Wednesday, 15 May 2019

My birthday stitchers swap

This year I signed up to take part in a birthday stitcher swap, over on Instagram. I recently had my birthday and these are the wonderful gifts I received. Maria (aka @madame_tailor on Instagram) sent my gifts from Germany.

First is my main handmade gift, which is this super carry all caddy. Marie used some beautiful art gallery fabrics and rose gold hardware. It looks so pretty plus with so much space and pockets, I’m sure will be very useful for holding plenty of projects.
My second handmade gift was this mini makers station, which is designed to go over the arm of a chair. It has some great pockets on either side, a thread catcher which buttons on and a tray on top. It has magnets in the bottom of the tray and pin cushion to stop them falling off and so you can use it separately too if you wanted. Maria used some more of the sonata fabrics that coordinated with the caddy. It is backed with a really great low volume print that I love. The third handmade item is this adorable mouse toy. She has a pretty dress and a beautiful hand stitched face, even some blush.
Lastly is this Lola zip pouch. It matches the other 2 gifts and I think it is my favourite print from that range too. They look so lovely together, I definitely think I will have to keep them all together and be super organised. 

Maria also included a few other extras including a mini charm, pin cushion ring and ribbon (shown in the makers station above) some chocolates and bath soaps. Not forgetting my dog, Millie, who also got some treats and a toy... Although she was rather more interested in my mouse! 
I can’t share what gifts I have made for my partner yet, because it’s not my her birthday until later this year. I would say I don’t want to spoil the surprise, which I don’t, but I also haven’t made them yet! 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Liberty kantha cushion

I had seen the #libertysocietykanthastitchalong on Instagram last year...A chance to use some of my liberty fabric stash and try something I had never done before. Lots of beautiful projects were made last year, but I didn’t get chance to join in so I was excited to get started this time round.
I patch-worked my panel on the machine, using some of the liberty scrap packs I had bought from duck egg threads online. I then chose my batting and added a piece of white cotton, to make my quilt sandwich. I chose a few colours of #8 perle threads. It was my first time using these too, with a slight sheen, they where easy to stitch with. I used my add-a-quarter ruler to keep marking a guide line with a clover Hera marker. 
Unfortunately the quilt for nanas 80th birthday took priority, so I only got time to finish my panel while the sewalong was still running. I should have picked a smaller project but I just knew I wanted a cushion. To make up the cushion, I used a bigger piece of liberty tana lawn to coordinate with the front. Since I didn’t want to bind the cushion, I just did the turn out method, but it didn’t quite look right. I top stitched a border about 1/4” from the edge and I think this was the finishing touch it needed. 
It was quite relaxing to do the kantha stitching and gives such great texture. I also think it was quite good practice for if I wanted to do some hand quilting in the future. The liberty is so soft and the overall cushion feels very luxurious. I love it and am so pleased I took the time to make it.

This was one of my Q2 finish-a-long projects. If you want to read that list, click here!
Also if you fancy looking at some very beautiful projects similar to mine...Go to Instagram and check out #libertysocietykanthastitchalong, which was hosted by the lovely @tincatsew.

Monday, 6 May 2019

postage stamp quilt

 I took part in get your quilty wishes granted on Instagram and asked for fabric scraps to make a postage stamp quilt. It was amazing the response I had and received such a wonderful mixture of styles and prints. I used my time during the summer at my nanas caravan to trim all the scraps into 2.5” squares. My nana would take my trimmings to the bin, pick out all her favourites and stack them up for me. She also loved looking at everyone’s accounts and seeing where all the fabrics had come from.
I was originally planning to make this quilt for myself, and some different patchwork cushions for my nanas 80th birthday. However, she had shown such an interest in the project, I decided it would be perfect for her.

I did leave it a little late to fully commit to this idea, so I did have to put in long sewing hours to finish on time. She gets a bit cold on an evening while watching tv, so I figured a lap size would be more useful. Luckily because of the size and having everything already cut, it came together faster than I expected. Helped by the fact I was aiming for random so didn’t over think the layout and didn’t stress if my points weren’t perfect. I also had a little help from my sister, pressing seams and sorting fabrics.  

My nanas birthday was on the Thursday but insisted she wanted a party on the Saturday. We thought it would be a good idea to trick her slightly. There was enough fabric to complete the quilt and have spares for a couple of matching cushions. We decided we would give her a cushion on her birthday and then when she wasn’t expecting anything, surprise her with the quilt at the party. My sister has just started sewing and doing patchwork, so decided she would make the cushions since I’d done the quilt. She pieced both cushion fronts together but didn’t have time to actually complete the cushion cover. We came to the conclusion that I would have to make the back and binding to match the quilt, so that one cushion could be finished in time. She has however promised nana she will complete the other.

My nana was thrilled with her quilty gifts and the kindness of others that contributed. I am so pleased to be part of such a giving community online and think it’s a truly special thing for her to have.

The quilt and the 80th gift were both projects on my finish-a-long list and I'm pleased that I was able to combine them. You can check out my list and previous finish-a-long projects here.