Around the World Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to my little corner of the blog world. Physically, I am located close to the river Thames in central London,  Great Britain / United Kingdom. I have called England home for over ten years. Before moving here, I spent most of my time in Sweden, where I was born and went to school. I have also worked shorter periods (less than one year) in Hong Kong, Poland, Latvia, the United States and Brazil. All in all, the Around the World Blog Hop sort of sums me up...

First, a huge thank you to Lizzie at Swedish Scrapper who linked to me.

Lizzie and I first "met" during the second Schnitzel and Boo Instagram mini swap earlier this year. I had the privilege of stalking her for a few months whilst I was making her mini. Actually, I made two minis, as the one I loved most was too small according to the swap rules.

I fell in love with this little hedgehog mini. This was my first ever attempt at paper piecing.

Here's the label on the back on the other mini.

For more pictures and links to tutorials / patterns, please check Lizzie's Flickr entry and my blog post.

During the last month, Lizzie and I have both joined the ScandiBee block swap. ScandiBee is kicking off in ernest in January, but we are starting off with a fun mug rug swap for Christmas. To see the work we are doing, please check out Instagram, hashtag scandibee, or our Flickr group.

What are you currently working on? 

November has been, and still is, a busy crafting month.

With Halloween at the beginning of the month, I was busy making a few different outfits for school and nursery / kindergarten. My oldest girl is absolutely hooked on Frozen and Elsa in particular. For the boy I made a simple knight's outfit as well as a Kristoff tunic (also Frozen). Finally, the littlest one was Baby Elsa, to her big sister's huge delight.

For the latter part of the month, I have been busy making things for a Charity Christmas Fair. So far, I have made some dinosaur fleece hats, a Christmas Friendship Star table runner, two advent calendars,
and lots of fabric decorated Christmas cards.

A few of us have spent some days pricing all the items all volunteers have made. The fair is at the Swedish Church in London on Thursday 20th, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd November. I'll be there most of Thursday. If you are popping in, do please come and say Hello in the hand made stall (Handarbete / Syjuntan).

It always feels so sad, that we need to set the prices really low. Unfortunately, most buyers compare the prices of handmade with items found at the likes of Primark or Tesco.

It is coming close to shipping day for the IGminiSwap, which I have been working on for the last few months. My partner had some great information in her questionnaire answers and in her Instagram mosaics, so I have been making something which I hope she loves. She has been seeing the work in progress on Instgram and, she has even liked / commented on my photos! Let's hope she isn't disappointed when it arrives in her letter box.

I am also in one of the hives for the Modern InstaBee. We are following the book "Modern Bee - 13 quilts to make with friends", by Lindsay Conner. For November Angela has asked us each to make a black and white Trellis Crossroads block. It is surprising how difficult it is to find proper white and black fabric, as almost all seem to be cream rather than white!!!

Looking ahead, December doesn't seem to be any less busy in the crafting department.

Before the middle of the month, I should to get a mug rug out to my partner in the ScandiBee and most likely also sort out some teacher Thank You gifts. Add to that, finalising a paper piecing pattern for Fat Quarterly's next issue and making a block for Kerry in the UK Modern InstaBee hive.

The new year starts off with a block for Lynne in the UK Modern InstaBee.

I am also preparing for the always great and fun block swap with UK Quilters United (main group). The group was set up in January this year and we reached 1,000 members in the middle of November! As a sub-group we have set up the UKQU Block Swap group. It is really simple, you send in between four and twelve blocks and get the same amount of blocks back. Any design and any technique is permitted, as long as each block is 12 1/2" unfinished (12" finished).

Another exciting thing happening in January is that, if all goes to plan (fingers crossed!), I'll appear in a new book by Momtaz Begum Hossain. I have contributed three different sewing related projects, all with the common denominator of ribbons.

How does your work differ from others? 

I have absolutely no formal training in sewing or quilting, or any creative area. Rather the opposite. I have a Master of Science degree and all my corporate (paid) work is in the areas of engineering, legal and finance.

When it comes to sewing and quilting, I do what I like doing and I have great difficulty putting a label on it. Most important to me, is that I am happy doing what I am doing. If people like my work, then that is great.

Why do you write/create what you do? 

Sewing, quilting and all other types of crafting are for my own sanity. It helps me wind down, it provides distraction from a demanding job and, this is actually important to me, it feels less wasteful to create things than "just watch TV".

Some of the things I make, are for my family and to make our lives better.

When I was at University, I was heavily involved in student life and I usually went to plenty of formal dinners and dances every year. As I was on a student budget, being able to sew those ball dresses really helped. I can only say a HUGE THANK YOU to my Mamma, who taught me to sew as a young child.

How does your creative process work?

I love to test new things. I am a "trial and error" person. If I see something I like online or in a shop, I usually have a go at creating it.

For quilting, I am not very good at following patterns as I enjoy making it up as I go along, and I usually get bored of making the same block more than 3-4 times.

The only quilt I have made using a pattern, was the Click Quilt. I patterned tested this for an online friend, Tracey. The Click Quilt is genius! Super simple, but still striking! For details, please see my blog entry about the Click Quilt, and pop over to have a look at Tracey's blog.

If you look around on my blog, you'll see that I have one tutorial for a fleece wrap and another one for a travel bag / foot muff for a child's buggy / pram. These were both things I liked, but I couldn't justify paying the shop prices for them. As I couldn't find a pattern, I created them myself. These two posts are by far the most popular entries I have on the blog. Check under Tutorials for details.

Next stops on the Around the World Blog Hop 

For the next part of this blog hop, please go and visit Joanna over at My Quilts et al. Joanna is our lead for the first British Hive linked to the book by Lindsay Connor mentioned above. Joanna is juggling the day job of editor of one of the British patchwork magazines with running her own fabric shop (The Crafty Quilter), tending to her allotment and being a mum.

Thank you for stopping by!