Thursday, 28 February 2013

New Bimonthly Block Course!

Yesterday I had a meeting at Prema Arts to discuss the schedule for next term.

We agreed lots of fun and interesting courses for quilters, which I am looking forward to planning!

One of the courses is a Bimonthly Block Club. Once every 2 months the group will meet for a day to learn how to make 2 new blocks, which over the course of the year will make a quilt top.

Or people can come to one session and make just 2 blocks to turn into cushion covers.

I am on a tight deadline to get an image of a block back for the brochure for the season so I have made the first 2 blocks in the series. I thought you might like a sneak peek...

Over the course of the day we will be making a block that is easily pieced, but allows you to practice cutting skills. This first block is perfect for practice!!

Then in the afternoon we will tackle something to stretch your skills!

I am calling this block Bow Ties and Diamonds. It is a gorgeous block that will stretch cutting, piecing and ironing skills to the max!

They are looking really good!

Each block measures 20.5" so are a good size for a floor cushion. 

The first class will be in July and I am looking forward to putting together the next 10 blocks in the next week or so.

I love the fabric too. It is Katherine's Wheel by Nel Whatmore. I bought it last year at FOQ, but I have been hoarding it. Now I feel like it has found it's home!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

WIP Wednesday

I can't believe it is Wednesday already... how do the days disappear?

Anyway, I am still working on the secret quilt. It is at the binding stage and I should make the post with it tomorrow.

I can show you a sneak peek...

This quilt has been a pleasure to make, I have loved piecing it and seeing the colours coming together!

The colours are gorgeous, I mixed turquoise and grey fabrics on the back piecing, which I love!

I have hand quilted it so it has a lovely weight and feel.

The other piece I have been working on this week is my Swoon quilt, this block is pretty with a bold print and pale lilac Kona Solid.

This is block number 6 of 9, so it is slowly building!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday over on Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 25 February 2013

Stash Raiding!

I am working on a special quilt that I can't share, but it involved 225 squares all cut and pieced yesterday!

Whilst I was pulling fabrics from my stash I realised if didn't have very much tone on tone cream.

So today I am going fabric hunting for creams with texture:

Sweetwater Noteworthy Fly a Kite in Vanilla

The Eclectic Maker have this gorgeous fabric from the Noteworthy line! It is perfect as a stash builder.

Sketch from Simply Solids
I love Sketch in Cream and I have totally used up my stash so a visit to Simply Solids will be happening in my near future!

Straws from Backstitch

These Straws from Backstitch are really cool! And they are in sale section so even better!

Finally I love these from The Village Haberdashery:

Juggling Summer at The Village Haberdashery

I have these little ovals in grey and I love it! I think the White is just as fabulous!

I think those would boost my stash nicely!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sunday Reading 230213

Sorry I have been MIA over the last week, a combination of work, Scouts and tiredness has meant I have been a bit lax in blogging... I have plenty of ideas lined up though!

So Sunday Morning Blogs to read... I need inspiration (and some energy) so I have picked 3 that I love going to for the photos as well as the content!

If you haven't visited Cluck Cluck Sew then you are missing one of the most beautiful blogs on quilting. There are amazing photos, gorgeous quilts and amazing tutorials. I love this blog so much, it is so lovely to read. Go and visit, it is a lovely first blog for a Sunday Morning!

This second blog is Diary of a Quilter, another fabulous blog, with amazing photos with gorgeous photos. Amy is a wonderful quilter and lots of hints and tips for new quilters. I love visiting to catch up on her adventures.

Another lovely blog is Gingersnaps Quilts. There are lots of lovely quilts, ideas and pictures! The quilts are so much fun and lovely! Plus who doesn't love a Laura Ingles wanna be!

Hope you enjoy them!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Small Town Living

I have been a wandering in my life, wandering between towns and cities every few years.

My three boys were born in 3 different parts of the country - Portsmouth, Warwick and Gloucester!

But when I saw Tetbury I knew I was home. It is a really pretty Cotswold town, steeped in history and full of antique shops.

When we first moved in, some people knew where we had moved into and told me all about my house... That was creepy first! In cities people don't know their neighbour, never mind the family down the road!

Once I had got over that initial introduction into small town living I discovered I loved it!

After my marriage fell apart I did think about moving back to Staffordshire to be close to a lovely friend, but I felt I was home here so we stayed. Now we are part of the fabric of the community. The boys are all in the local primary school and I am the leader of Cubs and Beavers in town.

I am pretty sure I known as the mad lady who quilts... When I made bags I was the mad bag lady!

For me the best bit of being part of a small community is how helpful and supportive people are. We have amazing friends and if I ever need help I know someone will help me.

I also love the fact my postie is one of 2 guys, both know my fabric addictions is really quite serious!

This morning one of them appeared at the door at 7.30 am and said he was on special deliveries, but he had seen my Blogger Choice bundle from Fat Quarter shop and thought I would like to get it early!

He had dug out of my usual post and driven round on his route to drop it off!

I just love my postie!

You don't get that kind of service in a city!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A Mum's Night Out!

Last night I did my first one off teaching evening in the lovely Prema Arts in Uley.

It is called Mum's Night Out. Mums come along and have a glass of wine, learn a new skill and make new friends!

They have had a go at making coffee Barista style and felting. Last night it was my turn to teach some free motion quilting in a fun relaxed way!

I opted to make some rug mugs, with all the cutting out done for the lovely mum's so all they had to do was use Bondaweb backed scraps to create a design, which we then free motion quilted.

I had made a really simple design to demonstrate the technique, inspired by blog post by a cuppa and a catch up.

Part of my teaching role is to help people to step out of their comfort zone and create something they never thought was possible. As such I need to present with ideas to inspire them, up until yesterday I had been using books, but I finally had enough saved to buy an iPad 2 - a major investment for me.

Last night I took it along to use as a tool in the class to inspire the designs the learners could create. I was really impressed with the outcomes:

After Googling rug mugs, the class set about putting their ideas onto paper - the images had given them an insight into how much scope there is to create something unique and gorgeous using just a few tools.

These are some the designs they completed during the evening.

Really impressive, don't you think?

None of the mums had tried free motion before and 2 only 2 of them had any experience using a sewing machine recently. I have bought them back to the studio to add the binding onto the mug rugs.

I was a bit worried about spending my savings on an iPad, but after watching the confidence it gave learners to access inspiration so easily I am really pleased I made the investment!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

All Work and no Play Time

At the moment work is all about planning, not playing!

Deadlines of making demo quilts, lesson planning and chasing more work means I am kinda sewing on auto polite rather than actually letting the creative juices flow!

It is a bit stifling, but I know once I have all of the ideas, plans and demo pieces in place I can get back to creating - desperate to finish my Swoon quilt!

So what has been happening?

Well, last night was the start of my first 5 week course teaching patchwork and quilting. Each week follows a plan and introduces learners to a different part of patchwork and quilting, with home work in between... I have plans to turn the course into an eBook course...

It went well and everyone had practice using rotary cutters and shared ideas!

Tonight is a mums night out, so we are making mug rugs. Super fast mini quilts with scarps, Bondaweb and some quilt as you go free motion quilting!

Best get back to the deadline sewing...

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday Reading 17022013

It is amazing how quickly Sunday comes around!

Today it is back to rugby practice and a mini has a birthday party this afternoon - I am planning a 2 hour catch up with a lovely friend!

In the UK the weather is slowly turning towards Spring, but it does seem to be taking such a long time! The best thing to do it so grab a mug of tea/ coffee and spend some time quiet time with these 3 fabulous blogs!

I mentioned Rossie's blog when I took the process pledge a while back. Rossie's blog has a wealth of information, amazing quilts and is just so gorgeous! I love her in depth book reviews and honest opinions about them!

It is a great read with gorgeous photos and buckets of inspiration!

Next is the blog of author and teacher Elizabeth Hartman, Oh Fransson

This blog is backed full of amazing quilts - I mean amazing! They are bright, bold and gorgeous! There are ideas and great pictures so you can drool over Elizabeth's creations. It is also a chatty blog, with lots of the process explained - what more can you ask for?

Lastly today we are visiting Blue Elephant Stitches - I love the name!

This blog is one of my favourites because it is all about quilts, amazing, beautiful quilts! The photos are stunning and I always feel like I could reach out my hand and feel the fabric! There are lots of beautiful quilts of admire - it is the perfect blog for reading with a huge mug of tea/ coffee as you won't want to leave!

Those are this week's Sunday Reading and I hope you enjoy them.

If you have any blogs you love visiting I would love to hear about them.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


This last week has been birthday week!

First mine and then mini who was 5 yesterday and we spent the day at a play centre - manic craziness in a steel roofed building! This morning is is birthday party. I always go small on birthdays.

It is one present from each of the family and 5/6 children round for a party. The presents are always much longed for gifts that don't cost the earth, but I know they will play with. So mini got an amazing police and robbers Lego kit that he really wanted. Now is it is cops and robbers in our house!

Before I have to ice the cupcakes and tidy the living room - I know it is a futile effort, bit they can't do musical statues on a floor covered in Lego - I thought I would go window shopping for purples!

For some reason I have very little purple... I don't know why, and at my classes they are used up if I do happen to have some. So here are some purples from the UK shops I love:

Crosshatch in Plum
This Crosshatch is from the Architextures range at M is for Make. I absolutely adore this, I love lots of the range, but this design is lush!

Pearl Bracelets in Grape Jelly
A completely different shade of purple from The Village Haberdashery, but just as lush! The pearl bracelets look like an amazing collection and I love the colours, but I am definitely drawn to this purple which is really unusual for me!

Turn of Events - Plum
This flowers call to me - they are just flo.ating! They are from Backstitch and the Innocent Crush collection by Anne Marie Horner. Purple but with depth!

Floating Mums in Purple

Another floral fabric, but I do love those big flowers! This is from The Eclectic Maker and again is so full of depth. It is by Philip Jacobs and is yummy!

Co-ordinates Midnight

This one is from the wonderful selection at Saints and Pinners. It is another Anne Marie Horner design, and I love the arrows within furry circles....

So more window shopping! Hope you like them!

I have to go and tidy away a ton of Lego....

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Birthday Stash!

One of my aims for February was to not buy anymore fabric, but I did spoil myself on my birthday this week..

Well, Country Threads was around the corner and they had a stash of Lucy's Crab Shack which I have been hankering after for AGES....

So I bought some home:

It is a modest little pile, but I love everyone of of them! So yummy!

They also had a charm pack are pretty rare, so I invested in that too...

I am so pleased to have finally bought some from this range. Sweetwater is one of my top 5 designers...

They are also had these that were calling me:

Love the greens and reds... so retro! They are ModCentury and  Stitch in Color.

So I fell off the no buying fabric band waggon! But I love them!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

WiP Wednesday 130213

This week is half term week, and as you know if you have kids that means productivity drops and day trips rise!

Plus yesterday was my birthday, so we took a day off and went to Bath for lunch - I bought some yummy fabric, but more about that tomorrow...

So what has been happening?

Well the focus at the moment is course prep.

I have been busy quilting the blocks from my HST (half square triangles) and trying out different designs and scales. Here is a sneak peek:

Going from doodles to the machine:

More as I soon as I have out together the blocks...

The other thing I am pulling together is a demonstration of colours in patchwork. It is part of my investigation into colour, but also to be able to explain how fabric choices change a block:

A neon palette that reflects bright lights... to a subtle palette of greens:

And how changing the position of the colours can change the block completely:

See what I mean?

So that is my WiP Wednesday! I would love to see yours so let me know what you have been working on!

Linking up with WiP Wednesday from Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced