Thursday, 31 January 2013

Abakhan Projects on a Budget

In this economic climate, we are all thinking about what we can and cannot afford to make, what fabrics we can and cannot buy, what notions etc.  Well how about coming up with some ideas for projects on a budget?  THIS FEATURE IS NOW OPEN WORLDWIDE.  Here's the idea.  You head on over to Abakhan Fabrics and pick out £20 worth of anything that takes your eye.  We send it to you free, you make, photograph and write a tutorial to go on my blog.

So here's what you need to do:

1.   You can now be anywhere in the world to participate in this challenge!
2.   Leave a comment on this post telling me what you would like to make using £20 worth of anything from Abakhan.
3.   In a few days from today, I will choose a winner who will have one month to choose their booty from Abakhan, make something and write a tutorial.
4.   Don't be disheartened if I do not pick your idea this month, there are always other months.
6.   The item can be anything at all - clothing, quilted or non quilted items - anything crafty at all really.
7.   Be as original, as traditional, as creative or as simple as you like.
8.   And this month's theme is Valentine's Day of course!

And, if you're on Pinterest, why not follow Abakhan on Pinterest and take part in this Abakhan Pinterest competition which launches tomorrow?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Fat Quarterly - Pre-Cuts Issue

In a day or two the new issue of the online modern quilting magazine, Fat Quarterly, will be hitting the e-news-stands.  This issue is all about my favourite way of buying fabric - pre-cuts.  Quilts and projects from layer cakes, jelly rolls, charm packs, F8 packs.  Yes, pre-cuts galore.  My project in this issue is this quilt I called Diamonds Are Forever.  It's a dead simple, quick and easy layer cake quilt and was made for my long suffering Welsh husband who felt aggrieved that everyone but him seemed to have a quilt.

There are lots of other great projects in there including this Lucky Penny quilt by Brioni:

Breaking Glass Quilt

And this Architextures pillow also by Brioni:

Bullseye Cushion

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Sponsor News

First of all I want to mention to you a Canadian shop, Hyggeligt Fabrics in London, Ontario,  which I wish was on my doorstep.  As well as stocking all sorts of Westminster fabrics such as Kaffe Fassett, Denise Schmidt and Amy Butler, they also stock Oakshott shot cottons:

And beautiful Liberty lawns:

and they currently have Anna Maria Horner velveteens and voiles at HALF PRICE.  Ssh don't tell Katy or she'll get there first and buy them all up.

The Fat Quarter Shop has just announced its sixth annual Designer Mystery Block of the Month.  This year's quilt is going to be a row quilt filled with basket blocks, star blocks, house blocks and flower blocks.  The quilt will be made from the beautiful new collection from Fig Tree Quilts for Moda, Avalon.  Each of the 12 blocks finishes at 12" and will be an easy to intermediate (no templates, applique or paper piecing). The program is from June 2013 to May 2014. This club ships around the 10th of every month. As a member of the 2013 Designer Mystery BOM, you will also receive a bonus 2.5" mini charm pack of the Avalon collection with your first block.

And as well as having a BIG SALE going on right now, Backstitch have just got fabrics from the new Lizzy House line, Constellations which include some fabulous star prints:

As well as some more of her ever popular pearl bracelets:

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Sew Red Blog Hop

Today it's my turn on the Sew Red Blog Hop organised by Leah from Burgundy Buttons.  Each month, Sew Red for Women has featured an original 12" quilt block, all to raise awareness about heart disease.  Head on over to the Sew Red for Women Blog and you can find links to all the previous year's block tutorials there waiting for you.

Today's block is a 12" finished heart block.  You can find the heart template here.  All you need is eight 6 1/2" squares of fabric - four for the background and four for the hearts and you make the block as follows:

1.     Trace the heart onto four 6" squares of fusible web and fuse the four heart fabric squares to the web following manufacturer's instructions.
2.     Cut the four hearts out and fuse to four background squares aligning the central line of the hearts with the diagonal line on the background squares.
3.      Sew around the edge of the hearts using the stitch of your choice - straight line, zig zag or blanket stitch are all options.
4.     Sew the 4 squares together to make your completed heart block.

The Sew Red blog hop blocks have been designed using fabrics from Chemistry by Cosmo Cricket and coordinating Bella Solids.  Burgundy Buttons have block-specific fabric packs for purchase while supplies last.

And, if you make any of the blocks in the blog hop, please add them to the Flickr group here!  Here's another one of the same block made in my own fabrics.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Siblings Together 2013

After the rip roaring success of our campaign to donate quilts to kids separated by the care system from their siblings, I am launching the 2013 campaign a little earlier on in the year.  For those of you who missed it last year, Siblings Together is a charity which organises summer camps as well as weekend activities aimed at bringing together groups of siblings who have been separated by the care system.  Here is the post that kicked it all off last year.
Somewhere around 70-80 quilts were donated last year.  Delma took them to the summer camp.  As the week went on, the care workers looked at the quilts and made decisions as to which quilt suited which kid or kids.  The quilts were given out at the end of the camps and - this is the bit that broke my heart - it took a lot of persuading to persuade those kids that the quilts were theirs to keep.

Quilts for Siblings Together

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And so we're starting again.  A whole new pile of quilts.  A whole new batch of kids.  I've already bought these gorgeous prints from Annie at Village Haberdashery when I went down to London for the launch weekend of her bricks and mortar shop.

I'm thinking of a pair of quilts, maybe even three - so a set of siblings could have matching quilts.  I'm going to mix the prints with a whole load of solids and do a dead simple square within a square style quilt.  Kind of an I-spy quilt.  I've designed it to be nice and simple to make.  And I've planned it so it only needs 4yds of backing fabric.  So I'm going to be stalking the Fat Quarter Shop sales for dead cheap backing yardage that suits the fabrics I already have.

Would you join me? Would you get involved? I have created a Flickr group where we can see what we can come up with. Please leave comments on this post letting me know if you would like to get involved in any way at all and hop on over to the Flickr group, join up and see what we can do.

How can you get involved?  Donate a quilt you've made which hasn't been used and which you think a kid might love.  Make a quilt to donate.  Make a pair or a trio of quilts to donate.  Get a group of quilters together to make blocks for a quilt or quilts.  Offer some of your stash for someone else to make a quilt.  Offer your quilting services.  If you're a shop, maybe offer to provide the backing for one or two quilts.  Spread the word, grab the button and share it on your blog.  And head on over to the Flickr group where all the information awaits you from last year's quilt drive.  And thank you!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Sponsor News

Stock is arriving fast at Sew Fresh Fabrics including Novella by Valori Wells:

Timber and Leaf by Sarah Watts:

Salt Water by Tula Pink:

And Les Amis by Patty Sloniger:

At Sew Me A Song, Architextures is now in:

As well as Art Gallery Pure Elements Solids:

And news from Rainbow Disks, who publish craft books on disc and e-books, their books are now available for instant download at  There are ebooks from quilters Katharine Guerrier, Annette Morgan, Angela Madden, Mary Jenkins, and Madeleine Millington.  To celebrate the launch of, they are offering a special New Year Discount of 13% off any eboooks, providing you spend £20 minimum.  Just enter promotional coupon VB132013 at Checkout to get the discount. Offer ends 1 Feb.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Fires in Tasmania

Jess from The Elven Garden has asked me to share this post with you.  As some of you may be aware, my home state of Tasmania has been devastated by some huge bushfires in the last week. Many, many homes have been completely destroyed and families have lost everything. The latest report is that about 200 homes have been either destroyed or severely damaged in the bushfires.  According to the Tasmanian Government, the best way to help is to donate money at either

St Vincent de Paul - 131 812 or, or

Red Cross - 1800 811 700 or

If you're local, donations of the following are being accepted:
  • Toilet packs
  • Essential new clothing
  • Necessities for children and babies
  • Batteries (including 9V)
  • Torches
  • Lanterns
  • First Aid supplies
  • Sunscreen
  • Aeroguard
  • Blankets and bedding
My heart goes out to all the people and families affected by the fires. What I've decided to do is ask for donations of baby's and kids quilts to pass on to the families who have lost so much in the fires. If you can help out with this, please let me know and I'll give you details of where to send them.  If you have quilt tops that just need backing and quilting, I'd be happy to accept these too and quilt them up myself to give to the families who've been affected.

UPDATE: There is a register being set up of children who have been affected by the fires - all the donated quilts will be matched to a recipient via the register (based on gender and age), and delivered directly to the families in need. This will be an ongoing effort, so there is not really an accurate time frame I can give.

There is also a handmade auction being hosted by The Handmade Library - if you are interested in donating anything for the auction, you can find the Facebook group here.

Thanks so much,

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Sew it with Aurifil

Those of you who read this blog will know that I sew with Aurifil.  I piece with 50wt and quilt with 50wt, 40wt and 28wt.  If I was an embroiderer or hand quilter, I would quilt with 12 wt.  

And now here's your chance to sew with Aurifil.  Each month Aurifil will be offering one of you the chance to try out one of their 12 spool thread sets and let us know how you get on.  This month the set we are offering is the Bari J Slendour 1920 collection created to complement her beautiful Slendour 1920 fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics.

The collection contains twelve 12wt spools.  12wt is hand quilting or embroidery weight thread but it can run through the machine if you pick a bigger needle.

To be in with a chance of playing with these beautiful threads, here's what you need to do:
  • Leave a comment letting me know what you would make using the Splendour 1920 Aurifil Designer Collection.  
  • 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 the thread collection.  
  • 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 threads.  
And if you don't get picked this month, don't worry, there will be another Designer Collection on offer next month so stay tuned.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Sponsor News at M is for Make


Loads of new fabric has arrived at M is for make over the festive season. First up cool typography prints by Julia Rothman in the 'Type' collection.

Muted colours and cool graphic prints on the organic 'Camp Modern' collection by Birch fabrics.

Next are these shot cottons from Kaffe Fassett.

Also in, the cute 'Handle with Care' by Suzy Ultman.

And finally,  just arrived are these lovely voile 2 prints from Anna Maria Horner's Field Study. Soft, drapey, extra wide and perfect for dressmaking.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Amitie Textiles

I've done one of Amitie's BOMs before and the pattern was the same.  First month easy peasy, next month easy-ish.  Third month not so bad and so on.  And there's always a month where BAM, they send you a whole host of blocks to make and that was this month.  I've done most but not quite all of this month's blocks and here is a selection.  Some square within squares.


Some framed QST and HST blocks.


And some QST blocks.


And the Amitie stash club bundle also arrived - feast your eyes on this selection of quirky and cool prints.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

It's 2013!

Yes, we made it through the end of the world and now it's 2013.  HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!  But what have we all achieved this year?  Pick one favourite of this year or several, one thing you're working on right now or several or even a mosaic of everything you made this year or everything you're working on right now.  Up to you. My favourite quilt related anything this year was the Fat Quarterly London Retreat.

My fave pic of my pics

My favourite quilt was theyoutube.

theyoutube quilt

And my favourite block was ET phone home.  

ET phone home - template now available

What about you?  What were your highlights of the year?  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.
Lily's Quilts
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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 this button and then link up.
Lily's Quilts
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And, an experimental new linky requested by a male quilter who wanted to get to know other male quilters out there.  No button on this one as yet but you never know.