Post from Australia!

I must have been an incredibly good girl lately as after the great emails I got yesterday I was blessed with two lovely packages in the post today. They both came all the way from Australia!

The first one was one of those really kind gestures that make your heart sing. A little while ago Trystan, maidentatters on Instagram, posted a picture of the cutest little pink scissors. When I told her how much I loved them she offered to send me a pair. Now how could I resist such an offer? They arrived today and they are so incredibly cute I can’t stop looking at them. However, that wasn’t the only thing Trystan sent me, she also included a lovely little box pouch in blue and white. It’s absolutely perfect to use for a hand sewing kit. I like to have a few as I usually have about three projects on the go.

Instagram photo

The second package was my Mouthy Stitches tote. The second I saw the name of the sender I knew which one it was and started whooping! Shocking Hocking did incredibly well, picking my favourite colours and making a fantastic paper pieced stars on one side and some patchwork on the other.

Love the little fussy cut deer, bird and car. The hand quilting is beautifully done.

The lining is simply gorgeous and there are three great pockets for my phone, tissues and a wallet. Not my keys as they will be put on the fabulous lanyard Kay sent as the key fob.

Swaps are always a bit daunting as you don’t really know if what you’ve made is going to be to your partner’s taste. Furthermore, you might not like what is coming your way very much. So far I’ve been lucky, I absolutely love this tote and am sure that I will use it a lot.

Key Fob

Hi there, I know I said I was going to show you more of the scarf today but have decided to wait until tomorrow. Psst! The scarf is a gift and I’m hoping to give it to the recipient tomorrow. I don’t think she reads my blog but just in case….

Instead I’m going to show you the key fob I made for the Mouthy Stitches swap.

The swap mamas said from the start that we were ‘only’ supposed to make the tote and a key fob for the swap. No additional gifts should be added as they wanted to make sure that there was no pressure to buy chocolates and sweets or fabrics.

Anyway, the key fob was a lot of fun to make. I decided on English paper pieced hexagons because my partner had a hexagon cushion in her mosaic and I enjoy making them. I kept with the rainbow theme because I thought it would look nice with the tote. For the back I used the purple polka dot fabric I used for the lining.

I’ve sent everything off this morning so my little parcel is on it’s way to…. Sorry, I can’t tell as I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I’ll tell you once my partner receives it.

A Pocket

When I first thought about the Mouthy Stitches tote I pulled some fabric from my stash, ordered the Essex linen from the lovely Justine from Simply Solids and panicked. As you might remember I changed my mind twice before settling on the colours and the “Fleeing the Nest” block.

Now that I had the outside done it was time to think of the lining. At first I was going to use the aqua as the lining but then quite a few people on flickr mentioned that it was a bit too much blue for their liking. Back to the drawing board and back to stalking I went. Lo and behold, I found a little sentence on my partner’s blog which stated that her favourite colour is purple. In my stash I have this lovely lilac/purple polka dot fabric which I thought would be lovely to use. After all, the bag is reversible and should look as pretty on the inside as it does on the outside.

To break up the purple I made a nice bright and fairly big pocket which is practical and pretty. I used some of the rainbow scraps and aqua fabric from the front to tie it in and I love it.

I forgot to show you the back of the tote yesterday. Just in case you were wondering what it looks like, voila!

Now I just have to make a key fob and I’m sorted. Way ahead of schedule. Must be a first.

Blinded by the light

isn’t it strange how sometimes you can work on something and not see the blatantly obvious? I’m talking about the picture of the block I posted yesterday. I was thrilled to sew the border on, ironing it flat and then photographing it. Not for one second did I notice that not one of the corner pieces had any points whatsoever. Yep, I was blind. It wasn’t until I checked flickr to see if my partner had commented that I noticed it. Mortified I ran upstairs, got the seam ripper out and took the border off.

Here’s the new and improved version. As a bag.

I love it and I really hope my partner will too. This isn’t, of course, a practical tote being made in Ivory Essex linen but I still hope that my partner will get some use out of it.

The Geese are Fleeing the Nest

Monday = school day = sewing

The front of my Mouthy Stitches tote is finished! I love it when a project that was on the verge of disaster turns out to be lovely. I’m very happy with how this tote is turning out and I really hope my partner thinks so too.

This is one of the blocks from the “Shape Workshop for Quilters” by the Fat Quarterly team and was designed by Brioni Greenberg. It’s called ‘Fleeing the Nest’ and I think it’s fabulous. Now, I have to admit that quite a few swear words have escaped my mouth while making this but then it is for the Mouthy Stitches swap and it was totally worth it….

What do you think?

New Geese on the Block

I’ve unpicked the block that I made for the Mouthy Stitches tote as I really wasn’t happy with it.

This time round the points on my geese have a better chance of survival and the secret for that is starch. The Essex linen is very floppy and I think that was part of my problem. That and the fact that the fabric is cut on the bias. So this time I’ve sprayed so much starch on my fabric my little sewing buddy left the room!

It’s Time to Start

Ok, I’ve had a bit of a rethink and gone back to my original idea of using a rainbow of colours for my mouthy stitches partner.

Today I made a start.

I really like the way it looks. However, some of the points went missing and even though the seam ripper has been out numerous times I haven’t been able to find them again. The centre square was too small the first time I cut it out so I winged it and cut it a little bigger. Now it’s too big and doesn’t want to lay flat. I’ve used up all of my Good Fortune fabric (they were only charms) and will have to replace them with something else.

The good news is that I will make a new attempt tomorrow and as I now know where I encountered problems I should, hopefully, be able to fix them.




Goosey, goosey, gander

This is the pattern I’ve decided to use for my Mouthy Stitches tote:

This block ‘fleeing the nest’ is from the really fabulous book “Shape Workshop for Quilters” by the Fat Quarterly team and was designed by Brioni Greenberg. I really like flying geese and I think my partner does too. My biggest worry at the moment is that I have posted my fabric choices on flickr and the response has made me quite nervous about it. My partner isn’t very vocal so I have no clue as to what she likes or doesn’t. Therefore I’m starting to think that maybe I should go down the rainbow path after all as there were so many in her mosaic.

I’ll keep you posted.

Somewhere over the Rainbow

I have been thinking quite a bit about what to make for my partner in the Mouthy Stitches Swap. The night before last inspiration struck and yesterday afternoon I spent a good 30 minutes pulling fabric from my stash. I decided early on to use some Essex linen in ivory for the bag (not the most practical, I admit) as my partner likes rainbows and I wanted the colours to pop. After pulling out a rainbow of fabrics and putting it on the background I decided to ditch half the rainbow and ‘only’ go with purple, blue and red. At the last second I threw in a little orange but am not sure whether I will keep it in there or not.

The aqua Kona is for the lining and a couple of accents. This is going to be a reversible tote so the lining needs to be pretty as well. We are allowed to change the pattern inasmuch that we may add a small pocket on the inside. I’m thinking of turning that pocket into a bit of a feature so that both sides are equally pretty.

Now, should I wait to see if my partner comments on the picture I’ve put up on flickr or should I just dive in?



This morning I got an email from my Mouthy Stitches swap mama to let me know who my partner is.

Mouthy Stitches 2

I literally threw myself at my computer to check her out and, oh my, I’m so0o happy. Her taste is very similar to mine, her mosaic lovely and full of wonderfully inspiring pictures. I can’t wait to get my thinking cap on and get started.

One thing I have done already, though, is order some more fabric from Simply Solids. I already ordered some last weekend:

The top two are fat quarters I received for free simply for ordering some fabric I “needed”. Mmh, I could get used to that…

Simply Solids is an online shop which carries a great range of Kona solids, Essex linen and Moda pre cuts. It has just been taken over by Justine from Sew Justine Sew and she’s doing a great job. I met her and baby Hunter at the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London an as I like to support people I know I placed an order last week. It arrived quickly and was beautifully packaged. So go and have a little look around the shop, please.