Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Land of the Chair - My Birthday Surprise!

I may have mentioned that it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and that I was being whisked away for a few days, but had no idea where. My husband is such an old romantic, and had planned this trip months before, only telling me that I would need my swimsuit and a winter coat… I knew we were flying somewhere for a couple of days, so it had to be Europe, but when we got in the car and drove south down the M1, we obviously weren’t going from Newcastle, then we passed Leeds Bradford airport, then East Midlands airport… it soon became clear we were heading for London, Luton to be exact!

We stayed in a nearby hotel that night, which obviously meant an early start the next morning - looking at the departures board gave me too many options, Gdansk? Brno…?? I literally didn’t know until we headed towards Gate 2 – Copenhagen! Yay!!! So happy!

After an easy flight, and short train ride into the centre of town, we dropped our bags off at the Tivoli Hotel (4 star no less!!) and headed off for a mooch. We both love ambling around European cities taking in the architecture and design, always remembering to look up as well as around! Justin had a few visits planned, the first of which was to the fantastic Design Museum. Before we looked around though we needed sustenance and a chance to catch my breath, this meant a gorgeous hot chocolate with lots of cream, followed by some traditional Danish open sandwiches, the salmon and beef were amazing, not too sure about the herring though!

The Denmark Design Museum is amazing and well worth a visit if you love modern design and crafts as much as we do. Collections include the works of famous Danish designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Jacob Jensen and Kaare Klint. One of the current exhibitions, Danish Design Now was particularly inspiring and featured a selection of modern pieces from all areas of design – furniture, graphics, fashion and product design. 

As you can see, a predominant feature of Danish design is the chair – I’ve never seen so many, or so many beautiful pieces! We have always loved the curves and style of these Arne Jacobsen chairs, and it was wonderful to see them in person. 

From what I can gather from the museum’s website, there is normally an exhibition dedicated to the Danish Chair, but sadly we either missed it, or it’s not on at the moment.

There were also some very interesting textile designs that caught my eye, most of these were print designs, these cushions I thought were quite pretty. And this wall hanging was actually velour! How striking are those colours!

A new permanent exhibition is Fashion and Fabric, a chance to discover 400 years of the history of fashion and textiles in Denmark. One of the main themes is Handicraft and Industry, and it was great to see this beautiful English hexagon quilt dating from around 1800. There was also an accompanying film showing the process of EPP which ended with an interesting 3D technique, once I've had a go myself, I'll share it with you.

The museum is also home to the largest library in Scandanavia dedicated to the decorative arts and industrial design, and the shop includes an impressive number of books on crafts and design as well as a wide selection of industrial design, ceramics, textiles and of course postcards.

After this design feast for the eyes and soul, we returned to our hotel room where the lovely girl on reception had left us a bottle of fizz to celebrate my birthday! The Danes aren’t called to happiest people in the world for nothing!

The next day was all about architecture and food… more about that next week!

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

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Pre-Cut Party Free Pattern & Linky Party

I had a wonderful surprise birthday trip last week, a little cold but I did need my swimsuit…. More about that next week, now it’s Pre-cut Party time! I am aware that many quilters don’t actually use many pre-cuts, either they like doing their own ‘thang’ or they don’t know where to start with a strip set or charm pack. The idea behind my Pre-cut Party is to show you and inspire you to use these fabric gems. At the beginning of every month, I send out a free pattern to my Newsletter subscribers, each PDF includes full colour instructions and where needed, full-size templates. Patterns are based on one or more pre-cut formats and range from quilts and cushions to table runners and purses. 

So this month's pattern, a little late due to mentioned birthday trip, is a hand-sewing project and features an English paper-pieced Dresden plate to make up this gorgeous cushion. I have then used more 'wedges' to create a pretty border. I have made mine from my beautiful strip set in Henna Garden from Michael Miller, but you can use fat quarters, charm squares, or even scraps from the stash.

If this project takes your eye, or you would like access to past Pre-Cut Party patterns, all you have to do is subscribe to my Newsletter – it’s completely free, and what’s more you’ll hear about my latest products and events, plus some great subscriber-only offers. Click below to subscribe now! 

To keep on theme, I’ve decided to make the Pre-Cut Linky Party a monthly thing, linking up with that month’s free pattern. So, now it’s your turn, remember, it doesn’t have to be a finished project, it could even just be a pre-cut you’ve bought and have no idea what to make and you're looking for inspiration!

Also linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek MakersNeedle & Thread Thursday & Finished or Not Friday.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Pre-Cut Party Time, and so many HSTs!

Before I say anything else, can I just thank all you lovely people out there who took the time to read and join in my first Pre-Cut Linky Party last week. As a new venture, I was a little worried that it would go unnoticed, so when you joined in I was over the moon! As well as some link-ups, you also left some interesting comments (again, thank you) and it does seem that many of us buy these scrumptious looking fabric bundles because they look so cute and pretty, but then put them on a shelf and never use them.

Well, hopefully this will be the chance to change this, if we can share as many pre-cut projects and ideas as possible, together with my free monthly patterns (subscribe for free here) we can all bring those beauties off the top shelf or from under the bed, unwrap them and get cutting!

To get started this week, I thought I'd share some of the beautiful linkies from last week... who would have thought the humble square could look so good!
Table runner using a batik charm pack, Mountain Quiltworks

Christmas ornaments using mini charms, From Bolt to Beauty
Prairie Dance blocks using fabric strips, Domestic Felicity

This week I've been working on a new quilt pattern using my 12pc fat quarter bundle in these bright prints from Red Rooster's Basically Hugs collection. This pattern, which will hopefully also be a kit, uses the ever-versatile half-square triangle. There are so many ways to make these little gems, but my favourite is still the foundation-piecing method, you can read my tutorial and download templates for seven different sizes here.

Each of my sixteen blocks are made up of 28 HSTs which makes 448 in total! ahhh!! Good job these templates make 12 at a time! Wish me luck :)

My wonderful husband has just sprung a surprise few days away for my birthday next week, so rather than invite folk to a party and then not turn up myself - how rude - I'll see you again in a fortnight, but back to today...

Now it's your turn - grab the button below for your sidebar, and join the party! Don't forget to check out these other great linky parties too - Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, and Needle & Thread Thursday.

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