Thursday, 27 July 2017

New EPP Cushion Kits and a Love P&Q block

Are you a lover of hand sewing? Are you as addicted to English paper-piecing as I am? Everywhere you read these days, we're been told to take time out and do something mindful and relaxing, forget the busy mad world around us, just for a little while, and concentrate the mind on something meditative.

Well, my answer to this is to always have a hand-piecing project on the go, wherever I go - you may have seen me stitching away at a recent quilt show. And as you know, I like to share my addictions, which is why I'm releasing two new Cushion Kits, just in time for the summer hols!

This Hexy Cushion kit comes in subtle shades of grey, pink and green from P&B Textiles' Bear Essentials collection. As a huge fan of the humble hexagon, I love playing around with different layouts, and these rows are a firm favourite. Fast glue basting and a clever piecing technique makes this a quick project to come together. If you would rather use your own fabrics, I have also released this as a pattern, though you will still need the pre-cut 1" paper pieces, which you can get here. You can also download this pattern as a PDF in my Etsy shop.

My second new kit is one of my Diamond Cushions, made with Alison Glass' Sun Prints fabrics in gorgeous modern monochromes. This cushion design features a full star layout, and I have used a pink 12wt Aurifil thread to hand quilt each diamond. Both of these kits come with all the fabric you need to complete the cushion panel, including binding, plus a Sewline glue pen, paper templates, wadding and thread, and of course full colour instructions, perfect for that portable holiday project.

Elsewhere, today is my day on Instagram to share my block for Love Patchwork & Quilting's sew along featuring the booklet of 32 fabulous blocks free with the current issue. I chose to make this cross design using Michael Miller's Sweet Everlasting fabrics - wouldn't this make a gorgeous quilt, maybe with alternating fabrics?? If only I had the time... There are some beautiful blocks being made and shared on IG - why not join in with #lpq32blocksSAL

Talking of time... where does it go?? I'm making steady progress on my EPP Block of the Month design for next year... might be a tall order to get it done for Harrogate though. Still, I'm loving how these rounds are coming together. If you would like to hear more about this BOM, subscribe to my Newsletter to hear regular updates and how to sign up.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Summer Sale & New Designer Fabrics

The sun is kind of shining, now and again, up here in the North East, so I thought I'd celebrate with a Summer Sale!

Simply use the code SUMMER20 at checkout to get 20% off everything across the store, including quilt and cushion kits, fabrics, pre-cuts and patterns or what about a backing for that previously bought quilt kit?

Talking of fabrics, I've also just listed some new designer fabrics in the shop, available by the metre. When I buy these fabrics, I have great intentions of making quilt and cushion kits in all of them, but time is catching up on me, so rather than have them sit on the shelf staring at me, I thought I would share some fabric joy. This first range, Wildflower Garden from Michael Miller comes in two colourways, and I know they would both make beautiful quilts, I thought my Mosaic Garden design would be perfect, it's on the list!

Next up is a collection I have been using in a secret magazine project. This Riley Blake range, Gingham Girls is in a lovely retro colourway, though I seem to have missed the actual prints featuring the gingham (?) Still, I love how the navy and yellow sit so nicely together....

Finally I've also listed the latest gorgeous collection from British company Dashwood Studios, Norrland is Bethan Janine's Winter collection and features her signature woodland creatures and gold metallic accent. I've also been using this in another mag project, and those animals are great for fussy-cut EPP!

Enjoy the sale, meanwhile I have larger-than-expected top to quilt so I can get on with my EPP BOM ;)

Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 13 July 2017

New Kits, Bundles and Secret Projects

I finally had a bright enough day to get photos of these two new Quick & Easy/Beginner's Quilts and now have the kits available in the shop. Each kit includes pre-cut squares, borders, binding and thread, plus full instructions and links to my free online tutorials, making them ideal for newbies who are maybe a little nervous about fabric selection or cutting. With these kits, they can just get stuck in and start sewing.

The first kit features Dashwood Studio's Confetti and Twist fabrics, while the second is made in these lush red and white fabrics from Red Rooster's Coonawarra Red collection.

New products also include these gorgeous fat quarter bundles and a charm pack in Michael Miller's Let's Play collection, aren't they cute!! I used these fabrics in my Novelty Nine Patch quilt kit, and they do make a lovely gift for a new arrival.

Meanwhile, in my sewing time I'm currently working on two 'secret' projects for magazine submissions, the first is developing my love of curved paper-piecing, with a little fussy cutting of these gorgeous Norrland fabrics from Dashwood. 

And the second is a larger version of my Wonky Squares block using Riley Blake's Gingham Girls fabrics, I'm really loving how these fabrics look together!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 6 July 2017

This month's free subscriber pattern

For July's free pattern for my Newsletter subscribers, I decided to go for a little foundation piecing... I know this technique is daunting to some, it took me a while to get my head around it, but with some nifty tools and tricks the technique I use with the simple Economy Block is a good introduction, and great to use with fat quarters. 

This lap quilt finishes at approx. 42" x 48" and features these gorgeous Confetti fabrics from Dashwood Studios - there's even a fussy-cut block in the centres! Unfortunately due to really crap dull 'summer' weather I haven't been able to take any decent shots of the whole quilt... hopefully tomorrow!

If you would like this free pattern, just subscribe to the Newsletter - you'll get a pattern based on my love of pre-cuts every month, plus access to previous patterns, and it's all absolutely free! Click here to sign-up.

I've finally had some more grey fabric back in stock, so the backing pack for my All Squared Up quilt in Alison Glass's Sun Prints is back on the website - I luuurrve a pieced backing!

Now back to my summer passion project.. an EPP BOM to start next year... more coming soon... :)

Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 29 June 2017

A new baby quilt kit & a Doughty's Roadshow

We had a lovely time at the National Quilt Championships at Sandown Park last weekend, the weather was lovely, the visitors were very friendly, and I got to meet and talk to many other vendors which was great, it's always nice to hear the industry gossip! One of the main buzzes was Hochanda, a crafty TV shopping channel, well, these channels are so much more than shopping these days aren't they! A know a lot of viewers watch to learn new techniques and get inspired as well as shop for the next kit or project. I've been thinking about going on myself... me, in front of the camera... I just don't know! As you can see from the film below, my husband is the film star, not me :)

I also launched a new quilt kit at this show, the Novelty Nine Patch Baby Quilt Kit. This adorable quilt is made in Michael Miller's Let's Play fabrics, and would be suitable for a boy or a girl, perfect for those who don't know yet! Each kit comes with all the fabric you need to complete the top, including binding, plus thread and full colour instructions, and is priced at £30.00. 

And of course, me being me, it has a pieced backing. I have also listed this as a separate product on the website for those who may want it at a later stage.

For all you fabrics lovers in the North-East of England, don't forget quilting specialists (and my old employers) Doughty's, are holding one of their fabulous roadshows at my local quilt group in Middlesbrough this weekend!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A very happy customer

As you may have gathered by now, I'm a huge advocate of helping and encouraging new quilters to learn more about this wonderful craft, and also to get as addicted as I am! When I send out my Newsletters, I often get emails from subscribers telling me how much they love that month's free pattern, or asking questions about new kits, or even just asking for help, the latter of which I love to answer.

One such lovely subscriber is Ruth, though she claims she's a beginner, I think she's quickly got to the 'intermediate' stage by the look of her quilts lately, Ruth asked if I could put together a Snowballs Around the World kit in different fabrics, luckily I had a few of the Riley Blake Backyard Roses left that she was after. We talked about which fabrics to go for, then the borders and binding, and I sent off the kit... in no time at all, Ruth sent me this pic of her beautiful pieced quilt - isn't it lovely!

After that, Ruth has enjoyed working through the free patterns I have on the website, building her skills, which now include wavy quilting! And just look at the back of her All Squared Up quilt, this really made me smile.

Ruth explained in one of her emails that she doesn't have any clubs nearby to even learn the basics, and finds the Sewmotion tutorials so easy to follow, she's tried things she's never done before and is feeling pretty proud of herself, as she should! I love hearing feedback like this, quilting really does bring such joy and creativity into our lives, we are the lucky ones! Thank you Ruth for sharing your new-found love of this fantastic craft.

While I love teaching through online tutorials and email support, even I have to get out into the real world sometimes, and was over the moon when Hilary from High Street Quilting in Birtley asked me to run a workshop on my Flying Geese cushion. If you live around the Chester-le-Street area, why not treat yourself to a class?

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Midweek Makers

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Basting a quilt on your bed

There seems to be a few videos floating around cyberspace at the moment showing different ways of layering and basting a quilt, one of which is this great method using long boards and a large table.

However, if you don't have a large enough table, and I don't, I thought I'd share the method I have used for years, well, forever actually, and its never let me down yet! I use my bed... admittedly I have a king size bed now, but even if your bed isn't big enough to hold your whole quilt at once, you can baste it in sections, click below for my full tutorial.

Did you notice the new All Squared Up quilt above? This version features Michael Miller's Sandpiper collection by Sarah Campbell - I can see myself wrapped up in it sitting on a pebbly beach looking out to sea. This easy quilt kit includes all the fabric strips you need to complete the top, plus borders, binding and thread, and of course full, easy-to-follow instructions. Click here to find out more

Are you looking for some summer sewing inspiration? Why not dig into this month's issue (48) of Love Patchwork & Quilting, full of bright and modern loveliness, great projects and beautiful fabrics, you could also try my Curved Hexy cushions for some relaxing English paper piecing.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and Midweek Makers.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Quilts UK and the Red Brick Tile Quilt Pattern

Blimey, it was cold the other night! As it's now June, the heating's off and we've gone to the summer duvet... I know, we live in the north east, so brave! So with the wind and rain battering the windows, and even leaking from somewhere through the roof, we were cold! Thankfully though, I have a room full of handmade quilts! Hahaha!! We were soon cosy again. But what is going on with this weather?! What's more we've just heard that our insurance won't cover the roof as the wind was only going at 42mph, not the 47mph they demand... you couldn't make it up!

Anyway, it seems like ages ago now when we were sweltering under the marquee at this year's Quilts UK in the beautiful town of Malvern. Sewmotion had a great weekend, and it was so nice to see so many familiar faces from our time living in nearby Hereford, especially lovely Doughty's customers who were so encouraging about my venture into the 'quilting world'.

With it being a four-day event, I even had time to have a wander and look at the beautiful quilts on display, here are a few that caught my eye.

"Churned to a T" was designed, pieced and longarm quilted by Abigail Sheridan de Graaff - isn't the quilting on this quilt beautiful, and such a great use of negative space.

Frances Meredith's "Nearly Insane" quilt is based on the original sampler quilt by Salinda Rupp of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1870, as published in the book of the same name by Liz Lois in 2003. I know of the Dear Jane and Farmer's Wife quilts, but this is a new one on me, and it's stunning! Hand-pieced using English paper piecing (my favourite) using red and white fabric scraps, it is hand-guided quilted on a longarm. This quilt quite rightly won show awards for Sampler Quilt, Piecing and a Judge's Merit.

Finally, "All Things Bright and Beautiful" is Evelyn Walton's version of Kim McLean's stunning design. Made using Kaffe Fassett prints, Evelyn has machine pieced and hand appliqu├ęd the top, and it was longarm quilted by The Bramble Patch. This quilt also marked Evelyn's journey to full recovery from severe M.E. Again, this quilt quite rightly won show awards for My First Bed Quilt, Use of Colour and a Judge's Merit.

Meanwhile, back at Sewmotion HQ...

My Red Brick Tile quilt is now available as a pattern, both in paper form, and as a PDF for instant download. If you like these fabrics, why not subscribe to my Newsletter and get 20% off the whole kit!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Pre-Cut Party Time and a New Quilt Kit

It's the first of June, which can only mean one thing, it's Pre-Cut Party time! For those new to my blog, I send out a monthly email to my Newsletter subscribers giving away a free pattern based on my love of fabric pre-cuts. These patterns range from full size quilts and table runners to cushions and small gift items such as make-up pouches. Together with the free downloadable pattern, there are often discount codes for the associated fabrics, or for the whole kit if available.

Having recently taken delivery of Dashwood Studios' gorgeous Birdsong collection, I couldn't resist using them to make these Octagon Star Table Mats for June's free pattern. I love how the larger prints, the birds and the trees, are perfect for that side panel for your cutlery. 

To grab your free pattern, plus access to previous free PDFs, subscribe here.

Talking of Dashwood, I've also just uploaded these gorgeous fat quarter bundles, there are eight from the range, and are priced at £24.00.

It's been a mad couple of weeks with two quilt shows, and then thankfully a few days away. Quilts UK at Malvern was a great show, I even managed to snap a few pics of some of the gorgeous quilts on display, but I'll leave those for a later post when I've got my head together. 

My Red Brick Tile quilt kit, as seen at Malvern, is now available in the Sewmotion shop. This beauty is approx. 77" x 79" and would look lovely draped over a double bed, or laying on top of a king. The kit includes all the fabrics you need to complete the top, including ten designs from this beautiful Coonawarra Red collection from Red Rooster. You also get the binding, thread and full colour instructions. What's more, if you subscribe to my Newsletter, you can get 20% off this whole kit (at £68.00, normally £85.00)

For more quilty fun and inspiration, pop along to these Links parties; Let's Bee Social, Midweek MakersNeedle and Thread Thursday and Main Crush Monday.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Relaxing EPP and Quilts UK

There's little else I find as relaxing as hand sewing, in particular some good old English paper piecing. I became slightly, well very, addicted to EPP hexagons and diamonds a while ago and have been known to sew at airports and on trains while listening to a gripping audible book.

Many visitors have caught me stitching up a new cushion design while on the stand at quilt shows - this new diamond cushion was half made at last week's event in Harrogate, and will no doubt be finished at Malvern this weekend.

And it seems I'm not alone, talking to fellow quilters and show visitors, there are so many of us moving towards this quieter, more contemplative type of sewing.
Great to do in front of the tele, but also to take on holiday or on long drives, or just to sit quietly curled up in a favourite armchair. Don't get me wrong, I still love knocking up a quilt on my Janome, and adore machine quilting, but I feel that EPP slows me down, relaxes me and turns off the outside world for just a while. In conversation at shows you may have heard me say this is my free therapy, and it's true! I have also heard people say "they don't have the patience for hand sewing", which makes me sad. I have actually found that it gives me patience, I have to slow down and take one stitch at a time, which really can't be a bad thing!

So why not have a go yourself? My EPP Diamond and Hexy Cushion Kits are designed to be small undaunting projects that you may actually finish ;) Each kit contains all the fabric you need to complete the top, including binding and wadding, plus a Sewline glue pen, thread, paper templates and full instructions. What's more, if you subscribe to my Newsletter before the end of May, you can get 20% off each kit, just in time for those summer holidays.

This week we're off to Quilts UK at the Three Counties Showground in the beautiful town of Malvern. This four-day event is the UK"s second largest quilt show of the year, and fingers crossed, promises to be a great weekend. The shows runs from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st May, 10am - 5pm (4.30pm on Sunday). If you're in or around the area, it would be great to see you.