Tuesday 22 March 2016

Sewing for Pleasure 2016

Yep, it’s March already, and the first big craft show of the year. As you may have realised by now, even though I no longer actually work for Doughty’s in Hereford, I am what they like to call an ‘associate’ – basically someone who they can bring back for shows without having to close their shops due to lack of staff!

So starting with set-up on Wednesday, I’ve been lifting, folding, shelving, smiling, cutting and bagging fabric for five days solid at the NEC, and man do I ache?! Something tells me I need to do some more exercise before Festival of Quilts in August!

Pain aside, I did have a great time, working with some wonderful people and sharing the common joys of fabric addiction with our customers. The only gripe I had were the roadworks on the M5 (geat timing) and the general bedlam at the NEC with four or five shows going on at the same time. I did enjoy seeing the odd superhero wondering around for ComicCon though.

As ever at these shows, I rarely get a chance to look around, but I did manage to take a couple of pics on my way to the loo. One that did catch my eye after seeing an MC Escher exhibition earlier in the year was this beautiful piece by a member of the Royal School of Needlework. One day I will get round to designing a quilt inspired by this tessellation….

Another exhibition was Images of Egypt, part of a private collection owned by Sandra Hardy, who as an enthusiastic Egyptologist has been collecting handmade ceremonial textiles and decorative artefacts for many years now. In 1998 Sandra introduced the quilting world to the amazing work of the tentmakers, who have now inspired many to include beautiful symmetrical applique designs in their own creations.

During my uni days, I remember trips to the V&A Museum in London, where I would sketch out the decorative Moorish and Islamic mosaic designs thinking these would make great quilt blocks…

Meanwhile, back in Sewmotion world… we have another
Hexy Cushion Kit on the horizon, available after Easter. I thought I would make a softer version in more neutral colours which I’m sure would fit into many modern day interiors, grey is absolutely everywhere right? And this gorgeous dusky pink is so elegant.

As with all the kits in the collection, you get all the fabric, paper pieces and thread, plus glue pen and instructions to make up the top, you just need the cushion backing and pad. These kits make great portable holiday projects, and come together pretty quickly.

We’ve also just taken delivery of some Dot & Dash fabrics from Riley Blake, and I’ve been playing with Kona co-ordinates – this strip set and charm pack with also be available soon. In fact, why not sign up to our monthly Newsletter to hear about all our latest product releases and recieve discount codes for the following month.

We're going on a much needed Easter break to see our dear friends in Hamburg, so please forgive me, but after tomorrow orders will not be posted until Wednesday 30th March. Happy Easter to you all!

Thursday 10 March 2016

Something To Replace The Missing Sun

Where did the sunshine go?!?! Just when I thought it was springtime… ah well, maybe another dose of colourful butterflies and cute daisies will cheer us up. As you can see below, I’ve been busy playing with my Sea Holly and Kona fabrics – I do love how these blend with my greys and yellow.

My first project with these gorgeous fabrics is a new Beginner’s Quilt to add to the collection, I’m just waiting on a bright day to take some decent shots for the kit, but this will be available soon.

Then I made a jelly roll or two, you know how I love a stream of colour, and these are no exceptions - the Sea Holly Strip Set includes four prints from this Michael Miller range, which blend so well with Kona’s Graphite, Tomato and Banana.

And I just had to play with some of my new Kona Solids to create this gorgeous Purple Haze Strip Set, for true lovers of ‘the purple’! And doesn’t that graphite work so well again?

Both of these stripper sets contain twenty 2½” x 44” cotton strips, which together with a base colour such as white or a pale cream, you could come up with so many designs. Why not start with our free All Squared Up pattern? I've worked out some layout possibilities below... With this simple piecing, and then maybe some straight-line quilting, you could make a gorgeous modern and fresh quilt, ideal for a wedding gift, or a treat for yourself.

Just a little note about these variations: as you have seven different designs in these fabric rolls and not eight as in the pattern, your cutting will be slightly different. As in the pattern, take two strips of each colour, and make eight blocks from each - you will get 56 blocks in all. To make up the remaining eight blocks, take two extra strips from the strip set and make 4 blocks in each design, two positive, two negative to make up to 64 blocks.

I hope I have inspired you to indulge in some fun with colour, as always, I'm linking up with Lorna's Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Needle And Thread Thursday over on My Quilt Infatuation - come and say hello!

Thursday 3 March 2016

A Springtime Hexy Kit

Do I feel spring in the air?? Though this morning's weather mentioned snow, so maybe this bright sunshine is just fooling me. What better way to coax springtime from under winter's shadow than to make a bright and cheerful new cushion... such as our new Hexy Cushion Kit in fabrics from Michael Miller's gorgeous Sea Holly collection.

As with our other Hexy kits, this one contains all the fabric strips, pre-cut papers, glue pen, thread and wadding you need to complete the top, plus full instructions to help you every step of the way. There are also handy links to our online tutorials for even more help. You will just need thread for quilting, and then a cushion back and pad. These kits are great portable projects for your hollibobs or a long car journey - EPP definitely kills the time on a long flight!
These kits are available in our Sewmotion, Folksy and Etsy shops, priced at £22 with free UK shipping.

Elsewhere in the quilting world...

It seems I'm not the only one feeling spring-like, The Village Haberdashery have some beautiful new ranges in stock including organic collection Park Life by Elizabeth Olwen for Cloud9 Fabrics - aren't these gorgeous!! Not only would these make amazing quilts, but also the cutest little dresses!

Meanwhile over in Hereford, Doughty's have just revealed their latest collections from Lewis & Irene, this first one is Bunny Garden and you can't get any more Springtime than cute bunnies, ditsy florals and pretty butterflies in a gorgeous modern colour palette.

Another new arrival from Lewis & Irene is The Botanist collection, an elegant range featuring delicately drawn plants, butterflies and insects.

I do recommend subscribing to Doughty's Newsletter to be kept up to date with their ever-growing fabric collections, as well as following them on Facebook where they share these gorgeous pics of their new arrivals.

Talking of Newsletters, if you would like to be hear about Sewmotion's latest news, products and special subscriber offers, you can sign up below to recieve our monthly email. If you would like to follow my weekly blogs, you can follow me by email or Bloglovin in the right-hand column.

If you're looking for more quilting fun and inspiration, why not pop over to Sew Fresh Quilt's Let's Bee Social linky party and say hello.