Monday, 13 February 2017

'Le petit pois' shopping bag

The green, oh the living green - brings always hope. In the long winter days, there is this craving for fresh green, thirst for new life. I can not wait for my first plants to start showing their tiny noses from the ground. And to satisfy my affection for green, I look for inspiring projects. 

This one is particularly precious to me. It is a combination of two designers I admire distinctively. 

The French delicate designs of Véronique Enginger are so heart warming - they touch memories from  my childhood. This cross-stitch design 'Le petit pois' is from her book: "Dans mon jardin". There are so many more beautiful designs in that book. This is my second project from the book and I keep a long list of more to make. The first one I made was an autumn inspired. 

The Japanese quilting designs by Yoko Saito are a newly discovered addiction. The recipe for the bag is an adapted version of a bag from her book "120 Original Embroidery Designs". Yoko Saito is an amazing inspiration and a great tutor. A visit to Japan goes right in my wish list - I have to see and learn more - it is an amazing journey of learning new things.

This wonderful bag couldn't be possible without the amazingly textured yarn-dyed fabric by Haori . I used their greens from the spring collection. 

The dark green is the face of the bag. I love this fabric design a lot! I used it in my 'I love winter' pouch', where I hand-quilted the bottom of the body, following the pattern design with ease. I love how the quilting makes the lozenges pop out even more. For this shopping bag, I used a machine-quilting technic and I love the result as much as the hand-quilting. I lined the bag with the light green and made an inside pocket out of the extra light green, adding a vintage crochet lace accent. The super textured green and brown piece of Haori fabric, that frames nicely the cross-stitched design is such a super finding! I chose this one,  because it accents perfectly the muted green DMC floss on the cross-stitched part of the bag (the ones on the right side on the picture above), and works well in contrast with the more vivid greens to the left - the ones, used for stitching the beans and the peas on the Véronique Enginger design. 

What else to shop for with this amazingly healthy looking bag, but greens? The bag is a perfect statement for my love for vegetables... (ok, certain ones). And although, I love most of the vegetables, I have to admit, the one curly head of broccoli that is shyly hiding inside, is not one of my favourites. But kids love it, so... it is always present on our table. 

I have to admit, I am kind of sad, I did not have more embroidering part on this project. I couldn't leave it without a stitch or two. That is why, I feather stitched the seams at the bottom of the front side of the bag. The back also received a special treatment. I couldn't leave it completely plain.

The small linen tag in the side contains one of the cross-stiched petals from the front. I biased the top of the bag with the Haori bias tape, adding the handles tap on the inside and outside seam. 

What is in your shopping bag today? I hope you loved your time spent with my green bag and you share your crazy ideas with me. 

Meanwhile, stay healthy and visit me again soon. 


Saturday, 4 February 2017

'Happy Flowers' mini-pouch

"Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. " 
Ralf Waldo Emerson  

The pattern for this little pouch comes from the colourful Atsuko Matsuyama book "Happy Flower Quilts". The title  itself is charging, and happiness-metre goes crazy when you look at the cover. It really is one vibrant presentation of what to expect, before you open the book. When I received my copy, I needed to spend minutes in admiration, felt thirsty for more, but did not want to run fast through the pages. Hypnotic projects, addictive prints and many, many patterns.

I chose this one to start with, just because I couldn't resist the scalloped pattern on one of the sides of the pouch.

My pouch has two completely different sides. Both of them are so beautiful and despite of the huge contrast that makes them look strangers to each other, they are connected in a flowery way. 
✽. ✾. ✿. ❀. ❁. ❃. ❊. ❋. ✣.

For the pouch I used exclusively Haori yarn-dyed cotton fabric, mainly the dots and stripes prints; variegated embroidery floss; metal zipper and lots and lots of hand-stitching. 

My pouch is happy, really really happy, mostly because I was happy while making it, but basically, it is because of the embroidered flowers I had a chance to 'paint'. Every chance I have, I grab my favourite embroidery needle No. 3 and start painting. And this little pouch presented me with quite a lot of opportunities to do that.

The machine stitches were as follows: side seems of the pouch, to construct the body; the darts on the bottom and one side of the bias tape on the top.

I love hand-stitching, mainly because the seams are invisible. I love hand-quilting - it is so much more textured. And about the embroidery - no words can describe the feeling. Embroidery stitches speak for themselves, always telling a story, always describing a character.

It is real winter here - snow, cold, north wind, every little detail... But my beautiful flowery pouch makes me feel the spring - one real 'happy flower' experience.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment with me, dear beautiful, happy flowers!
 ✽. ✾. ✿. ❀. ❁. ❃. ❊. ❋. ✣. ✤ 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

A Gift of Love

... to my sweet, sweet darling Valentine(s) ♥ ♥ 

“She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her... I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her...”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A box, full of fine chocolate is a treasure. Giving it to someone is a strong statement of love. 

This little box is very structured, and at the same time super soft when touched. The colours are so shy - they don't scream for attention, and that is what I like the most about it. I made it spontaneously, without being sure how would it look like when done.

The cross-stitched heart from UB Design and the gently weaved yarn-dyed cotton fabric from Haori work so well together.  I thought the reversed appliqué would look great for this box, and I have to admit, I love how elegantly the linen fits in the heart shaped 'window'.  

The box is completely hand-sewn with the exception of the bottom, which I machine-qilted for more support.

The most delicious part of my job was to fill the box with all those precious, vintage  fine chocolates.  I know this part would be the best accepted from my Valentines, when they receive the box :). My gift of love is sweet and warm.

What are your secret plans for St. Valentine? I hope you get to be uniquely surprised by someone special this year! 

With love,