Fly, Butterfly, Fly!

This little butterfly was designed with one specific task in mind: to use up even my smallest scraps of Liberty Tana lawn.

ButterflyThe butterfly finishes at about 9″ x 12″ when printed out at 100%. For my purpose, however, I printed it out at 75% as I wanted to make sure I could use up even the tiniest of those blue and green scraps. The antennae are free motion quilted in a variegated Aurifil 40wt (no 4669) which I bought to quilt my Churn Dash quilt. The butterfly itself was pieced with Aurifil 50wt (no 2000) which is a perfect match to many of the Liberty lawns. I appliquéd it onto a red cotton/linen fabric that I’ve had in my stash for a few years. I auditioned different colours for the background but found it nicest on the red. Funnily enough, when I popped it onto some white, the butterfly looked really washed out.

All of the Liberty lawns came from Ali’s shop Very Berry Fabrics on Folksy and I already have plans to buy more (don’t tell my bank account, I can already hear it groan) as Ali sent me some scraps with my last order and I’ve completely fallen in love with one of them. Sadly she doesn’t seem to have any in her shop at the moment but you can be sure that I will be stalking her in the next few weeks.

This is my third finish for Q1 of the FAL and I’m very happy about that. I really would like to make one of these butterflies in solids as I think it would look stunning in a rainbow of colours too but I’m going to be good and continue with my list before starting something new.

So far, I’ve made my EPP patterns available for free and I want to do this with my last two, Butterfly and Liberty Bloom, too. They just need a little more work before I can upload them to the blog. Hopefully, they should be done by the end of this week. Afterwards, however, I’m thinking of opening a shop on Craftsy or Etsy and asking for a small contribution for my patterns. What do you think? Would you pay a couple of pounds for my EPP patterns?

 

Liberty Bloom

I’ve finished my Doll Quilt Swap 14 mini quilt and I’m really very happy with it.

The only thing I’m a little disappointed with is that I couldn’t do more quilting on it. Once I’d finished stitching in the ditch around the ‘bloom’ and the linen pieces my back gave out to me. I realised that I wouldn’t be able to sit at the machine much longer and therefore simply echo quilted around the bloom a few times. I quite like the simplicity of it, it really lets the fabrics do the talking.

Liberty Bloom

The mini’s progress was stalled when I ran out of Liberty scraps that were big enough to finish the last few pieces. I ordered a mini bundle from Ali’s shop Very Berry Fabrics on Folksy and it arrived promptly a couple of days later. Thank you so much, Ali, for such quick service!

The Liberty Bloom is pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50wt, my favourite thread of all times.  It finishes at 19″ x 19″ and has a scrappy Liberty binding which I am very partial to. I just hope my partner loves Liberty Bloom as much as I do.

Scrappy Liberty Binding

The pattern for this mini will be added to my tutorials once my partner has received it as I’ve named it after her. I don’t think she reads my blog but it’s better to be safe than sorry and I don’t want to spoil the surprise for her. One of the fun things about theses swaps is that you don’t know what you’re going to get until you hold the package in your hands.

This was another projects on my FAL list and I’m so happy to be able to cross it off.

Doll Quilt Swap 14

I enjoy a good swap and one of my favourites so far was the Doll Quilt Swap Round 13. The mini quilt I got was absolutely stunning and was one of the first things I hung up in my sewing room. When I saw that registration for round 14 opened I jumped at the chance to get another little beauty as those ladies are a talented bunch.

The mini quilt I did was an English Paper Piecing project that I found on the internet. As I couldn’t find the pattern I copied the design and drew the templates myself. I have since found and purchased it on Craftsy as I truly didn’t want to rip off the talented designer, Endulzar.

Anyway, I decided to go for another EPP project as I knew I was going to spend Christmas in Ireland and it would be great to sew a bit between eating turkey and Christmas pudding.   I designed my own pattern on TouchDraw for iPad and will be adding the templates to this blog once I’ve finished the mini and am sure that everything fits and looks the way I want it.

EPP for DQS 14

This year I went for the classic combination of linen and Liberty Tana lawn. As I only had scraps, I went for a scrappy but ordered approach and got to the last two pieces before I realised that I didn’t have enough scraps to finish it.I have now ordered more from Ali‘s gorgeous shop on Folksy where all my other scraps have come from too. I can’t wait to get them and finish this mini.

DQS 14 Mini

 

Pieced, as always, with my favourite thread: Aurifil 50wt (colour no 2000).

The Bloomsbury Bag

During my long non-blogging break due to my health problem (sounds worse than it is), I couldn’t resist answering a plea for pattern testers by Florence of Flossie Teacakes. Florence’s blog was the first one I discovered and followed on a regular basis. So imagine how I excited I got when she sent out a request for people who would like to help her test the pattern for her Bloomsbury bag which comes in two sizes. Quick as a flash I sent off an email and within minutes (that’s how it felt anyway) I got an answer telling me that I had been chosen!

Florence sent me the pattern and some supplies, so all I had to do was choose some fabrics from my stash for it. I quickly decided to use some of the Liberty scraps I’d ordered from Ali’s shop and pair them with Master’s torn trousers that were lying on the recycling pile.

Because I couldn’t really sit at the machine for a whole day I sewed the bag in three sessions. I took my time trying to forget I’d ever made a bag, going through every step of the pattern to make sure the instructions were clear and easy to follow. They were and I ended up with a beautiful bag which, by the way, is the bigger version:

Please excuse the quality of the pictures. The light outside makes it rather difficult to take pictures that aren’t washed out.

The bag came together quickly and easily and I love all the gorgeous details such as the elasticated side pocket in which you could keep a bottle of water, tissues or your mobile. The Dresden petals and piping look sophisticated

and the little zippered pocket inside a zippered pocket is simply adorable.

I wanted quite a long strap as I wanted to be able to wear the bag over my winter coat. Master’s legs are long but the trousers weren’t quite long enough for this job, so I had to piece the strap. This is now my favourite part of the bag.

I love the extra glimpses of Liberty.

Now I have to admit that not everything went according to plan. However, none of the problems I encountered had anything to do with the pattern and everything to do with my lack of patience and rubbish cutting skills.

First, the Dresden petals are supposed to follow the curve of the flap exactly and if you look at Florence’s beautiful example bags they do. I found the Liberty Tana lawns really slippery and awkward and as I wasn’t feeling my best I decided after a while of cutting, checking and swearing to just make do with what I had and leave the petals the way they were.

Second, my machine did not enjoy making the piping. I don’t own a piping foot so made do with my zipper foot. The piping is quite wrinkly but again I didn’t feel inclined to faff about and try to get it perfectly smooth. I’m hoping Santa will put a piping foot in my stocking so that I can try again and make perfect piping.

Despite these little problems I love the bag. It’s so practical with enough pockets for everything to have its place. I’m sure I will make another version for the summer, maybe even two. The smaller size would be perfect for walking the dog while the bigger one is great when I’m about and about with Little Miss Bossy-Boots.

If you would like to make a Bloomsbury Bag pop over here and have a look at Florence’s beautiful bags with perfect Dresden petals and piping. Once you scroll to the end of her blog post you can buy her pattern and get sewing.