Friday Finishes

It’s the end of the week and I have a few small finishes to share with you today. The first is the triple zip pouch that I was working on earlier this week. TPZpocketsAs I mentioned in my earlier post about this pouch we were following the tutorial by Debbie over at A Quilter’s Table to make the pouch. When it came to the finishing steps however, I chose to follow the alternative ending by Marci Girl Designs. This defintiely was a very easy way to finish the pouch but I did find that because of my use of linen as the outer fabric that the final seams were much bulkier that I would have liked, although this isn’t too apparent in the finished pouch.

TZPcompleteI’ve really enjoyed making this pouch, which really is a very useful and practical design but I do think that when I next make this pouch I will make a few alterations to the pattern to help reduce the bulk of the seams. I think that by cutting the fleece interfacing smaller than the outer pieces (i.e. to exclude seam allowances) and by making the linings for the front two pockets slightly narrower than the pouch I should be easily able to sew all of the seams in a manner similar to that described in the alternative ending while at the same time seriously reducing the seam bulk. Time will tell I guess.

TPZbackMy second finish for this week is the first of a series of outfits that I am making for my niece’s doll as her birthday present. I found some very cute patterns over on Wollyonline and have started in on making some items from them using some of the same fabrics I had used for the pouch. I felt that the first dress I made was a little large, as the doll I making it for is marginally smaller than those for which the patterns were designed, so I decided it was probably a good idea to borrow the doll in question for a day so I could fit things properly. I’m glad I did because my hunch was correct. Thankfully with some alterations of the side seams I was able to make the dress fit and I will now easily be able to alter some of the other patterns to fit properly.

DCdress1I must admit that I do find these clothes a little fidly to make, but only because of the machine I am using. Because my Brother machine is at the shop I am limited to the straight line stitching that is all my Singer does. So with my seam finishing options very limited I am using a lot more french seams than I usually would on such garments. They are still fun to make and I do look forward to making more.

Linking up with TGIFF which, this week, is being hosted by Sarah over at Mila & Cuatro. If you’ve not already visited do pop over and see all of this weeks great finishes.

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Zips Galore – WiP Wednesday

After a slow start to the year I am finally getting back into the sewing groove and despite one sewing machine being off for repairs and my cutting ruler having gone AWOL for a week I am making progress on several projects. One of those projects is the triple zip pouch that I am making for round two of the Triple Zip Pouch Swap that is being hosted by Stephanie over at Quarter Incher.

PouchbuttonROUND2We are following the tutorial by Debbie over at A Quilter’s Table and for my pouch I have chosen to use linen as the outer fabric. As a lover of Liberty and linen together I felt this was the perfect oppertunity to make use of one of the mini scrap packs of blue Liberty Fabrics that I had recently bought from Ali over at Very Berry Fabrics. I used a selection of scraps to reverse appliqué randomly placed rectangles over the piece of blue linen I was using for the main body of the pouch, chosing fabrics that would blend well with the colours of the linens I had chosen to use for the accent pieces.

TZPfrontFor the linings I have picked a few Denyse Schmidt fabrics that match well with both linens and the zips that I have chosen to use. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a zip that matched exactly with the lime green linen, but as the striped lining fabric features both the colours of the linen and the zip I feel that the zip I have chosen will work well with this design.

TZPmaterialsI have cut all the pieces I need, lined my outer linen pieces with fusible fleece so all that is left for me to do now is the simple (or maybe not so simple) task of taking all the elements I have prepared and sewing the pouch together. I will hopefully get that work completed later today so that the pouch can be filled with goodies and mailed off to it’s recipient tomorrow.

TZPmaterials2Linking up with Lee’s Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. Hope to see you there.

Back to the Needles and Thread

Today I had hoped to be able to share the table mats that I was making as this month’s Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew project but work on these unfortunatley remains at a standstill. It is defintiely a case of “it never rains but it pours” when it comes to problems in my sewing room at the moment. I finally got the first mat quilted, went to cut out the binding and realised my ruler had gone walk about. One of the many joys of having a two year old who loves to play with your things perhaps?

The upshot is that I am currently left with one quilted mat, three reverse appliquéd finished circular tops, a sheet of 4mm white felt that I am using to back the mats and a large piece of green fabric just waiting to be cut into bias strips for binding. I could quilt the other mats but when making multiples of a project like this I like to complete the first item fully first so I can iron out any problems before finishing the remaining items. And so these have been shelved again until I have a ruler I can work with.

CTMprogressSome of you are maybe surprised that I only have the one ruler but I’ve never felt the need to have more. When I first started quilting I bought an All-In-One-Ruler and as it really did do what it promised to do I never bought another ruler. Now of course I’m stuck. I’ve no ruler, a pile of binding to cut to finish my mats and plenty of other projects to also get on with. I’ve ordered a couple of new rulers now so hopefully they arrive at the start of next week, when of course my original ruler will undoubtedly turn up, probably accompanied by a handful of lego and other assorted toys.

Despite all these problems I’ve not been idle and have gone back to working on some more of my EPP butterfly designs. Needles and thread are one thing I am not short of so hand stitching is always a relaible go to when all else fails. I have now completed five designs and am really happy with how they are turning out. It’s nice to feel that I have made good progress on at least one project this week.

Butterflies5There is still plenty of time to link up with this month’s Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew Link party so if you’ve also been trying to get ahead of the end of year rush and have been working on some Christmas projects this month then don’t forget to pop over to Celtic Thistle Stitches and join this month’s link party.

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – February

Welcome to the second month of the Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew Link Parties. Fiona and myself are delighted to have you join us and hope, that like us, you are slowly getting organised for Christmas 2014.

Thank you to all of you who joined in the link party last month, and I hope that plenty of you will join in the fun this month. This month Fiona is hosting the link party over at Celtic Thistle Stitches, and she also has a great tutorial on how to make the perfect gift set for any coffee lover. Her gift set is made up of a place mat, mug cosy and cafetiere/French press/coffee plunger cosy; a great gift for Christmas, or any time of year.

This month there is another great giveaway: Helen from Bustle and Sew has very kindly donated a copy of her Handstitched Christmas ebook. To be in with a chance of winning this great prize all you have to do is link up a Christmas project that you have completed this month. The link party remains open until 23.59GMT on February 28th so there is still lots of time for you to join in the fun.

8816651578_7f4e41cbd5_nMy christmas project for this month is a set of circular table mats that I am making for my own house. I had spent the last 10 days in the Alps with the family and it was the perfect project to get working on in the evenings after days spent out on the snow. My original plan was to get the mats quickly finished this morning as all that was left to do was some simple quilting and some binding. Alas my plans have been scuppered by a tempermental sewing machine and at the moment all I can share is a peak at the first unfinished mat.

CTMstuckUnfortunately my sewing machine has decided to jam and will no longer sew a single stitch for me. Once I manage to free the stuck mat a trip to the service shop is in most definitely in order to solve the problem. So instead of getting my mats finished and ready to share with you all I have spent my time clearing my sewing table and reorganising my sewing space so that I can get out my lovely old Singer ready to get back to my sewing.

I do hope you’ll pop back on Friday when I’ll finally be able to share my finished mats with you all (assuming my beautiful Singer is as reliable as ever). In the meantime do be sure to pop over to Celtic Thistle Stitches and check out this months great tutorial and link party.

It’s Oh So Quiet

I must apologies for things being ever so quiet around here of late. It appears that winter’s bugs and nasties are taking their toll in my house of late. First one of the boys gets ill, then I do. And then it’s very much a case of rinse, repeat as another cold makes it’s appearance. As a result sewing progress is pretty much at a standstill at the moment and is likely to remain that way for another week or so. Today should have seen us off to the slopes for a week of fun in the snow but instead it’s yet another sofa day as we try to recover in the hopes of getting away over the weekend.

While I may not be sewing much at the moment I do have a January finish that I can finally share with you all which is my make for the January Doll Quilter’s Monthly Quilt Swap. The theme for January’s quilt was to try something new. I was more than happy to follow the there and opted for several somethings new. First was combining linen and Liberty. They really do work wonderfully together but it is not a combination I had sewn with myself. My second something new was reverse appliqué, a technique I had wanted to try for some time. And my final something new was hand quilting. Combine all three and I created “Bubbles”.

DQSJbubblesI reverse appliquéd circles of differing sizes using a collection of Liberty fabrics that I had obtained in various scrap packs I had purchased. I kept the quilting simple and stitched three concentric circles around each of the Libery bubbles. I used a combination of Gütermann silk and Aurifil 28wt variegated cotton threads for the hand quilting.

DQSJcloseThe quilt was backed with some Shelby in Pink from the Pretty Little Things line by Dena Fishbein. I chose that fabric because not only did the colours pick up on many of those I had used for the quilting but I also felt that the stripes would contrast nicely with the quilted circles.

DQSJbackFrom my partner I received a really striking quilt featuring purples and greens. In a quirkly little twist of fate/coincidence she had also chosen a design featuring circles as her something new and I’m so glad she did as I love this little quilt no end.

DQSJQR1Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? and TGIFF. What about you? Do you have a finish to share this week?

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