Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – December

Well here we are at the end of the year. There’s just a week to go till the big day and it’s time for the last Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew link party of the year. I hope that, like myself and my co-host Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches, you’ve been getting organised throughout the year, but if you still have some last minute sewing to do then don’t despair because there still is time to get it done.

Ho Ho Ho button 300In case you still need some inspiration for some last minute sewing projects then let me give you a quick reminder of all the great ideas shared by our guest hosts throughout the year.

January: Fiona kicked off the year with her Christmas Cushion
February: Pam at Threading My Way showed us how to make a great Drawstring Gift Bag
March: Sally at Wonky Patchwork made some beautiful Clara and Nutcracker Dolls
April: Benta at SLIK stitches shared her Advent Calendar
May: Karen at Practically Pippy had some adorable Christmas Mice to share
June: Ruth at Charly & Ben’s Crafty Corner introduced us to her So Frosty Quilt Pattern
July: Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe made a beautiful Christmas Tree pillow cover and
Martha at Weekend Doings shared a very practical iPad cover
August: Deborah at Sunshine through the Rain showed us how to make Envelope Christmas Stockings
September: Karen at Practically Pippy returned with a Gift Card Holder and Mug Rugs
October : Sandra at Sandra Sews 🙂 shared a great Novelty Pouch zip and  Nesta at Ella & Nesta’s Little Room were full of inspiration with Fabric Furin Wind Chime Gift Tags and Fabric covered drawing pins
November: Joanne at Rose and Dahlia made a fun Christmas Stocking Grippy holder

To round off the year I’m going to share my tutorial for a clutch pouch. It’s a design I use for so many different purposes, it can even be easily transformed into a doll’s sleeping bag and best of all it’s a really quick make.

Clutch pouch tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsBefore I get to that though let me take the time to tell you about this month’s link party (which you’ll find at the bottom of this post) and the wonderful giveaway prize we have to share with one lucky person who links up their finishes for this month. This month our prize has been sponsored by Rebecca at Sew Hot who will be giving one lucky winner the kit and pattern for this stunning Mini Norway quilt.

Isn’t it just beautiful! If you’re not familiar with Sew Hot then I urge you to pop on over and have a browse through their store as they not only carry quilting supplies but they also have a wonderful range of kits and patterns for soft toys, bags and lots more.

I have to give a big thank you to Sew Hot for sponsoring us this month and to all of the wonderful sponsors who have been so generous in sponsoring our giveaways throughout the year.

Crafty TrimmingsLogo Sew Hot
Plush Addict Logo

As I’ve already mentioned this month I’m sharing the tutorial for the clutch pouch I find myself making time and time again.

Clutch pouch tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsFor this pouch you will need two equal sized pieces of matching or contrasting fabric – one for the outer shell of the pouch, the other for the lining. You will also need a piece of fusible fleece to line the outer fabric.

The amount of fabric you will need will be dependent on the size of pouch you want to make. First decide on the width and depth of pouch you would like, and the depth of flap you pouch will have. To figure out what size your fabric pieces will need to be use the following simple formula:

Width of fabric = width of finished pouch + 0.5”

Length of fabric = 2 times the depth of the finished pouch + the depth of the fished flap + 0.5”

The fusible fleece (1 piece) should be cut 0.5” narrower and shorter than your fabric pieces.

materialsPlease note that, because the outer shell of the pouch is cut from one single piece of fabric, directional fabrics are not ideal for this project as the print on the back of the pouch will appear upside-down on the finished pouch. You can of course piece the outer shell from several pieces of fabric if you wish to avoid this problem, or if you simply want to add some contrast and added interest to the flap as I like to do. In the diagram above I have indicated the direction the print should lie in a pieced outer fabric.

Once you have your outer and lining fabric pieces cut start by attaching the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the outer fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have fusible fleece you can of course use normal quilt batting and simply quilt the outer fabric and batting together.

Lined frontPlace your lined/quilted outer fabric and lining right sides together. On the non-flap end stitch the two pieces together with a standard 0.25” seam. Using pins or a marking tool mark the start of the flap on each of the long sides of the lining. Using the first mark as a starting point stitch up the side seam of the flap, across the bottom and down the second side seam till you reach you second marker.

Stitched layersWhen sewing the flap you can easily change the design depending on how you sew it. Maybe curve the corners, taper them in or add some waves to the bottom of the flap.

Flap designOnce the flap and bottom seams are sewn the next step is to pull the lining fabric to one side so that it lies folded in half, right sides together, with the outer fabric on the other side, also folded in half right sides together. Sew the side seams of both these pieces, taking care not to catch the flap in the seams, and making sure to leave an opening in one of the side seams to allow you to turn the pouch inside out.

Stitched layers2Clip all your corners and trim seams as necessary before turning the pouch inside out and finishing off the seam in the lining with a whip stitch. Tuck the lining inside the pouch and press well to finish. For a more finished look you can add a row of top stitching around the edges of the flap and the top front of the pouch.

Clutch pouch tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsTo keep the pouch closed I like to use sew-on magnetic clasps, buttons (with a buttonhole or two added to the flap), velcro or snap poppers. All of these can be added at the end, and if using magnetic clasps, velcro or poppers I usually also stitch a covered button onto the front of the pouch to cover the stitching.

If you want a pocket you can easily stitch one in place on the lining fabric before piecing the pouch together. I have even added pockets the full width and depth of the pouch on occasion so that the finished pouch is essentially divided in two.

PocketTo use this pouch as a dolls sleeping bag I simply stuffed some wadding into the flap of the pouch after I had turned the pouch right side out and then added a line of sewing across the flap/bag at the point where the flap met the back of the bag so that it became a pillow instead of a flap.

Clutch pouch tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsI do hope you will have a go at making this pouch. The possibilities for it are really quite endless. You can make it as large (ipad sized perhaps) or small as you like, add pockets, box out the bottom corners, maybe add a wriststrap sewn into the side seam. I’ve used it to make a sunglasses case, a camera pouch, countless sewing pouches and my son has even added a webbing strap to one to make himself a bag.

Clutch pouch tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsClutch pouch tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsClutch pouch tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsIf you do decide to make a pouch this month I’d love to see it, and of course I am looking forward to seeing all of those festive finishes that you have to share. You can link them up below and as ever the link party will remain open till the end of the month.

Happy sewing and happy holidays!

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Friends used to ask me how I manage to find time to create and blog with two little boys in the house keeping me busy and I have to say that it was never really a problem. I sewed at night, grabbed computer time when I could during the day and just like that I got it all done. That was the time when I used to blog frequently. When I used to spend time each day catching up on the blogs I follow with Bloglovin. When I used to post to Instagram and facebook. But lately it feels like I do none of those things. My blog is rather neglected, my Bloglovin feed features hundreds of unread posts and both Instagram and facebook are strangely quiet. The only one constant, now in the background, is that I continue to create.

I have not been sharing but I think it’s time I made a serious effort to change all that. The year is drawing to a close and many of you, I’m sure, are in the midst of a last minute rush to get presents or home decor items finished in time for the festive season. I must admit that I am, for the most part, fairly organised and so as we countdown these final few weeks of the year I am going to use the time to do my best to share once more.

"Acid Star" star surround quilt | Mud, Pies and Pins Today I’m going to start with my “Acid Star” quilt. This quilt resulted from a single big block top that I had pulled from my UFO pile a couple of months ago. At 48” square the single block top was originally made as part of the Star Surround Quilt Along hosted by Melissa from happy Quilting back in 2013. My original plan was to make a single block light throw quilt for the sofa but as soon as I pulled it I knew I wanted to make it a bit bigger and more versatile. After playing around in the only design space available to me – the garden – I quickly added a couple of borders and made it up to a more practical 68” square.

"Acid Star" star surround quilt | Mud, Pies and Pins

Back when I made the original top I had purchased some Calypso Frogs fabric by Ro Gregg for Paintbrush Studio fabric that I had intended to back the quilt with. Thankfully I had purchased enough yardage to still allow me to use the fabric for my larger version of the quilt.

"Acid Star" star surround quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsI had a packet of Quilter’s Dream wool batting in my stash that I was eager to try out and as luck would have it was just the perfect size for this project. The only one problem that remained was finding space to base the quilt. Our house is small so there wasn’t a single room with the free floor space to baste a quilt of that size so out to the garden I went once more. I set up one of our picnic tables, got out some clamps and set to spray basting it section by section on the table top.

"Acid Star" star surround quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsFrom the minute I first lifted the basted quilt I was in love with the drape and feel of the quilt and I knew that I wanted to keep the quilting light to retain as much of the drape and loft as I could. I opted to simply echo quilting the various sections of the quilt with Aurifil threads in matching colours.

"Acid Star" star surround quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsI finished the quilt using V & Co’s Simply Color lime green ombre fabric for the binding, yet another stash find. It really pulls the design together perfectly and adds that extra pop of colour at the edges that, I think, really helps give the central star surround design some extra pop.

"Acid Star" star surround quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsThis is my biggest finish to date, and surprisingly it is also one of my favourites. I say surprisingly because the original top left me uninspired, I fell out of love with it as I was making it and I think that is why it languished in my UFO pile for so long. The addition of the borders, the bright and fun background print, the drape, the warmth… all of these things have added so much to this quilt that now it brings a great big smile to my face each and every day.

"Acid Star" star surround quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsGiven how quick this quilt was to originally make (one evening) and finally finish (one day) there is a part of me that is feeling guilty that I did not finish it a lot sooner. That said, there is also part of me that knows that, had I done so, I may not have been as happy with the finished result as I am now. Time works wonders and in this case it most defintiely gave me the experience and knowledge to let me take something I deemed imperfect and transform it into somethign I could not have previously imagined.

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – October

With just over two months of sewing time left to go till Christmas it’s time for the October Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew post and link-up party. I must apologise for not getting this posted on time yesterday, we’ve just finished out autumn school holidays and I’ve been so caught up in enjoying the break that I totally lost track of time.

Ho Ho Ho button 300I’m sure you know the drill by now. To encourage and inspire you to get organised in plenty of time for the festive season a guest host shares a tutorial for a festive make each month in addition to hosting a link party where you can share your own festive makes and be in with a chance to win the monthly link-up giveaway. This month is being co-hosted by Sandra, who blogs at Sandra Sews 🙂 and Nesta and Ella, the family team from Italy who blog over at Ella and Nesta’s Little Room. This month Sandra has shared a great tutorial for some festive zippies, super cute ornament zippy pouches that could be filled with all sorts of goodies for gifting or decorating. Ella and Nesta plan on sharing tutorials for Christmas and Holiday ideas between now and the end of the month and will be cheering on your holiday crafting so be sure to follow them see all they have to share.

And don’t forget to join in the link party fun by linking up your own makes for this month. The link party remains open till the end of the month and everyone who joins in has a chance of winning this month’s wonderful giveaway prize which is a set of three fat 8ths of Liberty lawn that have generously been donated by Sarah over at Duck Egg Threads. As well as well chosen selection of sewing notions Sarah has a really lovely selection of Liberty fabrics, which I sure you know by now are probably my favourite fabrics to sew with, so be sure to pop over and visit her store.

Duck Egg Threads logoMy own festive sewing has been slow this month, another casualty of the autumn holidays and my getting distracted by my UFO pile. I’m sure you will remember that last month I had started work on converting an orphan block into a pillow. Well that project was finished en route to the Peaks 8 retreat I attended at the end of last month.

Red Liberty Spinning Lotus Pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsAnd yes I’ve not forgotten that I still haven’t shared any of the Peaks fun with you here yet. While at Peaks I also made another pillow, this time for my little boy who was missing me lots at times.

Minion Pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsThis little minion has been very much admired, and coveted, and so I decided that I would make several more as Christmas gifts for a few children I know. So far this month I’ve really only made progress on the sourcing of materials, which can be a slow enough affair given that I purchase so many of my fabrics online and from abroad. In addition to a couple more yellow minion pillows I’ll also be making some evil purple minions, how could I not having found the perfect faux fur for the hair portion of the pillow!

Minion Pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsI’m hoping that the last of the fabrics I need will arrive within the week so I can get finished up by the end of the month. I hope you’ll pop back and see my finishes then and in the meantime be sure to pop on over to Sandra Sews 🙂 and to Ella and Nesta’s Little Room and I hope you’ll share you own festive make with us.

Packing for Peaks 8 – WIP Wednesday

As September draws to an close it’s time for me to get packing my bags and to head off to Morzine in France for the Patchwork in the Peaks 8 quilting retreat. Organised by the lovely Elita, from Busy Needle Quilting, this biannual retreat has become a firm fixture in my diary and is great anticipated each time it comes around.

This time the fun and talented Francine from mochawildchild will be holding a workshop on making an improv birches quilt. I’m still on the fence as to what fabrics I want to bring with me for this project, and I really need to make up my mind as I head off tomorrow. Part of me is thinking of going modern as I have scraps from various lines by Zen Chic and Malka Dubrawsky that I think could work really well in this project.

Barcelona Malka DubrawskyThere is another part of me that is really itching to play around with my Liberty stash for this one as I think they would work stunningly in the birches design.

LibertyAnd finally there is the part of me that just wants to do something a little different, to give the idea a little twist and make it my own. I think I may have to just pack all of the scraps and fabrics and see what happens on the day.

Sea GreensIn addition to fabrics for the birches project I’ve also packed two works in progress. The first is my EPP Alison Glass quilt. This has been languishing on my worktable for several months as several EPP swap projects took precedence when it came to my sewing time, but now it’s finally time for me to get working on it again. As I plan on very limited swap participation over the coming months I’m hoping that I will now have a chance to make good progress on the construction of this quilt. I’m packing it for Peaks as I know I will be able to work on it on the train there and back and at various times over the weekend and that once I get back into working on it again it will be easy to just keep going with it.

Lotus twistThe second work in progress that I am packing is an English Paper Pieced Triceratops pillow that I am working on for my son. I have finished appliquéing the EPP Triceratops to it’s background and am now in the process of adding a few final stitched details before I quilt the top and finish off the pillow. There is a slight chance it will be finished before I travel tomorrow in which case I will still bring it along for our show and tell evening.

TriceratopsI’ll be sharing snippets from Peaks 8 over on Instagram, facebook and Twitter all weekend long so I hope you’ll follow along and see what we get up to, and I look forward to hopefully being able to share some finished makes with you next week when I return.

Today I’m linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – September

It’s time for the September installment of Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew and with just three months to go it might just be time to get started on sewing for the end of year festive season if you haven’t already. If you’ve been joining in on the Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew fun during the year then I’m sure you are well on your way to being organised for the end of year festivities.

Ho Ho Ho button photo This month, as ever, there is a monthly link party for those who have been sewing away and this time round the party is being hosted by Karen over at Practically Pippy.

The link party will be open till the end of the month as usual and don’t forget that if you join in the fun and link up your makes you will be in with a chance to win this month’s link up giveaway which is being sponsored by Plush Addict who are giving one lucky winner the chance to pick their favourite Skinny Dips bundle from their online store.

logoI’ve been doing a little sewing myself this month although I have to admit the project is not quite finished so I can only give you a sneak peek a tth eproject right now.

I decided to pull an orphan EPP block from my stash to make into a beautiful cushion cover that will grace someone’s sofa this Christmas. It may be a gift, it may be for me, but that’s going to remain secret till Christmas.

EPP cushion cove WIP | Mud, Pies and PinsHave you finished any festive sewing this month? If you have then I do hope you will pop over to Practically Pippy and share it in the link party. I look forward to seeing all your makes.