Friday, 4 October 2013

An EPP update - WIP

SO.... way back in June I showed a couple of pics of a little starflower block that I was making.

I did a little bit more over the summer, but revisited it properly about 2 weeks ago, added some more on and now it looks like this - all ready to be stitched onto a backing, then quilted and made into a gorgeous cushion.

Way back in July I went to the Fat Quarter Retreat in London. Fab time. Should have been a blog review but probably a bit late now...
One of the classes I did was an EPP class with Katy from I'maGingerMonkey. We only had about an hour and a half to start the pattern and most of it came home with me to sit quietly in the neglected projects box. But after finishing my Starflowers I had a bit of an urge to do more, so out came Triangle City and a few days later I have this:

It doesn't quite meet up at all the points. I had to unpick loads where I'd printed the templates out at only 90% of actual size (doh!), and it was tricky in places to piece, but I do really like it and I'm looking forward to it becoming a cushion too!

Both now much less of a WIP than they were but still those next stages to do.

Mind the ........ gap!

It's official I am a terrible blogger!!
Luckily though a blog can live without food or water! But I guess it would benefit from a little nurturing.

Time is such a precious commodity, packed full of work and family things and I do try and sew in my spare time, which I'm trying to grab a bit more of!

So here are a few pics of some quilty finishes from the last few months
Two quilts finished for Siblings Together (that's a blog post in itself - I'll do it)
Scrappy trip finish
Low volume quilt
Really pleased to have finished all these quilts! The low volume was a lovely summer project, with no work and the kids off at summer clubs I raided the stash, cut oodles of strips and then chain pieced away to my hearts content - I had the quilt top finished in 2 days, with excess for a couple of cushions and loads of additional strips for future projects.
The pattern was inspired by the Sunday Morning quilt in Sunday Morning Quilts - which is a lovely book. Low Volume Itch scratched!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Sewing on the Go

We've just spent a few days away with friends at a Festival.
Although lovely in part it's also hard work with kids - especially the camping bit!

The weather was fab - look at those blue skies!
And I even found time to squeeze in a little bit of sewing, with a simple starflower English Paper Piecing (EPP) project.
This is in preparation for this months Make Do and Mend session in Exeter (details here), which is EPP hexagons this month, but as I've done those before I thought I'd try something new!
I learnt the hexagons back in March at the Sewing Directory meet up with Kerry Green - great fun and there's another day coming up in September. EPP is a really simple process and much quicker than I thought, but I think a full sized quilt is a bit beyond me yet!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

A Bag for the Summer

How fantastic to see the sun out properly over the last few days - and it's set to continue this week so I've got windows open and letting the sounds of evening bird song fill the house.

At the start of the year I made a little list of projects I wanted to make and techniques I wanted to master in 2013. One of the frustrating things about learning new skills is that I always want to run before I can walk, and I prefer real projects to testers so sometimes things reach a standstill because I just don't dare ruin something by experimenting.

One of my frustrations has been accurate piecing, getting those corners or points to line up and sit nicely. I saw Katy's picture recently which got me thinking about a ton of little squares that I cut up last year so I started playing, sorting low volume and brights like this:

and then wondering what I could do with them... it was definitely time to do a little experiment and just see where it led.
I selected the low volume pile, added a few prints from more recent purchases and started sewing together into pairs (actual chain piecing!), and then into little strips. With the help of some careful cutting, a 1/4" foot, and matching up the seams, the accuracy was much improved!

Quite quickly I had a piece of patchwork fabric about 20" x 12" and just knew that this had to be a bag, so I checked my pattern downloads and found the Noodlehead Sidekick Tote which I'd bought a while back and have seen many scrummy versions of on-line. I made my fabric choices based on what I had in the stash, got some interfacing and off I went!

I did actually get it all sewn up in a day - which is really not long once you've done the school runs and a couple of chores - and I'm really pleased with the result.

Funky lining!

So I can tick off Bag from my list (although this won't be the last), and I have worked on precision piecing and zip insertion and following a pattern (!), and I have something fab and useful to show from it rather than an experiment that I keep in a box under the desk.

So what next? Bags...Fat Quarter Retreat...Travel...I know where this is you?
More soon,

Friday, 10 May 2013

The First

Well, actually I think I've started this about 20 times so maybe this will be the first one that I say "publish" to!
Yes, it's a blog! It's my blog because I love reading other peoples and have learnt so much from them and want somewhere that I can blather on about what I love doing.
It's called Susy's Needle because my daughter was very insistent about it, she's 7 so I do exactly as she says.

I've made things for years like these:
Birthday Badges 
Valentines DayBrooch

Covered Notebooks
And then about 18 months ago I bought some fabric to make my daughters some birthday gifts...

A cushion for Matilda who loves numbers
A rainbow striped quilt for Violet
 ...and so began my quilting obsession!! I've made 5 baby quilts this year, several more cushions and a variety of bags, laptop cases and so on. Once I've got this blogging thing sussed I'll add a gallery or something but I've got some things on Flickr so pop over and link to me there.

What fun! 
Right, time for some sewing I think - maybe I'll pop some pictures up of what I've done today. Please say 'Hi' if you've got this far!
Susy x