Bits and Bobs

I had a to-do list this weekend that felt a mile long. It really wasn’t, but it just FELT like it and it’s all because I left all my sewing commitments for October until the Very Last Second, which made it feel like work instead of fun to finish them up. And they should have been fun! Some of what I was working on I won’t be showing for a few more days, but here are some of the blocks I finished up:

Tall Shoo-fly Blocks

I sewed up four Tall Shoo Fly blocks for my Livejournal Birthday Blocks group. These blocks are quite small (6.5 x 9.5″) so even though we didn’t have to make more than one I’d always planned on doing three or four. I found these hard to photograph, largely because the wall and the background fabric were pretty much the exact same colour. I kept thinking shadows would be a good thing for once since it would help distinguish the blocks a bit. It all looks a bit dingy and underlit, though, doesn’t it? Oh well, I think the blocks came out well, and that’s all I could ask for.

I’m still behind one block for the month for the LJ exchange, but I will get that one done in the next couple days, I hope. But also, I have a quilt I want to get quilted! I’m torn! (Commitments to other people really should come first, though, shouldn’t they?)

Anyway, I also did up my Simply Solids Bee block for October:

Road to Fortune

This is a paper-pieced Road to Fortune block, made for Shena of Apple Pie Patchwork. I don’t know why, but I kind of spaced out the making of this one, doing a unit two days ago and two units yesterday and finally finishing them all up tonight. Somehow I got all discombobulated about where my colours were going to go and it all came out a bit clumped up instead of nicely spread around. Oh well, I think it came out okay and it should blend in with the rest of the blocks by the time it’s all done anyway.

I also finished up my needlebook for the Sweet & Simple Scrappy Swap on Flickr. I’ve shown a lot of pictures of this already, but here are my finally finished shots. And if any of you can find my opps! error, the first one to get it right in the comments will get sent a Fat Quarter in the colour of your choosing. (Things which don’t count: the shoddy stitching on the snap, the not quite round felt, the not quite centred felt, the not quite straightly stitched felt.)


I said before that this is a taco shaped needlebook, and here it is snapped shut and holding its taco shape all on its own. Yay! The pattern for the needlebook came from Suzuko Koseki’s Playful Patchwork book, but I wound up making it a bit larger than the pattern suggests. You’re supposed to shrink the daisy pattern down to 80%, but I wound up preferring it at full-size. It’s about 8-inches in diametre, I think, but the larger size made it easier to modify the interior a little bit.


In any case, the exterior is kind of paean to Japanese design because not only is a pattern by a Japanese designer, but the green fabric is a Japanese print, from a Yuwa Kei line, which might or might not be called Newsprint and Roses. The stitching was done with Sashiko thread that I had in with my embroidery supplies. It’s nice and thick so it leaves a lovely line around the petals. Of which, the yellow fabric is a Lakehouse print, from the Annie’s Seed Catalog line and the off-white is actually a Moda Grunge fabric, though I forget the colour name of it. It’s a kind of off-white or winter white with very pale strokes of green and red brushed through in the grunge pattern.


The interior has two leaves of wool for storing pins and needles. The green came from a local fabric shop, Traditional Pastimes, and the off-white wool was a gift to me from Jennifer Ofenstein, when she passed off a collection of mostly hand-dyed wool pieces.


I modified the interior a little by adding this zipper pocket on one side (and if I’d had a second matching zipper, I’d have probably added a pocket on the other side as well). It wasn’t a complicated change, but I do think it made the needle-case a little more useful since otherwise scissors or a skein of thread would just slide out and possibly get lost.

So that’s my needlebook that I sent away for the swap. I was pretty happy in the end with how everything came together, and I really hope my swap partner will like it as lot as well.

10 thoughts on “Bits and Bobs”

  1. Oh, your needle book is fabulous! I love the addition of a zippered section for scissors, thread, etc. It makes it so much more useful. Where did you get the adorable little safety pins inside the needlebook? They are too cute!

    1. Thank you! The last time I made a needlecase (for myself), I didn’t include any zipped up sections, and wound up after it was all done, adding a button and loop to the pockets so that the loop would trap anything into place… my scissors were constantly slipping out! (Now when I use it, I slide the loop through the finger hole on the scissors and button it in place.) Anyway, I think I learned my lesson šŸ˜€

      The safety pins. Well, they’re about as useless a set of safety pins I’ve ever seen. I bought some new jeans a couple weeks ago and the store had pinned the tags on with those little pins, I thought they were too cute to throw away, so I kept them for this. But they are pretty useless, kind of flimsy and not actually very safe!

  2. Photos are always tricking in Canada this time of year because the light is October-y. Your LJ and bee blocks look great! And I don’t know what you’re talking about re: a mistake in your needle case – it’s beautiful and so clever of you to add the zip!

    1. Thanks!

      It’s not just the Octobery light (which is a great description :D) but also the always finishing sewing too late to get any really decent light! I get home pretty early in the day, so there is a fair bit of sunlight, but I use that light to sew by and then when I’m wanting to take pictures? Too late, no light!

      There is a mistake, but it really takes looking for to find it. The kind of mistake that wasn’t worth fixing when I finally noticed it šŸ˜€

  3. Love your skinny tall churn dashes. Your road to fortune looks great. Mine is the clumped one. Your needle case is lovely. The hand stitches around the petals are a fabulous touch.

    1. On the Road to Fortune block I had to peel off some of the paper (all the bits that lead to the centre seams) so that I could get the centre to come together properly, it gave me fits for sure!

      Thank you! I was hoping the bit of hand-stitching would help the petals stand out a bit – the green fabric is really a bit too busy/white to have white/pale yellow petals on top of it! I’m not sure if it worked that way, but I love the look it adds either way šŸ˜€

  4. Umm… I think I know of the “mistake” you’re referring to, but is it cheating to claim a FQ for it when I heard you mention it on Flickr LOL? That centered stitch down the middle… is that your “flaw”? šŸ˜€ xx

    1. Nope, that’s not the one! It takes a whole lot of looking to find the mistake šŸ˜€ It’s probably easiest to spot in the photo with the opened zipper, but that’ll be my only hint: it’s on the inside of the needlebook, rather than the outside!

  5. Hi I’m new to your blog. I saw your video on TTMT (I think) and you mentioned Thanksgiving which gave me a hint you are Canadian and then you mentioned your parents going back to Sask. So then I came to check out your blog. I’m from Canada too – Alberta. Nice to meet you!

    I love the needle book. I just purchased a bunch of felt to make a few for my quilty friends. It looks great and I wouldn’t have looked for a mistake if you didn’t ask me too. LOL

    Is it the fabric on the right inside is wrong side up? The words seem to be backwards but couldn’t really tell by the color.

    Vicky K

    1. Dingdingding! We have a winner šŸ˜€ It’s really not very obvious at all – the back almost looks the same as the front – but that’s exactly what I did. The colour is so similar it took me a while even to notice I’d done it wrong. If you send me your address and your favourite colour (or just a colour you want) and maybe what type of fabric you like (modern? geometric? stripes? dots? floral? children’s prints?…), I’ll pop something in the mail soon šŸ˜€

      I live in Alberta as well, though I’m guessing you’re up in the northernish bit, and I’m down in Calgary? (I was looking at your blog – and really I should be getting out the door, early mornings for work! – and saw you mention Sparrow Studios, which lead to Google and thus that assumption.)

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