Thursday 31 August 2017

September's Free Pre-Cut Party Pattern and the Harrogate Quilt Show

Yep, the first of the month has come round yet again, which means it's time for another free pattern in my Pre-Cut Party! For those new to my party, every month I design and write a free pattern based on my love of the quilting pre-cut, including fat quarters, jelly rolls and charm squares. This pattern is then emailed out to my Newsletter subscribers absolutely free. Quite often I will also have a kit to accompany the pattern, with a subscriber-only discount. So let me introduce you to this month's pattern, the Strippy Star Table Runner.

I wanted to show another nifty trick with the 2.5in fabric strip, as well as how to make stars without having to tackle those 'Y' seams. I love these Dashwood Studio Twist fabrics, and I think these colours ever so gently nod to Christmas.

So, if you would like the free pattern, subscribe to the free Newsletter today!

If you would like the whole kit, which includes the pre-cut strips, borders, binding and thread, it's priced at £25, though if you subscribe to the Newsletter, you'll get 20% off till the end of the month.

I can't believe it's been a year since my first ever quilt show, this was last year's stand at Harrogate, and I'll be there again this week with new quilt kit and cushion kits, fabulous fabric pre-cuts and more inspiring patterns. If you're in the area, why not pop along, the show runs from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd Sept, 10am-4.30pm (4pm on Sunday) at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. Click here to find out more.

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

Thursday 24 August 2017

EPP BOM Progress & Social Sewing at Stitchscape

As many of us quilters, sewists and crafters know, 'making' is extremely good for our health and wellbeing. As life becomes faster and more pressured, finding those quiet moments seem more precious than ever, even just an hour or so to sit quietly, clear the mind from outside troubles and concentrate on just one thing at hand, and what could be more perfect than patchwork and quilting?! I've mentioned in the past how I use English paper-piecing as my free therapy, and after a very busy month, I'm looking forward to getting on with my EPP Block of the Month project, planned for release in early 2018. I've actually been thinking of a name, possibly centred on the curvy nature of the piecing... Curvaceous maybe? Circular Motion... ooo, like Sewmotion... mmm, what do you think? Maybe I should ask again when you can see more of the quilt! 

I'm just starting to quilt some of the individual blocks now, the whole quilt is designed (hopefully) to be constructed using the quilt-as-you-go method so you should be able to do most of it by hand making it a great portable project. I will be writing continuous updates on this blog, but if you want to make sure you don't miss this BOM's release, why not sign up to my Newsletter. Not only do you get to hear about my latest news and product lines, but you also receive a free Pre-Cut Party pattern every month - September's is a gorgeous modern table runner using 2.5" strips, which will also be available as a kit.

I know I'm not alone in my craft-as-therapy thoughts, and one such lovely lady has used this idea to build a whole sewing community in Cheshire in the north-west of England. Diane's business, Stitchscape, is an amazing studio providing an 'escape place for stitchers'. This light and airy space is open 10-4pm every day except Wednesday and Sunday and is open to anyone wanting to either learn a new craft (you can see Diane's workshop schedule here) or those fed up with clearing their craft away every night, or having to sew alone. This social space provides an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded people who love to make, find help and inspiration from each other and to just sit, stitch and have a good chat! So if you're in the Warrington area, why not pop along, click here to find out more.

Recently Diane had an open day and purchased some of my kits to sell from her studio and she's just started a series of YouTube videos, each highlighting one of my kits - I'm overjoyed as you can imagine! As well as her very kind words about my patterns, Diane is also full of encouragement and motivation for those wanting to learn a new craft as well as those who prefer working from pre-cut kits where a lot of the hard work has been done for you. You can see her talk about my All Squared Up Sun Prints Quilt Kit below.

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

Thursday 17 August 2017

Festival of Quilts 2017

Oh my word, I'd forgotten how much work this event is, and I wasn't even working for myself! Mind you, I was with one of the hardest working teams at Festival this year, my old employers Doughty's. This was my eighth year working for them, and with five stands, more gorgeous fabric than ever, and an amazing group of people to work with, I had a great time, though totally and utterly exhausted now. I'm planning to do Festival for Sewmotion next year, if only for an easier life!! Haha! It was lovely to see some familiar faces, especially Sewmotion customers, thank you so much for coming to say Hi! Here are just a two of the five Doughty's stands - you can read a blog from 2015 about what goes into building these mammoth stands here.

Somehow I got the chance to see some of the quilts this year, here are some that caught my eye on the way to the loos :)

The top one was one of my faves from the show, 'The Sprinter' by Birgit Schüller entered into the Quilter's Guild Challenge, just look at that quilting, such amazing movement! Bottom left is 'Rainbow Roads' by Isabel Munoz and right is 'Broken Records', though I'm afraid I didn't get the name of the quilter, both from the Modern Quilts category.

I was overjoyed to see so many modern quilts there this year, including the travelling exhibition from this year's Quilt Con, and I got to see the winning quilt in person - 'Bling' pieced and quilted by Katherine Jones.

Above are more quilts from the Quilt Con exhibit - top left 'Whatever' by Katie Larson; top right 'Die Been (Trees)' by Lindsey Neill; bottom left 'Go North' by Maritza Soto; bottom right 'Lincoln' by Kim Soper.

I'm a sucker for anything Pop Art and I loved these panels inspired by comic strip glamour girls and the work of Roy Lichtenstein.  'Cover Girls' is by Bethan Ash and is made by fusible collage and then machine quilted in parallel vertical lines.

Another exhibition that caught my eye were these amazing quilts from the UKQU 365 Challenge - the ultimate Sampler Quilt designed by Kathryne Kerr.

Any finally... the Best in Show went to an old favourite of mine, Phillippa Naylor's 'Measure for Measure' - how exquisite is that quilting? I've never seen something so tiny before, Phillippa has really taken the 'mini quilt' to a new level!

I hope you've enjoyed my mini review of this year FoQ, now back to reality and preparing for Sewmotion's show in Harrogate on the first weekend in September!

Thursday 3 August 2017

Free Pre-Cut Party Pattern and New 10" Vintage Rolls

I know I say it at the beginning of every month, but where on earth is this year going!? So August brings more dubious summer weather, the Festival of Quilts, and my blind panic in preparing for the Northern quilt show in Harrogate in September... and breathe!

It also brings a new free pattern in my Pre-Cut Party - for those of you not in the know, I send out a free pattern every month to my Newsletter subscribers inspired by my love of the quilting pre-cut. This month I have gone back to my favourite, the jelly roll strip, and wanted to show one of the easiest and most effective designs you can make with this pre-cut - the nine-patch Irish Chain.

Sadly I ran out of time to actually make this project, though it is on my list - I think my Coonawarra Red strip set would make a stunning quilt! This pattern includes a materials list and full colour instructions to make this 22" cushion, I've then added a couple of quilt layouts to help you go bigger, complete with fabric requirements. Subscribe to the Newsletter today for this and many more free patterns.

I've just taken delivery of these gorgeous 1930s Vintage Florals, I've been waiting a while and have so many plans for them! In the past I've been asked if I sell 10" squares, otherwise known as Layer Cakes, but I've always struggled with how to display them, they either take up too much room, or they get battered! So when I friend showed me a roll of 10" squares he'd purchased abroad, I was inspired, don't these look yummy!! 

There are 15 squares in each roll, each in a different design, I guess I'm now going to write a couple of Layer Cake patterns for future Pre-Cut Parties. These rolls are priced at £15.00, though if you subscribe to the Newsletter you can get £3.00 until 17th August. 

I'm off to the Festival of Quilts next week, working for Doughty's (maybe next year I'll be ready to do it for Sewmotion) so I'll see you on the other side, hopefully with lots of quilt pics to inspire!

Linking up with Let's Bee SocialMidweek Quilters and Needle & Thread Thursday.