Sunday, 30 September 2012

Quilt Math 1 2 3

Do you like quilt math?  Do you spend happy hours calculating yardage for sashings, backings and bindings?  Or do you find it all a bit baffling?  Well I thought I would guage interest for a little mini series of blogposts on quilt math.
 If you'd be interested in a few little quilt math tutorials - nice and simple to start with and perhaps heading towards a little bit of geometry towards the end - leave me a comment on this post and, if there is sufficient interest, I'll get my A*** in G*** and get writing.  And we might even have a little Quilt Math button to help us along the way.  And please let me know what areas of quilt math you'd like covered. 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Handmade Gifts for me

Yesterday, the ladies of the Kitchen Guild bestowed handmade gifts on me for my birthday next week and I was quite overcome.  Firstly I opened this pillow from Laura Needles Pins and Baking Tins, possibly the loveliest person in quiltblogland and also my real life friend. As well as having "Jeepers" written on it, which I confess I say THE WHOLE TIME, every piece of fabric has been hand picked - there are many of my favourites there as well as some funny prints too including one which says "HAWAII VOTED INTO UNION AS 50th STATE".  The reason for that being on there is that Laura thinks I am a hilarious dunce for believing, until relatively recently that the reason the show is called "Hawaii 50" was that someone picked up the phone and said "Hawaii 5-0" into the received as we used to do growing up.  The convention in the olden days was to lift the receiver and state the name of your town followed by your telephone number in a BBC voice: "Carstairs 2-4-6-8" for example.

Next I opened a gift bag from my real life actual bestie Mandy made with love by mandy and nearly fell off my chair.  She gave me a mug with the logo on it which I had designed the afternoon before.  WHAAAAAAAAAT???  I am still not sure how she achieved this but I am now assuming she's a wizard or some such mythical being.  And then, because she is mad as a bag of spanners, she took it upon herself to HAND PIECE a paper pieced union jack.  Is that not the cutest mug rug EVER and actually I won't use it as a mug rug because I couldn't bear for it to get stained.

Next up were some snazzy coat hangers from Brioni Flossy Blossy who has been nagging me forever to hang the mini quilts in my kitchen from decent coat hangers rather than cheap plastic department store ones.  

Followed by a beautiful scarf.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am always cold and always wear a scarf, even indoors and now I have this gorgeous one to wear although you have to take it off when you empty the dishwasher or it dips in the wet puddle (I should imagine...).  This item was rendered more useful by the theft, by Justine's daughter Holly or the scarf I had been wearing.  However since Holly is now my new all time favourite child of all time except perhaps my kids and my neices and nephews, she was instantly forgiven.  

And of course, Justine of Simply Solids was somewhat forced into giving me solids for my birthday since I texted her, somewhat rudely, and asked if she would mind.  I've been desperate to get my hands on some Kona Glacier and the cream Essex Linen which looks like Kona snow only with a bit more depth and texture.  

Thank you to my lovely friends for all these beauties.  And what about you, do you like to give and receive handmade gifts?

Moda Pre-Cuts Sale

Moda Pre Cut Sale at Simply Solids.

15% off jelly rolls and charm packs.

Get your Sew Stitchy, Oh Deer, Summersville and Athill Pre-Cuts while stocks last.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Give yourself a blog makeover

I thought it was about time to give myself a blog makeover.  I love the Blogger dynamic views but there doesn't seem to be a sidebar for blog buttons and I'd miss that.  So I've stuck with one of the "Simple" Blogger templates and played around with it a bit to change up the fonts and tab colours.

If you want to play around with your blog templates, you need to go to "Design", top right hand corner of your blogscreen, click on "Templates", then "Custom" and then "Advanced" where you can change fonts and colour schemes.  I drew the "Lily's Quilts" circle on Touchdraw for iPad. 
Whether I'll love that forever or be bored again within a few weeks, who knows.  I'd love your feedback on the whole look if you have a moment to stop and take a look.  And I'd much prefer honest feedback to kind feedback!

Fabric Giveaway

I love a fabric giveaway and today we have a Backstitch, Momo Oh Deer, FQ bundle fabric giveaway.  Beautiful palette - fab blenders.  I love this line.

So it's a nine FQ giveaway, open to all of Europe (including of course the UK) but not outside Europe this time.  To enter:

1.   One comment with the phrase "oh deer" in it.  Such as "oh deer, I just went to the physiotherapist wearing a pair of pants with a hole in and had to undress and wish I'd worn better pants" which actually happened to me today.

2.   One comment: click to follow the Backstitch blog and let me know that you have.

3.   One comment: subscribe to the Backstitch newsletter and let me know that you have.

4.   One comment for spreading the word (tweet, fb, G+, blog etc).

Dear Husband ...

Here is a little blogpost for my husband.  It is my birthday next week and I never like anyone to be underprepared for this occasion.  I know my DH has already been pottering about on Amazon but I thought I would point him in the direction of a lovely place to take the kids at the weekend so they can all choose a little (or medium, large whatever) gift for me.  Vintage Bluebird is a gift shop in my local town and, although the words "gift shop" usually leave me running for the hills, this one is a little treasure.  There is pretty much nothing in there I wouldn't want for my birthday, Christmas, wedding anniversary, valentines day, mother's day etc.

I can already picture myself pouring tea for the Kitchen Guild from one of these little beauties.

Or chatting to very important people on this telephone perhaps with a G&T in my hand. 

Or sipping a nice cup of Darjeeling out of this little cup whilst watching my husband empty the dishwasher...

Or reclining against one of these cushions whilst painting my nails. 

If it was your birthday next week, what would you be asking / hoping for?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

About Contemporary Cloth


 Contemporary Cloth is another one of those hidden gem shops focussing on all the prints and fabrics  modern quilters are desperate to get their hands on including hard-to-find Yuwa Kei Japanese Fabrics

a variety of solids, including Art Gallery Pure Elements 

and a whole variety of original textiles created by fiber artists such as Els Van Barrle,

as well as some wild Alexander Henry prints and much much more.  

 For more information, you can sign up for their Weekly Newsletter, follow their Blog, follow them on  Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest or of course take a browse around the shop.  Contemporary Cloth are currently offering my readers, and Fat Quarterly blog readers, a 20% discount off anything in store using code "FQ".  Let me know if you find anything you just can't resist!

Union Jack Quilt Blocks Galore

Union Jack Quilt Blocks are appearing in my Flickr group.  For those of you who missed the Union Jack Quilt a long, the free union jack quilt pattern and instructions for these blocks and the quilt start at this post here.

sept2012-4 072

When I host a QAL or post a block template of some kind of tutorial, it gives me so much pleasure to see pictures appearing in my Flickr group of the quilts and blocks being made by other people.

sept2012-5 034

Here is a sample of those from the recently finished Jack Attack series of posts.

Jack Attack 2/3 done

To find out who made any of these blocks and flags, click onto the picture which will take you through to the Flickr photo.

Jack Attack Flag 2

We don't as yet have any finished quilts or quilt tops I don't think but I am hoping to see some pretty soon.

Jack Attack Flag 1

As always, I'd love to know if you've had a go at making anything from my tutorials, QALs or templates or have any plans to do so some time soon.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pick three at Quilt Me Happy

So here are my current three picks at Quiltmehappy.  These beautiful Christmas prints from the Val Pillow and Anne Maxfield Christmas line have just arrived in store and could just as well be used in non Christmas projects. 

 Tracey's also got some of the beautiful Essex linens back in stock including BlackFlax and Natural.

Black Yarn Dyed LinenFlax Yarn Dyed LinenEssex Natural Linen

 And finally, as a fan of all pretty haberdashery, take a look at these beautiful grosgrain ribbons from Berties Bows.
Quilted With Love Ribbons

Time to Make a Stars and Stripes Quilt

I think I'm going to make a Stars and Stripes Quilt.  I've made so many Union Jack quilts that it's not even funny any more.  I love the Union Jack and I love the Stars and Stripes.  Two iconic designs.

For those of you who only ever buy uber modern fabrics, this stack may come as a bit of a shock to the system.  Indigo Crossing Prints and Wovens by Minnick and Simpson for Moda.  You see in my dreams, I live in an old American house out in the midwest with bearskins on the floor, a roaring fire in the range, someone playing the banjo in the background and old quilts slung over the backs of enormous old sofas.  And, in my mind, this old stars and stripes quilt, made of indigos, creams and beige prints and wovens will fit right on into my imaginary home.

So tell me, what is your imaginary home like and what kind of quilts fit right on in there?!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Chicopee at The Village Haberdashery

Annie at The Village Haberdashery has just emailed me to let me know that the full collection of Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt for FreeSpirit. Annie has a build-a-bundle service for easy ordering and charm packs if you just want a taster of all the prints.  The Relish colourway has 14 prints and can be found here here.

The Push Pop colourway has 12 prints and can be found here.


Annie has also got three prints from the Chicopee Corduroy collection in stock.   And though I'm not the best dressmaker in the world, I am sorely tempted to make myself a little skirt in that bias plaid on the left.  


Sunday, 23 September 2012

An Oakshott autumn table runner

One of my favourite Oakshott F8th packs is called Autumn so, when Sewing World magazine asked me to make an autumn table runner, I decided to pair a pack of Autumn with Oakshott Red Diamond to make a zig zag table runner.

And, woohoo, on Friday a copy of the magazine came in the post.  If you haven't tried Sewing World before, it's worth a look.  It's packed with all sorts of sewing projects including clothes, quilting projects, bags, curtains etc.   I'm not going to lie.  I do get a colossal kick out of seeing something I've made in a real life magazine!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

And the fabric giveaway winner is ...

Last week I announced that my friend Justine from Sew Justine Sew had bought the online fabric shop specialising in solids from my friend Mandy Made with Love by Mandy.  We asked for your suggestions for Justine as to what you would like her to stock and what makes a really good online fabric shop.  Well changes are already underfoot.  The website has been given a makeover, new stock has been ordered and you need to keep an eye on Simply Solids over the next few weeks and months to see what new stock and new ideas Justine will be bringing in.

But we had to pick one winner for the best comment on the post and that was:

Congratulations Charlotte.  I will be getting in touch to find out which layer cake or jelly roll you would like to win from Simply Solids - if you wait until Monday to make your choice, new stock will be coming into the shop!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Wanna grab the Simply Solids button?

The brand spanking and sparkly new website of Simply Solids has just gone live and you need to take a look.

And to support Justine in her new venture, how about you grab her button and add it to your sidebar.  She will be eternally grateful!

Simply Solids
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Simply Solids"><img src="" alt="Simply Solids" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

... save the date ... #fqlondon2013

save the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date the date ... save the date ... save the date ... save the date ...

The weekend will run from 2pm Friday 19 July to midday Sunday 21 July 2013.  Tickets will go on sale at midday UK time on Saturday 6 October.  NB: activities in London may be organised for the Friday morning and/or the Sunday afternoon so anyone booking plane / train tickets should take that into account. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Jack Attack IV - Sashing

So this is the fourth and final instalment of the Jack Attack quiltalong.  We are going to sash the A and B blocks, assemble into flags and then sash the whole thing into a quilt top.  Again, please feel free to go at your own pace.  The starter post for this quilt a long can be found here and that links to all the subsequent posts.  My Jack Attack is now finished.

Rock n Romance Jack Attack done!

Sashing the A and B blocks

1.   For each flag, cut three 1" WOF strips of white fabric and join end to end.  

NB: when I design quilts, I aim for fabric requirements to be in FQs, half yards, yards etc.  If you have bought 2 1/2 yds of sashing fabric, you will need to cut these WOF strips at 1" to finish at 1/2" around the edges of the A and B blocks.  Since I had spare yardage, I cut mine at 1 1/2" to finish at 1" which is why mine will look slightly wider than yours.  Either of these options works fine. 

2.   Lay out the A and B block for one flag on a table / floor making sure you have them all orientated in the right direction (see diagram below).  

3.   You will add the 1" white sashing to two sides of each A and each B block - the sides that sit on the inside of the flag, as you can see in the picture above.  Press and trim.

Assembling the flag

1.   Cut two 4 1/2" wide WOF strips of the pink fabric (yours may not be pink but it is pink in my diagrams).  Sew them end to end to make one long strip.

2.   Sash the top of one B block and the bottom of the other (see diagram above to see how the A and B blocks go together.  Press and trim.

3.   Join each of those pieces to the corresponding A blocks, press and trim.

4.   Sew the remaining length of pink fabric to one side of the flag, press and trim.

5.   Sew the other side of the flag to the pink strip to finish the flag.

Final sashing

1.   Cut ten 3 1/2" WOF strips of the remaining sashing fabric and sew end to end to make one long strip.

2.   Sew strips to the top of each flag and to the bottom of the flag that will sit at the bottom of your quilt.  Press and trim.  Sew the three flags together and press.

3.   Add sashing strips to the two sides of the quilt top, press and trim.

4.   Quilt as desired and bind.

And voila, you have your Jack Attack quilt.  As always, please let me know if you are getting stuck with anything, seams aren't lining up or the instructions are not quite clear.  Please continue to upload pictures of fabric choices, A and B blocks, finished flags, finished quilt tops and finished quilts to my Flickr group.  And of course don't feel rushed - just take your time with making this quilt and don't feel the need to keep up with the posts as they're scheduled!