Thursday, 29 April 2010

what a week!

Wow - I think I can safely say on behalf of all of us over at FQ that we were completely taken by surprise by how busy we were on Tuesday for launch day. Amazing! And the sales are still coming in! So a HUGE thank you to everyone that has already bought a copy of Issue 1, to the people that have enough faith in us from the very offset to buy a subscription and to those of you that have emailed and given us feedback - a really huge thanks. We can't do the mag without you, and your input is totally what we want to hear.
How can we make things better? (we have had a couple of problems with image resolution - working on that for next time, and some of the links - this should be sorted now). There's a thread over in the flickr group where you can give us ideas for what you'd like to see in future issues. Many of the ideas we already had planned, which is great - makes us believe we're on the right tracks, but your ideas are priceless and very much appreciated. So keep 'em coming!

Now that the dust has settled a little bit I'm hoping to get some of these WIPS quilted and finished......

and spending some more time with these....

as well as working on content for issue 2 of Fat Quarterly (out in July). Keep your eyes peeled for sneaky peeks.!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

And we're off.....

Today's the day! If you're reading this post, then the first issue of Fat Quarterly is now available for purchase. The six of us have been waiting for this day for months, and we are so excited to share our labour of love with all of you.

What's in store in Issue #1? Here's what you can expect:
Six original project patterns -- one from each of us -- including four all-new quilt patterns, a stunning pillow pattern, and a pattern for a fast & fun table runner
Interviews with some of today's hottest fabric designers dishing about their new & upcoming lines, including Lizzy House, Laurie Wisbrun, Cosmo Cricket, Mo Bedell, and more
Reviews of two new quilting books and a chance to win them both
An interview with Ingrid Press, the designer of the little house quilt that took Flickr by storm
An inside look at Quilts: 1700-2010, an exhibit on display at London's Victoria & Albert Museum
... and more!
You have two options for purchasing Fat Quarterly. The first (and easiest) way to purchase an issue for yourself is to simply visit the BUY section of our site. If you are interested in buying an issue or subscription as a gift for someone else, visit our etsy shop and complete your purchase over there.

Thanks for all of your interest in and excitement about Fat Quarterly over the past few weeks. We hope we can exceed all of your expectations with our first issue. And, of course, we want to hear what you think. Please comment on the blog, give us a shout on Twitter, or email us at

Our original idea was that we felt people like us weren't wholly represented in the magazines available. There are lots of beautiful mags about, but where was the magazine that represented the flickr groups we hang out in, the blogs we visit each day? We wanted something modern, but with patterns aimed at our levels, and perfectly do-able for the beginner quilter, yet not too dull for the more advanced quilter. You have to remember the magazine is for YOU, so if you have something you'd like to see, a designer you'd like to know more about, any ideas on how we can make FQ better then let us know. We're nothing without you. And with your input, and your feedback we can grow to give you even more value for money.

To those of you that have already bought issues (and subscriptions!) - thank you from the very bottom of our hearts. You cannot know how much it means to all of us that you would part with money that is even more precious at this time, with the economy being the way it is.

Friday, 23 April 2010

super simple patchwork squares quilt tutorial

I promised you I'd write up a quick tutorial on how I made the so st.croix quilt from last week to help you with the math side of things. So here y'go.

I'm making the assumption you have a basic understanding of quilting and sewing, so it's not a detailed tute, but if you have any questions give me a shout and I'll answer them here or by email.

First of all you need to decide how big you want your quilt top to be. Mine is approximately 47 x 58 inches and comprises 11 rows of 9.
Each square is 5.75 inches unfinished (that's before it's sewn together) so you will need 99 squares for a quilt the same size as mine. When sewn together they lose 0.5 inch each so the finished squares are 5.25 inches. Use this measurement to work out your preferred size. (mine is 9 x 5.25 = 47.25 wide, and 11 x 5.25 = 57.75 long)

Each fat quarter of fabric will yield 9 squares, so for 11 rows of 9 you will 99 divided by 9 = 11 fat quarters.

For a smaller quilt, say 8 rows of 8 (which would be approx. 42 inches square) you will need 8 x 8 = 64 squares. With 9 squares in a FQ it would be 64 divided by 9 = 7.1 so 7 and a bit.

The basic math equation is this; total number of squares divided by 9. Round up the number to the next whole number. You can use any leftover squares on the back.

Ready? Let's go....

I have my 11 fat quarters ready. They are a variety of the new Alexander Henry Willow fabrics in the orange/brown colourway, Amy Butler full moon dots, Michael Miller Ta Dots and a couple of other bits out the scrap box.

First up you need to press all your fabrics, and fold selvage edge to cut edge - like in the picture below

trim a little bit off one side of your folded fat quarter to make it nice and even

cut each fat quarter into 3 strips, each 5.75 inches wide

cross cut your strips into 5.75 inch squares

rinse and repeat until you have your desired number of squares

arrange your squares on the floor or a design wall, switching things around until you have a layout you're happy with.

Sew it all together, 1 row at a time.

I like to number my rows with a post it note, stack 'em up next to my sewing machine so I don't have to keep walking over to where I've laid them out.

give the top a good press and make sure all your seams are nice and flat ready for basting and quilting. Hang on a fence, stand back and admire your half a day's work.....

Is that clear? If it isn't, let me know and I can clarify any bits you don't understand. If you want me to do a more detailed description of the sewing together of squares/rows just shout. My camera battery gave up on me yesterday just as I was doing that bit so I couldn't get pictures until it recharged...which meant I had finished the top by then.

Now, go and grab some FQs and sew them into a simple squares quilt!!!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

giveaway anyone?

Over on my fabric snob with Hope Valley fat quarters and a subscription to Fat Quarterly

Quick, dash over and enter now - it ends on launch day (that's next tuesday, folks!)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

goosey goosey gander...

whither shall I wander?

upstairs and downstairs, in my lady's chamber?

there I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers.

So I took him by his left leg, and threw him down the stairs.

I used to love that nursery rhyme. Anything with a goose in, to be honest (or any other bird) would keep me entertained for hours. I still find it hilariously funny now. Small things and small minds...I'm easily amused.

The quilt up there in the pics is the one I made for Fat Quarterly. It's a variation of the flying geese block and can be pieced together pretty quickly. I made the smaller scrappy version for my best friend's baby shower at the weekend - it went down a storm with a lot of oohs and ahhs from the other guests (which made me ever so slightly more than happy, obviously!!!).

You can make one for yourself on April 27th. That's next week! Yes, on April 27th (Tuesday) you will be able to purchase and download the very first issue of Fat Quarterly. I am more than a little excited. And nervous, to be honest.

So it seems there are some of you that would like a tute (otherwise known as math help) for the So St Croix quilt from last post. Super duper - I'll get some pics and new squares cut up so I can explain visually to you how to get the most out of your FQs and have it up in the next couple of days (before the weekend, for sure). Which also means I get to make another quilt. Whoo! (ANY excuse!)

EDIT - Blogger is acting up a little and for some reason the pics are not always showing up, so you can head to flickr and see them there. I'm going to hit blogger with a rusty hammer and hope that fixes it...

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Do you ever get the overwhelming urge to do something? Even if you have a ton of other stuff to do that should be more important?
I'd bought a set of 13 fat quarters of Jennifer Paganelli's new line, 'So St Croix' and it arrived yesterday. It was supposed to go into the stash as a stand by in case of new baby girls, or small girls that might have birthdays. It didn't even make it to the fabric closet. I opened the envelope and before I'd taken it out of it's bag I'd got the cutting mat and rotary cutter poised and was ready for slicing.

A few hours later I had a quilt top. Boom.

What makes it even better is that I had 3 yards of a previous Sis Boom fabric already hoarded away for the backing. So I have the top, the backing and the wadding packed, along with pins and my sewing machine. I'm off on a trip tomorrow popping down the motorway visiting someone really lovely to feature in a future issue of Fat Quarterly and then on to my mum and dad's so I can go to a baby shower on Saturday. In those in between moments I'll be quilting that little beauty so I can at least dream I'm in St Croix.
I tend to overlook simple patchwork squares in favour of more complicated blocks or half square triangles (which are probably my favourite go-to type of block). It's no wonder people love these so much, it honestly took me 3 hours tops to get this thrown together. Obviously I stopped and started through the day, but that was my total cutting and sewing time, I reckon.

Not that anyone needs it, but if you want me to write up a tutorial then just holler. You know, with the math crap in (because that's the boring bit, isn't it?) Let me know. I am here to serve ;)

Be sure to keep checking in, both here, over at FQ Towers and the other FQer's blogs (you can find a list of them on the FQ blog) for more details on the e-magazine, when it's coming and what will be in it. It's VERY exciting.

Someone asked about whether it was a UK or US publication - well, neither. It's online, it's downloadable, and I suppose we're a multi national publication - with Australia, Germany, the US and the UK involved. I am seriously excited to tell you more, but that's all coming soon, I promise.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

my sewing circle

have you joined yet?

It's like ravelry but for sewing. Apparently. Sign up, it's free, it's new (well, new to me). I'm there, so come and join me so I don't feel all alone.

clickety click and sign up!!!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

the week in pictures

I've been quite busy soldiering away this week. Some progress has been made on the favour for a friend quilt. Not much, it's true, but some. I'll take some pics next week of the blocks so far.

After finishing off the dresden plate, and whilst I wait for the lovely Christine to work her magic on it quilting wise (she is off to the US for some classes and things in a week or so, so she asked if she could hang on until she got back to start it. In case she learned some amazing new thing that would be perfect for my quilt) I've been at a bit of a loss whilst watching TV at night. A couple of secret things have been finished, but I can't show you them just yet. My hands like to keep busy on the sofa, so I needed a new hand sewing project to keep me sane.

The Hexy MF (remember the song by Prince? Singing it makes hand sewing fly by, it really does)

I've made a start, but I have a long way to go and I'm not entirely sure what I want for borders. I've ordered some grey cross weave but a pin dot might be nice. Maybe in brown. Or black. Or something. I'll decide when I get these flowers sewn together. I'm not doing the traditional 'path', I want a busy flowerbed, full of these bright Anna Maria Horner flowers. I'm using little folks voiles (the dots for the centre are so textural, really lovely to touch), some good folks and a little bit of bohemian. It's a festival of Anna Maria Horner!

Speaking of which....

After spotting the single most amazing pin cushion in the world on flickr and coveting it for a little while (those tiny hexes actually give me goosebumps). I thought I'd give one a go, although my hexes are much bigger. Hers are like fairy hexes. And the needle book? Gaspity gasp. I think I'm in love. Actually, click on the link and check out all of her pictures, it's a full on goosebump festival. I'm working up to the tiny fairy hexes. Or down? Either way, I'll get there, just not quite yet. They scare me a little bit, my fingers aren't nimble enough.

Whilst I'm in the mood for getting things done I thought it was high time I cut out the templates for the single girl quilt by Denyse Schmidt. I'll never get round to making it if I have to cut out templates too, will I? I will admit, I cheated a little and copied the pattern so I could glue the shapes onto card stock and cut it out that way. The tracing was making me queasy, especially as my lightbox is my dining room window, and having to have my arms up for any more than a few seconds makes me feel very tired. Upper body strength is not my forte. I am more of a champion sitting in one place for hours at a time kind of girl.

All in all, I feel like a successful week was had this week. And the Easter holidays started too, which means I should have both monkey children running about. In reality, the oldest has disappeared to her best friend's house (where she even has her own bed and 'stuff') and I am unlikely to see her unless I go visit. And even then, she might only peer down the stairs, say hello and disappear back upstairs again. I wonder what on earth they have to talk about for so long. Apparently it's just 'random stuff'.

Hope you all have a lovely Easter, and that the Easter Bunny brings you lots of eggs. It's actually sunshiney here in the usually wet and windy Yorkshire. Result!!!!