The Bumper Post of Finished Things

Usually I try and spread things out a bit into dedicated posts, but recently there’s been a fair amount of busy creating and not a vast amount of posting, so things have kind of snowballed.  But in a good “yay things are finished” way, so that’s ok.

Baby Round The World

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This is the finished quilt I posted about here.  Not much to add other than binding, it was an easy finish.  The only bit of drama was this:

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Yep, that feeling when you cut all possible strips from your binding fabric and it still came up too short!  Uff!  Luckily, I had ends left over from the top, so I added in just a small piece of bubbly circles to fill the gap – job done.  No, no pictures of the fill-in bit – I completely forgot.

Shimmering Weekender

It’s done!

It was an absolute pig to get together – it nearly killed me *and* my poor sewing machine!  I’m fairly happy with it, however, and I’m still in complete love with the RK Shimmer 2 line, so that’s good too!  But I’m going to need some time to forget how frustrating it was before I try making another one for me.

Poppy’s Flower Garden

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It’s good to finally get this one done and handed over, I’ve had it on the back burner for too long.  It’s for a friend’s little girl; by chance, they happened to be visiting our area this weekend and little Poppy’s third birthday was just a few days ago, so the timing couldn’t be better.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t made any progress on it since I last mentioned it way back in August!  After a hasty purchase of wadding (I wonder when I’ll finally cave and just buy a bolt?) and some frantic riffling through the stash for a backing (hello fleece!), I quilted up the top sans flower shapes with a FMQ flowers ‘n’ leaves ‘n’ stippling motif:

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My hot pink variegated YLI thread was perfect for this project!  Quilting on the fleece was a challenge because it’s so stretchy – it was hard to stop the quilt from puckering or distorting, I probably needed some stabilising straight stitching first before I started on the FMQ, but once the whole thing was done it looked alright.  It’s interesting how much more obvious the quilting looks on the fleece side!  After the quilting was done, I arranged all my petal shapes (once I’d finished folding the last ones), pinned them approximately in position and then used machine blanket stitch to fix them in place.

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The flower centres were cut from some off-cuts from a strip roll and appliqued on with a zig-zag stitch.

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The binding is yet more left-overs from a strip roll – you might recognise the prints from the Round The World quilt above!  It goes with the front and the back, which makes me really happy, and the recipient seemed really pleased with it, so job’s a good ‘un!  It’s always nice to get something off the UFO pile.

Linking up with Free Motion Mavericks,  Oh Scrap! and Monday Making.  🙂

Mothering Sunday Gifts

Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK, so I made a couple of gifts for mum that I hoped she’d like.

First up is a purse.  My first go at making a purse for mum didn’t go all that well.  However, I thought I could see how to fix what had gone awry, so I took a seam ripper to the failed attempt and rescued the zipped pockets, card pockets and magnetic snaps (important because I didn’t have any more suitable zips and no time to get replacements!).  The first thing I did was to trim down the card pockets so that the total depth was much less, making the purse a bit more elegant.  I also took about 1/4” off each side (after checking the width with a card), since I wasn’t planning to turn through and therefore didn’t need to allow for the seam bulk.

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I re-did the lining and the outer cover (fortunately, the new fabric I chose for the outer goes really well with the red lining fabric!):

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I used some much firmer interfacing for the outer cover (maybe a little too firm, but it’s come out ok) and a medium-firm interfacing for the lining.  The whole thing holds its shape really well now.

I was really pleased with the exterior zipped pocket I’d added to the previous version, but wasn’t fussed about the contrast strip, so I just added the outer pocket without any extra decoration:

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Luckily again, the gold-coloured zips go well with the new fabric I bought!  Because of the reduced depth of the purse, I made the outer pocket shallower as well, but it’s still pretty roomy.

The interior pockets are much the same as before, but they sit much better now that they’re not all twisted out of shape!

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Still plenty of room, hopefully!

To finish it off, I made some bias binding from left-over lining fabric (not a wholly enjoyable task, I have to say) and, after basting the layers together, added the binding all the way around the purse.  Machine binding is, alas, something I’m still not terribly good at.  Something to work on, definitely.

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The next thing I made wasn’t really planned at all, it just kind of… happened!  I had a whole bunch of 1-1/2” squares in yellow, cream and purple left over from a couple of different projects and I had my postage stamp template out because I’d just been using it for something else, so I started to arrange the squares on it with the purple in one corner, the yellow in the opposite corner and the cream between:

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It must have been fated to work, since I only needed to cut two extra squares to make a full 10×10 layout!  Once I’d made the postage stamp patch, it told me it wanted to become a cushion, so I rootled out some more of the cream fabric from the scrap box, added borders to bring it up to a sensible size (16” square), and quilted it with simple diagonal lines.  To add a bit of a twist, the quilting is partly yellow and partly purple, to match the respective corners:

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This is an effect I’m really happy with.  Some simple quilted lines around the border to frame it, and a nice envelope back from some more scrap-box fabric and my surprise cushion cover was finished!

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Mum seemed pleased with her presents, so that was a relief!  🙂  It is quite a challenge crafting for someone you share a house with and who doesn’t really understand the concept of privacy…

Linking up with Oh Scrap! and Monday Making (when it’s live).  🙂

Irish Charm

After my disappointment with Moda’s very cream-coloured “Snow” the other week, I couldn’t get the idea of a scrappy Irish Chain out of my head.  And I couldn’t get anything into my head, either, so I had several therapeutic no-brain days of cutting out and then sewing together many, many 2.5″ squares to make this:

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The biscuity-gold squares are mostly from the Moda scrap packs I bought the other week, the cream background is a combo of the Moda Snow and cream-on-cream Cold Spell layer cakes (I figured they were so close in colour that I might as well pretend that they were the same), and the floral bits of the chains are about half a strip roll of floral prints that my aunt and uncle brought me back from the ‘States as a present.  Other than the overall layout of cream background, gold frame and floral chains, there was no particular piecing plan beyond “try not to put two squares of the same floral print directly next to each other (corners don’t count)” – this was a real absence of mind effort!  For all that, I am rather fond of it.

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Some of the scraps of goldish prints weren’t quite big enough to cut a 2.5″ square, so I cut 1.5″ squares instead and pieced them to make 2.5″ four-patches – a bunch of these mini four-patches are sprinkled throughout the top like fabric Easter eggs.  🙂

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Funnily, although I was worried about the blue-ish squares not being right during piecing, it’s the pink/purple squares that really leap out in the final design.  I think that’s ok though – looks a bit like blossom peeking out from foliage.  Or something.  It’s not a “charm” quilt in the strictest sense, but I decided it was fairly charming anyway so the name Irish Charm stuck.  You can see that I cheated a bit on the sides – even with the four-patches I didn’t have enough gold squares to do a 5×5 layout, so I did a 4×5 layout instead and then cut the blocks on one side in half and moved half to the opposite side to balance up the design.  Here’s an earlier layout before the blocks were joined (on my bed because that’s the largest available flat surface!):

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It came out very Country Cottage, though a good friend assured me that this is totally fine because I live in a country cottage!  (Please ignore the horrific wallpaper though – it’s a rental property and has the décor from DIY Hell.)

Although I put this together with the idea of giving it to my aunt and uncle who so kindly hosted us when we were between houses and helped so much with the commission quilt I had to do, I’m not sure it’s really them.  I think it needs a border, though, so I shall give it one and listen to see if it tells me where it wants to live.  🙂  For quilting, I’m thinking something fairly simple – maybe cross-hatching on the cream background and a sort of viney flowery FMQ thing along the chains.  Gotta source/piece a back first though!  And find somewhere suitable to pin-baste it – now that’s the HARD part.

Linking up with Oh Scrap!  🙂