Thursday, 4 April 2013

Nautical Craft Swap

Firstly I want to say thank you all so, so much for your lovely words of support on my last post. It really means a lot to me that you have been so kind and understanding. It constantly amazes (and pleases) me that the online sewing community are so supportive of each other, even about non-sewing stuff. How lovely, yet slightly bizarre, that we can gain so much from people we have never met! Thank you!

Now, on to the fun stuff!

Some weeks ago, Rachel at House of Pinheiro announced a Craft Swap, with a nautical theme. I thought this would be an interesting challenge, because, as I've mentioned before, I don't really craft. I sew clothes. And I very, very rarely make anything for anyone other than myself (and those very, very rare occasions have been toys for Small Boy - hardly my toughest critic if the quality isn't quite there!).

Tomorrow (5th April) is the last day for posting our swap items. I posted mine yesterday because I wasn't sure I'd be able to get to the post office tomorrow and I didn't want to be late. I have been holding off publishing this post, as I wanted my swap items to be a surprise for Louise, my swap partner. Today though, emailed confirming that the postman had been, and that she was, and I quote "a happy bunny". :)

So, do you want to know what I made?...

Small "wide mouth" zip bag, and envelope style needle case
I initially planned to make this bag, which I came across on Kerry's blog, as it looked nice and simple and useful. But Shar mentioned that she was planning to make this bag, which I hadn't come across before and which I thought I would personally prefer to own, and so decided to copy take inspiration from Shar and make this instead. I preferred that it was lined and that the wide opening meant it would be easy to find things inside. If you have not come across Noodlehead's tutorial, and you would like to sew a similar bag, I urge you to take a look. She has written a really clear, comprehensive tutorial which was so easy to follow, I have since made another one for Small Boy.

I bought both fabrics as fat quarters from the Quilt Show back in February, but seem to have deleted the photos I took before I made the bag up! The exterior is a pink and off-white lobster print, which I used on the cross grain, as I thought the lobsters looked better going round the bag, and the lining is a pale blue and white seahorse print. Both are gorgeous, and, I thought, an alternative take on the theme. I bought the fabric before I was partnered up, but as it turns out, Louise's favourite colour is pink! How serendipitous!

I am ridiculously proud of my zipper insertion.
The bag was very easy and quite quick to make (would have been quicker had I not sewn one of the lining pieces on upside down...), and it felt like a bit of a cheat to give this only, so off I went to Pinterest to look for something else. I came across this needle case Pinned on one of Louise's boards.

Unfortunately the link to the tutorial no longer worked, so I thought I'd have a play around and see if I could make one up myself...

It took a couple of attempts, but I got there!

I am exceptionally proud of this! As you can see, I used the same lobster print, but this time for the lining. I didn't want the items to be too matchy matchy, so for the exterior, I bought a different fabric which is a really cute "coastal town" print quilting fabric. I'd love to make a skirt or something from from this fabric (Tilly's Miette?). As you can see, a directional print doesn't really work on the outside, as you send up with bits upside down, but on a busy print like this, I think you can get away with it.

The button came from my stash. I would have loved a wee anchor button, or something similar, but I didn't see anything I liked. I'm not pleased with the black popper, but it was the only one I had, and I wasn't about to head back out to the shops just for the sake of a popper!

Rachel had asked that we also include a bought gift as part of the swap. I bought this card (not my photo):

The card is by Hand Press Print. SAM is a local, Edinburgh based artist, who makes lino prints as cards and prints. I came across her work at a craft fair back in November and took her business card. I wanted to try to stick to the nautical theme for the gift, and remembered she'd had some sea-inspired prints, so had a look at her Etsy shop and came across this. The image is inspired by the Scottish coastline. I love that this is such a beautiful card, that it's representative of the country in which I live, and that I was able to support local talent too.

And it was all a success! Look at this lovely email that I received from Louise today!

The postman has been and I am one happy bunny! It's a lovely parcel from the gorgeous wrapping paper to the lino print card. You're obviously a very talented sewer, my lines are no where near as straight as yours. I think I'm going to be using the bag when I take my sewing out. The needlecase will live next to my pincushion(s) and keep my needles in there rather than have them lost in the pins. It's been one of the things on my to do for myself that hardly gets done, so thank you.

I love the card too, how did you know I like Scotland?  That'll be framed and put up in my workroom.

I just hope you like what I'm making for you as much as I like yours.

Not sure I'd describe myself as "talented", more "super careful when making something for someone else". I have really enjoyed making these items. I was a little daunted about making something for someone else, particularly as I'm not overly perfectionist in my attitude to sewing. But I didn't want to let Louise, or Rachel for that matter, down. So I took my time. I kept it simple. And I was very, very careful. The result has been 2 items that are perhaps not the most technically inspiring and perhaps don't give the "wow" factor, but of which I am really, really proud. And most importantly, have brought joy and pleasure to the recipient. And who doesn't like getting something pretty and useful through the post on a Thursday April morning?!


  1. Great gifts! I love, love the lobster fabric and the coastal town print is perfect for the theme (and a Miette would look great in that print). I know what you mean - it was very nerve wracking making something for someone else, but it sounds like you perfectly matched your gifts to your swap partner! Please post a tutorial on the needle case sometime. I would love to make one.

    1. Thanks Shar! I wondered about a tutorial on the needle case, so will try to do that soon. It was very easy to make once I figured out the right size and shape.

      Can't wait to see what you made too!

      And a coastal Miette would be great, wouldn't it? Especially for our seaside holiday we have planned in June! :)

  2. They are lovely gifts to make! I too was taken in by that seaside town print and bought a fat quarter of it at the Edinburgh quilt show! I didn't end up using mine so have added it to my hoard - maybe one of your projects would be perfect for it?!

    1. I didn't see that one at the quilt show. I got it at the Cloth Shop in Edinburgh, where they have it on the bale (if you want more... :))

  3. Your little parcel will be put into the post tomorrow :-)

  4. So you should feel very proud.. I loved what you made and I'm so glad the swap was enjoyable for you... I cannot wait to start sharing the makes on the blog. Can you add it to out Flickr group? So everyone else can see it.. And link your blog post if you want x

  5. They are so pretty! The needle case is so cute!
    I wasn't as prompt as you with my posting, another few days before I can post pics of mine!

  6. These are just beautiful - you did an amazing job! I love your take on the nautical theme, and how thoughtful to check out her Pinterest boards for inspiration! I'll definitely have to check out that Etsy shop too; that card print is amazing. Well done!

  7. That lobster print pouch is quite possibly the coolest thing I have ever seen!


I love to hear from you!

© Grosgrain Green | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig