Getting my Swap On

I really enjoyed taking part in the recent Sweet Pouch Swap hosted by Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts. There is so much to enjoy about swaps – meeting new people, discovering new blogs, challenging yourself to make the best you can and then deciding you’s love to do it all over again. And so I’ve not just signed up for one more, I’ve signed up for three more.

The first I discovered was a Halloween Sewing Swap being hosted by Martha over at Blooming Where I’m Planted.

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Sign-ups closed fairly quickly on that one and I was glad to get in. I’ve some nice themed fabrics ordered and am ready to get creating just as soon as they arrive and while I’m waiting I’ve started with a little cross stitch.DSC01323turnThe second swap I signed up for is a Secret Tote Bag Swap being hosted by Lia over at Lia’s Handmades. The theme of this swap is nature, and I have lots of ideas about how to incorporate that into a tote. We should hopefully find out who are partners are next week and I’m excited to learn what my partner’s likes and dislikes are and whether I can use any of the ideas I have.

stbs-250pxThe last swap I’ve signed up for is actually a monthly swap. I’ve joined the lovely group over at Doll Quilter’s Monthly and look forward to swapping quilts there in the months ahead. September’s theme is Quilts within Quilts so maybe I’ll be making a miniature quilt or two this month.

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Have you taken part in any swaps recently? I’d love to hear about them if you did.

Insert Retro: WiP Wednesday

Yesterday I pulled this little bundle of retro styled children’s fabrics from my stash with the intention of sewing a cushion as a gift for a friend.

insretfabricSomewhere in the planning stage I got a little carried away and ended up with this.

insrettopDefintiely not a cushion! It turns out my older son will be getting a new quilt, “Insert Retro”.

I have to admit that when I finished this piece last night I was very unsure about the design. When I looked at it this morning I was still unsure. When I brought it outside to photograph it I fell in love. Once I stood back a little and saw the design as a whole, something that isn’t really possible in my sewing space, I loved it. I love how the different fabrics all work together, the angles, the juxtaposition of the strips.

insretAI still have a gift to make so I’m going to put this top away for a few days while I get on with that. I have two more good reasons to wait on quilting the top. The first is that I am running low on batting and need to wait till I order some. I love to use Quilter’s Dream cotton batting and was not happy to find out last week that my usual supplier here is out of stock. However, after a little online searching I found a new supplier who not only has a great selection of Quilter’s Dream batting but who also recently started stocking Aurifil threads. That leads me to the second good reason to wait before I finish this quilt. I have not been able to find Aurifil threads in Switzerland before this and am keen to order some and finally try them for myself on this quilt top.

Linking up with Lee’s Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. Hope to see you there.

Floral Fugly

The Fugly Fabric party has started over on Charm About You which means it’s time for me to find a new home for those unloved and unwanted pieces of fabric in my stash.

fugly30_zps9bacd3e8When I first started quilting a few years ago I had no idea there were fabric designers, fabric collections and more. I had no idea what my style was. I had a few ideas for things I thought I might like to make and bought some floral fabrics on ebay with these in mind. Now my style has develoved and it is defintiely not so floral so I am going hold my first ever giveaway with a view to finding these fabrics a loving home.

To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment below letting me know which of the three lots you you would like. If you are interested in more than one then please list all of the lots you are interested in, in order of preference. Be sure to leave contact details if you are a no-reply blogger.

This giveaway is open till August 31st when I will randomly select three winners. The first winner will get their first choice of fabric. If the first/only choice of the second winner has already been given away then I will give them their second choice, or draw a new winner till a second lot is won, ditto for the remaining lot.

These are the fabrics I will be giving away:

Lot 1: Three fat quarters featuring red roses on a black background bought because I had thought to make a quilt for our bedroom to match our curtains.

ffugly1Lot 2: A  couple fat quarters bought because I thought they would go well with the roses above. For reference the safety pin in the close-up photo is approx 1″ long.

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Lot 3: A collection of 9×11″ floral fabric pieces. I initially intended to use them make some cushions for gifting when I first bought them, but they still sit in my stash unused and I know now that they will forever remain there if I don’t find them a better home.

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Sweet Pouch Received

I’ve already posted about my participation in the Sweet Pouch Swap that was hosted by Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts. Well on Friday this lovely pouch arrived in the post for me from my partner Lynne.

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Isn’t it just the cutest?  It’s definitely a big hit in my house. I love it and as soon as my eldest son, now 5, saw it he wanted to know if I could make him one too. Thankfully Lynne had posted a link to a tutorial on her blog and I also stumbled across this one a few weeks ago so I’ll defintiely be giving them a try.

Of course no sweet pouch swap would be complete without some sweeties. My pouch came filled with these lovelies. Yum Yum !

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Nice to Sweet You

Last month I signed up to the Sweet Pouch Swap being hosted by Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts. This was the very first swap I signed up for and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Today was the deadline for posting off our sweet filled pouches to our partners and between holidays and a crazy week with my boys starting kindergarten and day care it has taken me till today to get my pouch in the post. But in the post it is and now on it’s way and hopefully it won’t take too long to get to Australia.

pouchparcelThis was an open swap so when my partner Lynne told me she loved black and white at the moment, I used that information along with what I had gleaned from her blog of her love for vintage books and choose some black cotton coupled with a print from the Nevermore Collection by Michael Miller as the main fabrics for the pouch.

pouchfabricI chose a design based on a recent tutorial I had seen in the German “Patchwork Spezial” magazine although I did alter it a little and added some quilting. When it came to lining the pouch I decided to go a bit daring a choose a Kaffe Fassett Paperweight print from my stash. I do hope that my partner likes this fabric as I know Kaffee Fassett designs can be a love or hate thing for some people.

pouchliningThe pouch is closed with a sewn on magnetic clasp. I’ve found in the past that these clasps can be really difficult to open but that by mounting the top piece upside down it will still close, just not quite as firmly, making the pouch easier to open and greatly reducing the risk of the clasp literally ripping off the fabric.

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I added a covered button on the outer flap of the pouch for decoration (and to cover the stitching from the clasp!).

pouchbuttonThere are plenty of goodies packed into the pouch. I had initially bought a several bars of Cadbury’s when home in Ireland this summer but then discovered that Cadbury’s is also made in Australia. I did a bit of research and discovered a few bars from Ireland that didn’t appear to be available in Australia so packed those in. I also couldn’t resist adding a Tayto chocolate bar. This is someting truly Irish. Tayto are Irish crisps (potato chips). It has long been known (to some) that eating a few of the cheese and onion flavoured crisps along with a piece of chocolate is rather tasty. Tayto have decided to introduce a limited edition chocolate bar with the two already mixed. Like marmite and so many other things it’s a love hate thing. I love it, I wonder will my partner?

taytoGiven that I’m living in Switzerland I also added some of our favourite sweets/chocolates. Amongst the Swiss additions there is a nice piece of Toblerone – yes I know it’s available pretty much world-wide but it’s considered typically Swiss so I coudn’t not include it.

tobleroneThere are several more goodies in there but I’m not going to reveal any more here, nor am I going to reveal a full photo of the finished pouch at this time. You’ll have to come back in a week or two for that because I do want my partner to have a few surprises to look forward to when her post arrives.

All in all this sweet swap has been a great experience and it has encouraged me to sign up for more swaps. A huge thanks to Alyce for organizing this swap and here’s to the next one!

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