Thursday, 22 August 2019

Playing on my Sewing Machine

Well, a week back and our holiday in glorious Kefalonia already seems like months ago! We had a very relaxing time, if a little too hot at times, still the town of Skala was as beautiful as ever, and one day we may even retire there... 



Meanwhile, back to reality - the next few months look crazy! With Harrogate Quilt show next week, then hopefully a house move, Duxford Autumn Quilt show at the end of October, my first Knitting & Stitching show in Harrogate in November, not to mention a few Sewing Quarter shows slotted in, I think I'll be sleeping through Christmas :)

It is good to be back in the swing of things though, I definitely needed a break after Festival of Quilts, and now I'm full of ideas again, the first of which is my monthly free pattern to my Newsletter subscribers, I know it's a little late, but better late than never right? For this month, I have gone back to an old favourite that I used to make as finished gifts back when I used to sell at craft fairs - the Patchwork Glasses Case. 



This is a great little project with some simple machine sewing, but the best thing is I get to play with some of the bazillion stitches on my sewing machine that I just never get the time to explore. As you can see, I needed to add an embroidered accent down both sides of the case, so I had a little play to find the appropriate stitch, noting down the stitch number and size as I went, so when I came to make a decision I knew what to program into the machine. I also found that unplugging my foot and using the start/stop button when sewing the embroidery stitches made it so much happier tension-wise.



As well as the free pattern - you can get yours by subscribing to the Newsletter here - I have put together three kits that contain fabric, wadding, elastic and button, plus full instructions. These are priced at £8.50, and if you're a subscriber you can get 10% off before next Wednesday.




I will be at Harrogate Autumn Quilt Show next week - Friday 30th Aug - Sunday 1st September, at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Hall 1, Harrogate, HG2 8NZ - 10am - 4.30pm. I hope to see you there!

Wishing you all a happy and creative week, linking up with Midweek Makers 

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

The Festival of Quilts 2019

Well, the Festival of Quilts is over for another year, and I can't believe it swept by so fast! One minute we were heading down the motorway hoping my pallet had been delivered to the right stand and that I'd made enough stock, and then before we knew it, it was Sunday and we were pulling our weary bodies together ready for packdown! 


Having worked quite a few Festivals, this was only my second with Sewmotion, and I have to say, it was my favourite so far. There seemed to be such a friendly smiley atmosphere in the room, with so many people coming up to the stand just to say hello. Much of this was down to my appearances on Sewing Quarter of course, but also the many friends and customers I have made over the last year.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.



I was also quite pleased with how my stand came together - after so many shows, I think I may have cracked it :) I love the cute stand I bought from Daisy Moon Designs on Etsy to display my pre-cut EPP papers, which were a firm favourite.


We were also often joined by Sewing Quarter's John Scott, who I have to say, provided a true masterclass in genuine hospitality. He seemed to be constantly smiling throughout the whole four days, presenting live shows when he wasn't giving out free hugs and selfies, I don't know how he did it! You can also see my Justin photo-bombing above, I couldn't do any of this without his love and support, he's also now a master at packing walnut shells and knows his fat quarters from his jelly rolls!

Having said that it was my favourite Festival so far, I am also very annoyed with myself! Yet again, another year has gone and going from others visitors' posts on IG and FB, I seemed to have missed half the quilts on show, including the Modern category. It goes to show how much brain work and emotion go into running a stand at these events, that I forgot to make time to see the quilts and actually do any shopping! Some did catch my eye on the way in and out which you can see below, I particularly liked the Mind the Gap London underground map which reminded me of my hometown. 




From the top: Cum Et Iris by Sandra Ruano Navarro; Slightly Blue Christmas by Joanna Holomiej; Moving On and Byzantium both by Liz Jones; and Mind the Gap by Cecilia Slinn.

We're off to a much needed week in the sun, wishing you a happy and creative week, linking up with Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Wonky Hexies Free Pattern

Did you know my Newsletter subscribers receive a free PDF pattern every month? So far this year, we have been enjoying my block-of-the-month Mystery quilt which came to an end in June. So we are now returning to my beloved pre-cuts and stash-busting patterns, starting with a variation on a theme... 



My Wonky Squares Wall Hanging pattern proved very popular, especially when I made it on Sewing Quarter, so I started to wonder which other shapes would work - and of course, I had to have a go with the good ol' hexy! I also returned to my partially-seamed hexies, a tutorial for which can be seen here. Add in the freezer paper technique used for the wonky blocks, and hey presto, I have a new pattern.

Now, I have to admit, I think there is a little too much white/negative space in the wall hanging for me - you may love the space to create beautiful free motion quilting designs, or maybe embroidered motifs. If it's not for you, then you can simply decrease the size of the sashings and borders as below, just taking an 1" off the width of the strips makes such a difference.



As the wonky blocks finish at a 9" square, there are so many possible layouts - I have had a play with a few below... 



In this one I have bordered the 9" blocks with blue strips to add a little more interest, then added white sashings and borders.



Who says the wall hanging has to be square, or this would make a gorgeous table runner. Add light blue sashings and inner border and then a wider white border.



Finally, my favourite, which I think I will just have to make into a quilt when I get a minute! I have added the layout below so you can see the white strips that offset the blocks to create this circle. 



You can obviously also play around with the colours - what about using all black and whites for a monotone quilt? Maybe different tones of the same colour? If you would like to receive this free pattern, subscribe to the Newsletter today - these patterns are free to my subscribers for a month before going on general sale.



On to something completely different - Sewing Quarter have been holding their Christmas In July event and I appeared last Thursday to make my EPP Snowflake cushion and a gorgeous Scandi quilt by Lynne Goldsworthy - you can watch these shows and catch up on my past appearances here.

Wishing you all a happy, sunny and creative week! Linking up with Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday