Sunday, 31 August 2014

8² Fabric Swap Group - Text fabric for Sunday Stash (Giveaway)

This week some super happy mail arrived in the post from Greece. It was the wonderful text fabric from the 8² Fabric Swap Group organised by Mara @ Secretly Stitching.

I am really happy with this fabric! It worked out so cheap. Buying fabric here in Italy is becoming impossible for me it's so expensive. On the other hand, paying the shipping costs from the States is also frightening! Paying over $23 shipping? I could buy a metre (just over a yard) of fabric here and it wouldn't take over two months to arrive in the post (that really happened to me!). It's money (and time) thrown away for me. That is unless...

1. I manage to buy fabric I won't be able to find here because it's too new and no local shops seem to have the same tastes as I do anyway;
2. the next trade fair is in three months time (there is more choice in these fairs and sometimes there are shops from other countries) and I'm not sure I'll find what I'm looking for anyway;
3. fabric costs so much less in the States that I can compensate the shipping costs with the lower prices. In the end I'm even, I suppose.

The 8² Fabric Swap Group solved this problem for me as we had a discount offered to us by two shops, thanks to Mara. Some of us also bought the fabric together, meaning we divided the shipping costs. Mara also cut my fabric for the swap, so that was fantastic of her too!

Looking forward to the next round of this swap, which could be "low volume" fabric. If you're interested, you can read more about the swap here.

By the way, Mara @ Secretly Stitching is giving away a bottle of Jet Set 2000 (ends 2nd of September). A bottle of what? Read her fabulous tutorial here if you don't know what it's for (I didn't know either until I read it!).

P.S. If you'd like to have the possibility of recieving a Fabric Bomb, don't forget to leave a comment on this post: Would you like a Fabric Bomb?!

Linking up to:

Molli Sparkles

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Monday, 25 August 2014

Would you like a Fabric Bomb? Giveaway with a Make - Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop of the Around the World Blog Hop! I know you've been reading a lot of Blog Hop posts lately but I have a few surprises for you, so stick around to see what's going on...

First of all, I would like to thank the wonderful Mara @ Secretly Stitching for inviting me to join in. You must go and see the photo of what she is hiding in her backyard in her Blog Hop post, it's incredible! 
Mara has, in a few months, become such a good bloggy friend and she is always surprising me and bringing me joy! Last week I received this special packet in the post from her, covered with stunning Greek stamps. It's a Fabric Bomb! 

I couldn't believe my luck, I had only recently joined the Fabric Bomb "movement" over at Elizabeth's Quarters and you never know when one of these peaceful bombs is going to hit you.
But what is a fabric bomb? Find out more, in Elizabeth's words: 

What would you do if someone threw (not literally, of course) a small bundle of fabric and thread at you and said 'make something of that, see what happens, then show me the results'. Would you be freaked out? Do you prefer the comfort of a brief, where you're directed towards which fabrics to buy and how to put them together? Or would the opportunity to be totally unrestricted, and let serendipity take its course, excite you and get your creative juices flowing? [...] what if one person gathered a little bundle (small enough to fit into an A5 envelope) of threads, fabrics, beads–whatever–and sent them to another person, who in turn made their own little bundle and sent it to a third person, and so on, and so on? Eventually, perhaps thousands of little bundles would be whizzing through the mail and we'd all be sewing creatively.
If you want to play along, here's what you do…
  1. The fabric bomber should try to be as creative in their selection of materials, buttons, beads, threads and whatnot, as the recipient will be in their use of them.
  2. The fabric bomb must fit into an A5 envelope, to keep postage costs to a minimum, and to make life easy for the postman.
  3. The recipient can make whatever they like with their fabric bomb–patchwork, toys, bags, collages, doodles, fabric books–anything goes. However, in the spirit of fabric bombing, the packet of scraps should be used creatively, preferably to try out something new, or something you wouldn't usually turn your hand to.
  4. You can add other fabrics to your make, but please don't just incorporate the fabric bomb into an existing make.
  5. You don't have to use every item in the fabric bomb in your make–but it would be great if you could!
  6. It isn't just about getting: once you've received your fabric bomb, please make a bomb of your own to send to someone else. Perhaps photograph the fabric bomb you've received, or the item you make with it. 
  7. Once you've done that, grab the fabric bomb button, post about your make, and prepare a fabric bomb (it must be a surprise, so don't reveal what's inside it) to send to one of your readers, so starting the process all over again.
  8. If you like, you can post pictures of your make on the fabric bomb Flickr page. 

Would you like to receive a fabric bomb and make something unique with the contents? Would you like to surprise somebody with a special Fabric Bomb? Then leave a comment on this post saying you're interested in joining (with your email address) and I will ask Mr Random to choose a name to send my bomb to. I will also send on all the names of those interested to Elizabeth to update her list. Remember you have to be willing to send on your own Fabric Bomb to someone else.

Back to the Around the World Blog Hop: I have to answer some questions now. It's like being back at school! OK, so here goes...

1) Where I live or have lived?
I live in the north of Italy. I have lived in the States (Minnesota), in the UK and in Holland. I have fallen in love with every country I have lived in and am very privileged to have had the chance to travel and learn so much from the different places I have visited.

2) What am I working on?
It would be easier to answer what I'm not working on at the moment! Let me see... I am working on four quilts, some luggage/gift tags, a key fob, two pouches, my Mum's blouse, Bee Blocks I am guilty of being super late with, a tote for my daughter Lucy, a Tilda teapot... Oh dear, is this only me or is there someone else like me who would like to sew a hundred things but only has two hands and not much time?

3) How does my work differ from others in its genre?
This Blog is helping me a lot to answer this question. I had never thought about it until I started seeing my projects adding up in the posts. I started wondering what those projects had in common. I'm still working on the answer but for now I've noticed I prefer small projects, mainly because I don't have much sewing time but also for the possibility to try out something new and see the results in a short time. I love adding my own ideas to a project or inventing something new. Every project has to be a challenge. Take a look at Tutorials page to see what I mean...

4) How does my creating process work?
I think a lot or maybe you could call it daydreaming! I often find myself thinking how I can make something I need and haven't been able to find in a shop. Or I see something and I think how I could change it to suit my taste. I might not like the fabric or the shape or it might inspire me to make something quite different. I always carry a Moleskin around in my handbag (one of the things that weigh down my bag!) and especially when I'm in a queue or waiting I jot down my ideas with little sketches and a few words to remind me the details. I've noticed that when I transform these ideas into a project they are very often a precise copy of the sketch, very close to the original idea.

I now have the honour of inviting some very talented Bloggers to the Around the World Blog Hop. I'm supposed to invite three and that is what I am going to do. I am also going to mention two other names, I'm not really inviting them but their names just happened to drop into this post! Things that can happen!!!

Let me introduce you to the wonderfully talented:

Aylin @ ayliN-Nilya:  Her work was recently featured by Jeni Baker in her blog and how can you not feature this stunning pattern?

She also co-hosts the European linky party MondayMakers, anybody in the world can join!
Fran @ PatchyRose...: She is the Queen of cushion covers and has a talent for pouches and bags. You just cannot miss her tutorial for making a Zipped Pouch here.

Catherine @ Knotted Cotton: the stunning photos Catherine takes explain her incredible eye for colours, textures and patterns in her quilts. Pure joy for your eyes! 

Catherine is also the founder of the Slow Blog Manifesto and Linky Party (on the 15th of each month): "The aim of the Slow Blog movement is to take the pressure off by reminding ourselves who we blog for - us!"

Knotted Cotton
Sandra @ Hohenbrunner Quilterin: OK, her blog is in German but just look at that pile of hexies and you know you want to work out Google's translation to see what she is up to. Sandra is super active in many QALs and her work is exquisite.

Vera @ Neglient Style: she is so creative, you can't miss her blog. Who else would transform a detailed mini quilt into a note board? You never know what she is going to come up with next. What you do know is that it's going to be a winner!

Remember to leave a comment if you're interested in receiving (and sending on) a Fabric Bomb. Mr Random will pick a name on the 8th of September. 
Leave a comment anyway because I love reading them! And thank you for reading this far!

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Granny Square Block Needle Book and matching Pin Cushion (and a giveaway!)

I am so glad my partner Terry, who blogs at With a Cup and a Sword, received my swap mail and liked it so much. I was worried about the envelope arriving safely and luckily it did! Now all has been revealed to my partner, I can show a few photos here!

Needle Book with matching Pin Cushion and Scissors Fob.

I fell in love with the Granny Square Block and decided to try it (here is the post about the technique I used and the Vlieseline product) for this swap. I wanted to make a needle book and a matching pin cushion that you could carry with you, without having to carry bits and pieces. The needle book fits onto the pin cushion. The pin cushion has an elastic that hooks onto the bobbin button on the needle book and, to close the needle book, you hook the elastic on a bobbin button on the pin cushion. That sounds a bit complicated but it's easier to look at the photo that read my explanation!

Have a peek inside!

This is the first "page" with a pocket in the cover and a pretty patch of Suzy Ultman's fabric. I saw Terry likes birds in her sewing and decorations.

Terry also likes linen. I love using linen and I especially love the contrast between linen and bright fabrics and trims. In case you're wondering what's in the corner, here is a close up...

It's a mini mini pin cushion, about half an inch wide (about 1.5cm). I forgot to take a photo with a pin in it. It was Ella's idea to use it as a pin cushion. We tried it out and a part from looking cute, it really works!

Mini pom pom trim. Can't resist pom poms!

 Another pocket at the back. Two vintage pearl buttons and a pretty ribbon.

This is the pin cushion by itself. You can even use the elastic to hang it up. I love how the bobbins turned out. I fixed orange floss around a wooden bobbin, one of those ones they sell for making brooches, like a charm.

The Need a Needle Book Swap has been so fun and there have been so many beautiful needle books to look at! If you haven't already read it, here is my post about the wonderful needle book I received and this is the Flickr page for the Swap. How about a Need ANOTHER Needle Book Swap? I keep collecting ideas on my Pinterest board Pincushions and Needle Books! Thank you Amy (@ Amy Made That!) for organising this great swap and can't wait for the next one! 

Don't miss Amy's giveaway here, you could win a $25 gift certificate to Zipit!

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Ella's Tote from Jeni Baker's Vintage Summer Library Tote Pattern

As you say in Italian, I am the arm and not the brains behind Ella's lovely new tote. Does that make sense? I mean  that I sewed the tote but Ella chose all the fabrics for the tote and how to place them. She chose to add different sized covered buttons on the front of the tote and on one of the handles. I love how it turned out.

The pattern is from the free project book "Jeni Baker's Vintage Summer" included in Issue 10 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine (so the pattern brain is Jeni Baker's!):

There are so other lovely projects I would like to try out like the Flower Power Throw Quilt, good for showing off large prints. Still got to catch up with a lot of Bee Blocks though so I'll have to wait a little while...

Ella's version is a little smaller than the original because, to tell you the truth, she chose a fabric that was too small so we decided to fit the size to the fabric. In the end this tote is the perfect size for a nine year old to carry all her precious games and secrets around. It is resisting very well to "overfilling" too! I knew it was going to be filled up to maximum capacity so I did make sure I secured the handles as well as I could with extra stitching! Little women carry a lot of stuff in their handbags too!

There is a very handy pocket inside. Ella decided to use the same fabric as the handles for it (Waterfront Park - Shattered).

I love how Ella decided to place the covered buttons (which she covered by herself, by the way). I must admit I wasn't sure about fixing one on the handle but she insisted and, you know what, it looks really good and doesn't get in the way at all.

Ella is taking it everywhere with her and so this is where these photos were taken:

One of my favourite places ever: the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso on Lake Maggiore. There are 242 steps to walk down to the church (but they've recently installed a lift too) and the view is absolutely stunning. No wonder the rich merchant who landed there during a storm decided to become a hermit and live there for all his life!

Don't miss the website for Santa Caterina del Sasso to see the wonderful photos of the church taken from the Lake.

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