Thursday, 28 February 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 Spring.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Sew it with Aurifi

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.  Alex Veronelli from Aurifil is offering one of you the chance to try out one of their 12 spool Designer Collection thread sets and let us know how you get on.  This month we are offering a choice between the Sheena Norquay Autumn Collection:

And her Seascape Collection.  Both collections contain 12 50wt spools containing 1422 yds of each of the colours shown.  

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 one of these collections and letting me know which collection would suit your project better.  
  • 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.  

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I'm Back!

And so I've gone quiet for about two and a half months but now I'm back.  Everything I've made in the past two and a half months has been for just one secret future project but I finally finished all the sewing for that at the end of this week and now I'm free to make whatever I want whenever I want and right now, the door to the sewing room is shut for a few days.  But that doesn't stop my mind whirring ahead and planning the next thing I would like to make.  And the next thing I would like to make is the modern medallion quilt on the front of this magazine which is currently available in the UK as well as apparently also in Barnes & Noble in the US.

The quilt was designed by Alexia Abegg and is also featured in her new book Liberty Love.

A few more of us have this quilt as their next planned project including Kerry, Mandy, Amanda (who's been sharing her progress on instragram and Flickr):

#marcellemedallion only two more borders left!

and Emily (who's been sharing her pics on instagram with the hashtag #medallionalong):

Anyone else joining us for this perfect scrap buster?  And perhaps just the excuse you were waiting for to cut into those little pieces of Liberty you've never quite been able to cut into?

Friday, 22 February 2013

Quilt Retreat in Scotland

Jo Avery has just announced today that she will be hosting a Modern Quilt Retreat this summer in Edinburgh.  

The Stitch Gathering Button

Alongside the retreat will be a Scottish Modern Quilt exhibition at her shop, Avery Homestore, during August.  Here she is below on the right in her beautiful shop.

Dolores visiting my shop after FQ retreat

Her plan is for a smaller, cosier version of the Fat Quarterly London Retreat, over just one day, and more accessible to everyone in Scotland and the North of England.  Head on over to this webpage for more details and you can sign-up to be kept posted with more information including who will be teaching and when tickets are released (around Mid-March).  And of course you don't have to be just from Scotland and the North of England, you can travel from anywhere to join her.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Where to buy Liberty Lawn

Liberty lawns are often used by quilters but they are not always easy to find.  They are not cheap and for that reason, most quilters tend to use them mixed in with other fabrics and in scrappy projects.  They  are beautifully soft and light and you can find an enormous range of prints - both classic Liberty prints and new designs.  If you would like to get your hands on some Liberty lawns, here are the places where I get mine:

Organic Stitch Company.  Jo stocks a whole range of Liberty lawns available as yardage, pre-cut packs and scrap bags.

Amitie Textiles.  Amitie also stock Liberty yardage and have a Liberty stash club which is a great way to build up a whole selection of prints.

Hyggeligt Fabrics of London, Ontario, Canada also stock Liberty lawn yardage, this print being one of my all time favourites.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Make with Oakshott

Would you like to make something with Oakshott fabrics?  Well now, you have a chance.

Lily's Quilts
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Each month, Michael Oakshott and I choose an Oakshott 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 my favourite Oakshott pre-cut bundle, the Oakshott Sunrise F8 pack.

The queen of all things quilting (in my mind) Rita Red Pepper Quilts designed and made this beautiful pillow with the sunrise pack.

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 these fabrics.  
  • Be specific about your idea.  We won't pick someone who  says "I want to make a quilt" but might pick someone who says "I have in mind a quilt with ohio star blocks and I would mix the Oakshotts with low volume text prints". 
  • After a few days, we will pick our favourite project suggestion and that person will be sent the Sunrise F8 pack.  
  • 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.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Lily's Quilts Flickr Group

Many moons ago I published my first ever tutorial which was for a small union jack block which could be made from three layer cake slices.

When Nancy emailed me her picture of the block, I can't tell you how exciting it was that someone had made something from my tutorial.

Some time later, I took the brave step of starting my very own Quiltalong and, with it, my very own Flickr Group.  Starting your own Flickr group is a funny thing.  It's like saying "hey friends" and then of course you have a fear than actually no one is going to join the group and you'll be Norman No mates in a Flickr group with yourself and some tumbleweed.   

And every single time someone posts a picture of something they have made from a tutorial of mine, it gives me such a good feeling.  So I want to show you a few things in that group every so often because it's wonderful to see how people take your ideas and then turn them into something so much more.  This week, a few finished quilts.  Heidi from Buttons and Butterflies put her bee group through the torture of making the tortuous ET Phone Home block and turned it into this incredible quilt.  Read more about the design process here and squint carefully to see her beautiful quilting.


Jules made this striking and - may I say - very manly quilt for her 21 year old nephew with the Jack Attack QAL pattern.  Read more here.

jackattack 1

And using the same pattern, Lindsay made this gorgeous quilt

sissy's jack attack quilt!

Teresa made this beautiful version which went on to be an engagement present.  Read more here.

Big Jack

And Kelli from Seriously It Needs Stitches made this amazing version for her Welsh best friend, which is a risky thing knowing that my husband is Welsh and initially refused to allow me to hang my first Union Jack quilt up in the sitting room.  We can laugh about it now...

Jumbo Jack. :) Ready to go to my Welsh Bestie for a housewarming gift.  Thank you Lynne!!!  Amazing quilt-along and great instructions!!  blogged @

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Before She Quilted

It has been very quiet around here of late.  The secret thingy I may or may not be working on is taking every spare moment of my waking life which is not already taken up with the hullabaloo that having four kids involves.  Then last night my sister (who despite having no interest in quilting whatsoever has been my biggest blog supporter right from day one) emailed me this lovely guest post entitled "Before she quilted":  As winter draws in and the snow makes its presence felt, as the logs crackle in the fire (in someone else's house as I only have electric radiators), and as we snuggle up under Lily's quilts, I'm trying to remember what life was like before she quilted. 

 For starters, life was boring as when she didn't quilt, she didn't blog. What on earth did I read? Can't remember but it didn't make me laugh half as much as she does when she writes. Secondly, life was darn cold before she quilted. I slept in multiple, Bibendum like layers of tyres, I mean pyjamas. I bought shares in hot water bottle firms my bed was so cold. Now I lie under my personalised Penguin quilt, a t-shirt is enough to keep me warm.

 My children didn't sleep so well. When young children say they are warm enough they invariably aren't. It's a boring parent question, not worthy of an honest answer. So they used to say yes, when they meant 'don't know, don't care' and I now know the real answer was no. Now that they sleep under their Batman and Swoon quilts respectively, they sleep all night without waking me up having nightmares, falling out of bed sneezing and coughing.

Life wasn't so colourful. We inherited a family heirloom from Mr Rolleiflexes family, a ruddy great big Breton chest carved in the darkest oak ever. It wouldn't look out of place in a cathedral. It looks distinctly out of place in our small flat. We even call it the spare bedroom as someone could (un)comfortably sleep in it. Then I inherited theyoutubequilt with it's bright tv squares and 70s colours and now it decorates the top of the chest and makes everyone's life a little less dull, a little less French farmhouse.

This is not to mention the more comfortable chairs with quilted Paris map cushion covers, the have-fab-baby-weekender-bag-will-travel means I now look Brit chic instead of back packer. My large union jack in washed out colours means no French person will ever wonder what nationality I am again. So my butt, self-confidence and sense of identity are all better off since she quilted. So thank you Lily for generally improving my quality of life in weird and wonderful ways. I owe you.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet

February is here.  I have been flying under the quilt blogging radar since mid December and will continue to fly there until around the end of February.  I'm working working working on something but right now I can't say what it is and, frustratingly, I shouldn't really show you anything I've made.  So this isn't something I made this month which isn't going towards whatever secret project I'm not working on right now...


What about you?  What have you worked on this month?  Any finishes?  Maybe a mosaic of everything you've been doing?  One favourite thing?  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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Next go and visit and get to know at least four other linked blogs - starting with the two above you in the linkys and the two below you. Visit those blogs, leave a comment, click to follow and visit that blog regularly over the next few weeks. Visit more if you have the time. And also visit back any new bloggers who come to visit you and get to know them and their blogs.