It’s been a year since my last post and now here's another one – does that make me a regular blogger? Joking aside, it is pretty hard to believe that it’s been so long! I think the main reason that I’ve so sadly neglected my blog is that I tend to use Instagram to make an ongoing pictorial record of what I’m up to for both my creative and day to day life, which makes the blog a bit redundant. However, that’s probably not healthy for my writing, so I think I’m going to make an effort to get back into regular posting.
This week has really been about completing the orders I had in hand for my Etsy shop, wondering why Etsy has suddenly gone so quiet, and making some new pieces for the shop. I think the main reason Etsy is so quiet is because it’s summertime and people have more fun things to do than spend time online shopping! It does mean that I have some time to make new things and work on larger projects though, which is fun for me!
My main large project at the moment is a patchwork Liberty lawn quilt, which a patient patron commissioned me to make earlier this year. She loved the look of a strings quilt I had on my Pinterest board and wanted a lap size quilt in that style, made with Liberty lawn in blues and greens. I’ve been slicing lawn and foundation piecing it onto cotton batting in the ‘quilt as you go’ style whenever I’ve had the chance since then, and finally have enough blocks made, I think… I have 60 six inch squares now that I need to join together, then I can have a final measure and work out it it’s enough:
There are so many of my favourite prints here – not surprisingly since the vast majority of these strips are from my stash and pieces left from other makes. I did find that I had a real shortage of greens in my collection and when I looked to buy some, I realised that Liberty haven’t done that many green prints. Fortunately, I could rely on Katrine of Liberty Charms on Etsy for a pack of custom cut strips of green delights, which boosted my own collection. I love that every time I look at a finished square, I spot a print I love – I guess that's easy when you love most of them 😀 Although I tried not to be too fussy when making up the blocks, I did frequently find myself spending a lot of time over selecting which strip to put next to which and choosing little favourite areas of prints to highlight:
Working on this quilt and loving the strings quilt as you go approach, it had also dawned on me that I could use this same technique to make some one off dpn cosies too, so I made a selection of cosies for 8 and 6 inch double points:
I think that I might make my next batch in a slightly different way to reduce bulk from the seams. This isn’t strictly necessary, but where I see a possible improvement, I know I won’t rest until I’ve made it!
Also in the new makes pile this week were yarn swift storage bags. My lovely yarnie friend Helen from Florida asked me to make her a storage bag for her swift a few months ago and I realised that I could really do with one for mine, which spent its unemployed time in a corner of my work room, attracting dust. As is usual with me, I completely over engineered my first attempt made for my own swift with layers of interfacing and a shoulder strap – where did I think I was going travelling with my swift?!
The version I made for Helen was much more appropriate for simple storage and made in colours inspired by her Floridian habitat!
I made a new crop of these more simple style bags for the shop and discovered that swift sizes differ enormously – even when you’re talking about the one umbrella style! They’re usually somewhere between 25 and 30 inches long, so I’ve made my first three to a 30 inch size and as always, I’ll be happy to custom make them to whatever sizes people need.
I was delighted also that I’d found the perfect thing to make with one of my favourite Liberty prints called ‘Studio’ – one of their ‘conversational’ prints featuring items from an artist’s studio and lots of super cute little dogs!
I got three different colourways of the print and matched them up with some cotton and linen blend solids. I used traditional woven cotton ticking for the lining, which is one of the toughest fabrics I know, since it stands up to rough cat play on my catnip cuddle whales! Swifts can be quite heavy, so I needed something strong but that my domestic sewing machine could cope with too. I'm also planning to write up a tutorial for anyone who wants to make their own swift bag, since it could lend itself to patchworking really well and maybe even recycling – a jeans or general trouser leg would be perfect for this!
My final new make of the week was something I’ve made before years ago and still find really useful – a little notions pouch. This is made from a Zakka style pattern by Rashida Coleman-Hale that’s been available free on the internet for years, but my sewing skills are much better than they were when I made my first one (even if I say so myself!) and I felt that I could now make pouches that I'd be proud to sell:
The outer of the pouch is made with a print called Cottagely Posey from the Priory Square collection by Katy Jones for Art Gallery Fabrics, which I’d just bought a small piece of in the Cottage Patch summer sale. The inner is made with a fabric that I’ve had in my stash for a while, just waiting for the right project! This is Robert Kaufman’s Essex Yarn Dyed Linen Metallic in Celestial with Blue and Copper Metallic – so cute and sparkly! I always use my pouch when I’m on the road with my knitting or crochet – it's just the right size for a little pair of scissors and all the other little essentials you might need on the go. I’m actually having a Giveaway on Instagram this weekend for one of these, which you might want to check out.