Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Being rescued from ineptitude

Most European languages are a lot more creative than English - did you know that the Germans have a word for the feeling you get when you rediscover a beloved childhood toy?

The French have a great phrase "esprit d'escalier" which roughly translates as "the wit of the staircase". You know the moment 5 minutes after an argument when you think of that perfect come back you should have said but didn't think of at the time? That's "esprit d'escalier". I wish I suffered from this. Instead I suffer from "foot in mouth disease" - when I realise 5 mins after an argument what I shouldn't have said...

I do however suffer from "fabric ineptitude" - the moment I realise that I need a fabric is about 5 months after it went out of print. 

Jennifer Sampou's Shimmer is the most recent example of this. 

Could I find a FQ bundle anywhere? Quilter's Studio to the rescue! Hopefully a lovely parcel will be winging its way to me soon. Hurrah! Saved from my own folly! 

Monday, 30 March 2015

Gravity...and all things going south

I've chosen to fill my current project gap with Jaybird Quilt's Gravity pattern. This quilt works well as a BOM but, for once, I've bought the whole thing in one go so can piece it whenever I like.

This weekend I put together the first four blocks - constellation and horizon. The pattern has six distinct blocks, each one pieced in two different colourways.

The first block (in green and orange) was horizon.

Yes, those oranges really are that bright! 

The second block (in yellow and purple) was constellation.

The kit comes with three layer cakes and all the fabrics for the first four blocks are in the first layer cake, in colour order. It is very easy to mix the colours up though - some are very similar in tone and shade. I followed Jaybird's suggestion and taped a little snip of each fabric into the book so that, once the pieces were cut, I could ensure I was sewing the right fabric together. 

So far Gravity is coming together nicely. Which is particularly surprising since I have to press my seams open (boo hiss). I love nesting seams; pin matching? Not so much. 

For once I love Gravity; we normally don't get on...

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Sunday Stash #4

No "new" new fabric this week so I thought I'd dig around in my stash to show some old favourites.

Firstly, a FQ bundle of Token of Friendship by Kansas Troubles Quilters for Moda.

I originally purchased this bundle to make Kaye England's Re-Piecing the Past civil war quilt from Craftsy. I actually only ended up using about 1/4 of the fabric which was in the pattern so have lots left over. I'm thinking of a pieced back but, even then, I'll still have lots to go into my FQ stash!

Next some lovely honeycombs of Bonnie and Camille's April Showers and Miss Kate. Sorry for the blurry photo!

I actually think I have another honeycomb of Miss Kate lying around here somewhere. I really need to tidy my sewing room... The plan for these lovelies is to make the Timbleblossom Juggle pattern with a mixture of the two lines.

Finally, a roll up of 10" squares of Parson Grey's Empire line for Free Spirit Fabric.

I love the Parson Grey design house as their palate is always earthy and masculine, perfect for quilts for guys. No idea what I'm going to do with this yet but I sleep easier knowing it's in my stash!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles's Sunday Stash link up.

Have a great sewing Sunday!

Friday, 27 March 2015

The sound of silence: not finishing anything up Friday

It's been a bad migraine week (I've contemplated voluntarily donating my brain to medical science whilst still alive) but, amidst it all I had a rather strange revelation - I don't have anything on my cutting mat. I have nothing to bring to the show-and-tell that is "Finish it up Friday".

Well, TBH that's not quite true - I have all those UFOs I recently mentioned but, with His Highness away, I don't have anyone to assist me with basting.

I have my block of the month projects but I'm up to date (smug level: high).

I have the Lets Talk About William commission but I'm waiting for the clients to confirm they're happy with the mock up.

I'm halfway through my Carol Doak paper foundation pieced stars so I could get on with more of those. But what else shall I do too - I can't just have one project going on.

Should I start the Jaybird Quilts Gravity?

Or maybe Elizabeth Hartman's Aviatrix Medallion? 

Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

We the People - bulk buying with complete strangers

I have never been to one of those bulk-buy, mass-catering stores where you can come away with 200 toilet rolls, a bushel of onions and half a cow. Somehow I feel like I'm missing out on a key life experience...

Something I have recently discovered is the joy of Mass Drop.

I had heard about this website from other quilters but had wrongly assumed that you had to be in the USA to use it. Not so! Although there is the usual P&p to pay, it isn't that much more outside the USA and in a lot of cases even when you add your P&p on, your purchase will still be cheaper than in your home country.

I've just bought 200 rainbow wonder clips for $22 (about £14) and 3 yards of fab backing fabric for my Moda Building Blocks quilt for about $30 (about £20).

It is a little odd buying with complete strangers but if there's one thing that can unite a band of disperate (and desperate as my "autocorrect" keeps wanting me to say!) quilters, it's a bargain.

If you haven't had a look, I'd encourage you to do so. The more of us that join, the better the bargains!

I'm now going to stress about the fact that I only have 24 toilet rolls in the house. That's only one gastro-intestinal issue away from disaster!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The (easily explained) UFOs

I'm a child of the 90s so one of my favourite programmes growing up was the X-Files. Mulder and Scully's ever lasting search for answers reminds me of trying to find that fat quarter I know is in my stash somewhere...

Something I am ever conscious of (and couldn't escape even if I wanted to) is my pile of UFOs - unfinished objects.

When I started quilting I made myself a promise that I wouldn't start a project until I'd completely finished the last one. Yeah, that didn't last long.

To date my UFO list includes:-

Craftsy BOM 2012 - needs borders (they're cut and just need adding), basting, quilting and binding
Craftsy BOM 2014 - needs basting, quilting and binding
Hey Mister DJ - needs basting, quilting and binding
Indigo Crossing Jacob's Ladder - needs basting, quilting and binding
Re-piecing the Past -  needs basting, quilting and binding

Can you see a theme emerging? I basically run out of steam when I finish piecing a top. And they're just the ones I can immediately think of!

Maybe my resolution for next year should be to finish a UFO a month?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Stars in my eyes

I'm making steady progress on Carol Doak's paper foundation pieced stars.

So far I've made the twinkle stars.

They're very pretty, perhaps the prettiest of the stars for me because of their simplicity. The other blocks are much more technically complicated but the twinkle stars have a beauty in their clean lines. Plus "twinkle" is one of my favourite words! 

But there is more than one block in this quilt and so this weekend I finished off the 3D star and the twisted tulip star.

Three more to go, then setting squares and borders!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sunday Stash #3

Last week I made the best of  Fat Quarter Shop's 20% discount by stocking up on fabrics that were clogging up my wish list.

Firstly, a bundle of  Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage collection which is exclusively available at FQS and will be used in making her Farm Girl Vintage quilt later on this year.

Normally I'm not a fan of reproduction 30s fabrics - I'm simply not a floral fan but I'm trusting in Lori and FQS on this one! The quilt looks awesome so I'm sure the fabrics will work perfectly with it.

Secondly, I gorged on layer cakes. I've grabbed hold of  Sandy Gervais's Block Party and Jennifer Sampou's Black and White. 

Bright colorful fabrics for spring!

I also nabbed Sweet Water Company's Feed Co and Kate Spain's Paradiso.

I told you I gorged!

Finally I snuck a jelly roll of Heathers Bailey's Clementine in my basket.

I'm thinking coin quilt with beautiful sea foam sashing in between.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles's Sunday Stash link up.

Happy Sunday sewing!

Friday, 20 March 2015

(Sort of) finish it up Friday

Ok, so I have actually haven't finished this quilt but I've finished the blocks for this month - that counts right?!

Come to think of it, this week has all been about finishing up tasks for the month. Today is the turn of the Moda Building Blocks BOM project by Simply Solids.

This month we finished the last of the 12" blocks and also joined section B of the quilt together.

In all honesty we could have joined at least one of the other sections together too as we have finished all the blocks but no doubt this is a task for another month.

I loved the 12" blocks; they're so much easier to deal with than the behemoth 36" ones or the 28" ones. I'm not looking forward to those tiny 6" ones - those flying geese are going to be nightmarish!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

If you loved it, then you should have put a handle on it

Beyoncé, forgive me - I couldn't resist!

This months Craftsy BOM block with Jinny Beyer was a Cherry Basket with handle. I also has appliqué flowers but apparently we have to wait for later in the year for those.

The piecing of the block was fairly straight forward but this month we also had bias bars to consider. I haven't made bias bars before (bias? Eek!) so had to get so Prym bias bars to assist. These things are clever. I must find out what else I can use them for.

The handle was appliquéd on to the block with some fairly basic (for me at least) blind hemming. 

The basket looks a little naked without flowers but hopefully they'll come soon. Roll on April!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Basting a large quilt

Whilst collecting quilts to take to the Auction of Promises, it occurred to me how many WIP I have. Many of the tops have been completed (or almost completed) and I have backs for but haven't basted. The reason? I hate basting. REALLY hate it.

I've watched numerous videos and read tons of articles where people show you how to baste but they always use little baby quilts or smaller. I don't make quilts that small - all of mine are lap size or bigger. The mechanics of moving that weight of quilt around tires me out just thinking about it. 

My technique is fairly straight forward but does include a bit of manual labour. I dare anyone to find a basting technique for larger quilts that doesn't.

1. Find a willing victim. My housemate is now very experienced (and bless him, willing!) in basting.

2. Clear out a large area with a hard surface. I use our tiled conservatory floor. Make sure it's as clean as you can get it.

3. Grab some pins or curved safety pins, some sticky tape (I find masking tape the best) and something to baste with (I use spray but pins and tags work well too).

4. Fold your backing material in half lengthwise and mark each edge of the fold with a pin or safety pin inserted exactly in the crease of the fold. This marks the centre of each short side. Unfold the back and refold it widthwise. Mark the centre of each long side with a pin or safety pin. Your back should now have a pin in the middle of each side.

5. Unfold the back and lay it out, as smoothly as you can, on your surface with the wrong side up. Smooth out as many wrinkles as you can and tape down the edges, about every 5-6". Don't over stretch the back - you want it smooth, not taut. 

6. Lay your batting on top of the back, ensuring that it's as evenly spread out as possible. Smooth out any big wrinkles but don't worry too much about small ones - they'll quilt out.

7. If you are using basting spray, fold your batting back away from half of your quilt and spray the exposed wrong side of the back lightly with basting spray. Relay the batting back on top and smooth out, repeat with the other half of the back and batting. You should be able to tell when you reach the mid point of the batting where you've already sprayed as it won't lift easily from the back anymore.

8. Repeat step 4 with your quilt top.

9. Lay your quilt top down on top of your batting, wrong side down ensuring that the pins marking the centre of the sides of the quilt top line up with the pins in the centre of the backing. They won't lay perfectly on top of each other because your top will be smaller than your backing but they should be in line.

10. Either pin all over with curved safety pins or repeat step 7 if you are using basting spray.

11. Carefully remove the masking tape from the backing and quilt your sandwich!

If this doesn't motivate me to do some basting, nothing will!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Ee, put the kettle on luv

I'm confess that I'm a terrible Brit - I don't like tea. I don't hate it; if someone makes a cuppa for me (as people are wont to do when I travel and they hear I'm British) I'll drink it. However in reality I'd rather have a bottle of water or a cup of coffee.

I'm not sure how I ended up not liking the drink. The stereotype of an Englishman obsessed with making the perfect out of black tea isn't far wrong in my experience. In our house the first thing we did when coming home was switch the kettle on. One day I'm going to be design a whole quilt using blocks connected with drinking tea - a tea pot; a porcelain tea cup; a silver tea spoon; a sugar lump.

The first of those blocks will be easy since I already have the Fat Quarter Shop Snapshots pattern for March which is....a tea pot! It's more of a traditional Chinese tea pot than a classic earthenware British tea pot but it's still very pretty.

I confess the steam in my block went slightly wobbly. I'm not quite sure what went wrong but that side of the block is now wavy and will need work when I put the borders on. Ah well, nothing a good cup of coffee can't fix. Oops.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Orphan blocks

Whenever anyone mentions the word "orphan", I don't think of Dickens's Oliver or Orphan Annie. Instead I think of this little guy

I'm a classic Tom and Jerry fan (Fred Quimby all the way!). Did you know that the cartoon "The Little Orphan" won an Oscar?!

I always seem to end up with orphan blocks at the end of a project. I don't know whether I miscalculate how many blocks I need or always over-estimate but, in most projects, there are a few bits left over. Sometimes I put them into the backing fabric - handy if it's too narrow -  but often I'm left with them.

Here's a few from my latest projects.

Any suggestions? I hate to waste good fabric!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sunday Stash #2

Right, first off this week is my Gravity kit by Jay Bird Quilts from Fat Quarter Shop. All my packages turned up this week including the little orphan package which seemed to get stuck in Austin, TX.

I love getting kits from FQS because (a) they do kits I struggle to find in the UK and (b) they package them in these really cute plastic zippy wallets which keeps everything together nicely!

Secondly I have a FQ bundle of Jennifer Sampou's Studio Stash 2.

I always love Jennifer's collections - they're so useable (for both genders, adults and kids) and blend beautifully with other collections. 

I stupidly missed out on Shimmer but am still trying to track it down!

Finally I have a FQ bundle of Recollections by Katarina Roccella.

The collection is split into two colour ways - Deep Winterwoven (an autumnal palate) and Mist Moderknittie (which is very spring-y).

Linking up with Molli Sparkles's Sunday Stash. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Finish it up Fridays

Ah ha! For once, I'm on time for Finish It Up Friday's! Miraculous.

This week I have finished the four twinkle stars from Carol Doak's  Craftsy class. This is the finished quilt

The process for piecing the stars is fairly straight forward and methodical - sew, press, trim, repeat. With four stars to make, there were 32 individual sections to make and then sew together into 16 quarters, 8 halves and finally 4 blocks.

Carol's method of sewing the component parts together requires you to sew each seam at least twice - once to tack it in place and check your points and then a second time to actually sew the seam. If any of your points are off at the tacking stage, you can quickly unpick and retack to fix the problem. In reality I found myself tacking some points numerous times which was time consuming although admittedly not as annoying as having to unpick and resew the whole seam over and over would have been. It did cause me to create a lot of thread waste though as I unpicked numerous seams

Those perfect points came at a price! But they are beautiful. Each of the future stars only appears once so hopefully I won't have the same issue again.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Going, going, gone!

A quick update on the Auction of Promises which raised almost £6,000 for Let's Talk About William!

My quilt went for a very respectable £130 so now I just have to meet with the lucky winner, decide what they would like and then make it!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The vacuum - life without Gravity

A while ago I ordered Jaybird Quilts Gravity quilt kit from Fat Quarter Shop

For some reason none of the quilt shops in the UK seem to be offering it so, FQS to the rescue!

At the very end of February I received an email confirming that my kit had been dispatched and giving me three (!) different USPS tracking numbers.

Now, if you haven't already figured it out, I'm a bit odd. I love following my parcels via the wonder of the Internet; to me it's a little like traveling from the comfort of my armchair. So, for the past few days I have been tracking my three parcel across the Pond.

Despite the fact that all three parcels were collected from Buda, TX at the same time, at the time of writing this, two parcels have made it as far as London and one still seems to be stuck in Austin, TX!
Poor thing, it's like a little unwanted triplet. I want you, come home!  Good grief, I'm talking to post now...

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Great British Sewing Bee

A life filled with chronic pain and migraines means that I have had to make a lot of concessions - gone are the days when I could drink alcohol, get less than 8 hours sleep, visit the cinema or regularly watch television. My Sky Plus box (the UK equivalent of TiVo) has programmes on it from November which I still haven't watched. A Netflicks box set binge? A dream. What's The Good Wife? A lifetime of pop culture had passed me by.

I therefore have to carefully choose what I watch - if it's going to take me a week to watch an episode, it better be worth it! One series I am (slowly) watching is The Great British Sewing Bee. For those of you who haven't watched it, this is a series in which members of the public compete in a series of clothing manufacturing tasks which are judged by the great and good of the tailoring world. And when I say "good", I mean this guy. 

I hate to objectify but good grief those are some good genes. Plus he seems like a really nice guy. And Lordy he can sew. A Saville Row tailor none the less.

Apart from the eye candy of Patrick, there are the sewing patterns to drool over. I last tried to make clothes when I was a teenager. I would make a cheap holiday wardrobe and then throw it out as soon as I got home. 

But with patterns like the walk away dress, I could be inspired again.

That reminds me, I need to pencil Mad Men in my diary for 2017.

Monday, 9 March 2015

FMQ - dreams and reality

I've spoken before about my great quilting dream - owning a long arm machine, or at least having a go at one. I've always wanted one of the machines but seeing the beautiful work a long armer did on my Kathy Schmidt "Towne Square" quilt just reinforced the desire.

 Until I have a house and wallet big enough to manage a long arm machine, Naomi the Janome and I are doing the best we can.

Thanks to Leah Day we've mastered lots of all-over quilt patterns including paisley, feathers, spirals and something that I nickname chrysanthemum spiral, which is a spiral with expanding petals around the outside. I've done pebbles (far too time consuming!), straight lines, stitch-in-the-ditch and even finally managed stripling ( which everyone claims is a starter pattern but I found ridiculously hard!).

An all over quilt design means I can balance the "just get it done" mentality with the "you really should practice a new design" wisdom. There's nothing better to perfect a design than having to quilt it repeatedly across a Queen sized quilt.

I haven't tried quilting within a block yet but, following on from Leah's Building Block quilt I might give it a go soon. Last quarter's Quilt Now magazine contained a great guide to FMQ with some within block quilting ideas for me to try out.

 It might even encourage me to finally baste up some of my UFOs...maybe.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sunday Stash #1

I actually haven't bought that much fabric this week due to the car situation (sob!) but, as this is my first Sunday Stash post, I think I can be excused for talking about older items in my stash?

First up is my Josephine by French General FQ bundle.

I'm terrible about seeing fabrics, loving them but not buying them when they're first released. Then when I finally do decide I want them, they're sold out. There must be a term for that (other than "ineptitude"!).

I fist bought a half yard length of one of the fabrics from the range from Heath's Country Store but stupidly didn't buy the whole range. Plush Addicts to the rescue! Now I have a lovely bundle ready to go.

Whilst I was in Missouri I also picked up a layer cake of Mustang by Melody Miller. I love the arrow shafts and bumblebees!

Finally for this week I have a blue and cream Fairy Frost jelly roll by Michael Miller. I think this is my first stash item with metallic elements and I'm going to be interest to see how it translates into a lone star quilt.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Fire stops play

Apologies for the lack of blog today, oh residents of the blogosphere.

In the UK we love our cricket but cricketers are rather sensitive creatures - whilst almost every other sport plays through rain, snow, hail and anything else the English weather can throw at it, cricket stops for most meterological phenomena including rain. "Rain stopped play" is a common phrase heard during the cricket season.

Well, yesterday rain didn't stop play but fire almost did - namely in my car engine! Whilst driving home from work the engine started billowing smoke, which quickly filled the inside of the car too. I pulled over and called for a recovery. Sadly my little baby is pretty sick and with all the fuss of getting her towed to a garage, sorting out the repairs etc. I didn't get a chance to blog.

I normally write my weekday blogs in advance but wing it at the weekends. So a little thing like a fire  can upset my blog system!

Normal service should resume tomorrow...

Friday, 6 March 2015

Auction of promises is here!

Right, todays the day for the auction of promises in support of Let's Talk About William.

I have packed up some quilts to go along to the auction. I'm going to take Towne Square as an example of a simple masculine design and palate.

And Leah Day's Building Blocks quiltalong as an example of a child's pattern and colour scheme.

I'm also borrowing a quilt back from someone as it's a good example of a traditional barn-raising curved log cabin. Sadly I don't have a picture but will try to get one. It sort of looks like this

I'll also be taking Mister DJ as an unfinished top but a good example of a modern pattern.


That should be enough for people to get a good idea and bid! Keep your fingers crossed that we raise lots on the night.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Windows and skulls - EQ7 the revenge

I've been playing with EQ7 off and on for a while (mainly "off" lets be honest) and I'm slowly getting to grips with all its tips and tricks.

I still need to work out a few things in order to be able to draw up some of the designs I want but, in the meantime, I've managed to figure out a few things.

Firstly, how to convert an image into a quilt. I wanted an image that would be fairly easy to translate into patchwork so started with a rather gothic "Day of the Dead" skull.

It needs a bit of tidying up and I might smooth out some of the smaller elements to make it cleaner. It's s start though.
Then I wanted to try and have a go at designing a block rather than just using the pre-set library ones. I am terrible at art so didn't try anything too challenging, just straight lines.
I ended up with something that, to me anyway, looks like a harlequins outfit.
As a side note, does anyone remember Harlequin chocolates?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Foundation paper stars with Carol Doak

What seems like an age ago I bought a Craftsy class with Carol Doak. Carol was lecturing on foundation piecing and the class project with a quilt of stars. Isn't it gorgeous?

I love the accuracy and simplicity of paper foundation piecing. Plus I love the organised feeling that the pattern of "sew-press-trim" gives you. In my case it's the illusion of being organised but still, I can pretend.

In the lull before my commission begins I thought this would be a great project to make a start on because it's easy to pick up, stop and restart at any point.

I've started pieced the first four twinkle stars together and will try to get them finished before the quilt  auction on Friday. I have half my part As done and have just started my part Bs.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The magic of the Atlantic ocean

A few years ago I set myself a challenge - to visit all 50 states in the USA. I was fantastically lucky as a child (and adult!) to be able to visit some incredible countries and had some incredible (and occasionally scary!) experiences. But, aside from the UK, my favourite country to visit is still the US.

I've crossed quite a few states off my list so far. New York, Jersey and Connecticut - done! California,  Florida and New Orleans - tick! Massachusetts, Alaska and Kansas - seen! Washington State and even Missouri (hello MSQC!) - all stamped in my passport.

One of my favourite things to do whilst in in the States is to shop, particularly for my beloved Yankee Candles and fabric. Whilst both these things are available in the UK, the costs are high and the selection comparatively small.

For instance, a yard of Mint Mochi by Cotton and Steel from Fat Quarter Shop is currently $10.75 or £6.97. The same yard from Simply Solids is $18.50 or £12.00. Admittedly fabric in the UK is sold by the metre which is slightly larger than a yard so you get more for your $ but not that much more!

Now I do not blame the fabric shops in the slightest - they are doing a fantastic job supporting a new and growing industry whilst doing battling with high overheads and a manufacturers who set very high rrps.

My favourite fabric shops in the UK are Simply SolidsVillage HaberdasheryFabric Frieze and PlushAddict. Ladies flying the (homemade!) flag for sewing, quilting, knitting and all thing beautiful in the UK!

 I, like many other quilters outside of the US, try to buy as much from local fabric shops and from within their country but at least once a season I'll put in an order from the U.S. Even with the postage and import taxes, it's still cheaper overall.

There must be a point mid-Atlantic when everything become much more expensive - like a fabric Bermuda Triangle. I'll keep my eye out next flight for a small island made up of jelly rolls and fat quarters.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Finish it up...Monday?

I know, I know, I'm at least three days late for Finish it up Friday but I've finally finished the binding on my Leah Day building blocks quiltalong. I'm really pleased with how it came out; now it's all washed it's lovely and crinkly, partially due to the mix of cotton fabric and batting with polyester Isacord quilting thread.

One thing I'm slightly disappointed by is the grey Fons and Porter ceramic marking pencil which hasn't come out in the wash. I used the pencil to mark the quilting lines on several of the blocks and, even after a thorough wash at 30 degrees, some of the marks are still visible.

Hopefully they'll fade over time and successive washing. Has anyone had a similar experience and got any advice for removing the marks?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Little and large blog meets - two new great ideas from Lily's Quilts

Blogging is a little bit like dating - you put yourself out there, bare your soul and hope that someone will like you. And like dating, it can be daunting, scary and at times lonely. Plus there's a few crazies out there!

Lily at Lily's Quilts has come up with two fab new blog meets - one for blogs of all sizes and one for little blogs like me.

Meeting on 1st of each month, these new meets are a great way to get yourself out there, meet new bloggers and followers and (hopefully) make the world of blogging a bigger and less scary.

To all new bloggers, experienced bloggers, readers, followers and lurkers - hello! Thanks for stopping by and I hope to hear from you. I'll certainly be reading, following and commenting on lots of blogs too. Thanks Lily!

Natural clumsiness vs a hot glue gun Aka making a mini design board

I've been crushing on Lori Holt's mini design board for a while now and this week I finally collected the raw materials and had a go.

The idea of the board is that it's covered in batting so provides a nice amount of fraction and keeps your cut pieces in place whilst you carry them to your sewing machine and piece. Having put together the Fat Quarter Shop Snapshots block last month which had over 30 tiny pieces, I wanted something nice and secure to stop my little 3/4" squares from flying away again!

I've never used a glue gun before (let alone owned one) so gluing the batting and binding in place was a bit challenging, particularly for one as clumsy as me. Yes, I glue my fingers. Quite a few times. Ouch.

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I might try and get some bigger pieces of foam board and make a larger one for bigger blocks. Once my fingers have recovered that is...