Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fat Quarterly is out!

Well it is a very exciting day for me.  The eighth issue of Fat Quarterly, the modern quilting online magazine is out today and this is the first edition I am a part of.  Yes me.  For real.  I even have a new email address: "Lynne@fatquarterly.com".  I know!  If you haven't tried FQ before, for the price of a quilt pattern, you get a whole host of quilt patterns, pillow patterns and paper piecing patterns because issue 8 is all about paper piecing.  If you do buy it, I'd love to know what you think in a comment to this post.

What do fabrics say to you?

Today in the mail I received this FQ stack of Thomas Knauer's new line Flock for Andover which should be reaching the shops very shortly (i.e. this month).  There are blenders.

There are skies full of birds.

There are larger scale designs.

And there are funky organic designs.  

Put them all together and I see summer in London in the swinging sixties; Austen Powers, Biba, Barbara Hulanicki, Magical Mystery tour, Yellow Submarine, Carnaby Street, lava lamps, Twiggy, Kings Road, mini skirts, maxi skirts, afro hairdos, dawning of the age of aquarius.  OK I'm getting carried away now and it's not helping me to decide what I'm actually going to make with all this London summer sunshine.  So help a girl out and leave me some creative suggestions below as to where to go with this stack of FQs and a quilt named "Swing on London". 

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Fab Little Quilt Swap

I recently joined a quilt swap on Flickr.  Each participant makes a mini quilt (up to 24" square) for a secret partner.  I know who I am making for but don't know who is making for me.  Two of the things my partners likes are bright colours and triangles so I set off down that route.  Firstly, I scribbled out a few sketches to see what looked interesting.  Some HSTs.  Nice but a bit boring.


A storm at sea quilt pattern variation.  Nice but a bit fuddy duddy. 


Another storm at sea quilt variation.  Nice but a bit simple.


And then I remembered this quilt which Anita had found on the Clothworks blog and pointed out to me a few months before.  Designed by Beach Garden Quilts, the quilt is made from their fabulous Eagle Harbor Summer quilt pattern, again using storm at sea as the basic quilt pattern but giving it a fresh twist using solids. 

I tracked back to some of the posts I had done on picking palettes in the Dead Simple Quiltalong and found this palette.  Kind of fruity, bright, fresh, citrussy but a little bit pale overall so I wanted to start with this and then add some deeper colours too for contrast.

I rummaged around in my Kona Bounty of Basic Boxes and kept pulling FQs, adding and subtracting until I ended up with this mix.  I added a few greys in to tone down the sweetness a teensy bit and decided to use mix the whole lot with Kona snow and pepper as background. 


I drew the pattern up on squared paper and then drew up little 2" square paper piecing templates.  If you look at the picture below, you can see that the quilt is made up of squares, HSTs and then the rest of the blocks are made from two templates: the square within a square and the triangle within a square.  All the squares in the quilt below are 2" finished so the quilt will be 24" square.  


And now the whole thing is pieced into a quilt top and I need to decide how to finish it.  I think I'm going to quilt white echo lines in the white sections and black echo lines in the white sections and then cut to octagon shape so it can be hung straight or on point (are you now tilting your head 45 degrees?).

Fab Little Quilt Swap Top

And I have to say that I am sorely tempted to make a big version of this quilt at some point in the future - 6" squares to make a 72" square quilt, sash up to 80" in shot cottons.  Perhaps in a colour scheme something like Oakshott's Twelve Trees quilt kit below. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

sneakity peekity

Finalemente, here is a sneakity peekity at the foundation paper pieced pillow I made for the upcoming issue of Fat Quarterly, out on 30 January.  This issue is packed full of paper piecing projects and all for the price of a quilt pattern.  I'd love to see your version of my Summersville Trees pillow.  If you make one, please add it to my Flickr group as well as to the Fat Quarterly group page so we can all admire your work.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Take a guess

Lu Summers' new line for Moda, Summersville, will be in our shops in the spring.  I am on my third project using it so far and have not even come close yet to tiring of it.  I don't know if I ever will.  Question is, which is your favourite print and which do you think the quilt shops ordered most of?

Friday, 20 January 2012

And that's why I love Sew Fresh Fabrics

I find fabric shopping stressful.  I'm no good at it and I can't choose things.  Even if a real life shop, I get baffled and confused and a bit panicky.  I like pre-cuts because someone else did the choosing.  For the same reason I like bundles.  And I love Peg and Becca at Sew Fresh Fabrics because, not only are they the queens of bundle making, but they are so great at choosing fabrics.  I emailed them to order some Echino London fabric for a secret project I have in mind which you will see in June and I said - and add in some FQs that go with it.  And look at this.  How perfect?  Totally perfect and no fabric shopping stress for me.

I would also like to say that, in preparation for that secret project, I invested in this book.  Shame on me I didn't know that Lisa Lam, only the international queen of bag making and owner of bag making supplies shop, UHandbag, lives right here in the UK.  There were a few bag making books on the shelf of my local bookshop but the others were not a patch on this one.  If you now, or at any time in the future, want to make a bag.  This is the book to use.  It is comprehensive, detailed and understandable by bag-making numpties like me but goes right up to advanced bags, techniques and fastenings for those of you out there who are not bag-making numpties like me.

Still a Sale at Simply Solids

Don't forget to pop over to my real life friend Mandy's shop, Simply Solids, if you're looking for any January bargains.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A Twitter Trial

OK here's a funny one for you (and for me too).  Tracey Pereira, who is a long arm quilter as well as owning a fabric shop called Quilt Me Happy, and I have been chatting about her doing some long arm quilting for me. Since the subject of LA quilting was raised on this blog last week, Tracey offered to answer a lot of the questions, queries and concerns many of your raised and we are planning a series of blogposts to talk about those so please keep the questions, queries and concerns coming.

In the meantime, Tracey and I are going to have a twitter chat next Tuesday morning (24 Jan) from 10am til 11am UK time discussing how she is going to quilt the swoon quilt top I have made for my sister.  The idea is that we have the kind of conversation on twitter that she would normally have with her clients in her studio (but she and I live too far apart for that).  And if any of you would like to join in the chat, ask questions, give opinions, ideas and thoughts etc. we will be tweeting using the hashtag #LQTPQ (standing for Lily's Quilts / Tee Pee Quilting).

And we'll then put a transcript of our twitter conversation (including any extra tweeps joining in) on my blog so you can all get a feel for how a piecer / LA quilter conversation might go.  Does that sound as fun and interesting as Tracey and I think it will be or do we just need to get a life?!  I tweet as @lilysquilts and Tracey tweets as @quiltmehappy so make sure you get on over and follow us before Tuesday morning if you're interested in listening or joining in.  And following the conversation on tweetchat.com apparently makes it easier to follow what everyone's saying and to chat along.  Remember to enter the hashtag #LQTPQ when you get there.

Resolved to Sew 2012

Ali at VeryBerryHandmade has a fabulous competition going on right now.  Blog about your 2012 resolutions linking back to her "Resolutions to Sew 2012" post which you can find here, leave a comment on her post to say you have done so and stand a chance of winning one of many fabulous fabric prizes.

At the end of last year, I made a few resolutions and I thought I'd see how they were coming along:

1.  Join fewer bees, join fewer swaps, take on fewer commitments and commissions.  Say no more often.  Well since writing that, I have said "no" twice and "yes" three times already.  One of the yesses was for charity, one to make a mini quilt, which I just couldn't resist and one to make a quilt for my niece in the swoonalong but I had already committed to make a quilt for my niece so that doesn't count. 

Swoon all pieced
2.   Get together more often with my sewing gals because they make it all so much more fun.  Well they're coming over on Thursday so that's going well so far.

Mandy is not pleased Justine swapped hats

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.  I now have this quilt designed and calculated, the fabrics picked out and it may even be my next project and it may even end up being my first published pattern but we'll see about that.

The other thing you have to do  for Ali's giveaway is to pick which of the fabulous fabric prizes Ali has scored for us you would like to win the most.  I am going to pick this wonderful bundle of Erin McMorris fabrics from Backstitch. 

And, even if you don't have the time or the inclination to write a blogpost about your resolutions, you can leave a comment on Ali's blog and stand a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes.  Go on, you know you want to!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Aurifil Social Quilts Contest

Would you like to be in with a chance of winning this:

Or this:
Or this:
Well then you'd better head on over to the Aurifil Facebook Page and hunt down the Social Quilts Contest and find out who, what, where, when, why and how you can be in with a chance of winning one of these fabulous Aurifil thread prizes.  

Heather and Megan over are featuring this quilt on their wonderful blog, Quiltstory today.  Please click here if you would like to find out more about this mini quilt which I made last year and a little bit about me too.

Swoon all pieced

My swoon quilt top is not all pieced.  79" square.  36" blocks with 2" sashing in the middle and 2 1/2" sashing around the outside.  I am going to send it to Tracey Pereira of Teepee Quilts, to be quilted and will let you know how that goes and come back and show you her quilting when I have it back.  The fabrics are J'Adore Stella FQs by Dear Stella (wonderful Paris prints for my Parisian niece), Lilll and Will and Feather n Stitch FQs both which were December fabrics in Eternal Maker's FQ quarterly club all mixed in with Klona pomegranate from Alice at Backstitch.   

Swoon all pieced

It is for my six year old niece and will be backed in this print which I got in one of the fabulous Fat Quarter Shop sales for $5 a yard.  My new favourite quilt backings are large scale prints and cheater prints.  So the quilt will still look something special when it's turned over. 

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Dress Up Your Loo Roll

In other news, Jane, also known as Quiltjane, is hosting the 'Dress up your roll' competition which is open to bloggers all over the world.  First prize is a $100 Fat Quarter Shop gift voucher and there are other great prizes too.  Head on over to this post on Jane's blog to get yourself started and this post will give you a loo roll holder tutorial in case you're stuck.  Entries have to be in by 1 March so you'd better get going.

Oh, and while I remember, the judging panel is quite something.  The judges are Jane Quiltjane, Dan Piece and Press, Katy I'm a ginger monkey and me, yes me. Eeeeep. 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Sew Red Blog Hop

Last week, Leah from Burgundy Buttons asked me to join in her Sew Red Blog Hop starting next month and it is hard to say no when it's a good cause in spite of my new year's resolution to say no to anything new.

What is the hop about?

Well, it's raising awareness about heart disease!  Each month, Sew Red for Women will feature an original quilt block designed ecspecially for you by some of today's most inspiring designers & bloggers and me.  We will provide a special link to hop on over to the blogger and/or designer's site for details and instructions for completing the featured block. And you just might learn a thing or two about heart disease while you're there.  The hopping begins on February 3rd, which happens to be Wear Red Day!

Who's Partcipating? And when?

February 3
Leah of Burgundy Buttons
March 3
Fat Quarterly's Tacha of Hanies Quilts
April 3
Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt
May 3
Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting
June 3
Charlie of Qubee Quilts
July 3
Jessica of Twin Fibers
August 3
Melissa of The Polkadot Chair
September 3
Amber of A Little Bit Biased
October 3
Amy of Diary of a Quilter
November 3
Amy of Amy's Creative Side
December 3
Sherri of A Quilting Life
January 3
And last but not least (whatever that even means) me.

What fabric are we using?
We will be using fabrics from Chemistry by Cosmo Cricket and coordinating Bella Solids.  Naturally you may use any fabric you like.  As the blocks are released, Burgundy Buttons will offer a block-specific fabric pack for purchase while supplies last.

Will there be a flickr group?

We'd love as many of you as possible to join in and support the project and we will be sharing pictures in our own Flickr group right here http://www.flickr.com/groups/sewredforwomen/

We are so excited to bring you this heart friendly hop and raise awareness about heart disease at the same time!  Please help us by sharing information about this event on your blogsite, twitter and facebook!  Grab a button from the Sew Red for Women Blog and add it to your side bar!  And I would love it if as many as possible would sew along with us to help the momentum of the event.  Please leave a comment here letting me know if you are playing along.  

Friday, 13 January 2012


Well as you probably all know by now, Katy's swoon-a-long, using Camille Roskelly's wonderful pattern is becoming this year's BIG THING.  Go here to join the group if you want to swoonalong too.  I've jumped in with both feet and am loving this block.  I decided to scale it up to a mahusive 36" square and make a quilt for my neice using just four blocks plus some sashing and it will come to 79" square which is a pretty good size really.  I have already decided to send it out to be long arm quilted but more of that in another post.

36" swoon block ready to piece

I scaled the block up so that each finished square in the design will be 4 1/2".  And I re-drew the block in squared paper so that it was made up of 64 squares (many split into HSTs).  Camille's pattern is done differently - and probably 99% of you would say better - in that she uses flying geese, larger squares, rectangles etc. to save on sewing seams.  I divided it into 64 squares (i) because I find it easier to cut just two shapes for a whole block; (ii) because I find it easier to keep track of what I'm piecing it's one great big nine patch (well 64 patch); and (iii) because I like the look of seams going around every square.  In the picture above, you can see how I broke the block up into squares.

Mahusive swoon

Because the blocks are significantly bigger than in the original design, I re-drew the block with four main colours in the star, rather than two.  With squares cut at 5" for the plain squares and 5 1/2" for pairs of HSTs, each colour can be cut from one FQ.  Block 2 of 4 is ready to piece, waiting on the dining room table patiently.

Swoon 2 of 4
Are you swooning along?  If so, how many blocks are you making?  What is the quilt going to be for?  What fabrics are you using?  

Thursday, 12 January 2012

UK Sewing Blogger Awards

Dad you know that Alice from Backstitch and Fiona from The Sewing Directory have got together to bring some recognition to all you hardworking sewing bloggers out there. Vote for your favourite sewing blog of 2011, and they will reward the winner with £50 credit in the Backstitch shop to spend on whatever they wish!

There will also be 2 runners up prizes plus one voter will be picked at random to win a prize too.  You can send your nomination using this entry form on the Sewing Directory website, or you can put your nomination on The Sewing Directory Blog or on this Backstitch post in the comments section our posts about the awards. You have until midnight 31st January 2012 to get your vote in.  Please do feel free to post about these awards on your blog.  And here's a button you can grab if you would like to.  

Long Arm Quilting

Now you in the US may not know this but we in the UK don't tend to send our quilts out to be long arm quilted.  Why is that?  I don't really know.  But my friend Katy sends some of hers out to be quilted and frankly, they look so good that I've been thinking of doing the same.  So  I wanted to ask you all what you think.  Have you had any quilts long arm quilted?  Did you have an all over design or custom quilting?  Were you happy with the results?  Any tips on sending a quilt to be long arm quilted?

Has anyone had a bad experience of long arm quilting?  Are any of you long arm quilters and would like to chip in with advice, ideas, suggestions, thoughts?

If you haven't, do you have any questions about long arm quilting you'd like answered?  Any questions at all, however stupid you may think they sound.  I have a long arm quilter on hand to answer them so that we can find out more and, when I send my next quilt to be long arm quilted (which will be a first for me) I will report back and tell you how I got on and answer any questions you may have about the whole process.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Sale Time!

Mandy from Simply Solids has asked me to let you know that she has a January sale going on RIGHT NOW:

We did make pyjamas in the end

If you're looking for a quick easy and fun sewing project your kids could get involved in, look no further.  My daughters and I chose a couple of flannels from the Fat Quarter Shop (who have an impressive array).  We ordered 2 yards of each (for a child up to about 1.4 metres; taller than that, you'd want to order more).  Bought a pyjama sewing pattern and set to work. 

One daughter was interested in sewing.  One thought the idea was a complete waste of time.  But the ten year old who was interested was able to pin and cut the pattern and sew the main seams (although needed help with the curved crotch seam).  I hemmed and inserted elastic.  Each pair took about an hour or two.  

For the PJ tops, we bought long sleeved t-shirts, cut out a piece of the PJ bottom fabric, ironed edges under, starched them to make them hold, spray glued them onto the PJ top front and then blanket stitched around.  Admittedly the pics I have don't really show off the PJs much but it was Christmas and there always seemed to be so much to do - watching films, eating chocolates and all that crammed in between numerous naps on the sofa.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New plans

In spite of the fact that I resolved to take on nothing new this year, I have taken on two new commitments in the past week but with good reason.  The first new project is to join Katy's swoon-a-long on Flickr.  Camille Roskelly's Swoon pattern was the big hit of last year and looks set to continue the same way this year with nearly 300 quilters already in Katy's Flickr group.  The quilt is made up of nine large blocks and ends up somewhere around 80" square.

Katy's starter post is here if you are interested in swooning along too.  I had already committed to make a quilt for my French neice and had decided on using my J'adore by Dear Stella fabrics combined with some of the fat quarters which came to me from Eternal Maker as part of their Fat Quarters Club.

After some deliberation and advice gathered on twitter yesterday, I decided to pair the fabrics with pomegranite.  Snow was too pale, I am bored of sashing with greys, as much as I love them, and suggestions of pale blues and aquas also seemed a little safe.  So I settled on Klona pomegranate which is a bright in-your-face pinky red or redddy pink, a kind of raspberry red.  I placed my order with Alice at Backstitch yesterday and today 4 yards of Klona pomegranate arrived together with a handy Klona swatch card for colour matchings solids with your fabrics.

The second is to join a mini quilt swap over on Flickr.  I got the invite to the swap on the same day that a deadine for something I was working on was moved back a few months so it seemed like it came at just the right time.  Called the Fab Little Quilt Swap, I will need to make a mini quilt by the middle of March.  Making mini quilts is a great way to try out new techniques and to make something outside of your usual comfort zone and, since you are making for someone else, you also have to tailor the quilt to their likes and dislikes which is a fun challenge.  Here are some mini quilts I have made in previous Flickr swaps.

Jaunty Jack

Have you accidentally joined any new bees, swaps, quilt-a-longs or inadvertently started any new projects since the start of this year?