Thursday, 1 December 2016

Moving house means Sale time!

After five long months we're finally moving into our new house! I'd be lying if I said it's been an easy process, I always forget how long these things take! Anyway, we're moving into a 1930s 3-bed semi in the lovely area of Linthorpe Village in Middlesbrough - complete with wood chip wallpaper and the most expressive artex I have even seen. It's strangely growing on me, much to Justin's annoyance! One thing we do agree on though is the beautiful log burner in the front room and these wonderful door knobs - aren't they cute!

With no time or budget to tackle the wood chip, for now I've decided to just whitewash the second bedroom which is to be my studio, I'm sure once I've got shelves of fabric adorning the walls and some pictures and hangings up, I'll forget all about what's lurking underneath.

While packing up my room, which seems to be taking forever, I've realised how much stock of handmade items I actually have... and I really need to make room for 2017's creations. So I'm having a little pre-Christmas sale, it is now December after all. I've reduced my Teessider Cushion Collection by 30%, this is a great opportunity to grab a one-off gift for someone from, or maybe living away from, the North-East. Maybe you've got a homesick student who would like to be reminded of home now and again. Click below to see the whole range.

Amazingly moving house has made us get ahead with our gift shopping just to get it out of the way, and I know I'm not alone! So I've taken 20% off selected smaller gift items in the Sewmotion shop, including coin purses, pencil cases and make-up pouches, perfect stocking fillers, gifts for school friends, or secret santas. Click below to see the collection.

This month's free Pre-Cut Party pattern is for this cute Bargello Make-up Pouch which uses 2.5" strips and a clever tube technique to create this staggered squares pattern. I also show you how to make up your quilted panel into this pouch to hold all your everyday essentials - also great for last minute gifts!

For this free pattern, just subscribe to the Newsletter for the link to this and past patterns based on quilting pre-cuts.

For more quilty fun and inspiration, why not pop along to these linky parties
and say Hi!
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts 
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Christmas Craft Fair & Etsy Gift Guide

A couple of week's ago I promised to share some of my handmade gift ideas from online marketplaces, so I'll start with Etsy - for many the go-to place for everything handmade.  To help you find that special gift, Etsy helpfully provide Gift Guides for everything from Gifts for Mum and Secret Santa Gifts to Gifts for Pets and Pet Lovers. While there are some truly quirky items on sale, there are also many beautifully crafted gifts that you will be hard pushed to find anywhere else.

The following items are all available from shops in the UK and are gifts for the creative people in your life, not things to make themselves, but items that reflect their love of craft;

Going clockwise from top left; Sewing Machine Blueprint Embroidery Hoop, Stitches of Anarchy, £21; Funny Craft Mug, The Mug Hermit, £7; Rainbow Hand Embroidery Hoop, PixieCraft Handmade, £43; Sewing Needlebook Set, Stitches & Stuff, £11; Material Girl Print, Red Postbox, £8; Vintage Sewing Fabric Pencil Case, Song of the Seam, £13; Compact Mirror, 2 Green Monkeys, £9.50; This is My Happy Place Print, Snowdon Prints, £12.

If you would rather something crafty for the creative in your life, such as a quilt or cushion kit, or maybe some gorgeous fabric, why not check out my Etsy shop

Prefer to shop in 'real life'? If you're local to the Teesside/North Yorkshire area, why not come and see me this Sunday at the Rainbow Plant Centre Christmas Fair? As well as my quilt and cushion kits, I'll be selling my collection of handmade gifts and homewares - the perfect opportunity to pick up a unique gift for someone special! I'll also have Christmas Special offers on some of my items, so come and say hello!


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Have you ever joined a BOM club?

For those new to this term, BOM stands for Block of the Month and are groups or clubs that provide a great way to learn different techniques and designs used in quilting. Many of these are based on Sampler quilts, and in return for your monthly subscription you receive a block pattern and instructions for you to complete per month, and then at the end, learn how to quilt them into a finished item.

As we know, Sampler quilts are a great starting point to learning to quilt and are the mainstay for many classes and workshops. However, not everyone can get to a class, but thanks to the digital age we can now learn from the comfort of our own homes while still enjoying the sense of community on social media – these BOM projects will have groups on Facebook and Instagram for participants to share their work and discuss any issues. And of course, you’ll make lots of new friends!

So as we are about to embark on a new year, why not start 2017 with a creative bang and join one of these BOM subscriptions? Below are a few that have caught my eye...

AnneMarie Chandy at Gen X Quilters is running this gorgeous Chocolatier Block of the Month. As the designer describes;

Enjoy piecing traditional skill-building blocks set in a LeMoyne Star destined to look like shiny wrapped chocolates.  An argyle compass emphasizes the star's beauty and it's all framed with a beautiful bracelet border.” 

This BOM is available in both paper form ($28 per month) and in PDF form ($25 per month) and starts in January 2017. There are three colourways in three different types of fabric – solids, traditional and batiks. Each month you will receive the pattern for two blocks (sometimes more) to work yourself around the LeMoyne Star. As well as using traditional piecing techniques – half-square triangles, hourglass and flying geese – you will be challenged with skill-building blocks featuring foundation piecing, curves and applique. 
You can read more about this club on AnneMarie’s blog post.

Some BOMs are based on books, one of which sits on my bookshelf forever looking at me, begging to be used - the Dear Jane quilt. Made in 1863, this 225-block quilt was designed and completely hand sewn by Jane A. Stickle and really is a thing of beauty! In the book, author Brenda Papadakis has lovingly created all 225 patterns for the blocks, but does not include the actual building instructions. This is where this BOM comes in… British company Simply Solids have teamed up with US firm Paper Pieces to deliver this 18-month programme (thus avoiding any nasty customs tax) based on English paper piecing. For £25 each month (includes postage) you will receive all the papers needed for a certain section, plus a modification booklet – as these blocks are based on EPP, certain changes have been made to the designs, with Brenda’s consent. You will need to use your own fabric and purchase the book yourself. You can read more about this BOM on Simply Solids’ website.

Another great EPP BOM is Perpetually Hexie by Katja Marek, author of The New Hexagon and the New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar on which this BOM is based. Free to anyone who owns the calendar, Katja will take you through each block, while papers and acrylic templates will be available to purchase from Paper Pieces. Keep up to date with this BOM on Katya’s Instagram feed and on her website

In other news...


I am very chuffed to share the news that I'm now sub-editing (and contributing) for Popular Patchwork magazine! Subbing used to be my job in a previous life, and it's so funny how life goes round in circles! The difference now is that I'm writing (and learning so much) about an industry that I love and feel very passionate about.

I've also contributed my Vintage Charming Rose quilt pattern to the December issue, or if you would prefer to purchase the pre-cut kit, click here.

Also, keep an eye out next year as I'm also contributing projects to Love Patchwork & Quilting and Quilt Now magazines! To say I'm busy would be an understatement, but I'm loving it!!
As promised last week, my Christmas Gift Guides are coming soon! 

This week I'm linking up with;
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation