Saturday, 18 October 2014

This little piggy stayed home...

Please excuse the radio silence, I've been very busy stitching and pattern writing and ran out of steam to blog. I'm here for a flying to visit to show a couple of little things I've made for the very lovely Katy Jones. I'm sure most of you will know that Katy is heading off to Quilt Market to launch her first fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. I had the great privilege of working with some of Katy's knit strike offs but I will admit to perspiring more than is appropriate for a lady while cutting out a little girl's dress. I had only sewn with knit fabric once so I was taking a bit of a chance volunteering to make something with Katy's precious strike offs but fortune favours the brave ;) I used this lovely pattern for the dress, stripped down to its most basic form due to the joyous no-fray properties of knit fabric. The end result is rather cute.
The knit has a beautiful drape and I would recommend it to anyone! I just wish I could get away with wearing this colour...I am contemplating it in the skirt of a dress  because I just love the print! Here's a closer look at the detail of the print...yummy, I tell you!
Then, last weekend, I thought it would be nice to do an embroidery for Katy using the Priory Square artwork. There were a fair few hours worth of stitching involved but I had a fantastic cheering squad over on Instagram!
This slightly crumpled piece has been turned into something truly beautiful by Katy! I'm so thrilled to have played a tiny part in the making of Katy's booth. I can't wait to see pictures of the finished booth next week! More importantly though, I can't wait to get my hands on the the fabric, I definitely need yardage of this line!  Catch you soon x

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Naughts and crosses

This week has passed by in a cloud of germs that were not conducive to anything more productive than sleeping. I have a pile of deadline sewing that is screaming at me from the sewing room but that door will remain firmly shut for a little while longer. Despite having nothing recent to show you I can share some sewing that I did a lot earlier this year :)
When Denyse Schmidt released her Ansonia collection I couldn't wait to get busy with it. I played around with TouchDraw and came up with a simple but effective design to show it off - Granny Crosses. I used the pinks and blues from Ansonia along with black yarn dyed Essex linen as the background fabric and I love the way it looks. It just screams snuggly at me :)
The pattern for the quilt and cushion is available in Issue 3 of Quilt Now so I can't show the construction but it is a very simple, single block used in rotation which seems to be my trademark these days.
Issue 3 looks like this and you'll find lots of other lovely projects between the pages. The cover quilt is by the lovely Lynne!
Of course my Block of the Month is in there too. This month readers get the first hint of how the Medallion quilt will go together. It's been lovely to see some people sewing along with me - particularly Sarah and Yvonne :)
There's also the free project tutorial for this month's BOM, Wall Art, which is live on the Quilt Now website.
I've run out of steam, so for now I'm back to resting up ready to attack the sewing room tomorrow. I hope you're lurgy-free wherever you are. Catch you soon x

Friday, 19 September 2014

Light relief

I really fancied a bit of sewing for fun. Don't get me wrong I love sewing for work (who wouldn't?!) but every once in a while it's nice to sew something that I haven't had to design and write a pattern for. I'm honestly not that great at following patterns for patchwork because I do like to do my own thing but the wonders of Instagram inspired me to tackle this baby!
 The Modern Building Blocks pattern from Moda is a showcase for solids but we all know I wasn't going to stick to the "rules" ;) The day my pattern arrived from Jessie I had a rummage around in my ridiculously over-flowing stash cupboard, studiously avoiding all the solids, and made a start on Block 1. It's a huge block at around 36" square!

As a jump off point I've chosen navy blue, peach/coral/tangerine and mustard along with floral and animal prints. I'm sure I'll throw some more elements in for good measure as the top grows but for now I'm aiming for edgy feminine/gender neutral. I was determined to feature this awesome print from August by Sarah Watts of Cotton and Steel fame. It's a seriously cool print which I've probably just insulted by calling it cool.
The navy cross-hatch and orange Japanese spot/floral make me very smiley. I was also ridiculously happy to be able to throw in a Densyse Schmidt floral that I snagged from Amanda's Instagram destash! A little whimsy in the form of ducks by Tasha Noel and the striking peach/white/navy print from Arizona by April Rhodes round off this monster block :)
Excuse the world's worst photo of the finished block, I'm running out of space to display things without exposing secret sewing projects that I'd have to kill you if you saw at this stage ;)
 Buoyed by the success of this block I wasted no time in cranking out the next 2 to complete the first section of this monster quilt top! Again, please excuse the horrendous photos :) This one features, Anna Maria Horner in the centre, text print from Cherie by Frances Newcombe, crosshatch from Indelible by Katarina Roccella and navy and orange floral from Botanique by Joel Dewberry.
The next one features Anna Maria Horner fabrics from Dowry and Field Study alongside a grey print from Indelible by Katarina Roccella.
These 3 blocks complete one section of the quilt top. This dodgy photo belies the size of this section.
I've already started work on the next section, it's surprisingly addictive...
...this one includes an old favourite in the shape of Farmdale (the grey floral) and Hadley by Denyse Schmidt. I can't remember who the navy and white cross print is by so feel free to chime in if you know :) Right, now I need to crack on with some sewing for work. Catch you soon x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Completion

I've been jumping between projects in the sewing room over the past few weeks. It's been increasingly difficult to stick with any one project through to completion. This weekend I was determined to remedy that!

Earlier this Summer I bought a very cute Oliver + S pattern called Sketchbook shirt and shorts from The Village Haberdashery with the intention of making a little of outfit for my nephew, Mackinlay. I had the perfect fabric in mind for the shirt - the adverts print from Rocket Age by October Afternoon for Riley Blake. I've been putting it off because, frankly, I wasn't sure my dressmaking skills were up to the challenge. My fears were unfounded! It is a fantastic pattern, really clear and non-scary and the end result is a very professional looking shirt :)
I went for the short-sleeved, rounded collar version and didn't bother with a pocket for the minimum of stress.
My pattern matching is non-existent but I figured it's such a busy print I can get away with it. There's a fancy box-pleat at the back of the shirt which makes it feel very fancy :)
As a finishing touch, I added in some cute train buttons as Mackinlay is rather fond of "choo-choos".
 I handed the shirt over to the little-man himself this afternoon and he responded in just the right way with a big toothy grin and abandonment of his toy so that he could carry his new shirt home himself. All that effort was definitely worthwhile :) Catch you soon x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Singer

It might have taken me over a week but I've finally summoned up the motivation to share the new addition to our sewing machine family! We found this beauty in one of local charity shops and there was no way we were leaving without her!
A slightly scuffed case but it hides a beauty! A Singer 201K hand-crank sewing machine with a couple of tiny scratches in the base plate but she is pristine other than that. A quick google of the identification number revealed that she hails from 1951.
This view from above shows the electric light that is fixed to the machine at the back. I haven't been brave enough to plug the light in to one of our lamps yet...maybe one day.
Amazingly the accessories are all there in their box and virtually unused, complete with the instruction manuals and original Singer needles. We really hit the jackpot!
I couldn't resist threading her up and having a go. Zero adjustments and perfectly even stitches first go! Delighted doesn't come close to describing it.
The only down-side is that Jess loves her too and given the state of my sewing room there is no room for another machine so this beauty will be finding a home in Jess' room. In fairness I'm sure that Jess will use this machine frequently whereas I would just enjoy looking at her. Yvonne was slightly disappointed that this wasn't her birthday present but she did a good impression of being thrilled with the tote bag I made her instead ;)
The pattern for this simple tote will be in an Intrepid Thread newsletter soon. I'm off to write more patterns now so that I can get back on with the fun stuff and actual sewing! Catch you soon x

Saturday, 23 August 2014

It's a family affair!

Today the postman brought great joy in the form of Issue 2 of Quilt Now! Along with the full size pattern sheet there's a square quilting ruler this month.
I've already given you a peek at the Block of the Month project so I won't bore you with that again, but I will show you the blocks for the quilt. Those Art Gallery Fabrics really sing in Dresden fans!
This month Yvonne puts in an appearance too as she has done a reader review!
I also came across this advertisement for the West Country Quilt Show which my sister-in-law is helping to organise. Definitely worth a look for anyone in the area or anyone that doesn't mind travelling to these events!
So, like I said, it's a family affair this month :) Most exciting to me though is that one of my favourite designs to date is featured! Regular visitors will be very familiar with my Sneaky Stars design that I created last year for Justine at Simply Solids to kit for Festival of Quilts. Now I'm delighted that anyone who buys Issue 2 will have access to the pattern too. There were quite a lot of lovely people interested in the pattern last year so I'm hoping that they will still love it and have a go!
It's great to see it photographed and styled by professionals!
For the benefit of those who didn't see my original posts it's works very well in different styles too. Here are 2 others I made last year - The Man Quilt and a quilt for James.
Now I'll leave you all to enjoy the weekend, although I may pop back tomorrow if I can summon the energy to show you a rather lovely charity shop find in the form of a hand-crank Singer! Catch you soon x

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Whooping!

It's that time of the month again, where I get to be all excitable over the release of Quilt Now's next issue! The magazine is due to hit UK stores next week but you can get a sneaky preview of this month's Block of the Month, as my free project tutorial is now live on the Quilt Now website.
Catch you soon x