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My EPP Hexie Fully lined Zipper Pouch

I may have mentioned before that one of my resolutions for this year was to try my hand at English Paper Piecing. I want to improve my hand sewing skills, use up more fabric scraps, and also learn a new craft.

The fact that English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a portable craft and you can do it anywhere makes it extra appealing. To do some research, I headed on over to good old youTube. I know that Nikki from The Stitch Sisters loves a bit of patchwork, and I remembered that some time ago she released a video showing the basics of EPP. It’s really helpful, and it is this that helped me get started.

After sewing several hexagons together, I wanted to use them to make something. I wasn’t ready to sew something as large as a quilt at this stage (at any rate, I didn’t have that much fabric), so decided to have a look on the internet for a free zipper bag pattern. It needed to be lined to hide the wrong side of the patchwork. There are loads of patterns and tutorials as you can imagine, but I eventually decided on this Fully Lined Front Zippered Pouch  tutorial which I found on the Projects By Jane blog. I liked how the zip was inserted part way down the front of the bag rather than along the top edge.

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Love the pretty floral lining

If you get a chance, I would definitely recommend that you head on over to the Projects By Jane blog linked above, she has all sorts to look through including bag patterns, tutorials and applique advice.

The tutorial was good and easy to follow with lots of pictures to help you along. I admit that using slightly bulky patchwork was probably not the best choice of fabrics, as it was hard to push out those corners into neat sharp points despite trimming my seam allowances and corners, but it’s pretty close and that’s good enough for me! This pattern does come with instructions to add a strap, but I didn’t want this.

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View from the back

My reason for sewing a bag is that I am saving up for a fancy sewing machine. There’s actually nothing wrong with my current Janome ( the Janome DC3050 ), but, you know, I can’t help lusting after all the lovely Janome Atelier machines that I keep seeing EVERYWHERE!!  There is no way that I will ever be able to afford one of these machines if I don’t start saving, so here it is – my official saving fund for my fancy new Atelier.

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Just for fun, and to use up more scraps, I have made a fun quilted luggage tag using this tutorial on youTube (of course) by The Crafty Gemini.  I probably won’t leave this tag on the bag in the long run, but as I still had some scraps left over in this fabric I thought it would be fun to make something that matched. Once again if you’re in the market for some crafty inspiration then Vanessa from The Crafty Gemini has hundreds of youTube tutorials.

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The only alteration that I made to the tag was the addition of an eyelet to run the ribbon through. The original tutorial shows you how to sew in an elastic loop to hang your tag with.

I have definitely become a little addicted to EPP, and my next project is  this little quilt sampler which I thought might be a good way to try out EPP using some different shapes.

Eventually when I feel confident enough with the basics, I plan to make a big project like a quilt or picnic blanket using this Tales of Cloth heart pattern.

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Secret Valentine Exchange swap 2108.

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Time has really run away from me just lately and I have just realised that I did not blog about my Secret Valentine Swap experience last month.

So, for those who are unfamiliar, this is a friendly crafting swap, organised by the amazing Sanae and Ute and I understand that this is the fifth year of it taking place.

The idea is that you secretly make a handmade gift for your assigned partner, to be sent out in time for Valentines Day. You will also receive a handmade gift from another partner. Such a lovely idea.

I chose to sew my items, but any craft that you are into is acceptable. Some knit, some paint, some crochet, some wood turn and others have made jewellery, to name but a few.  I imagine pretty much every craft has been covered by this exchange.

In order to help you make something for somebody who is essentially a stranger, you answer a couple of short questions regarding your taste and style, and this information will be passed to your partner. You will also be given their social media information so that you can take a little peek to see if this helps you make up your mind on what to make for them. I think the idea is to use bits and pieces that you already have where possible, to try to keep your costs down. Ooh and it is an International event so you may receive or have to send your item abroad.

This is the second year that I have taken part and I loved it so much last year that I couldn’t wait to take part again this time.

They lady who I made for lives in the U.K. I will not link her here, as I have not asked for her permission, but I had a little peek over at her Instagram to see if this would give me any clues as to what she might find useful. I must admit, nothing jumped out at me, so to play it safe I decided to make her a fabric basket, as I have made a couple of these for myself before and I think they are super cute as well as very useful. I knew that her colour preferences were blue ( which is lucky as anybody who knows me will know that I wear lots of blue – therefore meaning I have lots of spare blue fabric), and I made a large quilted basket.

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This was pretty quick to make, and I felt like I could do more. So I also decided to make a smaller bag, made up with small patchwork pieces to add to gift her too. Again it is a bag that I have made before and I use it to keep my Clover Wonder Clips in. The bag came together really nicely and I also bought some Wonder Clips for her in case she might like to keep some in her bag too!

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Finally I raided my felt stash, and cut several different shades of blue felt into circles to stitch together to make some felt bunting.

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I was excited to package it up and send it off to London in time for Valentines Day.

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So the gift that I received bowled me over!  Again I won’t mention her as I haven’t her permission, but I received the most beautiful Seamwork Almada robe from my lovely partner.

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I cannot tell you how beautiful it is. My clever partner has chosen something that I will treasure and truly love wearing. The fabric is super soft and the colours are right up my street. I cannot believe that somebody would make something so lovely for me, and am truly moved by such kindness.

If you are active on Instagram, you might want to take a look at the hashtag #2018sve and check out all the wonderful items that were given and made during this wonderful exchange. I believe that there were 576 participants worldwide this year which is incredible!

I think this is a great way to share your love of craft, with like-minded individuals. Thank you so much to Sanae and Ute for organising such a huge event. It really is fabulous. It is also a great way to make new friends. I now have two new sewing friends (alongside the two new sewing friends that I made with last years swap).

Belated Happy Valentines/Galentines day to you all. Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x