Citrus Swap

So I was waiting until I heard back from my prize winners before announcing them here, but I haven’t heard back yet from the winner of my first prize, the $50 gift certificate which was provided by Pam at Mad About Patchwork. Hopefully she’ll get back to me soon – I want to be sure I had the right email address before sending her information along to Pam – no sense in emailing a gift certificate to a dead email address, right? (So Anne Simonot, if you’re seeing this, check your email!)


In any case, the winner of the second prize, the collection of Fat Eighths in greens, was Sabrina of Sabie Sews:


Belated birthday wishes to Sabrina too!

In other news, I recently finished up another Open Wide Zippered Pouch from the Noodlehead tutorial, this one with a citrus theme for an Instagram swap I participated in. I only just got it sent out yesterday (a day late, oops!), so it hasn’t arrived with its recipient just yet, but here’s what I made and sent:


The one thing I knew I wanted to do was to stitch the little Lime Slice Girl, who I’ve been calling Lulu Lemon-Lime (she started out as Liesl Lime Slice in my head, which I think is a better name, but I couldn’t remember how to spell Liesl – I had to look it up, but at the time I was posting on Instagram and didn’t want to leave the app to look up the spelling). This pattern by Cate Anevski was a free stitch-along pattern from August 2012 at Feeling Stitchy. I’ve had it saved for the last two years, just waiting for a reason to stitch it, and finally this swap came up with the perfect opportunity. The pattern leaves you with a lot of room for stitching interpretation and if you check out the August Stitch-along tag on Flickr, you’ll see some really cool variations, including a passionfruit version, from which I took inspiration for the laid stitches in the skirt.

I wish I’d taken more close-up photos of the stitching, but it was starting to rain when I was photographing this zipper pouch and I didn’t want to hold up my sending it off any longer than I had to.

Lulu Lemon-Lime

As always, I’m obsessed by doing the split stitch (my back stitch just never looks as nice!), so there’s a lot of that in there. I filled in the dark green layers of the skirt with three or four tightly packed rows of chain stitch, and then I loosened it up quite a bit and did the same thing to fill in the white pith on the skirt. Her mouth and nose is done with back stitch (and it doesn’t look very good) and then the eyes… well, I’m not sure what I’d call that stitch. It’s basically just three straight stitches worked in (almost) the same hole, with another straight stitch in yellow to represent the eyelashes. I was having issues doing proper eyelashes, so this was my solution because I was afraid of damaging the Essex fabric by stitching and picking out and stitching and picking out the eyelashes over and over again. The laid stitches in the skirt are pretty crappy looking – I kept changing my mind about how I wanted it to look, so I’d done it in all green to begin with, but then I added (and removed and added and removed) yellow in various different configurations. Eventually I picked out all the yellow I’d added and then just put an extra layer on top of the existing green laid stitches. If I’d planned it out a little better, I’d have stitched them both at the same time, with a strand or two of each colour in the same needle, so that the yellow wouldn’t float on top of the green quite so much. On the other hand, I really like my winging it version of a stitched braid in the hair. I did the yellow first, just taking criss-crossing stitches in varying lengths trying to create the shape of the braid. I stitched right on top of it with the orange, filling in the shape wherever it looked a bit empty; I think it turned out pretty well.


I didn’t want the whole front of the pouch just to be that oatmeal coloured Essex linen blend, so I added the grey on either side (it was an accidental find – I was going to just patchwork some lemon-lime panels with squares of various fabrics, but then I stumbled over the grey, which I thought would be great for the lining, until I realized it was too small a piece of fabric. It turned out great for either side of the stitched panel (except it made me wish I’d stitched on grey linen rather than oatmeal!) and then I added the green Anna Maria Horner print for something like grass under Lulu’s feet, with the ric-rack just for extra interest. The lining was the perfect print to go with the colour scheme.


I only have this one bad photo of the back (rain!), which is pretty plain. The stitching was just me trying to use up some of the leftover bits of cut thread from the stitching on the front (hence the different colours in the top and bottom rows). It’s very… rustic. The background fabric is more of the same Essex linen. I just machine stitched the hexies onto the linen (and did a slightly appalling job of it – I’m still getting used to the new Juki machine and don’t have great control over where things are lining up with the needle). I made the bag an inch taller than recommended because the stitch was a little tall and I wanted to be sure there’d be some visible “grass” under her feet, but you really notice in this photo how off the proportions are – I really should have widened it out by an inch to compensate.


We always fill up the pouches a bit with various different things. I was hoping to get something else made, but my plans fell apart, so instead I loaded it up with a little extra candy (originally I was only going to include the orange marzipan bar and some grapefruit TicTacs, which nobody in my house will admit to opening, but nevertheless were partially eaten… perhaps by the world’s most clever, invisible mouse?): some orange gummy candies, lemonade gummies, the aforementioned orange marzipan, and (because I’m ever so clever) Moda Candy.


Lemon, lime, orange…


And then the rest of the crafty goodies. Some fabric – I’ll post another photo of all the scraps in the bundle on the left – including a bunch of citrus-coloured dot and gingham charm squares, three rolls of citrus-coloured washi tape (the orange one is a different brand from the other two, hence the size difference), a roll of grapefruit coloured baker’s twine, and to appease my sister who is annoyed with me for buying more floss instead of just finding a way to use what we’ve got… I included all the remnants of the floss I used on the Lulu Lemon-Lime stitch.


This is the bundle of fabric scraps. Some of them are just off-cuts from the fabrics I used in the construction of the pouch. The others are all just scraps straight from my scrap bin that I thought were in appropriate colours. They’re not terribly visible, but Mari-Ann/RockIslander who hosted this swap sent me the little chicken fabric just so that I could turn around and send it to my swap partner. Sweetest person ever πŸ˜€ And finally, the yellow on top of the centre column of fabric is a print from Leah Duncan’s Maya line, which my partner once upon a time was looking for. That was a long time ago, so she’s probably found all she needs by now, but I included it specifically because I knew she liked it. My partner seemed to be pretty quiet in the various places I knew to find her online, so I’m really hoping that what I made for her will appeal.

In any case, in spite of my ability to find flaws in pretty much everything I do, I really do love how his pouch turned out.

13 thoughts on “Citrus Swap”

    1. I’m not very good at getting a nice smooth line with back stitch (and I hate how it looks all sectioned up into bits anyway) so I usually wind up wasting more time on backstitch – stitching it, then unpicking it, then doing it all over again – than I would by just doing split stitch to start with πŸ˜€

  1. Wow you sure have spoilt your partner!! The pouch is so cute; I love the little ric rac touch.

    I signed up to the IG mini swap, and my partner hasn’t posted anything yet (though I have heard from my swap mama that she’s on holiday or something). But it’s so annoying! Most of her feed is giveaways, and it’s so hard to even get an idea of what I can do ahhhhh. Hopefully she’s back soon so I can get to stalking properly!!

    1. I’m sometimes guilty of being one of those silent types, though I try to be concious of posting at least SOMETHING so that my partner can get some ideas. It’s too easy on IG though to just hit “like” on everything, which doesn’t actually TELL a person very much. (What about it do I like? The colour, the style, the whole thing? What if I think it’s cute, but not really for me and then suddenly my partner things I’m super into *whatever*…) It makes me wish people were still using Flickr more, where you did get a bit more comments and less of the likes (not that some people don’t star everything they stumble over too) but I don’t go on there too often to filter through my groups either, so I can’t really complain, can I?

      1. At least by liking you’re giving a rough idea… I would figure if you didn’t ‘like’ it you probably actually don’t! (or didn’t see the post…). At least it’s still contributing and isn’t complete silence and even just one mosaic is something… with so many people who “disappear” I kind of get worried that the person not posting will be one of those.. :/ I haven’t been commenting much on things unless something really stands out that I love otherwise I’ll just give a general like without commenting. I’ve had a few comment on some of mine that they don’t like what I’ve pulled and I just want to be “well good thing it’s not for you NER NER” lol.

        1. Haha… yeah. I often assume that if the colours or prints are wildly outside of my general likes that it’s not going to be for me anyway, and that therefore I shouldn’t need to say I don’t like it. (Although maybe I should say something more often, I don’t know.) I do wonder sometimes when people don’t comment at all if it’s because they hate it or because they haven’t seen it… so tough to say!

          On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 9:59 PM, Work-in-Progress Girl wrote:


  2. you really do find flaws in everything you make lol, and you are the only one who sees them… I challenge you to make and post something without a single negative comment on it πŸ™‚ You do great work, you just have to realise that!

    1. It’s hard not to! It’s funny because I’m not even half so critical of the things other people make, I’m just always thinking of ways to make things better! (I’m not very good at testing things before hand, though, so I’m always figuring out on fly what does and doesn’t work. And sometimes it’s too much work to backtrack and undo the things that aren’t quite what I think they could be.) One of these days I’ll aim for a self-criticism free post!

  3. Thanks for having such lovely prizes on offer! As you know, I am now aware I’m lucky winner #1. Thanks again! I’m having trouble deciding what to spend my windfall on… I love the colour bundles. But there’s a couple of text prints that look good too. Or maybe some Kaffe Fassett?

    1. I’m sure you’ll find something you love πŸ˜€ I do love the colour bundles too, though… sometimes it’s nice to let someone else do the picking for you because you wind up with prints you might otherwise not have bought, but that fit perfectly in some way. The Kaffe Fassett stripes, though! And the cross-weaves are so lovely!

  4. I really like your Liesl and think you’re being too hard on yourself over the stitching. Remember, when you embroider, you’re staring at it close up, no-one does that when looking at other people’s embroidery (well, maybe weirdos!)

    1. I am always hard on myself, but I also figure that’s how I learn .. finding the mistakes and figuring out how to do better next time πŸ˜€ (I should be better about not pointing them all out, though…)

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