Jewel

When I designed this EPP pattern I named it ‘Jewel’ because I thought it looked like a square cut precious stone (very original, I know…).

Jewel

However, once I started sewing I really liked the way it looked without the corners and, thus, it now looks completely different.

Jewel You may also have noticed that I changed the way I used the colours. I often start with a plan and then deviate from it. It does mean the piece looks very different to what I had originally planned. I like both versions and may still go back to the rainbow version one day.

Jewel being hand quiltedThis is the first time I’ve hand quilted any of my EPP minis and I really like the look of it. I think there may be a few more in my future. I’m hoping to have this finished tomorrow as I need a few more colours of thread for the quilting. It’ll get its proper ‘ta dah’ moment then.

 

 

 

Athea Spring

I have been on a steady course to finish WIPs since confessing to them all on my FAL 2014 list. Now, you may remember that I was rather overambitious when I put fifteen (!) projects on there but I thought it would be better to have a big range of projects so that I could pick and choose what I wanted to work on. It’s worked rather well as this is project number five that I’ve finished and number six is being worked on as you read this post.

Athea SpringAthea Spring, as I call this cushion, was made using the first templates I made available on my blog. They are drawn by hand and you can find them here. I made three different versions of this pattern and I love them all. They look so different depending on the fabrics you choose.

Réalt Glas, Spring and BossomRéalt Glas is on my wall of minis in my sewing room, Spring is a cushion on my sofa and Bloom is destined to become the centre of a medallion quilt (but that won’t be done before Q2 of the FAL, I’m sure).

Right, back to my cushion. I quilted it in a spiral in the most gorgeous variegated Aurifil 40wt (no. 4654) which is a perfect match to the green solids in the centre. My spiral is pretty wobbly and there are a few jumps but all in all I love it. I did learn the hard way, though, that I should have gone the other way. Ah, you live and learn. This will definitely not be the last time I’m quilting in a spiral.

The back of the cushion is a shirt of my Dad’s which I kept after he died almost three years ago. I wanted to make a cushion or quilt for Little Miss Bossy-Boots to remember him by. However, when I saw how well it matched Athea Spring I decided to use it for this. I still have the back and sleeves of the shirt for a different project.

Baba's ShirtThis was the quickest cushion back in the history of cushion backs and I wish I had kept a few more of his shirts.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an update on the EPP mini for Karie and, if you’re reading this Andrea, a tutorial for my Modern Churn Dash quilt at the beginning of next week.

 

 

A Little ‘Thank You’

I told you about the mini that I was giving away on Instagram in this blog post. In it I also told you about Karie who helped me get to the last three followers by posting about my giveaway to all her followers. Well, I decided to make her a mini quilt as a ‘thank you’ for her help.

This is how far I’ve gotten:

DSC_0049

Only two more rounds and then I can appliqué it onto a background, quilt it and bind it.

I really love making these EPP patterns and I like making minis and cushions but my next plan is to make a big quilt with various designs in various sizes. It’s been floating around in my head for a while and I now need to grab my iPad and turn these ideas into patterns. I get a real buzz with every new idea so you can imagine how excited I am at this project. A couple of WIPs to finish first and I’ll be able to start. I’ll make sure to show you the progress.

TTFN (ta ta for now)!

Cover Me!

You might remember my FAL list which was as long as my arm and maybe even a little longer. Fifteen projects were on there and today I’ve been able to cross off number five.

Sewing Machine CoverThis EPP block has been mooching about for quite a while. Once I finished it (btw, the templates are here if you’re interested In The Woods) Little Miss Bossy-Boots wanted me to make it into a quilt for her dolls while I wanted to use it as a pocket on a tote. In the end it landed in my enormous pile of WIPs. Thanks to the FAL list, I knew I had to make something with it and when I saw how well it went with my little thread catcher I decided to turn it into a sewing machine cover.

I added some Pearl Bracelets around the block and for the back, lined it with a bright blue solid from Ikea and sewed on some ties for the sides. Some very basic straight line quilting made sure that everything stayed where it was supposed to.

I encountered one little problem which are my thread holder thingies (I’m sure there must be a technical term for them but I can’t remember…). The hard cover that came with the machine pushes them down but as soon as you take it off, they spring up. The fabric cover isn’t heavy enough to push them down so I drew two circles on the cover and sewed around them four times.

HolesI’m really pleased that I’ve finally made a sewing machine cover and have been able to use an orphan block for it.

 

 

A Mini Mini

I just wanted to show you the finished mini I’m giving away over on Instagram (I’m Lemonshark if you’d like to try your luck).

MiniThis little mini was designed and made for the giveaway. I used some of my all time favourite scraps, such as Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt, Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander, Summersville by Lu Summers and some Tula Pink. You can’t go wrong with Tula Pink. The whole thing was pieced and quilted in Aurifil 50wt (no 2600, my favourite). For the quilting I did some stitching in the ditch and echoing as the quilt is busy enough as it is.

It was appliquéd on some grey Essex linen and bound with more of the yummy Tula Pink print I used. This mini mini finishes at 13,5″ and I’m in love with it. It’s going to be a little difficult to give it away but a promise is a promise.

I’m thinking of putting the templates for this mini up on the blog. This will then be the last pattern on here as I’m going to open a shop on Craftsy.

 

I Follow, You Follow, We Follow

Last Saturday I noticed that I had 297 followers on Instagram (I’m lemonshark on there). I love Instagram because you can easily upload a picture of what you’re working on and get feedback from likeminded people. Anyway, I posted a picture of this number and said I was going to organise a giveaway of an EPP mini once I reached the magic number of 300.

Instagram

Imagine my surprise when I was tagged by Karie (karietkq on Instagram) who had posted a collage of some of my EPP designs and suggested to her followers that they should follow me. Within half an hour I had ten more followers and by the end of the day 46!

So I sat down and designed this mini:Giveaway Mini

So far I’ve done the first round and I’m in love with it. I really hope that people will like it too and enter my giveaway. It has some of my favourite designers and fabrics in it, Tula Pink, Denyse Schmidt, Carolyn Friedlander and, of course, some Kona solids and I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of the week. If you like it and would like a chance to win it you’ll have to hop on Instagram and follow me…

EPP Giveaway Mini

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.

In The Woods

I was playing around with TouchDraw, a brilliant app for the iPad that lets you draw patterns and design wonderful things. Thinking about Le Challenge (this month is ‘Geometrics’) I designed an easy geometric English Paper Pieced block, got a some lovely fabrics in muted spring-like colours and started stitching.

Tuesday was a lovely day here in Cambridgeshire so Little Miss Bossy-Boots and I spent it outside in the garden. While she was running around, climbing up and down the slide and playing with her toy kitchen (making yucky stews from leaves, flowers and some water) I took my scraps and paper pieces and got busy.

EPP in the GardenI showed my progress on Instagram that evening.

In the Woods ProgressAnd then finished it yesterday evening.

In the Woods FinishedEagle-eyed people might have noticed that I had to take the centre out and tilt it by 45 degrees. Actually I tilted it quite a bit more as I fell in love with the little hedgehog and wanted him at the top. Little Miss Bossy-Boots asked me to turn it into a quilt for her dolls. I was going to use it for a pocket on a tote but might turn into ‘nice mum’ and make it into a little doll quilt.

Anyway, in the end I decided not to use it for Le Challenge. I’ve designed a different piece which I’m going to make totally out of solids. I’ll post a sneak peek once I get going.

Interested in using the templates/paper pieces I designed? Click here to download In The Woods.

 

 

 

Athea

Here we go! I’ve finally managed to scan in the templates for my EPP pattern which I have called ‘Athea’. Réalt Glas was made with the first set of templates. It was then I realised that I would have to re-work them as I literally had to shoe horn the grey pieces between the two green stars. This has made the inside star very pouffy. As this little mini was always supposed to live here with me, I didn’t really mind. However, when a few people asked me for the templates I realised that I would have to go back to the drawing board.

Réalt Glas Finished

Enter the Spring Version. I still had a little bit of an issue with a few of the pieces not wanting to slot in without a fight so I realised I would have to make another one. Enter a long ‘sigh’ at this point.

Réalt Glas and Spring

Voilà, Blossom! I really like how different the three versions are and I do hope that some people will use the Athea Templates. If you do, please show me your version as I’d love to show it off here as well.

Réalt Glas, Spring and Bossom

These templates were drawn by hand and are therefore not totally uniform. I do apologise for that and for the rather blurry picture of the pattern. Because I didn’t design the pattern with the intention of putting it on the blog I cut up the pattern sheet to make Réalt Glas. The only thing that remains is this blurry picture. You might think that I could have redrawn the pattern and you would be right but, to be honest, I’ve already spent so much time on this and have so many new ideas I want to explore. Furthermore, I’ve bought a wonderful app called TouchDraw for the iPad with the help of which I might even be able to give you templates that are accurate and all the same size. So think of Athea as a trial run.

Having said all this, if you do decide to have a go at ‘Athea’ and run into any kind of problems, please don’t hesitate to contact me (sharksdinner [at] sunrise [dot] ch) and I will be happy to help you as best I can.

EDIT

Here are the templates I drew on Touch Draw. Click on the link to download.

Athea