Saturday, 24 August 2013

Back Away from the Keyboard

I have this terrible compulsion to start swaps. I keep thinking of all the ones I could start which would take lots of time to administrate and be a hassle because inevitably people misbehave. And I keep thinking of all these complicated projects I could start and really commit to. You know - *really* commit to, not like those other projects I got bored of after the first half which are all in the cupboard. Like this one.
My Nearly Insane at Bloomington
This is actually called the "Nearly Insane" quilt and I came across it on Faberdashery's blog where she is english paper piecing one in just red and white. Looks AMAZING. I immediately started combing the internet for the pattern and reading what others had written about it and studying their colour schemes and thinking how I would approach it. Insane. Although Faberdashery did rock my world slightly by using EPP for the whole quilt. She points out EPP isn't just for hexagons and she is quite right but I had never thought of doing a half-square triangle block that way. Another great example of how inspiring sharing via blogs can be.

I have managed to talk myself down from starting anything - swap or project - by dragging this out to get it finished off.
Hexagon Sphere in Progress
It is from the Romanian Quilt Studio and there is a free version as well. It occurred to me that...this is round...and Jasmine's playmat bag is round...and I need a new outer fabric for the bag since I got my stitch tension wrong and the white showed up on the black fabric. When I started this quilt I wondered what I'd do with the circle once it was done. I think this could be fated.

The reason for my start-itus is possibly that I have been getting to the end of my tether about the 'Japan issue' and have been looking for things I can control and take my mind off it with. However, yesterday Pooch received a draft contract from his new employer so maybe - just maybe - I might actually be going to Japan after all. There have been so many times when I thought it might be coming together though that I refuse to be even slightly excited until I see signatures on dotted lines.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Be a Hexie Queen! And a Giveaway!

My day on the bloghop! Thanks to everyone involved and don't forget to look at the blogs of the others involved today.

I left it rather to the last minute to make something for this - relying on my ever present box of hexagons which I add to when I don;t feel like sewing or knitting anything requiring concentration.
Hexagon patchwork
But then at the start of this week I realised inspiration had not struck. What to do?!

I am destashing a lot at the moment and came across some 1/3" hexagons I'd been making for a miniature quilt to enter at this year's Festival of Quilts. Er, yeah, the one I blogged about a few weeks ago with the entry deadline in May. Not one to waste all that Wonky the mouse.
Hexagon patchwork
I am not a big toy maker but when I saw this on Pinterest I thought it might be fun to make.

I thought I'd followed the pattern exactly but he came out very bulgy so I trimmed and resewed and went a bit freestyle...hence his being named Wonky. But what the hell - he looks better from behind than I do most days.
Hexagon patchwork
Just as he was finished off I came across this:

(Can you tell I am an utter Pinterest addict?!) I started it on Tuesday and finished last night.
Hexagon patchwork
I adapted the pattern a bit to take out the whole extra flower but used the rest. I just need the Altoid tins! Do you know how expensive Altoids are in the UK?
Hexagon patchwork
This is going to be perfect for hexagons on the go.

Before I get to the giveaway I have to show off the bag I made a while back.
Patchwork Handbag
I used it at the Festival of Quilts and people were saying such lovely things about it! I really do love my hexies.

And so to the giveaway. It's not a competition - everyone wins! I have written a tutorial for a bag to make from left over charm squares. I am using it for my phone charger but it could be good for anything!
You can download the PDF pattern by clicking here.

Now go and visit these lovely people and see what they have made!

Day 4: Friday, August 23

Sew Peace to Peace

The full schedule is here

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Export vs Import

In general I am a craft exporter. I make and give far more gifts than I receive. However, I recently got my paws on the parcels from two swaps and so am now the proud owner of the following...
Outside of needlebook
This lovely needlebook comes with inner packets and sweet little butterfly pins!
Inside of needlebook
Then I also received my triple zip purse stuffed full of goodies.
Swap Bundle
This was my partner's first go at english paper piecing and she did an amazing job! She also sent me those two ribbon tied bundles of 2.5" squares - perfect for my own hexagons - and some pre-cut papers. My favourite thing is the lanyard which matches my sharp scissors.
Scissor Lanyard
Such a good idea - I can never find scissors when I need them despite owning at least 10 pairs.

I finished my Pop Spots shawl yesterday so immediately set to thinking about my next project to cast on. But then I paused. Should I be starting a new one? Don't I have enough others I should be working on? So that got me to making an inventory of my works in progress...

  1. Christmas embroidery for Mater
  2. Ten Christmas stockings (Yes, ten. I've got ambition if no sense.) 
  3. Sashiko embroidery
  4. Circles mini quilt
  5. Rainbow zig zag quilt
  6. Jasmine's playmat bag
  7. EPP hexagon patchwork for this week's hop
  8. Mum's Lace Shawl that was supposed to be finished in March
So overall, I really oughtn't to start something else. And since I mentioned the playmat bag...
Playmat in Progress
The handles become a kind of drawstring around the edge. I was going to make it more detailed than this with a house and road too but after 3 hours straight of piecing and sewing I gave up on that and decided to stick with this simpler design. 
Quilting Detail
All the fabric is from stash, which contributes to my ongoing downsizing, and I used a double layer of batting to make it soft to lie or crawl on. I hope she - or at least her Mum - likes it! And when I do start something new I intend to respond to my sister's request for a 6-9 month cardi for Jasmine for when it gets colder. I am quite sure she will want to follow her Aunt's dress sense and so I envisage a mini one of these. 
Red and Purple Striped Jumper
I have a ball or two of each colour left which I deliberately kept back from the destash. She'll be a mini-me!

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