Sunday, 17 August 2014

Ella's Tote from Jeni Baker's Vintage Summer Library Tote Pattern

As you say in Italian, I am the arm and not the brains behind Ella's lovely new tote. Does that make sense? I mean  that I sewed the tote but Ella chose all the fabrics for the tote and how to place them. She chose to add different sized covered buttons on the front of the tote and on one of the handles. I love how it turned out.

The pattern is from the free project book "Jeni Baker's Vintage Summer" included in Issue 10 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine (so the pattern brain is Jeni Baker's!):

There are so other lovely projects I would like to try out like the Flower Power Throw Quilt, good for showing off large prints. Still got to catch up with a lot of Bee Blocks though so I'll have to wait a little while...

Ella's version is a little smaller than the original because, to tell you the truth, she chose a fabric that was too small so we decided to fit the size to the fabric. In the end this tote is the perfect size for a nine year old to carry all her precious games and secrets around. It is resisting very well to "overfilling" too! I knew it was going to be filled up to maximum capacity so I did make sure I secured the handles as well as I could with extra stitching! Little women carry a lot of stuff in their handbags too!

There is a very handy pocket inside. Ella decided to use the same fabric as the handles for it (Waterfront Park - Shattered).

I love how Ella decided to place the covered buttons (which she covered by herself, by the way). I must admit I wasn't sure about fixing one on the handle but she insisted and, you know what, it looks really good and doesn't get in the way at all.

Ella is taking it everywhere with her and so this is where these photos were taken:

One of my favourite places ever: the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso on Lake Maggiore. There are 242 steps to walk down to the church (but they've recently installed a lift too) and the view is absolutely stunning. No wonder the rich merchant who landed there during a storm decided to become a hermit and live there for all his life!

Don't miss the website for Santa Caterina del Sasso to see the wonderful photos of the church taken from the Lake.

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Need a Needle Book Swap

Look at the beautiful treats Cindy sent me for The Need a Needle Book Swap! I was so surprised when the parcel was opened and I wasn't the only one to be surprised. "Was opened" because my daughters insisted on opening it and of course I couldn't say no, could I? It was difficult to have a look at what was inside afterwards because their hands were all over the place! When, at last, I managed to have a look myself this is what I saw:

I love these bright colours and Cindy was so good at guessing my tastes. I love everything included and of course my favourite is the lovely needle book she made for the swap.

Look at the hand stitching on the front: vintage and modern at the same time...

I love how she quilted it, with lots of diagonal lines. I find that very modern too, an original choice on this beautiful fabric, perfect!

And the inside is so clever too. There are pockets, in two different directions on the inside of the cover. 

My favourite part of the inside is how she fixed the felt using a central strip of fabric. It's a very sturdy binding that looks beautiful. Love it!

Thank you so much Cindy, I couldn't have been happier! Can't wait to organise a picnic to use the plates and serviettes!

Feast your eyes on all the other swaps on the Flickr Need a Needle Book Swap page here. And if you want to see some more incredible needle books, pincushions and sewing accessories take a look at our Pinterest board Pincushions and Needle Books.

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Mara is Secretly Stitching

I would like to thank my bloggy friend Mara @ Secretly Stitching for this wonderful fabric Birthday Card. It arrived in the post with perfect timing for my birthday from beautiful Greece, where she lives with her family. I actually won this fabric card during one of the generous giveaways she organises on her blog and I am so grateful I got to know her in that occasion. This is the best giveaway I've ever won: I won a new friend!

Look at the beauty she sent me! I love the hand stitching on this side of the card and the stamp is perfect, so realistic.

On the front Mara used this wonderful toucan fabric with the hand stitched words that remind me what a fun person she is every time I look at it!

Mara is full of energy and ideas, so don't miss reading her blog. She is now running an international fabric swap called  Swap Group. This round is for swapping text fabric. If you're interested, she'll be running a second round soon so drop her a line or fill in this form.

Have a look at this video to see what an incredible place she lives in. One of the most beautiful places in the world!

Thank you Mara!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Scissors fob with Vlieseline product - The Need a Needle Book Swap

Would you like a sneak peak at what I've made for my Need a Needle Book swap partner? It's a scissors fob! I love how it's turned out. I found out my partner likes turquoise and as I've been curious about trying out piecing small squares, I thought I'd give it a go (the squares are 1.5").

The piecing technique is by Oh! Fransson, using light weight interfacing. The first time around I made a mistake because I took the roll I use for appliquè and ironed the squares on that. Afterwards I realised my mistake and that the other side of the squares was now sticky too! So I started over again, this time taking the right roll off my shelf! I used a specific product made for this technique by Vlieseline: Quilter's Grid. I must say I'm impressed by how precise the squares match together without me having to fidget around with them. They came together like magic! Really, I'm not exaggerating. 

I hope my partner likes it! I think it would also make a handy mini pin cushion. I'm tempted to make one of these to hang from my car mirror, what do you think?

There is also a needle book coming, of course...

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Small, Medium and Large fabric Baby Blocks: Le Challenge

How do you learn the difference between small, medium and large? With Baby Blocks!




These blocks were so fun to make and once you start, you just keep wanting to add details and variations! I started off using whole 5" charm squares to make the large sized block and then decreased the size by one inch to make the medium sized block. The small block sides are just under 3" (before sewing them together). The fabric I used is nearly all Summersville by Lucie Summers for Moda. I just changed fabric for the small block as I wanted this block to be about texture. Here I used two soft minky sides and two laminated sides. The matt laminated fabric with big spots is Lialotta by Ikea. I loved using six different blue themed ribbons and trims for the medium sized block. This proves that my ever growing ribbon/trims collection is really useful for something! My favourite detail is definitely the giant sized button. It measures 3 1/4" and when my daughter Lucy was a little baby she used to love playing with one of these giant sized buttons. They come in bright colours and are very safe for babies. These buttons are great!

Le Challenge

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Four great, fast hexie projects with free tutorials

Looking for a fun and quick hexie project for the summer? Then check out these fantastic tutorials. They're great for trying out hexies (if you've never tried) or making a lovely personalised accessory. We've fallen in love with hexies!

HAPPY CRAFTY PINS by Diane at Craftypod:


HEXIE GREETING CARDS by Martine at iMake (you could easily make these with fabric scraps instead of scrapbook paper):

And we had fun making a Summer Hexie Mobile:

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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Summer Hexie Mobile - Briar Rose Challenge

Summer has started: enough busy beeness, time to relax. We wanted to celebrate with this fun Summer Hexie Mobile featuring the two fabrics sent to us by Quilt Sandwich Fabrics for the Briar Rose Challenge

If you'd like to have a go at making your own Hexie Mobile, we'll soon have a quick tutorial for you!

While the bees are busy buzzing around working hard...

Look at those cute frogs, having a great time:

Good ideas for a fun summer: 
talk much

sit long

laugh often

Linking up to:

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and other great linky parties on our Best Link Ups page!

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