Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Fox Swap - received and sent

I love swaps.  You know that already, I'm sure!! I recently participated in The Fox Swap over on Flickr.  I followed along on Instagram too and each time a foxy item popped up I fell more in love. 

So when my parcel from my 'Twinnie' arrived I danced and danced.  Trash - you are the best!  Look what you sent me:

I love my new foxy neck warmer scarf kitted by your fair hands!  He is perfection!  I also love the pouches you made for me - terry cloth green [I LOVE GREEN] trimmed pouch with embroidery and button closure (very cleverly done) and zippy pouch with a foxy gentleman fox wearing very smart glasses and shiny ribbon detail (ah.may.zing).  Here are front and back pictures of these two pouches:

I really was spoiled - look at the handcrafted key chain, the cute eraser and artwork card:

Speaking of artwork, look the foxy way Trash decorated the packaging.  Isn't she clever (as a fox)?

I was so surprised that Trash had me as her partner and was so excited when I opened each item up.  Yup - she wrapped each and every item!

Thank you so much Trash.  You are one foxy lady and have created and crafted amazing original creations just for me.  I love everything.  xx

For my partner KarinKasja on Flickr I decided to applique a fox first:

This cheeky fox is from a Kip & Fig fox pattern.  I picked some flowery orange fabric and some text fabric (I love text fabric) and fused it to the bag front - before sewing!!  See how I left the texty fabric sort of shaggy and textured?  Clever right!!?  I'm so lucky that the fox ended up exactly where I hoped it would after the bag was sewn - just off to the right side!  Aurifil #5009 was used for the satin stitch.  The pattern for the tote was the Michelle Patterns Grocery Tote in medium.  Hard to photograph but a fantastic bag. 

I added my fancy label inside the tote before I sewed it together (yes, I thought about that BEFORE I sewed it together - miracle eh?) which I think adds a nice finishing touch to the bag! 

Here is the whole parcel that I sent.

I had so much fun in The Fox Swap.  Now I am busy working on two more swap parcels for later this year.  I love swaps!!

September 2014 - month in review

September seems like forever ago!  I was busy working on de-cluttering and throwing things away.  The process of letting go of clutter, shredding old files, donating clothes and dealing with the toxic memories attached to 'stuff' has kept me away from my sewing machine.  I am hoping my "sew-jo" will return this month.

However, I did manage three things in September that I am super proud of!
  • Simply Solids quilt top - thanks to a mini weekend retreat with the #nintendoguild at the end of August where I made some advances on piecing this top together, I FINALLY managed to complete the top early in September!  I hope I can get this finished before Christmas.
  • I did some machine applique and made a Kip & Fig fox.  This was for the front of a Michelle Pattern Grocery Bag that I made for my partner in The Fox Swap.  I LOVE his eye and his cheeky grin, and I even love the combination of fabrics I used!  This was a difficult one to not keep for myself!!!
  • Diamonds in Diamonds was a pattern that I tested for the very talented Aylin-Nilya.  I had not used templates before so this was out of my comfort zone but once I started I couldn't stop!  This pattern has so many possibilities - a very exciting pattern indeed and I will be making another soon!  I cut some of my precious Echino for this and I love how it turned out.  Now to make this flimsy into a quilt!

September flew by at lightening speed and I can't believe we are nearly in the middle of October already!  This must mean Christmas sewing season is upon us.  I've made a list of things I plan to sew - have you?

Happy October - and Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends in Canada.  

Saturday, 11 October 2014

4th Quarter FAL 2014 - ambitious goals!

For the final quarter of 2014 I thought I should keep with tradition and write another long list of things I would like to complete over the next THREE MONTHS!  Three months sounds like a long time but when you are a project-magpie like I am then more things get started than finished!

Here are my slightly (hahaha) ambitious goals for the 4th quarter:

1.  Must make binding, attach binding, hanging sleeve and label on my 4 Things quilt

2.  Make a back, sandwich, baste, quilt, bind and label my Diamonds in Diamonds quilt

3.  Nat's Sew Together Bag

4.  IG Mini Swap Mini Swoon #flossysgroup for swap

5.  Sew Sew Modern 6 sewing machine cover or mini quilt for swap

 6.  Simply Solids Amaranth group bee quilt  - make back, sandwich, baste, quilt, bind and label

7.  HipBees bee quilt - sew 5 more blocks sew into a top, add back, sandwich, baste, quilt, bind, label

8.  Messenger Bag - I have had this on my list for a very long time!!  I need a new bag desperately!!  Wish me luck!

Picture from Michelle Patterns

9.  Grocery Bags for Christmas presents - I have already cut out pieces for five bags in the three different sizes

Image from Michelle Patterns

10. Big Bear - add paws, border, back, sandwich, baste, quilt, bind, label


Linking to The Littlest Thistle
 Finish Along 2014

#verycherryswap - sent and received

I was still fairly new to Instagram when I came across a post about the #verycherryswap.  I love a good swap so guess what - I joined in!!!

This was not a secret swap so we were able to get to know who our partner was and what they like.  Agnes of @finallysewing was my partner and I sent her a set of hot pads, a hanging tea towel and a trivet for her kitchen.

I also made some greeting cards - a hobby I have recently re-visited.  I made my own cherry and leaf stamp to make these.

I added some candy, a couple fat quarters in her favourite colour (pink) and a cherry cross-stitch kit and posted it across the ocean.


Agnes sent me the most amazing Social Tote - I have wanted one of those forever and have not been brave enough to make one!!  A cute cube pincushion came in it.  Look at the perfect fabrics - birds and cherries everywhere!

Agnes also made me a needle-turn applique mug rug/mini quilt - very well done :)  She sent loads of extras too -- a frixion pen and cherry charm....

 ...and some amazing wooden spools with washi tape on them and...

...Cherry Koolaid , a sausage dog pen, fabric and some cherry stickers!  I was spoiled rotten - thank you 'sew' much!!


I really do love swaps - you get to know someone new and get to be creative in what you make and send.  Then - you receive an amazing parcel full of surprises!!  So fun!

Yes, the #verycherryswap was awesome!  Thank you Agnes x 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

August 2014 - month in review

My goodness where does the time go?  I am only now posting about my August makes - ooops!  My reason for being so quiet is that I have been working on my #amysMinimalistChallenge and spending time sorting and throwing things away.  Some major decluttering.

Here is my month of August in mosaic form:

My favourite item from August was definitely the Big Bear.  I was a pattern tester for this gorgeous fella for TartanKiwi.  He is 30 inches square and I plan to add paws and a border to make it a little bigger.

I had a lot of fun making  some kitchen-y items for my partner Agnes in the #verycherryswap but I will highlight that swap in another post.  I

Happy sewing!

Monday, 6 October 2014

3rd Quarter FAL - completed 6 of 9

Finish Along 2014 

Time to recap my 3rd Quarter Finish Along achievements.

1.  Oakshott Plaid quilt DONE - with loads of handstitching too!

2.  Kaffe tunic top DONE - bodice made by me and the rest completed by Mamafairy Rachel so if this one is picked I will give the prize to her!!  Sorry for the night-time selfie - I promise to get a better picture for a blog post about it!!

3.  Piranha pyjamas DONE - after some major difficulties, these were finally completed!  Read about it HERE.

4.  Sew Sew Modern 5 big and small items  DONE - I completed an Ellie Travel Tote, an Arrow table runner, a mouse pincushion and thumb pincushion.

5.  Michael Miller project  DONE with some matchstick quilting too!

6.  Simply Solids bee quilt  - all sewn in to a flimsy top.  HALF DONE

7.  Sew Together Bag for Nat  NOPE

8.  A handful of Thumb and/or Mice pincushions for Nat DONE - made two+one mice and a couple of thumb pincushions (not shown)

9.  A handful of tea wallets from Patchwork Please and Displacement Activity NOPE

Six of nine - my best effort so far!   Linking to The Littlest Thistle. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

De-stash -- fq's

Part of my #amysMinimalistChallenge is to de-stash unloved or unwanted fabric.  Some of these fabrics are delicious but I just don't have enough hours in the day to use it all!  Instead of jamming up the IG feed, I have decided to go with a de-stash here on the blog.

Here are a few things I am hoping to part with [please see the 'rules' listed at the bottom]:

1.  Dear Stella 'Piper' fabrics.  Combined total 8 fat quarters for £20.00 = 6 fat quarters plus the one on the bottom is a half yard. SOLD

2.   Daisy Janie organic 'Geo Grande' fabrics.  5 fat quarters for £15.00. These are a slightly heavier weight organic cotton and perfect for bags or a nice sturdy quilt.

3.  MoMo Wonderland fabrics by Moda.  5 fat quarters for £15.00.  Big spots and lady bugs/lady birds, butterflies and foliage.  Yum!

4.  Black and White fabrics.  5 fat quarters for £11.00.  A mix of Michael Miller, Makower and Robert Kaufman fabrics all pressed and ready to use!

5.  Gorgeous/gruesome Greens.  5 fat quarters for £10.00.  A wacky mix of green fabrics. Are they gorgeous or are they gruesome?  They look much better in person, honest!

6.  Pink bubbalicious bundle.  5 fat quarters £13.00.  This bundle contains a mix of fabrics and includes Aneela Hoey fabric and two fabrics by Blend.

7.  Aqua teal aqua bundle.  5 fat quarters for £13.00.  Another mixed bundle which includes an organic Cloud 9 fabric called Triangles, a fabric called Frog Spots and a skinny fq of Field Study by AMH (top fabric - skinny quarter).  The rest are regular fq's.  SOLD

8.  Orange you crazy bundle.  5 fat quarters for £12.00.  Mixed bundle includes two Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet prints and a piece of Tula Pink fabric.  Cool!

9.  Bye bye blues bundle.  5 fat quarters for £14.00.  Mixed bundle includes a Pezzy print, a Beth Studley fabric and fabrics called Beads and Flower by Free Spirit. 

10.  City Girl fabrics by Kitty Yoshida for Benartex.  5 fat quarters £10.00.  More greens and teal(ish) for those peeps out there who love these colours as much as I do!!  SOLD

That's all I can gather for the moment!  I have some larger pieces that I would like to de-stash as well but those will have to wait for another day! 

Rules are simple - all prices are in pounds sterling and post and packaging is extra.  My fq's are a mix of USA and UK sizes.  All from a smoke-free home and are unwashed.  In the comments, let me know what you'd like to buy and which country you are in and I will email you back with my PayPal address and the shipping amount (I will combine and I am also happy to ship overseas).  Payment can then be made to me via PayPal Friends & Family within 48 hours.  I will then ship one or two days after you pay. 

Hope you see something here that you like.  I would like to sell the bundles as they are but am willing to sell individual fabrics for £3.00 each. 

Thanks for looking at my de-stash and helping me become a minimalist! 

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to [Amy's] Crafty Shenanigans - the next stop on the 'Around the World Blog Hop'.  Thank you to Lisa of In the Boon Docks and to Kelly of jeliquilts for asking me to participate in this get-to-know-you blog hop! 

Hello - my name is Amy and I am a start-a-holic.  Yes, I am a serial starter.  A magpie of starting shiny new projects before the other projects are finished.

What am I working on?
The easiest answer would be what am I NOT working on?!  Seriously - I currently have 16 quilts in various stages of 'being made', several partially started zippy pouches, a dozen pincushions waiting for my attention, Block of the Month blocks to make, bee quilts to sew together etc etc.  Here is a picture of the fox that I machine appliqued to the front of a Reusable Grocery Bag for my secret partner in The_Fox Swap:

Kip & Fig Fox pattern
 How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don't even know what that question really means so my answer would be that I consider myself a crafter.  I love trying new crafts and learning new skills.  Last year I tried rag rug making.  I love working with beads.  I make found-object sculptures.  I like to up-cycle.  I have done bookbinding, pottery classes, card making, scrap booking, felting, jewellery making, welding, printmaking - and I love it all!!  Next on my list is weaving.  I need to retire (please note:  I am still more than 25 years away from retirement) so I can fill my days with all the things I want to try!

Some of the books I have made
Why do I create what I do? 
I NEED to be busy.  I NEED to create.  My hands NEED to be busy doing something therefore I make schtuff.  This is why I join in so many swaps and volunteer to be a pattern tester!!  I have a restless mind so having a project - any project - to occupy my thoughts can often help me focus and tame that restless energy!!  I bake if I'm not being arty farty or crafty.  But then again, if I am not baking, swapping, sewing or crafting, I am on the internet pinning on Pinterest, drooling over images on IG, looking at fabric or planning my next shiny new project!  I make a lot of lists and piles. 'Nuf said.  

Wonky Houses and Trees
I started the blog so my family could see what I was working on.  They are in Canada and I am in England.  I had no idea that this creative on-line quilting and sewing community would be my source of finding and meeting some of my best pals.   For that I am truly thankful!  [waves at everyone] 

Big Bear pattern by TartanKiwi

How does my creating process work?
Hmmm - difficult question!  My head is so full of all the things I see on IG, Flickr, Pinterest, from books, from the things I see around me, that they all melt into each other and eventually I NEED to make something. However, my creative process can also depend on a deadline!!  If it is a quilt-along, the deadline keeps me motivated.  Swap projects and pattern testing are the same - a deadline set by someone else is important!  The rest of the time I am all over the place, creating whatever and whenever I feel like it.  I switch from project to project, not completing anything unless it is a swap item or something for a link up!

My Citrus Triangle quilt from the Triangle Along
There you have it!  That is me. 

Artist Trading Card swap
I am happy to direct you to rainbow-mad Kelly of Jeliquilts, for your next stop on the Around the World Blog Hop.

Wonky Churn Dash and textile with wire bird

Thanks for stopping by!
Amy x