Let’s Try This One More Time

This poor blog has been sorely neglected for quite a while now. When I started it I was living in England and wanted a way to show my family what I was up to. Now that I’m in Switzerland and living close to my family I seem to forget about blogging. Add to this the fact that I love Instagram (@lemonshark) and am very active over there and it’s a bit of lose – lose situation for my poor little blog. I’m going to give it one more shot and see if I can get back to making this little space my happy place.

I have been busy sewing even though I haven’t been blogging and am back to working on my Spring Carnival quilt. This quilt was started after the first Fat Quarterly Retreat in 2012 and is still not finished.

I ran out of the stripy fabric and for ages couldn’t find anything I could replace it with to make the quilt bigger (it’s about lap size at the moment). Hence, it’s been lurking in a box under the bed for at least two years. However, not long ago I found the perfect fabric to add: Michael Miller’s Dumb Dot in white and dark grey. I’ve already sewn a few wheels and love the change from stripes to dots.

I’ve happily been working on this quilt in the evenings and have added lots more wheels since I took this picture. After five years of working on it it’s really time to finish it, don’t you think?

Thread Catchers

Last week I attempted to make a little thread catcher but as I wasn’t concentrating it didn’t turn out great. I normally cut the lining a little smaller than the outer to make sure it doesn’t end up baggy. You’ve guessed it, I didn’t do it this time and ended up with a  baggy lining I couldn’t live with.

Thread Catcher

As I was looking at it and complaining Little Miss Bossy-Boots arrived and looked at it. When she realised that I wasn’t happy with it she asked if she could have it. Of course she could.

Panda

 

Missy turned the thread catcher into a hat for Panda and I think he looks absolutely fetching!

I didn’t give up, however, and made another, even smaller, thread catcher. It’s a little 2″ cube. This time, however, I used a completely different technique: EPP and iron on pelmet. I’m very happy with this one which is going to a  new home this week.

Thread Catcher

I added a magnetic needle minder and a little pin cushion just for fun. The fabrics I used are some of my all-time favourites: some Oakshott, some Lu Summers and some Liberty Lifestyle Bloomsbury Collection. I used Aurifil to sew it together and loved every second making it.

I’m already making another one…. With polka dots….

 

Magical Diamonds

I like having an EPP (English Paper Piecing) project on the go at all times and I am constantly designing new ones in TouchDraw on my iPad. This summer I went off to Norway and decided to start ‘The Big One’, a quilt for me which Little Miss Bossy-Boots has named ‘Magical Diamonds’. It’s going to fit my queen size bed and I’m using some of my all time favourite fabrics, Denyse Schmydt’s Florence and Oakshott shot cottons in blues and greens.

Magical Diamonds

I wasn’t sure at first how to place the fabrics but then decided to use the Oakshotts as a sort of frame for the prints. I was so excited about this project that I started before travelling and ended up with two very quickly. Each segment is 10″ x 14″, so they’re quite big.

Once I arrived in our cabin in Norway I set up my little work station outside. I was blessed with the most wonderful weather.

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I continued sewing a little every day if I wasn’t reading or cycling to the shops or the beach.

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This is what they are going to look like: 48 of those segments sewn together like this. I’m still thinking about colour placement but as I have a few more – 41 to be exact- to do, I have some time to think about it.

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This, by the way, was my view while sewing. I have to admit that I was distracted every now and again. Especially when big boats were passing.

It was a most wonderful and relaxing holiday. I managed to sew five segments which was less than I had hoped for but I also read four books and cycled quite a few kilometres. Bliss!

 

Dancing Squares

English Paper Piecing (EPP) is my biggest love although I love sitting at my sewing machine too. Dancing Squares is a really easy pattern which I came up with because I wanted something simple that I could sew while watching tv as there are only two shapes.

I started off with the low volume octagons before filling in the squares. I thought I would use my Oakshott Rubies for the squares but as I was stitching I thought it would be fun with a rainbow of colours too. In the end I wasn’t sure which to use and asked people’s opinion on Instagram. Funnily enough the rainbow and the rubies got exactly the same amount of votes so I went for my first choice, the Oakshott Rubies.

Dancing Squares

I decided to only use the red and pink Oakshotts. In the end this little piece ended up at about 13″ x 13″ and I’m not sure what to do with it. Cushion cover? Mini quilt? Continue and turn it into a lap quilt? That could take a while.

Dancing Squares

For now, I’ll just gaze at it adoringly from time to time.

Would you like to make your own Dancing Squares mini/cushion?  Click on this link for the pdf in three different sizes:

Dancing Squares Original

Dancing Squares Bigger

Dancing Squares Biggest

Shingles

I can now attest to the fact that shingles are painful. It’s not something that was ever on my list of must-haves and I have to admit that I’m pretty tired of them now. Luckily I went to the doctor quite early so I’m hoping that the tablets he gave me ensure that the pain will subside soon. Furthermore, I was lucky that Little Miss Bossy-Boots was going to see her daddy for ten days. This meant that I could sit on the sofa all day with my Spring Carnival EPP, Charlie and The Gilmore Girls.

Lazing Around

Charlie loved the fact that I was there to talk to him and stroke him all day long and I got quite far with my sewing.Spring Carnival and CharlieEvery time I laid it on the floor he had to go and sit on it. I already knew that I didn’t have enough of the stripy ticking that I used for the hexagons and triangles to turn this into a large quilt. I sewed all the circles into rows but realised that if I squared it up I would lose a lot of the top and bottom circles. So I changed my plan and got the seam ripper out, took off a couple of the circles at the top and bottom, added them in different places and ended up with a giant oblong hexagon.

HexagonThe plan is to appliqué this onto a white background and then add some borders made up of 2.5″ or 3″ squares. I’m making them slightly bigger than the ones in the EPP panel as when I printed out more papers to finish it I realised that the original ones I used were all 1/8″ smaller than they should have been and I really don’t feel like cutting a million 2 3/8″ squares. I’m sure it wouldn’t take me long to get them wrong.

I know for sure that Charlie will love this quilt whatever the size of squares. Not that it’s for him. No, this one is for me, at least until Little Miss Bossy-Boots comes along and claims it as she has done with all the quilts I’ve made lately.

Charlie

The Round the World Blog Hop

First of all: phew, what a long blogging break this has been. That cold lingered quite a while, then I had a very unhappy Little Miss Bossy-Boots and a very important deadline. All this meant that the blog was seemingly forgotten. Well, behind the scenes I have been sewing, buying and begging for my celebratory giveaway. More on this in the next post.

First, though, I have been tagged by the lovely Paula, who blogs at Mud, Pies and Pins, for the Round the World Blog Hop. I’ve known Paula for more than 13 years and she’s a great friend. Her eldest and Little Miss Bossy-Boots were born exactly two months apart and get on like a house on fire. We have great playdates where the kids run around and get really dirty while we talk fabric and threads. Bliss!

Right, I believe I’m supposed to introduce myself and answer a few questions. Here goes:

1. What quilting/sewing thing am I working on?

My main project at the moment is a bit of secret sewing which I can’t show you yet. It’s and EPP project and very colourful but that’s all I can say so far. However, I always have a million and one projects on the go so here are a few other things I’m working on: My Spring Carnival quilt which sits in a bag next to the sofa. It’s been a work in progress for the last two years and I love it more than anything else I’ve made so far. Every now and then I sew a few pieces together but the fact that I haven’t got enough of the stripy fabric is holding me back.

Spring Carnival Progress

I’ve also cut out the pattern for the Joni top from TheLittleHouseMartin and made a muslin.  The fabric I’ve chosen needs to be washed and then I can make the perfect top to go under cardigans for autumn.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s a question I’m not sure how to answer. My EPP mini quilts are, I suppose, what might set me apart to a certain degree. I really love to design them and am hoping that other people love to receive them.

Liberty Bloom

This one, Liberty Bloom, was made for a swap and now lives in Canada.

Mini

Four Paths was made for an Instagram giveaway and has also been sent all the way to Canada.

Jewel

Jewel went to a wonderfully courageous lady, Karie, in America.

Réalt Glas

This one is the one that started it all off. This was the first pattern I designed and you can see that the pieces didn’t actually fit together properly. I had to wrangle some of the pieces  into submission. This pattern, Athea, was drawn by hand and I had to re-draw the pieces a few times before they fit together perfectly. Click on the tutorial tab if you’d like to make your own Athea mini to find the free downloadable pattern.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I started this blog to show my family what I was working on while I lived in England and it became a real joy to write. My blogging isn’t regular, I have phases where I write less and others where I could write three blog posts in a day. I admire all the bloggers who blog every day but I realise that I can’t do it. As for the creating part of the question, designing and sewing makes me happy.

Butterfly

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Sometimes an idea just pops into my head, other times I sit down with a pen and paper or my iPad and start doodling without a plan. Blog posts are written in the same way I would be writing a letter to a friend. I think that people who read my blog would like to know me as a person and I’m a scatty blonde with many ideas and no planning skills. I’m fairly sure that comes through in my posts.

EPP Star

I’ve enjoyed answering these questions and in true Elisabeth Style I have failed to ask any blogging friends if they would like to participate in the blog hop. I will, however, remedy that and tag two friends some time this week. Better late, than never, eh?! This should teach me not to schedule things like this log hop during the holidays.

 

 

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Mini

Nothing like waiting for the last second to enter the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, eh? I’ve been humming and hawing whether I should and, if yes, what I should enter. In the end I decided to enter Jewel into the mini category. I’ve made a lot of EPP minis and I like them all but this one makes me especially happy because of its cheerful colours and because it was made as a ‘thank you’ for a very special lady. You can read my original posts about this mini here and here.

Jewel

This is the design I started with and the colours I decided to use. I’m not really a rainbow person but I thought it really worked for this design which had been sitting on my computer for quite a while and which I’d named Jewel.

Beginnings

It didn’t take me long to deviate from my plan but I quite liked where it was going.

Jewel being hand quilted

I did some hand quilting with some Aurifil 12wt in 4660 and added a dotty red binding to tie back to the red centre.

Jewel

I left out the last round because I liked the way it looked when I put it onto the background of some Lizzie House Pearl Bracelets in light grey.

It wasn’t all that difficult to send off to Karie as I knew it was going to someone who would appreciate it.

Please take a minute or two and check out all the other wonderful quilts at the Blogger’s Quilt Festival over on Amy’s Creative Side.

 

AmysCreativeSide.com

 

 

 

Jewel Ta Dah!

That’s right, Jewel is finished. Maybe I should’ve changed the name as it doesn’t really look like a jewel but, hey ho, I can’t think of anything else.

JewelI love the hand quilting and will definitely do more of it. I also love the red binding. Little Miss Bossy-Boots was crying when I told her that she couldn’t keep this mini.

This mini quilt is off to its new home in America. Bye, bye, little quilt!

 

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:

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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)!