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

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Quilting Concentric Circles Tutorial

As many of you know, I send out free monthly patterns to my Newsletter subscribers, and for the last few months we have been working on a mystery block-of-the-month, the Birds of a Feather quilt. 
Well, last month saw the grand reveal, and then I thought I would add a bonus email with instructions for a pieced backing, and then ideas for quilting. 

I then one step further and made up a quick video on how quilted my own version in a concentric circles design using my walking foot on my home machine.

Even though this design does take a while, especially on a domestic sewing machine, it is still possible (though I strongly recommend an extension table and quilting gloves) and the time and patience is well worth the effort! I love the texture this design creates and I think it accentuates the idea of the birds flying out of the centre nest. I'm hoping to put this quilt together as a kit soon, so watch this space!

Elsewhere at Sewmotion, I'm in the middle of Festival of Quilt prep madness, surrounded by kits, papers and patterns that all need sorting into boxes! I also came across some tickets for this year's show, so I'm holding a little competition on my Instagram page for a chance to win not only two show tickets, but also one of my new Hoop Art kits - visit my page for more details here.

Wishing you all a fun and creative week, linking up with Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday