Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Retreat run down part 2 - the classes

Here's the second installment of my trip to Fat Quarterly Retreat. In fairness it seems a bit daft to call it retreat as it was anything but relaxing! Don't get me wrong, it was fabulous, but totally exhausting. I could happily sleep for a week or two. Anyway, back to the run down.
Day one - First up - Hand quilting with Jen Kingwell. I was so excited about the prospect of meeting Jen as she is one of my biggest quilting idols! Unfortunately I missed over an hour of this class due to transport delays and was so hot and bothered by the time arrived that I didn't actually get to do much hand quilting. Fortunately for me I was lucky enough to have another class with Jen on the Saturday so a major tantrum was unnecessary ;) No photos to show for this class.
Second class - Embroidery with Jo Avery  - it was fantastic to finally meet Jo! We have known each other online for many years thanks to Flickr in the good old days when it was actually a thriving community. Jo was very patient and encouraging which was particularly helpful as our class was fairly high maintenance ;) This is as much as I managed to sew in class...
I predict this being finished some time in the next decade :)
Day 2 First class - Screen Printing with Karen Lewis - I was ridiculously excited about meeting Karen as we have been in constant email contact since a Flickr swap in 2010. Karen is even more fabulous in real life! Despite Karen's best efforts I am not a natural screen-printer, I'm blaming it on the early morning and vertigo. While the rest of my class mates churned out numerous perfect pieces I managed 2 semi-decent prints and gave it up as a bad job. Check out this post on Karen's blog to see what the other members of the group created :)
I do have Karen's awesome new book so I'm not saying never again...
Second class - Green Tea and Sweet Beans with Jen Kingwell - Jen is an amazing teacher! Her down-to-earth style is right up my street. It was an absolute privilege to witness a master at work. Jen was very generous with her expertise and we were all rapt.
I didn't get a great deal accomplished in class as I was too busy ogling Jen's quilts! Here's my sad effort...
...I do love it. I've promised myself I'll finish this quilt before I turn 60 ;) Here's Jen's original!
It's impossible to convey just how beautiful this is in real life but I did take a few close-ups to try and give you a better idea :)
Check out the tiny hand quilting stitches!
I was even lucky enough to see the Gypsy Wife quilt! Let me just tell you that it is so much more awesome in real life. The colours are far softer than they appear on the pattern cover. Kerry and I had a good fabric-porn session ogling all those yummy fabrics!
After all that excitement I was pretty much done in so I gave the Sunday classes a miss. The weekend was truly inspirational and I can't wait to have the energy to get creative again! I'm sure there are plenty of other things I should be telling you here but frankly I've run out steam. I am going to leave you with a giveaway! I've decided to share these lovely freebies with someone who didn't attend retreat.
For a chance to win these lovely goodies just leave the comment NOT AT RETREAT. I will draw a winner by random number generator if there are lots of you (or out of a hat if there a handful of you) on Saturday 25th July around 12 midday (BST). Catch you soon x

Monday, 21 July 2014

Home again - Retreat run down part 1 - the haul

It's been an exhausting but awesome weekend! After 3 years of trying I finally got to Fat Quarterly Retreat. It was lovely to meet lots of bloggy friends in real life. I was completely useless at photographing any of them, I did get lots of photos of fabric though :) Look at this lot! This lot was in the goody bag from the FQR 2014 sponsors. So generous!
 Then I won this fab stack of fabric from Dashwood studios in the FQR raffle!
Following the sensible decision to join the pub quiz team that Hadley was part of (we won obviously!) I had the pleasure of winning this awesome pattern by Jen Kingwell!
Fat Quarterly Retreat market night yielded many fabulous fabric finds. This selection of remnants from Beyond Fabrics ticked a lot of boxes...
...and this selection of Cotton and Steel prints from Eternal Maker put a smile on my face...
...I couldn't resist a few basics from Fluffy Sheep Quilting either.
Then I had the great joy of taking part in the Sample Swap and came home with these fab goodies in exchange for my aprons:
Blue mug rug from Sue Blake, Purple mug rug from Tsoniki, Nested Churndash from Sue Bone and the orange hexie pincushion and key fobs from Corrine.
So after all that fabric indulgence I'm completely whacked. I intend to be back tomorrow with more retreat news. Catch you soon x

Monday, 14 July 2014

Reene's FAL list Q3 - keeping it real

I'm scraping under the wire this quarter! There's so much going on around here that I know I'm not likely to finish much other than my Quilt Now commitments but I still want to play along with Katy's FAL so I'm keeping the list short this quarter.
1. Jess's cardigan is back on the list!

2. HipBees village quilt - Hanging on the design wall ready for when I have some free time to play with it.This really must be finished this quarter!        
3. HipBees Denyse Schmidt Strings quilt - The top is finished but it's still waiting to be quilted. Maybe I'll get round to it this quarter :) I'm feeling hopeful about this one!
That's it for my list this quarter. I decided I would rather have a short list with more hope of getting them done than a great long list and lots of crosses by the side of them come October. It feels a bit like I'm cheating but I can live with that ;) Right, I'm off to check out what everyone else is hoping to achieve this quarter.
Catch you soon x

Yvonne's Finish Along List 2014 Q3

Gasp.....  Just realised today is the cut off for Katy's FAL 2014 Q3!!!!  

It's been a really busy week as it was Ralph's 65th Birthday on Thursday.  He took a couple of days off for us to go out a couple of times .... and then we had a BBQ on Saturday for the family.  It was a lovely time but I am Soooo tired now and, clearly, forgot pretty much all else in the busyness!!

Fortunately I had already decided what to choose for Q3 and it's a short list ..  again .. so I can quickly let you know my goals before I dash (!!!) off to do tea...... at least .... to prete look as if I have spent ages preparing it.   Shocking I know.  :-)

So here they are... my goals for Q3

1.  Sandwich and baste my Fresh Modern Bee 2 Secret Garden Quilt. You can see where I am on this quilt 
here on my previous post. 

2.  Complete the top and sandwich and baste my Hexistars Quilt.  Here's where I've got to so far.

Just needs squaring up now

I'm planning to use large hexies for the squaring up ....  oh here's a question.... can you square up an oblong? 
Anyway, hopefully you can see what I mean.  I haven't decided yet whether to leave the sides as they are or make them straight.  What do you think?

3.  Spring/Summer Table Runner.  The top is already done and the border added.  Now I have to sandwich baste and quilt it.  I'd like to have it completed before the next quarter!  Really... as it's title suggests it was started for Spring use and now it's Summer and still sitting there!  

 Such sunny pretty fabrics

The fabrics are by Quilt Gate I think it's called the Princess Rose collection and I got them from Kerri's etsy shop.  They are really soft and almost lawn like, they remind me of girly summer dresses.  

4.  30's Spring Carnival Quilt/Runner.  I started this back in 2012 I think, when the first collection of 30's Playtime fabrics were released by Chloes Closet for Moda.  I did quite a bit and then got sidetracked.... I know it sounds like a stuck record doesn't it?  I love the pattern, it's EPP (English paper pieced) and the design is by the lovely Katy of  imagingermonkey fame.  The templates are free on her website and she has examples of what she has made with them.  Wonderful inspiration.  

This is it so far

I made the cushion in reds, pinks and blues first from the same fabric collection.  Love it.... had to start something bigger with all the colours so it would be really scrappy.  I know it will be fab when it's done so I need to just get on with it.  It will be my next hand sewing for the evenings ... when I'm 'watching' TV and trying not to fall asleep or snore so loudly that Ralph realises I'm asleep!! I know I won't finish it in a quarter but I would like to have made progress with it.  

And last but by no means least

5.  Sevenberry Swoon Quilt.  I must carry on piecing blocks for this one.  Again it won't be finished but I want to have added more blocks to the three I've done so far.  You can see where I got to in my previous post here.

So that's it 5 goals this time and I really hope I manage more than my 50% from last quarter, although Helen has convinced me that there is nothing wrong with 50%.  And I know myself that it's much better than having all of them sat in my UFO/WIP pile making me feel guilty! :-) 

Thank you for visiting and encouraging me in my quilting endeavours.  I hope you realise how grateful I am to you.  I'm off now to look busy in the kitchen.  Take good care of yourselves and happy sewing.  
Yvonne Xxx    

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Prepping

Well it's been a very busy time in this neck of the woods. I've been secret sewing, blog updating and website building.I've added some new content over at www.nelliesniceties.com so if you haven't already visited it might be a good time to check it out. I'd love to know what you think of the facelift so far! I'm going to try migrating this blog over to the website in the next few days so apologies in advance for any disruption. If it doesn't work out I'll just leave it here and add new posts here and on the website; me and technology are not the greatest of friends.

In amongst all this business I remembered that I'd signed up for this year's Fat Quarterly Retreat Sample Swap. Given that retreat starts next Friday it really was about time for me to get cracking on making my samples! I've been procrastinating as I really didn't know what to make, then this afternoon I had a light-bulb moment when I decided to make reversible aprons :) I dug out some pretty fabrics and set to work. They go together really quickly and I'm a little bit delighted with them. This is the first one that I've finished, I've just got to add apron ties to 3 more tomorrow. Front...
and back...
There's another one in theses fabrics and then another 2 that are the grey version of this Flea Market fancy print with a Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow print. I'm hoping that they won't be too offensive for whoever is in my swap group. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get on with finishing the other 3 aprons after I've been to the hairdressers to tame my crazy hair for retreat. I'm not sharing a picture here of me until that mess is remedied! Catch you soon x

Friday, 4 July 2014

Yvonne's Roundup of Finish Along 2014 Q2

......  So here I am again at the end of another quarter for the Finish Along 2014 with Katy  at The Littlest Thistle.
Except this time I'm rather pleased with myself because I'm just about squeezing in before the deadline.  Or at least I hope I am! If you want to see my list for Q2 you'll find it here.  As I missed the deadline last quarter I combined the roundup of Q1 with my list for Q2 just scroll to the bottom of the post.  

Without any procrastination or distraction I'm going to dive right in..... here goes:

1.   Finish the tiny hexie cushion.  Well this was definitely a finish and a happy one too.  You can read the post about it here  if you are so inclined.  :-) 
Sitting pretty with the almost finished wall hanging made 
for myself with the remaining hexies.

2.  Finish the Fresh Modern Bee 2 Quilt top.  I'm happy to say this is also achieved... and blogged about here
I am so thrilled with this it is better than I ever thought it would be and I am so 
looking forward to it being finished.

So far so good eh?  Two out of two.  Hmm now we go downhill.....  

3.  Swoon block quilt.  To be quilted and bound by the end of this quarter!!  What was I thinking?!!  I only had one block made!!  Clearly not even close to being achieved... only two more blocks added.  And those were only done in the last couple of weeks.
They do look pretty but definitely not a finished quilt.
Camille  designed a great quilt when she made this one.  It's a big block with a lot of pieces so, at the pace I work even without distractions- more on those in the next one on the list- I was never going to get it finished. It will be added to next quarters list though because its too nice to languish in a box uncompleted!

4.  Hexiestars Quilt.  I had every intention of this being finished and was working away perfectly contentedly at it.... and then got distracted.... completely!!  If you have been watching on Instagram or have read a few of the more previous posts you will know why.  Reene discovered a love of EPP (English paper piecing), thanks in no small part to Sewline Glue Pens.  If you have never tried them for basting your fabric to templates in EPP do give it a try.  I was almost dragged to it kicking and screaming... honestly... but it's totally my preferred method now. Anyway, yet again, I digress.....  Reene was designing patterns quicker than I could print the templates!  All of them totally lovely.... I know I can hear you saying I'm biased... you're right I am but still... they are all really great patterns.  Of course, Hexiestars was the first of the patterns and when I saw Tessellated Madness I knew exactly which fabrics were sitting on my shelf shouting 'pick me pick me'..... so I did.  And that was it, Hexiestars Quilt had to wait to be finished because I couldn't wait to see how Tessellated Madness would turn out.  Totally addictive.  So a second goal not achieved on the list!!  Yet... will go onto next quarters list, definitely. 
This is most of the blocks laid out on the cutting table.
And this is as far as I have got sewing them together.  
I love the way it's coming together and will definitely carry on with it during the next quarter.

So 50%  ... mmmm.... not exactly brilliant eh?  But ...  I have two completed WIP/UFO projects that may still be sitting in the box if not for the Finish Along.  I also have two projects that are being worked on and are closer to being finished today than they were in April.  As I am definitely a 'cup half full' person, rather than a 'cup half empty' person I'm happy to have achieved what I have and am grateful to Katy for organising the finish along that has go me this far.  

Now, I'm thinking I'll show you what distracted me so completely this last few weeks... I'm hoping you will understand why and agree it just had to be done.
Amazing pattern
It's a shame it's not the best of photos as the light isn't good in the sewing room now.  But I will take better photos when it's finished.  And I have the perfect backing for it that I found in my vintage Laura Ashley fabrics.  Can you tell I'm excited by this one?  Hope you like it too.  So pattern is a pdf in the sidebar of the blog, fabric is Darlene Zimmerman's Grandma's Garden and Lazy Daisy Baskets for Robert Kaufman and a Kona Solid, sorry can't remember the colour but I know I got it from Justine at Simply Solids.

I'm off now to get Reene to do the linky thing for me as I've forgotten how to do it.  Thank you so much for dropping in and staying awhile.  It is appreciated. Take good care of yourselves and happy sewing. Yvonne Xxx

Thursday, 3 July 2014

I was right! - Reene's FAL Q2 round-up

My FAL Q2 list was totally unrealistic! I started off well...
1. Hexiestars cushion - Tick
...then I got side-tracked by a new found love of EPP. Tessellated madness and cartwheels took over and everything else went to the dogs ;)
2. Jess's cardigan - I've made progress on this but haven't touched it for weeks much to Jess' disgust!
                               
3. HipBees village quilt - sadly untouched again! It has made it's way to the design wall, ready for when I have some free time to play with it.
                              
4. HipBees Denyse Schmidt Strings quilt - there has been progress on this! The top is finished but it's still waiting to be quilted. Maybe I'll get round to it next quarter :)
6. Amish with a twist BOM quilt - I've made progress but still got loads to do. Something like another 30 log cabins to make. I'll get round to it one day ;)
                               
Final score, 2 out of 6. Could do better! Oh well in reality I've got loads done this quarter it's just a shame that most of it wasn't on my list :) I'm off to check out how everybody else did with theirs. Catch you soon x