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!)

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Lemon, lime, orange…

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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.

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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 😀 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.

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Up and Downy Stuff in a Big Blue Box (A belated Twelfth Week of the Doctor Who Stitch-A-Long)

Aw.. the Tardis. No spoilers up above, but spoilers for the episode in question in the video below:

From what’s maybe my favourite episode with the Eleventh Doctor, The Doctor’s Wife.

If I were remotely making-things-with-wood inclined, and if I had tools, I might very well build myself a Tardis. Well. I’d need a place to store it, and I don’t think my sister would like me to build one (and store it in her house, as I would have to do). But never mind that. Of course we had to end with the Tardis (though the revealing of the Twelfth Doctor on Sunday does practically give a person a chance to create a pattern for Peter Capaldi. But no sense in that until we know what sort of Doctor he will be and what sort of clothing he will wear. (I know some people are upset about him, but I think Capaldi could be interesting!)

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So finally, The Tardis herself:

Big Blue Box

This pattern was designed by Angelica Rodriguez, also known online as Hewtab. Angelica once upon a time designed a Firefly t-shirt, which I own, featuring Serenity, caught, like the firefly, in a jar. Her take on the Tardis is a sort of playfully wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey version, with spirals representing the space-time vortex the Tardis travels through. You can find the pattern and Jennifer Ofenstein’s version of this pattern here at Fandom in Stitches. Or you can find all twelve original patterns in one convenient location here (also at FiS, of course) along with a collection of Bonus Patterns, some created by the original designers (none by me, alas, though I’ve got plans I’ll likely never execute for a somewhat 3D Ood – need to learn the bullion stitch first!) and some by participants in the stitch-a-long. (In particular, check out Woozelmom’s awesome take on Twelve, which I just saw half way through writing this entry. Even though we don’t know yet just what he’ll look like once Capaldi puts on the character and his costume, I think she’s caught some of the essense of Capaldi.)

Time Vortices?

As with my other blocks, I stitched this one mostly in split stitch, but I also rounded things out with a little backstitch, running stitch, and some French knots. I photographed this while it’s still a little bit damp and I was afraid to press it (because I didn’t want the damp to steam up too much and damage the meltable rayon thread), so please forgive the waviness of the fabric. I still need to press this one into something like submission.

Police Public Call Box

I was somewhat ridiculously concerned about getting the words to fit without looking too cramped, but I think they turned out pretty well! Surprisingly, the difficult thing about this pattern wasn’t any of the small words or getting that star and circle to look like a star and circle… the difficult thing was just getting all those many, many lines that make up the Tardis finished. I watched nearly the entire season of “Michael: Tuesdays and Thrusdays” (this awesome Canadian tv show that, like most of my favourite tv shows, got cancelled after its first year) just stitching up the last half of the Tardis. (And parts of “Bored to Death”, another too quickly cancelled tv show, and parts of “Party Down”, still another too quickly cancelled tv show. Apparently I was in the mood for quirky humour when I was stitching this block.) I don’t know why it seemed to take so long, but it somehow felt like no matter how many hours I poured into it, it would never be finished. Maybe it was some psychological thing, though, about finishing the last pattern… it’s always good to get things done, but sometimes I like to draw out those last moments of a thing and get as much out of them as I possibly can.

A few details:
Fabric
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Icy Blue – DMC Satin Floss S932
Medium Blue – DMC Satin Floss S798

So that’s my last note on these blocks! I used up 2 skeins and a bit of DMC 939 in these blocks. I used a pretty good variety of the Satin Floss: S798, S702, S550, S666, S504, S995, and S932. I almost completely filled a tic-tac container with thread ends. And even though I mostly did split stitch, I did branch out on occasion and do some running stitch, back stitch, French knots, seed stitch, and stem stitch.

But I DO still need to finish sewing on all that sashing, and I really, really want to get that quilt top finished by the end of August, so this month I’m going to join up with A Lovely Year of Finishes – hopefully I can pressure myself into getting this all finished up! (I’m still somewhat undecided on the borders, so there’s still a lot of thinking going on, if not much else…)

Back to the Stitch-a-long… If you are stitching-along, please share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group! You’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class! Just to be clear, you only need to have the patterns stitched, you don’t have to have a quilt top completed. You also have to stitch all 12 of the original blocks. Although minor modifications are okay — if you want to add eyes or adjust the style of the numbers, for example — your blocks should be substantially similar to the patterns as designed.

Although I finished the stitching on this block and I have, indeed, finished all 12 blocks, there’s still so much more work to go/to come. Check back next week for hopefully all twelve sashed blocks in one location. (But we’ll see. No promises.)

Don’t Blink. Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t Blink. (Doctor Who Stitch-a-long Week 10)

That’s a clip from what’s probably my favourite episode. It’s pretty light on the Doctor (and Martha, who I think was underrated as a Companion), really, but it’s such a fantastic episode. If you ever see just one, see Blink (series 3, episode 10), because wow. All the best bits of time travel and a little bit of fear and Sally Sparrow, who is an awesome character played by Carey Mulligan before she got a bad haircut to be in a bunch of movies I don’t care if I ever see. Great episode. (And if you watch this episode and if you quilt, then you’ll want to stitch up Soma Acharya’s truly brilliant Weeping Angel paper-pieced pattern. Even if I didn’t like the show, I’d love that quilt block. So beautiful. If I weren’t so scared of all those little pieces, I’d have made it already.)

Anyway, David Tennant. Sigh. Swoon. Come back. (He’s my favourite.) I could link a dozen clips with him, but I won’t. And not just because BBC has blocked a ton of those clips because I don’t live in the right country.

Okay, one more:

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The tenth pattern of the Doctor Who Stitch-a-long is, of course, David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor:

Doctor the Tenth

This pattern was created by the brilliant Jennifer Ofenstein of Sew Hooked and Fandom in Stitches. She came up with the idea of running this stitch-a-long and you might remember that she also designed two of the previous patterns, Two and Six, and came up with the layout for the final quilt. Jennifer has also designed paper-pieced patterns for the TARDIS (two versions!) and Daleks, which will be featured on her own version of this quilt. (And I might totally steal the idea because I am a dirty rotten thief.) You can find those patterns, and a few other Doctor Who patterns, here at Fandom in Stitches, along with the pattern for the Tenth Doctor which is right here.

Here is Jennifer’s version of Ten, done in backstitch, with the word “ten” a bit more jagged and not all smoothed out like mine (the damned window-as-a-light-box-through-linen transfer method has lost a lot of fine details from my stitches):

The Tenth Doctor

Lovely. She’s also doing a slightly modified version of the basic layout, where she’s doing three rows of the sashing around each block (I swear she had another post with actual pictures, but you can see a proposed layout here if you scroll down a little) to bump up the size of the quilt to bed-sized. I’ve been toying with the idea of upping the size of my quilt as well, but I think I’ve settled on keeping it small enough to hang on the wall. I think. We’ll see…

Ten

My “ten” before rinsing out the pattern lines and pressing. I used this same blue on the Eighth block, but now I’m pretty certain I’m going to go back and rip that out and redo it in green. I stitched most of Ten while watching the Doctor Who movie with Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, and it was pretty terrible, but I did notice that he’s actually wearing what looks to be a green velvet coat. I also might use a variation of the Seal of Rassilon in place of the “eight” since it pretty much IS a stylized eight. Anyway, I thought the blue was better to represent the blue pin-striping on Ten’s suit.

Close up of Tenth Doctor

Anyway, every bit of this was stitched in a 2-strand split stitch, even the pin-stripes which I’d meant to do in something a little more delicate, like maybe long couched straight stitches. (I forgot all about that thought because I was watching “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” through the rest of the stitching of this pattern, and it was a very distracting movie. Not a good one for stitching along with at all. As silly as it sounds, it’s far too visual a movie to watch without watching, which is what I normally do when I’m stitching. Just as an example, there’s a part where Scott Pilgrim has to defeat a girl and he won’t hit a girl, so Ramona holds his arms and throws his punches for him, which… if you’re not watching, you’re not going to grasp just from listening. Such a bad movie for stitching. But fun as all get out. Unless you’re not into the whole video game/anime stylized thing. It’s got a rocky beginning, but once all the fighting starts it’s a lot of fun.)

A few details:
Fabrics
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Shiny Blue – DMC Satin Floss S798

If you share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group, you’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class! (For the interested, you only need to have the patterns stitched, you don’t have to have a quilt top completed.)