Sunday 29 September 2013

Patchique - Japanese Quilt Project and Book Give-away

Although the sun is still shining, the shorter days and misty mornings remind me that Autumn is just around the corner.  And it makes me want to sew something warm and cosy.

Now, as you know already, I like to patch ....

and I like to appliqué .....

I also like to stitch by machine and by hand.  And with this in mind I have decided to start a new bed quilt using a combination of patchwork and appliqué.
I had a quick scout around on the internet but either the block-of-the-month projects didn’t combine both patchwork and appliqué or they had started earlier in the year or even last year.  So I have decided to create my own block project – the Patchique Quilt Project.    Here are the details:

I will be using the Japanese Taupe Quilts book by Susan Briscoe to make the blocks for my quilt. This wonderful book details “125 blocks in calm and neutral colours”.  The blocks are all 9” finished (9½” unfinished).  I have picked this book because of the combination of patchwork and applique and also that each block uses between two and five colours. Oh and did I mention that the templates are all printed to size?  On top of that all the blocks are unusual which should satisfy my curiosity and impatience.  
I want the finished quilt to fit on my double bed so I have decided upon a central panel of 49 blocks which I will sash together.  That’s a lot of blocks!  I am thinking of a fortnightly schedule – two blocks - one patched and one appliquéd - every two weeks.  So what do you say?  Are you up for joining with me on this journey to the Far East?  If so the next question is?  What colours will you use? 

The book details taupe, cream, beige, brown – “calm and neutral colours” and whilst I love them, let’s face it – I am more your modern country type-of-gal.  So I have decided to stick with cream and beige for my patched blocks but for my appliqué blocks I am going with pinks and greens (the Fat Quarter shop had just the right palette - the Raspberry Mulberry Lane fat quarter bundle).   
I'm unsure of how much fabric I will need but if I stick to a specific palette rather than a certain fabric I should be able to top up as I go along (always a great way to spread the cost).

I will post about my Patchique journey on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.  And if you are thinking of joining me then you might want to leave a comment below.  I have a copy of the book to give away to one lucky winner.  Please make sure I can contact you as I will be randomly picking the winner next Sunday, 6th October 2013.
In a fortnight's time I will detail the blocks I have chosen.  Sew until next time ......

Sunday 8 September 2013

Halloween Pumpkin Faces

I should've been working on other things - lots of others things.  But instead I got side-tracked with Halloween pumpkins!  If you have been with me from the start then you will remember one of my early mug rug patterns - the autumnal Pumpkin Patch mug rug. 

Well, ever since I made this colourful little quiltie I have had an inkling to turn it into a Halloween mug rug. And for some reason - I know not why - today was the perfect time.    

The Halloween faces - incl with Pumpkin Patch pattern

So how does a harmless little mug rug turn into a chilling specimen?  It’s easy – you can either cast a spell or pop over to my Etsy shop where you will find the Patchsmith's Pumpkin Patch pattern which includes the spooky Halloween templates.  Then all you’ll need is a 4” square of fusible webbing and a 4” square of black linen/cotton.  Oh and the magic fingers of a sewist – of course.

One pattern – two great looks.  How chilling is that?

Sunday 1 September 2013

Across the Pond - Key-ring Pouches

Here we are again – time for a new Across the Pond Sew Along project and this month is all about key-ring pouches.  They come in all shapes and sizes and are so handy - you can clip them onto your belt or handbag.  I have made two this week – a round pouch for carrying my earphones (earbuds) and a small rectangle pouch which holds a credit card and some coins.  Both were super-quick to make and went together so easily and what is more, both are free tutorials from Erin Erickson of Dog Under my Desk.
The first little pouch I made was the round earbud pouch.  It measures just over 3" across and when I first saw it I thought it would be tricky - what with a zip in such a little pouch. I couldn’t be more wrong. The whole thing took me 30 minutes from start to finish.

Erin's tutorial is so clear and easy to follow.  There is a PDF download for the pattern pieces.  I used four charm squares from Summersville Spring by Moda and I used felt in place of batting, thinking it would be thin enough - it wasn't – it was too thick.  So my advice is to use fusible webbing, batting or iron-on interfacing.   I added a lobster clip so that I can attach it to my belt loop.  This would make a great stocking filler for a teenager. 

I corrected my ‘batting’ mistake with the second pouch – the easy zippy pouch (another great tutorial from Erin).  This time I used a 6” x 5” piece of fusible batting left over from our very first sew-along project (Amy’s Anita Tote Bag).   This pouch measures 3” x 4” and is the perfect size to hold a credit card and cash.  I can attach mine to a clip on my mobile phone so I have everything I need close to hand.  I quilted this little pouch by following the pattern of the fabric - very easy to do and it looks quite effective.  And just in case you think I am falling out of love with gingham - it is lined with red check.  I love it.  (Erin has a clever way of covering up the raw edges on the zip - you really must try it.) 
My hint for both pouches is to use a zip a lot bigger than you think you will need.  I used two 7” zippers which were perfect.  If you are new to sewing with zips then these projects are for you - they are SOOOOO simple.  This little pouch would make a great standby gift to have wrapped and ready for any occasion.

Have you got a favourite key-ring pouch or fob that you like to make?  If so share it with us on the Flickr thread for this month’s sew-along.

And please jump on board and join Amy, Susie and I each month as we go ‘across the pond’ to find you some great free projects and tutorials..  If you have time make the project, if not just browse – either way join us as we set sail into Autumn.