Saturday, 30 June 2012

Amitie Stash Club

A few weeks ago Kerry mentioned to me that Amitie Textiles in Melbourne had started two fabric clubs.  You can find out more by going to this blogpost.  I have already done one of their BOMs (blocks of the month) and am working my way through another.  The patterns draw me in but also Amitie's fabric choices.  Somehow they seem to just have a knack for picking a really amazing, unusual and eclectic mix of what's out there.  So, when they started a stash club, it was a no brainer for me.  The first month has just arrived and I am not disappointed.  It is a real joy to receive such a fabulous mix of prints - sixteen 25 cm squares are sent out six times a year in this club.  Amitie are also sending a block design and instructions out each month so we can have a kind of stash BOM going on if we want to.

At the same time, I decided to sign up to their Liberty of London Addicts club.  Eighteen 6" squares of Liberty of London prints (seasonals and classics) are shipped to you four times a year.  Really there is nothing else like Liberty lawn, the weight, the texture, the colours and the beautiful prints.

LynneBobSquarePants border advice needed.

So finally after designing my LynneBobSquarePants block well over a year ago, I have got around to piecing together the 25 LBSPs to make the start of a quilt top.  Thank you to my bee members in VIBees and Stash Trad Bee for these wonderful blocks, full of all sorts of beautiful scraps from their stashes.  If you would like to make a LBSP quilt or block of you own, the tutorial can be found here.

This quilt top comes to 60" square which is slightly smaller than I like my quilts and looks unfinished to me.  So I'm thinking of what kind of border treatment to add to it and am currently liking this look (drawn up on Touchdraw for iPad) but would love some alternative ideas because I know you lot always have a trillion and one amazing ideas.

Friday, 29 June 2012

100 Quilts Blog Hop

Just a heads up that this coming Monday, I will be stop number 1 on the 100 quilts for kids blog hop.  I am going to be telling you all about the Quilts for Siblings Together, we will be hearing from Delma from Siblings Together, we will have a great big Quilts for Siblings Together linky party (I would love you to write a new blogpost letting us know why you got involved with this amazing charity, what it meant to you and what you made and donated or are making to donate) and we will also be having quite a big giveaway.  And when I say "quite big" I don't mean "quite big" I mean "properly big so don't miss it".   

100 Quilts for Kids is an annual charity quilt drive co-hosted by Katie Blakesley of Swim, Bike, Quilt and the DC Modern Quilt Guild.  The idea is simple: Make a quilt or 2. Donate it to a child in need, locally if you can.  Enjoy a blog hop that runs from July 2-September 25, 2012, complete with inspiration and mini prizes.  Join in on a 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along (Kick-off post on July 15 at Swim, Bike, Quilt).  Have a chance to win great prizes from sponsors, including Moda, Fat Quarter Shop, Westwood Acres, Rowan , Free Spirit, and Ty Pennington Impressions, among others that will shortly be announced.  Spread the word to family and friends!  Smile, knowing you used your skills for good. 

Swim, Bike, Quilt
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Swim, Bike, Quilt"><img src="" alt="Swim, Bike, Quilt" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

We would love your help getting the word out. Just copy and paste the code above and paste it into your sidebar, or blog post.  Tweet. Instagram. Facebook. You know the drill. Thanks!

100 Quilts Blog Hop Participants

July 2: Lynne @ Lily’s Quilts

July 16: Lee @ Freshly Pieced

July 23: Katy @ Monkey Do
Erin @ Sewing Summit

July 30: Dana @ Old Red Barn Co
Heather @ Olive & Ollie

August 6: Jessica @ Twin Fibers
Holly @ Bijou Lovely

August 13: Leigh @ Leedle Deedle Quilts
Heather & Megan @ Quiltstory 

August 20: Melissa @ Happy Quilting 

August 27: Jeni @ In Color Order
Miranda @ One Little Minute

September 3: Ellen @ The Long Thread 
Faith @ Fresh Lemons Quilts

September 10: Elizabeth @ Oh, Frannson!
Anne Marie @ Gen X Quilters

September 17 Cheryl @ Dining Room Empire
Jane @ Quilt Jane

September 24: Angela @ Moda Home Mom
September 25: Sara @ Sew Sweetness

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Text me a Song

My very first ever sponsor on this blog was the wonderful Sew Fresh Fabrics, run by Peg and Becca.  Due to a house move, the shop split into two a few months ago with Peg continuing with Sew Fresh Fabrics and Becca starting Sew me a Song, aimed at bringing you the cool kid prints - Japanese, Suzuko Koseki, Yuwa, text prints, contemporary prints.

Becca has been waiting patiently for her stock to start flooding in since going to Quilt Market in May.  As you know I am hopeless at choosing fabrics so relied on Peg and Becca to help me and that's not going to change I'm relieved to say.  I asked Becca to put together a texty bundle for me - creams, pale greys, pale beiges.  And take a look at these wonderful wonderful prints she has chosen.

If you would be interested in Becca making this bundle available in her shop, let me know in a comment on this post.  Alternatively, pop over to her shop and take a look at some of the wonderful bundles she already has waiting for you.

Are you on twitter?

Tonight and every Thursday from 9pm to 10pm, come and join the Fat Quarterly gang for a twitter chat about life, quilting, the universe and everything! Tweet it for us and spread the word.  #fqchat

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Touchdraw - drawing an EPP dresden plate

Touchdraw is a vector graphics app for iPad which I use to design quilts, blog headers, buttons and to draw up templates and quilt assembly diagrams.  I have done previous Touchdraw tutorials which you can find if you put Touchdraw into the search box on the right side bar of my blog.  

Today's Touchdraw tutorial is not about making pretty pictures but about starting with some geometry and ending up with some EPP templates.  Mandy has been making beautiful little mini EPP dresden plates.  Justine asked for some little mini EPP templates for something she was working on.  She wanted to make a mini EPP 12 leaf dresden and Jon from Touchdraw for iPad has come to the rescue to take us through the process step by step.  I use the same technique to draw up all my templates - i.e. draw the outline of the geometric shapes first and then convert those into actual shapes which are then printable as templates.  

1.   Draw a circle.

 2.   Draw one vertical radius.  

3.   Draw three more radiuses or radii if you like a fancy latin plural.  

4.   Select all 4 of the lines you just drew and copy them.  Use the "Group" command to group all of the lines together. Copy the grouped object to the clipboard (but do not paste yet).  Use the function key feature and drag the rotation handle down 15 degrees. With the function key feature enabled, it will rotate the shape in increments of 15 degrees, which is exactly what we want since your target wedge shape has 12 pies in it, each 30 degrees.

 5.   Use the "Ungroup" command to ungroup the 4 lines.  Use the "Paste in Place" command to paste in another group of lines:

6.   Rotate this group 45 degrees.  Ungroup this group of 4 lines.

7.   Use the "Paste in Place" command to paste in another group of lines.  Rotate this group -15 (otherwise known as 345) degrees.  Ungroup this group of 4 lines. You should now have a perfect pie that looks like this.

8.   Now, since TouchDraw has a "snap to line" command which will allow you to snap to the ends or midpoint of a line, you should be able to draw lines to make perfect sized wedges since they will snap to lines we drew in earlier steps. Note: To make sure that the "Snap to Grid" doesn't interfere, you should turn it off temporarily.

 9.   After a drawing a few more lines, we should end up with this.

10.   Select the circle and delete it to give us our final shape:

11.   Now I want to add the little points on top of the wedges.  With the "path" tool, draw a rough triangle above top/center wedge: (Note: It doesn't have to be perfect).

12.  Drag the lower left handle so that it "snaps" to one corner of the wedge.

13.   Drag the other handle to that it "snaps" to the other corner of the wedge.

 14.   Turn "Snap to Grid" back on.  Drag the top handle the position you want it.
15.   Go to the "Settings->Handles" menu and turn the "Center of Rotation" handle to "On".  Drag the "Center of Rotation" handle for that top wedge to the center of the circle.

16.   Copy the top wedge to the clipboard.  Use the "Paste in Place" command to paste the top wedge shape 11 more times. (Note: It should look slightly bold with all of the shapes drawn over each other).

17.   One by one, select one of the copies and use the function key feature to rotate them in increments of 30 degrees.

18.    You should then end up with something like this.

19.   Next add the dresden circle in the middle as a guide for that end of the templates.  

20.   To make templates from a shape like this, tap on the shape drawing icon (which is a pen nib in the left toolbar).  Tap on the corners of the shape you want to make, not worrying too much about being 100% accurate.  Make sure you tap on each corner and then back on the first corner to complete the shape.

21.   You can then zoom right in and move each corner of the shape exactly into place so that a perfect template is created.

22.   Next add a slightly larger circle for your central template.

23.   You can then copy the two template shapes and paste them into a new drawing and duplicate the dresden leaves as needed.  I draw a rectangle about 1" smaller than my printer paper and arrange the shapes within that rectangle which you can then print out and use for a template set.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Fat Quarterly - the London Retreat Issue

The Fat Quarterly London Retreat issue is now on sale for just $5.
  Fat Quarterly Community Retreat Special Issue  
Learn how to make some of the projects that were taught at our London retreat such as all of my union jack pillow - here made by the crazy loon that is Hadley.

My Union Jack cushion - Lynne's class 

Or my Double Circle of Flying Geese pillow - here made by lovely laid-back Leanne.

Double Circle Flying Geese Pillow 

Or my Postcards from Paris Pillow - here made by the uber talented and uber nice-in-person-but-funny-too Kerry.

Or how about a pattern for this wonderful quilt by Tacha.

Sunshine Sparkle 

For these and lots more, go here to buy this bonus issue for just $5.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Calling Sam Jones

Sam Jones who left a comment on my Abakhan Projects post a few days ago.  I have no way of contacting you to let you know your project was chosen so please contact me if you notice this post!  If you do contact me, I need an email address.

Winterkist Designer Challenge - advice please

So over on the Fat Quarterly blog, I am organising a Winterkist Designer Challenge.  What this means is that 10 FQ blog readers have been picked to play with some of Monica Solorio-Snow's upcoming Xmas line for Lecien and make a project to show off on the blog.  If you entered and weren't picked for this Designer Challenge, keep your eyes peeled as I am organising another one soon with another very exciting new fabric line.  So I have been cutting and pressing the fabrics and pretending I work in a shop which I like to do now that I'm a grown up (that'll be six and a half pence please) and I can't decide what to send to our ten designers.  Each person will be getting the equivalent of about eight F8ths but how do I divvy up the 30 different prints between them.  Do I send a random selection of colours and prints?

Or all five prints just in one colour?

Or a selection of prints in two colours?

Or a selection of prints in three colours. 

Or one print in six colours.  

If you were making a small-ish project using about eight F8ths, what would be most appealing or useful to you?

Eternal Maker Fat Quarter Clubs

Well I've mentioned before that I am a bit scared of picking out fabrics so tend to rely on the experts' choices.  With this in mind, I signed up to Eternal Maker's Fat Quarter clubs and this quarter's picks were a lot of fun as usual.  The moda club had these Trade Winds fabrics by Lily Ashbury.  Bright, rich vibrant colours and patterns - think Indian summers and spices imported from India.

The Japanese bundle is pretty much the opposite - subtle prints, muted colours - all Nani Iro prints and all on double gauzes.  These have a lovely soft lineny feel and are much easier to sew with than you would think at first touch.  I use a bit of starch to hold them in place and then they behave just like quilting cottons although with a softer touch.

And then back in your face for the Designer Fat Quarter Club.  Happy Drawing from Cloud Nine Fabrics with wonderful Ed Emberley drawings as well as that scribble fabric which I love.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Stash building

Whenever I'm starting a new project it seems to revolve around a charcoal background and I end up using just Konas (charcoal, black and pepper mostly) and I wanted to broaden my stash a bit to add in some useful black and charcoal blenders too.  So I asked Sew Fresh Fabrics to make me a charcoal and black-with-white or cream blenders stash builder.  I love that Peg will do this for me rather than me having to sweat for hours over a computer screen trying to work out which ones I like best!  And I confess, I'd love that front one as a quilt back one day.