Monday, 28 August 2017

Summer's Last Hurrah

I definitely said I wasn't doing any bees this year. Well, we know how that worked out.  I definitely said I wasn't doing any swaps this year. Well, what do you know? Welcome to my blog post on the Modern Quilter's Ireland Summer Swap 2017.

 It wasn't that I didn't want to participate in this, I did, it was just, well, this year .... Anyhow fast forward and I am glad I am. Unfortunately despite Ruth's (Charly and Ben's Crafty Corner) valiant efforts, the MQI is folding, has folded, and so I am glad I said "yes" when Louise asked me to take part in this swap. The last hurrah so to speak of the MQI Summer Swaps.

I decided to go with these fabrics, so as you can see, I said yes.

My partner is new to me, I know little about her except what is in Louise's  email. She likes modern and vintage fabrics and loves green and blue. I am hoping this isn't a spoiler alert, but I doubt she will be reading this. I decided to break into my Cotton & Steel fq box of fabric. After all, it is good to gift what you would like to receive yourself! Or so my mother used to say. Never give anybody anything less than you would be happy to receive. That kind of applies to both hand made gifts and cheap bubble bath.

I owe the MQI a lot. Their blog was one I spotted when I first started blog hopping. I signed up late on a winter's Friday night. Next thing I knew, I was filling in for someone in the bee. And the rest is history.

This year's swap is lovely, a joy. It is a needle pouch with a tutorial from the lelle boutique blog. Vanessa whose blog it is has called it the "Goody Goody Binding Kit" and that initially put me off. I am not really into making binding on the bias and all that techy stuff. When I looked again, after Louise emailed me, what I saw was a fun needlework case.

So far I have quilted the outer fabric with a darker green thread in straight lines a foot apart.  (sewing machine foot, not imperial measurement).  This is to hold the outer fabric to the wadding. I have no idea what wadding it is, except it is fairly firm and not too fluffy and came from the Paragon. You can see this in the fabric photo above.

I made a small pocket with a cream alphabet fabric from the C&S range, and bound it in a coordinating floral. This was attached to the smaller lining piece. It is big enough to hold binding clips or a small tape measure.

This in turn was attached to the  bigger lining piece. So far so good.

Next up I made a strip, as per the tutorial to hold a spool of thread. This is to be attached with Velcro at the bottom. Now, I hate Velcro, I hate the sound of it, I hate the feel of it. Coincidentally my tiny grandson hates the sound of it too! We must have delicate ears in our family. I am going to see if I can get a funky press stud. If not it will be a silver press stud. I think I need a cam thingy for studs.

I love the little zipped pocket on the left. This is the first time I have used a bigger zip and cut it to size. I can see it makes a nice neat job and have become a convert. It was all very painless. I first over sewed with the dark green thread .

I unpicked it and over stitched in the cream. The pocket was stitched to the lining on the right hand side face down. It was then flipped back and over stitched too.
 The left hand side will be taken care of in the binding.

 As I am doing my over stitching in cream, I will do a quick line of quilting underneath the pocket before sewing it all up. In the tutorial, the over stitching is to line up with the outside quilting and hold all the layers together. I don't want the cream on the outer cover, and likewise don't want the green on the inner lining, so will do secret quilting here and there.

The original tutorial has a strawberry to be a scissor keeper. I don't like to reproduce the photo without permission, but click on "Goody Goody Binding Kit" if you want to see. I wasn't so keen on sewing a strawberry, so played about with a piece of folded 6" sq fabric. I folded right sides together and stitched round to make a triangle. I turned this the right way out, folded in the little raw edge and over sewed it.

Next I attached the triangle to the lining. I left the top straight edge open but sewed down two seams from the top to the end of where the flappy bit would fold over, leaving the pointy bits flapping.  I brought the two corners in on themselves to make a sort of upside down posh hanky, or napkin. The pin will be replaced with a contrasting button.  I made a ribbon from some C&S selvedge and that will be a scissor holder inner and can be untied. This will release the scissors when they are used. Mr Health and Safety in the house was concerned about scissors floating about unanchored in the scissor keeper. I deliberately sewed the scissor ribbon below the pocket because I thought that was stylish.

All I have to do now is attach a bit of yet unpurchased felt, above the scissor thingy, to hold needles. I only have red felt and its not right. If however the finished article has a red felt needle keeper, just smile and nod. Then the binding will attach the outer to the inner lining. A ribbon, more selvedge, around the outside to tie. Scrounge up, sorry choose, a few little things to go inside the goody goody kit and that's a good job hopefully well done.

I have a busy few days this week, but hopefully will finish this weekend, all in good time to pop in the post.

Helen x
Linking up with Beth and Cooking Up Quilts, haven't done this for ages, I usually blog on Sunday not Monday! 


  1. You are making a cracking job of the needle case Helen, beautiful fabrics, I'm sure your partner will love all the thought and effort you put in redesigning the scissor keeper. Sorry to hear the MQI has folded but it's nice you participated in the last swap anyway.

  2. Oh, I am so sorry to hear that MQI is having to fold. I am glad you took part in this last swap, too, and the progress is looking great so far. I love the advice to gift something you would be happy to receive.

  3. I love the fabrics you've chosen for this little exchange piece. I am sure it will be well received. Have fun finishing up this fun little bit. Andrea

  4. You have done a fabulous job Helen. Your swap partner will be thrilled to record this..... I think you are amazing tomtit in everything you do., Knitting, sewing, travelling ...I could do with your time management skills😀

    Love and hugs my friend xx

  5. To 'receive' not record... Don't know what spell checker does sometimes lol x

  6. Love your swap project, I like the choice of fabrics you used!

  7. Oh, it's so sweet and practical! Good for you for tackling all those little steps and getting it right. I'm sure your partner will be thrilled with it; I certainly would be :)

  8. It looks great. I've made this pattern as well.

  9. Looks great so far. I'm sorry about your quilt guild though. I decided this year that I wasn't doing anymore swaps and I've stuck with it. I haven't missed them which surprises me as I did so many over the past few years


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