Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Feather Bedding my nest

This all started as a 'what if' late at night a couple of weeks ago.  I was looking at the AMH website when  I saw the pattern and loved it.  Actually I was supposed to be looking and and downloading Spinning Stars ready to be swept up in another of Katy's QAL's.  I got completely distracted, ignored Spinning Stars and downloaded the Feather Bed pattern.

Then last week Jo at Saints and Pinners blogged her Feather Bed Quilt. This is actually a free quilt pattern by Anna Maria Horner available here.  It's been released to work with her new Field Study collection which is what Jo had used to make her quilt.

What had gone through my mind in those late nights was would this pattern work as a foundation pieced project - either paper or calico.

I said as much to Jo on Twitter last week and she got all excited.  Monday, with all the major stuff off my table, I get to work.  By Monday evening, I was extremely tired, cranky and finished but I did have two finished sample blocks

I used the cream fabric as it was what I had to hand.  All the scraps used are what most people would throw away. Strips under 2" wide, right down to saved selvedges.  I have three bags of teenies in my workroom ready to be used and this looks to be the perfect project to use some of them.

I'll also need another pack of paper and a black ink cartridge.  Each feather needs two copies of one page to complete if I choose to use the paper option.

All that's left to do now is find a background colour and feather spine colour that works and I like.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Scrap Vomit redux

Yep, I've done another one as I have a whole box of 2.5" squares.  It I have a small piece of fabric, then if I can get a square out of it, then I do. As a result, I have this shoe box full of little squares.  Perfect for swaps but even better for my own use.

Katy started all of this with Scrap Vomit  and keeps leading me (and a lot of other people) astray. Not that I mind as I usually end up learning something.  Quite often I have to sit on my hands when she proposes another quilt-a-long. because I know I will be cheerfully joining in without thinking things though unless I stop and think about the logisitics!

So here is Scrap Vomit Redux - all 80" and 1600 pieces of it.  There are even two scowly faces from Tula Pink's Nightshade Cameo prints.  There are bits of everything in here from all sorts of manufacturers.

Having learnt from version one, this one was made slightly differently and with more pins. Also the pieces were more evenly cut this time so actual construction was a great deal more accurate and a lot easier than version one.  There are some tiny scraps from cherished fabrics that have come in scrap bags from others. Examples are the teeny bits of From Little Things and the single piece of Sis Boom fabric that was not withheld for other things.

For now, it is sitting in the filing cabinet maturing and awaiting the monies for wadding and backing with several others.

Scrap Vomit 1 - fully finished and gifted

Well, I've finally finished another quilt.  Finished as in ready to use and be snuggled under. Even down to the hand finished binding. Here is my original Scrap Vomit in brown batiks with green, pink and white solids.

This one got a really simple finish because it is meant to be used on the sofa downstairs.  It has a turquoise and pink pieced fleece backing as the flippin' fleece only comes in 60" widths and this finished at 64"!

It has a scarlet binding to add to the wild colour combination making it absolutely unique. One of a kind and it is already loved and used.  In fact it's currently on the sofa awaiting it's owner for a nap.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A little of what I've been up to since July

Well the answer to the post title is actually quite a lot.  While I'm still hung up on the projects I'm really wanting to do due mainly to lack of funds, I'm busy doing little bits and problem solving.  

 I took part in a Fat Quarterly magazine Designer Challenge in August and the results  have been featured on their blog just before the Festival of Quilts.  It was to showcase Nel Whatmore's new range for Free Spirit called Katherine's Wheel.  There is a third project I made that didn't feature on the blog post that was a fabric embellishment piece that is now with Katy of Monkey Do because she loved it from when I started it.  I started because I was bored with my normal stitching and loved the Spiral fabric.  As I have a large amount of 'leftover' specialist threads, I set to to see what could be done.  With the aid of Perle Cotton 5, stranded cotton, rayon, beads and crystals, it actually turned out really well.  I must look out Katy's instagram of the finished piece........

I'm currently finishing the binding on Jo's belated birthday present.  I've mislaid my lovely leather thimble so I've got a very sore finger from pushing the needle. I'm working on another huge Scrap Vomit and it's got 17 of the 25 blocks needed to complete it.  My seaming is getting better, even if my cutting is still erratic.

I've done another Designer Challenge piece for Fat Quarterly but I can't show that yet.  

I've got a ton of planned quilts in my head and none of the right fabric to do them.  The Sis Boom Pickle Dish quilt being case in point. All I can say of that is that I need to get some scrap packs soon to start it.  
There is also a plan to do Jaybird Quilts Chopsticks but I need both the ruler and the pattern!

On the days I've not been sewing, I've been planning and working on ideas for projects,  It's gradually getting easier but I have to work with my depression and some days, nothing goes right.  

That's enough for now but there are some spectacular finishes to come soon, I promise and with photographs!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Fairy Tale Lane finished

 To start at the beginning, I am a self confessed Tula Pink fan. I have bits from most collections but have just collected together 15 half yards of Prince Charming bought from sales across the pond as the powers that be at Coats Crafts never imported it to Europe!

Then I was given the book - Quilts from the House of Tula Pink.  This is full of clever projects and not just quilts.  It's also got some clever advice about selecting your fabrics and showcasing those special prints you struggle to cut because they are so beautiful.
 So here I am with a pile of beautiful fabric in differing print scales and colours.

The pattern I chose from the book was Fairy Tale Lane.

Cutting into the stack proved a lot quicker and easier that I had feared. Even the large scale frog prints (left) managed to be fussy cut to allow the full detail of the print to show.

Once cut I organised each pile on the ironing board as there are nine pieces to each block

I don't know about anyone else but when it comes to selecting pieces for each block, I have to get organised.  This is really hard for me because I am naturally untidy.

I use my sandwich bags to keep all the pieces of each block together and to keep the colour distribution even through the blocks as I tend to fixate on colours when free-piecing. It also eliminated fabric repeat within a block.

First four blocks complete and ready for inspection

Here's the stripy sashing that forms the lane of the title.  The original uses Dandelion print in cream so i swapped it out for cream Klona and red Klona for the lines

There's miles of this sashing - literally

Once made and when assembling the quilt, it became apparent that 1) My 0.25" seam are more than a bit iffy. 2) I am useless at reading instructions!

The end result was that the suggested quantity for the sashing wasn't enough.  Not like slightly not enough - miles of not enough. Luckily, I had enough fabric and stripes lying around to make up one more long strip and one side street.

So if you make this quilt - check your seam allowances! The instructions are good, it pieces together really quickly and you could personalise this quilt in so many ways.

So here is the finished Fairy Tale Lane and I love it.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Siblings Together quilts.

I am not the worlds fastest quilter, I can be slapdash but I love to make things,  Especially quilts. I have a drawer full of tops, all of which I love.

Then along came Lynn of Lily's Quilts and Fat Quarterly fame seeking quilts and quilters to make quilts for a charity called Siblings Together based in London who among other things run camps for siblings separated  while in the social care and foster system to enable them to re-establish bonds and spend time together.

I know a lot of people who have gone through the social care system through no fault of their own and often been housed apart from brothers and sisters. It can be a traumatic experience for everyone but most of all for the children themselves.  So this for me is a very necessary project.

I had already made one top that I immediately volunteered.  I'd made this one, just as a quick top from a pile of fabric that my fabric fairies sent to me in February. A mix of Anna Maria Horner, Dear Stella, Bari J, Art Gallery, Amy Butler, Echino and even a smidge of Lizzie House, it is a really teenage girly quilt.

Then a parcel arrived from America from Thomas Knauer (love him dearly) containing a FQB each of Pear Tree and Flock, his first two collections for Andover.

Flock yelled at me for a gender neutral quilt and with a combination of pinwheels and simple HST's, this quilt arrived.  I had to cull out the pinks as that would have sent any small boy running for the hills.  Two of the FQ's with judicious cutting made it into the final quilt!

I'm still petting the Pear Tree bundle - it is just so gorgeous.  Simple, elegant and understated.  Lovely designs in all of the collections and he is simply a lovely man.

I also applied for some more fabric as I'm a little short on it at the  moment.  Katy from Monkey Do sent me down a pile of Swoon by Melissa Averinos for Andover and an FQB of Meet me at Sunset by Dear Stella.  MMaS is still being petted and awaiting solids before it gets transformed.  I'd already done a quilt with Swoon and luckily the bulk of what was sent was the same teal colour as my leftovers. I pulled the pinks out and teamed the teal with Klona Candy Blue for an extravaganza of Flying Geese. Unfortunately, I've run out of blue solid and can't get anymore for a couple more weeks!

I think I've got enough wadding but I am frantically trying to find a source of inexpensive backing that I can afford from my ESA allowance. Then I have to simply label them, quilt and post off ready to be united with a child at camp next month.

I'm off to work out what to make with 7.5 yards of Tula Pink Prince Charming......

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Finished: Scrap Vomit aka Technicolour Yawn

Well, thanks to Lynne at Lily's Quilts for the Klona Pomegranate, I have a second finish in two days.

Scrap Vomit is finally done.  I'm still in two minds about this top mainly because I hate brown so much.  At least with this, it's not a solid colour but a batik so it's a little less, well, brown but you get my drift.

As I am photographing this my adopted daughter turns up with her dog (Vicky as pictured) and quietly says 'I like that'  I just about die of shock as she loves blue not brown and pink!

So my SV may well have a home once it gets finished.  Eventually......

It's another quilt where it pays not to look too closely - the most brilliant part is that all the pieces went together brilliantly even it the millimetre perfect seams aren't there.  The batiks do a brilliant job of hiding this even pretty close to.

There's a whole album of them on Flickr called The Scrap Vomit Appreciation Society and I now need to post my finished one up there.

Missed it Monday - Plume by Tula Pink

The aim of these postings are to document the fabric collections I have missed out on in recent years.

The first up has to be Plume by Tula Pink for Moda.  All images are from

I love all Tula's fabrics.  I fell in love with Neptune and managed to get a jelly roll and a layer cake and made a quilt top.  I also have a little lap quilt from Hushabye.  I really did manage to miss out on Flutterby, Full Moon Forest and Nest completely.  I have two tiny bits of Nest and some odd bits of Hushabye but nothing of note.

Plume was another I missed out on and it's really annoyed me ever since.  I loved the swans
I truly loved the key tree
Then there are the birds
And the feathers!

I adore Tula's fabric collections and this was her last one for Moda before her move to Free Spirit.  You can see elements of her next collection Parisville in some of the prints in Plume.  In particular the Swans remind me of the hair in Parisville.

There is always a hidden something in Tula's prints; mice bees, owls etc so her fabrics  are always so much more detailed than you first realise. Go on dive in - she is amazing!

Finished: California Dreamin'

This is a quilt with a story.  I was staying with my Mum in 2010 when I first saw the fabric and then the pattern.  I have a Dutch language copy of Patchwork magazine with the pattern in and it was the only reason I bought it,  I found out later it was a free pattern from the Free Spirit website!

I finally bit the bullet in early December shopping around on Evil Bay for the best price, and bought the fabric.  Needless to say, I over ordered some prints and under ordered two, both of them critical.

 I spent the hated Christmas season teaching myself foundation paper piecing and got most everything done I could, planning to get the remaining fabric in January.  Then a massive spanner got chucked in the works - I was left without ANY money (see the sister blog to this one for an explanation).

Three very kind people helped me enormously.  First Sarah at SewMeHappy then Jenna at SewHappyGeek and the very generous Lisa from Illinois who really bailed my backside out and enabled me to finish the top.

Let me say this now, had anyone said that this was essentially a New York Beauty quilt, I would never have tried it.  Secondly there is no skill rating on this pattern.  Technically I would say before doing it that it was too difficult for this numpty to achieve.  There are mistakes but this essentially is a learning piece for me.

I'm just pleased to have finished it and I love the colours and shapes and warmth.  It will hang on my wall until I finish one of those amazing Judy Niemeyer designs I have coveted forever and felt were technically beyond me. I don't think they are any longer.  Then there are Jacqueline de Jonge's quilts like this   And  Dan Rouse put up this beauty.  I want to be Dan when I grow up - he does the best curved piecing ever! Anyone want to come on the mad journey??

Sunday, 19 February 2012

February already?

Where has the month gone?  Honestly, I lose so much time these days its really quite worrying.

That said I appear to have lurked quite a bit in the witch cave aka my workroom.  I'm in here now with my dog guarding the door, snoring loudly.

So what has been in my sewing machine (and under my seam ripper) in the last few weeks.

1. Scrap Vomit from Katy's tutorial here Sorry but it is properly called Technicolour Yawn but Scrap Vomit has stuck from the outset.
This is the layout on the spare bedroom floor and it was instantly claimed by Vicky! I have three blocks to complete but I'm waiting on some Klona Pomegranate squares to finish.  These are coming via The Fairy Quiltmothers up North and then I can get on and assemble the top.  It's made from two Fabric Freedom  noodles in Chocolate Candies.  Basically it'sblue pink and green splodges. with brown.  Lots and lots of brown.  I don't really like brown so what was I thinking but it actually looks ok.  I teamed it with white, pomegranate and a Sentimental Studios green print I had that passes for a solid.

2. California Dreamin' which is a free design from free Spirit that does with Jenean Morrison's gorgeous fabric of the same name. I efll in love with both the pattern and the fabric in May 2010 while in Holland and it's taken this long to sort out the finances.  I like a challenge and decided to teach myself foundation paper piecing for Christmas!  I got most of the fabric before the holidays so went ahead and cut out what I could. I also pieced what I could.  Lets say my best friend for the duration has been my seam ripper as mistakes came thick and fast! I also have to say a huge thank you to Sarah of  Sew Me Happy for being one of my Fairy Quiltmothers and letting me get that centre medallion completed.

Here is where I am presently as I am waiting on one piece of orange Santa Rosa to arrive from the USA which my friend Jenna of Sew Happy Geek appealed for on my behalf. again a huge thank you to Jenna!  I must admit that I absolutely love this piece and I actually like FPP.  Perhaps I should start a New York beauty quilt or join the QAL being run here by Sara of Sew Sweetness?

3. Workroom organisation  I am fed up with the mess on my table top.  It's normally covered in mess and it's really bugging me .  This is the one room in the house that is organised (its a standing joke) and I can find anything I'm looking for quickly. I know I should be embarrassed but I'm not.  Well apart from the floor which is covered in orts and chewed cardboard but that doesn't count!

I go so fed up and made this little fabric basket this week to contain the crap  useful items on the tabletop.  I was given two Moda Scrap Bags from Cross Patch for my 2010 birthday - one was Me and my Sister Sprint Fever which go included in this and the other is Bonnie and Camille Simple Abundance.  Not my choice as it has Brown in it which is why it has taken so long to decide what to do with it.

The pattern is from Ayumi of Pink Penguin and easily accomodates pens, cutters, ruler, scissors, unfinished blocks etc.  Quick to sew and very useful.  I have managed not to lose my seam ripper since its arrival!

Following on from this, I made a bigger one for the coffee table which is often covered by my crap sewing bits and medications.  This was made by some of the offcuts from the California Dreamin' quilt above.  It's taller, wider and holds loads more junk  essentials than the little one. that's and A5 notebook in there and an entire sewing project.

Then I went a little mad and made a tall round one for the trimming and orts that keep ending up on the floor (no photo) and a sewing machine mat which needs binding. these two are also from the Scrap Brag.  I've also started to make a sewing machine cover as my machine lives out all the time but I have no wadding so its ground to a halt for a bit.  Again this is from the last of the Scrap Bag.

The only other thing sewn was a new dog bed - Phoebe's beloved dog duvet she's had since she was a little puppy got ripped last year and it has been constantly belching stuffing all over the living room floor ever since.  It was possibly the easiest project ever - start to finish in an hour.  It's been a bit hit ever since. I shall photograph it for next time.

Farewell for now and lets see what the next month will bring


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Welcome to my new, standalone quilting blog.  As this is fast becoming somewhere between an obsession and a fetish it really needs a self-contained home so I don't keep boring the stitchers!

I love Modern Quilting, bright colours, a bit of whimsy and uneven seams.  I dislike repro, brown and florals.  Sorry but that's just me.  I like structural prints, large scale, maps, graphics and damasks.  I'm having a bit of a thing about two colour prints at the minute.  I'm not really into cute or kiddie prints either.

I'm also not very good about reading instructions - my brain gets confused very easily.  It also misinterprets what it sees due to my ME/CFS so I have to read, re-read and then get a cup of coffee.  After that, I usually have a decent idea of what to do and if all else fails, there's usually a friend to help.

That's about it really - watch what happens next with WIP's, BOM's and bizarre incidents!