Monday, 30 September 2013

Windham Fabrics

Windham Fabrics sent me a couple of charm packs yesterday and I thought I'd share some of my favourite prints with you.  From Downtown by LB Krueger I picked these prints:
And from Wallflowers I picked these prints:

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Made with Oakshott

Don't miss this opportunity to have a place with the bundle that I think is the most beautiful Oakshott fabrics have made to date.  The bundle is called Moonlight.  It reminds me of Lipari but just a bit gentler and more dusky.

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're offering an F8 pack of this beautiful range.
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 one person will be sent the bundle.  
  • 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 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 soon so stay tuned.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Art Gallery Fabrics in the UK

Sometimes it's frustrating being in the UK in that we can't find all of the fabrics over here but I'm happy to say that Art Gallery Fabrics are coming into the UK via Hantex, a UK distributor.  If you haven't felt these fabrics you should, they are super soft - somewhere between quilting cottons and Liberty lawns.  Collections hitting the UK at the moment include Squared Elements - a cracking blender ...

 ... Nordika by Jeni Baker ...

 ... Bijou by Bari J ...

 ... and Reminisce by Bonnie Christine.  

Although I don't have individual stockists for each collection, I do know that you can find Art Gallery stockists in the UK from this list on the Hantex website.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Oakshott Applique BOM

Last chance for the final few places on the Oakshott Applique Block of the Month starting at the beginning of October.  Cost only £10 per month.

Called Floral Impressions, the BOM is designed by Deborah Kimball and made using one Fat Quarter of Oakshott Impressions (see image below) and two and a half metres of background fabric.

To grab one of the last few remaining places, head over to Oakshott Fabrics for more information. 

Stitched Blooms

I was so excited when I heard that the author of this beautiful new embroidery book, Carina Envoldsen-Harris, was coming to the Fat Quarterly Retreat this year.  She was just lovely and her book arrived on my doorstep earlier this week and is fabulous.

Bright, fresh and modern, the book takes you through what you need to get started ...

 ... how to embroider a whole host of different stitches ...

... how to use the many motifs (over 300) in the pages at the back of the book ...

... includes 20 beautiful projects ...

 ... and for someone who's a dedicated quilter with not a single embroidery bone in her body, I love that the projects are fresh, bright and clean - no fussy old fashioned stuff in here.  (Josie, this horse was what I was telling you about!).

And if you'd like a chance to win not only this fabulous book but also this stack of embroidery floss (see image below) to get you started or to add to your collection, leave a comment here and I'll pick a winner in a week.  And just to keep me laughing, please tell me something embarrassing about yourself or something embarrassing that once happened to you.  I love those stories the best.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Come and sew with us

If you're anywhere in the region of Ashbourne, Derbyshire in the Peak District, why not come and sit and sew with Mandy and me every second and fourth Friday of the month - 10am til midday.  Bring along hand sewing and Mandy will be bringing Xmas project kits too if you're interested.  We'll sit, sew, chat, drink coffee, eat cake and generally put the world to rights.  Workshops coming too on Mondays from January so stay tuned.  Let us know if you're coming and email Mandy or me ( if you need more information!

Monday, 23 September 2013

500 Quilt Blocks

500 Quilt Blocks, which I have co-written with Kerry Green will soon be available in online and bricks and mortar shops around the world.  Kerry and I will also be selling signed copies direct from our blogs as soon as we have them.

Three actual real life advance copies were sent to each of us last week and seeing them made up for the incredible amount of work Kerry and I have done on this book.  

500 Quilt Blocks literally means that.  Not computer drawn blocks.  Actual real life blocks.  

100 main blocks, some classics and some new ones and four variations on each block.

And on top of that there are twenty projects made using the blocks.  From the very very teeny ... 

 ... through small ... 

 ... medium ... 

 ... bigger again ... 

 ... to full-blown quilt size.  

And as if that wasn't enough, we've even included a comprehensive introductory "how-to" section. 

If you get your hands on a copy, we'd love to know what you think and we'd love you to review it on Amazon if you have a spare moment!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine

After a fabulous trial issue, Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine is launching as a monthly. Subscriptions purchased on or before 27 September will start from issue 1.

To find out more and subscribe, click on this link. There is a special £5 for 3 issues offer for UK subscribers and offers for subscribers outside the UK too. I can't tell you much about this issue although I can secretly whisper that I am pretty excited about a regular feature which I'd love you to make along with me...


Friday, 20 September 2013

Virtual Quilting Bee

Amy Smart (Diary of a Quilter) has been running a Virtual Quilting Bee for a few months with guest bloggers along the way and today it is my turn.

To find all the previous blocks, fabric requirements and  information, click on the link above or on the button below.

Each block is 8" square finished and I decided to design a foundation paper pieced star for mine which I have called Wish Upon A Star.  

You can find the template here and you need to print it out four times for the block.  Set your printer to 100% or no scaling to make sure it prints out at the right size. 


1.    Foundation paper piece four of each of templates A and B, trim to the dashed line and remove the papers.  

2.   Sew the A and B sections into four pairs taking care to match seams and the centre point.  Press seams open and trim corners. 

3.   Sew those sections into two pairs, again matching seams and the centre point.  Press seams open and trim corners.  

4.   Sew the two halves of the block together.  To get the centre point to meet, start sewing the seam in the middle of the block, sew to one side, flip the block and sew the remainder of the seam from the centre to the other side of the block.  Press seams open.

5.   And voila, you have a finished Wish Upon A Star 8" finished block.  

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A book and an interview and a quilt

There's another book in the pipeline with my name (amongst others) on it.

There's an interview with me to accompany the book on the blog of the book which you can find here if you're interested.

And there's a quilt somewhere in the US which started with a pile of Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt from Fat Quarter Shop but I can only post a sneak peek of that right now.

Traditional quilt design.  Modern fabrics.  My kind of quilt. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Made with Oakshott

Hi, this is Sarah from Narcoleptic in a Cupboard.  A while ago I was so lucky to be given the chance to make something with the beautiful Oakshott Impressions range, courtesy of Lilys Quilts and Oakshott Fabrics.  The fabrics arrived quickly and did not disappoint at all - 16 colours shot with white, the effect of which is so soft and shimmery; it's wonderful.

Life interviened for a while, but I've finished the quilt top and would love to show it to you.  My proposal was to do something with Oakshott, texts, and circles.  This is what I've come up with.

Here is how I inset the circles.  The method is fast, it is simple, and once you've done one, you will be hooked.  You will need:
  • background fabric, cut your square about an inch or so bigger than you require your finished block to be so you have room to trim when you're finished; 
  • circle fabric, cut a square about an inch bigger than the size (diameter) circle you want;
  • freezer paper, cut a square about 2 or 3 inches bigger than your finished circle size; 
  • glue stick, Frixion pen (or other disappearing marker); and 
  • scissors.

1.  Draw your desired circle on your freezer paper and carefully cut the circle out keeping the freezer paper intact outside the circle.  Try and centre the circle as best you can so there is a good 1" to 1.5" of freezer paper all around the circle.  Press the freezer paper on to your background fabric square.

2.  Roughly draw a circle about an inch smaller onto the fabric, so you can cut it out and have a good half inch of fabric still inside the freezer paper circle hole all the way around.  At this stage I also draw around the edge of the freezer paper so that I have a perfect circle on the fabric in frixion pen.

3.  Snip all around the fabric, making sure NOT to go so far as the freezer paper - incisions between 1/8th to 1/16th inch away from the paper should work.  

4.  Glue the newly created tabs and fold over to stick on to the freezer paper.  This should give you a neat circle in your desired finished size.  

5.  Now glue the other side of the same fabric tabs. 

6.  Stick down your circle fabric, right side down, taking care to position it so that you have the same amount of fabric on each side, it should be about half an inch all around.  Now leave the glue to dry completely.  Why not prep another whilst you wait!

7.  Carefully peel the background fabric off the waxed side of the  freezer paper.

8.  Again, taking care, peel the freezer paper off the glued on tabs of background fabric.  It helps if you keep a finger on the tabs holding them down as you lift the paper up. 

Steps 7 and 8 do require care and attention, but you will get the hang of it quickly!  

9.  How things should look with the paper removed!

10.  Follow the example of diagram nine and have the background fabric sitting wrong side up, and the surplus fabric sitting where the inside of your circle will be.  Find your marked on circle line, and stitch on the line all the way around.  Set your machine to a nice short stitch, and take things nice and slowly so you dont get any unwanted folds or puckers.

11.  How things should look after stitching!

12.  You can trim the excess circle fabric now so that you have a nice quarter inch seam all around.

13. How things look after trimming circle fabric.

14.  Right side up, there might be a teeny bit of a wave or wobble but a good press should sort this out.

15.  Trim block to desired size.

To assemble this quilt top I did a design on EQ7, although in this particular case I'm sure it would have been just as quick to draw it out on squared paper.  I chose a rough size for the quilt, went with 12", 9" and 6" blocks for the circles, and just roughly decided where I wanted them.  Then it was just a matter of filling in all the spaces between.  Keeping positions in multiples of 3" helped.  I sketched out the gaps between circle blocks into rectangles and subdivided them into patches to piece.  Sounds painstaking I know, but really it wasn't.  In fact, I'd love to keep going and make it bigger, but I know I'd find anything bigger to hard to quilt myself.

Again, many thanks to Lynne, and to Oakshott for the great opportunity to work with the Impressions Shot Cottons.  Such gorgeous fabrics, I think they'd make anything look good.