Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Summery sewing

Way back in November 2010 I saw this fabulous quilt by Megan and promised myself I'd make one. Well you know how it is, new things appear on the horizon and I'm easily distracted ;) So yesterday I dragged out my layer cake of Central Park by Kate Spain and consulted Megan's triple squared tutorial, then I got busy with the rotary cutter.
A whole lot of squares and rectangles!
 I need to make 64 blocks for the quilt I'm making so I'm going to busy for a while! At least I've worked out how to chain piece them now though :) Here are the first 4.
I love this fabric range; the colours are so summery. I'll take some more pics when I've got some more blocks of four ready to assemble :) It's been really good to find a layer cake pattern that caught my fancy. I have a whole stack of layer cakes and never really know what to do with them. Have any of you got any tips for using up layer cakes that don't involve cutting them into charm squares?
Catch you soon x

Sunday, 27 May 2012


It's too hot!!! I'm sorry folks but me plus heat equals misery. I shall be glad when this heat wave passes. All moaning aside, I have managed to finish the Mama Said Sew flowers quilt top :) I'm exceptionally pleased with how it turned out!
 In a moment of madness I decided to hand quilt it. "It's only small so that shouldn't be too much hassle"...enter heat-wave....too hot for quilt on lap. Boo! This may take longer than I had intended.
I'm hoping for cooler weather very soon, sorry to anyone who loves the heat ;) Hope you've all had good weekends. Catch you soon x

Monday, 21 May 2012


I'm so tired after a busy weekend that I nearly forgot to do the draw for the scrap giveaway! I used Mr Random Number Generator to find the winner from the 9 Brits that commented. 
The winner is Sarah! I'll get the scraps in the post to you when  you send me your mailing address :) 

I'll leave you with a photo of the reason for my tiredness; my ageing rock-chick tendencies. Guns n' Roses, they were excellent so well worth the exhaustion!
Catch you soon x

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Mama said...

share. That's right folks, I said share! Today I cut into my precious bundle of Mama Said Sew and in a fit of madness generosity I decided I'd share some of it with a lucky reader!
First, I'll give you a peek of my latest project for me ;) It reminds me of Mary Quant flowers. It's such fabulous fabric I don't think it would be possible to make a duff project with it. This will take some time to sew together, what with all those curves!!
 So, after I used my new Go! drunkard's path die to cut my latest project I was left with some rather tasty scraps. Well come on, you didn't think I was going to be more generous than scraps did you?! There are 24 prints in this pile, or at least I think it's 24 I can't be bothered to count now, sorry. 
I'm going to be mean and say that the scrap giveaway is only open to Brit readers, sorry international peeps. To be in with a chance to win these scraps leave me a comment telling me which new fabric line you can't wait to get your hands on! I'll use Mr Random Number Generator to choose a winner on Monday afternoon. Catch you soon x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Today was the deadline for International posting in the Fab Little Pincushion Swap (FLiPS) so I had to pull my finger out and get my offering finished, packed and posted! I've been rather distracted since I joined the swap with all the nonsense that goes with trying to move house so it was a bit of a last minute hurrah. I'm hoping my partner won't be too despondent when they receive their package from me.  I'll show you a few peeks of detail.
Machine embroidery on the herringbone

Hand-Stitchy detail on the back.
 The pincushion turned out to be far less wow than I'd hoped so I stitched up a last minute Zakka style pouch to go with it. Don't get me wrong, I think the pincushion is cute, it's just not as fabulous as some of the other creations in the group. Take a look and you'll see what I mean!!
Pincushion with last minute Zakka pouch
I've seen the Zakka pouch everywhere in blogland so figured it couldn't be that hard to make. Thankfully the pouch was as easy as everybody said it would be to make and it houses a few treats for the recipient which I'm leaving to your imagination so the recipient gets a surprise ;)

In other news the Peak Hour strip quilt reached it's secret destination yesterday! Justine had a gorgeous baby boy a short while ago and I wanted to send a little something for him. Here's a cute photo that Justine uploaded for me to see him with his quilt in action. Serious cuteness! Catch you soon x

Sunday, 13 May 2012

This weekend

The postie heralded a fabulous start to the weekend with this gorgeous Fat Eighth Stack of Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater!!! I'm ridiculously excited to have got my hands on this before the general release later this summer. Thanks to Jane of Want it, Need it, Quilt for super speedy despatch from Australia. I already have 2 plans in mind for this yummy line and as soon as I finish my commitments for the Siblings Together initiative I will be making something for me with it :) 
What's not to love about Mama Said Sew?
I finished up my last quilt for Siblings Together this afternoon! Woot! True to form it was too sunny outside to get a decent picture after weeks of being too wet to get a decent picture.
At least you can see the quilting.
I headed indoors to get a shot but that's not great either, sorry. I'm hoping that when we move Lynne will be my new quilt stylist and photographer...
Teen boy quilt finished size 50" by 70"
 I used some of my stash of Summersville to bind this one and backed it with the trusty text fabric from Ikea. I managed to forget to photograph the back but you've seen the print before on numerous occasions.
 Here's my final stack of quilts washed and ready for labelling before I send them off. I'll be adding the quilt Mum made to this pile as soon as I finish quilting it. Unfortunately Mum's still not up to manhandling fabric through the sewing machine so I said I'd finish it off for her. I'll show you pics of that next time. I've basted it ready for quilting :)
The leaning tower of quilts
 Hope you've all had a good weekend. Catch you soon x

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

M.E. Awareness week

It's that time of year again folks. M.E Awareness week is upon us. As regular readers know our lovely daughter, Jess, suffers with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. Last year Jess wrote an article here on our blog but this year she has a blog of her own that she has just started writing so there's a post over there. If you have the time or the inclination to head over there to read it and leave a comment I'm sure Jess would be really chuffed and I for one will be delighted. It's a very frank article from Jess' perspective and tissues may be in order.

I support the Association of Young People with ME
ME/CFS is a little understood but potentially devastating illness. Symptoms can include: prolonged 
unremitting exhaustion, muscle pain, joint pain, severe headaches, cognitive problems and 
many more. Some people with ME may be able to manage school or work with 
difficulty while others can be left bedridden for years.

AYME is a lifeline to 

children and young people with this devastating illness, providing vital support, information and services.

Please consider going here so you can repost this information and spread the word, or 

to AYME's website to read and learn a little more for the future.

I'll be back soon with the usual sewing news :) Catch you soon x

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Today I dug out the fabrics Claire from Patch Fabrics sent me to make a teen boy quilt for Siblings Together
 I've gone for my usual strip piecing technique for maximum speed of construction.
 I do love a quick but effective block :)
 I'm interspersing the multi-blocks with a larger block of print so the quilt isn't too busy.  The blocks are 16" by 13" finished so they're good and chunky. Hopefully that will make it acceptable for a teen boy :)
I've got plenty more blocks to make but this wasn't a bad start for day one. It also seems I need to ask for it to rain more often as the skies stayed nice and blue today ;) Catch you soon x

Monday, 7 May 2012

Two little boys

On Saturday I received a lovely fabric package from Julie at The Intrepid Thread. Amongst the goodies was this fabulous Peak Hour fabric. When I saw it on Julie's website I knew I had to get some as it would be perfect fabric fodder for some little boy quilts. The spots and print from this range are fabulous! I may need to get some more of the spots for binding :)
Julie also sent me some 5" strips of the range to play with and the fact that the fabric was pre-cut and ready to go got my creative juices flowing immediately. I mean seriously how cute is this?!!
 Thanks to the hideous bank holiday weather I have 2 new little boy quilts to show you. I managed to dodge the showers yesterday to get a shot of the first one on the washing line. It's about 40" square log-cabin. I used a fat quarter as the centre panel. I have to admit to loving this! I free-motion quilted with some variegated Aurifil thread. It's not my finest quilting but thankfully Mackinlay hasn't reached the age where he criticises things like that yet ;) 
 I backed with the leftover It's a Hoot yardage from his Dr Seuss quilt and a strip of the Peak Hour to make up the difference. It positively shines against the grotty sky.
 The second quilt I made is for another little boy who shall remain nameless at this point. I love how the basic strips of print look together. Sometimes less is definitely more!
 I quilted across the quilt in straight lines then did some free-motion vertical wavy lines. All in all another happy little quilt. This one finished up around 42" by 46" and is backed with the bottle caps print from Going Coastal.
Here's a close-up of the print for those of you who haven't seen it.
I don't think I've had this much productivity in one weekend in a long time. It's been great! It should rain more often ;) Catch you soon x

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Happy, happy!

Today I turned the Tile block in to a rather lovely cushion :) LOVE!!
Happy cushion :) 
 I did some basic straight line quilting on the machine to fix everything in place, then added some hand stitching in a vivid red Perle 8.
Close-up of quilting
I used another of the Ruby Star Shining prints for the back of the cushion. I just love this range. Melody Miller seems incapable of designing a crap range which is great news for us :) I used 2 different coloured buttons for the closure which goes against the grain of my normal need for symmetry but I think it works here.

Obviously I need a new cushion like a hole in the head but what can I tell you? I just love cushions ;) Catch you soon x

Friday, 4 May 2012

A twist on the tile

The day started well with deliveries of Summersville by Lucie Summers and...
Layer cake of Summersville!!
Tula Pink's book! I pre-ordered this book in December so was not impressed when I didn't receive it when it was released. I gave up waiting in the end and re-ordered it from elsewhere. I'm a happy bunny now :)
Tula Pink's book
After browsing through the book and petting the fabric I thought I'd tackle a Tile block. I've re-coloured the original block so that it corresponds with the fabrics I used.
Adaptation of the Tile block
It's a super easy block to make, hooray! I supersized this so the finished block will be turned into an 18" cushion. All you need is 9 - 6 1/2" squares and 6 - 4" squares.
Ruby Star and Echino :) 
I've used Ruby Star Rising, Ruby Star Shining and Echino to create this very funky cushion top. I think I'll hand quilt this one :)  I've taken a few process shots for Catherine and anyone else who might be interested in how I made the block up. The blocks represented by brown in the diagram are essentially flying geese blocks. I marked points half way along 3 sides then joined them up to create the lines to cut on.
I cut all the 4" squares into 2 right angled HSTs to make the flying geese. I'm sure there are more clever and accurate ways of doing this but this is what worked for me. I lined the long edge of the HST up with one of the angled edges of the brown block making sure I had little ears either side like below.
Don't forget the little dog ears :) 
 Sew a 1/4" inch seam then press open.
Repeat on the opposite side to complete the unit. I trimmed the finished blocks as necessary to 6 1/2" square.
Repeat to complete the unit. 
I pressed all the seams open to try and cut down on some the bulkiness. There are four units like this with different rotations as shown in the block diagram.
Finished geese unit
For the central unit the process is exactly the same except all four sides will have HSTs sewn to them to create the finished 6 1/2" unit.
Central block.
 The rest is self-explanatory really :) If you have any questions Catherine just drop me a line and I'll help if I can. I love, love, love the finished block!!! When I have more time I definitely see a quilt using this block in my future! Catch you soon x

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Not a quilt

Just for a break from the quilt-fest I've been having of late I broke my no-swaps rule and joined the Fab Little Pincushion Swap (FLiPS)over on Flickr. I'm ridiculously out of practice at making little things so there will be much head scratching before this one gets completed. 
FLiPS in progress
 So after a little lot of faffing around this is as far as I have got. I'm hoping it will transform into something awesome but currently it's in danger of being mediocre!
Hmmm, not sure about this.
I gave creativity the day off today as I'd had an early start to the day, which in my book equals rest of the day recovering, but I'm hoping to come back to it refreshed tomorrow. In the meantime I designed yet another quilt on Touch Draw which I won't show you yet. It lead to the purchase of another Accuquilt die which is a bit naughty but I'm sure I'll justify it to myself eventually ;) In other news, our house is officially for sale...we have a board now! Catch you soon x

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Two little dicky birds...

...well not quite but look at the pictures and you'll get my drift.
 Two co-ordinating Freebird quilts for Siblings Together ready for duty :)

The quilts are essentially the same, I've just used a different section of the Half Time Quilt for each one so there is a little bit of difference between them but you'd have to put them side by side to know :) So that's 4 quilts down now, one more to go then I can quilt the one that Mum has made too. Hoping to get them all ready to roll before the end of the month! Catch you soon x