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Quilts and pouches and mugrugs oh my!

I'm hoarding posts at the moment. There;s been plenty of making, but I'm not feeling the enthusiasm to write them up. 
Plus some of them aren't finished, some of them aren't photographed and some are xmas presents that have to stay hidden.

This post is a mishmash of quilting experiments, all set in motion by me recklessly signing up for the Schnitzelandboo Mini Quilt Swap on instagram. I've barely been quilting 6 months, and I've never done any kind of craft swap, but the opportunity was there so I went for it, and it was a blast.
I made myself learn so much, and while I haven't received my package yet, the one I sent out has been gladly received.

So without further ado... stuff I have made in preparation, and to send with my mini-quilt swap.

Let's start with what I'm calling the D4 pouch, since it's the simplest. This was made from scraps, although I did have to go out and buy a tiny 5 inch zip.
I used this tutorial, which all made perfect sense. I did botch the zip insertion so it wasn't as neat as I absolutely would have liked, but I'm a crazy perfectionist, and a second opinion said it was ok.
This went together in an hour or so after work, after I'd had a day of beating my head against a brick wall not getting anything done, and felt if I didn't do something productive I was going to hurt someone.
I plan to make more of these, as they're great little scrap busters, and you can never have too many small pouches.

Next up is another pouch. This one didn't go with my mini-quilt, as it was me making stuff up as I went along.
This was a test thing of me playing with my new free motion quilting foot, and seeing how well it co-operated with my machine. Pretty well thankfully.
Another project of scraps, I managed to sew the two pieces together wrong, so the inside is on the outside, or the outside is on the inside on one half.
I can't remember what tutorial I used for this, but there are about a million box pouch tutorials on pinterest, so take your pick.
I was pretty pleased with how quickly the free motion quilting worked for me; I'd read loads of horror stories, but apparently it's not actually that hard. I did it with the feed dogs up and uncovered, contrary to lots of advice online, because otherwise I simply wasn't able to move the fabric through the machine.

Third up; mugrugs! I'd never heard of mugrugs until I started poking the quilting community on instagram, but now I'm hooked. They're great. They use up scraps of quilt batting, scraps of fabric, and they serve a purpose. What's not to like? I have one (the cherry kitty with plain background) on my desk at work. It means my mug doesn't clatter on the desk, and I keep my phone on it as well, which muffles the vibrations (there's no rule that says I can't have my phone on in the office, but I like it to be unobtrusive, unlike some I work with...)
Anyway, I knew I wanted to make my partner at least one mugrug, and use the Kittens quilt pattern. That had originally been what I was planning to do for her mini quilt, but then I changed my mind and went with the design below. 
So for the mugrug, I shrunk the kitten pattern down by some (I did it at work with a ruler and highligher, no one seemed to notice) and dug around for scraps.
The first two were made from the remains of my cheery cherry bag, and I've kept them. One was straight line quilted, the other was free motion quilted. I kept the straight line one (it's on my desk) and gave the other one  to a friend who was having a really bad week (it was in my bag, it cheered them up, or confused them, one of the two).
Something went a bit weird on the ears of the second one, not sure what, but between that, the busy background, and the quilting, the kitten face got a bit lost.

So for the two I was going to send away, I opted for Makower cats, which I had a couple of fat quarters of, but, as far as I could tell, not the Cats Scatter version (turns out I did, it was buried in the fat quarter box), which as it's mostly out of print, meant trawling through fabric websites trying to find what I was after. 
Eventually The Home Makery came good, and I got what I was after.

The teal and navy one is slightly smaller than the coral and cats one, on a whim of how I cut the background fabric. Both have two layers of quilt batting, and are backed and bound using this method, because I'm lazy and hate fiddling around with binding.

And then finally the quilt. I think by the time I'd trimmed it, it ended up about 20 x 20 inches. It had two layers of quilt batting, and I made sure I put little hangers in two of the corners (only just remembered).
It was made using Kona Solids, as well as a bunch of fabrics that I think came from The Fabric Fox (although some might have come from elsewhere) and of which I still have plenty of leftovers (apart from the mint and navy solids; they're all gone). My partner said she liked mint, navy and coral, and although me and Kona have a differing opinion of what 'coral' is, I went with a mixture of my version (kona melon) and theirs (kona coral).
I made 3 blocks from Elizabeth Hartman's Patchwork City book, and stitched them together.
There's a photo somewhere on instagram of an early version with a slightly different colour scheme, but that was lacking in oomph.

It all went  together over the course of a couple of days, and very much suffered from "I'll just do one more bit" which meant it was done a lot faster than I thought it would be. Of course then I ran out of mint solid, which I wanted to use for the backing, so there was a hold up then.

I knew I wanted to do something a bit more interesting than straight line quilting, so after I'd basted it all together, I used a bit of string to play around with spiral designs. In the end, I went for a diamond sort of pattern, initially using some freezer paper as a guide until I felt confident enough to just plough ahead (and the paper was annoying me)

Because this is me, and the universe enjoys screwing with me, I ran out of the thread I was using about two thirds of the way through, so, another delay while I found time to go to the only sewing shop in Northampton that had the right bloody shade.
It's bound with a slightly different shade of navy to the shade in the actual quilt (leftover from my crazy dog lady skirt) because I had run out of the right shade of navy. It's basically indistinguishable, but I know.

I made the hangers with scraps and stitched them in with the binding, and made the label with another scrap.
And there you can see it with the mug rugs. I'm pretty pleased I kept with the colour scheme, and despite it not being one that I normally go for, I actually really like it, and was sad to see it go out the door.
I threw in a few extras, and then panicked the whole time it was in transit, because I don't trust Royal Mail one bit.

I'm now signed up to another mini quilt swap, and a xmas card swap (that I really need to get on with) and am in the process of making my first really big quilt for an xmas present.
For someone who said they were never going to quilt, I might be eating my words a little bit.


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