Friday, 1 August 2014

Across the Pond for a speedy Cutlery Pouch
July has been fantastic here in Hampshire, England with wall-to-wall sunshine.  And as August begins there will be many hoping this weather continues for the summer holidays.

With so much fun to be had outside the home, I thought a quick and speedy project would be just the thing for August.  Say hello to the Flatware Pouch – or as we say here in England, the Cutlery Pouch.
Ocean Flatware Pouch
This project is courtesy of our Amy (Amy Made That) who has been kind enough to provide us with the tutorial for Table Mats and Cutlery Pouches.
Cherry Gingham Cutlery Pouch
Aren’t they perfect for summer picnics and BBQs?  Amy used decorating weight fabric for both her table mats and pouches but I only had quilting cotton fabric so I added batting to the back of the front panel and quilted it before stitching it all together.

What I really like about the pouches is that they are the perfect size for transferring my mug rug applique onto the front of them for a Patchsmithian look.  If you add appliqué detailing remember to place the design at the top of the outer fabric and allow for the seams when positioning your chosen design.    
Add applique to the top of the front.
 Yep, you saw right - my pouches come complete with reindeer .....
and with cutlery .......
I think they will look lovely on the Christmas table.  I also think a red-nosed Rudolph pouch would be perfect to leave out on Christmas Eve – complete with carrot and thank you note. 

Or how about adding initials for each child attending a birthday party and then the child could take the pouch home, complete with a little treat tucked inside?  Unique, personal and a lovely touch.
Add a letter to the front of the pouch
for a personal touch
How will you use your Flatware Pouch?  Leave a comment and let us know and be sure to check out Susie’s blog for a clever 'mitt' cutlery pouch.

And if you jump on board this month and make a pouch or two be sure to post a photo to the Across-the-Pond Flickr group.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Patchiqué Blocks 2 and 106

I almost went right back to the beginning for the Patchiqué patchwork block this weekend – but not quite! 
Block 2 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
Block 2 - 'Shima ichimatsu' (stripe check) is created using thirty-six 2” squares – but not for me – I thought I'd take a shortcut!

I cut three strips from each fabric measuring 13” x 2” and then I stitched the six strips together, using a SCANT ¼” seam to create one piece measuring 13” x 9½”.  Next I cross-cut this piece into six 2” strips before stitching them back together as shown.
This method requires accurate cutting and stitching and I cannot stress enough to use a scant ¼” seam. (I didn’t have graduated fabric so I used two contrasting fabrics to create a checkerboard effect.)
Patchique Block 2 - Patchsmith Style
So onto the appliqué block 106 entitled ‘Ken giku’ (sword-petaled chrysanthemum) – what I would call a Dresden Plate. 
Block 106 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
Now I have seen a lot of Dresden quilts – none nicer than this one by Amy over at Amy Made That.
Amy-Made-That Dresden Plate Quilt
But I had never made one so this was a first for me and I have to say - I didn’t like making it.  I stitched the petals together using ¼” seams but it still seemed a bit baggy in the middle so I re-stitched some of the seams.  It looks okay – but not perfect.  My points are uneven and it doesn’t lay totally flat.   But more importantly, I didn’t enjoy making it.  I cannot even put my finger on why – but I just didn’t.  So this is the first – and I suspect the last, Dresden this Patchsmith will make.
Patchique Block 106 - Patchsmith Style
Next fortnight I will go for a simpler appliqué block – Block 70 – which is made up totally from squares to create a pretty little star.  This will be accompanied by patchwork block 45 which introduces our first inset seam.  But more about that next time ........      

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sewing in the July Heat

The summer is here in England and we are enjoying wall-to-wall sunshine in Hampshire.  But even in the summer heat there is still time for a little stitching.  This week I have enjoyed Camille Roskelley's teaching in her 'Playful Piecing' Craftsy class. Even after a busy day, when I was too tired to cut straight, I still managed to whip up a lovely little pin cushion from five charm squares - thanks to Camille's easy-to-follow instructions. 

Playful Piecing Pincushion
It is nice to watch an easy class when it is too hot to iron and too hot to patch. 

And then there was July's block on the Wishes Quilt-Along.  In all honesty - not my favourite block.  I didn't enjoy making it as I am not a fan of bias cut triangles - but sometimes you just have to go with it.
Wishes Block 7 - Courthouse Lawn
And I'm glad I did.  The sewing was easy and the block turned out well. 

In the excitement of designing mug rugs I forgot to show you May and June's blocks, so here they are, along with the first four month's .....
Wishes Blocks 1 to 6
I think it will all come together well and it should be ready for quilting in the cold, wintery days of December.   Can you imagine that?  Me neither.

So what do you do when the thermometer rises and you want to spend time with your sewing machine?