Sunday, January 4, 2015

Looking back to look forward!

Happy New Year!
It's been such a long time since I visited my own blog I need to remind myself how this all works! Hopefully it will all come back to me! 
Various reasons why I have been MIA since last August - health problems, a lack of creative mojo, broken computer and not getting my work/life balance in any kind of balance - all things which I hope to put right this year. Lots happened last year I never got around to sharing - attending the Fat Quarterly retreat, being part of the London Modern Quilt Guild exhibition at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, being part of two fantastic Bee's, another amazing round of the Sew, Sew Modern swap, completing my first quilt plus lots of other little visits and exhibitions along the way!

So in order for me to move forward and help my regain my creative mojo I finally downloaded some photos off my camera, yes camera!! I had forgotten I had a load of photos on there as these days I tend to rely solely on my iPhone!
Having done this and thinking last year was probably my least creative for ages, I was pleasantly surprised with what I had produced and most of them forgotten as they were hidden away on my camera!!
So here we go, a mixture of makes, swaps and bee blocks!!

Hopefully there are still some of you out there reading this little old blog and I will get back into sometime kind of routine as I have missed you all!! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MQG Michael Miller Challenge

One of the exciting things about being a member of the Modern Quilt Guild is being able to take part in and develop my quilting knowledge and skill with the fabric challenges they run. Recently I took part in their 4th members challenge, 1st for me, sponsored by Michael Miller fabrics. I received a nice bundle of fabric from the Petal Pinwheels collection, a really bright, fresh and fun collection. The guidelines for the challenge were to make anything we wanted as long as it was quilted, we did not have to use all the given fabric and could add in any other solid or Michael Miller printed fabric.
So I spent a fair while brainstorming my ideas!
If anyone knows me the easy route would have been to make a quilted bag or pouch of some kind but I wanted it to be a challenge so I set my mind on a small lap quilt. The design was influenced from the seat covers on the London Underground tube!! When I travel down to London for my London Modern Quilt Guild meetings I spend a lot of time looking at those seats! They're not the nicest or I would say cleanest seats but I liked the pattern. So a bit of a hand drawn design and some kind of quilt maths and here is what I came up with.
I am really pleased with the way it turned out and was as close to the design in my mind I think I could have got it! I used nearly every piece of fabric and added a white solid for the background and grey solid for the binding. I am slowly getting to grips with the whole quilting process from making the sandwich to basting to quilting and I am really pleased with the spiral quilting and will definitely be doing this kind of quilting again! The only bit I need to get to grips with is basting on carpet!!
There were some amazing entries into the challenge and I love the winners quilts - so much quilty inspiration!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Modern Insta Bee

If you are on Instagram you may have seen several new Insta-Bee's ticking along based on the lovely book "Modern Bee" by Lindsay Conner. My first encounter with this book was an electronic book review I wrote for the London Modern Quilt Guild. I had already been part of a Bee via Flickr, which I love and this book gave loads of advice and new ideas so I knew I had to get a paper copy!
A short while later, I am now lucky to be part of a talented group of ladies in the ModernInstaBeeUK group Hive 1!!
This bee is different to my other one as no fabric is sent out, just an idea of colours, theme etc and your chosen block from the book, and fellow bee members use their own stash. It is fantastic and I love seeing how different all the blocks look!
We are on our fourth month and here are the blocks I have made so far.

My month is September and I am considering a solids block, so will need to do a little bit of a play around to see what I can come up with!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fat Quarterly Retreat Linky Party!

Haven't blogged in like forever but today I'm joining up to the Fat Quarterly Retreat linky party and the count down has begun!
The excitement is building although I could do with a few more days prep - procrastination has been my middle name this week!

So I'll be heading into London for a weekend of fun and this year I'm going to try and make sure I mingle and get to talk to lots of people as last year I seemed to miss lots of people I wanted to meet, so please come and say hello if you see me!

So a few random things ...
  • I'm staying at the Grange, so hope to see lots of you there too!! 
  • Secret name tag swap partner - I'm bringing your badge to the retreat to hand over as you're traveling a bit of a way and I didn't want it not to reach you.
  • I'm taking part in the sample swap, scrap strip swap and name tag swap, although not received mine yet :(
  • I have a slight obsession with making bags and pouches or anything with a zip! I'll be sporting my new molly market tote, but please don't look too closely!
  • My classes are mail organiser, fabulously fast tile quilt, six pointed stars, modern knots, patchwork into print and make a lampshade. 
  • I've still not finished a real proper sized quilt - mini's and lap but that's all!
  • I belong to Bee Europa quilting bee and hope to meet and see some of my bee's at the retreat!
  • I really don't like having my photo taken but the one up there is one from a London Modern Quilt guild meeting with my needle book swaps from the Vancouver MQG! Thanks Shevvy for the photo :)
See you all soon!

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Boxy Pouch Swap

    So I've been meaning to post about this swap for ages!!
    Ever since making this boxy pouch last December using the No Guts Boxie pouch tutorial on Craftsy I have whipped up many more for both myself and as gifts!!
    One of my favourite ones is this one:
    I love the outer fabric, kindly given to my by Katy at last years Fat Quarterly Retreat, which was a total fluke as myself and Pippa were having a little convo about how we didn't win anything in the raffle last year or the year before and we happened to be sitting next to Katy who told me to choose something from her stash at the sales table for free!! I then felt very guilty for moaning!!
    I also love the quilting on this pouch which makes it a bit more stable, plus the chunky zip!
    I took this along for show and tell at one of my London Modern Quilt Guild meetings, which then led to me doing a little demonstration at a future meeting and then we organised a swap between the members.
    It was so much fun to see all the different pouches being made!
    These were the two I made to swap:
    and these were the two that I received in the swap - I love them both!!
    Hoping to make some QAYG ones next but need to re stock on my chunky zips!

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    Bee Blocks galore!

    I've finally managed to catch up with all my Bee blocks for Bee Europa! I love this quilting Bee as it allows me to try new techniques, discover new websites and work with gorgeous fabrics :)
    Here are the latest blocks:
    Starry night 8" block for Nikki, excellent free paper piecing pattern from Wombat Quilts - I loved making this block and see a few more in my future!
    Home Circle and Fools Square blocks for Gina, excellent pattern and instructions from The Quilters Cache
    And finally Grandma's Choice block, pattern from McCalls Quilting for Ashleigh

    Monday, May 19, 2014

    Heals fabric launch!!

    2014 for Heals is an exciting year with the return and re launch of their own brand fabrics.  They have come up with 10 exclusive patterns that celebrate colour and individuality and I am loving the colour ways that I have been working with! I would definitely recommend watching this short film which is a great introduction to the process and introduces the designers involved. 
    I was very lucky to be given a small bundle of two prints to make some goodies, Peacock Flower by Malika Favre and Deco Zigzag by Ottilie Stevenson. The fabric is a nice upholstery weight perfect for cushions, home accessories and great for us bag makers!!
    Peacock Flower
    Deco Zigzag
    I really wanted to make the best use of the samples given and show their versatility so here goes .....
    The first project using the Deco Zigzag - a couple of coasters and a mini mat. They are lightly padded and backed with a solid fabric from my own stash. Coasters are great for any where and the mini mat could be used as a centre piece on a table or for me as a little mat for my monitor which I tend to slide around on my desk which I also sew on, so this is great to add colour and also protect my table!
    On to the second project and for me it had to be a bag or a pouch so here is my zippy pouch! I LOVE how this turned out, again Heals fabric in Peacock Flower with a coordinating solid from my stash.
    Make up bag .....
    Pencil case .....
    or sewing kit pouch!!!
    These are great fabric designs and I have loved being able to use the samples and can't wait to see the other fabrics when they are available in stores!

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    London Mondern Quilt Guild and Tikki fabric giveaway!

    Love fabric!?

    Pop over to the London Modern Quilt Guild where fabric store Tikki has sponsored a wonderful giveaway alongside the LMQG!!
    All details on the site, giveaway closes Thursday 22nd - good luck!!!

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

    Catch up!

    It seems I'm more of an Instagrammer than a Blogger lately!!
    There's been plenty of times when I've sat down to blog when something else has come up on the work front!
    So here is a quick catch up of what I've been up to:
    Being inspired by my new ironing board cover! Might have to make a quilt using this pattern design ~
    Trying to get myself organised with a new planner / notebook ~
    Completed some goodies for my Sew, Sew, Modern 4 partner and her daughter ~

    Made another boxy pouch, which led to a fun little demo of how to make them at the London Modern Quilt Guild meeting in March!

    Plus another one filled with goodies for my Mum for Mothers Day - Happy Mothers Day in the UK!

    Started a couple of projects that I love but for now here is a sneak peek!!

    So there it is, a bit of a catch up via Instagram - enjoy!

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014


    One of the reasons for my absence around here lately, is a happy reason, as I've been busy sewing behind the scenes for several swaps that I signed up for!

    This one was a very happy private swap that started with an email when it looked like I had missed the sign up deadline for Sew, Sew Modern 4. Camila had seen my post on Flickr and asked if I was interested in doing a small private swap. Of course I was and off I went planning and dusted off the sewing machine.
    It was a happy coincidence in the end that we both got places in Sew, Sew Modern 4 as well!!
    This was an amazing swap and just look at these goodies that arrived from Brazil! The pouch is amazing!!!
    Camila had asked for a cushion in blues, greens and yellows and this is what I came up with. I really enjoyed making these and kind of enjoyed sewing the curves on the drunkards path! Weird I know!!
    Concealed zips!
    Extra goodies!
    I love putting swap parcels together and am amazed at the generosity of fellow quilters/sewers and how exciting this little t'internet can be for things like swaps!!!