Monday, 7 May 2012

Points, Petals and Play

Well, second (or maybe even third) time lucky, I have finally got the points to work out on the Zakka-style SAL tote. They are not perfect by any means, but they are a lot better than the previous attempt so at last I can tick this project off my list! The tote will be a present for my mum's birthday next month, so I am delighted to have got it out of the way early, especially given the angst caused by those zig-zags.

Instead of putting in a magnetic snap closure I used a covered button, and I used a slightly different method to make the handles, so I think they have come out slightly narrower than in the original project. Hopefully, these will be the last linen QST's I ever attempt, although maybe I should check out the Zakka-style book before making such predictions!

I am hoping to fill the bag with some nice yarn, as my mum is a keen knitter, so any recommendations for online yarn retailers would be much appreciated. 

Whilst speaking of yarn, I had (yet another!) go at my crochet flower over the weekend, and I am pleased to report that there has been some progress made! The Crafter's Apprentice will be delighted to hear that, I hope, as she has told me that I will get this flower done even if it kills me (or her!). 

As you can see it is beginning to look like a flower, much to my amazement I must add. Now all I have to do is work out how to do the last row to add the petals, as you will no doubt not be surprised to hear I am again looking for help (sorry Wendy!) The instructions for the last row say "with the WS of the work facing, work out from the centre of the spiral" which, amazingly, I understand BUT I am struggling to see where to make the stitches it all looks the same to me on the back. I am obviously missing something and I am hoping someone can tell me what it is. When this flower is finished I promise never to attempt another crochet pattern unless I have checked that I understand every single instruction at least three times beforehand :)

When not being confused by crochet patterns I have been working on my plans for Sew Happy Geek's Play mini quilt challenge. Quilts in the challenge are to be based upon a playing card and whilst some of the participants were simply leaving the choice of card to the luck of the draw, I am not so sure of my drafting or piecing skills to be that casual so have decided to base my quilt on the Ace of Diamonds, and have even been toying with the idea of creating my own paper piecing pattern! You can see why I was trying out the crochet as a bit of light relief :)

I will need to get a move on though, as the deadline for the challenge is May 21st and I will only have a few days between then and now to get any sewing done. This also means that whilst all of the patches have been cut now for the last remaining NYB blocks I doubt very much whether any further will be done to them until later this month. I am so pleased that I signed up for the NYB QAL (thanks Judy!) as even though I will not get these blocks completed anytime soon, I have learnt so much through both this and the Littlest Thistle's FPPFTT that I will definitely continue to paper piece now that I have caught the paper piecing bug.

With three Bank Holidays last week in Latvia I had to pick my time to venture to the PO, which operates in a time warp normally anyway, but after a couple of attempts managed to send off my blocks for the Siblings Together quilt, so they will, hopefully, arrive before the May 15th deadline. 

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to and linking up to Manic Monday here, Sew Modern Monday here and Sew Darn Crafty here


  1. Lucky Mum... Love the zig zags, the colour and the style of the tote.

  2. Yay for getting the points of the zig zag! What did you find worked?

  3. Oh your bag turned out great- I bet your Mum will love it - especially filled with yarny goodness!

    Yay for paper piecing addiction! Can't wait to see what you come up with for the challenge! :)

  4. The bag is fabulous! Well done!!

    OK, so you've got the back of your flower facing you. The first stitch should go in where your beginning slip knot is. But, you know what, I doubt it will matter. I'd start anywhere in the circle. If it's not working, show me a picture of the back!

  5. Fantastic bag - glad it worked out in the end. And that lower is coming on very nicely.

    Some yarn retailers for you: - I get most of my yarn from the German reseller of this yarn. It's good value and good quality. I've given you the link to the UK site; they have retailers in Estonia and Lithuania, so maybe one of them would deliver to Latvia!! - I love this hand-dyed yarn. They happily deliver from the UK to Germany - and I'm sure they could deliver to you too. They have just moved, so I would order soon as order processing is taking a bit longer right now. - I haven't tried this one yet, but their yarn looks wonderful and next time I'm buying yarn it will probably be from here. They ship worldwide.

    Another Uk site I've bookmarked is: Haven't tried them out yet but their selection looks great.

    1. Thanks Fiona, these sound ideal. We will be in Estonia sometime in the next few weeks, so I will check out that shop too.

    2. Oh you brave brave girl, designing your foundation pattern! That's SO cool and I cannot wait to see it! By the looks of the tote and flower, it'll rock the Casbah!

  6. There is a way to finish linen edges before you cut it so it won't ravel at all. It would be best done on small projects though. It is called nun's stitch and if you google it or look in any really good counted thread book, you should find it. It may sound tedious, but it is actually very restful to do and you can just kind of zone out while working it.

  7. Yay, glad you won the battle with the tote in the end, and looking forward to seeing your paper pieced challenge mini :o)

  8. The tote looks lovely - I really like the grey linen!

  9. I'm so jealous of all the sewing time your getting in. Now all I need to do is finish the NY Beauties I have ready to put together. Yes I did have enough fabric to complete it with about less than a fat quarter to spare. I got lucky!

    Love the bag. You're doing great! Designing your own mini with paper piecing - how cool! Can't wait to see how it turns out. Keep up the great work Fiona!

  10. The bag looks great! I know a lot of folks have had the same complaint about their points getting squashed.

  11. It was a tricky tote no doubt but it will make a bonnie gift for your mum.

  12. Your bag is lovely. I have not visited your blog before, it has led me to read about Latvia too, it sounds like a very interesting place to be quilting and living.


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