Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Sewing club day out - British Quilt and Stitch Village

Last Saturday, a few of us from Liverpool Sewing Club had a day out to the British Quilt and Stitch Village in Uttoxeter.

I did a little bit of shopping and bargain hunting.

I saw some very inspiring quits (but took some very poor photos).

And I even got the chance to do some sewing on a very fancy Pfaff machine.

Thanks to some luck in competitions and the generosity of the organisers, we didn’t have to spend our pennies on tickets, so we had more to put towards shopping. There is a good mix of traders at this show, including some who I've not seen at the larger shows, and with a little bit of hunting several bargains were found. It was a pleasant surprise to find that a few spaces were still available on the day for most of the workshops and we had a fun hour with Lorna Knight making fabric postcards.

This show is starting to become a favourite of mine – it is a more manageable size than Festival of Quilts and as I’m not a knitter, it is more focussed for me than Harrogate’s Stitching & Knitting show. I think better use of the available spaces was made this year compared to last year, especially for the location of the workshops, and I look forward to seeing how it grows for 2015.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Fabric Fast Update

Back in January, many people started a six month fabric fast. I decided a complete fast wasn't for me and set out terms for a fabric fast “lite” which was to run until Easter. My “lite” version had quite a lot of exemptions, and now that Easter has gone, I think it is time to share my fabric purchases and see if I stuck to my fast.

Looking back, I have bought:
  • Three metres of fleece for quilt backs (OK)
  • One sale fat quarter from Viking Loom (Ok ish, but bought as I do like to try to support independent shops)
  • Half a metre of quilting cotton for the Marmalade quilts (not really OK, though it was for a specific quilt, but I only needed enough for two charm squares)
  • Three fat quarters of solid fabrics from Liberty Bell (OK)
  • One metre of heritage print from Quarry Bank Mill at Styal (OK on a technicality as my husband paid!)

There have also been a few purchases of Liberty lawn from the factory shop in Lancaster, but they were on the exempted list. Surprisingly, I found that I didn't try to compensate for the lack of fabric purchases by buying lots of haberdashery or books instead.

I didn’t find the fabric fast as difficult as I thought I might – in fact it was quite liberating not to have to look at every notification of new fabric lines, shop sales or fabric destashing to see if there was anything I wanted. I’ve been sewing from stash this year, but it doesn't seem to have got much smaller. I think I will continue my fabric fast “lite” for another few months at least, though not until after I’ve visited the British Quilt and Stitch Village this weekend :-)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Simply Solids Egg-stravaganza

A few weeks ago, I was egg-tremely egg-cited when my idea of egg cosies was picked by Simply Solids for their Scraptastic Challenge.

Details of how to make these cosies are now on the Simply Solids blog and I've created a tutorial as a pdf file on Google Drive (the photos may look a little odd in the Google Drive preview, but the original quality is maintained if you download the file).  It is also available in my Projects/Tutorials section of this blog.

The tutorial uses foundation piecing, but the pattern template can be used to make a very simple cosy if you need a children’s project for the Easter holidays. Just cut four pieces from felt, stitch together with running stitch, and trim the edges with pinking shears.

Simply Solids run the Scraptastic Challenge each month - if you'd like to have a go at making something from a Kona Scrap pack, leave your ideas in a comment on their blog. The winner receives a Kona Scrap pack and a guest spot on the blog where you write a mini tutorial for your make.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

An only slightly pointless quilt

I made this quilt top at the start of 2013. It was my first attempt at half square triangles and was supposed to be a baby quilt as a gift for a colleague. However, when it was finished, I didn’t like it – some triangle points had disappeared and it was just “too old” to be a baby quilt. A more suitable quilt was made and this one was put away.

Over a year later, I dug it out of the UFO pile and decided to try to rescue it.  I couldn’t do anything about the missing points, but by making it a bit bigger, I thought it might be a suitable quilt for Project Linus. I added a couple of borders, using half square triangle cornerstones to save having to learn how to mitre corners, and actually started to like the quilt.

I added a fleece backing and quilted it in a straight line, edge-to-edge grid using Aurifil 50 wt grey (shade 2600) in the needle and variegated blue (shade 3770) in the bobbin. For the binding I had not quite enough of orange chevron fabric so I pieced it with random inserts of solid orange to make it to the required length.


Now the quilt is finished, I rather like it. Even though it is still slightly pointless when it comes to the half square triangles, it is no longer pointless when it comes to finding a good home.