Thursday, 27 April 2017

Zip Up Tray Pouch

You know when you see a new pattern, and you just have to make it? That's what I thought when I first saw Aneela Hoey's latest patterns. She's just released two: the Zip up Tray Pouch and the Open Out Box Pouch. Whilst the Open Out Box Pouch is still on the list, I now have my own Zip Up Tray Pouch!

I had to wait while the postman delivered the interfacing and zips I needed, but they arrived last Friday and I had my pouch before bedtime! It's one of those patterns, where if you read it through in advance it makes no sense... but if you do it step by step,, it isn't scary at all.

This was my first time using a separating zip and I made life harder for myself by having one which was too long and needing to shorten it in such a way that the pull wouldn't come off the end... and I misunderstood the binding instruction and had to do some unpicking. But it really works!

The one downside to the project was the final hand-sewing. Because the interfacing is quite firm (and has to be to give the pouch it's shape), it's harder to manipulate to allow for easier hand sewing.But some binding clips and the odd swear word and it was done! The zip would also have been easier if I knew where my zipper foot was....

The outside fabric and the binding fabric are both Cotton and Steel, and the lining and the ends are both Kona solids.

The pattern isn't one of the cheapest out there, but I intend to get my money's worth and make a fair few of these pouches - they would make great Christmas presents! Next up - an Open Out Box Pouch!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

#1yearofstitches [Week 16]

Here she is - this actually includes an extra day's sewing because I forgot to take a full picture on Sunday night - whoops!

Monday, 17th April:Satin stitch in blue to create vertical stripes on the right hand side of the hoop.

Tuesday, 18th April: I enjoyed the affect of the stripes so much, I did some horizontal stripes in lime green satin stitch on the left hand side of the hoop (and now much prefer this section of the hoop!).

Wednesday 19th April: Running stitch in dark green in between the green stripes.

Thursday, 20th April: Jessica's birthday, so I added a second heart, in pink, in the centre of the hoop.

Friday, 21st April: I struggled with what to do tonight, so added a line of back stitch in pink on the far left of the hoop.

Saturday, 22nd April: Blue chain stitch right across the top of the hoop - I'm not sure it looks great, so will require some more attention in the coming weeks!

Sunday, 23rd April:Arrow head stitch in orange, which some yellow echoes....

You can find my daily updates (except when I forget to post them) over on Instagram under #jenniesthreads1yearofstitches

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Very Berry Mini Hoop Swap

It's been well over a year since I last joined in a swap on Instagram. I think I burnt myself out in 2015. But I decided to join in the Very Berry Mini Hoop Swap: a 2" embroidery hoop is not a huge commitment! My partner expressed a love of sea and mountains, and I've been enjoying embroidery at the moment, so here's what I made.

I received this pretty little hoop in return from @quiltessential

And I may have bought a couple of extra hoops to have a play with too!

Long Time Gone [Week 6]

Six weeks in and still up to date!!! But I'm coming to the end of what I pre-cut so I'm going to have to schedule in a bit of a cutting party soon! This week's block is a bit of an odd one: the Plus a Star block. I like the plusses. And I have nothing against stars. But I struggled with the combination.

I actually spent a bit of time planning this block and even so, I'm not too pleased with how the star doesn't really stand out. I think in the grand scheme of the whole quilt, it will look absolutely fine and not be an issue. But today, critically appraising this one block all on it's own, it didn't work as well as I'd hoped.

Next up - eleventy billion mini churn dashes!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

#365 Quilt Challenge [Block Swap]

One of the best things about the #365 challenge has been the community that has grown up on Facebook. It's a UK based group - with some overseas friends too, and I've never experienced anything like it. Everyone seems to have really got to know everyone. There has been cheerleading when people have fallen behind; mutual moaning when a block had eleventy-billion tiny half square triangles; and shared success as members have completed their quilt tops.

To celebrate these friendships we had a little swap - 3" blocks, quilted and bound, whizzed around the globe! I signed up for three blocks - so I sent three and received three. The idea was that the blocks you sent should represent the quilt you made/were making.

Here are the three I recieved from Kirsty, Jackie and Fiona:

It took me a while to find the block I wanted to use. I needed one I could use as a colour wheel to reflect my entire quilt. Eventually I found the block for 7th September called 4 Corners.

A little bit of 4am stitching (thanks, Jess) and I got them finished and in the post before the deadline!

But that wasn't everything. Because when you make the quarter square triangle blocks, it makes 2 at once, so I made a fourth block. Which I turned into a pincushion.

Then I suggested a private swap with a member of the group who had been disappointed not to receive one of the three originals.But I made two blocks. This quilt has been tightly woven around my youngest daughter: I started the quilt as I entered my third trimester. I finished the centre section just a week or so before she was born, and I caught up and competed the rest of the blocks as she napped and played. So that final block has been made into a hoop for her bedroom wall. Because there is no way I'm giving this quilt to either of my daughters.

And then I swapped a few more. Five more. Which leaves me another left over blocks, so Mia can have one in a hoop too. But at the moment it's just a block.

Monday, 17 April 2017

#1yearofstitches [Week 15]

Here's my little hoops after 15 weeks - that's over 100 days now!

Monday, 10th April: Twisted chain stitch in lavendar from the bullion knot wheel on the left over the top to the whirl in the top right corner. I went as far as the length of thread would take me!

Tuesday, 11th April: A new stitch from TAST (Take A stitch Tuesday over at Pintangle): double whipped chain stitch. I really like this one: my favourite chain stitch but bolder and pretty. I did this row on the left in yellow and orange.

Wednesday, 12th April: Purple satin stitch to infill the middle loop on the right of the hoop.

Thursday, 13th April: I took a line of orange chain stitch up the right hand side and created another curve in the top right with it.

Friday, 14th April - Good Friday: Double whipped chain stitch in green and bluey-green under the Guilloche stitch in the top right. I'm very pleased with how this combination turned out.

Saturday, 15th April: Purple stem stitch beneath yesterday's double whipped chain stitch.

Sunday, 16th April - Easter Sunday: Lime green chain stitch added to the top left of the hoop - this is my least favourite part of the hoop and I'm not sure this addition has improved it.

Long Time Gone [Week 5]

This week's block is my favourite so far: Trip Around the World.

A truly scrappy blocks, so I'm going to link up with Leanne and Nicky for Scraptastic Tuesday.

Scraptastic Tuesday

Tonight I took stock of how far I had prepared so far. Next week's block is pieced, and the week following is cut and ready, but after that I'm not so prepared. I continued cutting tonight and whilst it feels like I didn't make much headway, I'm at least further ahead than I was! I'm also making good progress with a few of the pineapple blocks - I'll need 16 of these in the final week and so far I've made four.