Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Simply Solids Egg-stravaganza

A few weeks ago, I was egg-tremely egg-cited when my idea of egg cosies was picked by Simply Solids for their Scraptastic Challenge.

Details of how to make these cosies are now on the Simply Solids blog and I've created a tutorial as a pdf file on Google Drive (the photos may look a little odd in the Google Drive preview, but the original quality is maintained if you download the file).  It is also available in my Projects/Tutorials section of this blog.

The tutorial uses foundation piecing, but the pattern template can be used to make a very simple cosy if you need a children’s project for the Easter holidays. Just cut four pieces from felt, stitch together with running stitch, and trim the edges with pinking shears.

Simply Solids run the Scraptastic Challenge each month - if you'd like to have a go at making something from a Kona Scrap pack, leave your ideas in a comment on their blog. The winner receives a Kona Scrap pack and a guest spot on the blog where you write a mini tutorial for your make.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

An only slightly pointless quilt

I made this quilt top at the start of 2013. It was my first attempt at half square triangles and was supposed to be a baby quilt as a gift for a colleague. However, when it was finished, I didn’t like it – some triangle points had disappeared and it was just “too old” to be a baby quilt. A more suitable quilt was made and this one was put away.

Over a year later, I dug it out of the UFO pile and decided to try to rescue it.  I couldn’t do anything about the missing points, but by making it a bit bigger, I thought it might be a suitable quilt for Project Linus. I added a couple of borders, using half square triangle cornerstones to save having to learn how to mitre corners, and actually started to like the quilt.

I added a fleece backing and quilted it in a straight line, edge-to-edge grid using Aurifil 50 wt grey (shade 2600) in the needle and variegated blue (shade 3770) in the bobbin. For the binding I had not quite enough of orange chevron fabric so I pieced it with random inserts of solid orange to make it to the required length.


Now the quilt is finished, I rather like it. Even though it is still slightly pointless when it comes to the half square triangles, it is no longer pointless when it comes to finding a good home.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Thin Cut Marmalade

At the start of the year, I decided to try to only sew from stash and was then faced with having to make not one, but two quilts for a friend’s new baby and the newly promoted “big sister”.

“Big sister” had moved to her own bedroom in preparation for the new arrival and had chosen a pink, green and white floral colour scheme when her room was redecorated.  Luckily I had plenty of FQs in ditsy florals that I could use and a small amount of a pinkish marbled solid. For the new arrival, I wanted use some of the charm squares I had in my stash along with a sunny yellow solid I picked up on holiday last year.

I used the Marmalade Squares (Two) quilt pattern from Moda as a starting point, but adapted the measurements to make a rectangular quilt that would make the best use of 60" wide fleece that I had for the backing. I reduced the amount of solid to fit my available fabric and I also simplified the pattern by using half charm squares in the narrow bands rather than a mix of squares and rectangles.

I backed both quilts with pink, starry fleece and quilted them with Aurifil 50 wt using a serpentine stitch in a grid pattern. I used a matching thread in the needle for each quilt and variegated pink in the bobbin for both quilts.

I think my favourite part of these quilts is the basket weave square in the top left corner. Since working out how to do partial seams, I love this method of adding a totally symetrical border (though if you look closely, the layouts on the two quilts are not the same).

Now these quilts are finished and delivered, I'll double check my measurements and then put the amendments to the original Moda pattern in my projects/tutorials section .

Update: My modifications to the original pattern are now available in the projects/tutorials section.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A year of blogging - giveaway winners

Well, without any further to-do, here are the winners of my blogging birthday giveaway. I used a very low tech method and a slightly bemused work colleague to do the draw.

The winner of the Liberty book is "ellinoora" and the winner of the fabrics is "Harrysmum". Congratulations to the two of you - please check your inboxes for an email from me.

Monday, 24 February 2014

A year of blogging (and a giveaway)

This giveaway is now closed.

Well, I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for a whole year and I am more amazed that my blog-birthday didn’t pass me by as I’m not usually very good at recognising significant dates.

To celebrate, I’ve decided to have a giveaway and share my love of Liberty of London. You may have spotted the odd bit of Liberty fabric in some of my projects – this is just a fraction of my Liberty fabric stash. I'm not very good at using my Liberty fabric, but I love reading about the different designs and the historical element of some of them and so I was delighted to receive the "Liberty: British Colour Pattern" book for Christmas.  

This is an absolutely gorgeous book, especially if you are a Liberty-phile like me, and it covers many aspects of the company, not just the fabric. Distributed amongst the pages are envelopes containg bonus materials such a reproduction adverts, designs, etc. It was only published last year and a section about the recent Lifestyle range of craft cottons is included.

(If you want to know more about the book, Kerry from VeryKerryBerry and Carina from Carina’s Craftblog have reviewed it on their blogs, so head over there and take a look.)

Due to the size and weight of this book, I’m going to have to restrict this part of the giveaway to UK addresses only, but for overseas readers I’ve raided my stash and will part with some of my precious Liberty fabric.  There are skinny quarters of Liberty Lantana wool in the classic Hera pattern and Liberty Tana Lawn in the classic Pepper pattern, as well as few scraps of lawn that would be suitable for string piecing.

To win one of these prizes, all I ask you to do is to follow this blog. There are buttons for following with Bloglovin and Feedly, but if you have another method, do let me know. Leave a comment saying how you are a follower and which prize you would like. If you have a UK address, you can choose the book or the fabric, but overseas addresses are limited to the fabric only. A bonus entry is available if you spread the news of this giveaway by Twitter, Facebook or on your own blog – just leave a second comment telling me how you’ve shared the giveaway.   

The giveaway will close at 10pm GMT on Wednesday 5 March and if you are a no-reply blogger please make sure that your comment includes a way of contacting you.

Monday, 10 February 2014

A delightful discovery - Liberty Bell

I’ve found a LQS – a local (ish) quilt shop and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to find it.

Although I work only a few minutes from the Liverpool branch of Abakhan, it can’t really be described as a quilt shop. There are some bargains to be found, but it can be a bit hit and miss if you are looking for anything in particular or for the latest fabric line from major manufacturers. I had read about a quilt shop in Chester, but couldn’t remember the name, only the vague recollection that it was on Bridge Street Rows. So on Saturday, I headed off to Chester in search of this elusive quilt shop.

(For those who have not been to Chester, certain streets have shops on two levels. There are the pavement level shops which are easy to see and then there are shops on an upper level which are more difficult to spot from pavement level. You can read more about the Chester Rows here, here, or here).
The shop was indeed on Bridge Street Rows and from the window display the quilting treasures that lay inside were not obvious. Bolts and bolts of quilting fabric can be found at the back of the shop and most have FQs ready cut and displayed next to the bolts. As I am still on my fabric diet, I resisted the temptation of some Morris Modernised or some Downton Abbey and limited myself to a few FQs of textured solids and a reel of Aurifil. 

The name of this shop is Liberty Bell and once my fabric diet is over, I will certainly be back to be tempted by all the fabrics I usually only get to see at shows or online. My apologies to any readers from Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales who have known about this shop for ages, but I’m so pleased at finding this shop that I wanted to spread the word.