Thursday 26 December 2013

Happy days

Thanks to my lovely mum and sis, I have an inspiring year ahead of me!

Friday 13 December 2013

Quilt kits for sale

I am so happy to announce that patchwork and quilting specialists Doughty's are now selling three quilt kits, designed by me! These kits are great for beginners with full colour instructions and all the fabric needed to complete each top.

The Strippy Rainbow and Simply Charming quilts are for machine sewing, while the Hexie quilt is for hand sewing using a quicker method for English paper piecing. For more details, and to purchase a kit, click here.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Fresh Lemons Lighthouse QAL

Fresh Lemons Quilts Lighthouse Quilt Along

I've been following Fresh Lemons' blog for a while now, and she never fails to inspire or impress. Now, for some reason I get a mind block when it comes to paper/foundation piecing... Don't ask me why, maybe it's the fear of wasting fabric, or just working backwards. However, when I came across Faith's Lighthouse Quilt A Long, I thought I'd have a go, and this is my first block. It was very easy, though each piece only has one seam! But the over all affect when you sew all the blocks together is so beautiful, I can't wait to make more.

Well, I've completed one block, just a few more to go!

Thursday 14 November 2013

My new pin cushion

I have finally made myself a pin cushion, no more holes in the arms of the sofa! I've made it using English paper piecing, and stuffed it with crushed walnut shells, which due to their abrasive qualities, keeps the pins nice and sharp.

Mag candy

I was sooo excited to find the second issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting on my doorstep, and have enjoyed reading it as much as I did the first. Sometimes with these new mags, the first issue seems so promising, but then they seem to run out of puff and the next issues lack the power and enthusiasm of the first. However, this is certainly not the case with Love Quilting, the projects are so inspiring and give such a great insight into the new wonderful fabrics coming onto the market.

The tutorials are also excellent and easy to follow, I particularly look forward to having a go at raw edge applique, Brioni Greenberg's Petals And Pinwheels quilt is so beautiful, I just love the colours!

I also love Tula Pink's exclusive instructions for her Pixel Perfect quilt, her fabrics are a little mad to say the least, but they do make you smile. I do hope there are more pullout sections like this is future issues.

Sunday 3 November 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is great fun, Amy Creative Side holds this online quilt festival and features some amazing quilts to vote for - each pic links back to the quilter's website, soooo much to look at! Happy voting!


Lily's Quilts small blog meet

Lily's Quilts runs a wonderful blog hop for though of us out there who are slowly building their blogs and have less than 50 followers. Click on the link to visit and support other lovely blogs and maybe leave an encouraging comment.

Lily's Quilts

Friday 1 November 2013

A rediscovered love

I have rediscovered my love of english paper-piecing - since buying Quilting On The Go by Jessica Alexandrakis, I have been so inspired, I think these stars look lovely and fresh on the white...

 ..and I've delved into another hexie quilt, I just love the smaller size.

There does seem to be a great movement towards hand-sewing and piecing at the moment, I find it so relaxing to be able to do something quite repetitive and methodical in a peaceful environment, or watching a favourite film.

These are just a few of my current projects, and I'm happy to be linking up with Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts.

Pudsey and Christmas

Well, its that time of year again, Children in Need, and I'm taking part in BBC Hereford & Worcester local radio's attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest string of bunting ever! Now, I'm not the greatest fan of bunting, but our first bunting-fest in a local bar was great fun.. red wine always helps! And we even had a special guest!

We're having another bunt-a-thon at work on Monday, hopefully with a lot of help from our wonderful customers, we'll manage to get some metres done between us! Watch this space.

And of course, after Children in Need, Christmas is only around the corner. I thought I'd start early for the shop window this year, and was inspired by Stuart's Hillard's medallion quilt in a recent mag. Mine just had to start with a Swoon Block, then I've always wanted to try the Orange Peel block, and really like it. I also like the effect created by turning the reds in the quarter square triangles.

I have jazzed up the corners of the simple border with some english paper-pieced hexagons and stars, and then also added my latest discovery, a dresden plate. I loved using the template and will be making many more of these lovely blocks.

I've decided, maybe foolishly, to hand quilt using a large stitch and embroidery thread, hopefully it will be finished it time! The only Christmas thing about this quilt is the fabric, so it could be made with any fabrics…

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Playing drunk

Had an idea knocking around my head for a while, so thought I'd plan it out in Touchdraw....

Also found a great quick method to do Drunkards Path which avoids the need to sew those curved seams, plan to have a go on my next day off. Watch this space! 

Friday 5 July 2013

The Chanteille Beauty

The Festival of Quilts is just round the corner (ahhh!) so me and the girls at the shop are busy making up quilts and kits ready for the show. This is my new quilt, made from the Chanteille range from John Louden, available of course from Doughty's. The fabrics are lovely to use, and I've always wanted to use my 60deg Creative Grids ruler, and it works really well, very happy with that purchase!

Its so clever how you sew the half-hexagons in rows which create the whole hexagons. The biggest surprise for me was the wadding, it Doughty's brand of an eco wadding - 70% recycled cotton, 30% recycled polyester - a bit fluffy to sew with, though it quilts nicely. But the finished product is so lush and comfy, very snuggly when used with Louden's gorgeous soft cottons!

Doughty's will be selling the fabric pack at the NEC and you'll get free instructions for the quilt when you buy the pack!

Right, now on the next project... mind you, we've got a weekend in Germany with some very dear friends to look forward to first!

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Colour in the garden

I was so happy to see I hadn't missed my alliums blooming while I was away, I only had about 4 last year, so I'm very proud of my huge crop! A couple of pics complete with bumble bee! And I just love the red flower, though not sure what it is, verbena maybe??

Monday 3 June 2013

Jet lagged but happy

Hubby and I have just returned from two weeks in the US, travelling around Boston and New England, with a week in Florida in the middle. We have had dreamy thoughts of moving out there and starting some sort of business, so we were also doing a recci. Florida, I'm sorry to say was just too big and too hot, I think my English bones are just not used to that heat, and this was only May!

So now, we've fallen in love with New England - the countryside, the people, the architecture - were just amazing, and very inspiring! Whether we ever move there or not, it's given us plenty of ideas to bring over here.

Anyway, back to reality, we did find a gorgeous quilt shop in West Barnstable, on Cape Cod, called Tumbleweed Quilts, where I spent an embarrassing amount on some lovely 1930s fabrics, can't wait to start using them, after I've stroked them for a while!

I also stocked up on US quilting mags, Generation Q is particularly inspiring for more modern designs, with loads of extras on their website, which means I can still read some of their articles, even though I can't get the mag here. 

I will post some of our holiday pics another day, we're struggling to keep awake at the moment!

Friday 24 May 2013

You can't beat an ihop!

I do love the International House of Pancakes, as you can see... This has been breakfast for the last couple of days.

We also took a tour of the Daytona racetrack today, very informative as I have never watched a NASCAR race (only in Days of Thunder :) ) I think my two nephews will be very jealous.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

In love with Boston

After a very busy week at Quilts UK, feeling very guilty I left the Doughty crew to packdown, and flew off to spend two whole weeks in the US!! Me and hubby are doing a mini- tour of Boston, then down to Florida - Daytona, then Tampa, then back up to Boston to spend a couple of days in Plymouth and Provincetown.
So in the first couple of days, I think we have managed to see the whole of the city of Boston on foot, and man, do they hurt!
Boston is truly a beautiful city, we walked the Freedom Trail, which takes you all along historic points of the city - the Patriots' fight for independence against the English. The city's architecture is a wonderful mix if the old and the new, including some very nice clapboard houses up in the area of Charlestown. Yet another place to add to the long list of places we would like to live!

On our second day, we decided to hunt down a diner we had seen on Guy Fieri's TV show - Mike's City Diner, which took us to yet another part of the city, great place, I had the largest eggs benedict known to man, while Jus had his first corn beef hash which went down very well.


We then went for a walk around the Back Bay Area, again, beautiful red bricks adorning tree-lined streets and a very peaceful lagoon onto the Charles River.

Today we're in Daytona Beach, just planning to sit today, and that's about it! Oh, and maybe a trip to ihop!

Friday 17 May 2013

Quilts UK 2013 at Malvern

I'm busy with Doughty's on our two busy stands full to the brim with fabrics and waddings, 
happily surrounded by some truly beautiful quilts...

Sarah and Jo preparing for a busy day

Our stand in the marquee
The following quilts are made by various very talented people...

Absolutely love this quilt!

Sunday 12 May 2013

Swooning complete!

Yeah! I've finished my quilt, with plenty of time to spare! And I love this swoon block more than ever! So once I'd pieced the nine blocks, I decided to go back to quilt-as-you-go to make it easier to quilt each block quite intensively - this meant I could use a large square for the backing of each block, making this a reversible quilt!


To join each of the blocks I used a very dark navy to bring out the navy in Denyse's fabrics. I have to say, sewing dark fabric with dark thread is a bit of a strain on the eyes! The hand-sewing on the back was slightly easier.

I did ponder about doing a large border, but didn't think I had the time or the patience, so decided on a wider binding. I'm not completely happy with it, as there's no wadding inside the larger fold, its a bit baggy and doesn't hang as straight as a narrower binding would. But never mind, it still borders the quilt nicely.

This quilt will hopefully be hanging on the end of Doughty's stand at this year's Quilt's UK at Malvern - 16th-19th May at the Three Counties Showground - come and say hello!