Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Old Glory Quilt

I'm working on an Old Glory Quilt, a Stars and Stripes Quilt just for me because the moment I set my eyes on Indigo Crossing by Minnick and Simpson for Moda, I knew I wanted to make myself a great big squishy quilt to lie under on the sofa and to pretend that I live in pioneer times in the Mid-West with just my buffalo and banjo for company.  I'm not showing the quilt top in all its glory yet because I want to save that for when it's all quilted and ready but here's a sneakity peekity.

And, fresh in from Fat Quarter Shop, here are the backing and binding.  I am a sucker for a cheater print as a backing.  At a glance, it will look like I have spent many hours on both the front and the back.   I figured, if I went to Fat Quarter Shop and typed "Old Glory" into the search box, I'd come up with something suitable for the backing and binding and hey presto, not only were these two perfect BUT they were on special offer too.  Gotta love Fat Quarter Shop.  What you want, when you want it and at a great price.  Wow, I could be a copywriter for bad ads.

But here's a quick question for all of you out there.  When you see projects like this and fabrics like this, do you think - wow, wonderful - or do you think - eww, old fashioned and overly traditional.  I won't be in the least offended either way but I am genuinely curious to know how readers of this blog view these kinds of fabrics and projects.

Fat Quarterly Christmas Edition is out

If you're looking for Christmas quilts, Christmas patterns, Christmas projects, look no further than the latest edition of Fat Quarterly which is now available to buy. Lots of wonderful projects, all for the price of one pattern!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Amitie Stash Bundles

Amitie Textiles in Melbourne stock the coolest and most eclectic mix of fabrics and you can take advantage of that by joining their stash scheme.  This parcel of beauties just arrived in my letter box.

Text prints and European monuments as well as some Field Study, some Liberty and some of my favourite current line, Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  They were so irresistible that I instantly made them into one more of my lozenge blocks.  I now have 16 lozenge blocks and am working towards 25.  I love EPP and these blocks are enjoyably mindless.  You can find a link to the templates in this post here if you're interested in trying them out.

And here is my Touchdraw picture of where I'm going with this one.  I'm thinking it might end up being called The Sashiko EPP Quilt because it looks kind of sashiko-ey to me.  My younger daughter Amy thinks it should be called the Hugs and Kisses Quilt.  Or can you come up with a better name?  Funny and rude names will of course also appeal to me.

Monday, 29 October 2012


Well look when I received in the mail today all the way from my friend Quilt Jane in Australia.  Only the most Britishest of pillows.  EPP buses and soldiers, union jacks, red, white and blue and amazing quilting.  I do not know what I did to deserve this wonderful gift but thank you Jane.  I LOVE IT!!!

An Oakshott winner

As I mentioned this time last week, Oakshott shot cottons have arrived in Canada at Hyggeligt Fabrics of London, Ontario.  And it is time to announce the winner of the kit for my Modern Blocks Oakshott Ruby shot cottons table runner.    
And the winner was picked by Random Number Generator:

And is:
Who, I am excited to say, is a friend of this blog and of Fat Quarterly.  In fact, her icon is something she made from a design she drew up in one of the shape design workshops at the retreat last summer.  I do love it when Mr Random picks someone we know.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Simply Fat Quarters by Fat Quarter Shop

This morning it landed on my doorstep.  The book I was waiting for and knew I would love.  Simply Fat Quarters by the gang at Fat Quarter Shop. Ten quilt patterns designed to be made with FQs plus yardage.

A mix of modern and traditional fabrics but each could quilt be made with either.  Each one is calculated for four sizes: crib, lap, twin and king.  

Clear, simple assembly diagrams and none of those weird pictures where you see hands doing stuff.  I'm not so keen on the books where hands do stuff.  I'm more of a diagrams girl.  Maybe because I have ugly hands and, if I wrote a book, I'd need a hand model. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Flickr Picks

Once again I've picked a few Flickr favourites this week to share.  You can click through to the original pictures further down the post if you want to see the original, bigger pictures and I've written a little bit more about why I picked each one. 

This week's favourites on Flickr

1. 100_2007: This is a picture of Penny Sewtakeahike welling up on opening a quilt made for her by a group of us and orchestrated by Kerry Very Kerry Berry.  Penny has had a miserable year and the quilt was made to bring a smile to her face.  We each made a couple of Quilt-As-You-Go blocks using the method Penny herself made a series of tutorials about.

2. Lipari Oakshott Wheel of Fortune.  Since two of my favourite things are Oakshott shot cottons and pointy paper piecing, how could I not love this beautiful pointy spiky thing made by Nicolette Dutch Comfort.  It looks to me a bit like some kind of a steampunk underwater spying device.

3. Mini Greenfield Hill quilt.  This mini quilt made by Audrie from Blue is Bleu has been around for a few weeks but stops me in my tracks each time I see it.  Mini perfection.

4. The Traveling Quilts for Heather.  I love everything about this quilt top so far.  It's a travelling quilt so at each stop, someone adds more to the top.  I love that it is based on one of my all time fabric lines, Miscellany by Julia Rothmann.  I love that fish (which I think was added by Jacquie Tallgrass Prairie Studio and I love the bang of Oakshotts Faith Fresh Lemons added onto the side.

5. Patchwork Bag for Kerry.  A little bag made by Ayumi Pink Penguin for Kery Very Berry Kerry.  Absolutely perfection because everything Ayumi makes is absolutely perfection.

6. Headliner Text Quilt.  Well what can I say.  Rita made it.  That's all I need to say.  One day she will make something I don't like.  I suppose.

7. rainbow plus quilt.  This is an Ashley Film in the Fridge quilt.  I love the simplicity of the plus shapes mixed with the white space.

8. The Taming of the Scraps.  There is likely to be a Linda Rotz Miller quilt in this mosaic every Friday or at least most Fridays.  Linda is a one-off and if you don't follow her on Flickr, you should.  She's funny, fun, kind, friendly and always keeps me entertained with her endless imagination.  If you're looking for new ideas for placement, colour mixing, use of value, border treatments, Linda's photostream is the place to start.  She tends to make 2-3 quilt tops per week so there's always something new to look at.  And she is absolutely fearless in her fabric choices.  If it's got cows on it, the empire state building, ducks on a lake or witches on broomsticks, Linda will find it in the back corner of the shop, the corner where no-one else dares to go and make something amazing from it.  

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Stash Building

Time for some stash building?  Do you have a perfectly balanced stash?  Or do you need to add more of this colour or that colour?  Well Alice from Backstitch has come to the rescue with her 13 new tonal cocktail bundles.  Lots of different bundles to fill those awkward gaps in your stash.



Aurifil for Dummies

I often get asked which Aurifil thread people should be buying so I thought I'd do a quick run through of which weight of thread is which and what each thread is best suited for.  Rule no. 1 is the higher the thread number, the thinner the thread.  Rule no. 2 is grab yourself a colour card if you can as each weight of thread comes in each one of Aurifil's 252 colours so you can always find the weight you need in the colour you want.  

Aurifil 50wt is the finest (thinnest) of the threads and so is perfect for machine and hand piecing.  It can also be used for quilting where you want the threads to melt into the background.  It comes on an orange spool.  You will find you can piece much more accurately with this thread than with other threads. 

Aurifil 40wt is slightly heavier.  It can also be used for machine and hand piecing but you will get better precision and the thread will glide more easily through the fabric with the 50wt when hand piecing.  This is a great machine quilting thread where you want a bit more definition.  It comes on a green spool. 

Aurifil 28wt is ideal for machine quilting and should be used when you want the quilting to do the talking.  It comes on a grey spool.

Aurifil 12 wt comes in both cotton and wool and is great for hand quilting and embroidery. It will run through the machine if needed too.  Both the cotton and the wool 12 wt come on red spools.  

Any questions, fire away!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Made with Oakshott

Would you like to make something with Oakshott shot cottons?  Well I am super excited to announce a brand new monthly feature on the blog which will give you that chance.  As well of course as a button to celebrate.
Lily's Quilts
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Lily's Quilts"><img src="" alt="Lily's Quilts" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Each month, Michael Oakshott and I will choose an Oakshott shot cottons bundle and challenge you to come up with some kind of wonderful idea of what you would make with it.  This month, we've chosen the Oakshott Rubies F8 bundle.  12 F8s all shot with red.

To be in with a chance of playing with these beautiful fabrics, here's what you need to do:
  • Leave a comment letting me know what you would make with the Rubies FQ bundle.  You can mix them with other fabrics or use just the Rubies in the project.  As you wish. 
  • You can make something big, small, quilted, not quilted, useful, decorative.  It's up to you.  
  • After a few days, we will pick our favourite project suggestion and that person will be sent an F8 pack of Oakshott Rubies.  
  • All we ask of you is that you write a guest post for this blog containing photos of the finished item and a tutorial showing us how you made it, ideally within one month of receipt of the Oakshotts.  
And if you don't get picked this month, don't worry, there will be another great bundle on offer next month so stay tuned for a new chance each month.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Sewing World is out

November's issue of Sewing World is now in the shops.  I have a Cherry Christmas table runner using Aneela Hoey's Xmas line for Moda.

And Jenna Sew Happy Geek has this wonderful Cross My Heart Quilt using Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda.

Which also features on the front cover.  Go Jenna!

An Oakshott Giveaway

Oakshott shot cottons have arrived in Canada, I am excited to announce.  They are now being stocked by Hyggeligt Fabrics of London, Ontario.  Hyggeligt also stock many Liberty lawns and Kaffe Fassett fabrics - the kind of shop I would like to have at the end of my road.   (For Canadians, Chantal is currently offering free shipping on all full price products excluding books).

Chantal from Hyggeligt has very kindly offered to give away the kit for my Modern Blocks Oakshott Ruby shot cottons table runner.  You will win a F8 pack of Oakshott rubies together with the pattern to make the table runner top which you can see below.  Of course you are free to make whatever you like with the Rubies!  

To win just leave one simple comment and let me know what you have planned for Halloween.  And PLEASE, make sure your blogger profile is linked to your email or I cannot contact you if you win.  If you are unsure, leave your email in the comment spaced out like this lilysquilts @ gmail . com so Blogger doesn't spam you out of your chance to win. 

And the winner is ...

And the winner of the Simpatico bundle from Contemporary Cloth...

Simpatico Cloud 9 Fabrics 

Was picked by Mr Random...

And is:

Congratulations Nati, I will be in touch to arrange to get your shipping address to Sondra!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Time for a Christmas Quilt?

Are you ready to start some Christmas sewing?  Well in just over ten days the Fat Quarterly Holiday issue comes out.  There are lots of Christmas projects in there including this Snowball quilt I made using Monica Solorio-Snow's Winterkist line for Lecien which was made as a wedding present for my twin daughters' wonderful school teacher when she got married this summer.  No young family is complete without a Christmas quilt, are they?!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A Christmas Pillow

It's still October and already I've made my parents a Christmas pillow.  It's a tradition in my family that my sisters and I compete for the best Christmas card sent to my parents and last year I upped the ante by sending a Christmas pillow instead.  And I've decided to do the same again this year with this Stars and Baubles Christmas Pillow.

The pillow is made using Oakshott Lipari shot cottons which are shot with black and so have lovely rich jewel tones, perfect for Christmas projects.  I've mixed them with a few regular quilting cottons because the mix of Oakshotts and quilting cottons gives extra depth because of the contrasting textures.  I foundation paper pieced the stars and a pattern will be following for this pillow for anyone who wants to have a go.

I used the Sizzix 1" circles die to make light work of cutting 32 perfect circles which were fused on with Steam-a-Seam.  Credit where credit is due, the idea for the circles around the stars was taken from the dresden quilt Katy I'm a Ginger Monkey made for the Modern Quilts book.  You can see it on the right hand side of the book cover and you can see that she added circles around her dresdens and I thought I'd do the same to the stars in this pillow.  Have you started on any Christmas projects this year?  And is this year going to be the year of handmade gifts in your house?

Add a little sparkle to your holiday projects

I am now planning a few Christmas projects.  And I like a little bit of extra sparkle, depth and shine in those.

These are the Oakshott Cosmos Silks and I'm thinking they're the perfect fabric to add a bit of sparkle to holiday makes.  The FQ bundle features XL FQs at about 19 1/2" x 25 1/2" each. The FQ pack comes in eleven colours ranging from a deep berry to a soft silky cream.

These silks have a kind of gentle, muted shine and I'm thinking they'd pair well with low value neutrals like vintage postcard or text prints.

I haven't cooked up a plan for these yet so, if you have any ideas, let me know what you'd make with them!

Abakhan at Halloween

Hi, I’m Fiona and I blog at Celtic Thistle Stitches. I was delighted when Lynne told me that she had picked my entry for the Halloween Abakhan Fabrics Project on a Budget. I am lucky enough to have an Abakhan store at the end of my road here in Latvia, so to be given the opportunity to spend the equivalent of £20 there for free was doubly delightful. The shop is a real treasure trove and one I never leave empty-handed! My thanks to Will and Kristin at Abakhan for making all the arrangements that enabled me to spend the voucher in store in Latvia, and to Lynne for hosting this post.

My suggestion for the Halloween project was Halloween Bunting. It is a quick and easy project to do and one that the family can get involved in too by drawing or tracing the Halloween shapes and letters and making the spider webs with fabric paint.

Hanging Bunting

For your Halloween Bunting you will need:

Bunting materials

1m black cotton fabric  (you will have enough to make more than the 11 flags if you wish to)
0.25m orange cotton sheeting 
6m Orange/ Black Spider Pattern ribbon (you will have enough to make longer bunting if you wish to)
2 squares black felt
2 squares white felt
Glow in the Dark fabric paint – lime green and orange
Black and Fluorescent Effects embroidery floss  
Double-sided fusible web
All of the above were purchased in store and are available online from Abakhan apart from the Fluorescent effect embroidery floss which I already had.
Cut 4 orange 3” hexagons and 18 black 3” hexagons.

Cut 3 inch hexagons

I used an Easy Hexagon ruler to measure and cut out the hexagons, but you can make your own template by drawing a 6” line and with a compass draw three 3” circles along the line centring them on each end of the line and the mid-point. Draw lines between the points where the circles intersect to make your hexagon. Don’t forget to add a 0.25” seam allowance when cutting out the fabric.

Making the flags
Pin wrong sides together the 4 orange hexagons to 4 black hexagons and repeat with the remaining 14 black hexagons in pairs leaving the one edge on every hexagon unpinned. Stitch the pinned sides with a 0.25” seam, starting and stopping 0.25” from the open edge. Clip the corners and turn each hexagon pair right side out through the open side. Use a pencil or similar to push out the points of the hexagons. Turn under 0.25” on the open top edges and topstitch to close the hexagon. Press. You will now have 7 black and 4 black/orange hexagon flags.

Hexagon flags plain

Adding the motifs
Draw/trace one B, two O’s, two ghosts, two bats and two witches hats onto the fusible web. Templates for the letters are available here .I drew the ghosts, bats and hats freehand but this site also has stencils available for these too. Roughly cut out the letters and ghosts and iron to the reverse of the white felt squares. Repeat for the bats and witches hats with the black felt. Cut out the shapes on the outlines. Position the white felt B centrally on the front of a black hexagon pair. Remove the paper backing when you are happy with the position and iron to fuse. Outline the letter with a hand blanket stitch using the fluorescent embroidery thread. Repeat for the remaining letters and ghosts.

Blanket stitch ghosts

Fuse the black hats and bats to the orange hexagon flags and machine blanket stitch with black thread.

  Appliqued bat

Using the green fabric paint mark two eyes on each bat and use the orange fabric paint to mark a band on the witches hats. With the black embroidery thread stitch French knots for the eyes of the ghosts.

Fabric paint

On the remaining two black hexagon flags mark out with chalk or an erasable marker spider’s webs and outline with the fabric paint or stitch with a running stitch with the fluorescent thread. If you are using fabric paint you will need to let the spiders webs dry before going on to the next step.

Attaching the ribbon
Turn under 0.25” twice at the end of the ribbon and then turn this under 1” Pin and stitch to hem the ribbon and make a loop for hanging. Measure 20” from the stitched end of the ribbon. Stitch the top edge of a bat hexagon flag with a 0.25” seam to the bottom edge of the ribbon. Measure 6” from the widest point of the bat hexagon flag and repeat the stitching with a spider’s web hexagon flag. Repeat with these measurements alternating the hexagon flags in the following order from the beginning bat, web, ghost, hat, B, O, O, bat, ghost, web, hat.

Hanging Bunting

Hang the bunting and wait for darkness to fall! 
I would love to see what you do with this bunting so pop by Celtic Thistle Stitches and let me know what you have made. The theme for this month's Project on a Budget is "Winter Warmers", I am looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!