Saturday, 31 December 2011

Hello 2012

It's the first of the month again and it's the first day of a new year and happy new year to you all.  Once again it is Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog meet.  Yesterday I reviewed 2011 and now it's your turn.  What did you work on in 2011 or what did you work on in December; your choice.  Link up at the bottom of this post to share what you've been working on.  If you do link up, how about visiting at least four of the other blogs who link up - two above you and two below you - and stopping to leave a comment as well as visiting back anyone who visits you.  As always here's the button to grab:
Fresh Sewing Day
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And link up in the second linky if you are a blog with fewer than 50 followers and would like to get to know a few more people out there in blogland.  Write a post about this feature, add the button and then link up.

Small Blog Meet
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Next go and visit and get to know at least four other linked blogs - starting with the two above you in the linkys and the two below you. Visit those blogs, leave a comment, click to follow and visit that blog regularly over the next few weeks. Visit more if you have the time.  And also visit back any new bloggers who come to visit you and get to know them and their blogs.

Goodbye 2011

A year in review.  Three fave quilts, three fave blocks, three fave sewing things and three resolutions.

Three fave quilts

1.   Hexagon Park because it was my first Moda Bake Shop quilt and I was beside myself with excitement to be accepted.


2.   Big Dresden Quilt because it was my first quiltalong and I was amazed at how much fun it is to sew along with lots of other people.


3.   The Circle Game Amitie BOM because it was my first BOM and loved it and surprised myself by finishing it.


Three fave blocks

1.   Scrappy Rainbow Tree because it led to me being asked to contribute to a new UK modern quilting magazine, more on that coming soon.

Rainbow tree

2.   Rainbow double circle of flying geese, because it led to me contributing to Stash's Modern Blocks Book and seeing my name in print which was very exciting indeed. 

Rainbow Double Flying Geese Circle on White with a dash of block


3.   Lynnebobsquarepants because so many people have gone on to make this block and that makes me very happy.


Three best sewing things of 2011

1.   My sewing circle consisting of Mandy Simply Solids, Justine Sew Justine Sew, Katy Im a Ginger Monkey and Brioni Flossy Blossy - being able to talk fabrics, quilting and sewing endlessly with a group of hilarious and fun gals has been too much fun.

2.   The people of blogland, flickrland and twitter, the readers of this blog and the writers of all the others blogs who make up this wonderful community where we all meet, share and support each other.

3.   My sponsors.  They all have buttons down the side of my blog and they have helped me to feed this very expensive habit that I have become addicted to.  Thank you each and every one of you for support.  

Three resolutions

1.  Join fewer bees, join fewer swaps, take on fewer commitments and commissions.  Say no more often.  Yeah right.

2.   Get together more often with my sewing gals because they make it all so much more fun.

3.   Make my husband a quilt because, to my shame, I have made one for every one in sight but not one for him yet.  This is an important one.  

Tomorrow it will be Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet - come along and link up to your end of December / end of year / start of new year posts and any blogs with 50 readers or fewer, come along and link up to the post tomorrow.  And may I wish you all a happy new year. 

Friday, 30 December 2011

Daisy for Rene for November

Daisy for Rene for November by Lynne @ Lilys Quilts

Since I've been seemingly colosally underproductive since joining Fat Quarterly at the start of November, I am jumping at the chance to show something new here.  This afternoon I made this block for Rene Luv 2 Kreate as her block for the VIBees bee I am in with her and others. She sent us some white and some green and blue fabrics and we were pretty much left to choose what we wanted to do after that. So I designed this 12" block - paper pieced in four 6" square sections with a circle appliqued on at the end. I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing and happy festive season.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Are you a Brit with an Accuquilt Baby Go?

If you are living in Britain and have an Accuquilt Baby Go, I have two brand new, unopened Baby Go / Go Cutter dies which I am interested in swapping if anyone else is interested in them.  I'm happy to swap for used dies although they have to fit the Baby Go.  The two I have are the 3" HSTs (4 HSTs on one die):



and the set of three circles; 2", 3" and 5":


If you are interested in a swap, leave a comment to let me know what die(s) you are willing to swap and which of these dies you are interested in.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Go and find out why we leave pillows out for Santa on Xmas Eve - as a new Xmas tradition starts on the Fat Quarterly blog.  And a merry Christmas to all of you and God Bless Us Every One, as Kermit's son says to Michael Caine in one of the greatest Christmas films of all time.




Thursday, 22 December 2011

It makes me so happy...

It makes me so happy when someone makes something I designed so imagine my delight when this beauty popped up in my flickr group.  The quilt is made from my LynneBobSquarepants block, the tutorial for which you can find here.  It was made by Becky My Fabric Obsession together with the members of her do. Good Stitches Bliss bee, which is an online bee with lots of different groups within in, all making quilts for charity.  If you go to Becky's blogpost you can find out more about the making of the quilt, together with close-ups of some of the wonderful individual blocks.  And the icing on the cake is that Becky and her bee members made this quilt for Wrap them in Love.  Thank you Becky, you made my day with this beautiful charity quilt.

Bliss Circle October Quilt

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Lily's Quilts becomes Amy's Quilts

Yesterday my sewing space was once again raided by my nine year old daughter.  She riffled through my Countdown to Christmas FQs, pulled a few and we got set to make a Christmas stocking.  She wanted red and white fabrics to give the stocking a candy cane stripe, she wanted her stripes 2" wide and she wanted a stripy sock top.



We drew a template on newspaper and then drew around it using a sharpy onto some wadding - so we had two interlocking stockings on one square of wadding - one stocking drawn around the template facing up and the other drawn around the template facing down of course.  We drew a diagonal starter line on the other side of the wadding using a sharpy and my cutting ruler, I cut the 2 1/2" strips and Amy sewed them onto the wadding using 1/4" seams and flipping and pressing after each seam until the whole wadding was covered.  We then cut out the stocking shapes, trimmed along the tops, added 6 1/2" squares of stripey fabric, backed with some fusible fleece.  Sewed the two stocking halves together, folded the top in and sewed it down, made a hanging loop with a green Countdown to Christmas cut strip, sewed that in and hey presto. One candy cane striped Countdown to Christmas stocking.

And, in case you wonder the ladies of my quilt guild all look like, here are (from left) Brioni, Justine and Mandy and in the second photo it is me.  These photos were taken by Katy at our Xmas sewing meeting last week at my house where we talked all day and didn't sew a stitch.  Because she took the photos, you can't see her so you have to picture a tall skinny Gok Wan with a haircut like a wok, big glasses like the 3D cinema ones, a random assortment of clothes and lots of tattoos and a handbag with a chiuaua in.  Quite the typical quilter really.

  Mandy is not pleased Justine swapped hats

Lynne the hostess

Monday, 19 December 2011

Summersville

I have been desperate to do some sewing with Lu Summers new line for Moda, coming out next spring, Summersville.  I managed to get my hands on a few little scraps that Lu had left over from quilt market and have made something for the next issue of Fat Quarterly but I wanted more.  So I contacted Moda Bake Shop with a project idea.  Now, although they gave the idea the green light, Summersville has not yet been printed so I was back to twisting Lu's arm again.  So in the post today, came these precious home prints, kind of a mini-preview of what is to hit our local quilt shops next year.  The scale of these prints is perfect; not so big you can't cut them up but big enough to use as feature prints.  I'll be putting this project together over the next few days and will let you know when it is scheduled on Moda Bake Shop.

In other news, I want to thank each and every one of you who commented on yesterday's post about Amy's pillow.  She was absolutely thrilled to get such enormous support for her project and has enjoyed reading all the comments several times over.

And one more thing, do any of you UK quilters know of a long arm quilter somewhere in the Midlands?  I'm somewhere between Derby, Sheffield, Leicester, Nottingham, Manchester and Birmingham and thought I had read about a new one just off the M1 around here somewhere but wonder if I was imagining it.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The best laid plans of mice and men

The best laid plans of mice and men get derailed by their 9 year old daughter coming into the sewing room, rummaging around in the stash baskets and announcing she will spend Sunday making a pillow for her teacher.  So my Sunday plans of making up a quilt top got elbowed to one side as I helped her ladyship to put together the pillow top she had in mind.  I tried to suggest that there are easier things than pinwheels but she had a plan and my opinions were pretty irrelevant.


I suggested she cut the HSTs using the HST die on my Accuquilt Go Cutter.  This is a great tool for kids who are old enough to use the go cutter carefully but could not yet be trusted with a rotary cutter.  She cut, she sewed, she pressed, I trimmed.  At one point she tried trimming, it went wrong, there were tears but we regrouped, retrimmed and were back on track.


We auditioned most of my stash for the sashing and then most of my stash all over again for the backing and hey presto, she got it made in one day.  And we hope Miss Smith likes it.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Xmas time in England

Well it's Christmas time over here in England right now, gifts have been swapped and mail received.  A pin tin, some teensy Christmas buttons, some Cath Kidston candles, some homemade Xmas tree decs and two handmade wallhangings with bells and ribbons on from my real life quilting friend and all round loveliest person ever, Mandy.  


An unexpected and fabulous package of text fabrics from my the outrageously talented paper piecer that is Kerry.  


Some J'adore Stella fabrics by Dear Stella, covered with images of Paris, from eccentric crazy lady Katy which I think will be going into a quilt for my Parisian neice. 


And some beautiful hand printed fabrics from Karen who we also know as Blueberry Park and whose hand printed fabrics are cool, fresh and funky and can be bought in her Etsy shop


Seasons Greetings to everyone.  May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmasses be white. 

Poppyprint comes to town

And today we are honoured, excited and privileged to have a visitor from Canada on the blog - only my very special and gifted friend Krista Poppyprint.  If you don't know her blog, you need to get on over there pronto.  And without further ado ... may we welcome to the blog ... Krista aka Poppyprint...with a fabulous Christmas gift suggestion for any quilters in your life.

We're getting down to the wire, folks. Not many shopping days left now, which is why my quilter's gift idea is IDEAL for last minute {husband-type} shoppers. Like mine. Why? Because he won't have to go near a mall, sewing center or fabric shop**.

Nosiree, for this extra-special-highly-functional gift, your man can go to Mecca. His Mecca. That's right: the hardware store. He'll love you even more just for suggesting it! Before he even reaches the cash-out, he'll be high-fiving other last minute shopping men who are buying their poor wives a cordless drill for Christmas, secure in the knowledge that he dreamed up the most fabulous present ever known to quilting wives.

THE ROLLING TOOLBOX

Quilter's tool box

As a retreat organizer, my tools and supplies are on the move monthly. My retreat clientele are a clever bunch and a couple of years ago, several of the gals started showing up with all of their gear securely packed in these affordable, lightweight toolboxes.  I immediately put one on my Christmas list.  I'm pretty sure my husband thought he'd hit the jackpot when he saw that my gift was available at Canadian Tire - not only could he complete his shopping, but he could pick up some new windshield wipers for the car, a roll of duct tape and a new outdoor extension cord for the Christmas lights. Score!

Quilter's tool box
house tape measure by Laurraine, pattern available here

These units are like rolling luggage for the traveling quilter.  But without the quilt store price tag (again, can I hear a hallelujah from the husbands, please?). The top box has a handy tray for all your marking tools, cutting implements, hand cream, bobbins, pins, measuring tape and emergency mints/chocolate.  Below the tray is an open (or slotted compartment, depending on the brand) area for fabric, patterns, rulers, first aid kit.

Quilter's tool box
rotary cutter pouch by Suzanne

The boxes have varying features depending on manufacturer. My box (made by tool giant Stanley) has this fantastic turny tray for hardware bits that is perfect for buttons, snaps, clasps, grommets, D-rings and the like.

Quilter's tool box

Finally, the top box is a detachable stand-alone tool box. Below it you've got another open bin for bulky stuff like a power bar, Ott light, extension cord or more fabric. Although I cannot prove it, a bottle of wine fits beautifully in here, too.

Quilter's tool box

Here you have all three main components of your sewing room on wheels:

Quilter's tool box

I keep mine fairly loaded at all times and it sits right beside the chair in my home sewing room, so all my notions are easily accessible.  When at retreat, it assumes the same position:

Quilter's tool box
ooo look, it's Felicity over there on the left! 
 That's Elizabeth's thread catcher and Anna's 241 bag in the shot as well.

Hi ho, hi ho, off to retreat I go......

Quilter's tool box
photo by Felicity

See how happy I look? See how my arms and shoulders are not laden with heavy and cumbersome totebags and boxes?  This could be YOU!  

** manquilters, please excuse the implication that you, too, are last minute shoppers based solely on your gender. As creative quilting types, I am making the assumption that all your gifts are completed and wrapped, like mine, and you are hereby exempt from the last-minute-shopper stereotype presented in this post for comedic effect.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Lily's Pyjamas?

Not content with making pillows, stealing my stash, monopolising my machine and making a mess in my sewing room, one of my twin daughters has now asked to learn to make clothes.  It seemed like PJ bottoms would be a good place to start so we bought this pattern.

And then we strolled together down the Flannel Aisles of the Fat Quarter Shop torn between monkeys:


the Grinch:


And some other De Seuss flannels:




And finally settling on this one.


And twisting my arm to get this one too. 


All excited and gleeful about this flannel PJ mum-daughter sewing thing going on, I asked her twin sister if she'd like to choose some flannels to make PJ bottoms too.    Not really she said.  She'd prefer shop bought.  That told me.  But just to warn you, Lily's Quilts may become Lily's Pyjamas for a short period.  

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A quilt in situ

I made this quilt for my sister's friend, Carla.  It has been shipped, has arrived safely and is now installed in Carla's new Paris apartment.  Last night she sent me a photo and I wanted to keep it here for myself really.  There's something very special for me to see a quilt I've made in situ and in use.  Melody Miller's Ruby Star Rising and Kona coral are the main fabrics and it came out at a whopping 100" X 100" - QAYG in sixteen squares of 25" X 25".


Monday, 12 December 2011

Paper Pieced Union Jack Pillow

When Katy came back from Quilt Market, she brought a huge bag of fabric bundles to my house.  First of all I tried stealing some of the fabric bundles and hiding them  behind the furniture but she noticed annoyingly.  Nevertheless her kind side chose to overlook my attempts at petty theft and she distributed her fabric wealth amongst us (Brioni, Justine, Mandy and me) like the true princess she is.


She split her Rouenneries Deux Fat Eighth bundle with me and she loves Rouenneries so I know that was hard for her.   I cut into that bundle yesterday and made a companion pillow to my Patriotic US flag pillow made from Etchings wovens a few weeks back. Once again, 28" X 18", the size of a UK bed pillow and my new favourite pillow size.  If you'd like to have a go at making one of these, I may well be teaching a fun and informative "Paper Piecing a Union Jack Pillow" class at FQ London 2012.  Be there or be square.

Fat Quarterly Newsletter

Do you get the Fat Quarterly newsletter?  It comes out four times a year and contains more news and stories in addition to those in the E-zine.  It's free to subscribers and non-subcribers of the E-zine.  The latest one is coming out shortly so sign up here if you're interested in having a read - there is lots of news in there about the recent Fall Quilt Market.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Easy pillows for kids to make

My twins are now chopping their way through my stash and have made a couple more pillows this weekend.  If anyone's kids want to have a go at sewing, these are quick, easy projects for them to manage with a bit of your help.


For E's I cut a 10 1/2" square and some 2 1/2" strips.  She pressed the central square onto some fusible fleece. I then showed her how to pin, sew, flip and press the 2 1/2" strips to the fusible fleece and she kept going until she had an 18 1/2" (or thereabouts...!) square which I backed with a FQ cut into one 9" and one 13" section.  I edged one cut edge of the backing with a strip of spare fabric, overlapped the two pieces by about 3-4", sewed the whole thing together right sides together, flipped inside out and voila!

For A's I cut eight 3" strips 22" long from the FQs.  We pinned one of the middle strips to some wadding, pinned the next one onto it, right sides together.  A then sewed that seam, flipped and pressed and then pinned, sewed and pressed the rest of the strips on.  Again, I trimmed to size and made an emvelope back which A sewed on with a simple seam, right sides together.  Flip it inside out, stuff a cushion in and voila!

And the winner is

And the winner of the Blueberry Park fabrics is:




Congratulations Marilee!