My Sun Print Addiction

Hi, my name is Paula, and I have a Sun Print addiction. I am so totally in love with these fabrics from Alison Glass and find myself trying to use them as often as possible. As many of the projects that I work on are mini quilts or pillows I can thankfully stretch my little stash of Sun Print quite far.

Before my recent blogging break I had shown you a mini quilt and a pillow that I had begun working on for the Hand Pieced Mini Swap and the Big Stitch Swap respectively. I am sure that you are wondering how they both turned out so here they are in all vibrant glory.

mini-sp mini-labelpillow-spI have to admit finding it hard to send bother of their pieces on their respective journeys as I had fallen totally in love with the mix of Sun Print and texty fabrics in both, but send them I did and they were both delightfully received in their new homes.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in both of the aforementioned swaps and I was totally spoilt by the partners who made for me. In the Hand Pieced Mini Swap Kim (@kmj_creations) made me the most gorgeous mini featuring purples and aquas and it couldn’t be more perfect. handpieced-mini

These are my favourite colours and together they are just divine. The piecing on the mini is just exquisite and the design is set of beautifully by the hand quilting. Kim also made the most gorgeous little tweed basket for me, perfect for holding clover clips (or other sewing supplies) and if that wasn’t enough she filled up her package with some gorgeous purple fabric pieces and a package of shortbread. They are one of my favourite biscuits to enjoy with a cuppa and they was delicious!swap-extras

The package I received from Sarah of FairyFace Designs in the Big Stitch Swap contained a fun bundle of fabric scraps but the main star was the most stunning knitting needle case. kniotting-case

The design is so fun I just love the beautiful rainbow of fabrics that Sarah used to create it. Although I already had one needle case for the modern bamboo and wood needles that I have purchased myself of late, I was badly in need or a second as I also have a large collection of older knitting needles that I frequently use, many of which were inherited from grandmothers and great aunts. These poor needles had been living in some plastic bags till now and I am so delighted to finally have a good home for them. As autumn is finally making an appearance here I am slowly feeling the itch to knit again and I’m looking forward to really using my new needle case.

Since these swaps there have been a few more that I have completed. One of these was the Pillow Swap Four Seasons, which is a Flickr based swap. For the most recent Autumn round I found myself once more pulling out the Sun Print stash and working on some EPP. sp-pillow-epp

Unfortunately, I had to change track with the project when a minor finger injury meant I couldn’t do any hand sewing for a couple of weeks and wouldn’t be able to finish off the intended design in time for the swap. Thankfully I was able to machine sew a pillow that my partner was more than delighted with and the Sun Print EPP pillow, well that one is probably going to Patchwork in the Peaks with me this weekend to get finished, and then it’s off to live in the mountains where it will I will still be visiting it regularly and enjoying it every time I escape to the hills for some alpine fun with the boys.

A Spring Pillow Part 2 – Snow and Sew

After a short delay at customs and then another wait at the post office I’m delighted to say that the spring pillow (or cushion as I would usually say) I had made for my partner in the Pillow Swap Four Seasons finally made it safely to its new home late last week. I’ve shared plenty of sneak peeks on social media over the past couple of months and it’s lovely to finally be able to share the finished pillow here now.

 EPP Spring Pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsThe top was pieced using Alison Glass’s Sun Prints with a Moda Grunge background and I used one of my own EPP designs for the pattern. I’ve stitched variations of this design in the past, the original didn’t feature leaves, and when I did introduce the leaves they were done so on a version that was designed to be appliquéd onto a background fabric, rather than pieced into a block as I did with this version. I really enjoy playing with my designs in this way, refining them and finding the most flexible uses for them, and this design is definitely becoming a firm favourite of mine, especially in its current form.

Although I had finished the piecing of the top during various train commutes and other outings at the start of the year, finishing the pillow was put on hold till close to the posting deadline as my sewing space had been packed up and mostly moved to our new house. February means sports week here; a week when schools close so that families can escape to the hills to enjoy some winter sports. Needing a break from all the packing and moving, and not wanting my boys to miss out on the snowy fun, we headed for the hills.

Snow in the Alps | Mud, Pies and PinsAs I don’t ski (yet) I packed my machine and a few sewing supplies in anticipation of finishing the pillow and making something small as an added extra to go with it. I had originally thought of sewing a pouch or travel sewing set but quickly realised that with my available sewing supplies I was rather limited in what I could make. The solution – a second smaller pillow.

Spring Pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsI cut into my tiny stash of Sun Prints and low volume fabrics, played around with some HSTs and came up with a design that I felt complemented the main pillow.

 EPP Spring Pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsOther than some clover clips and pins I think that the photos above show the extent of the stash and equipment that I had available to me and I have to admit that I really enjoyed getting back to basics on this second pillow. There was no pre-drafting of ideas on the computer, no designing and printing of patterns, no calculating of measurements beyond the simple cutting up of 5″ charm squares as the basis for the HSTs. It was so much fun to simply just create and it is something I need to do a lot more often.

And the finished pillow, well I think you’ll agree that it is every bit as spring like as its bigger partner.

HST Spring Pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsWith the spring time swap now finished it will soon be time to turn my attention to the summer round. Sign-ups for that round opened today over on the Flickr group and I was quick to add my name to the list. This swap is so very well run by Karen (from easypatchwork) and Sandra (from Hohenbrunner Quilterin) and is made up of such a wonderful group of talented and engaging ladies that I thoroughly enjoy it and am more than eager to participate in for as long as it continues to run.

Luckily for me the timing of the summer round couldn’t be more perfect. We’re planning on finishing our big move within the next two weeks so by the time I get my partner information I should be getting my sewing room up and running and will be ready to dive back in to sewing with some new projects. In the meantime I shall continue to pack and move and to wonder when spring will properly arrive in something other than pillow form as I look out the window and see snow falling once again.Spring Pillows | Mud, Pies and Pins


A Pillow for Spring

Spring is just around the corner, although this winter there have been so many times here when it feels as if spring arrived days, if not weeks, ago. It’s been a mild winter, the primroses have been in bloom since December, along with the snowdrops and in some places the crocuses. The past few weeks have seen gardens spring into life. But each time we hang up the hats and scarfs in favour of much lighter wear the snow descends (for a few days at least) and we are reminded that it is in fact still winter. The one consistently spring like activity here has been my participation in the spring 2016 round of the Flickr based Pillow Swap Four Seasons.

I have shared sneak peaks and work in progress shots of the pillow that I made for my partner here, on Instagram and on Flickr and while the pillow is finished it is still en route to my partner so I am going to hold off on the final reveal until she has received it. Today I would like to show you the amazing pillow that I was lucky enough to receive in this round of the swap.

Spring pillowIsn’t it just magnificent! I just love how my partner Bettina combined three different designs so effectively. She has also chosen fabrics that feature such beautifully vibrant colours which I think makes the pillow all the more striking. It really is such an inspirational piece and I look being able to really enjoy it properly once we finish moving house next month.

I really was spoilt by Bettina because my swap package also contained this darling pincushion. It is so beautifuly made and features yet more gorgeous fabrics, and that button on top… I love it! It is going to look stunning in my new sewing room, and I can’t wait till I can get back to sewing properly again and really make good use of it, and the box of pins that Bettina was kind enough to send with it.

Spring pincushionHopefully the pillow that I sent on to my swap partner will arrive soon as I will be able to share that with you then. In the meantime I’ll be off filling more moving boxes, doing what crafting I can in the little free time that I have, and staying warm as it looks like winter is paying us another of it’s mini visits! Spring pillow snow


Quilting Memories of the Year Gone By

Happy New Year. I do hope it has started well for all of you. For many I know that the start of a new year filled with new resolutions and new beginnings but for me I think it’s going to be a mix of both new beginnings and more of the same. Before I start into the new year let me begin with a recap of some memories from the year gone by.

2015 was, for me, very much the year of the pillow. At home there were pillows for all the family. For my husband I finally finished the EPP Liberty Death Star I had intended for his 2014 birthday (I used quirky granola girl’s wonderful pattern for this one).

Liberty Death Star Pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsThere was yet more EPP for my older son who gained a Stegosaurus pillow;

EPP Stegosaurus pillow | Mud, Pies and Pinsand for myself there was another of my own designs featuring some pretty red Liberty fabrics.

EPP Liberty pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsThe final family pillow went to my youngest little minion!

Minion pillow  | Mud, Pies and PinsOn top of the family pillows I also made several to swap. I started the year with one for the Liberty of London round 2 swap on Instagram,

EPP Liberty pillow | Mud, Pies and Pins

Photo courtesy of @misspo

And this was followed by summer, autumn and winter pillows for the Flickr based Pillow Four Seasons Swap group that I remain a member of.

Tangram fish pillow | Mud, Pies and Pins EPP maple leaf pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsFestive pillow | Mud, Pies and PinsWhen it comes to quilts I had thought that my output was very low in 2015, but when I actually tallied up what I had made I was more than delighted with my output. I started in spring with some tangram fun,

EPP tangram bunnies quilt | Mud, Pies and Pinsthen followed that up with my Painted Harmony”, the quilt I made at the Peaks 7 springtime retreat.

Painted Harmony quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsNext up was a gift for my godson, that had been far too long in the making,

Trains and cats boy's quilt | Mud, Pies and Pins

And after that I got back to my love of playing with dark backgrounds with a quilt made to celebrate the launch of the Fat Quarter Shop’s Delectable Mountains quilt pattern.

Delectable Mountains | Mud, Pies and PinsFor the Instagram Hand Pieced Mini Swap I paired up some Denyse Schmidt fabrics with another of my own EPP designs to create an octagonal mini:

EPP Octagonal mini quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsI then finished off the year with two final quilts, my largest finishes to date. The first was an improv birches design that was my main make at the Peaks 8 retreat,

Improv birches quilt | Mud, Pies and Pinsthe other, a UFO (un-finished object) that finally made its way back on to my sewing table and is probably my favourite quilt at the moment.

Surround star quilt  | Mud, Pies and PinsInterspersed between all of these projects were numerous smaller makes including some knitting, crochet and even some cross stitching and all in all I think I can safely conclude that 2015 was quite a productive year for me. As for the year ahead, well I have plenty of plans and I hope to see you back here next week when I will share some of those with you all.

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.