Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Zuma Zippy Pouches [a Finish]

A couple of months back I set myself a challenge to use up some orphan blocks I had lying round. I ended up making two Speedy Vinyl Pouches designed by Aneela Hoey. I knew right away I'd be making more! A friend has recently returned from a holiday in the US, and might just have brought back some shopping for me! So as a thank you I knocked up three of these pouches.

Except I had a bit of an accident and totally forgot to put the wadding in the first one. A council of war was convened at our Monday evening patchwork group and the original I had made was handed round alongside the new, wadding-less, example. Could I get away with it. I had also picked up a thinner vinyl... luckily for me and my seam-ripper, the consensus was that the un-wadded one was absolutely fine, so I went ahead and made up the other two waddingless to match.

And I used a fabric I knew would be a hit: Zuma by Tula Pink: the main jellyfish print in all three coloourways for the outside, the low volume neon pink for the inside and the Tower stripey print for the binding. I'll confess I started with the binding fabric!

This is a Finish Along finish. You can find my original list here.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Hexie Shutter Burst Block

I was scrolling through Instagram a few weeks back and happened across some fabulous Tula Pink blocks made by @the_m_a_k_e_r. They were tagged as Hexie Shutter Burst blocks and she had designed them herself. I contacted her to ask if she were planning a pattern and she asked if I fancied pattern testing it for her. Well, yes! The papers arrived from Australia and I pulled out my Zuma fabrics (which I'd lined up for a different project...), and prepped the block immediately.

I love how it turned out. I used the Zuma fabrics with some Tula Pink Designer Solids thrown in (thank you for facilitating, Saira - Olive and Flo have all the colours in and I snaffled a fat quarter bundle).

The pattern is lovely! It's made up of easy to piece sections that come together beautifully at the end. I'm testing a few more blocks and some joining sections and Helen, he designer is hoping to release the pattern later in the year. As for me, I'm planning a double bed quilt all in Zuma!

Bunny Zippy Pouches [A Finish]

It's time for my first finish of the quarter. And it had to be first really, because these were needed for Easter. As well as the required chocolate eggs and a new book each, we also gave the girls these small bunny zippy pouches.

The printed fabric was an impulse buy from Eclectic Maker back in March, and the pattern is by @quiltyobsession. I bought it ages ago knowing the girls would love it, but it wasn't until the designer hosted a #giftabunnyzippypouchsal that I actually made the effort. The face is embroidered on, but apart from that the construction is pretty straightforward if you read the instructions properly...

A pink and aqua one for Jessica (the ear fabric is also used on the wrap):

And a red and orange one for Mia.

Joshua is thankfully too little! Next year I may have to up my game!

This is a finish along finish. You can find my original list here.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Q2 Finish Along [The List]

There's so much thought goes into putting these lists together: what do I want to work on in the next few months? What should I work on in the next few months? What will I decide to work on half-way through the next few months? I think that's why my lists are always so long - I like to cover all my options! Last quarter's list was ridiculous because I had a baby. This quarter's list will be ridiculous because I will be going back to work. But I have two months before that to achieve as much as possible!

First up, some roll-overs from Q1: 1. My Tula Nova quilt has seen a lot of progress recently, and is nearly ready for basting and (hand) quilting.

2. Round of Cats. Whilst there has been no actual physical progress on this, I have been thinking. The finished quilt, as per the pattern, is an odd size, and definitely not big enough for a five-year-old. So I think instead of a quilt of four cats, I'm lowering expectations and planning two cat cushions (one each for Mia and Jess): That still means I have one cat to piece, and as the other two cats are cut, you never know, they may be double sided - but I'm not making that a condition on the finish!

3. Dachshund with ears: it's embarrasing that this is STILL on the list.

4. Fancy Forest: there's a lot of work still to go on this quilt, but I always thought of it as a partner quilt to Awesome Ocean. As that is now finished, I'd like this to be as well (plus Elizabeth Hartman has just released her new patterns and one of them has gone straight onto the List).

5. Easter mini: it's nearly Easter. Now or never. Just need to find where I put it!

6. Lisa the Unicorn: one block to go, minimal sashing, a quick stipple! That's all this needs.

7. Trolls Quilt: it's Jessica's birthday soon... maybe she'll get a quilt? I bought some backing for this during the last quarter - Tinkerbell! We'll happily mix up our films over here!

8. Summer Sampler 2018: this was another project that has seen recent progress, and I've enjoyed piecing the blocks and I've loved playing with the fabric.

9. Moon moth embroidery, because I can't give Mia and Josh theirs until Jess's is finished! And I have four more panels on the next flight from the US! This is nearly finished.

So that's nine rollovers, here are the newbies (though some are anything but newbies)

10. February embroidery: February was national embroidery month, and Meg Hawkey ran a free sew-along - a 1" block a day for the month (plus a few extras). I was late starting, and never caught up, and I have no idea what to do with the embroidery once I do get it finished. But I have learned so much from this little piece, that it would be nice to have it finished, and maybe framed.

11. Yes I did start another embroidery-along before finishing the first - obviously. Namaste Embroidery had a little Bloom SAL, and I've prepped the fabric with some colour shading, and added some couching. This will be another hoop for the wall... possibly my wall!

12. Original City Sampler. And then she laughed and laughed and laughed. It's half quilted... I started it before Mia was born, etc etc..... should get it finished!

13. Purple and grey City Sampler. This was started in 2016 as a wedding present as part of the #100days100blocks challenge. It was started well after the wedding, but a sarky comment was heard uttered last week about it, so maybe I should get on with it. It's stuck at the sashing stage inevitably. Also, I have every intention of joining the #100days100blocks2019 in a few months time!

14.Mandolin: This is as stupid as putting Ice Cream Soda on my last list. But that worked out pretty well. The success of this project may depend on whether I decide to make 5 extra blocks for it!

15. Down the Rabbit Hole: I think it's an either this or Mandolin thing. I recently dug this project out again and I've been making pretty good progress, but between now and a finish lies an awful lot of hand applique. I'll be happy to see steady progress on this one, but I could just run away with it! Did I mention I'm planning to hand quilt it?

16. Trinket: I'm taking part in the sew-along for this pattern, and the final deadline for a quilt top is within this quarter, so why not get it finished?

17. Mini Dresden: I jumped on the mini dresden bandwaggon back in January and now I have a very pretty mini dresden in my Spirit Animal scraps with no purpose. I've had to buy new pins recently (if you sew over them they gradually all get bent). So I think they maybe deserve a new pincushion.

18. Aves quilt: This was a pattern by the same lady who designed the 365 Quilt Challenge, but I didn't get very far, and I've realised that I never will. I just don't love it enough. But I do love the centre I made, so I'm going to turn it into a giant cushion. Any of the other blocks I made will be donated if I can find them.

19. Meadowland: I got my fq bundle of Tula Pink Pinkerville and cut it all up! Twenty 16" blocks and I'll have me a quilt top!

20. EJ+ Quilt: this is a project that's been on the go for a while. I do a few blocks here and there, but I've never laid it all out until I was preparing this list. It's not the best photo, but I'm loving where it's going. So decision time - how big are we going to go? As laid out (and with those gaps filled) it will only be 42" x 42", so I think we'll definitely be going bigger than that.

21. Dreamin Vintage tablerunner: confession time: I still have a Christmas table-runner out on my sideboard. It's covered in crap so you wouldn't know! But I also have started piecing large hexies out of my leftover Dreamin' Vintage fabric, and it would look so pretty on the sideboard with a vase of daffs or tulips. I think they will both be out of season by the time I finish it, but you get the picture!

22. Cadence Court: I've picked up this project again recently - apparently I've found my foundation piecing mojo. These blocks don't actually take too long to piece, and I've just recieved the finishing kit (it was a block of the month).

23. Blueberry Park hexies: a project started on a whim, which I still love...

24. Kemmeridge Bay Dino Softies: I bought this panel because who doesn't love dinosaurs. I'd like to make them all up and then keep a few for my small people and gift the others at the end of June.

25. Alexandria Hoop: I started the Alexandria Quilt from Tales of Cloth earlier this year. But before that, Jodie sent out taster packs of the very centre. I stitched mine up in Tula Pink's Zuma, but decided that that wasn't really where I was heading. So the centre will be appliqued to some bright pink fabric and put in a hoop for Jess.

26. Moths Pouch: I made a zippy pouch using a beautiful moth fabric and a foundation pieced moth but had to give it away... I have big plans for my own and the first moth has half a wing....

27. Remember the Alison Glass triangle cushion I made? And how I had to make two more? Well the girls also want one each.... I've got hold of another set of paper pieced triangles, so I'll add a few more and each girl can have a smaller square version of the original.

28. Tula Pink butterfly quilt: needs basting and quilting but it's big!

29. And then there's the bunny pouches I want to make the girls for Easter. I think these together count as one finish. I've embroidered the faces and just need to make them up when the girls are out!

31. I find that I keep reaching for the two speedy Vinyl Zipper pouches I made, only to discover I'm already using them, so I definitely need some more. I pulled out some more orphan blocks - these are from the Summer Sampler 2017, which I've decided I will not be finishing. I'm just not in love with the fabrics I chose. They're fine for this kind of thing - in fact I love how these pouches are going to look, but I just don't love them enough to have a whole quilt. There are some 6" blocks, which I'll use to make the same size pouch as before, but there's also a 12" blocks so I'm going to make a super-sized pouch as well!... Just as soon as the zips arrive...

32. And I need a gift for a friend, so I've prepped 3 Zuma Speedy Vinyl Zipper Pouches too.

33. With each child getting an embroidery in the first quarter (we'll pretend that moon moth made it), it would be nice to keep it up in the second quarter so: a unicorn for Mia.

34. Bunnies for Jessica (she was given the choice of Bunnies or the Unicorn, and chose the bunnies).

35. And a Whale for Joshua

That's not a bad list, is it - a nice mix of the unobtainable, the old-timers, the useful and the achievable. Of course if I successfully make all the cushions I've listed here, I might also be divorced by the end of the quarter.... miserable git...

Speaking of his Lordship: Michael was watching the Great British Sewing Bee and declared "How hard can it be", so he has bought some fabric, and a dress pattern (circle skirt, lined bodice, inset sleeves....) and is going to make it for Mia. He started cutting it out last week, but only after he had cracked my cutting mat! If you go to my instagram feed (@jenniesthreads) you can find a video of him rotary cutting, but it is painful to watch, I'm warning you! Let's add his dress to the list, and if he finishes it and wins a prize, I'll swap it for some beer with him! Don't hold your breath.

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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Q1 Finish Along Review and a final finish

Well, this has possibly been my most productive quarter ever! But before we get into the nitty-gritty of the original list, here's a final finish:

The mermaid embroidery panel is by @aimee_littledear and I've bought it twice now. The first one I have lost. It is somewhere in the house, all prepared for embroidery. One day I will find it... for now, this one is the replacement!

Aimee's designs are beautiful (all available in her Etsy shop), and the instructions are so clear. Postage is a bit pricey to the UK, but if you happen to have a friend who would bring you a little something back in their suitcase, then the panel itself is very reasonable! This is the second I've embroidered. The first and third will get a mention below. And I might have ordered a few more panels.... thanks @moomimomma for holidaying in the US!

So on to the rest of the quarter and the 10 finishes! Five of those were lap quilts! Here they are:

Hidden Agenda - a rainbowfied Tulafest .... or quiet and understated! My first ever truly double-sided quilt.

Architextures and Botanics

Joshua's Quilt (which is definitely too big to be called a baby quilt - it's folded into quarters in the above photo!)

Ice Cream Soda - I put this on the list as a bit of a pipe-dream as there was still so much work to be done on it, so I can't quite believe I'm adding it here as a finish!

Awesome Ocean, which is awesomely huge!

And then five smaller items, including the mermaid above, and the owl panel I also got from Little Dear. Sadly the third panel, the moon moth, will have to roll over to next quarter.

Jessica's "Row, row, row your boat" cushion

The sewing machine mini quilt for our swap

And the Alison Glass Triangles cushion, so popular with family members I actually made three and have two more "on order" with my children!

And then there were the projects that didn't quite make it. A lot of them will reappear next week on my Q2 list, including: Tula Nova, which is now all appliqued; Summer Sampler 2018; and Lisa the Unicorn - 3 blocks down - all of these saw progress this quarter but not completion. Sadly there was no progress to report on the other items on the original list, but I might have started a few new projects, and made progress in unexpected places!

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