal goals, so I've decided to dedicate my sewing time to gifts for those close to me in 2016.  

And participate in two bees.  And sign up to a dressmaking course.  

Looks like I will never learn and will approach 2016 sewing with the same blind confidence and unrealistic perception of the time available to me that led me to believe I could make a Sew Together bag in the first place.  Happy New Year!

Linking up with.....

Sew Fresh Quilts:

Sew Fresh Quilts

Freemotion by the River:

Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation: