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Dear Jane

Far Flung Bee 2012

Patchwork

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Still obsessed

 

 

Is it possible to love something even before it’s completely finished? Because I am totally smitten with my quilt-as-you-go cross stitch pouch – and so far it’s not even sewn together!

 It’s been over four months since I last sewed and I’m really glad this was my first project to get me back into it. This is the back panel for my pouch, with another Dear Jane block as the feature. I know I’ve said it before, but I really think the D.J. book is a fantastic resource for inspiration and some really ace traditional quilt block styles! This one is M4 – Stepping Stones and as much as I’d love to do a whole quilt of these blocks, there’s 45 pieces… in each individual block! Ouch! But still. Even though it was fiddly and complicated and took forever and came out wonky, I love it.

 I’ve included some of my very best favourite pieces of fabric in this panel. There’s some Japanese printed linen, a liberal sprinkling of Heather Ross favourites, and one of my more treasured scraps ever – little 1” linen bear.

 

 

You guys, I’m the hugest “precious precious fabric hoarder no touchy” stasher but I realised recently that life is short and fabric is meant to be seen and touched and loved and used. I have more fabric than one person needs (hands up who’s guilty of that!) so my new sewing goal for 2013 is to sew things that scare me, and sew from my stash!

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MY DUDQS3

So I just realised that I never showed my half of the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap (#3) that I sent out to my partner, and this swap was nearly a whole ago! Sheesh guys, talk about slacking!

 

 

This quilt was made very much at the last minute – my own fault really, I thought the mail-out date was a month later than what it actually was! Oops! So there was a few long nights work in this one, especially because I decided that of course it needed to be hand-quilted as well!

I’d had the idea of a sewing themed mini in my head for a while and I’m not sure if I’m happy with how it turned out, but I do really love the super crinkly, puffy texture of the hand quilting, and that was without a go in the washer and dryer. It (almost) makes me want to hand-quilt a whole quilt like that. Almost.

 

 

My fingers got so sore while hand-quilting that I had to resort to pliers. I’m pretty sure using pliers to pull your needle through the fabric is against some kind of quilting rule but at that point I really felt that pliers were the way to go! I know that ‘Modern’ Quilting is all about breaking the rules and reinventing traditionalism, but I’m really not sure pliers was what they had in mind! It’s a little embarassing, but I hadn’t actually heard of leather thimbles until I was posting these pictures on Instagram so now I know these magic little devices exist I might try one next time, but if I’m honest (again) the pliers actually worked really, really well.

 

 

The DUDQS is on again for another year and I’ve signed my name up again. Now that I’ve got my sewing stuff unpacked at my new house I need an excuse to dive back in, and I can do with the excuse to take pictures so I can actually update my IG and blog some more, too!

I can’t wait to find out who my partner is for this round, and do a little sneaky stalk of their Flickr page! I love the excitement of a blind swap!

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My current obsession.

This is my current obsession.

Do you ever have those projects you just can’t get out of your head? I’ve been day-dreaming about working on this project every day now; whittling away the hours at work until I can rush home and work on it again.

 

It started as three little stars I made because I wanted to sit down and “just sew something” in an afternoon – sit down and sew something from start to finish, just for the joy of getting it done and having something to show for it at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong – I do love a good slow-burn project! I’m doing the year-long Woodland Sampler cross stitch, I have not one but TWO Dear Janes I’m hand-piecing, and I’m also hand-piecing two Marcelle Medallion quilts! But sometimes you just want a satisfying ‘quick finish’. (Speaking of Dear Jane – the big star block is part of a block from that quilt. I love the D.J. book – it’s become my go-to resource for traditional block styles so I think even if you’re not going to attempt the whole quilt, it’s a great book to have just as a block resource!)

 

 

Each day I’ve been adding little bit by little bit to this quilted panel. Some days more than others, depending on how long I can steal away into my craft room. I’ve been sewing this quilt-as-you-go style following Oh Fransson’s tutorial (find it here) and it’s so addictive! For someone who plans things down to the last detail (I mean plans EVERYthing – I even glued down swatches of actual fabric in block order on a paper miniature quilt layout for both Dear Jane quilts just so I could be sure I liked the fabric choices for each block and how they worked together across the whole quilt…), doing this improv “bit here, bit there, slap it on and sew it down” style is quite freeing!

 

I think I’m going to turn this into a little zippered pouch to hold my Woodland Sampler cross stitch. I’ll be working on that each month of 2013 and I think it deserves something a little better than being carted around in a plastic bag!

 

Does anybody else spend longer working on a project pouch than they do on the actual project itself?!

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Enjoying the process :: hand piecing Marcelle Medallion

 

Now that my Scrappy Trip Around The World is almost finished (just waiting on choosing backing and binding – and then quilting that big sucker!), my hands were itching for a new project. Although let’s be real – I’m pretty much always dying to start somehing new! I can’t be the only person with crafting/sewing ADD can I?!

Marcelle Medallion is the newest IG -along (follow #marcellemedallion or #medallionalong on IG for some gorgeous eye-candy!), and I’ve decided to piece mine by hand. I love hand piecing, because I really enjoy the slow progress and feeling like I’m a complete part of the whole quilt. I make each stitch, I tie each thread, I thread each needle.

 

 

It’s also a great technique for harder blocks (like the centre star, which requires 4 Y-seams – everyone’s favourite!) because you can go slower and have more control over your sewing, rather than my usual technique of “shoving it through the sewing machine”. But mostly I love hand piecing because it’s letting me piece this quilt during my breaks at work.

 

 

 

I have all my centre quadrants made and now I just need to sew them together and then I will have finished my centre star!

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Dear Jane patchwork pouch

close up of cross stitched x x x x's on the pouch handles

 

close up of the hand quilting on a patchwork pouch

 

I finally got to gift this today!

 

pouch made of linen and a patchwork star from the dear jane quilt

 

 

I finished it alllll the way back in November, but I hadn’t had a chance to catch up with the birthday girl until this weekend.

It’s a linen and patchwork pouch for her hand sewing, or her Dear Jane blocks, or make-up, or…. really, anything else! That’s the magic of pouches – they can hold anything your heart wants to keep cosy and safe), and the patchwork block itself is actually one of the DJ blocks. I used all my precious little favourite scraps and stash for this one. The Heather Ross Mendocino is probably my favourite ever(!) but Essie is totally octopus-worthy!

 

close up of patchwork star in dear jane pouch

The star is some frustrating fancy inset y-seam piecing, and the whole block itself (all the way out to the tip of the star points) is only probably 5 inches – teeny tiny!

I bound the inside seams with a rich plum satin ribbon. I kind of think that this adds a little touch – kind of like wearing nice underwear under your clothes, you know? Only you know it’s there, but it’s a little bit of secret luxury in your day!

 

dear jane pouch open to see inside at the satin binding

 

I accidentally fell in love with this pouch as I was making it. I have this mini-mini-mini quilt hanger that I bought at a craft show last year, and I think I might have to turn this little DJ block into a teeny-mini for myself to hang on that frame, too. And now I just want to make pretty pouches all day long! One for crochet projects on the go, one for the socks I’m eventually going to teach myself t knit, one for my make up, one for everything! Something I want to quietly work on in 2013 is making myself some more “functional patchwork”. You know – something that’s pretty, and handmade, and makes me smile every time I use it – and slowly, hopefully, I will be able to toss the plastic bags I cart all my projects around in, haha!

 

 

 

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Hello

My name is Holly and I live in Australia. This is where I blog about the stuff I make (mostly quilts, stamps & plushies). Sometimes I also write about things that inspire me. Thanks for stopping by!

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I hope your visit here has been inspiring, but please respect my designs and idea as my own. You are welcome to use my patterns & tutorials for personal use (for you, for gifts, etc.), but not commercial use. Please feel free to link to my tutorials, but please do not reproduce them in full on your site. Thank you! © HOLLY McGUIRE 2008-2014

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