Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Taking the Plunge...

So today I made a decision that I have been playing for over a year...

It was a nerve wracking decision because it involves investing a lot of money in me...

I finally signed up for my City and Guilds Level 3 in Machine Embroidery!

I decided on Machine Embroidery because I have fallen in love with texture and the correspondence between the texture you see and what you feel...

Love adding texture through quilting

Not sure that makes sense, but that is my reason for picking that over patchwork and quilting.

Why now?

Well, I teach classes all over, but I want to be able to work in a more conventional setting like a school or college once mini has grown a bit more. To do that I need a qualification - a degree in Astrophysics doesn't count when you want to be a textiles artist/teacher!

So a new journey will be begin in the next week or so when I get the first 3 modules through. It is a long journey of 3 years, but I am so looking forward to it!

Now to fit it in with teaching, scouting and 3 boys.....

And deal with the slight anxiety that I don't have the right skills....

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Expanding my fabric horizons

This week my bundle from Fat Quarter Shop arrived.

You can get your own bundle here.

It is a gorgeous bundle chosen by Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey. It's full of possibilities...

It goes pretty well with a previous bundle put together by Rita Hodge from the amazing Red Pepper Quilts:

Lush bundle you can buy here

I will be honest, I would never have picked the fabrics myself - too pink and delicate - but I actually love them both!

This has really surprised me!

I suppose that is the joy of a club - they expand your stash and help to expand your quilting possibilities

In my head, they are coming together in a medallion quilt... maybe one from the fabulous Sarah Fielke....

3 huge quilts to get quilted first though!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Triumphant Triangles!

It has been an age since I last blogged - Scout Camp, end of term, weekend in London at the Fat Quarterly Retreat and 5 days camping with the boys!

Phew I have packed a lot into the last 2 weeks!

Do you remember the equilateral quilt in really bright colours?

Well, it has gone on it's 4 week trip around Europe with my best friends Helen and Tom.

I loved working on this quilt. The mix of colours and designs made me smile every time I got it out to work on!

I quilted straight lines around 1/4" from the seam - don't look too closely, the mismatched seams are really obvious!

I raided the last of my large yardage from Pink Castle Fabrics sale section for the backing, with some of the remnants from the front added. The binding was made up of left over fabrics sewn into a strip.

It has left today on a mammoth 2500 mile road trip. Hopefully it will be loved and used for lots of lovely picnics!

Quilt stats:

Size - 55" by 57"
Fabric - lots of brights
Wadding - 100% Cotton
Thread - 100% cotton Aurifil wt50 in White

Monday, 15 July 2013

Give Away Winner

Finally managed to get time to draw a winner from the Essential Supplies give away which ended last week!

The winner is....

Comment Number 10 from Anna!

Lovely that a bundle from the site is going to another Anna!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered and lefts such wonderful comments!

Just about recovered from my weekend in a field with 200 Scouts.... But my brain is still very fuzzy!

Friday, 12 July 2013

FAL Q3: my 3 quilts!

How on earth has it got to setting the targets for Q3 of FAL?

This quarter I am going all out..... 3 massive quilts to finish..

Bookcase quilt from the Quilting Bee I organised. I love this quilt and so want it finished!

My dad is travelling back to Penang soon and I would love to have this quilt ready to follow him....

Then there is my Swoon quilt. This needs to be on my bed for the autumn!

So those are my 3 very ambitious projects that I want to try and finish in the next 3 months!

Fingers crossed they all get done!

Linking up with She Can Quilt, FAL Q3.

Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop 2013

I can't believe this week is my week on the Blog Hop!

I have been focused on getting ready for Scout Camp that starts this afternoon, and it passed me by!

So..... me....

Well, I am lone mum to 3 wonderful and totally gorgeous boys:

We have lots of adventures together, including to the Olympics 2012, camping and tramping through lots of National Trust houses!

Apart from my 3 boys, fabric and quilts are my passion!

I started quilting 17 years ago when I was an undergraduate student in Leicester. During my time at school I only took one sewing lesson - I was much more focused on maths and physics. But during my first year of a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and was visiting a friend when I saw a quilt design in a magazine, that moment changed my life!

When I got home I bought a cheap sewing machine and started making a king size quilt - I cut out all the shapes with a pair of scissors! It took an age to complete, but I was bitten by the bug!!

The rest as they say is history!

Since then, through lives ups and downs I have always had a fabric stash, a sewing machine or 16 and now a passion for sharing my fascination with as many people as possible through teaching!

I had always hand quilted my quilts, which takes time. But at the beginning of last year I needed to make a quilt super fast, so I taught myself Free Motion Quilting. Now I am obsessed with the texture and design FMQ can give you. The way it changes the quilt!

My focus moving forward is to complete a City and Guilds in Machine Embroidery Level 3 through distance learning. I am hoping it will feed my addiction to surface design and texture!

If you want to see more of the quilts I have made, have a look here.

Don't forget to check out all of the fabulous other quilters on the Hop today:

Thanks for stopping by!

Ps I am very sorry I haven't been able to post the winner of the give away on my blog. It will be on Monday when I get home from Scout camp!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

WiP Wednesday: Gifts Galore

It is Wednesday - Yay!

And I have time to share my WiP in this week...

It is all about gifts in various stages of development!

These lovely fabrics are going to be made into pouches for the Fat Quarter Retreat Sample Swap!

I am going to be using my paper piecing letters from last week to make pouches.

All of them will look different, but the same!

Finally I have a pile of quilt as you go gifts that need finishing this week!

I love a tight deadline and a challenge!

Linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

FAL Q2 Finished List!

I am so pleased that this quarter I managed to finish my list of 3 quilts!

It was a bit touch and go there for a bit!!!!

My three new quilts are:

Scrappy Trip Around the World - now at home in the school library.

City Curves - now homed in Midi Monsters bed room!

Scrappy Arrows - I am not sure where she will end up, but I do love her!

So there are my 3 finishes!

I am really proud of how they turned out!

FAL Q2 Scrappy Arrows

Awhile ago I started  a quilt using scrap triangles from the Tula Pink Quilt.

The quilt made it onto the FAL Q1 list, but I didn't manage to complete it! It then went onto FAL Q2 list... and it is finished!

It is made up of scrappy triangles sewn straight onto a white background. The seams are open to able to fray!

It did start out rectangular, but when I had finished quilting I realised that backing did not match up anymore!

So I took a rotary cutter and started cutting the edges into free hand curves!

 I have never bound a curvy quilt, so it I set off adding the binding quite nervously.... how was it going to work?

Turns out it worked a treat!

I quilted the quilt with pebbles, snail shells, swirls and feathers!

It was great fun and adding loads of texture to the quilt.

I love the back just as much as the front!!

So the last finished of FAL Q2 was a fun exploration into more curves and FMQ textures!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

FAL Q2 - City Curves

A couple of weeks ago finished the FAL Q2 Trip Around the World. It is now in it's new home in the boy's school library/den!

This is the week of sharing our FAL Q2 Projects and on my list to finish was Maxi's City Curves quilt. I have shared lots of photos of this quilt in progress, but this is the first set of photos of the finished quilt.

It is a curvy city scape of buildings, windows and brightly coloured sky!

Each part of the quilt is quilted differently, making it feel different in different parts. There are all sorts of designs, each testing out my FMQ skills and building my experience. It has resulted in a quilt that is both visually, but physically exciting to explore!

The back is a mix of fabrics, which Maxi loves!

It has a lovely weight to it, which makes it lovely to cuddle under. I love seeing Maxi sleeping under it every night!

It is the quilt I am most proud of and love seeing it being used!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Blogiversary - 1 year!

I can hardly believe that it has been one year since I changed my focus to teaching and quilting!

It has been an amazing year!

It has been filled with wonderful quilts, projects and learning!

I have taught some wonderful workshops and courses.

It has been amazing fun!

There are so many things to look forward to in year 2..... my first pattern for beginners will be available in a week, I am starting a City and Guilds Level 3 Machine Embroidery and I have a packed teaching schedule!

To celebrate I am running my first give away. It is a pack of essential quilters tools:

60" square of wadding, Clover Patchwork pins, Machine quilting needles and a Hera Marker.

They all the most useful tools I use!

To enter the giveaway simply follow the blog and leave me a comment telling me you have below!

It's that easy! 

The giveaway will close on Sunday 7th July at 12pm BST. It is open everyone, including International readers!