New fabrics available on Spoonflower

This time last year (or maybe longer ago than that) I decided I wanted to design a fabric range and pitch it to some fabric companies. I printed samples on Spoonflower and asked a couple of friends for feedback on samples but the colours weren’t as vibrant as I had hoped and then I just lost interest and didn’t send it on as planned.

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It’s daft having these files languishing on my computer doing nothing when I spent so long on them so I have tweaked the colours a bit and added them to my Spoonflower shop. Today I’m introducing Envelop, my first actual collection of fabric. It comes in three colourways with feature prints, tiny repeats and a handdrawn look that comes with all of my previous designs. There are 21 prints available (should have been 22 but I neglected to order the aqua check proof oops) to pick and choose from on the theme of ‘real’ post and inspired by security envelope prints.

DSCF8616Get them here.

Who knows, maybe I’ll make another collection when things get a bit quieter again?

Giveaway winner and curves…

I’ve started on my Pancakes quilt and actually I’m quite enjoying sewing the curves. Sadly I have something else I need to do before I devote my time to this 100%.

They’re not perfect, but they’re not scary either. The cutting is great too, I’ve been drawing with templates and cutting out with scissors in front of the TV. Anything that can be done in front of the TV is a plus to me.

So the winner of the £25 Fancy Moon voucher then!
There were 112 entries, and I asked OH to pick a number between 1 and 112. He picked 37 which is…
37Congrats Helen, I’ll be passing your details to Nancy at Fancy Moon!

Transparency

Introducing my first finished proper quilt for 2015, this is Transparency. With rubbish photos because I don’t get to see the sun this time of the year. The idea is that it’s a simpler reloaded Card Trick Block rotated 45 degrees. The four translucent “cards” overlap and show through the colours that would be produced where those colours overlap. Or that’s what it should look like anyway. The effect is definitely better from a distance.

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The washable marker pen came out great in the wash! Huge success- and I didn’t even use stain remover to help it along in the end.

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And I’m using the labelling technique that I used on my swap mini and will probably make a habit of doing this for the rest of the year, one day I’d like to backdate my labelling (or lack of) too.

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I basted this quilt at the last meeting of EMMQG and it’s taken me a couple of weekends to quilt around the main four colours with my walking foot which did a great job, then I stenciled in the centre of the mandala and echo quilted around it as a FMQ technique where four blocks joined, making nine of those in total.

The back is made from simply piecing two 3 yard pieces from the bargains at Fabric Guild. The navy one is a Stof print at £2 a yard and the pink is from Gracie Girl from Riley Blake at £3 a yard. I wish I bought more, I only have scraps left- I backed the Horseplay cushion with a big chunk of the pink and I donated the navy to Ange as I knew the remnant would just fester in my stash otherwise.

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Now I just need to finish writing the instructions and drawing the diagrams and get it in the post to Popular Patchwork.

STATS
Size – 72″ square 
Number of blocks – 16
Time to make– 15-20 hours
Fabric – Makower solids in grey, white, red, yellow and blue and four print FQs- light blue Pearl Bracelets, a pink Art Gallery print, green Bike Path by Alison Glass and an Orange Lizzy House print.
Backing Fabric – Uno Cycling by Stof and pink numbers from Gracie Girl by Lori Holt.
Binding Fabric – Makower imprint black and white Sketch-like grid
Threads – Coats Moon throughout
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant
Quilting- Straight line around outside of four main colours in each block plus FMQ mandalas in intersections

This is my second finish for the 2015 Q1 Finish Along.

Linking up with:

Right, well now I have a project to finish for the Sewing Directory and I’m onto my second of my three show entry quilts, time is of the essence. It’s time to get curvy…

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Fancy Moon giveaway – today (Friday 23rd Jan) is your last chance!

Stash, oh dear

DSCF8522I think I’m going to be an unofficial member of the Sew My Stash collective this year.

From what was 100 cards, I now have 200 cards of 1/4-2 yard pieces, plus a big stack I accumulated during the January sales…

DSCF8523Not to mention the FQ bundles I still have left, though mercifully I am sewing up my Priory Square bundle at the minute so it’s not quite as bad as it once was.

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Still, I know I will definitely be buying Fresh Cut by Basic Grey when it comes out next month, preferably in a FQ bundle (budget permitting, this may end up being a F8 bundle, I have a tax bill to pay y’know). That is non negotiable, I buy all the (non-Christmas) Basic Grey lines as I think they’re all utterly fantastic. And I’m always running short of complimentary solids, so I’m not stopping buying completely and I’m definitely allowing myself to buy those. Plus at £2-3 a yard at Fabric Guild, it would be silly not to get a few yards of suitable prints here or there for backings…

But really, other than that, I think I’m pretty well sorted for the rest of the year and probably many more beyond that too! It’s not a fast per se, I know I’m appalling at doing that after failing miserably last year (and then going crackers as a result), but I am going to make more of a conscious effort to use what I have and stop being seduced by new lines and special offers. I think the key is if I find myself adding something to cart, to revisit my shelves and just check that I am actually low in that colour, or I haven’t got something else already that would be a great substitute.

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Plus have you noticed, the bigger the stash, the more blimmin scraps?! I’ve already got a carrier bag full of strips for my log cabins (which has become a thing this year, search on Instagram for #scrappylogcabinqal and just remember I was doing it first ;)) but some of my drawers are overflowing- again!

Now I just need to find a home for the non-carded prints. Hmm.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Fancy Moon giveaway (if you’re actually fasting, fabric prizes don’t count!) on the last post…

Giveaway from Fancy Moon!

How would you like to win a voucher for £25 from Fancy Moon?!

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This is the swag I received this week and is an example of what £25 can get you-  2 1/4 yards of fabric! At the minute the clearance section (where I made my budget stretch a little further) has dress fabric, quilting fabric, designers like Amy Butler, Melody Miller and Cori Dantini to choose from!

Fancy Moon is also great if you’re a fan of Alexander Henry, as there’s a lot of their fabrics available, pin up girls, cowboys and skulls galore.

Looking for more suggestions on what to spend your voucher on?

How about the Weekender bag pattern by Amy Butler (I made one in 2013)?

Or put it towards a Kona roll-up (£29)?

***

SO the important bit, the giveaway! Here’s how to enter, you have four possible entries.

  1. Go to the Fancy Moon website and tell me in a comment one of the fabrics, patterns or notions you would buy with the voucher if you won.
  2. Follow Fancy Moon on Facebook or Twitter, or sign up for the newsletter using the box on the right hand side of the Fancy Moon homepage and leave me a comment telling me that you do.
  3. My followers get an additional entry, so if you read this blog through email, Bloglovin, Feedly, etc, let me know you do in another comment.
  4. Tweet, IG, blog or promote this giveaway in some shape or form to spread the word and let me know that you have in a comment for another entry.

This giveaway is open through to 11.59pm GMT on Friday 23rd January 2015 and I’ll draw the winner randomly over the weekend. It’s also open internationally! Good luck!

Marking quilts for quilting

It’s no secret that I’ve been wary of the Frixion pens that a lot of people rave about. Just after Christmas, I bought a couple of colours from Paperchase and tried them out. They worked great; the lines went white and only vanished completely when well pressed but that was fine. I then tested my fabric in the fridge and the lines didn’t come back, excellent, but in the freezer? This is what the once completely white scrap looked like…

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Yep, the marks came back, not as strong as they were originally but quilt-ruiningly there all the same. Which is fine for most people I would think, I mean, who keeps a quilt in the freezer? My issue is if I leave one in a car during winter snow, or in my conservatory with all the heating off if we go on holiday, does it get colder than the fridge in those situations? I could re-press, but I don’t really want to, actually I don’t want to iron any quilt sandwich to be quite honest, due to size and also due to the fact I don’t want to compact the wadding any further.

DSCF8521So I decided it was time to try these! Yep, bog standard kids washable felt tip pens. I tested all the colours on white unwashed cotton and it came out of the washing machine completely clean!
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So I’ve used them on a real quilt. With a bit of stain remover as well as standard detergent, I’m confident this is the best way for me. I always wash my quilts after binding anyway so it’s no extra work, plus these markers have nice thick lines that I just cannot get from standard fabric markers. I used the green one this time as I’m still a bit scared of the mighty black one. I’m getting nearer to completion and nearer to wash time, wish me luck…

My book list 2015

A new year, a new book list for me. I’m not sure if you will have noticed it much, but I’ve been updating a page on my blog for over a year now with the books I have read, along with links to buy them if you so wish. This is a mixture of fiction, non-fiction, comedy, satire, drama and modern classics, anything I’ve decided to read from start to finish during the year. Last year I read 24 books, the year before that it was 17, so maybe this year I will reach my goal of 26 books like I almost did last year! On Goodreads it counts as me finishing the last book of 2014 in 2015 as one off the target, possibly a bit cheating.

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The page is now updated and I’m starting with The Rosie Effect, the follow up to The Rosie Project, which- as you will see scrolling down the 2015 book page- I read in early 2014. All my previous finished books from 2013 and 2014 are still there down the page. Please note the links are Amazon Affiliate links and any purchases you make from my list from clicking through will earn me a little bit in Amazon voucherness. Some of the images aren’t loading properly sometimes but apparently the code is correct…

You can also follow me on Goodreads and I will follow you back!

Horseplay cushion

So after showing you a tiny picture of the cushion in Quilt Now, Sara thankfully reminded me that I hadn’t blogged about it at all (I’m so used to magazines where I feel I can reveal all before publication, then I don’t forget)! This is my large feature cushion called Horseplay (named by OH). I made this last year, but I’ll list it as one of this year’s finishes in my gallery.

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I was asked by Jan on Instagram if it’s hard to make and it really isn’t. Essentially it’s stacking fabrics and stitching, cutting them open again and fusing on petal shapes. It makes for nice secondary patterns though and it would be tempting to revisit this again and accentuate it a bit more.

The back…

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The fabric used is a layer cake of Mustang- or half of one to be exact. This is a great project for using up left over 10″ squares too. I made mine with piped binding, but you don’t have to if you choose to make one, it was a tad fiddly!

STATS
Size – 24″
Number of blocks – 36
Time to make– 6-7 hours
Fabric – Mustang by Melody Miller for Cotton and Steel and Kona Navy
Backing Fabric – Gracie Girl numbers by Riley Blake (I scored and got this for £3 a yard at Fabric Guild)
Binding/Piping Fabric – Bonnie and Camille Happy-Go-Lucky Skip in Navy
Threads – Coats Moon piecing, Madeira something-or-other for quilting
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant offcut
Quilting- Following the curves of the petal shapes, pic of the reverse below…

A quilt with no name

I couldn’t think of a name for this mini, but I don’t really need to as it’s going to be flying outta here tomorrow to my Schnitzel and Boo swap partner, just got to get some edibles for the package!

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The quilting is just messing about with a few decorative stitches. I seem to remember they go bigger than this but I must be wrong as I had it on maximum width. I left/lost my basting pins at the meeting on the weekend so my walking foot did an excellent job of not bodging up the back…

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I forgot my machine had a fonts and programmable alphabet, I think I’ll do all my quilt labels like this from now on. By which I mean I’ll actually start labelling my quilts. The back also has a couple of triangles to help with hanging. I’m not sure I did the flange bit right, maybe I should have read up on it rather than just going for it?

Just one more swap quilt to go – and start. Just got to pluck up the courage to try out my idea.

STATS
Size – 24 1/2″ square 
Number of blocks – 16x courthouse steps blocks
Time to make– 6-7 hours
Fabric – Scraps and FQs of all sorts- Lily Ashbury, Cotton and Steel, Heather Bailey, Alison Glass, Amy Butler….
Backing Fabric – Ikea Nummers
Binding Fabric – Robert Kaufman black and white heavy check fabric with inner flange of aqua Sketch.
Threads – Coats Moon throughout
Batting – 80/20 Soft and Elegant offcut
Quilting- Machine stitch presets of scallops, wiggles and crosses.

This is my first finish for the 2015 Q1 Finish Along.

Scraptastic Tuesday
Also linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday.

Fresh Poppy Design
And Fabric Tuesday as well, why not?

Big up!

A “big up” for myself that is.

I have a project on the cover of Popular Patchwork this month, yep that’s my Diaspyros quilt from late last year.

And also I’m just sneaking in on the cover of Quilt Now with my Horseplay Cushion. Scarily I have nothing else in the immediate pipeline for magazines project-wise (I have articles though), I’m working on stuff but nothing finished yet. This is highly unusual for me!

My next blog post should be of my first finish along finish of 2015….