Friday, 30 September 2011

ATS Quilt Finish & A Winner!

I have finished my biggest ever quilt, I am so pleased with myself! Cue shameless amount of photos to show it off!

This is my take on a mans quilt. I always intended it to be for my dear hubby's Christmas present but I didn't realise how hard I would find it to make a manly quilt, hopefully the angular quilting has achieved that aim!

For the back I choose not to use the pieced option, but instead used a VERY heavy waffle knit blanket. I had been having real trouble sourcing a good colour match as out local quilt stores don't carry many solid lines. The colour of this blanket was perfect, I also felt it made it again more manly being chunky and heavy. Boy did it make it hard work quilting though! My machine coped fine, good old Pfaff, I on the other hand felt as if I had a carpet rolled up and slung over my shoulder for a good few hours! Good job I only made the baby size!

Across The Sea QAL
Greek crosses/scrappy border/binding : Swoon by Melissa Averinos for Andover Fabrics
Batting : Hobbs Heirloom 80/20
Straight Line/Squares Box quilting
Backing : Cotton Waffle Knit Blanket

So there it is, I am super proud of myself and cant wait to give it to him, why is Christmas so far off?!!!

Do you like the fabric line I used in the quilt, well, I have 3 FQ of Swoon and they are going to be winging their way to Isisjem, who Mr Random Number said was the winner!

Congratulations, I'll be mailing you soon! To everyone else, I hope you enjoy the rest of this beautiful day :)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Christmas Charm Swap Sign-up & Goodie Love


Have you been thinking you don't have enough cool festive fabric in your stash? Well I have just the solution for you, sign up for the Christmas Charm Swap! A swap for cute Christmas fabric, no twee prints, just nice fresh and modern. The kind we would be proud to use.

We will have 28 participants, each to purchase just one meter of fabric and cut it into 56 charm squares of 5". You post to me, I do some jiggery pokery and send you back 28 different prints with 2 squares of each, magic! Then you can get to work creating a scrummy Christmas runner, perhaps to tie in with the swap over at Susan's blog Canadian Abroad? Or perhaps a cushion or stocking.

If you would like to take part just leave a message below. Please make sure if you are a no-reply blogger you leave your email address in the message so I can contact you. Feel free to grab a button (on the lefthand side of my blog page) and I'll set up a flikr group so that we can post our fabric choices to make sure we have no duplicates, but if we don't get all 28 spaces filled we wont be able to run with it so get outside, shout from the rooftops, blog it and spread it 'Emily is hosting a crimbo swap'!!

MESSAGE FOR REBECCA - Rebecca who commented on the swap post earlier this week, I am having trouble contacting you as you are set to no-reply. Please email me (you can click on my profile picture to do this) to confirm you still want to take part or I may have to fill your space. Thank you :)

In other news, this week has seen the end of the Goodie Swap :( I am very sad its all over, but SOOOO happy with my lot! Let me show you what yumminess I received

Ooo its like a game of pass the parcel!

Look another layer.....

...and another!.... (and tartan ribbon too!)

WOW! I am a lucky girl indeed. Look at all this loveliness! Sent all the way from Sheila in Ayr over at Bluepatch Quilter. For extra goodiness she put in a lovely FQ of sewing material and some Scottish tablet, yum!

The cutest little hexi pin cushion, there are even pockets on the back, the perfect size for my mini scissors.

And the coolest mug rug ever, not only a Union Jack but also a 'Keep Calm' ditty....perfectly me! Thank you so much Shelia :)

Then yesterday ANOTHER parcel arrived, oh I love my postman this week! And this was the best swap ever, Cindy was awesome for giving everyone 2 partners! Once again, beautifully wrapped and such a joy to open, I was so excited! This time from Jules at Daisy Made it.

I actually 'whooped' when I tore the tissue paper of this lovely, I am head over heels with Dresden's at the moment and this is just wonderful!

She also made me a lovely matching basket and notebook, pretty and useful. The little note card she sent me is a liberty print and I know its going straight in a frame and on the sewing room wall to remind me of what a fabby swap this has been. Thanks Jules, all so lovely and I am very lucky :)

Looking forward to the next few swaps to come, Modern Christmas Table Runner, Sewhappygeek Table Runner and the Brit Quilt Pillow Fight!!!

And don't forget, you still have 1 day to enter my giveaway here. Good luck!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Design advice please!

Right, I am putting out a shout-out for help! I have been staring at my quilt for hours and cannot decide what to do!

I am happy with the quilting thus far but I am wondering, see the little boxes with the boxes in side them, the 6 running in 2 rows down the middle? Got them....right, do you think these should be 'echoed' in the half square spaces along the sides? Like I've marked in the photo (and yes I know 'along' has one 'g' but I don't have the gumption to change it after 3 hours of quilting hehe)

Or do you think this would be too much? I am too quilted out to decide and thought that another set of eyes might see it clearer!

Thanks so much everyone :)

Fancy a nice pile of swanky new fabric?


Why not join our Modern Christmas Fabric swap then. 28 lucky people will get a lovely pile of 56 charm squares, all from modern festive fabric lines.

If you're interested you can find more details on how to sign up here and grab yourself a button using the code on the left side of my page. Only 15 spaces left now, hurry before its too late!

And whilst you're here, why not enter my giveaway for 3 FQ of Swoon, running through until Friday. Good luck!

Monday, 26 September 2011

My first giveaway, first tutorial and first anniversary!!!! Whoooo

Woweee, so much going on today!

I've just posted my first tutorial for the laminated lunch bag I made for the Japanese Scrap Challenge, I hope it inspires at least one person to make one, it will have made all that typing and editing worthwhile! You can find the tutorial here.

I also have my very first giveaway to celebrate that exactly 1 year ago today I took Strawberry Patch out to its very first craft fair! I cant believe how much has changed in a year - my sewing skills, my confidence, my profits. Ive started a blog, started giving workshops and generally been having an amazing year!

Huge thanks to all my friends and family that have supported and encouraged me along the way, as way of thanks I am running a giveaway for my followers. How would you like to get your hands on 3 fat quarters of Swoon by Melissa Averinos for Andover Fabrics? I have been using this line in the Across the Sea QAL and I love it.

To enter here is what you need to do:

1. Be a follower and leave me a comment saying you are.
2. Head over to my facebook page here and 'like' Strawberry Patch and tell me you have done so in another comment for an extra entry
3. For a billy bonus third entry leave another comment recommending a blog to me that you love, any subject matter!
4. Join in our Modern Christmas Fabric Charm Swap - sorry, only kidding!! But seriously if you want to join us in some swapsies fun and get some fab festive fabric to boot just head over here.

edited to add - you can indeedy have a 4th entry, just blog about this giveaway and leave me the link in a seperate comment!
So that's a whopping  4 entry's (if you can be bothered!) and I will close the giveaway on Friday 30th September at 12 midday GMT when the lucky winner will be picked by Mr Random Number Generator. Please make sure you are not a no-reply blogger or leave your email in your comment. If I am unable to contact you within 48 hours I will redraw.

If you fancy yourself lucky, why not head over to Life's Rich Pattern where there is another great giveaway running for  the new fabric line Moroccan Mirage by Kristian A Howell. Check it out here.

The Lunch Bag Tutorial

Taaaaaa DAAAAAAHhhhh!
My very first tutorial! I hope you all like it, can follow it and if you decide to make it, end up with something vaguely resembling mine!

Lets start with the list of cutting requirements:

  • 40 x 2" squares (I used my Japanese Scraps I won in the Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge over at Pings and Needles)
  • Contrasting Fabric (I used a cream cotton calico) 8" x 12.5"
  • 2 pieces of the contrasting fabric 9" x 6.5"
  • 2 pieces of Laminated Cotton 9"x6.5"
  • Laminated Cotton 8" x 24.5
  • 2 pieces of 1" Cotton Webbing 15" long
  • 1 magnetic snap
  • 1 meter or Vilene Lamifix Fusible Gloss (optional)

You really can use whatever material you like for this cute little bag, Ive gone for lamifix over my quilting cotton as it will be wipeable and that's only a good thing when you have a toddler! I would suggest if you do not lamifix yours or use laminated cotton you will need a medium to heavy weight interfacing to give the bag some strength and allow it to hold its shape - you wont want it collapsing around your sandwiches!

First cut your 40 squares and arrange them in 2 panels, 5 wide by 4 down, making sure you have an even distribution of colour and print.


Then join the squares together using a 1/4" seam allowance, this is very important or your seams will not line up. I took a picture of my panel layout to refer to as its easy to get lost when sewing! I also chain pieced mine which saves so much time and thread, there is a good tutorial here.

Then you need to pop your rows over to the iron and make sure you iron your seams in alternate directions as shown here. This will help them to lay flat and prevent bulk.

Then we are going to join all the rows together to form our panel.

Once this is done, press the seams OPEN, you should have a block that measures 8" x 6.5". Repeat the above steps for the other block.

Take your 8" x 12.5" contrasting fabric and join it to you 2 panels, again using a 1/4" seam allowance. I sewed with the panels on top so I could make sure the seams were lying flat as I went.

Now press these seams open and this is what you should have

The next step is optional, you do not have to do this, it will make your bag wipeable and waterproof but you CAN NOT WASH IT once laminated. I choose an easy to care for wipeable finish for my 2 year old's lunch bag over washing.

Take your sheet of Lamifix and lay it GLOSSY side up over your work

Pop your iron onto the two dot setting (wool) and
gently smooth over the lamifix, holding the iron still in each spot for a few seconds to ensure it is properly bonded. You can pop your iron up to the 3 dot setting to get a really good fix but make sure you put a cloth over the lamifix or it will melt!

Can you see the lovely shininess on this baby? Its magic!

I also laminated the cotton calico side pieces so the exterior of the bag was totally protected from grub and grime.

Then take one side piece and attach it to the main panel of the bag right sides together, with the long sides together. Sew using a 1/2" seam allowance, I'm showing you this with my lining pieces because the contrast is better and its clearer to see (naw you don't believe me, OK its really because I forgot to take pictures of the outer!)

Make sure you leave a 1/2" unstitched at the bottom of the side piece so that we can sew the seam along there later.

Now sew the other side piece onto the other side like this. Again make sure you leave a 1/2" unstitched at the bottom of the side piece so that we can sew the seam along there later.

Now comes some fiddly bits! Bring up the other side of the centre piece and sew it to the other side of the side piece, making sure you leave that 1/2" at the bottom of the side unstitched.

Once you have all 4 of the side seams stitched its onto the2 bottom seams. Open your bag out and flatten it so you have your side piece facing you, find the end of your side seam and put your needles in here, sewing along the bottom and stopping at the end of the other side seam (just visible in this photo)

Repeat with the other side.

Then turn your bag around so the front (or back, just not the sides!) is facing you and flatten it again. Sew alonf the bottom again from the bottom of one side seam to the other. Repeat with the back (or front depending on how you see it)

When you are done you should have a nice little boxy number like this, keep it inside out and then repeat the above steps with the lining pieces. Make sure you leave a good 6" opening on one of the sides when sewing the lining, you'll need this to turn the bacg out later on. If you are not using lamifix or laminated cotton you can make this smaller as it will be easier to get through.

Cut your straps, two at aproximatly 15". I stamped mine with my little girls name using a versa inkpad, which you can set with the iron.

At this stage you want to put your magnetic snap onto the lining.

Slip your lining inside the outer,  then pin it into place, sandwiching your straps as you go. You'll want them about 2" in from the sides and make sure they hang down inside the bag so they're in the right place when you turn it out!

Stitch around the top of the bag with a 1/2" seam allowance, I went over the straps a few times to give added strength.

When done, turn the bag out through the opening in the lining and stitch the opening closed.

Then stand back and admire your amazingness! Then quickly fill it with sandwiches and cakes and skip off for a picnic in the park!

You'll have to excuse the creasing here, learn a lesson from me - you cannot sucessfully turn a bag the right way out made from thick calico covered in lamifix and hope to ever iron the creases out you have hence caused!!!!

But I dont care, its still darn cute!

Love this lining, reminds me of old fashioned picnic baskets and red riding hood all in one :) I do hope Juliette is happy trotting off to pre-school with her mummy made yummy's bag!

 Erm.....hello?.... anyone still there or did you all fall asleep when I started bleating on about cutting requirements?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Pondering a modern christmas fabric swap.....


Well I am certainly catching the Christmas bug....especially now the weather is turning!

I was thinking wouldn't it be nice to boost our stashes with some cute Christmas fabric, no piles of holly upon holly twee prints, just nice fresh modern Christmas prints. The kind we would be proud to use.

So how about a wee swap for just UK and Irish folk?  The swap is open internationally but we need to fill the spaces quickly in order to get the fabric sent out in time to be used!

Who would be interested?

I would need 28 participants, each to purchase a meter of fabric and cut it into 56 charm squares of 5". You post to me, I do some jiggery pokery and send you back 28 different prints with 2 squares of each, magic! Then you can get to work creating a scrummy Christmas runner, perhaps to tie in with the swap over at Susan's blog Canadian Abroad? Or perhaps a cushion or stocking.

If you would like to take part just send me an email to emilylevey(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk or leave a message below. If we get enough interest I'll set up a flikr group so that we can post our fabric choices to make sure we have no duplicates, but if we don't get 28 we wont be able to run with it so get outside, shout from the rooftops, Emily is hosting a crimbo swap!! If you shout really loud and get lots of peeps on board I may even be able to rustle up a button for us all :)

And dont forget, its only 2 days now until my 1 year anniverisary of starting trading with the patch so be sure to pop back on Monday for my giveaway!