Monday, 20 October 2014

Holiday



We're having a chill break for a little warmth and downtime, in sunny Tenerife.  We've never been here before, but are very impressed.  We normally look for somewhere which has excursion possibilities (historical sites being a favourite) and had always dismissed The Canaries as being just a resort.  Well, our view hasn't changed but our current needs have.  After a rather stressful period, we were in need of a rest and a bit of looking after, which we have certainly found!  That's not today I haven't been sewing (can a leopard change its spots?!) but something undemanding.



And that something is hexagons!   I've also discovered a great way of cutting the fabric.  Usually you end up with fabric which looks like large mice have been chewing at it - all lacey!  This method is much quicker.  I just cut 2.5" strips and then subcutaneous them into squares.  The papers it's beautifully on there.  I suppose you could snip the corners off if you were a perfectionist, but I didn't bother.

And here is the progress so far.  Looks a bit strange, but the red lozenge will be the central motif, surrounded by other lozenges and rosettes.  So far so good!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Day out

Today Paula and I went over to 'Hannah's Room' in Coalville.  It only took us about 20 minutes and was easy to find on the main street.  The shop is owned by Roxana, who is enthusiastic and inspirational.  there is a good range of fabrics, and the prices are very reasonable - a bonus in these days of recession!  We always like to support local quilt shops, but our main reason for today's visit was that Roxana had organised a Project Linus sewing day! 
 
 
Paula and I were particularly keen to layer up a few tops ready for quilting, and Roxana was so concerned to see us tacking the layers together that she gave us a can of 505 spray and gave us a lesson on how to glue baste quilts.  Despite my past reservations, I have to admit, I'm converted!  We layered 5 quilts in the morning (and had plenty of chatting and biscuit-eating time) which was an excellent result! 

 
Add to that Roxana's offer to quilt 4 of the quilts and it was a result!
At home, I've been quilting something of my own.  This fat quarter quilt is now ready to bind.  I  quilted it in the ditch and then did some free motion circle and squiggle motifs in the centre of each block. 

 
Here's a close up.

 
The circle fits nicely in the centre square and the squiggles in the first frame.

 
It's a good way of holding the layers together!  Now to cut some binding.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Big Textile Show

As Project Linus UK rep, I was thrilled to be invited back to The Big Textile Show to have a stand.  This year it was at a new venue, Leicester Grammar School which was much bigger and more spacious (as well as being very swish!  That's private education for you!). 
 
 
Maria and I went on Saturday, and had enough space for a display and a demonstration table.  Julie and Emily were able to help too.  Many thanks for that.  It looks pretty quiet here, but 100 people took Linus leaflets (50 people did last year) so we were actually very busy, which was lovely.

 
Here you can see how spacious it was.  We were right near the entrance, so there were occasional lulls when people were having lunch etc. and didn't pass by.

 
Here's a view in the hall where most of the traders were.  The man on the right had lots of gorgeous leathers.  The smell was fabulous! 

 
Second hand craft books and lots of activity round a stall selling fabric stamps.

 
A lot was going on upstairs, including Rosie with her Morsbag team.  And this is what I bought.

 
The stand next to us was for the charity Azafady which teaches women in Madagascar to embroider, and then sells their work.  This enables them to have a skill and income of their own, to better their families.  I fell in love with this embroidery, and intend to frame it - after all, it's a work of art.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

I can't believe it!

I know I've got plenty of inspiration, but I couldn't resist treating myself to the latest copy of 'Patchwork and Quilting'.  Lots of interesting projects and articles in there, until I turned over a page, to be confronted by this!

 
I had no idea that this was in the offing, but I'd just like to say thank you very much!  I'm very honoured to be Blog of the Month, and rather gobsmacked! 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Fat quarters

I've continued my investigations into fat quarter quilts, and have made my design using actual fat quarters!  I went down to the Bramble Patch (my local quilt shop) and hoped to buy a fat quarter pack.  Unfortunately, while they had lots of fat eighth packs, and other goodies, no fat quarter bundles.  So, I had to make my own.  I chose the Moda Chantilly range and picked 8 fat quarters which I thought made a nice set.  Then I started cutting and sewing, and this is the result!
 
 
A little dark, but you get the idea.  And this is what was left over!

 
A few 1.5" squares and some 2" strips.  Good, eh? 
I have to confess that there was a little joining of fabric to make the last block, but that's patchwork!  Nine fat quarters would be an insurance policy, but to get a quilt finishing at 48" x 48" from 8 fat quarters, is pretty amazing.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Magic!

I love clever, quick quilty ideas, and this one is magic!  First, take two squares,  one light and one dark.  (Mine measured 7.5 inches.)
 
 
Then sew, cut (but no strips!!) and hey presto, two nine-patches of 6.5 inches!

 
As ever, this isn't my idea, and if you want the method, you'll have to look at Barb's blog for the full instructions.  Happy sewing.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Fat quarters

Fat quarters, those delectable little fabric temptations!  We all succumb to their charms at one time or another, and I'm very guilty in that direction!   I decided that the time had come to make another attempt to use up the fabric in my stash, and those fat quarters were first on the list!  I looked at several patterns and books to get some inspiration, but couldn't find what I wanted.  The patterns either seem to have instructions which call for a bunch of fat quarters, but only cut, say, 15" squares from them.  That's no good - I want to use them up, not just create more scraps!  Or they use up the fat quarters, but to complete the pattern you need coordinating yardage for backgrounds and borders.  That's no good either, as I want to use up fabric, not buy more!  So I decided to try and design a pattern for myself.
 
  
 
I started with these simple bordered squares.  They look good, and certainly fit the bill, but they're a bit limited.

 
So I added another border round each one.  This had the advantage of knitting up big, and looking a bit more interesting.
 
 
Then my creative juices got going, and I added cornerstones to each block.  Still good for using up all the fabric, but an even more interesting design.  Each block finishes at nine and a half inches, and you can nearly get four blocks from one fat quarter.  So that means you can add some strips from your scrap boxes to finish the last block - even better!  Now that's what I call 'fat quarter friendly'!