Saturday 28 November 2015

Brrrrr.... its been snowing round these parts!

Its that time of the month again, my Sizzix blog post is up, and this month I've been playing with snowflakes ...  You can read it here.

I hope you'll like it !

Friday 30 October 2015

Curves Not Curves - the finish line

I finally finished the Curves not Curves quilt ! 

you can see a full explanation of how I made my quilting choices and see the whole finished quilt over on the Sizzix blog here.  Please go take a look! 

Saturday 29 August 2015

Creating Curves ... part 2

So, I'm back over on the Sizzix blog today with an update on the curved piecing that's not actually curves.  You can go find my post here, if you'd like to go take a look

this is the second block used to make the quilt

Quilting to commence shortly!

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Cultivate - Blog Tour

I can not tell you how excited I was to be asked by Bonnie Christine of Going Home to Roost, Designer for Art Gallery Fabrics,  to be part of the Cultivate Blog Tour  

How could I miss this opportunity!  I knew as soon as the fabric designs had been released that it was coming to live with me!  Well. Cultivate is my word of the year!  

So I already had this rather beautiful stack of fabric that I may have already made one quilt from, but unfortunately that one is still in the secret sewing category.

With a little bit of inspiration from this book by Amber Johnson
I had a little play around with one of the patterns in there.  Why do a baby quilt when you can do a bed quilt right? 

So this is the block, in the book it comes out at 38", but you know me, Keep it simple, so I rounded up the measurements to simple sizes, easy to work with, and less for my brain to think about, 

added in some extra sashing to tie in the four blocks, and hey presto

A quilt is born!  
a whopping 92" square quilt, and I love it!

I added some Pure Elements in White Linen as the background, and it adds a real sheen to the whole quilt.  

I had to wait for the rain to come, so I could get a photo, (there was a distinct absence of people around for quilt holding duties) and the sun just beamed in and blocked the view otherwise.

I used a wool wadding to give me great loft and definition for the quilting ....

cos, you know I'm all about the quilting!

and because this stripe runs across the width of the fabric, I cut it on the bias for the binding.  

I love using more than one colour of binding, and both colourways of this fabric work brilliantly, don't you think? 

So there you go, I have been cultivating my creativity with Cultivate, designed by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics, and what a joy it is to play with such beautiful fabrics, just because, and for no other reason.  

I hope you will take the time to go back and see what everyone has been making during the Cultivate Blog Tour.  You can see the full list of talented participants here. 

Yesterday was Rachel over at The Floral Suitcase, she made some fabulous coasters,  they are so pretty!  
And tomorrow is the turn of Maria over at Villa Stoff Blog.  I cant wait to see what Maria makes, because I'm loving her holiday pics right now! 

(just so you know, this is my third quilt I have pieced, quilted and bound this month, more about the others soon!)

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Creating Curves ...

With Straight lines!  So, to keep with the theme of the Double Wedding Ring quilts, I wondered whether I could create curves, without the curved piecing.  Well, because I know that some of you find the thought of those curves just a little step too far... right?

So I've been playing with my Sizzix Big Shot, and that massive pile of scraps to create a curved quilt, with straight line piecing.

Head on over to the Sizzix blog to find out all about it,

I meant to post this earlier, but life just got in the way!   Go take a look anyway, I'll be back on friday with an update too!

Monday 27 July 2015

Big Mama Melon Progress

I thought it was about time I reported in on my progress of my Big Mama Double Wedding Ring quilts,  its been a few weeks.  

So last time I was all cut, ready to start piecing.  

Now don't get me wrong, I love these templates, but the big melon didn't come with instructions for lining up and I had to do a little guess work.  Fortunately for me, I guessed right. 

You see, these really are BIG melons, like really big!  and on the side are notches in the plastic, not huge, tiny little notches that you can just get a pencil point in sideways, enough to make a mark on the fabric.  If you line up the pointy end of the concave square with the mark you made on the fabric, at both ends, and pin, pin your centers you are ready to sit and sew.  Really, just 3 pins.

If you have the melon on the bottom and the concave square on the top, the bias in the fabric allows you to ease in the top fabric edges to meet the bottom, so a quarter inch seam is always possible.  it also means you can control the bulk of the excess fabric on the top far easier too!

I laid out all the pieces on the floor in the house, no mean feat given the dizzy situation!  I realized that as a 3 x 4 piece, it felt, well, small!  so I did a bit of rummaging in the stash and came up with a bunch of extra fabrics that meant I could keep the colour wash theme running through from light to dark.  

It didn't take long to get the rows sewn together.  and then sew the rows to each other.  I took the time to do the curves of the rows piecing the curved bits, then going back to join the long melon ends, this was so when I pressed the seams, all the melon seams would go in towards the melon and the end bits could be pressed open.  

So once it was together, the prospect of loading it onto the frame with all those curves didn't thrill me, let alone the prospect of binding it!  So I have chosen to add borders to square it up.  I have hand stitched the quilt to the borders that have had the corners mitered.  I will trim off the excess on the back before I load this up for some quilting action.  But not this week eh!

I can honestly say, this really is a quick pattern, and is great for highlighting large print fabrics or where you want to see more of them.  I can highly recommend the templates for ease of use and the size for ease of piecing too!  I can see more of these in my future!

So how have you been getting on?  Have you made as start yet?  I'll try to sort out a Linky thingy soon so you can all share your progress.  

Friday 3 July 2015

The Big Mama Double Wedding Ring

Well Hopefully that title got your attention! LOL

So, a couple of friends and I have been talking for quite some time about doing a Double Wedding Ring Quilt. Those friends are Nicky and Judith. And July is the designated month for starting.  

I can't say it all started with this book by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, but it was the inspiration we needed to get us going.  I have to say, I read this book from cover to cover when it arrived.  and I could go back and do it all again!  

And this pattern just screams out at me.  Though my colour pallet may be a little different.

Whilst I was tidying up my studio, this box of fabric was coming together nicely, and it seems I have a thing for this colour range.  

so I have the basis for my Big City Bright Lights quilt.  

This isn't my first foray into Double Wedding Ring Quilts, 
I pieced this Pickle Dish quilt at least 22 years ago (I know it was that long because my son was a baby at the time)

So this one is going to get a little Trudi treatment in the quilting department, and may indeed be my entry to the Festival of Quilts this year. 

I also have these templates for traditional double wedding ring.  the finished size of a complete ring is 17".  

however, the quilts in V's book are much bigger, like 30" across!  Now that's a Big Mama Double Wedding Ring! 

so that's where I'm heading

But first  ....  I though I would get my hand back into some curved piecing, and V has a great selection of templates on her website, Not only the large scale traditional DWR but a Big Mama Melon to go with them.  (not everyday you get to use that expression!)

so I delved into the stash and this little bundle of Sphere by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics has been winking at me for some time

and seriously, it doesn't take long at all to cut a quilt with big templates 
and frankly, I just couldn't help myself!

So that's where I'm at.  I can think of another 3 variations of the pattern that I would love to make, so this is a long term project.  Some will be quicker than others, some will be a bit hit and miss as to whether the fabrics I have in mind will actually work.

So the plan, well, yes, there is a bit of a master plan here, we will all work on our DWR quilts, post pictures of the process, any tips we find along the way, point you in the direction of patterns or tools that can help.  

We would love for you to join us, just for the fun of it, we will do a Linky party once a month, so you can let us know what you have been up to and your progress too.  No pressure, no sponsors, no prizes, just for fun.

So what do you reckon, are you in?  

we might even manage a Linky Quilt Along button too! And I think I'll start using #BMDWR on Instagram feed too!

Go on, You know you want to!

Friday 26 June 2015

Rising with the sun

I'm not going to complain about the sun rising at 4.30am waking me, and interfering with my sleep,  so I'll embrace the Rising Sun in other ways   ....

you may have seen this on instagram last week.  

Me and my girl spent a happy afternoon making together.  You can read all about it over on the Sizzix Blog, here.

And you can see what we made too!  
Go on take a peak, you know you want to really! 

(update on the dizzies ;  they haven't gone away)

Monday 15 June 2015

Taking a little time with my scraps

Things took a funny turn (quite literally) when the dizzy spells started, 

so I've not been able to do much at all, in fact some days have been just sit, very still, and do nothing

so having recently got myself a copy of the amazing Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell, I managed to stay upright long enough to make templates...

and then another day, I traced fabrics ....

since I recently moved a row of draws under the longarm, my scraps are now being sorted into said draws by colour, so I'm dipping into the hot red/yellows/pinks draw as well as the cool blues/greens 

and from there I can sit in the chair, and very slowly cut and sew, just a little bit without falling out the chair.
(falling over has been a bit of an issue - no alcohol involved either!)

the thing about scraps is, they have such memories - for instance, that lovely ditsy floral green was first given to me by Terri, and this little piece was snaffled up on a trip to Tikki, London on the very first trip to Fat Quarterly Retreat, with Di

this may end up only being a cushion, but slow and steady (ok, slow and very occasionally) will win the race for me at the moment!) 

I'm linking this post up with Nicky over at Mrs Sew and Sow for Scraptastic Tuesday!
(yes I know its not Tuesday either!)

Friday 5 June 2015

Catching up with myself

Where to start! 

Its been too long, I'm sorry!

So, there was a BIG birthday, in fact we will be celebrating another big birthday for my youngest this weekend too!

Afternoon tea with friends, thank you Di for a day full of memories

and to Gillian for my amazing patchwork cake!
I was thoroughly spoiled!

including even more cake

and flowers too!

And lots a very lovely generous gifts from so many friends. 

Thank you all!

There was also a BritBee meet up, sadly my camera never came out once!

On the quilty front, oh so much secret sewing has been happening, 

But finally this months issue of Quilt Now Magazine has the Cloud 9 Quilt I quilted for Jacqui of Hantex, way back in January, along with 7 others too! 

Katy has a done a marvelous job of styling the quilt for the magazine, (as always) and its so nice to be able to share this now. 

And some recent fabric acquisitions include this bundle of Cultivate by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics.  I have something special planned for these! 
(just sayin'!)

Well, I hope to be back soon, with a catch up on the travels too!

Friday 29 May 2015

Jacobs Ladder

I am shocked to find its a month since I last bogged!  
and so much has happened too!

You can find me over  here on the Sizzix Blog today

talking about Jacobs ladder blocks, and a little bit about my process too!

these pretty fabrics ...

and a lookie at contrast

please go take a look what I did with my fabrics and then my scraps.
Yes, Scraps!

and I'll try to be back with something else a bit sooner
(so much to tell!)

Friday 24 April 2015

Crazy House

 Such an apt block from me for this month on the Sizzix blog.
Its been quite a crazy house round these parts!

You can see the block, and how I made it over on the Sizzix blog today.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Catching up with myself - Sizzix

Ok, so I should have posted this at the end of last month and this months post fast approaches,

I've been looking at old block from the Barbara Brackman book

and also inspired by a certain other very creative blogger friend

and so you can find out what I did with the Lucky Clover block over on the Sizzix blog here!  And how to handle those Y seams  too!

Friday 27 February 2015

a Sizzix Spring Inervention

I'm over on the Sizzix blog today, talking about my Spring intervention, with a little inspiration from my recent Stitches trade Show Visit

This is the Broach I made with Angela, and below is a taster of what I've made to brighten up my studio for Spring!

You've still got time to make one of your own, for spring or for Easter!

Wednesday 25 February 2015

its a finish!

A birthday present for my Bestie!

Sorry about the bad lighting, but as you can imagine, being the queen of last minute, it was the night before the birthday!

Which I was very lucky enough to share in the celebrations, in style

And the birthday girl had made everyone a party bag!

Thank you so much Di for inviting me to share in your special birthday celebrations