Thursday, 31 May 2012

Meet Terri!

I know, it's unheard of for me to blog two nights on the trot...but this one is a little different.  One of our Brit Bees, Terri, who is attending the Quilting Retreat this weekend is a Flickr person, but not a blog person.  Therefore, I said I would do her a little intro so fellow retreaters will know who to look for (however, rest assured that you will hear Terri before you see her anyway!)

Fat Quarterly

This is what the lovely lady looks like...

A New Zealander, who spent most of her life living in Australia, and then somehow managed to end up in Sevenoaks, Kent, with an Australian husband and two gorgeous girls.  In previous lives she's been a pharmacist's assistant, a teacher and a potter (which drove her potty)...

Terri is a creative genius who loves Japanese fabrics, embroidery, fonts and calligraphy...oh and did I mention that she bakes...?  Check out this banana bread - yes those are my teeth marks :)

At the retreat you will find her either at one of these classes (in this order)

1) Portholes
2) English paper piecing
3) Freezer paper piecing
4) Frame purses

or talking the hind legs off a donkey somewhere....

She's also doing the Iron man challenge but wonders how she's going to fit that in amongst all the talking... Did I mention that Terri talks a lot?  and that you have to have a super-fast brain to keep up with her stories?  I'm not exaggerating  - her husband says she could carry on talking underwater with a mouthful of marbles.   Apparently, as a child she had to compete for airtime with 8 other siblings hence the development of this skill :)   She thinks it's a weakness, but I think it's wonderful...

and so will you :)


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Quilting Retreat - pre-event party!

Did you know that I am escaping onto a quilting retreat this coming weekend?.   I am terribly looking forward to this and can't wait to meet in person many of the bloggy friends I have made over the last year.  James, on the other hand, can't help sniggering when I put the words "Quilt" and "Retreat" into the same sentence.  I'm afraid to say I think he thinks I'm a geek!!

Fat Quarterly

Anyway, I thought I'd join in with the pre-event party (linking up on the Fat Quarterly website) and introduce myself to fellow retreaters :)

I look like this. Kind'a.
( I got James to take a picture of me for this blog, and didn't like any of them, except that cutie in the middle, so the only option was to put them all very small boxes.  Not sure what dropped down my top in that last one)

No idea what I'll be wearing but by a twist of fate I'll be carrying this, one of my early bag makes (the only one that didn't sell is also my favourite!)

I'm 38 and I used to be an IT Director for an insurance company, officially until about a year ago when my maternity leave ended and I gave my notice, in order to be a full-time Mum to my daughter Felix, who will be 2 next month.   I am also lucky enough to get to hang out with James' two children, to whom I will officially become stepmum in July when we get married.

I am making my own wedding dress and as a result have been a bit of a sporadic blogger of late, as dates loom.

I'll be travelling up to London on the train on sturday morning, accompanied by this quilt for Siblings together
(sewn by Terri and I, who will be hand stitching the binding on the train, at this rate!)

plus an enormous wheelie suitcase, plus fellow Brit Bee and fabric mule, Terri (aka Mish Mash Mama) and Liz (new bloggy friend aka Dandelion Daydreams) and am staying at the Radisson Edwardian Vandebilt on Saturday night.

I'm hoping I'll mostly be:

A) Marvelling at the talent/ superb time management skills/ stash/ quilty finishes of everyone else!
B) Talking to new and old friends
C) Attending these classes (in this order):
  • Portholes
  • Frame purses
  • Freezer paper piecing
  • Designer challenge
D) Living it up with my fellow Brit Bees (a marvellous bunch)
E) Propping up the bar at any opportunity :)

See you there?


Monday, 21 May 2012

Double act!

On Thursday, Terri (aka Mish Mish Mama aka fabulous human being) and I got together to do some sewing.  We'd decided to sew a quilt for the Siblings Together Charity which is rocking the online quilting world at the moment, and a jolly good cause it is too.   Click here to read about it on Lynne's blog, Lily's quilts, if you haven't already.

The vague plan was to sew a quilt in a day - which didn't really happen!  Here's the rough timeline of events:

9.00 Lovely Felix goes to the childminder
9.30 Terri arrives - hot drinks and chat and Internet fabric shopping
9.32  James spots delicious homemade cookies that Terri has brought
10.30 Decide we need a plan, look at available fabrics
10.32 James caves and asks for a cookie
11.00 Settle on using Terri's Pips charm pack as basis for a log cabin quilt, rummage in fabric stashes for coordinates
11.15 Hot drinks, chat, James (working from home!) appears and eats another cookie
11.30 Start cutting and sew a test block (that looks like this), chat

(or was it this one??)

12.00 Terri sewing inner parts of blocks, chain-piecing styley, Ceri slicing strips of fabric for outer logs, chat
13.30 Lunch, chat, James eats a cookie
14.00 Back to it!  Stitch Stitch Stitch - look, we're hard at work, honest!

16.00 Politely request that James goes and retrieves Felix, which he does, in exchange for a cookie - (yes, that's four!)  Fifteen blocks down, 5 to go

17.00 Look, twenty blocks! Terri has to leave for her brood, so we call it a day.

Yep, they need sewing together, quilting and binding, but hopefully we have a plan to achieve that before the Quilting Retreat in two weeks time..

A very satisfying day, in many ways....and we'll have to have another one to get this finished, darn it :)


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Going to a wedding..

I mentioned wedding invites in my last post and since they've arrived with recipients, I can officially share another Inspiredby Felix project that's been taking up a bit of mental space recently!

As you may know, I was a little hooked after doing a days screen printing with Sue.  Well I got this idea of printing wedding invites onto tea-towels.... so I did a drawing (got to love those Sharpie pens!) with most of the information on (dates and address have been fuzzed to protect the innocent!), and with Sue's help got it transferred to a screen.

We printed 50 tea-towels over two sessions lasting about four hours each.  All the invites (plus spares) were hand screen-printed in the first session, in a two-person routine that became second nature after an hour.  These were spread out over Sue's house in order to dry!

And in the second session, a few days later, we added the colours using hand-cut templates.

I ended up folding these with an information leaflet, wrapped in a printed cardboard loop, packaged in smart white envelopes with sketched labels.  Special thanks go out to my Mum who ironed and folded the vast majority! 

I'm pleased to say the response has been fab, and I even got a fabric reply from my cousin, and a wonderful handmade card from my Aunty....craftiness breeds craftiness!


Monday, 7 May 2012

Winter Stitching list round-up

Way back in October I created a winter stitching list and linked up to Sarah over at Fairyface designs - the aim being to tide me through until the warmer climes (ha-de-ha).  I had a little mid-point review in January and now is the time to do a final update on progress.  
FairyFace Designs
The good news first:

1) Bee blocks..The final few have been delivered For the European Bee I have been part of.  I was so late that I'm sure all the lovely ladies in that Bee have been (legitimately) cursing me, so can't inflict my lateness on them any longer and won't be carrying on for a further year.  (lesson to self, do not take on too much!)

2) Brit Bee is still going strong with these blocks being delivered.

I also had my month in March and asked for paper pieced foody blocks...and look what I got!!!!! 
1. Time for Tea?, 2. Needles and Lemons - Eggs!, 3. Brit Bee block, 4. raspberry ripple, 5. Miss March Brit Bee Block, 6. a March Bee Block, 7. Drink up, 8. Pizza!, 9. Brit Bee March Pineapple Block, 10. Foody block from Jo, 11. apple block from Jennie, 12. Brit Bee Block for Ceri

There is also a sooper-dooper mad hatters cake on it's way from Terri (I've had a sneak preview!) and then I need to do a couple of blocks - this is going to be one amazing wall-hanging!!

3) Learning to screen print.  I did this, it was fab, and I'm addicted!  

4) Free-motion a large quilt - I did this with the Bonkers quilt, and my shoulders ached...but, I've had some brilliant tips re making the process a little bit easier on myself (sticky gloves, large table space etc) and would definitely to it again.

5) Approach another shop.  I finally did this a couple of weeks ago.  Feedback was positive so I'm just waiting to see what, if any, stock they'd like.

And the progress that wasn't..

6) The sliced coins quilt has not moved from the pile it was in in January, nor have the blocks for my Bee Europa quilt - I must get to it soon, there's wonderful blocks in there that need showing off

7) The Stained quilt along - I'm so sorry Sarah, this is all still sitting in a reusable Tesco's bag!.  I've seen some amazing Stained quilts, so I will come back to this.

The unplanned...

8) Had a fab time in the Mouthy Stitches swap.  I sent this to IsisJem:
 and got this faberoony pouch from Indianna Dreams!

9) Guest posted at Fairyface designs with a little girls skirt tutorial

10) Mini-quilt made and submitted in the Modern Mini challenge... I didn't win, but had so many lovely comments and people pinning my image, that I felt like I'd won!

11) Made lots of gifts, and more things to sell.

Oh heck, yeah, and decided to get married this summer!  (and here lies my excuse for anything not completed in the above list!!)

A quick summary of the latest on that:

THE DRESS - toile finished, adjustments made and pieces cut from the final fabric.  Facings designed and cut.  Bodice is half stitched together.

THE BRIDESMAIDS - Successful trip to Oxford Street on Saturday resulting in three bridesmaids dresses for the older bridesmaids and three ridunculously high pairs of shoes

(not unlike these - their choice, honest!)
Office Minted court Bri red nubuck

THE INVITES - invites designed, printed and sent by me - watch this space - I hope this one deserves a post of it's very own :)

If you've got to the bottom, thanks so much for reading..shorter post next time, I promise!