I have been seeing lots of Zakka style projects on all over blogland and Flickr, it seems a lot of you are sewing a long. Many of the patterns are so quick and easy and offer a great opportunity to personalise add your own spin so you can make them for special recipients. If you are really organised, you can get all your Christmas makes done extra early! I opted for the scrappy Patchwork Pencil Case designed by Shannon Dreval of Petits Details. Mine is a gift for a horsey girl- I just need to add her initial to the fastener at the front to finish it off. Shannon has some lovely embroidery and French inspired stitching on her website, well worth a look.
The pattern suggests using tightly woven lightweight linen and I used Essex linen/cotton blend in 'Sand' by Robert Kaufman. I always have a little stash of this as it is a great basic to work with and I get mine from Mandy at Simply Solids. It doesn't fray as easily as 100% linen and is perfect for stamping and adding embroidery thread/floss. I used the pattern measurements but added extra scraps to the linen and lining sections to squeeze more fabrics in.
The fabrics are mainly Heather Ross prints ( thankyou Amber and Krista for sharing scraps) with a few extra text and fruit stash additions to keep those horses fed. I regularly use stamping in my makes so I thought I would share a little tip. Take the pad to the stamp and tap the ink onto the stamp. this is a lot more effective than pressing the stamp onto the pad. Small ink pads are easier to work with than large ones. I use Versacraft. It sets easily with an iron and has staying power.
I love this alphabet rolling stamp, it has small letters and is quick to use. I got the idea when Penny used one at Sew-Ichigo. You can find them on Etsy under supplies with the search 'alphabet rolling stamp'.
By taking the pad to the stamp there is less mess and excess ink, I use a bit of wet kitchen paper roll to catch any unwanted bits.
And stamping does work rather well with a little stitching. Lecien were kind enough to send all the blog hop project makers a selection of floss and a colour card of their Cosmo threads, and Katy was even kinder and shared some of her Cosmo with me to give me even more colours!Pink Castle Fabrics on Etsy and a great choice at The Workroom.
They are the silkiest and prettiest threads. I have done a fair amount of cross stitch in my time and tended to use DMC but these outclass those, more sheen I think, all I know is I totally fell in love with them! I used a chenille needle which has a blunt narrow end for my stitching.
There is a good technique for joining the lining to the outer but take your time and read the instructions carefully at this point otherwise everything will be the wrong way round! It is a quick make and, like many of the projects, a versatile pattern.
And of course, my piecing was done as always with Aurifil 50wt. I cannot do anything other than wholly and completely recommend this thread, I use it for all my piecing and a lot of my quilting and nothing beats it.
Want some? Five variety packs await your comments. I will give 3 to UK residents, 2 for outside the UK. To enter leave a comment and tell me about a food from your country. I'll start you off, when we visit my husband's parents in Preston, Lancashire, we always pick up a couple of Butter Pies. These are a local delicacy restricted to the Preston area only. Meat free and a reminder of the strong Catholic links to Lancashire I can't tell you how delicious they are. They taste strongly savoury and definitely not of butter. I am not a fan of pastry or butter but these surpass both those things!
You can add pics of your makes to the Zakka Style Sew a long Flickr group and find the blog hop info here! And for more giving away, visit Lindsey's blog here where you will find all the sew-along info along with new Kaufman linen essex printed fabrics to win!
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