Saturday, 26 February 2011

a week of getting stuff

from Christel...

This little hoop is 4 inches tall. That's all. I can't say enough about how much I love it - I think Christel should sell them, don't you? In fact, you should go to her blog and tell her.

I have had an excellent week for mail. The husbeast has been over in New York and brought me back a gift (obviously), and as it is my birthday in a couple of weeks I thought it was only fair to get some fabric - because I haven't bought any so far this year. Not a single fat quarter. Instead of being my usual greedy, grabby handed self I show restraint and asked him for just fat quarters in the blue and greys from Denyse Schmidt's greenfield hill. From Purl Soho. Love that shop.

stash pact slip up...

Also this week (after a slight kerfuffle with the post office as to whether it had been delivered or was still at the sorting office or in the postman's van...turns out I was right - it was still at the sorting office) this stack of Summery beauties arrived. Thanks to Jennifer. A huge thanks to Jennifer actually.
This is Honey Child, Sis Boom's latest collection and probably (definitely) my favourite so far - because of the purple prints. They're so rich and gorgeous.

I'm just about to make a start on cutting this lot up so I can make a quilt (with tutorial) for the Fat Quarterly website.

Honey Child

(you can buy honey child for yourself at sewmamasew right now - even though it's not due out until later this Spring!)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

when I die...

kitty toes

I'd like to think I could be reincarnated as a quilter's cat.

Monday, 21 February 2011

sunshine on a rainy day

onto binding...

I love picking up quilts from Chris's house after she's worked her magic on my little tops and made them into something far more special. Now I can get to work on binding them and although the bottom one is still a secret so you won't see that in all it's glory for a little while yet, the top one will be going to a very special friend for a very special little person. If the rain decides to stop I'll take some pics later this week when it's all finished, and before it goes off to it's new home.

Part 2 of the Single Girl quilt along series is today, over at Megan's place. It's not posted just yet, let's give her a chance to wake up, shall we? In the mean time you can head over to the support group for eye candy and, well, support.

EDIT - part deux is up now - clickety click here!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

sunday stash

sunday stash

I know - I blogged this stack on Thursday but I think it's sooo special it deserves another one.

Anna Maria Horner Bohemian, a gift from Amy.

See other stashes here.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

this week in pictures

Happy happy mail from my awesome friend, quilt master and general go-to girl, Amy. Anna Maria Horner Bohemian - a HUGE stack, templates so I can make this quilt (most likely not quite as neatly as Amy's) and (hidden from you all) a load of Liberty from Target goodies. I'm not ashamed to admit I used a really big cuss word when I opened this package. The one that rhymes with duck. It was said quite a few times, in sheer excitement. And before you try sneaking over to her place and stealing her - she's my friend. Hands off.

happy mailbox

Fabric porn in swatch form from Kaufman fabrics (honestly, these quilters linens are beyond awesome. I need some in my life and as they're solids I can justify it, even as part of Stash Pact. Oh yay!)

happy mailbox

A single girl progress report...

single girl - progress report

I'm 5 full blocks down, and the rest are in various states of completion. Remember, I'm trying to stay ahead of the rest of you guys so I can answer questions that might come up. Don't be panicking if you're not even at the cutting stage. Just work through at your own pace. And please ignore the fact that I'm using white thread on a dark purple background fabric. It was what was threaded in the machine and I was too lazy to change it. Go shoot me. If the sun ever comes out and I remember to turn my camera off of the artsy setting Miss G has had it set on I will get some pics of my blocks so far. They're slightly wonky in places, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it. It's an achievement in itself that they're blocks at all.

The first episode of Single Girl - a quiltalong, season 1, is showing here. With all details of future episodes. Next week Megan talks about piecing the rings. Fun fun fun. (no, really - that bit is fun!)

I can't believe it's almost Friday. Where did the week go?

Monday, 14 February 2011

single girl quilt along {part 1}

Are you ready?
Shall we make a start?

What you'll need;
your fabrics - pressed (& starched, if you're that way inclined)
your prepared templates
a pencil/quilt marker
sharp fabric scissors

::Ring Fabrics::
Cut your fabrics into 3 1/2 inch strips and lay them right sides up. It is helpful to lay them in ring order so you know which fabric should be used for which template. You can also stack up 3 or 4 layers of fabric together to speed through the cutting process.

Take your relevant template piece and lay RIGHT SIDES UP ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE FABRIC trace round the template, turn it 180 degrees and trace it again. Continue for every template and all your fabrics. (Refer to the pattern for the number of pieces per template - I cut 9 pieces per template because I am making 9 blocks)

tracing templates

Cut out all your pieces using scissors whilst watching TV and drinking wine (optional). You can use a rotary cutter and ruler, but the bottoms of the templates curve ever so slightly, so it's easier to use scissors.

snip snip snip

Keeping all your pieces together is key to a successful single girl quilt. I used envelopes, and popped the template and fabrics into each envelope marked with it's letter. You could use baggies, or plastic boxes. Anything that keeps each set of fabrics separate and tidy.

organising

::Background Fabrics::
I pre-washed my background fabric because it was so dark. Because of this it shrunk a little and I couldn't follow the instructions from the pattern in the same way.
Denyse's pattern suggests to fold the fabric selvedge-to-selvedge and mark the pieces close together. I had to wiggle my templates round a bit and have a play with what fitted best - I'd suggest you do the same, just in case you get carried away and cut out all your pieces...but then realise you're a couple of bits short and have no more background fabric left.

When marking your fabric instead of using a regular straight pencil line, use a broken line. This puts less pressure on the fabric and doesn't distort it as much.

On the straight edges of the templates you can add on an extra 1/4 or 1/2 inch to make trimming and squaring up easier later on. I tried a block with both the extra and without and didn't find a preference. It's up to you.

tracing the background

TIP :: when you cut out your background pieces, use a ruler and rotary cutter for all the straight lines and scissors for the curves. It makes for straighter blocks and saves you a heap of time.

background pieces

And you're set and ready to go!

(I haven't cut out my border pieces yet - if you want to do this whilst you're cutting everything else follow the instructions on page 6 of the Single Girl pattern.)

Don't forget to upload any pics of your process to the Single Girl Support Group and just holler if you need any help - we now have just over 200 members, so that's a lot of support!

Ready? Let's get cutting!!!!

Megan wil be hosting the next step - piecing the rings, on February 21st. The rest of the schedule is below....

21st February - Megan's blog - piecing rings
28th February - Nova's blog - sewing the curves
7th March - my blog - assembly
14th March - Nova's blog - marking the quilting design and hand quilting
21st March - everyone's blog - wrap it up!


Sunday, 13 February 2011

preparing....

Tomorrow the Denyse Schmidt Single Girl quilt along kicks off, right here, with me talking you through preparing and cutting your fabrics. It's the most tedious of the steps, but once you've got everything out the way you can get sewing. An the blocks themselves come together really fast.
I've made a practise block (below) and have started on my 'real' blocks so I'm a step or 2 ahead of the rest of you and can offer support and advice where needed.

more practise required...

But there's still time to join - you won't get bad credits if you're a little behind! Nova, Megan and me are really quite nice and we don't bite (maybe nibble a little if you look particularly tasty). So, if you've ever thought about making this quilt before, maybe even bought the pattern and shoved it at the back of a drawer trying to ignore it, now is the time to pull it out and get planning. The flickr group (or single girl support group as we like to call it) is up to almost 200 members - that's a lot of single girls!

The 3 of us are so excited to see everyone's progress. Some folks have steamed on ahead already - it's fantastic!

Let's get quilting!!!!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

winner!

The random number generator has spoken and the winner is number 39, Summerfete

Congratulations! Send me an email (Katy at fatquarterly dot com) and I'll pass your details on to the publishers who will send you your book.

Thank you so much to everyone for entering.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Sew

sew

Sew is the latest book by the Queen of shabby chic, Cath Kidston and is available from February 18th (UK and Ireland only). It's actually a pocket sized version of a book already out (with the same title). I have a feeling that may confuse people when they go shopping online. Maybe it's just me that gets confused by these things. Quite possibly...

Anyway, if you don't already have the original version this is a very sweet little book and retails at £9, so it's a great gift for someone crafty on your shopping list. It's not quite pocket sized, but is about the same size as a paperback novel, so perfect for popping in your bag for reading on the go. Pocket sized would have been a little too small - this is actually a really good size, and the instructions and photos aren't compromised for being that little bit smaller.

There's a full size sheet of pattern pieces that tucks into the book sleeve, and the cutest little card needlebook that reminds me of needle sets my Grandmother used to have in her sewing basket.

sew

You get a lot of bang for your buck - 40 projects for under a tenner. Some are a little simplistic, but would make a perfect introduction into sewing for a child or someone new to sewing and they do range from these simple ideas to more complicated projects including bags that are very similar to the ones in the Cath Kidston shop, and a couple of appliqued quilts.

There is also a really nice mix of hand sewn projects, like the knitting bag below (I love that bag) and machine stitched projects such as an apron, a peg bag and oven gloves.

sew

One of my favourites is the bath cap. Very cute. Which reminds me I really should make one of these for Miss G who is always complaining about her hair getting wet in the bath.

sew

All in all it's not a book I would necessarily buy for myself, but it is one I'd be very glad to receive as a gift and I can see myself gifting to others as well.

In fact - I'm going to gift a copy to one of you right now!

Just leave me a comment below and I'll draw a winner using the random number generator on Monday February 7th. Make sure you leave a contact email in your comment or attached to your profile so I can contact you.

(I'm ever so sorry but this is only open to UK and Ireland residents. I don't make the rules. Sorry!)

Details - Sew by Cath Kidston is published by Quadrille, on February 18th 2011 and is priced at £9.00.
ISBN 978-1-84400-938-1