Friday, 30 December 2011

Note to self...

If I ever decide to enter a quilt competition again, can somebody remind me not to leave it until 3 days before the deadline...

And if I am stupid enough to leave it to the last minute, please can somebody remind me not to pick a pattern that requires the trimming of 108 half square triangles.

I only had 5" squares to work with and I needed 3.5" squares which means that my pile of trimmings is actually larger than the finished squares - what a waste!

Add those 108 HSTs to 36 nine-patches, 72 3.5" squares, and 36 rails and hopefully you will get a quilt. Hopefully.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Bloggers' Choice Competition

You may have seen the Bloggers' Choice bundles popping up on the internet; Fat Quarter Shop ask famous bloggers to choose 12 prints and 3 coordinating solids and then they bundle a fat quarter of each of them for you to buy. Perfect for people who can't make decisions.

Quokka Quilts are running a fantastic competition. Make your own bundle up and link it to their blog and one super lucky person will win a half yard of each of the fabrics they chose!

I have spent hours trying to pick a collection and there is just too much choice. I snuck some of my favourite designers in there but there are also some ranges I'd never seen before.

First row
Domestic Bliss Teal Lattice
Palladium Gray Tear Drop
Palladium Clay Paisley
Bohemian Soul Pearl Lace
Free Spirit Designer Solids Light Jade

Second row
Prince Charming Honey Snail Scallop
Michael Miller Beige Dumb Dot
Bespoken Aqua Stitchery
Palladium Gray Peacock
Pure Elements Verve Violet Solid

Third Row
Michael Miller Baby Charcoal Feeling Groovy
Sophie Blue Fiesta Houndstooth
Palladium Sterling Cobblestone
Prince Charming Aqua Snail Scallop
Pure Elements Ash Solid

What do you think? Have a go yourself - it's much harder than you think.

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Christmas Present from Kim at The Fat Quarters

Do you need some motivation to finish up all those WIPs? If you book in any quilt to be long-arm quilted between now and the end of January, you will get 10% off. You also get 10% off the backing and wadding.

Take a look at some of the patterns we have available here. There are lots of others in the shop so give us a call or drop us an email to have a chat about how we can finish your quilt.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Have you met Thomas Knauer?

Thomas is a designer for Andover Fabrics and his first line is called Pear Tree.

It is bright, bold and graphical and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. I particularly like the loopy prints.

Thomas ran a give-away with a difference at the beginning of the month. He didn't want you to follow him or like his facebook page or answer a silly question. All he asked was that you pledge to make a quilt for Bumble Beans Basics

It was such a lovely idea that I signed up at once and I won!!!!! I am so excited. I get to play with these lovely fabrics and do something nice for somebody who really needs the warm hug of a home made quilt. So now I have another quilt to add to the list. I may even use one of Thomas' patterns because I think they're as awesome as his fabrics.

If you get a chance, pop on over to ThomasKnauerSews to see what he's up to next. There are also some photos of his super cute daughter that are adorable.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Put down the mouse and step away from the computer

I decided to use one of the Missouri puzzle blocks for my competition quilt:

It seems simple enough and eye catching. I thought I would use an unusual setting to give it a bit of a twist but I'm not sure if it might be a little bit too complicated.

There comes a time, however, when you just need to stop faffing on the computer and actually pick up the fabric. I hope it turns out ok.

Just between us, if somebody asked my to describe my taste in quilts I'd find it really difficult. I like traditional and modern, new and old, bold and subdued. The one thing I can definitively say is that I do not like this range. It reminds me of bed and breakfast dust ruffles - yuk!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Iron Quilter research

I've been brainstorming ideas for the Iron Quilter competition. I'm still not sure if I have the time to join in but it's always best to be prepared just in case. 

I have 3 charm packs of Moda's Summer breeze line and the rules state that I have to use at least one entire pack and any other fabric that I want.

I'm not really a fan of blue and yellow florals, they remind me too much of 1980s Laura Ashley interiors. I needed to be inspired so got out my giant book of 5500 Quilt Blocks and searched for Missouri. Since the competition is run by The Missouri Star Quilt Company, I thought that would be the best place to start. Here are the blocks I found:

Missouri Morning Star

Missouri Puzzle

Missouri Daisy

Missouri Star

Missouri Gateway Star

 Missouri Windmills

Missouri Wonder

A lot of those can be ruled out because I either have no idea how to make them or it's not practical to make them with 5" squares.

Hmmm.... food for thought. I'm leaning towards one of the Missouri Puzzle blocks but I need to make a decision by Thursday evening so I can hit the late night opening of The Fat Quarters and buy up any supplies I need.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Quilt Aid

Have you heard of Quilt Aid? 12 quilt designers from Australia have designed 12 blocks that go together to make a fabulous quilt. The blocks are available from 6 shops around Europe and each shop has a different finishing kit so you have 6 different finished quilts to choose from.

The blocks range from beautiful to adorable and, having seen them in person, I really want to give them a go.

Available from Paprika Cotton Store in Belgium:

 Designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly and Natalie Ross of In Stitches

Available from The Fat Quarters in the UK:

Designed by Janelle Wind and Janet Rowe of Wildcraft 

Available from Den Haan & Wagenmakers in The Netherlands:

Designed by Helen Stubbings of Hugs 'n' Kisses and Catherine Baynes of Willow Valley Store

Available from The Log Cabin in Germany:

Designed by Brenda Ryan of Thimble Stitch and Gail Pan of Gail Pan Designs

Available from The Stitch Cottage in The Netherlands:

Designed by Liz Stanway of Teddlywinks and Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches

Available from Aztec Rose in The Netherlands:

Designed by Lynette Anderson and Natalie Bird of The Birdhouse

A substantial amount from each sale goes to the Quilt Aid charity that funds The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. The hospital treats women who have had complications during childbirth and need long term care. They also promote maternal health and help to improve infant mortality. You can read more about the hospital on the Quilt Aid website.

The quilt is made in Bonnie and Camille's Ruby line which is one of my favourites so how can you resist a beautiful quilt for a fantastic cause.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

WIP Wednesday No. 13

Mum's Quilt Top - Complete
It feels good to get something finished, even if it is just the top.

The plan for this week is to get this quilted and bound. I can't decide whether to take it in to work and long-arm it or just do some straight line quilting at home. I'm still too scared to free-motion on my machine at home.

I picked another odd colour combination to tackle this week. Kaffe Fassett is known as the master of colour... Sienna and magenta? Really Kaffe?

A touch of violet seemed to work well. It's never going to be my favourite block but it looks nice with the others. I don't know whether I'm doing something wrong, it takes me all evening to do one block. I'm sure it should be quicker than that.

I now have 7 star blocks;

two striped blocks;

and a lonely mini hexagon block

At this rate it's going to take me years to finish this up. This week I'm going to concentrate on striped blocks because I can do those much quicker. Hopefully I can get at least two made up this week.

No progress projects

Why not pop over to Freshly pieced to see what everyone else is up to this Wednesday. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Something completed - finally!

It seems like months since I finished anything and, although I realise it isn't a complete finish, I'm happy to have finished the quilt top for the sofa.

To give you some context, here is a picture of our very beige living room with a dark plum sofa that sticks out like a sore thumb.

The quilt top has turned out a lot busier than I thought it would but I still think it does a good job at tying in the plum and beige.

I'm going to take it into work tomorrow and see if I can sneak it onto the long-arm and get it quilted. It would be a lovely surprise for mum. she's coming out of the hospital on Thursday evening for the knitting club Christmas dinner (sounds exciting, right?) so, if it could be done by then, that would be perfect.

Now on to a hexagon...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

WIP Wednesday No. 12

I'm having a re-jig of my WIPs because I realised that I've been scaring myself by listing projects that I haven't even started. They non-starters are going in their own separate section so hopefully I will be less overwhelmed and more able to get something done.

Quilt for mum
A brand new range of fabrics, Melrose by Red Rooster Fabrics, came into the shop where I work and they would look just perfect in our living room. I quickly snapped some up with the aim of making a throw sized quilt for one of the sofas.

Our living room was predominately beige and mum decided to inject some colour into it by buying a dark plum sofa. Needless to say it now sticks out like a sore thumb so I'm hoping to calm it down a bit with a throw.

I decided on the Hidden Wells pattern I used with Rouenneries fabric previously. Its quick, effective and makes use of the contrasting fabrics quite well. I've sliced and sewed and sliced again and it's well on its way.

This picture shows the balance of fabrics in the top, although these blocks have been re-sliced now. Fingers crossed mum will be coming out of the hospital next week and I'm determined to have this quilt done by then.

I didn't complete any hexagons this week but I slowly basted all my spotty fabrics, a couple at a time in front of the TV.

I can now see which odd colour combinations I'm going to deal with first. I think the brown and magenta at the bottom and the maroon and green at the top right are top of the list to match up with solids.

Other projects
  • Strawberry Patch - Echo quilted 3 blocks, not much but at least it's progress
  • Neutral jelly roll bear paws - Still waiting to be quilted
  • Shabby Wedding Rings - No progress

Plan for the week
  • Finish off mum's Melrose quilt
  • Piece 8 wedding ring curvy bits
  • Complete at least one hexagon
I think that should be manageable - baby steps. Check in next week to see if I made it.

Why not pop over to Freshly pieced to see what everyone else is up to this Wednesday. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Big package, little package

There was a scary moment this weekend when I thought that I must order fabric in my sleep. This package turned up at the door. That's a pretty big box, I don't remember ordering that much fabric...

Phew, I'm not sleep shopping. Inside the big package was a smaller package...

Fun! Pass the parcel! Inside the smaller parcel was a purchase worth wrapping twice. A Jelly roll and a layer cake of Echo by Lotta Jansdotter.

I hadn't even remembered buying this so maybe I do have a problem. I'm glad I did take the plunge because it's absolutely spectacular in person.

Now it's getting ridiculous. I'm writing another list and getting some jobs done. Surely if I keep myself really busy then I won't be able to do any more shopping.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Mug rugs for a good cause

Next Friday is Children in Need night on the BBC. For those of you not based in the UK, Children in Need is a charity that helps children and young people in need all over the UK. Pretty self-explanatory really.

The mascot of the charity is a super cute bear called Pudsey who has one eye - awwwww. To raise money I have designed a mug rug with Pudsey on. Say hello....

The kits are available from The Fat Quarters. You can buy them online or pop in to the shop to pick one up and see what other fun is going on. They are £3.50 each, of which £1.75 goes straight to the charity.

Go on, it's for a very good cause.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Well there goes another good intention....

When I looked at my WIP Wednesday this week, I realised that my WIPs are growing. I used to start a project and carry it through to the end but now it's been months since I actually finished anything. So I had all the intentions in the world not to start anything new, to concentrate on one thing at a time and to finish up some projects.

But then this arrived:

I just love the look of a USPS packet because I know straight away that it's going to have gorgeous fabric inside. This one had my charm packs for the "Iron Quilter" competition and this beautiful, if slightly crumpled, layer cake of Chrysalis by Sanae.

I know it's quite an old line now but I've been resisting it for so long, I finally gave in. One of the first quilts I made was this disappearing 9-patch using the Arcadia line, which is by the same designer, and I just adored it. I sold it and I know it went to a very good home but I miss it.

I'm hoping I can make something I will love just as much with this layer cake.

When we were at the "Knitter natter" last night in Woolaballoo it was late night opening at The Fat Quarters next door (it really is dangerous having these two shops next door to each other). My sister decided she wanted some Christmas bunting

Any excuse for fabric shopping is good for me so we ran next door and bought these cute Countdown to Christmas  fabrics by Sweetwater. Another design team that I have admired from afar. At least that should be a quick project.

So, instead of finishing up a project this week, I have already added 3 new ones. Poop.