I have a few works in progress and finishes to share with you today, so settle and get comfy as this might be a rambling one. There has been a lot of sewing happening and thought I would put (nearly) everything in one blog post to show what I've been up to - there are two more finishes that will feature in separate posts coming very soon!

First up is a finished quilt top - this is the Land of Magic quilt pattern by Kid Giddy The star, crown and castle blocks I pieced sometime ago. I had started the dragon but ran out of the background fabric and ordered more - then didn't get back to it. As this quilt was destined for my niece and she is now three, it seemed like a good idea to get it finished so she could appreciate and use it. 

Land of Magic quilt top with fairytale foundation paper pieced blocks between sashing, Kidgiddy quilt pattern

Thankfully, although some of that background fabric was used in other projects I had more than enough to finish the block. The bright Amy Butler fabric works really well for the dragon and I love that it looks as though it has an eye due to the placement of the print.

Dragon made of bright fabric print foundation paper pieced quilt block

Then I made the mermaid block, with the most perfect Carrie Bloomston fish fabric for the background. Many of the blocks contain precious fabric scraps I have hoarded, like the Pearl Bracelet print used for her top. This one contains some very small pieces, like the little crown and the waistband section but it's so worth it because that creates movement to make it appear as though she is gliding underwater. Kerry's patterns are clever like that.

Mermaid with fish fabric background foundation paper pieced quilt block

The final block I made was the unicorn, with shimmering linen for the horn and a field of Denyse Schmidt fabric flowers for the background. 

unicorn with flower fabric print background foundation paper pieced quilt block

You can purchase the full quilt pattern or buy blocks individually from the Kid Giddy shop if you take a fancy to one or two of them. I am happy having made all of them for this quilt and it would be fun to reuse the pattern to make individual blocks for other projects. 
I have started removing the paper from the backs of the blocks and think that's going to be a good evening in front of the telly job.
The backing fabric has been chosen and it's likely I will do some sort of wavy horizontal lines to quilt it, perhaps using a decorative stitch on my machine because I like playing around with those stitches.

Land of Magic quilt top with fairytale foundation paper pieced blocks between sashing, Kidgiddy quilt pattern

My most recent finish is this tote bag, made for my mum's birthday. She had requested one with a zip and I used the excellent free tutorial by Color Girl Quilts to make the Simple Zippered Tote.
After raiding my stash for happy looking fabrics in colours my mum would like I opted for Courthope in Grape, Savernake Road by Monika Forsberg from Conservatory for the main body section, along with Arrowheads, Wildland by Miriam Bos for Birch Organic Fabrics for the base and handles.

patchwork bag hung on brick wall

This was a fun sew, Sharon's instructions are really clear and easy to follow. I'm even super pleased with how the zip ends turned out, not something that always goes my way!

zipper end close up detail of zip on fabric bag

I used Aurifil 50wt in Light Jade #1148 for the quilting and used up the Light Lilac #2615 I already had in the bobbin, so with the stitching on the handles both colours can be seen.

close up detail of thread on bag handles

Happy to say my mum really liked it!

main body of patchwork fabric bag

The kids have been busy sewing too, some cross stitch and soft toy making in the works. Lois really wanted some scrunchies so we made a few together. We used the video tutorial by Melly Sews, it has both machine and hand sewing which makes a really neat finish.

pile of fabric hair scrunchies stacked up on sewing machine throat space

Lois loves hand sewing but her favourite bit was putting the elastic through the fabric, I remember enjoying that bit as a kid too.

six brightly coloured handmade fabric hair scrunchies

I have had a big sort through all the quilting / sewing magazines I had (literally) lying around. I went through them, saving any of the patterns I might (one day) make and keeping any that were particularly special or had projects I made in. My mission included sorting out all the freebies, one of which was a kit from Molli Makes Issue 78 to make this little purse. Rather than add it yet another pile I thought I would actually sew it.

small zip purse with the words stay home embroidered on the front and a pencil charm on the zip
small zip purse with the words tres cool embroidered on the back and a pencil charm on the zip

'très cool' was one of the templates in the magazine and I added 'stay home' to the other side as a reminder of this current situation. The text is stitched using chain stitch - probably my favourite embroidery stitch because I love the texture it creates.

I've been working on other hand sewn projects. Here are the latest four blocks for my Manx Log Cabin coverlet.

four hand sewn manx log cabin quilt blocks

And the current stack of blocks I have sewn, not enough yet.

pile of hand sewn manx log cabin quilt blocks held up by a hand

The blackwork is going well, I am staying up to date though I don't necessarily do a bit each week, I like to save them up and then do two or three at a time. This is a free Stitch-a-long run by Peppermint Purple and you can still join in, as each weeks pattern has the previous weeks in too.

detail of blackwork stitching patterns from the Peppermint Purple Stitch-a-long

I have completed outlining all 52 boxes and finished stitching the border. With all the boxes it now shows how much of the year has already past!

full outline of the piece and 16 of the 52 boxes stitched with blackwork stitching patterns from the Peppermint Purple Stitch-a-long

Probably like quite a few people there has been some online shopping going on. My friend Julia creates fabulous jewellery and I couldn't resist these neon orange rod earrings. Made of recycled perspex they are so pretty, turning from orange to a peachy pink. You can find her art jewellery at Wonderhaus.

Lucy wearing neon orange perspex rod earrings by Wonderhaus

Then there's the stickers. Some lovely dots and a gorgeous vellum insert for my planner. While I may have nothing external to plan for I can still make lists!! These are from Squizzleberry, also on Etsy:

dot stickers and vellum pocket planner insert with the text Just do It

And I went on an all out sticker spree on Etsy. My excuse is I need to decorate my laptop, I did with my last laptop that died and it always made me smile looking at it. This one is silver and looks near enough the same as my husbands and my sons laptops, which is confusing me. So it needs personality.

I got the cool Starcourt Mall sticker from Banter Badges - it is much more pink in real life - and this total flashback Blockbuster video sticker from NancysJars. This made me smile so much. I loved Blockbuster, trawling the aisles looking for the perfect film for whatever mood I was in. There was much sadness when my local one closed down. Even seeing what cardboard film cutout was in there each time was fun. Although I never did get to one in time to call dibs on it (remember that? They'd write the persons name on the back that got to keep it).

Starcourt Mall vinyl sticker and Blockbuster video rental sticker

Then this cute holographic tarot card sticker from Guts & Glitter:

The Calcifer sticker was a must! We are big Studio Ghibli fans and that character gets me every time. This order came from Jon Turner on Etsy but I now know he has a website thisisjonturner.com where I will purchase from next time (always better to support creatives directly when possible). And look at all the cute things that came with the sticker, a note card, a business card, a piece of paper with info and the most adorable robot holding a pencil. The robot with a heart illustration is on the envelope along with a Bowie stamp. It's this kind of detail that makes happy mail even more awesome. He is also Manchester based, so extra nice to be supporting a local artist. Do check out Jon's website, it's full of fabulous art prints, stickers and gifts.

Calcifer vinyl sticker, note card, business card and envelope with black and white hand drawn art work of robots and Turniphead from Howl's Moving Castle by Jon Turner

Honestly that's not the end of my sticker splurge, I forgot to photograph one and I'm waiting for another to arrive. Now I'm wondering if there's even room on my laptop for all these stickers, some may have to go on my sewing machine ;)

So that's what's been keeping me busy, what have you been up to?