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.

Still Moving, Still Sewing!

It’s a week for celebrating. Today I celebrate the fifth anniversary of my first quilt finish and tomorrow we celebrate our first month anniversary in our new house. It’s been a busy month and we’re still not 100% finished with our move but we’re almost there. For the most part the move went smoothly. We boxed up bit by bit, moved day by day and once moved in properly we started to slowly unpack. And that’s pretty much what we’re still doing. It’s a slow process because it’s one that needs a lot of thought and planning. I started to unpack a few weeks ago but only really got the office portion up and running as that was a priority for work. The rest of the room remains in boxes as I try to get a feel for the space and how best to use it and more importantly how best to organise storage in the room. For the past few years I’ve been working out of assorted boxes and bags that were hidden behind the sofa and stacked under my sewing table so now I am determined to take the time to get this space just right from the off.

Sun Prints EPP work in progress | Mud, Pies and PinsDespite the lack of a proper sewing space I’ve not been idle. A couple of English Paper Piecing (EPP) projects have been keeping me company over the past few weeks and I’ve also been doing some micro cross-stitch. Just as I got ready to move notice of sign-ups for round 2 of the Big Stitch Swap and the Hand Pieced Mini Swap appeared on Instagram. I had thoroughly enjoyed both of these swaps last year and couldn’t resist signing up again. Despite the move the timing for both of these honestly couldn’t have been better. Because both swaps involve hand stitching or hand piecing they have given me the opportunity to keep sewing without the need for a fully functional sewing room. I can sit in my office corner, sew away and give plenty of thought to how the sewing room needs to be once organised.

Sun Prints EPP work in progress | Mud, Pies and PinsFor both projects I’m using Alison Glass’s Sun Prints and assorted text prints to stitch up some of my own designs. For the Big Stitch Swap I think I will be converting the finished piece into a cushion. The Hand Pieced Mini will be a mini quilt of course, although I still need to decide if it will finish up square or more hexagonal in shape. That is a question that I think will answer itself as I continue to work on it.

Not having a sewing area set up could make it a little difficult to finish off these projects as I really don’t fancy the idea of doing all of the finishing by hand. However, perfect timing kicks in once more as this weekend I head off to Patchwork in the Peaks 9 for yet another weekend of quilty fun. Instead of having a specific project this time we are going to be working on our WIPs, PhDs and UFOs. I have a couple of quilty projects that I intend to bring but I’ll also be hoping to finish off these smaller pieces as well.

Mini hoop and mini owl cross stitch | Mud, Pies and PinsThe third project that I am in the process of finishing up at the moment is some micro cross-stitch that I making for the Very Berry Mini Hoop Swap. I stitched the owl a couple of weeks ago and now I am finishing it off with a little tree. I stitched the Owl with a single floss of embroidery cotton but decided for a change in texture I would try some Aurifil 40wt for the tree. I picked a variegated thread, Mocha Mousse #4671, and am loving how well the changes in colour work in the tree. This has been a challenging project mainly because of the tiny stitch size. I’ve found that it has been only possible to work on it in good daylight and have somehow I’ve managed to get much of the stitching done on the train. I think I will get a real sense of achievement seeing this guy all finished off and properly mounted in his mini hoop.

Hoping to see you all again after Peaks when I’ll hopefully have lots to share. In the meantime you can always keep an eye on my stitching adventures over on facebook and Instagram.

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


A Fabric ATC – Working in Miniature

The 8th round of the Very Berry Handmade Fabric ATC swap is drawing to a close and now that I have both sent and received my ATC in this round I though I would share them with you here today.

An ATC is an artist’s trading card which has a standard size of 2.5″ x 3.5″. Needless to say when working on such a small sale designs are very much in miniature, and for the purpose of this swap they must be fabric based.

The theme of the swap was “Winter Comforts” so I thought of all the things that bring me comfort on those wet and cold winter days when I am enjoying a little me time indoors and incorporated them into my design.

Winter Comforts Fabric ATC sent | Mud, Pies and PinsI used some texty fabric as a background, reminiscent of both the books I love to read and the fabrics I love to sew with. I added a little mat composed of mini 1/4″ Liberty hexies because I do so love EPP projects, and I do actually love sewing such mini hexies as part of such projects. Then I added a little red tea-pot, because there is nothing better than a nice pot of tea to work through as one reads/creafts away. The final addition was a little knitted tea cosy because knitting is yet another of my favourite winter hobbies.

I used some mink and mohair wools to knit the tea cosy, both were left over from various scarf and hat projects that I had worked on last year. Because I wanted tiny stitches I improvised with a pair of darning needles to create a pair of knitting needles for myself.

Miniature knitting | Mud, Pies and PinsThe card that I received was so very thoughtful and full of meaning. My partner had obviously been following me on Instagram as she told me she had been inspired by a photo I had posted some weeks back of primroses peeking through some snow.

Primroses in the snow | Mud, Pies and PinsHer other additions to the card represented my love of handcrafts, and my love of spening time with family and friends. Defintiely real comforts and such a meaningful way to interpret the theme. I couldn’t have wished for a nicer card!

Winter Comforts Fabric ATC received | Mud, Pies and PinsAs ever there have been lots of different interpretations of the theme and a whole host of magnificent cards made by all of the participants in the swap. If you want to see more of them you will find plenty of photos of the cards in the swap Flickr group and Ali, who organises the swap, has also written a lovely round-up post over on Very Berry Handmade. Maybe you will be inspired to make some ATCs of your own or to join in the next round of the swap?

Pillow Swap Four Seasons – Autumn

Autumn is slowly making itself felt around here as the nights get cooler, the morning mists start to appear once more and the first of the leaves slowly start to fall. Those falling leaves and the colours of autumn were the inspiration for the pillow I made for the autumn round of the Flickr based Pillow Swap Four Seasons.

On hammockThe individual leaves were created using English Paper Piecing (EPP) and then each was appliquéd in place on the linen background I choose for the pillow. EPP really has become my favourite method for such designs. I love how versatile it is, how it adds a lovely depth to the design, how it allows me to use a whole cloth background, which I much prefer when working with such fabrics as linen, and how I am not constrained by block size or orientation when creating my design.

As I wanted the front of the cushion to be lightly padded I applied a layer of fusible fleece before appliquéing the leaves in place. This had the added bonus of giving the linen more stability and making it easier to accurately appliqué each leaf individually. Once hand stitched in place I then used free motion quilting to add stem and vein detailing to each.

QuiltedThe pillow was finished with a simple invisible zipper closure and is lined on both the front and back to add extra stability to the linen.

Cover and pouchAs an added extra I made a small pouch for my partner, also using linen and autumnal fabrics. It’s a simple button closed clutch type pouch. My original intention was to make the pouch with several pockets that would include a selection of sewing notions but then I came across the cutest travel sewing case and I couldn’t resist including that instead.

Filled pouch2 Sewing case insidesI made the planned pockets larger so that they would easily accommodate the case and tucked it inside the pouch with a couple of other goodies before sending it on its way to their new home where they were delightfully received.

As one pillow left my house another one entered. This is the stunning pillow that I received from my swap partner in the autumn round.

Pillow receivedShe couldn’t have chosen a more perfect colour scheme. The colours of this pillow are all that I love about autumn, the vibrant sunsets and the rich tones that seem to wash over the forests. There is so much warmth and vibrancy in this design and it is a real pleasure each time I sit down and enjoy it.

There were goodies in my parcel too, one of which was a lovely pouch featuring more of these beautiful autumn tones.

Pouch receivedNow if you know me you’ll know how much I love pouches and how quick I am to find a purpose for each and every one that enters my house. This one now houses my new EPP maple leaf collection and all I need to add to it. Pouch in use

Inspired by how well my cushion turned out I’m going to slowly add to a new collection of maple leaves as I would definitely love to incorporate them into more projects in the future.