Friday 30 October 2015

A Week of Little Finishes

So now it’s nearly November, I guess I’m allowed to mention the C word… yes, Christmas will be upon us before we know it! Having missed the festive boat last year with Christmas Fairs, I’ve managed to get in nice and early and book myself a wooden cabin at the Stockton Sparkles Christmas Market. This is a four-day event on the last weekend of November, yep… FOUR DAYS!!! Ahhh!! What have I done!!?

As you can imagine my lists of products to design, make and finish increase daily, I’m even pushing myself to do some bunting to decorate the cabin – I do not enjoy making bunting!
This week I have been adding to my novelty pencil case collection, these come together quite quickly, so always very satisfying. I especially like the dotty ones, I may have to make more of those…

We also had a family party this week, our great niece turned one, so I thought I’d look back at my past Love Patchwork & Quilting mags to find a cute present. One of her only words so far is "Dog", which she shouts at anything that moves, so I thought this adorable sausage dog would be perfect. Unfortunately in my haste to get him finished, I forgot to take a decent shot.

I would like to end this blog with news of someone else’s finish. A few months ago I had a lovely phone call from a Doughty’s customer who I used to talk to regularly. She had bought this cute Winnie the Pooh fabric and wanted some ideas for a quilt to make for her granddaughter. I looked up the fabric online and thought it would be ideal for some fussy cutting, sewn into simple framed squares using co-ordinating fabrics. I wrote down a few measurements and suggestions and posted them off. To my delight, I recently received a lovely letter and picture of this gorgeous quilt. Iris also included some swatches of the co-ordinates used to give me a better idea. Isn’t this so lovely!? I hope you can see the quilt well enough here, I was so chuffed to have been of help! Well, I suppose you can take the girl out of Doughty’s…

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilt's Let's Bee Social - come and say hello!

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Dog Gone Cute QAL Complete!

Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts is a Canadian quilt designer I have admired from afar for a while now – her Elephant Parade pattern has always been on my to-do list. So when she launched her latest pattern, Dog Gone Cute, with a QAL I just had to join in the fun.

When thinking about the fabrics to use in this beautiful project, I thought I would start with my current favourites, my luscious Kona solids, with white for the dogs and grey as the background… I thought these would look great and very colourful for a child’s wallhanging which was my intention. 

I decided to make up my first block, just to get the hang of the pattern. As I only needed small pieces I raided my scraps from a previous project, and for some reason picked the lighter grey instead of the darker one. As you can see this was a mistake, far too close to the white so that pup loses its outline.

Still, I loved making the block, Lorna’s pattern is so easy to follow, and I love this stitch and flip method - her piecing is just genius!

So then I thought, what about using some patterns instead of solids… and
while hunting for some plain pink and black for the ears, eyes and nose, I came across these lovelies from Louden’s Flitsy range that I'd forgotten about – it is scary when you forget what you’ve bought!

So I tried out my first doggy, deciding on the larger block – I was very please with the outcome, isn’t he sweet! Is it sad to cooo and giggle to yourself when sewing… especially when you’re all alone??

Anyway, I then made another two, and laid them out for a wall hanging – but they needed something else…. Since discovering this flip and stitch method, I have been working on some new cushion designs for Christmas, including these two – I live in Middlesbrough if that explains anything… 

....I really enjoyed how the letters came together, so decided to work out a plan for “Dog Gone Cute” to add to my wall hanging. If you would like to add the lettering to your own project, I have the cutting and piecing instructions here.

So once the panel was all pieced together, I had to decide on the quilting… I recently finished a quilt for a new kit with wavy lines across the whole top, and had forgotton how much I love the quilting process, so I decided to have some fun, and as Angela Walters would say, “quilt the life out of it”!

I started with vertical lines on the dogs, just so they would stand out against the rest, then I echo quilted each of the letters. Then came the background, after consulting my FMQ heroines, Angela and Leah Day, I decided on this dense pattern on the top dog. However, I’m sorry to say I actually got a little bored… so I came over all artistic and decided to slowly thin out the quilting lines, turning them into loop-da-loops in the second dog, and then down to simple wavy lines in the last dog. I think it’s worked really well, I hope you agree.

Lorna has been kind enough to share instructions for these gorgeous blocks on her blog, so why not have a go yourself. And if you would like some more inspiration, check out the rest of today's bloggers:
Sandy of Upstairs Hobby Room
Heide of Heide’s Quilty Hugs
Britt-Inger of Hill Valley Quilter

Judy of How ART You?

Linking up with Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilt's Finish It Up Friday and Free Motion Mavericks - come and say hello!

Friday 16 October 2015

A Finished Quilt = A New Quilt Kit

Are you allowed to fall in love with one of your own quilts?? I had an inkling in the back of my mind to make my All Squared Up quilt into a kit, just as I’ve done with my Beginner’s Quilt. So when I came across this gorgeous Riley Blake range called Fancy Free at Doughty’s, I knew they would look great in this quilt.
I hope you agree, I think I was spot on! How cute is this quilt?! I can just imagine it on a little girl’s bed in a bright sun-lit room, or snuggled up around her on a wintery afternoon.

So this is my next pre-cut quilting kit, which will be available in my shop soon, as well as on Folksy and Etsy – once I get a bright enough day to take some decent pics! Why is it only sunny when I’ve got nothing finished to photograph!

This kit will include all the pre-cut 2½” strips in both pattern and white fabrics, plus the borders and binding strips, that you need to complete the top. There is also thread for piecing and full instructions. If you need a little more help, there are links to my free online tutorials that will help you with cutting and sewing, and also take you through making this quilt with plenty of photos.

Today I am linking up with FinishIt Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts – come and say hello.


Thursday 8 October 2015

New Beginner's Quilt Kits

Would you like to learn to quilt? Or do you know someone who has always wanted to make a patchwork quilt? My Beginner’s Quilt is a free online class that takes you through the three stages of making a quilt – the piecing, the quilting and finally the binding.

The Piecing chapter tells you what you will need, with links to other tutorials that explain what it all means – what on earth is a Fat Quarter? How do I use a rotary cutter? Once you have your squares cut, I explain how to chain-piece (speedy sewing) these together, and then how to match up your seams when sewing the rows to each other. Add some borders, and you will have completed your first quilt top.

The Quilting chapter takes you through the special equipment that I find useful when quilting – the walking foot, and some very strange looking gloves! I then show you how to baste your quilt sandwich, and then how to stitch-in-the-ditch – a quilting technique that will hold your backing, wadding and top all together.

The Binding chapter is the final stage of any quilt, and I show you how to cut and sew your binding strips, and then how to attach them to your quilt top. This is the best bit as when you’re done, you will have completed your first handmade quilt! Time to sit back and look very happy with yourself!

To accompany this free series, I have designed two pre-cut quilt kits, ideal if you haven’t as yet bought the rotary cutter, ruler and mat. 

The 6½” squares, border and binding strips are all cut for you, so you can jump straight onto your sewing machine and get started. The kits also include full instructions and thread for piecing.

Both kits are based on two gorgeous Riley Blake ranges, the first one is very pink and features the Fancy Free range with an added pink and blue Kona Solid.

The second kit features the Giraffe Crossing range, again with a couple of Kona Solids – this quilt would make a great baby play mat or a child’s cuddle blanket, with a colourway suiting both girls and boys – a great gift for a mum-to-be don’t you think.
These would be a great gift for yourself or a loved one who has always wanted to learn about this wonderfully creative and highly addictive craft.

Both kits are available in my shop at sewmotion which I am adding stock to all the time. My full collection of handmade homewares and gifts can be seen in my Folksy shop.

For more quilting fun and inspiration pop over to Sew Fresh Quilt's Let's Bee Social and say hello.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Dog Gone Cute Blog Hop

I have been pretty bad with my Dog Gone Cute QAL this month, and do promise to get two more blocks done in the following week, honest! But I didn't think my slowness should be any reason for you to miss out on this month's blog hop over on Sew Fresh Quilts - this is not only an ideal opportunity to find puppy-inspiration from others, but it's also a great way to meet other quilters and discover new blogs to follow.

On each of the days listed below, some of the world's (and I do mean world!) fun and fresh quilt bloggers will be writing about their QAL experiences, so why not pop along and say hello. Meanwhile, I will be cutting more pieces and getting my head straight, hopefully in time for my own blog on the 22nd.

Tuesday, October 6
Karen of Run Sew Fun
Kris of Kris Loves Fabric
Anja of Anja Quilts
Kelly of Quilting it Out
Tish of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Thursday, October 8
Carol of Just Let Me Quilt
Nina of Inchworming
Doris of The Quilting Queen Online
Brandy of Pampered Pettit
Leena of Creative Instincts

Tuesday, October 13
Ruth of Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner
Tanya of Tanya Quilts in Colorado
Laurel of Quilts by Laurel
Kathy of Kathy’s Quilting Blog
Deb of New Creative State

Thursday, October 15
Anita of Daydreams of Quilts
Gina of Quilts and Cakes
Beth of Words & Stitches
Rachel of Quiltineering
Julie of Mack and Mable

Tuesday, October 20
Cathy of A Quilting Chick
Selina of Selina Quilts
Shauna of Shauna’s World
Gayle of Pedal Sew Lightly
Kathy of Kayak Quilting

Thursday, October 22
Sandy of Upstairs Hobby Room
Heide of Heide’s Quilty Hugs
Britt-Inger of Hill Valley Quilter

Judy of How ART You?
Louisa of Sewmotion
Tuesday, October 27
Teje of Nero’s Patch and Post
Stephanie of Jak and Will
Valerie of Val’s Quilting Studio
Ellen of Georgia Florida Studio
Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts

Thursday, October 29
Abigail of Cut & Alter
Magdalena of iloveneutrals
Jenn of A Quarter Inch from the Edge
Anne of Batiks by the Bay
Susie of Susie's Sunroom
Tracy of Tracy’s Bits N Pieces