Nan’s Quilt

This quilt has been about 3 years in the making, I decided early on that I wanted it to be for my Nan who was delighted that I was sewing and quilting, I knew that she would appreciate the time and effort of a handmade gift.

Nan's Quilt

I’d worked on it in bits and pieces up until the end of 2015 when I learned my Nan’s health was deteriorating, she was 93 and still living in her own home up until then. I took the finished top, got it basted and started quilting it so that I could get it to her to cheer her up.

She was going to need to move into a nursing home for the extra level of care and also moving down closer to family (yet far from her home) and so I wanted her to have something to make her room feel like hers.

Nans Quilt

I kept working away when I could, another family emergency kept me out of my sewing room for weeks, but eventually I got the machine quilting finished, and I had to update the year on the label I’d already prepared. She was having a hard time settling in, when I went to visit I would take other quilts and sewn pouches to show her and she was so happy that ‘young people’ were still making things.

Nan's Quilt - Binding

I decided to put the binding on first before hand quilting, then Nan needed to go to hospital. She showed some improvement and returned to the nursing home, I started working on the binding, when I went to see her I told her I had something special on the way for her.  Shortly after her health went rapidly downhill again, before I could finish handstitching the binding I went to visit my Nan for what would be the final time.

When Nan passed away I put the quilt aside for a while, I needed a break from it, I felt terrible that it was still here, not finished.

Nan's Quilt - Detail

It had started as a couple charm packs of Moda’s Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott and a couple solid packs in Moda Bella Solids in Snow which were turned into piles of Half Square Triangles, but I quickly realised I didn’t have enough for a decent size quilt so I had to hunt around and eventually found 2 more charm packs of each for more HSTs. The backing print is by Joel Dewberry that matched the colours and style in Domestic Bliss perfectly. The leftovers from this quilt went in to making Heidi’s Quilt.

The layout was designed with the quilting in mind. I wanted the large diamond shapes and then worked out by offsetting them I’d have nice channels zig-zagging all the way down the quilt for long straight quilting lines following the seams. Inside the diamonds I used Angela Walters’ dot-to-dot technique from her Craftsy class to create more diamonds. All of the machine quilting used Aurifil 50w thread in 2110 Light Lemon. The print fabrics needed a little quilting so I decided to add hand stitches in Perle 8 thread in the middle of each triangle.

Nan's Quilt

Towards the end of 2016 I picked it back up again, my Mum had a tough year and I thought maybe the quilt would bring her some comfort, I had wanted her to have it after Nan anyway.

I didn’t stuff around this time, I worked on the hand quilting over a month or so to have it ready for Christmas, I nearly got there, but with only a row to go I gave the quilt to Mum anyway and finished off the last bit of quilting the week after Christmas.

The label reads:

Handmade with all the
love in the world
For Nanna
By Jessica
2016

Nan's Quilt - Back and Label

Tula Pink Scissors Cozy

When you get a pair of pretty scissors, they really need a pretty pouch.

My friend Rachael from WMQG made one of these scissors cozys for our secret santa swap and I loved it so she shared the link with me to the tutorial on s.o.t.a.k handmade.

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Quilted Scissor Cozy

Shortly after I was lucky enough to get a pair of the gorgeous rainbow Tula Pink shears, but I didn’t want them clinking around with my other bits and pieces and getting scratched, so they haven’t left my sewing space.

Tula Pink Scissor Cozy

It’s only taken 9 months to make a scissor cozy for them, using Tula Pink fabric of course! These are two of my favourites – Raccoons in Blueberry and Hummingbird in Dusk from the Acacia line – I knew they were a great combo when I bought them nearly 3 years ago! I quilted the outer panels with my walking foot using Aurifil 50wt in Violet (2520).

Tula Pink Scissor Cozy

I’m going to have to make another soon, they’re a perfect fit for my Karen Kay Buckley scissors to!

Quilted Scissor Cozy

The pouch should fit most standard size shears, but the template would be easily adjustable for different size scissors. Two thumbs up from me, and the raccoons (with their creepy little people hands).

Finish a Long 2016: Q1 Wrap Up & Q2 Goals

Q1 Wrap Up: 0 finishes

Well that was a bit of a fail, not for lack of trying but a lot of life things happening. From my Q1 list, progress was definitely made on the first two quilts but they’ll be shuffled into the Q2 finish list.

My stretch goal – a guild charity quilt, wasn’t finished but it has been passed on to another guild member who put their hand up to quilt it. It’s no longer on my list, but not my finish so I guess that technically gets disqualified, but still good for me that it’s off my plate.

I did finish a bunch of swap items, not eligible for nomination but still very satisfying and I’m proud of all three of them.

Q2 Goals

I didn’t get this post up in time to officially link up and join the Finish-A-Long but I’ll play along anyway for my own accountability.

1. The baby quilt. Originally this was going to be for my new nephew, I picked the fabrics and created the design before he was born (and before we knew he was a he) but it didn’t feel quite right, especially now that I’ve met him so he’ll get a different quilt. Instead this one has been reassigned for another little baby girl – and it’s multiplied! It’s currently basted and ready for quilting.

2. Nan’s Quilt – it’s progressed to being quilted, I think I’m about 3/4 through and then time for binding and a small update to the label to finish off.

Finally getting into quilting this baby, been sitting around for far too long #finishalong2016 #juki

A photo posted by Jessica (@pescapresents) on

3. I’ll replace my previous stretch goal – I may have passed on the guild charity quilt I had listed for Q1 but I also picked up another (smaller) quilt for quilting & binding, I’m hoping to have that one ready to hand in at our next WMQG charity sew day in late June.

Some other bits and pieces I’ll be working on are a handful of 12″ blocks for our guild charity quilts using my lucky dip bag of fabrics, I have fabric and hope to have a go at the current MQG fabric challenge. There are potentially a few other baby quilts coming up. I’m signed up to the #blackandwhitequiltswap and I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe I might get to make a start on my Gypsy Wife quilt.

Aiming high, but why not!?

2016 Pouch Swap – Stash & Dash

My second swap for this year was the #2016pouchswap organised by Kristi @sugarndspice77

My partner mentioned ByAnnie’s Stash & Dash bag as pattern that they liked, I’d come across it a few times so decided to go for it.  I’ve enjoyed working with Soft & Stable when making the Social Tote so I was looking forward to using it in this project to.

2016 Zipper Pouch Swap - Stash & Dash Bag 2016 Zipper Pouch Swap - Stash & Dash Bag

Outside (left) with the wrap around strap and clear vinyl slip pocket. Inside (right) has 3 zippered mesh pockets, all stashed with goodies for my swap partner.

I picked out 4 Fat Quarters from a Tula Pink bundle, my partner’s favourite fabric, one each for the inside and outside main fabrics. I then chose to use the third for the zipper binding and wrap-around strap, and the fourth for the outside pocket & binding (these are often the same fabric but I couldn’t squeeze all the pieces out of one fat quarter).

Overall I enjoyed making this bag. It wasn’t too hard, quite a number of steps but taking it one at a time you get through it all. I’m pretty comfortable with zippers and binding but hadn’t sewn with mesh or vinyl before and my last attempts at machine binding were less than great. I made things a little more difficult for myself by having darks and lights and wanting to match my thread on both sides but I think it was worth it.

2016 Zipper Pouch Swap - Stash & Dash Bag
It’s hard to capture in photos but I found glitter flecked vinyl in Bunnings of all places (purchased off a roll, designated for table coverings I’d guess).

A sew-a-long on the ByAnnie blog was a big help if anything in the pattern wasn’t entirely clear. As with any new pattern I picked up a few handy hints as well, I was a bit skeptical about not ironing the binding in half, instead matching the raw edges to sew down but then when you fold it over you can smooth it out which I think really helped with sewing it down neatly – I’m stoked with how neat my machine binding turned out.

2016 Zipper Pouch Swap - Stash & Dash Bag

I’d be keen to make another one of these, they’d make a great travel sewing kit, make up or toiletries bag. I’d consider using vinyl for some of the inner pockets next time (handier for stashing little, skinny or sharp things). The slide clip came in a pack of two so I’m sure there will be at least one more.

Thankfully my partner loved the pouch! And here’s the cute boxy pouch I received in the swap, I’m even more keen to make a boxy pouch now.

Oh well, there hadn’t been a whole lot of quilt sewing happening these first few months of the year, but I’ve kept up with and really enjoyed my swaps. One more Q1 completed swap to share soon, and I’m currently in another due in July. Before that though there will finally  be more quilt progress to show real soon!

Aussie MQG Zipper Pouch Swap

Lots of firsts in this pouch for the #AussieMQGZipperPouchSwap. This was a direct partner swap to encourage us to get to know an MQG member from another guild, my allocated partner was Amy from Badskirt who I’m lucky to already know a little, enough to know that I had to make something especially awesome. If you’ve seen any of Amy’s work you’ll understand the weight I felt on my shoulders.

Below is the sneak peek I shared before posting her pouch.

Aussie MQG Zipper Pouch Swap

It was my first time sewing with leather, just like sewing through butter on my Juki! I did learn that the thicker leather would probably be better with rounded corners.

These little geese measure 1″ across by 1/2″ tall, I made my own paper piecing pattern for these which will definitely get a workout again soon.

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I had to come up with something equally cool for the back so I had a go at some itty bitty quilting to create more mini geese, lucky for me it worked out pretty well (or I would have had to make another panel and think of something else!). May have been a little better with darker thread but I still like it.

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I pieced the panels, then layered each one with batting and a cotton back so that I could quilt 1/2″ straight lines and the FMQ geese. I then added on the leather bottom piece and from there followed my favourite zipper pouch pattern by Toni at Make It Perfect. I added a little pocket on the inside for a card or keys or coins but otherwise it’s just a basic quilted zipper pouch.

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It was a labour of love but I’m really happy with how this little pouch turned out.

Here’s the awesome pouch and goodies I received from Amy. The pouch is perfect for holding my C+S hexies and because… cats, especially grey cats.

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Lucky it passed inspection!

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This swap came about from a group of Aussie MQG Leaders talking about ways that we could build community and get to know one another from guilds around the country. We plan to run more Aussie MQG swaps in future as a way of giving our members more benefits and a greater sense of connection with each other, the first swap seems to have been a big hit!

Only a fortunate few of us can make it to QuiltCon and it’s luck of the draw with MQG Fabric Challenges, we hope that through these swaps every Aussie MQG member feels that they have the opportunity to participate in an event beyond their local guild and that over time more connections will be formed to build a strong Aussie Modern Quilting community.

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