Monday 29 December 2014

Nesting Boxes

Aneela Hoey not only designs fabric but she creates patterns too!  She asked me if I would be a pattern tester (ages and ages ago) and I said YES PLEASE!! 

I made a set of Nesting Boxes and they turned out fabulous!!  What a clever pattern!!!  Very easy to follow with great diagrams.  This was my first time using Fast2Fuse and I loved the firm result!  Perfect for these boxes.

You can put ANYTHING in these boxes!  Spools of thread, Sharpie markers, pins, zippers, candy....

These would make perfect gifts for teachers, neighbours or for the hard-to-give-to men in your life.  They can be coin, cuff link and key catchers!  I made mine in gender neutral/masculine fabrics.

I am not sure what Aneela will be doing with her PDF patterns in her Etsy shop come January 1st 2015 when the EU VAT mess begins, so I recommend that you purchase this pattern ASAP if you want it! 

Thank you Aneela for letting me test this pattern - it is brilliant!!

Nesting boxes PDF pattern
Image from Etsy/comfortstitching

Jane's Little Boxy Bag

 Oooo look what I made!!

This is "Jane's Little Boxy Bag" by Projects By Jane.  What a clever pattern!  Thankfully the pattern had LOADS of pictures for me as I am a visual kind of gal!  Pictures are worth a thousand words so thank you Jane for all of the photos!  I think the hardest part of making this bag was picking the fabrics! 

This is a roomy bag.  I would describe it as 'boxy-petite'.  You can use it as a craft bag or even as a handbag!  Sturdy construction, jazzy shape - this is a fun bag!!

This bag is fully lined as well - I do love a  bag with a lining!  The only thing I would do differently next time is make longer tabs.

As hard as it was to give it away, I was happy to give it to a work colleague as a thank you present.  She was thrilled!!  I will definitely be making more of these!!

Jane has an Etsy shop - stop in and check her patterns out!!  I would highly recommend this pattern.  Thank you for being so clever Jane!  I really enjoyed this pattern. 

 Jane's Little Boxy Bag PDF Easy Sewing Pattern and Tutorial INSTANT DOWNLOAD

Saturday 1 November 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - 4 Things

Amy of Amy's Creative Side is once again hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival and I have decided to enter a second quilt - my "4 Things" quilt.

In-progress picture

This quilt is very special to me.  I had initially sketched how I wanted this quilt to look and I am so thrilled that it came alive and was better than I had hoped or even imagined!

Night-time picture of completed quilt - I will add a daytime picture tomorrow

I chose four words that mean a lot to me: LOVE; AFFECTION; ATTENTION and PRAISE.  I often feel these four things are the things I miss (and want most) from the people I love - especially from my mother who sadly passed away 14 years ago.  I miss her and I miss the simple things like an affectionate or comforting hug from her.   

Amazing quilting by Trudi Wood

My four favourite colours are red, aqua, green and navy blue, all represented in this "4 Things" quilt.  I also love these four things:  quirky birds; wonky houses and trees, plaid and wonky stars - all represented in this quilt!  I have included dragonflies, mushrooms, clouds and a May calendar - four more things that I love.  My favourite colours are repeated as little hints in the binding.

Hint of colour in the cross-hatch binding

Because this is such a special quilt to me, I decided that I would send it to be quilted by Trudi on her long arm frame.  She did a spectacular job and the four words repeated in the quilting is amazing.  You have to look closely to see them, which makes them even more special.

The four words re-appear in the quilt as subtle quilted words

The backing and another hint of colour on the binding

This very personal quilt means so much to me and I am happy to be able to share it here. 

Quilt stats:
Pattern:  Love, Affection and Praise were pieced free hand and the word Attention were letters from the Quilters Cache.  The bird is an adaptation of the McCalls bird pattern.
Fabrics:  A variety of low volume, text, solids, scraps, hand printed fabrics, Oakshott
Thread:  Aurifil
Size:  56 x 69"
Quilted by:  Trudi Wood

Entering this quilt into the Original Quilt Design category.
Thank you Amy for organising this amazing event!

Friday 31 October 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - NYB

Amy of Amy's Creative Side is once again hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival and I have decided to enter my New York Beauty mini quilt that I made for the Modern Traditional DSTT Challenge.  My original post is HERE.

This is definitely one of my absolute favourite mini quilts that I have made.  The invisible thread straight-ish quilting still makes me so happy when I look at it! 

I absolutely ADORE paper piecing but curves are something I still need more practise on.  I enjoyed the challenge sewing these curved pieces but my seam ripper was used quite a few times!  Here is a photo to show the size:

Mini quilt stats:
Pattern:  Ulas Quiltseite
Fabrics:  Dear Stella and Timeless Treasures
Thread:  Aurifil and Invisible thread
Size:  20" on each side = 80" total perimeter
Quilted:  At home on my Husqvarna Viking

Entering this NYB mini quilt into the Mini Quilt category.
Thank you Amy for organising this amazing event!

Saturday 25 October 2014


Ooo - I love this quilt!  I love the colours, the shapes, the size -- and now it will be part of a quilt along!!
Picture borrowed from Machen und Tun

The very clever and talented Claudia of Machen und Tun has designed the most fabulous quilt called Star Plus.  Purchase it on Craftsy.

Over on Instagram there will be a quilt along and I am definitely joining in. Check out @gingersnapsquilts IG feed for more details (but here they are in case you want those details now!):
  •  Who wants to joins us in a quilt a long using the new amazing star plus quilt patten by @machenundtun ? Get your pattern and fabric now! Cutting begins next week. The QAL will run the entire month of November ending December 1st. That gives you an entire month to get your quilt top completed and over a week to grab your fabrics and start cutting. Who's in? Prizes will be awarded AND you will have a finished quilt right in time for Christmas! Use #startplusqal when posting your progress!! Pattern can be found on Caftsy :)

I have been picking my fabrics this afternoon - not sure if I should go with all my favourite colours or stick to greens and whites??  Decisions decisions!!

Hope you join in too!

Sunday 12 October 2014

The Fox Swap - received and sent

I love swaps.  You know that already, I'm sure!! I recently participated in The Fox Swap over on Flickr.  I followed along on Instagram too and each time a foxy item popped up I fell more in love. 

So when my parcel from my 'Twinnie' arrived I danced and danced.  Trash - you are the best!  Look what you sent me:

I love my new foxy neck warmer scarf kitted by your fair hands!  He is perfection!  I also love the pouches you made for me - terry cloth green [I LOVE GREEN] trimmed pouch with embroidery and button closure (very cleverly done) and zippy pouch with a foxy gentleman fox wearing very smart glasses and shiny ribbon detail (ah.may.zing).  Here are front and back pictures of these two pouches:

I really was spoiled - look at the handcrafted key chain, the cute eraser and artwork card:

Speaking of artwork, look the foxy way Trash decorated the packaging.  Isn't she clever (as a fox)?

I was so surprised that Trash had me as her partner and was so excited when I opened each item up.  Yup - she wrapped each and every item!

Thank you so much Trash.  You are one foxy lady and have created and crafted amazing original creations just for me.  I love everything.  xx

For my partner KarinKasja on Flickr I decided to applique a fox first:

This cheeky fox is from a Kip & Fig fox pattern.  I picked some flowery orange fabric and some text fabric (I love text fabric) and fused it to the bag front - before sewing!!  See how I left the texty fabric sort of shaggy and textured?  Clever right!!?  I'm so lucky that the fox ended up exactly where I hoped it would after the bag was sewn - just off to the right side!  Aurifil #5009 was used for the satin stitch.  The pattern for the tote was the Michelle Patterns Grocery Tote in medium.  Hard to photograph but a fantastic bag. 

I added my fancy label inside the tote before I sewed it together (yes, I thought about that BEFORE I sewed it together - miracle eh?) which I think adds a nice finishing touch to the bag! 

Here is the whole parcel that I sent.

I had so much fun in The Fox Swap.  Now I am busy working on two more swap parcels for later this year.  I love swaps!!

September 2014 - month in review

September seems like forever ago!  I was busy working on de-cluttering and throwing things away.  The process of letting go of clutter, shredding old files, donating clothes and dealing with the toxic memories attached to 'stuff' has kept me away from my sewing machine.  I am hoping my "sew-jo" will return this month.

However, I did manage three things in September that I am super proud of!
  • Simply Solids quilt top - thanks to a mini weekend retreat with the #nintendoguild at the end of August where I made some advances on piecing this top together, I FINALLY managed to complete the top early in September!  I hope I can get this finished before Christmas.
  • I did some machine applique and made a Kip & Fig fox.  This was for the front of a Michelle Pattern Grocery Bag that I made for my partner in The Fox Swap.  I LOVE his eye and his cheeky grin, and I even love the combination of fabrics I used!  This was a difficult one to not keep for myself!!!
  • Diamonds in Diamonds was a pattern that I tested for the very talented Aylin-Nilya.  I had not used templates before so this was out of my comfort zone but once I started I couldn't stop!  This pattern has so many possibilities - a very exciting pattern indeed and I will be making another soon!  I cut some of my precious Echino for this and I love how it turned out.  Now to make this flimsy into a quilt!

September flew by at lightening speed and I can't believe we are nearly in the middle of October already!  This must mean Christmas sewing season is upon us.  I've made a list of things I plan to sew - have you?

Happy October - and Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends in Canada.  

Saturday 11 October 2014

4th Quarter FAL 2014 - ambitious goals!

For the final quarter of 2014 I thought I should keep with tradition and write another long list of things I would like to complete over the next THREE MONTHS!  Three months sounds like a long time but when you are a project-magpie like I am then more things get started than finished!

Here are my slightly (hahaha) ambitious goals for the 4th quarter:

1.  Must make binding, attach binding, hanging sleeve and label on my 4 Things quilt

2.  Make a back, sandwich, baste, quilt, bind and label my Diamonds in Diamonds quilt

3.  Nat's Sew Together Bag

4.  IG Mini Swap Mini Swoon #flossysgroup for swap

5.  Sew Sew Modern 6 sewing machine cover or mini quilt for swap

 6.  Simply Solids Amaranth group bee quilt  - make back, sandwich, baste, quilt, bind and label

7.  HipBees bee quilt - sew 5 more blocks sew into a top, add back, sandwich, baste, quilt, bind, label

8.  Messenger Bag - I have had this on my list for a very long time!!  I need a new bag desperately!!  Wish me luck!

Picture from Michelle Patterns

9.  Grocery Bags for Christmas presents - I have already cut out pieces for five bags in the three different sizes

Image from Michelle Patterns

10. Big Bear - add paws, border, back, sandwich, baste, quilt, bind, label


Linking to The Littlest Thistle
 Finish Along 2014

#verycherryswap - sent and received

I was still fairly new to Instagram when I came across a post about the #verycherryswap.  I love a good swap so guess what - I joined in!!!

This was not a secret swap so we were able to get to know who our partner was and what they like.  Agnes of @finallysewing was my partner and I sent her a set of hot pads, a hanging tea towel and a trivet for her kitchen.

I also made some greeting cards - a hobby I have recently re-visited.  I made my own cherry and leaf stamp to make these.

I added some candy, a couple fat quarters in her favourite colour (pink) and a cherry cross-stitch kit and posted it across the ocean.


Agnes sent me the most amazing Social Tote - I have wanted one of those forever and have not been brave enough to make one!!  A cute cube pincushion came in it.  Look at the perfect fabrics - birds and cherries everywhere!

Agnes also made me a needle-turn applique mug rug/mini quilt - very well done :)  She sent loads of extras too -- a frixion pen and cherry charm....

 ...and some amazing wooden spools with washi tape on them and...

...Cherry Koolaid , a sausage dog pen, fabric and some cherry stickers!  I was spoiled rotten - thank you 'sew' much!!


I really do love swaps - you get to know someone new and get to be creative in what you make and send.  Then - you receive an amazing parcel full of surprises!!  So fun!

Yes, the #verycherryswap was awesome!  Thank you Agnes x