Friday, 25 September 2015

Stars, bicycles and cats

I've still got a long way to go to catch up on all my overdue block of the month projects so there was no time to waste this weekend.

Firstly, the left over Sunday Morning Block from the Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage project plus the two blocks for this week, Sunny Sunflower and Tumbleweed.

I'm ridiculously amused with how wavy the borders on the Sunday Morning block are. Note to self - never use horizontal prints for narrow borders!

Onwards and upwards though with the Like Riding a Bike block (from August) and the Quilty Cat block (from September) for the Fat Quarter Shop Snapshots quilt along. 

Both came together fairly quickly but can I just say - there's an awful lot of pieces in that bicycle! It took me almost an entire afternoon to make just that one block.

I did just manage to squeeze in one block of the Moda Building Blocks project (which is next on my list)

Plus I also managed to whip up some chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream because cupcake season is now back in full swing.


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunday Stash #22

There may have been one or two purchases this week. Ahem.

First up, my next Frivol tin had arrived and its Paisley and Polka Dots by Minick and Simpson. 

Whilst I'm a big fan of red, blue and white colour schemes and polka dots, the busy paisley prints would normally have dissuaded me form buying this so its good I've been pushed out of my comfort zone.

Next, some yardage of Flutterberry by Melly and Me for Riley Blake. 

This, along with more fabric yet to arrive, is going to be a Bella Boutique "Social Butterfly" quilt for a little newborn girl. Not much I can do until the rest of the fabric turns up! The cream is the backing and the pink is the border and binding.

Next a quick trip to Oz for Jen Kingwell's Steam Punk pattern and some awesome templates from Sunset Seams that arrived super fast. Just over a week for something that travelled half way around the world. Wow!

More patterns, this time by Elizabeth Hartwell and Kate Spain.

Back to fabric and a fat quarter bundle of Pie Making Day by Brenda Ratliffe for RJR. This will go nicely with the Lacuna modern sampler pattern I have (which I think is also by Brenda?).

A layer cake of Modern Background by Zen Chic for Moda

And fat quarter bundles of Imprint by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics finishes things off. 

I was thinking about using the Imprint for the Hazel Hedgehog pattern but I'm now worried that the spikes of Hazel might get lost in the print. Ah well, I'll just have to buy more fabric!

My motto is: if you're good all the time, people aren't impressed when you behave. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Farm Girl Vintage on fast forward

With Big Momma and Moda Love out of the way, it's time to start catching up with all those block of the month/week projects that I've fallen behind with.

I was more than a month behind with the Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage sewalong so some speed sewing was required!

First up, Peas and Carrots Block and then Pie Cherries Block. I love the spinning element of Peas and Carrots and then juicy roundness of Pie Cherries. I wish I had a darker brown for the stem but ah well! 

The cherries also look a bit asymmetrical with the 1/4" seam allowance round the outside edge but this will soon disappear once it's sewn into the top.

Next, Pinwheels Block and Postage Stamp Block. These are oh so simple in their construction which is awesome. 

Then Scrappy Maple Leaf Block and Scrappy Strawberry Block. The strawberry block called for 10 different greens and 22 different pinks. I don think I have that many fabrics in my entire stash let alone the bundle allocated to this project so I had to recycle a few fabrics.

Then Simple Star Block and Spring Star Block. I love star blocks - they have such an impact with just a few pieces. 

And finally Summer Star Block - this is a little late for the weather which feels positively autumnal here. 

I didn't get a chance to finish Sunday Morning Block so that will have to go on the list for this weekend. But at least I'm a lot further on now. Just a few more projects to catch up so (sewing) pedal to the metal...

Friday, 11 September 2015

Three types of love in one quilt

Whilst in the midst of binding Big Momma last week, I had a horrible moment of realisation - a colleague at work was getting married this weekend and I hadn't finished her quilt. I hadn't even started it. Oops.

Normally when doing a wedding quilt I would focus on bright colours, brilliant whites etc. But this bride is a little different - she's the epitome of quiet, understated style and elegance. Neon colours and over complicated patterns wouldn't work here. 

Instead I turned to my stash and unearthed a layer cake of Little Black Dress 2 by Basic Grey for a Moda. A bit more digging unearthed some grey quilt backing, a few additional monochrome fat quarters from my Leah Day quilt along of last year. I even had some grey Isacord thread. I was ready to go.

They combined with the Moda Love quilt pattern and I have to confess I think it looks great. 

I quilted an all over feather and swirl pattern on the quilt but three quarters of the way through - disaster struck.

Oh sugar. It was Saturday afternoon and none of my local stores were both (a) open and (b) sold Isacord. Panic! The quilt had to be finished by Friday lunchtime. 

Happily I found a local store that was open on the Tuesday. TC Threads ( in Hucknall sells embroidery threads to both commercial and retail and sold me two new 1000m spools for £2.58. That's $3.98. Not each, but for both.  Wow! I know where I'm getting my thread from in the future! 

Hopefully the bride will love her Little Black Dress inspired Moda Love quilt as much as she loves her fiancé. And I'm suffering from new thread shop love! I know, it's cupboard love I know but I love my thread cupboard...

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Sunday Stash #21

After a few false starts (USPS tracking isn't the best is it?!) lots of parcels have started arriving from over the pond.

First up, a fat quarter bundle of Hoffman Batiks from Massdrop.

 This bundle is named Cockatiel and my hope is that it will blend nicely with the Kahuna layer cake I got from Missouri Star when I visited last year. 

I've never been able to find anymore of the Kahuna but the color way in Cockatiel seemed very similar - pale pinks and dove grays.

Next up, a layer cake of True Luck by Stepahnie Ryan for Moda and some charm packs of Tula Pink's Bumble for Free Spirit, both from Soutern Fabrics.

I first spotted True Luck at the Festival of Quilts and picked up a charm pack so this layer cake should go nicely with it. I love how Southern Fabrics broke the Bumble charm pack down into little colour way packets so it would fit in the envelope better!

Next, from Fat Quarter Shop this time, a fat quarter bundle of Hello Darling by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.

 I preordered this before I got the Frivol tin so now have quite a lot of Hello Darling! Still, it is gorgeous and it's not like it goes off is it?!

Finally, back to Southern Fabric for my fav purchase of this week, a fat quarter bundle of Fox and the Houndstooth by Andie Hanna for Robert Kaufman. 

I love the glasses and foxes choices in this bundle but even the bow ties are cute too! I'm thinking that this would be perfect for a Christmas present for my mum, maybe an apron or oven glove? So cute!

Happy Sunday sewing (and happy Labor Day weekend for all of you in the US)!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Friday finish: king-sized double pinwheel

It's with a huge amount of delight (and some relief!) that I can announce that the king-sized double pinwheel quilt is finished!

After five months of work and more woman-hours (like man-hours but with less moaning) work then I can count, it's finally done and ready to go to its new owners. As you might remember this quilt was the prize in a charity auction for "Let's Talk About William", an awesome charity which provides practical support for parents and families suffering from new-natal deaths and stillbirths.

At 102" by 120", the quilt was far too big to photograph in the usual "quilt with feet" or "quilt draped artfully over a hipster wooden fence". It's also far too big for me to fit into my front loading washing machine so the new owners will have the delight/scare of seeing it go all crinkly! 

This is the best photo I have of it pre quilting and binding.

And here it is quilted and bound (and folded up!).

Hopefully you can still see the pinwheel blocks as well as the secondary design which came out through the diagonal quilting. Suddenly mirror blocks pointing in towards each other appeared. Thank heavens I'd been so anal about making sure my points matched!

The straight line quilting took a lot less Aurifil thread then I was expecting so I've got almost a spool and a half of it left. I also love the little mini pinwheels that appeared when the quilting lines intersected.

And can we just take a moment to appreciate nicely mitred corners on binding?

I do like a nice crisp corner.

So, off she goes to her new owner but not without one final surprise for me. Pinterest recently threw up a pin showing the relative mattress sizes of the UK/EU/USA compared. I'd taken the measurements for a king-sized quilt from a USA website and worked out that 102" x 120" would given decent coverage plus a nice overhang. What I hadn't appreciated was that not all king sized mattresses are the same. A UK king-sized mattress is equivalent to a USA queen sized. So Big Momma as almost 30" bigger on all sides than strictly necessary. Oops. Ah well, you can never have too big a quilt, right?!