November 6, 2012

Mouthy Stitches II

Little did I know that I landed in a shark tank as I signed up for the Mouthy Stitches II. It looked like lots of fun and I admire the three mamas Cindy (Fluffy Sheepquilting), Hadley (Flying Blind On A Rocket Cycle) and Susan (Canadian Abroad) a lot, so why not join?

The first omen was the street fights that broke out after the trio sneakily pronounced the sign ups. I've never seen anything like this. The 75 slots were gone in a couple of hours! Just signing up wasn't enough, you had to pass a background check as well. I duly handed in my certificate for good conduct, the details of my banking account and the pin for my credit card and was admitted.

A quick glance at the pattern required for the swap had me haughtily sneering at this simple task and I relaxed again. Easy piecy and quite obviously for beginners...

I congratulated myself and did my share of happy bouncing and backslapping and stayed glued to the laptop to see who else was in. Then one quilting goddess after another popped up and I though "oh oh" to myself, this time I’ve truly landed in the soup with both feet first.

However, we did the usual things, introduced ourselves, had a good time mouthing away, insulting each other and did an inspiration mosaic for our secrets partners. Very educational procedure I must say. I added quite a few new words to my vocabulary, like dunce and ding bat. You never know when it might come in handy.
The mamas did their thing and paired people off according to their tastes. (and a great job they did!)
I was nervous about this part, but without cause, because I got someone I really like, Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow. I immediately had an idea for the tote and was seeing forward to making it.

Next came some head scratching and stalking. We had to decide on our fabrics and were given the chance to show our fabric choices in the hope of getting an ok from our partner.  

There were a lot of the really mouth-watering kind of  fabrics being offered, but frankly my fabrics weren't among them. I didn't get any oh and ahs. It was a bit of a damper, but on the other hand I had definite plans for my tote and chose the fabrics for a reason. Of course my partner didn't speak up, but I did a bit of sneaky cajoling and finally had her ok. (Confess you didn't see that one coming, Nicky!)

From then on I just had to sew the darned thing. Four weeks seemed a long time, but oh boy how the time just runs away...Of course a couple of resets were needed, but it was ok. I enjoyed my theme and enjoyed sewing the tote. 

Nicky likes the Moomins, so I chose them as my theme for the bag. The Moomins live in a blue house with a red roof in the Moominvalley in Finland. I did a bit of reverse appliqué for Moomin and "normal" appliqué for Little My with a spot of embroidery. Embroidery isn’t my forte, but I did my best. 

For the backside I did some raw appliqué for the Moomin house. It was a first for me, but I think I'll do some more in the future. Actually I had some Hattifatteners planned for the backside of the tote as well, but there simply wasn't enough space for them. 
For the lining I chose a Moomin fabric made by Finlayson and made the first zipper pocket of my life.
Perhaps not the best result in the world, but I hadn’t enough fabrics for a new try, so it had to do.

In the heat of the moment I made a Plan B tote as well. 20 granny squares on white fabric.

The lining is made of Italian linen.

Of course I didn't know who my secret partner was, but couldn't resist a bit of sleuthing. As the partners were announced I went to my blog to find out who was stalking me. As it happened I only had visitors from the USA.
Back to the Flickr group and a quick check who was in my group. Bingo! Only one from the USA, Sarah aka Arbonnegirl :-)
I couldn't resist putting the fear of God into her and signed up as a new follower immediately. hehe 

Of course I didn’t really know if Sarah was my secret partner, but she made this really gorgeous tote with the cutest owl ever. It was mouth-watering and made my heart sing “Mine, mine, mine!” like the seagulls in Finding Nemo. Don’t get me wrong, there were an amazing lot of really fabulous totes and quite a few I wouldn’t mind saying hello to, but only one had this special effect on me. 

Duty duly done I began stalking the post woman for my tote. But noooo, no tote. I asked my chums about 5 times a day if they knew who my partner was and generally was a PITA. Should you ever have the misfortune to be in the same swap with me, just spill the beans, will you? It will save both of us a lot of time and trouble.

This waiting got so bad that I didn’t want to check with Flickr who had got which tote, because I was so afraid someone else would get “my” tote.
Then one day there was this package waiting for me and a quick glance reassured me – it was from the USA. And there it was; the greatest tote in the world!!! 

Did you notice that keyfob? Now two owls and me are happily hooting away in my home and then they all lived happily ever after. Thanks Sarah for this wonderful gift!

The End


  1. Oh. My. Gosh. That is one fab collection of yumminess x x

  2. May, such a funny and entertaining post! Love what you gave, and love what you got! It's a win-win!

  3. Such cute totes! I've never heard of the Moomins, but that fabric is so cute. I love your fabric choices! : )

  4. This was a terribly exciting read! More intriguing than any old whodunit, I'd say - and I am so pleased that you and the owls will ride into the sunset together and will live happily every after!

  5. What lovely things! I particularly love the Moomin bag (I have been a fan of the Moomins for over 40 years).

  6. OK, I'm laughing my head off! You tell the story so well--and great totes, too.
    Best, nadia

  7. You are so funny, May! I am so happy that you like the tote. I am also glad to know that your heart sings like seagulls. LOL
    Big hugs from the USA coming your way!!!!!

  8. May, a long while back you made me a maroon (knitted or crochet, I don't know how to tell the difference since I don't do those) infinity scarf. I told you thank you and how beautiful it was, but I need to tell you more.
    It is my favorite scarf that I own! I wear it every day in the winter. I double it over my head and put my coat, jacket, vest, or just my shirt with it. It is so beautiful that I cannot tell you how much I value it!
    Today I was wearing it and I stopped and thought 'where did I get this'? (because I would love to have a million more just like it in every color possible) And then it came to me. May made it for me!!
    It is the perfect heaviness. I don't overheat. I can wear it in my house all day and be very comfortable. I can wear it in windy, cold, snowy days and it keeps my neck and chin very warm.
    It's perfect in every way!
    You should make them and sell them on I went to their site a few days ago looking for something like your scarf in a different color, but sadly no one has anything exactly like it. Close, but not near as pretty and delicate and perfect!
    I need to thank you again for making this for me. It had to take you a long time to make. You are so nice to make this for me! I just wanted you to know that I love it (my favorite winter item) and I love you for being the kind, thoughtful person you are!!
    Your friend for life,

  9. May - you are such a stalker! Are you a government spy in your day job by any chance? The point of a secret swap is that you have a surprise lol. I'm so glad you ended up with that gorgeous owl tote. And I'm sure sure Nicky loves those moomins just as much as you like the owl :)

  10. How come I haven't read this before!? Naughty me! Hilarious though! You are funny and very naughty to try and find out who your partner is - bet you open your Christmas pressies before you should and read the end of a book before the rest too!