Friday, 31 August 2012

always planning 3 quilts ahead

I am loving the comments on my scraps quilt post. I'm compiling a list of a heap of great patterns and quilts suggested by you guys and I'll post that when I've come up from air from school uniform shopping and getting the kids ready for back to school next week.

I'm currently stalking the mail lady for a few packages. One of them is field study from Anna Maria Horner. I am more excited by this line than anything ever ever ever. Leopard prints. Thank you Anna - I know you designed it just for me, you're a gem. I heart you.

What am I planning on doing with my field study?


spinning stars

Anna Maria's free spinning stars pattern. It's not like I haven't got 3 gazillion other quilts to make or finish or anything. I don't know when I'll get round to it, it's a slight pain in the ass template pattern so it involves a heap of cutting awkward bits and pieces using scissors, but it's big blocks so that means it'll come together pretty fast. Maybe I'll do it as a quilt along, once I've got school sorted and the Hexy MF quilt along finished? Should we? I quite like the idea of doing it scrappier than the pattern suggests. I think field study would look amazing in this pattern, and also chicopee and whilst I'm thinking of fabric lines, the birds and the bees would too. Those rich colours in the kaleidoscope type pattern - so cool.

Ok - I haven't even posted this blogpost yet and already I'm thinking we should totally do a quilt along.
Let's frikking do it! (*pushes everything else that's waiting to be finished off the table and starts planning*)

It's labor day this weekend for my American friends - there's a coupon for pink castle fabrics that's good for 20% off anything all weekend, til Monday. Maybe it's a sign we should all go shopping and buy fabric for the spinning stars quilt? LABOR20 is the code you need!

Quick shopping list for those that fancy joining me (shall we start in a couple of weeks, give you all a chance to buy fabric and stuff?)

Crib size (36" x 54") - 6 blocks
10 different FQs

Throw Size (54" x 54") - 9 blocks
10 different half yards (or 20 different FQs for a scrappier look)

Twin/Full size (72" x 90") - 20 blocks
10 different yards (or 20 different half yards, or 40 different FQs for scrappier look)

Anna Maria has fabric requirements for a queen and king size on the download. I'm not even thinking about anything so crazy as king or queen sized. That's just crazy talk.

Who wants to join me?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I am most definitely addicted

I'm working on scrap vomit number 4. This one doesn't really have a purpose other than I have a gazillion scraps and want to get some used up (although when I'm done with this I know I'll still have enough squares for another quilt)

The stack so far

I've made 10 blocks so far, completely blindly picking fabrics from my scraps and sewing them together.

Another day of scrap vomit

Soon I'll start on block B (the one that adds order to the chaos) and my quilt will start to come together. I love it when that happens.

scrap vomit - bound and finished!

I have a few rules when I'm making scrap vomit quilts -

  • you need a good mix of 'ugly' and 'pretty' fabrics, bright fabrics and dull fabrics. The more variety the better.
  • your own scraps will tend to focus on particular colours. They might not be the colours you have most of in your stash, they are the colours you have used the most. My scraps are quite heavy on blues and pinks.
  • swapping is a great way to mix up your scraps. If you are in a guild ask fellow guild members to swap with you, or if you have local friends that sew, do the same. If you're not in a guild or don't have any local friends you are probably online and have a flickr account or twitter or a blog - you will have at least one friend that you talk to regularly, or a blog you visit on a regular basis that you have formed a kind of relationship with that person. Even if you don't think of that person as a real friend, if they sew they have scraps and they will most likely be happy to share with you. It doesn't hurt to ask.
  • whatever type of scrap quilt you are making chances are you'll be adding in a solid. Make sure that solid is a high contrast solid to allow the quilt to pop. White usually works, but for scrap vomit it really doesn't - there's not enough of the white to have an impact. See this mock up I made? The white is lost. But on the quilt below it works really well.
scrappy pinwheel playmat

I like to think that the black diamonds in block B calm the whole thing down and make it look less like I've emptied my scrap bin onto the floor (you might disagree - it's ok, I'll not hate you, but I might look at you with that slitty eye look that says 'you're so wrong')

Scrap Vomit - for me

When I made my spiderweb quilt I was far more conscious of picking pretty scraps. It was still a scrap quilt, but the uglies were pushed to one side.

quilted lines

I guess you call that controlled scraps. As much as I love that quilt I don't love it as much as scrap vomit.

Lynn makes the most amazing scrap quilts, I think my most favourite quilt she has ever made is the twinkling stars quilt  - which, co-incidentally is on the next cover of GenQ magazine. It was Lynn's spiderweb quilt that convinced me I needed one in the first place. Lynn was one of the first people I 'met' online and she's been a constant source of inspiration ever since. Her scrap box must be more like a scrap room as she's been sewing and quilting for so long. So many old and long forgotten fabric lines lurking in her scraps, it's no wonder her quilts are always so magical.

If you want to make a scrap vomit quilt of your own you can find the tutorial here, here and here.

Edited to add - the spiderweb quilt was a tutorial from Marit. I meant to add the link but clearly didn't copy and paste it. D'oh. Here you go - spiderweb block

I'm leaving you with a few questions, I'd love it if you answered them!
How do you feel about scrap quilts?
What is your process in making them?
Do you blindly grab like I do with scrap vomit, or do you prefer an order to your chaos?
Do you have a favourite scrappy pattern or tutorial?

Monday, 27 August 2012

bella, bella!!!!!

To celebrate my new weekly feature, what's new pussycat, rounding up all that is good and exciting and new in the world of my blog sponsors, Alice from backstitch is sponsoring a giveaway!

Yay Alice! (she really is lovely)

A FQ bundle of Lotta Jansdotter's new line, Bella, could be winging it's way to you.

Alice has bundles and yardage (well, metres because we are in the UK, aren't we?) in stock now.

The rules are simple;
 1. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win
 2. Subscribe to the Backstitch newsletter for a second chance (simply come back and leave a second  comment
3. Follow the Backstitch blog for a third entry (again, pop back and leave a third comment here telling me you've done so)

The giveaway will be open until Sunday when the next 'what's new, British pussycat' post is published. 


Sunday, 26 August 2012

what's new, British pussycat?

Yesterday I introduced a new weekly feature rounding up what is new in the shops that sponsor my blog. Yesterday was the US edition and today we have the Brit version.

So what's new in the Blighty shops? let's see....

Alice from backstitch was down in Birmingham last weekend and it was lovely to finally put a face to the name after so long. I love Alice's shop, it's small and perfectly formed and to see it in once place was just as I imagined.

This bundle of fabrics was very popular at festival of quilts. Even Tula was getting excited about it. It's Velocity by Jessica Hogarth and isn't new, but it's one of those lines that hasn't arrived with a bang anywhere. Which is a shame, because it's so good.

The Riley Blake chevrons are selling really well, as is sketch, some colours are out of stock already so if you were thinking about either of these, I'd stock up now (sketch is re-ordered, but it'll take a little while to come in)

Kate over at M is for Make has a new look website and it's really great. Very easy to navigate and with lots of new fabrics.
One of my favourites is this bundle of red and white fabrics. I got it in the post this week, and I'm trying so hard to resist playing with it before I finish the million other projects that need finishing.

The apple dot is my favourite print, it's by Riley Blake. They are bringing out so many good lines right now, before this season I hadn't been particularly drawn to any of their fabrics - they were a bit too cutesy for me, but they're really coming on and have some fabulous lines out and coming out soon.

For the Fox lovers (me!!!), Monaluna Fox Hollow has arrived at M is for Make too. I recently made a drawstring bag with this line (using Jeni's tutorial). The alphabet print is absolutely fabulous.

a welcome distraction

The Village haberdashery has a sale on. yay for sales.

Plus, new in are the absolutely gorgeous fabrics from Dear Stella, including Gilt Trip. It's metallic, but don't be screwing up your face in fear, these prints are mind blowing (you know I love the glitter).

Maasai Mara is another Dear Stella collection that I absolutely love. The Ikat prints are especially good up close. Annie has 8 prints in from this collection, all are as great as the others. It looks quite timeless to me as well, I love that. At quilt market they had made beautiful cushions using these prints for the booth, just simple piped pillows and it looked fantastic, like something out of Anthropologie. 

Annie has recently taken delivery of purse frames and guterman glue so you can make framed purses. She also sells piping cord, so you can buy everything you need to make a purse in the one place. Great!!!

Lastly, and quite importantly, The Liberty quilting cottons are on a pre-sale special. They'll be here any time now so snap them up at the special 10% discount while you still can!

The Eclectic Maker is always a great place to stock up on fabrics as well as extras such as needles and haberdashery items. Plus this weekend only there are 20% off all fabrics using the code BONANZA (UK only).
This bundle of Curious Nature is calling my name. I still haven't bought any of this and I don't want to miss out, because it's the perfect 'manly quilt' bundle and has greys that are seriously unbeaten. 

New in are the little elephants by Michael Miller in house designers. These are super cute. They're like a dot, but they're not. They'd be fun for all sorts of projects, I'd love to see them as PJ bottoms, or shorts, and binding. Wouldn't they be cute as binding on a baby quilt?

Simply Solids has also had a new website overhaul recently and is offering 10% off all orders using the code SIM0010 at check out. It's still my place of choice to stock up on my favourite kona solids because of the fast service and free shipping over £15. I've heard there are some changes planned for Simply Solids, so as soon as I hear more I'll let you know!

There we go, that's what is going on this week in the world of my blog sponsor shops. Happy shopping people!

For my UK friends, have a wonderful bank holiday weekend. I am planning on sewing up a pile of scrap vomit blocks to mail out for swaps. If I can get really organised by the end of the week I will have all my blocks done. Famous last words.....

There's 15% anything in my etsy shop until September 1st using the code BANKHOLIDAY15, so if you have been thinking about getting some templates for Hexy MF or Spring carnival but haven't yet, now's the time to do it!

Also - If you are quick you can still use the 25% off code at paper pieces using FAT25 at checkout. That code is valid until the end of August, so make use of it even if you don't think you need any paper pieces at the moment. Once the code expires that's it - 25% is a huge discount and it really adds up when you are making any english paper pieced project, even a small one.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

what's new, American pussycat?

I've decided to start a new feature on the blog, a weekly round up of what is new, or you might have missed in the shops that sponsor my blog. I spend a lot of time trawling through the what's new sections, so I should share my treasures with you, shouldn't I? So there'll be 2 posts - a US edition and a UK edition, to separate the shops and not overwhelm you all in one post.
Saturday will be 'what's new, American pussycat?' and Sunday will be 'what's new, British pussycat?'
Simple enough, right?

First up, a coupon (we like those) from Pink Castle Fabrics. 20% of all pre-cuts and bundles (Including blogger bundles) for this weekend. Use code PRECUT20

Brenda has a heap of new stuff in (field study, chicopee, out to sea, and those awesome stripes I blogged yesterday which is part of the new Riley Blake collection, Marguerite.)
I'm pretty excited about the new Japanese arrivals. Yuwa (those 11 prints there would make an awesome quilt themselves) ....

....and Trefle GLITTER TEXT PRINTS! (I have these on the way, I got so excited about them at market). If you put glitter in the search box at Pink Castle, it comes up with these prints. Seriously, when I saw these prints at quiltmarket I went a little bit crazy. Brenda was (co-incidentally) doing her kokka/trefle order when I spotted them and I basically forced her to buy them. The glitter (I know the real term is metallic, glitter just sounds sooo much prettier) is silver and it's super subtle, but obviously glitter. I scratched the heck out of it to make sure it didn't rub off. It didn't budge. It's high quality glitter. ALSO Melody Miller has glitter coming out on her next collection (I might have kind of bullied her into that idea with the help of Brenda) so my theory is - buy a heap of this now, use some (I need travel pouches for Sewing Summit with glitter text), save some and then bring it out with the Melody Miller and be all kinds of awesome (this awesomeness plan works in my head)

Find it fast;

Yuwa here
Trefle here
Glitter here

Fat Quarter Shop have some great new arrivals too.

Bella from Lotta Jansdotter. I think I like this collection better than her first. It's the ducks. Ok, they're not ducks but I'm going to call them that and you can't stop me. FQS have bundles, and yardage of this line. I think it's going to be as huge as echo, it really is lovely.

This line, Little Kukla, completely passed me by in the build up to it's arrival. Never saw it at market, never saw it in the Robert Kaufman twitter feed and then all of a sudden I spot it. It's so cute - and look at the purple birds! Suzy Ultman is an amazing illustrator, I'm really excited about her fabric. I also know that because it's with Kaufman you can trust the bright colours not to bleed. This wasn't on my list, because I didn't know it was coming, but now I think I just have to have some. I don't think I can let it pass me by. (the cross hatch design on the little onion domes is screaming 'match me with one of the bright sketch fabrics pleeeeeease)

Over at Lola Pink Fabrics, all new arrivals are 15% off until Monday. The discount is already added, to make it easy for you too.

Madrona Road is one of those new arrivals! There's also Oh Deer by Momo, PerfectlyPerched from Laurie Wisbrun,  and cherry christmas from Aneela Hoey (to name a few)

Sew Fresh Fabrics over on etsy also have some great new arrivals

Erin McMorris La Dee Da is in stock now, this bundle in aqua is just beautiful. I'd pair it with the kona bundle of echo inspired cool solids. Love love love.

Also I'm big loving on this bundle from Kim Schaefer. Love those bright colours.
There are also loads and loads of new fabrics added to the sale section. Yum yum yum.

Go forth and shop, my friends!!!! I'll be back tomorrow with the UK edition!

Friday, 24 August 2012

I like to cheat a little

If you are anything like me (a little lazy) you would appreciate something that makes you look like you're much cleverer than you really are.

Binding. I like binding, it's my favourite part of the quilt (because it involves hand sewing). I don't like to cut binding on the bias because;

  • I'm lazy and it takes me longer
  • it uses more fabric
  • I have to actually think when I'm doing it lest I make a mistake (it's happened, often)
  • it's a bit stretchy so I then have to concentrate more when I'm sewing it on (and if you follow me on twitter - I'm @ImAGingerMonkey by the way -  you will realise I spend most of the day on there so I can't be distracted by having to concentrate on sewing, can I?)
So I use straight cut binding, cut into strips of 2.5" (I like the slightly wider look it gives you on the back of the quilt). BUT (and here's the big but - lol - BIG BUTT) bias cut stripes are just dreamy, aren't they?

Oh wait - what's THAT? The good folks at Riley Blake clearly read my mind and realised my terrible predicament and designed some bias set stripes so I can still cut my binding straight, and get the effect of bias cut stripes. They're good people.

PicMonkey Collage

Clever folks at Riley Blake.

And clever Brenda for ordering it and then telling me she ordered it knowing I would need a yard of each colour, just in case (it's possible I will need more yards later, once this is gone, you never know when you will find a perfect bias stripe again) Here's my fabric buying tip - when you see something like this that you really love for binding buy at least a yard of it. You will get a couple of quilts out of a yard. Especially if you make smaller lap size quilts (roughly 1/2 yard per lap size quilt).

Gelato is getting quilted and getting her some pretty bias striped binding. She's a happy quilt, aren't you gelato? (yes, she says). I'm waiting patiently for it to arrive so I can make my binding, probably before gelato is even quilted.


It comes in Pink, Yellow and Green. Yum.

sew sweetness pledge winner

I'm so pleased to say that thanks to you all helping with Sara's kickstarter campaign, she hit her target and can now afford to get the software she needs for her pattern business.

That means we need a winner for the hexa go go book, the fat quarterly book and the good folks hexies. Phew, that's a little stack of lovely right there!....

Number 38 is Krista! That makes me really happy, Krista is a wonderful person and someone that does so much for everyone else with sharing her wisdom and her general all round good deeds. Mr Number Generator chose wisely.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

4 days + 400 workshop attendees = 2 weary ladies

My home til Sunday!

I was so excited to be asked by the lovely people at Sizzix UK to help out with workshops at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this past weekend. I said yes as soon as they asked, as I was planning on going anyway and it seemed like a great way to spend the few days I was there. Plus I have a sizzix big shot, I use my sizzix big shot a lot and I really like it, so there'd be none of that awkward promoting a product I didn't really like much - I could happily talk for hours (and I did) about how useful it is (especially for scraps)

@tulapink concentrating

We even had a celebrity come and take a workshop. Granted she does happen to be one of my friends. I wonder if anyone else at the tables knew they were sat with the superstar quilter that is Tula Pink? (Most of them, I would suggest, did not know)

Cutting scrap vomit from @patchworkqueen before I start work!

I even managed to sneak in early and get some cutting of my own done for scrap vomit (thanks to Vicky that dropped me off some AMAZING scraps with all kinds of animals on)

Every hour at half past the hour we held free workshops on how to use the big shot to cut the drunkards path block and everyone had enough fabric to make a cushion cover. For free. You don't get much for free these days, so you can imagine we were busy. So busy that people were lining up to catch the following class as soon as the first was finished.

Next workshop not for 25 mins. This lot are eager!!!!

All in all we gave almost 30 workshops and had 400 people attend. 400 over 4 days. Am I exhausted? Yes. Did I have an amazing time? Yes. Do I miss Angela and the fun we had together? You bet I do. I was nervous before I met her properly (we both were!). We had met briefly at the Fat Quarterly retreat but I saw her just as she came into the building and then I was off to teach a workshop so I didn't get a chance to see her again, this time we would be spending all day every day together. What if we didn't click? What if she was a bit bossy? The sizzix quilt blog is her baby, she does all the sewing and is really knowledgeable about the product, so what if I was the useless assistant that didn't do things right? I needn't have worried - we clicked right away and the entire time was spent laughing and having an absolutely fabulous time showing ladies (and a couple of men) how to use the big shot. I just hope we get a chance to work together again soon.

Happy workshop students!!! @sizzix_uk

Look at these 2 lovely ladies. They hand stitched their blocks together in their hotels over the weekend and brought them in to show us. Vera (on the right) had a different quilted bag for each day of the show and co-ordinated her outfit to the bag. I'm looking forward to seeing her next year with her pink drunkards path bag - she decided to follow a different path to the others and instead of a cushion, she's making a bag. They were my class pets, 2 hilariously funny ladies and for me just summed up the festival as a whole - happy, smiling, having fun with their friends and shopping for fabric.
It's easy to get caught up in the whole modern/traditional thing too often and especially for those of us that spend a lot of time online. Vera is what quilting should be - she buys what she likes because she likes the colours and the patterns, she makes what she likes because she thinks it'll make a great bag to wear to her next show and matches something in her wardrobe, she doesn't care what's written on the selvedge. The Veras of this world made Festival of Quilts 2012 a really refreshing change for me, and it was amazing to see that side of the coin for once.

It is nice to be home though, and to be able to sit down for a minute and catch my breath!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hexa Go Go Book Tour


I'm so excited to be the person kicking off my friend Tacha's book tour. Hexa Go-Go is Tacha's first book, but it'll be the first of many, I would bet money on that. She always has so many amazing ideas and she is always about 6 months ahead of herself in her head.

Hexa Go-Go (for those of you that haven't heard of it or spotted it before) is a book full of hexagon projects sewn using english paper piecing. There are some super simple starter projects, and really clear instructions on how to get started. REALLY clear, so if you have never even looked at a hexagon before and have no idea what the heck English Paper Piecing is then you are still good to go with this book, Tacha will show you.

There are also some fantastically ambitious and more complicated quilts and smaller projects in here. Union Jack flag, anyone? How about a stars and stripes?


I'm not going to talk for ages about how amazing this book is - it just is. It's a fabulous book, you will be inspired by it, you will enjoy the projects, you will learn new things and you will be happy you spent the money buying this book over a different one. You will. If you don't, quite frankly I think you're a bit odd.
Remember how amazing Elizabeth Hartman's book was and how it became THE book for every new quilter? This is THE book for anyone interested in English Paper Piecing.

Just look at the pictures, then go buy it. Just do it now, so you're one of the first. Don't wait until it sells out all over and is being re-printed. That will happen, so just go ahead and save yourself tears later and buy it. Ok?


These pictures aren't even of my favourite projects....


You have to go buy the book for those! I don't like it when a blog tour shows you the best stuff and then you're a bit disappointed later. I can say it, Tacha won't mind - these projects are my least favourites. See how amazing they are though? They're hardly 'fillers' are they? They're awesome.


So if these are my least favourites, can you imagine what the ones I think are best are like? Yep - they're the kind of quilts that make you a teensy bit jealous you didn't think of it first. Quilts that you will want to make and keep forever.


C&T are giving one reader the chance to win a copy of the book. It's a physical copy for those in the US but a digital copy for anyone out of the US.

Leave a comment on this post and a winner will get picked in a week or so.

You can find out all of the other stops on the blog tour by visiting Fat Quarterly!

And yay for Tach - because she's an amazing person, she's talented, she's funny, she's generous and kind and sweet and wonderful and I love her. She totally deserves this book to be the number one best seller of the year, so let's try help her do that, yes?

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

soft and snuggly

cloud 9 flannels

Some friends of ours are having a little baby girl, who is due this week. Serendipitously, perhaps, Michelle from Cloud 9 fabrics sent me some of the new nursery flannels to try out just a couple of weeks ago. I'd been really interested in the flannels at quilt market and was eager to give them a whirl once they'd got some sample yardage.

I am currently really loving on flannel, it makes great quilts that are warm and cozy and oh-so-soft to touch. I don't think you have to try out fancy designs, just simple patchwork or strips, like this, and you are onto a winner. That's my tuppence worth, anyway.
I cut strips that were the full width of fabric by 7" or  8" or so (I didn't measure) and sewed them together. I also made a simple applique name using a print from Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille (to do this I simply printed out the letters using Word and made them super big, then traced them onto the fabric that was backed with fusible web. It was a pain in the you know what. I am adding the full set of Sizzix alphabet dies to my Christmas list this year, because I like the look of the applique, but not the process of cutting and tracing and blah blah blah!)

cloud 9 flannels

You may remember I made the husbeast a flannel quilt using Anna Maria's flannels earlier this year and I bound it with a voile, which made me think of satin edged baby blankets. That quilt is still being used, despite it being Summer, because Summer has been a complete wash out over here. It is washed regularly and is still as soft as ever. I had a yard of Tula Pink voile that I'd picked up on sale from Lola Pink fabrics (they still have a little in stock actually) earlier this year. It was a perfect backing choice, and makes the little quilt double sided soft. I then bound it with a pale pink art gallery pure element, that almost feels like a voile, but is just a really high thread count cotton. Sewing the binding on was like sewing butter - it was so lovely. I'm tempted to go back and order the rest of that voile, so maybe you should sneak in fast and do it first. 

The nursery flannels from cloud 9 are even softer than the free spirit ones, and although they inevitably fray a little when you sew them, as flannel does, they didn't fray as much either. I used a good and generous 3/8" seam or so - not quite a 1/2", but definitely bigger than a 1/4". I also didn't pre-wash the flannels, although it's advisable to do so as they can shrink. I didn't think it would matter too much in this case, as the quilt was such a simple design. I also used a poly batting that won't shrink, so that should keep things pretty straight when the quilt is eventually washed.  Plus I just wanted to sew, and I wasn't waiting around for the stuff to dry, I don't have that kind of patience.

Now I'm just waiting for Lily Rose to enter the world and I can use one of these clever little labels from a Yuwa print I got from sew me a song to mark the birthdate.


Nursery flannels are available really soon - Annie at the Village Haberdashery has ordered them and you can sign up for email notification of when they arrive by clicking here.

Monday, 13 August 2012

festival of quilts

From this Wednesday, until Sunday I shall be on stand S10 at the Festival of Quilts, at the NEC, Birmingham.
I'm doing workshop/demos for the Sizzix big shot machine, so pop along and give me a wave. Lauli Pops is also going to repping Sizzix, most likely on the Cotton Patch stand (that's a big stand B21/25 and C19/21). Tula Pink will be in that general area too, signing books and hanging out and saying hi to people. Go and say hi to her, it's her first time over here, and the lack of air conditioning in the NEC is going to make her cranky.

Alice from Backstitch will be on G6 (the stand, not a jet. She's not pulling in that much money from selling fabric)
Aurifil is on G10
Trudi from Quilting Prolifically will be hanging out on the New English Quilter stand B36
Oakshott are H25

If you are going to be at Festival, then come and say hi to me - I might look frazzled, I'm doing 7 workshops each day. Yikes.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Denyse's giant granny

Once upon there was a girl called Denyse. She had a giant granny. She was so huge she couldn't fit into her house any more, so Denyse built her a house out of fabric and quilts, so it would stretch and bend and be more soft and comfy for her giant granny to live in.

The end.

Ok, that's made up. It might not be made up, but I'm pretty sure it is. This is Denyse's giant Granny, a granny square quilt block but made with 5" strips so the block end up around 19.5". I used flea market fancy and some of the Joann's (and Spotlight in Aus) Denyse fabrics, which are so good. I think most of these ones were from the first collection, Picnics and Fairgrounds (? Is that right? It was a while ago and I'm not certain that was what it was called).
I had planned to make this super big but then I got bored, so it's a nice small twin-ish size instead, about 60" x 80", which is still a pretty good size, and probably more sensible because it wouldn't go on my bed so where the heck was I thinking of using a massive king size quilt anyway?
That background is timeless treasures sketch in white and black. Obviously. Obsessed much? Remember UK peeps - Alice at Backstitch has a heap of sketch in stock now (and also Fat Quarter Shop and Pink Castle Fabrics for my overseas peeps). I don't think I need to bang on about how good it is any more, do I? I did that just the other day. 

It was good light today, not too bright, not too dark so I took a few pics...

giant grannies

a blowing in the breeze pic...

giant grannies

and the from behind to look like stained glass pic....

from behind

Off it goes to Long Arm Chris. Bye Bye Denyse's Giant Granny.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

running in fast to say hi


About 300,000,000,000 years ago or so I was in a bee with some awesome people and they made me awesome blocks that have sat around being ignored for the longest longest time because I was too lazy to make myself some blocks to go with them. Go figure. Plus I had no reason to finish the quilt, no baby girl of my own (my baby girl is all big and teenagery), and I was distracted by the shiny new quilts that kept pushing themselves to the front of the line.
Because I've been tidying out my fabric closet and trying to make some room for the new fabric lines that I absolutely must have (Chicopee, Field Study, Liberty Lifestyle and Center City are the biggies - I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for them) I found the sad little orphan blocks and because I had nothing else that I really wanted to do right there and then they helped me out and sewed themselves together into a simple little baby quilt. It's about 45" square, so only tiny, but perfect for a baby (because babies are also very tiny). I just need to quilt it and bind it and then I'll pop it into the closet for the next little baby girl that comes along, I think, because it's really really cute and makes me want a whole big wonky stars quilt.

I'm going to be teaching at a shop in Leeds in the Autumn, with Brioni, and one of the classes is a beginners quilt class - from selecting fabrics and cutting etc etc right through to binding. We'll be making this quilt, which is nice and simple and just a single block repeated. I've pieced the class sample, Brioni is going to quilt it (because I hate that bit) and then we'll drop it off at the Skep ready for the class. The fabrics aren't really me at all, but I really like how they look together now it's pieced. I'm sure Brioni will make it look amazing with her quilting too.

class quilt

Long arm Chris, my friend and local long arm quilter (and a really awesome person) has just started a blog. She's a little nervous about this modern technology stuff, so go over and say hi to her and make her blog a regular visit of yours. She's a really great quilter, and so lovely with it too.

So that's it - quick post today, I am trying to bind a quilt and type this post at the same time and it's not really happening as it should. Have a great day whatever you're doing, wherever you are. In fact - what are you doing and where are you? Tell me!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I heart sketch

If you follow me at all you will have heard me bang on about the sketch fabrics by timeless treasures an awful lot.

All of the pictures of projects below are made using sketch as the 'solid'. Personally I think it's the best stuff out there, and I say that hand on heart - I buy it a lot. Actually buy it, I'm not getting it sent to me for free by Timeless Treasures, (although people at Timeless Treasures, if you would like to send me it, I'd be eternally grateful, it'd save me a flipping fortune.)

velveteen star

It adds the kind of texture I like from a not-so-solid-solid. It's printed densely enough to look solid from a distance, but open enough to give it that little bit of yum factor (which is a technical term, you know).

swoon pillow

I love the added depth you can get from using something with a textured print, it doesn't look as flat as if you were using a regular solid. It feels more 3 dimensional, more alive, just more, somehow.

spring carnival pillow

Now, textured blenders are nothing new - they're beloved of traditional quilters and until recently have been a little bit sniffed at by the more modern types.

zombie constellation

The traditional quilters are probably (and justly) laughing right now at the young 'uns finally jumping on the bandwagon and shouting from the rooftops about how awesome a textured blender is.

Giant granny!

Alice at Backstitch has sketch in her shop right now. So that is excellent news for the UK and European peeps, we don't have to order from far, far away lands and hope and pray for the package to slip through customs without a nasty charge. I'm thinking of using purple for my new scrap vomit quilt. Or maybe lipstick. Or possibly tangerine. I don't know - I just want them all. Alice has that covered too - she's got a bundle for sale. Oh pretty bundle (I wouldn't be able to cut into it though - it looks so gorgeous as a stack, doesn't it?)

Overseas folks - you can order from Brenda at Pink Castle or Fat Quarter shop, that's where I have always bought from before now and both are excellent stores with excellent shipping times and service.

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