Over the weekend I have been doing a lot of thinking about the swaps that I'm currently in, Mouthy Stitches and For the Love of Solids (2). Oh - and not forgetting Doll Quilt Swap 12. (But the posting date for that is not till April so its not my main focus at the moment.) The main thing occupying my mind at the moment is zip pouches and solids. There are actually a lot of people taking part in both these great swaps, and keeping up with the progress pics is a full time job in itself! But it is very interesting being in both swaps at the same time, as ideas in one are informing my thoughts for the other and vice versa.
I have been playing around with ideas for a good while now for my partner in Mouthy Stitches. I was super lucky with the partner my swap mama assigned me, she is very talented and also really lovely and I SO want to make something she will love. I've been stalking her on Flickr and her blog and lots of ideas have been flitting through my head.
First up I did a mock up using a rainbow theme and natural linen. (please forgive the crappy indoor photo). This was kind of based on some of her mosaic ideas. I have to say that while I like this myself, it turned out a bit more blocky and with less movement than the idea I had in my head. I haven't done anything else with this as I'm waiting for some more perle cotton to arrive to hand quilt it.
Then, I was browsing in the FTLOS group and saw a great mini quilt based on the Japanese x and + block. And I decided to try it out using some of these fabrics, using this tute :
And I just love how it turned out. I had seen these blocks on blogs, but never really was that into them. Until I made this. Swoooooon. I love it! I totally understand the attraction and this is definitely on my list of blocks to make a quilt from. Total discovery for me!!!
I thought about hand quilting this - I'm still thinking about that. Some of that perle cotton that is currently in the post should be the perfect green for this block. But, being me, I was too impatient, and I dug around in my thread bag, finding a variegated red and pink thread and decided to see how that worked.
I used fusible fleece for the first time that I got from Gone to Earth. I love the low loft but I think I kinda messed up when applying it, using an iron that was too hot and too much steam, as it wasn't as smooth as I anticipated when I was quilting it. Next time I will pay attention to the instructions!
However, luckily, it didn't reflect on the front and I am pretty happy with how the outline quilting turned out. Not perfect, but it makes me smile, and I hope it might make my partner smile too. I added some extra linen sashing around the block so that I can give the pouch a flat bottom without hiding some of the block on the bottom of the pouch.
I know this block is quite pink - and that some people are allergic to pink! But I love bright pinks, and I think that paired with the green here, it works nicely and is fresh and pretty. But we'll see what my partner thinks. I have plenty of time to run up something else if she doesn't like either of these options.
On to FTLOS and I have been doing a LOT of thinking about this one. I don't think my partner wants a mini quilt, and I am strongly tempted to do a bag for her. The question in my mind is tote bag or messenger bag? I found a few great tutes for messenger bags recently when looking for myself, and it just struck me today that I could do one for her too. But I'm not sure if the quilting cotton would be strong enough for the exterior. Do you think it would be? I could interface it and use fusible fleece to give it structure? Do you think it would work? Because I actually have a good plan for this and think it would look really great. But I don't want to do all that work and for it to be too lightweight at the end.
Opinions on both swap ideas gratefully received!