Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Sew Justine Sew

Do you all know Justine from Sew, Justine Sew? I'm afraid I have a special soft spot for her - not only is she really nice and great fun but she is also a premature baby nurse and I have had two premature babies.  I have seen how hard that job is - it entails looking after tiny and incredibly sick babies and also their stressed and anxious parents. 
Well, she's setting off in two weeks to get married.  She and her husband to be have agreed not to give each other presents but she is having second thoughts and is wondering what she might give him.  She put this on her blog:

"He picks up the pieces of my wildly busy life - whilst I try being a special care nurse, mummy to two young children (one with special needs and all that that entails) and on top of that now I've found a huge passion for sewing and blogging - the poor man often doesn't get a look in! How cool would it be to give him some handmade wedding themed goodies from my lovely online blog friends???? I'm open to ideas and really I'm not expecting freebies, I'd be happy to pay for your services if you think you can help!"

So how about paying it forward, spreading some blogland love and heading on over to the post I'm talking about and seeing what  you can do to help her outIf you don't have time to do something before they leave, how about something for when they get back in August? 

Friday, 25 June 2010

Two giveaways, a new bee and a union jack

Well as well as a reminder of my HUGE 22 FQ Kona Solid giveaway ending Friday 2 July, I would like to mention cuttopieces giveaway of Katie Jump Rope scraps which I am desperate to win as I adore this discontinued line.

I ave just signed up to a new bee using the quilt as you go method explained by sewtakeahike in her four part tutorial.  8 people have signed up so far so there is room for four more if anyone else fancies trying this out.  The Flickr group is being set up by tracy stuntz and is called bee quilted.

Finally, Claudia from Machenundtun made this fab union jack from my tutorial - look how she lined up those dots along the white lines:

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Doll Quilt Swap

Today my fave five doll quilts from round 8 area featured on the DQS blog with my absolute fave of that round being the one sent by Maripenquiltmom to Marguerite who (i) I want to wish luck to for her upcoming window installation; and (ii) I want to thank for nudging me to join the doll quilt swap.  If you don't know anything about this Flickr swap, the name makes it sound a bit lame but the quilts which come out of the swap are incredible.  Pop over to the blog to see all five of my choices and let me know what your all time faves are from that swap or which is your fave from round 8 or which is your fave from the five I picked.

Friday, 18 June 2010

HUGE GIVEAWAY - New UK Kona solids shop opens today

Today's big huge news is the opening of the new UK online shop - Simply Solids - selling the must have solid - Kona cotton.  The opening is being celebrated with a HUGE giveaway of 22 Kona solid fat quarters - you can see the colours in the picture below.  The colours in this picture are all in stock for immediate dispatch.  Mandy can also get in any Kona solid colour you request.*   P+P in the UK is free for all orders over £15.
  You have five chances to win this huge giveaway and it is open to international entries.  
1. post a comment on this blog telling us your favourite Kona solid colour.
2. blog about this giveaway and come back and tell us in a separate comment that you have (we will be checking!).
3. click to follow the Simply Solids blog and come back here and tell us, in a separate comment, that you have.
4. click to follow my blog and tell me that you have in a separate comment.
5. add the button to your blog and tell us in a separate comment that you have. You can grab the code for the button from the Simply Solids blog.  Or here it is:

The winner will be chosen by random number generator two weeks from today (2 July at midday UK time) and will be announced here.

*Minimum order of 1m for special requests and the order will take a few days to dispatch.

Quilt Story, Flickr news and an anniversary

Heather and Megan at quilt story are featuring my UK I'm Blushing quilt today which was made using Natalia Bonner's fabulous moda bake shop tutorial.  The site showcases different people's quilts and tells the story behind them.  Click the link below to take you to their blog, Quilt Story:

I am also still working on my Flickr swaps.  My pincushions are now finished for the Scrappy Pincushion Swap:

And I have made two miniature quilts to be hung from the washing line hung between the trees in my "World without quilts" quilt for the doll quilt swap:

Susan Sobon, aka Chickenfoot, has come up with a new challenge this morning which is to make a quilt from or inspired by a picture or the colours in a picture.  I am thinking of using this picture of Piazza Campo Dei Fiori in Rome which hangs on my sitting room wall as a starting point.  Rome is my favourite city; I lived there for a year when I was 24 - first as an au pair until I was sacked for laziness and then as an English teacher where I used to teach the students stuff like: "up your bum" means stand up. I have matured since.

And finally, we celebrated my daughter's 8 year anniversary last night - 8 years since we brought her home from hospital where she had been for seven long months since she was born.  Here she is with her twin sister sitting in the courtyard last night stuffing their faces with double chocolate cookies before we went out to build a bear followed by Pizza Express.  

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Kaffe Fassett Diagonal Madness

The top is finished (click on the photo to see a bigger version).  We now need to choose the backing and binding.  Any suggestions?  Pattern or solid?  And how to quilt and what thread to use for quilting? 

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Fabric giveaway

If anyone missed out on this, I have teamed up with Celtic Fusion Fabrics to host a giveaway of a £20 worth of ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE from her shop and she will ship internationally.  Let me know how long you think it will take me to finish piecing and quilting Kaffe Fassett's Diagonal Madness quilt.  40 hours has got me this far.  I have to add four nine-patch sashing borders (already assembled and ready to attach), baste, quilt and bind.  You can have one guess on this blog and one on the Celtic Fusion Fabrics blog.  If you're reading this and your guess was under 48 hours, I'll let you have another guess to avoid unfair advantage to latecomers! 

A whole load of catch up

About two weeks ago I got sidetracked onto Flickr where I rashly signed up to the Scrappy Pincushion Swap and the Doll Quilt Swap and I have woefully neglected both my blog and google reader, being so caught up in the fun over there.  I have started on my pincushion and have got this far with four more to make and fill.
I have also started on the Doll Quilt for my partner and have got this far.  There are going to be three quilts hanging from washing lines suspended between the trees.  These trees, like my earlier trees, are inspired by Sleighd's fabulous tree quilt.
In other news, Ashley Boccuti made a fabulous union jack from the tutorial and is planning to use the block in her bee next June (she's a planner aheader I'm guessing):
In my Fresh Modern Bee, I have made two asterisk blocks from Jennifer's fabulous fabrics:
I have one more piece of news on the back burner at the moment which I will be able to break any day.  Let me just say three words as a hint:  Kona ... Solids ... UK.  Say no more.  Check back for details in the next few days.

P.S. If you are my doll quilt swap partner, I hope you have enough information between my Flickr faves, my mosaic, my photostream and my blog to give you some idea of what you feel like doing.  I am completely open minded about what might be made for me so please feel free to throw away the rule book and make anything you like - I know I will love it - don't stress or go round and round in circles.  I only started quilting in February so I haven't done much and I haven't seen much of what's around - so it will be easy to surprise and please me!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Fabric Loft's monthly giveaways

Lizzet from the Fabric Loft has aked me to let you know that she has a giveaway on her blog - you can win a £10 voucher to spend in her shop.  Click here to take you to the giveaway post but make sure to leave your comment on the post before! 

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Quilt Shoppe are giving away a Whimsy Fat Quarter...

... over at Cluck Cluck Sew.  Scroll down the blog to see Union Jacks made from Whimsy in various colourways!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Are you bored of Union Jacks...

...you can probably tell that I am not bored of Union Jacks.  Nancy made this beautiful block and has allowed me to post it here.  She made a useful suggestion about the tutorial which is that, if you were not restricted to layer cake slices, the process would be speeded up by strip piecing the white-red-white stripes.  She also mentioned that, in the real flag, the white strips on the diagonal are different widths.  In fact, there are many British "Union Flag" (as it is properly called) enthusiasts who make a sport of spotting the flag being flown the wrong way up (we're a little odd over here).  I think it looks prettier with even coloured white strips and, for me, pretty is more important than technically, flagically (a made up word) correct.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

My head is always full of crazy ideas

As you know, my head is always full of crazy ideas and one came to me this morning and I want your reaction. If you are a UK quilter, would you be interested in a UK quilt retreat?  I'm thinking a weekend sitting around chatting, laughing, quilting.  What would the essential elements of a quilt retreat be?  If you're from a country where you have retreats, what makes a good quilting retreat?  If you've been to one, what makes it work? 

Happy Birthday Mandy

It's Mandy's birthday today.  If you have a minute, click over to her blog and wish her a happy one.  Here's a union jack she made yesterday from the tutorial.  She made it with some beautiful Liberty fat quarters she bought at the V&A exhibition. 


If any of you are DSQ9-ing too (and I know lots of you will be), let me know so I can follow your updates in blogland as well as on Flickr!  So we have Crafty Chops, Rachel from Contented, Viv from Highway Cottage, Janice from Sew Girly, KarrieLynn from Freckled Whimsy, Candi from Raccoon Creek Quilts, Ethne from Flaming Stitches and Margeurite, aka Rafael's Mum from adventures in quilting and sailing.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Union Jack template now also in US letter size

Janice (sewgirly) and a fellow fresh modern bee member made this beautiful union jack from the tutorial in one hour and twenty minutes.  However, converting it to US letter size was not straighforward so I have made a US letter sized template which is available through the link in the tutorial.  Janice made her Union Jack from "Wildbunch Fabrics from FunQuilts" and "Victoria designed by Fabric Freedom".  How did she do it so quickly and neatly.  If it's my tutorial why am I so much slower and mine don't look so perfect?

Friday, 4 June 2010

UK fabric shop...

My friend Mandy, who lives in the same village as me, mentioned to me that a friend of hers has a daughter with ... a fabric shop.  It is called Raystitch and has some fabulous Anna Maria Horner, some Amy Butler, some Joel Dewberry, some Kokka Cotton / Linen mixes to name a few (feast your eyes on a small selection):
They also have organic cotton solids in a range of beautiful gentle neutrals, including soft greys, blues, beiges and creams.  I am getting samples of the solids and will let you know how they look in the flesh.

Union Jack tutorial now has printable A4 template

There are now templates for both A4 and US letter paper.  The dimensions of US letter paper are so similar to A4 paper that, by my calculations, the cutting instructions in the tutorial do not need to be changed.  Everything you need to know to make the block can be accessed by clicking the Union Jack tutorial link over on the right.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Mandy and Justine, look away now...

...just found a new UK fabric shop: the Fabric Loft shop and blog with Amy Butler, Nicey Jane, Leanika and Lila Teuller fabric bundles:

Tutorial published in draft

I have created a page with a tutorial (link also on the right).  
If anyone does have a go, I'd really appreciate any comments or suggestions for improvement on the tutorial as a comment to this post.  And please publish any blocks on my new Union Jack Flickr page.  As I mentioned in an earlier post today, if anyone knows how to create a template digitally, I would really appreciate a nudge in the right direction!

Announcing my newly created Flickr group...

... you guessed it ... union jack quilts etc.  In preparation for the tutorial to make an A4 union jack block from three 10" layer cake sheets, I have started a Flickr group where blocks can be posted and am also trying to round up any union jack quilts, pillows, pincushions that are already out there on Flickr.  If you see any, let me know! And the logo is a union jack...not that I'm obsessed or anything.

How do I?

I'm going to post a tutorial on how to make a union jack block from three 10" squares of fabric but how do I get the drawing I have made onto the blog in a printable form?  I have a scanner but it produces a wonky version of the drawing so I think I need to produce something graphically / digitally but I have no idea how to do this.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Thank you.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

In response to Claudia

Claudia from Machen und Tun (make and do?) put a clip on her blog this morning of something she is listening to over and over at the moment so I thought I would put my all time favourite advert on here.  If you have two minutes to watch this, you'll love it and wish you had a moustache (OK, I do have a little one myself but I try to keep it plucked every morning):

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Whimsy UJ block III

Let me know if you fancy a tutorial for an A4 UJ block made from three pieces of layer cake - if I get enough support, I'll get going on in next week when the kids are back at school.  Today I think I'm supposed to be taking them to Street Dance 3D, maybe Pizza Express too.

Second Whimsy Union Jack block

Now you can see why I chose Whimsy.  Sardana has asked for a tutorial for this block so I'm thinking about it.  If enough people would be interested, I would be happy to give it a go!  Could be messy though.