Thursday, 2 May 2019

Month Four of the Mystery Quilt

Where is this year going!?!? I can't believe it's May and nearly time for Quilts UK at Malvern.  As you can imagine, I've being extremely busy cutting, folding and making up kits for this upcoming 4-day show - I'm also working on some new kits which will have their debut at the show.

Inbetween all this I have been on Sewing Quarter again, this time demoing a lovely summery quilt from the Big Book of Lap Quilts. This was a joy to make and the large flying geese blocks came together so quickly. In contrast, my second project was Lynne Edwards' Cathedral Windows table runner, which featured both machine and hand sewing, so it was nice to get back to some hand work.

You can catch these shows on Sewing Quarter's YouTube channel here, and you can see links to all my past SQ shows here.

The beginning of another month can only mean one thing, it's time for the next instalment of my block-of-the-month mystery quilt. This Birds of a Feather quilt is free to my Newsletter subscribers, and features half-square triangles, a little foundation piecing and some simple patchwork. If you would like to join us you can sign up here, and you will receive the latest Newsletter with links to previous months so you can catch up with the BOM.

Last week saw the release of a new EPP Flower Cushion kit, this time in this cute Red House Liberty print. This kit is a great introduction to curved English paper-piecing as the pieces are quite large and not too fiddly. And of course, you also have my four-part youTube tutorial to help you on your way. You can find out more about this new EPP kit here.

Wishing you all a fun and creative week, linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Friday, 19 April 2019

Stunning Scotland and an Easter Sale

It has recently dawned on us that having lived so far north of the UK for a few years now, we had still not ventured into our neighbouring country, Scotland, and decided it was about time we did! As my husband can never just go to one place, he set about planning us a mini tour starting in Stirling, then up to Glencoe and the Highlands and then finally a few days in Edinburgh.

I have to say, even though we expected the landscape to be as beautiful as you see in the films, seeing it in real life really does take your breath away!

We even drove up to the bottom point of Loch Ness to see if we could spot the shy creature, alas, Nessy was keeping well and truly hidden that day :) The loch was stunning though.

Justin found the wonderful Lochleven Seafood Cafe down a wiggly road alongside the nearby loch where we had some amazing local seafood, I wasn't too sure about the razor clams to be honest but the langoustines were gorgeous!

We then headed back down to Edinburgh where we dumped the car (I highly recommend the city's Park & Ride scheme, the buses are frequent, and you don't have to worry about parking in a busy city) We stayed at the Brooks Hotel, a very nice and comfy boutique hotel where we had an afternoon tea and bottle of fizz included in the deal - not a bad start eh!?

We like to amble on our city breaks, and Edinburgh is such a beautiful city, you don't realise you're walking up and down so many hills! We made our way to Dovecot Studios to see the much anticipated Orla Kiely exhibition...

I have always loved Orla's strong and colourful graphic design, and with all those curved shapes as inspiration, I can't wait to start designing some more Hoop Art and cushion EPP projects! And just look at that stitching on the red bag, totally love it!! Dovecot Studios is also home to the Tapestry Studio where you can see artists in residence working on their extraordinary pieces of art. There is also a very interesting exhibit on the rescue and refurbishment of these former swimming baths.

Our visit to Edinburgh couldn't be complete without a visit to My Bear Paw to see the very lovely Jo Avery. The shop is normally closed on a Tuesday but luckily Jo was teaching an evening class so we managed to have a quick cuppa and chat before her ladies arrived. My Bear Paw is such a cute shop and you must go if you're in town, Jo's also going to stock some more of my kits, which is great news!

Talking of kits, back at Sewmotion HQ, I'm holding my annual Easter Sale with up to 20% off in the online shop. This is a great opportunity to grab that kit you may have had your eye on for a while, or maybe try a new technique with one of my cushion or hoop kits, or maybe you just need to stock up on your EPP essentials. No code needed - you can visit the shop here.

Wishing you all a peaceful and creative week, linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

A Foundation Paper-Piecing video

As you may know, I offer my Newsletter subscribers a free PDF pattern every month, and currently we are making a block-of-the-month Mystery quilt - Birds of a Feather. Block 3 involves some simple foundation paper-piecing and more half-square triangles. 

Now I know foundation piecing can be quite daunting and confusing for some, it certainly was for me until I had that eureka moment when I discovered this technique using an A5 piece of card and an Add a Quarter Ruler - this tool really is invaluable! So as well as my comprehensive instructions in the pattern, I thought I would make a little video to provide even more help. If you would you like to try this technique for the first time, or maybe you'd like to see a different way of sewing the templates, then watch the video below.

If you would like to join in this mystery quilt fun, you can subscribe here to receive the latest Newsletter, which includes links to the previous two months' patterns.

As well as making up lots of new kits for Quilts UK next month, I've been working on some new projects, soon to become kits, including a new version of my zigzag quilt using Libs Elliott' gorgeous Tattooed North prrints, and another Curved EPP Flower cushion in Liberty's Red House print from their Cottage Garden collection. These kits will both be available in the online shop very soon.

Wishing you all a happy and creative week, linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Sewing Quarter Medallion Fun

A couple of week's ago I was sent the brief for my next appearance on the Sewing Quarter - the UK's first TV Channel dedicated to sewing and quilting. As well as being available on Freeview (73) and Sky (687) you can also watch the shows live on their website and then, the best bit, they then upload most of the shows up onto their YouTube channel to be watched as many times as you like, which I think is very handy if you buy a kit or pattern and need a reminder on how to make it.

Anyway, back to the brief - this time I was asked to make Lynne Goldsworthy's Rainbow Medallion quilt that had been featured in a recent Today's Quilter. I have to say, I have never made so many half-square triangles in such a short time in my life! Thankfully it was using the paper template method, my fave and by far the quickest - you can see my tutorial on this method along with free templates here. The one thing that worries me about Medallion quilts is that you really need to be careful that each round you add to the quilt is squared up nicely and that you're not going askew. I needn't have worried though, this Medallion is mostly made up of 2" HSTs and squares, so matching the seams was a joy and kept me nicely squared up.

My second project was this cute Beside the Seaside cushion, a little out of my comfort zone as I don't do a lot of embroidery, though I wish I had more time to! I think this is the best bit about working for Sewing Quarter, not only do I get to work on other people's patterns, but I also get the chance to try different techniques and styles that I wouldn't normally have time to in my work for Sewmotion.

If you would like to catch up on these shows, or rewatch them, you can see them here on Sewing Quarter's YouTube channel, the Medallion quilt is in the second hour, with the cushion in the fourth.

Wishing you all a sunny and creative week, linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Friday, 22 March 2019

Quilting for Beginners Workshop

There are some great workshops coming up at TeesCreatives in Middlesbrough, including how to Make Your Own Jeans, and Design and Make a Cushion. I am also running Quilting for Beginners, a series of five 2.5hr workshops aimed at those totally new to patchwork and quilting, or those who need a refresher in the techniques. I will show you how to make four different quilt blocks using a variety of hand and machine piecing techniques, and then how to make them up into a wall hanging or a set of cushions.

TeesCreatives provides sewing machines and all the tools you need for each workshop so all you need to bring is fabric and enthusiasm. The on-site Sewmotion pop-up shop will be open an hour before the class to purchase your materials where you'll also get 10% off as you are attending a class. You can find out more about this workshop here and see TC's list of workshops here

Meanwhile, back at Sewmotion, I've been buried in half-square triangles making up a gorgeous Medallion quilt for my next appearance on Sewing Quarter TV Channel next Tuesday (26th March). You can watch me demo this and a lovely embroidered cushion at 9am and 11am on Freeview channel 73, Sky 687, online and on YouTube.

Wishing you all a creative and peaceful week, linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Sewmotion on the Road

Last weekend I was invited back to hold a Sewmotion popup at the Cleveland Lace Guild in nearby Eaglescliffe. This lovely group of ladies make the most stunning lace work, and also dabble in patchwork, well some of them more than dabble! After a couple hours of selling and chatting about quilting, all went quiet for a talk given by the wardrobe dressers of the Little Middlesbrough theatre. These two ladies were a great double act and showed off their collection of aged ballgowns that have been donated over the years which they now use for theatre productions.

I'm on the road again next week for this great little event run by quilting and textiles expert Beryl Frank of Knot Studio. As well as having the chance to get your machine PAT tested, Beryl will be on hand to help with any projects or UFOs, while I will have a collection of fabric pre-cuts, kits and patterns for sale.

I'm happy to finally have the Sewline glue refills back in stock, as well as the Heather & Rose fabric bundle for my Mystery Quilt block of the month, available to my Newsletter subscribers. To find out more about these free patterns, see my previous post.

Wishing you all a happy and creative week, linking up with Lets Bee SocialMidweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Block Two of my Newsletter Mystery Quilt

It's time for the second block in my Birds of a Feather mystery quilt - for those who missed last month's blog and don't know about my Newsletter, every month I offer my Newsletter subscribers a free pattern, usually based on my love of Pre-Cuts. This year, I'm trying something a little different and running a five-month block-of-the-month mystery quilt called Birds of a Feather.

This machine-pieced quilt finishes at approx 62" square and features half-square triangles, a little foundation piecing and some simple patchwork. If you would like to join in the fun, you can sign up here to the Newsletter and receive this month's block as well as a link to block one.

I had a great time with John Scott on Monday's show at Sewing Quarter, inbetween the giggles and silliness, I managed to demo a lovely hand pieced Hexy bag and a beautiful Riley Blake quilt - if you missed the show or would like to see the demos again, you can catch it on Sewing Quarter's YouTube channel - I'm on in the second and fourth hours.

Wishing you all a happy and creative week, linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Harrogate Spring Quilt Show

The Harrogate quilt festivals are my local shows and it's always nice to see so many familiar faces. I had a lovely time last weekend at this 3-day event, though I think it was warmer outside than in the hall - always the way!

My curved EPP kits proved pretty popular, especially the Hoop Art kits which I had hanging on the end of the stand - a couple of years into doing these shows and I'm still learning how best to display my items :) 

Within the first hour, I had some very enthusiastic ladies come to the stand asking about my curved EPP cushion that was being demoed on the Quilter's Guild stand - this was news to me! Eventually I discovered it was the lovely Hilary from Region 14 who has fallen for this technique in a BIG way! Thank you Hilary for sharing the love ;)

On the Sunday, I had a chance to walk around the show and see some of the quilts - I was very happy to see Abigail of Cut & Alter had an exhibit of her work. I was especially blown away by her On The Plus Side quilt - just look at that amazing ruler work and free motion quilting! And who doesn't love a little Alison Glass, just stunning!

Back to curved EPP for a minute, my Hoop Art project is featured in the current issue (71) of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. This hand-pieced flower ring in Alison Glass's Road Trip fabrics is mounted onto a 16" hoop - I do love this way of displaying mini quilts, and must make more!

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

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

EPP Inspiration and Sewing Quarter Catchup

Recently I received a lovely email from a subscriber to tell me how her quilt group had been inspired by my curved English paper-pieced projects in Love Patchwork & Quilting, and British Patchwork & Quilting magazine. So much so that they held a special EPP sewing day to make up my two projects - how chuffed am I?!

As you can see, these ladies have a great eye for colour and design, both cushion layouts looking amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful creations ladies, and I'm so glad I could be your inspiration!

Talking of curved EPP, I had a great time at my second appearance on craft TV channel, Sewing Quarter last week, where I demoed the beautiful Artic Feather quilt by Elizabeth Hartman as well as my Curve Appeal cushions. If you missed the show or would like to watch these techniques again, you can catch them on Sewing Quarter's YouTube channel here - the Feather quilt is in the second hour and my cushions are in the fourth hour.

I'm now off to my first quilt show of the year, in the pretty North Yorkshire town of Harrogate. As well as my fabric pre-cuts and patterns, I'll have a huge collection of quilt, cushion and EPP kits, so why not pop along? 
Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th February
10am - 4.30pm (4pm on Sunday)
Great Yorkshire Showground
Hall 2
Harrogate, North Yorkshire

I hope to see you there, if not, wishing you all a safe and creative week ahead. Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Pre-Cut Party Time - with a difference

As many of you may know by now, I host a Pre-Cut Party in which subscribers to my Newsletter receive a free pattern every month straight to their inboxes. Well this year, I've decided on something a little different - over the next five months I will be hosting a mystery block-of-the-month quilt! The Birds of a Feather quilt is aimed at the skilled beginner and upwards, and features half-square triangles, a little foundation piecing and some simple patchwork. 

Each month I will share cutting and sewing instructions for each block, and then show how to put them all together into the finished quilt in June. I know it can be quite daunting not knowing what the finished quilt will look like, but that's all part of the fun! My Newsletter subscribers can also get 20% off a collection of fabric bundles I have curated especially for this quilt. 

If you would like to take part in this exciting new BOM, why not sign up to the Newsletter now and receive instructions for the Centre Nest Block. You will also receive a newsletter every week with special offers and the latest Sewmotion news.

In other exciting news, I have designed a beautiful quilt for Sewing Quarter using some very pretty Tilda fabrics, this will be on air on Saturday 9th Feb at 9am (GMT) while my next appearance on Sewing Qaurter is next Wednesday (13th Feb) where I will be showing off my favourite curved EPP technique to make my Curve Appeal cushion and then demoing a beautiful quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. You can watch Sewing Quarter on Sky 687, Freeview 73 (8am-12noon), online and on YouTube.

Wishing you all a sew-happy week, linking up with Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 31 January 2019

New Quantum Bygg Cushion Kits

When I first saw this Quantum Bygg collection from Andover fabrics, I just knew I had to have it! Designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo, otherwise know as Giucy Giuce on social media, this collection of geometric and abstract prints come in a more subtle or even sombre array of rainbow colours - the perfect opposite of those girly flowery prints that have featured in many of my quilt and cushion kits up to now.

Having already made up a 40pc strip set and 42pc Charm pack, both of which can be purchased in the Sewmotion Shop, I decided to make another set of matching cushions (the previous matching set in Pink Bloom proved very popular).

This time I wanted to revamp my Hexy Cushion kit, and used eight colours from Quantum and backed them onto a larger square of Linen Texture in Storm. I also used this in the matching Diamond Star cushion kit - I think this warm grey makes the colours shine! Both of these EPP designs are based on the traditional shapes of the hexagon and diamond, so no curved edges in sight! 

Each kit includes all the fabric, pre-cut papers and easy-to-follow instructions to make up each cushion front - you will need a Sewline glue pen, thread, wadding and backing. You can find out more and make a purchase here.

What would you make in these luscious fabrics? Quilts for the boys maybe? Or what about a huge wall hanging for that  minimalist loft apartment?? ;) 

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

Thursday, 24 January 2019

New Kits and New WIPs

Firstly, I would like to thank Patricia for getting in touch and telling me about this great new gadget to enable Audio on my blog. Patricia has been enjoying my ramblings for a few months now, but with failing eyesight, she prefers to listen than to read and wondered if I had ever thought of adding an audio facility on my blog, she also very helpfully sent me a couple of websites that provided this service. So I am happy to say that yes, I do now have a choice of Audio on here, just click on the orange icon at the top of each post to hear it being read aloud, though not by me I hasten to add! I do hope this helps Patricia and thank you so much for getting in touch!

This week I have working hard on trying to get ahead of my work for a change, in particular on my free patterns to my Newsletter subscribers - more on that next month. I have also finally got round to uploading a couple of new EPP kits to the Sewmotion shop - the Kitty Hoop Art kit, and a new EPP Pincushion kit in Bloom. Both projects include curved English paper-piecing and are a great way of stretching your EPP skills or just feeding you EPP addiction! You can find out more about each one by clicking on the links above.

As well as designing and making a new quilt for Sewing Quarter - to be revealed soon, I've been playing with these gorgeous Quantum Bygg fabrics to make a new set of matching cushions... I just have to finish the backs and amend the instructions and these will be available as kits soon. 

With so much to do, I best get on, wishing you all a happy and creative week, linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 17 January 2019

My TV Debut on Sewing Quarter

Last Thursday started very early indeed with a 4.30am alarm call! Having stayed in a hotel the night before, I made my way in darkness to the Sewing Quarter studios where I met the very lovely Victoria Peat, the presenter for the day. After a short talk with her and the producer to discuss the shows' running orders, I made myself a cuppa and enjoyed Vic's first hour, trying to ignore my mounting nerves!

As it happens, I had very little to be nervous about. Victoria took very good care of me, kept me talking while I explained the techniques to my curved EPP Sun Spell Wall Hanging and then my on-point Table Runner. Apart from losing my machine foot and then a ruler mid show, I think I kept it together ok, though I think I'll tone down the giggling next time!

If you missed the shows or would like to see them again, they are now on Sewing Qaurter's YouTube channel (I guess for eternity (eek!) which you can see here - I'm on in the second and fourth hours.

I'm booked on again next month, so this may become a regular outing for me, meanwhile I'm currently working on a new pattern for SQ using some gorgeous Tilda fabrics - more on that soon...

Wishing you all a very happy and creative week, and linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

A Late Happy New Year and a TV debut!

I can't believe we're into the second week of January already, so much for trying to ease up my busy schedule in 2019! Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful New Year. We spent ours travelling the length of the country visiting family, I think we did over 1,000 miles in the end, and went through who knows how many counties - Justin does like to count them off and will even take the odd detour to add an extra one to the list!

I came home to not only a pile of orders, which was very nice, but also to a box of fabric goodies for preparation of two projects that I will be demonstrating on the Sewing Quarter TV channel later this week! I'm pretty nervous but also excited, on making my TV debut! 

I have already had the chance to make up a sample quilt using Lynne Goldsworthy's Maiden Voyage pattern. Being my first project for SQ I was a little daunted that it featured curves, bias edges, matching points and setting-in the inner circle - talk about jumping in the deep end! But I was overjoyed to find that it all came together really easily, even the inner circle! It's been so long since I've followed someone else's pattern and I really enjoyed it. This quilt was featured on the show on the 31st December, and you can see it again on their YouTube channel here - it's on at 2hours in.

I will be on at 9am and 11am on Thursday 10th January and will be demonstrating two of my own designs, my Sun Spell mini quilt which features, of course, curved English paper-piecing, while the second will be my Picture This Table Runner using HSTs and on-point blocks. Kits will be available for both on the show and Sewing Quarter's website.

I'm also overjoyed to have my Stars & Flowers block-of-the-month quilt featured in British Patchwork & Quilting magazine. This pretty quilt is made up of 10 different blocks featuring my fave curved EPP as well as more traditional machine piecing. I made my version in Liberty's Cottage Garden fabrics, and I'm offering 10% off the 7pc fabric bundle in peach and blues on the website, just use the code P&QBOM10 at checkout.

During the Christmas period, I received a lovely email from a customer, Alison who sent me a pic of her Stag Christmas Wall Hanging - isn't it beautiful?! That stunning quilting really makes the stars shine! She also went on to say;

 "I’m really pleased I ordered the kit, working full time, having the pieces ready cut so I could start sewing straight away really made a difference for me".

Thank you so much for sharing Alison! What do you love about kits? Do you like having everything prepared to save you precious sewing time? Do you like the fact you're not left with lots of leftovers to add to the mounting stash? I would love to know your thoughts!

Wishing you all a lovely creative week, and linking up with Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday