Thursday, 26 January 2012

Winter Stitching list - update

A quick check of Sarah's blog reminded me it was time to check in against the list of sewing I said I'd do back in late goes!
FairyFace Designs
  • Bee blocks:  I finally caught up with these a couple of weeks back, and have just completed Judiths scrappy log-cabins (in the pink below!) which brings me almost up to date!

  • Craft fairs - well this pretty much took over my life in November and December.  In total, I think my stuff was on sale at 6 or 7 fairs,

  • Business cards - done!  Thank you MOO!

  • Childcare - tick. I have a childminder in place for a few hours a week and Felix is happy, except for the few seconds as I leave the room, which she still doesn't like :(

  •  Brit Quilt Pillow fight - loved it - here's what I made, and what I was lucky enough to receive

  •  Christmas presents - done!  Table runner, chair covers, tote bags, make-up bags etc.

  •  Learning to screen-print onto fabric - I'm so excited about Tuesday I am going to spend the day with a local screen-print artist, who happens to do the most beautiful tea-towels and other products, and we are going to try some simple screen prints onto calico and linen...will report back.
  • Add to my solids stash..err..well stash has definitely grown, so I guess this is a tick!

 Hmm...from now on it all gets a bit less impressive...

  • Sliced coins quilt - absolutely no progress...zilch....nada
  • Ditto for my Bee Europa Quilt for Felix, and a quilt for me...but I do have The Stained Pink Quilt along planned, thanks to the lovely Sarah.
  • Free motion quilt a large item...not yet
  • Approach another time for this one either!
 There were, however, a few things that weren't on the list...

  •  A few commissions that popped up along the way

  •  Making a quilt to sell - the bonkers quilt

  •  Taking part in another secret swap, the Mouthy Stitchers zippy pouch swap... I'm currently stalking my partner for ideas of what to make them!
  •  Getting through to the Shortlist in the Quokka quilts Bloggers choice bundle competition...I made it through to the last 8 (out of over 300!) with this selection...and although I didn't win, I was still super chuffed to get that far.
  • Oh, and Carly over Crafted by Carly very kindly awarded me this blog award - Thanks Carly!

Bring it on 2012, let's get some more things ticked off!


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Bonkers quilt is coming along...and a slice of fabric heaven

I definitely had a moment of angst with the plan for the quilt I mentioned in my last post.  Having cut 45 10" squares in VERY bright fabrics and arranged them in 3x3 blocks of 9, it all looked....well...a bit bonkers.   I was more than slightly concerned that the finished quilt would look like a pair of dungarees I had in my late know the sort, worn along with the tatty dyed hair and the army boots...and somehow I think that's what's good for 1990's dungarees, probably isn't good for a quilt now!

I persevered, and made the first couple of sets of disappearing-9-patch blocks (shown here on my car bonnet because it was the only dry place outside!)

and do you know what?  dungarees or otherwise, I liked them...

Spurred on I finished the other sets and pieced them all together last night to give me a completed quilt top measuring 56" x 70".

Phew, that was a pleasingly quick top to make...I think I may add a border to give it a little extra size but due to poor planning I don't have a 70" length of any of the solids.  Anyone got any good ideas for pieced borders?

In other news, I have to admit that I had an online fabric splurge with my Christmas money (thanks to both sets of parents!) a couple of weeks ago.  The first of three anticipated parcels arrived earlier this week, so you can imagine my glee when out spilled this selection from Pink Castle Fabrics.

Some yummy solids Kona Cyan, Bone, Stone and Pepper.

Plus a whole host of half yards that just took my fancy as I was browsing..including the clocks from Melody Millers new line, Ruby Star Shining, some Etchings and some Joel Dewberry.   Typically for me, none of them match, but I love them all!

And then, as I was about to hit publish on this post...the postman arrived with another two parcels.  Out came the camera lucky do I feel!

From the Fabric Shoppe I'd chosen this Mod Green Pod Kaufman print, and these adorable birdies by David Walker for Free Spirit.  And Susan, I'd just about packaged up your birdies, but since the envelope is still open, I can add some of these in, if you'd like :)

In this package, I'd also ordered a pot luck bundle...2 yards of scraps (although I don't think I call just shy of half a yard a scrap!) so by chance I've got myself some of the fabulous scissor print I keep seeing everywhere at the moment.

And finally, the last parcel was from The Intrepid thread...and it did not disappoint... half yards of Lark by Amy Butler, and Terrain by Kate Spain,

A yard each of these lime green parrots by Tina Givens, this Aubergine Domestic Bliss print by Moda,  and the "Dazzle" print from Andover fabrics

And then (as if that wasn't enough!) two mini half yard bundles - Taza by Dena Fishbein and Karavan by Valorie Wells.

It's all a bit much, I think I need a lie down (and a ban on Internet shopping until Easter)


Friday, 13 January 2012

Bee-n catching up, and a question...

I have a number of Bee blocks for Bee Europa on my urgent list for 2012, as I'm ashamed to say I got a bit left behind last year. Johanna asked for trees, so I made her a forest with a meadow in the middle.

and Ulrike asked for a non-wonky star, so I made her this 16.5" sun.  This is based on an Eastern star pattern block I found in one of my books, but I switched some of the HSTs (half square triangles) for squares and twisted some around to give the loop in the centre.

And then I decided my next project was going to be a quilt to sell...don't ask me why, this is not on my Winter stitching list, I just felt the urge to make some thing BIG!   Having decided this, I've also realised it's got to be a pretty straightforward pattern  (because I can't afford for it to take me 6 months, there's Sarah's quiltalong in Feb I'm also going to be doing!) and not using my most favourite fabrics, (since I want to make a small profit and I can't bear to see my favourite fabrics leave me!)  

A bit of umming and ahhing later, and I've decided on a ginormous Disappearing-9-patch design, starting with 10" squares which will be sewn together/chopped up/re-sewn to make 28.5" megablocks!  For the fabric I'm using some single squares of my precious fabrics in zingy colours, mixed with some solids and less favourite fabrics, including the black, white and lime green swirl at the bottom of the picture.  This was a king size duvet cover I found in a charity shop, but it's HOBBS, and lovely quality,so if it works I may well use it for the back too.

So, the question I would really like some opinions on BIG?   If you were going to spend a reasonable sum of money on a quilt, and it was going to be in these fabrics would 60" x 60" suffice? (the original plan, for a throw/lap quilt)  or would you disregard it as too small for a double bed? does it need to be more like 70" x 80"?  or would you only look at a huge king-size quilt? 

I know it depends on what the quilt is intended for, but any thoughts or experience on what sells well is most welcome!


Friday, 6 January 2012

Easing back into it...

I have to say I've been a bit slow to return to the sewing machine this yesterday I decided to ease myself back into it with a spot of online fabric browsing!  No purchases made (yet!) but I did spend an inordinate amount of time perusing the amazing selection at the Fat Quarter Shop in order to enter the Quokka Quilts bloggers choice competition (despite telling a few bloggy friends that I was going to avoid it, to prevent being tempted into buying lots!)

For those not in the know, this is a fabulous opportunity to fritter a few hours picking a dream bundle of fabrics from the huge range at the Fat Quarter shop.  The entries will be judged and the best fabric selection will win 15, yes 15! half yards of fabric.

Now there are lots of amazing fabric selections already and I really struggled to come up with something different.   My first idea, to choose the colours used in the table runner I recently made, were scuppered when I couldn't quite recreate the look I instead I came up with this:
1.Ruby Sundae by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics  2.Cherry Garden Pindot by Michael Miller Fabrics  3.Kaffe Classics Cantaloupe aboriginal dot by Westminster Fibers  4.Happy Mochi Yum Yum in Lemon by Monica Solorio-Snow for Lecien Fabrics 5.Lemon Grove Yellow Swirly Light Ground by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures Fabrics  6. Pinfeathers Lime Ditsy Leaves  by Carina Gardner for Northcott Fabrics 7. Pocket Full of Posies Key Lime Polka Dot  by Foliage for Windham Fabrics 8. Peacock Lane Turquoise Falling Flowers by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics 9.  Lanikai Navy Gridlock by Dear Stella Fabrics  10. Early Birds Plum Polka Dot  by Jane Sassaman for Free Spirit Fabrics  11. Echo Purple Lina  by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics 12.Heirloom Amethyst Blockade Blossom  by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabrics 13.Free Spirit Designer Solids Slate Grey by Free Spirit Fabrics 14.  Bella Solids Silver by Moda Fabrics  15. Free Spirit Designer Solids Winter White  by Free Spirit Fabrics
I opted for rainbow palette because even though it may be a bit "done" really it's my long standing favourite fabric combination, and to keep to a theme I selected mainly single colour/white that whilst all the prints are by different designers, they all look like they've been created by silhouette or light-sensitive paper.  My solids are greys and a crisp white, all ready to stitch up into a rainbow quilt :)

That exercise was so much fun, that I was reinvigorated and stitched up the first of the things on my urgent list, a make-up pouch especially for Jess, the winner of my give-away before Christmas.  Jess said she likes blues and purple with grey, so I aimed for a classy look (for this classy lady!) with a Philip Jacobs print.

On it's way to you Jess, hope you like it!


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Hello 2012!

I'm not sure whether I should be proud or ashamed of the fact that I haven't switched my sewing machine on since the 24th December!   Either way, it is a fact and we've had a rather marvellous time jam-packed with family, food, drinks, friends and pressies..

So I know I've missed the boat a little but here's a couple of the gifts that I made before Christmas but couldn't show you...

First up, four dining room chair cushions for brother number 2.  Two patched and two in the london print with added piping. If you read this post, you will know that I made one of them with the fabric the wrong way up.  I didn't get time to fix it and Matthew was very understanding, I hope it'll give him a story to tell around the dinner table!

And then there was a table runner for my Aunt...I wanted a "together" look for this so ended up buying a Joel Dewberry "Heirloom" FQ pack in colours that I hoped would go with her decor.  In the end I used 5 of the prints, plus two of the Echo range by Lotta Jansdotter and two Just Dandy prints by Josephine Kimberley.  I picked them all online, so was quite chuffed that they all seem to go together in real life!

The table runner measures a chunky 60" by 19" and is backed with a furnishing fabric that I happened to have, plus stripes of the prints.  Here's Jane modelling it, and a snap she kindly took of the present "in-situ".

After all that over-indulgence, we sat down with the kids on New Years Eve and wrote a list of New Years resolutions which are on our kitchen whiteboard.  Kaitlyn decided that hers was "To have a new hobby of horse-riding".  Clever girl worked out she could use the exercise to her advantage!

So my dull ones (the ones on the board) are to really clear the house of clutter, including two basement rooms that are full to the rafters and currently unusable, and secondly to do more washing!  On a more interesting note, my fabric-related ones are:
  1. To decide on a direction for the mini-business that I've started with InspiredbyFelix (local shops? online? craft fairs? commissions?) and be more focussed with the limited time I've got 
  2. To make time to take risks and be more creative for me, hopefully designing my own quilt
  3. To learn to screen-print my own designs onto fabric
  4. To write shorter blog entries, but more often!
So far, I'm failing on No.4, so I'll sign off now, but all that remains is to say a huge thank you to you guys for reading my waffle, encouraging me and offering practical advice, and also for being totally inspiring.   The feedback and the blogs I read really do make me want to learn more and create more...

So here's to a creative 2012!