Saturday 31 May 2014

Across the Pond for a Needle Case Swap
Hex Needle Case - Patchsmith style
I’m killing two birds with one stone this week by combining the Across the Pond sew along project for June with Amy’s needle case swap.  I’m joining in the swap (details over at Amy Made That  but hurry – it closes shortly).  I’ve also tried out a couple of the FREE needle case patterns available online .......

First up is the brilliant pattern from another Amy – of Nana Company.
Nana's Needlebook
This pattern uses scraps of fabric so you can create something useful from odds-and-ends.  Nana Amy has updated the pattern to make it even more scrapilicious - find out more here.  I've added a Patchsmith touch - here and there .....
but I can’t show you too much as it is a work in progress and might actually be the needle case that I swap.
However Amy ('Amy made That' Amy - not Nana Amy) has made a wonderful version and you can see inside, outside and every which way - check it out:
Amy's Needle Case

Susie has also been busy on this one:
Susie's Needle Case
The second project I tried was the Hexagon needle book from My Three Sons.
My Three Sons Hex Needle Case 

Now it is fair to say that I added more Patchsmith touches so what should’ve been a simple needle case became quite a lot of patching and appliqueing.
Patchsmith's Hex Needle Case Front
(The beehive is only 2" tall!)
I also quilted it using thin batting in the covers - not a good idea.  When it came to sewing it all together, my Viking machine just couldn't cope.  I broke one needle and ended up stitching it together by hand.  Lesson learnt - stick to the pattern.  I will certainly try this pattern again and next time I will follow the tutorial exactly.
Patchsmith's Hex Needle Case Back

Of course, there are more than two FREE needle case tutorials in hyperspace so here are some more for you to try:
Toadstool pattern from Generation Q Ezine
Folk Art Needle Case from 'Its me Sarah'
Stitch a Heart Needle Case designed by Jan Constantine
via All About You
Vintage Bird Needle Case from Nati's Little Things
Another from Nati - her 'In Love' Needle Case
(Psst ....... Nati also has a free tutorial for the matching pin cushion to go with her 'In Love' Needle Case.)
Sew Caroline's Little House Needle book

And finally I particularly like the construction of Anna Zont's pretty needle case over at Let's Come Together.  The blog is not in English but the pictures tell you all you need to know. 
Let's Come Together Needle Case
That should be enough to be going on with.  So are you jumping aboard the Sew Along this month?  I do hope so and I hope to take a peek at your wonderful cases over at the Across the Pond Flickr group or on the Need a Little Needle Book Flickr group.

Sew until next time ......................

Sunday 11 May 2014

Patchiqué Blocks 30 and 85

After a slight detour off the Patchiqué Trail we are back on course with another two blocks – one patched and one appliquéd.  A quick reminder that we are using Japanese Taupe Quilts by Susan Briscoe - a wonderful book in so many ways which you will know if you have been travelling the Patchiqué path with me.
First up is the patched block – block 30 entitled ‘Kasane itsutsu me’ (five layered squares).
Block 30 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
This was a lovely block to make and it went together easily once I got the layout correct.  Follow the construction diagram exactly to piece the block.  Do this and you will end up with another great addition to your Patchiqué collection.
Patchiqué Block 30- Patchsmith Style

Whilst Block 30 can’t be reversed, Block 85, ‘Hanakaku’ (flower square) can be reversed both horizontally and vertically. 
Block 85 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
I do not feel the photo in the book does this block justice due to the choice of fabrics.  But before we have a look at my English version of a clever Japanese block here are some hints.

Firstly make sure your initial background square is 9½” exactly.  Secondly, for the first time on this journey, there is a need to reverse an appliqué template from the book - piece 85b.  If you do as I have done and use the same fabric for the side petals the reversal is easy – trace one 85b onto the paper side of fusible webbing and then fold the webbing in half along the traced straight line of the template and trace onto the other side of the fusible webbing.  In effect you will have one large fan unit that you can fuse and cut before cutting in half to create your two petals (it sounds complicated but it isn’t – trust me!).
Patchiqué Block 85- Patchsmith Style
The block is so pretty with a touch of Patchsmith gingham (courtesy of a very dear friend in the USA).  My only concern is the thickness of the seams when it comes to stitching the blocks together as you have several layers along each side of this block.

There you have it – two more blocks to add to our collection.  Next fortnight it will be the turn of patched Block 21 and appliqué Block 80.

Sew until then ......

Monday 5 May 2014

Mother's Day Mug Rugs 2014

Mother's Day has been-and-gone here in Britain but for many it is fast approaching.  Are you stuck on ideas for a Mothering Sunday gift?  Got a few scraps to hand?  Then whirr up that sewing machine and spend a couple of hours creating a little piece of fabric magic:

For the mother who loves hearts:
Heart Banner Mug Rug

or flowers:
Flower Vase Mug Rug

or cake:
Coffee and Cake Mug Rug
or coffee:
Skinny Latte Mug Rug
or ice-cream:
Ice Cream Sundae Mug Rug

For the mother who gardens:
Growing Flowers Mug Rug
or sews:
Sewing Machine Mug Rug

For the mother who likes butterflies:
Butterfly Patch Mug Rug

or ladybirds:
Ladybirds/Ladybugs Mug Rug

Did I miss anybody out?  Then this is just the thing:
Mum/Mom Mug Rug

 for mothers everywhere.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Now where did I put those glasses?
I would like to see what the new project is for the Across the Pond sew-along – if only I could find my glasses!

I would like to admire Susie's hexagon glasses case - if only I could find my glasses!'s+Sunroom)

Oh here they are ......
Easy-peasy Glasses Case
... in the nice new glasses case I made.  It is a free pattern from Hillside Quiltworks and I can’t tell you how much I love the finished item.  What is more – it only took 20 minutes from start to finish.  Perfect for my reading glasses.

But unfortunately, it isn't big enough for my sunglasses.  I know, I know, I could easily adjust the pattern - but there is no need.

Melissa over at Polka Dot Chair has already done it for me - in the shape of a zipped ‘Sunnies’ glasses case.

Instead of a word, I appliqued a pair of glasses.  If you want to do the same then click here for my free glasses applique sheet.
So now, regardless of whether I am out-and-about or staying-at-home, I can always find my glasses. 
Jump on board the Across the Pond sew-along and whip up a functional little item to keep or to give.

Sew until next time ......