Tuesday, 29 November 2011

a Grinchy Christmas

My ginger boy's favourite story is the Grinch. It never fails to delight, and he pretty much recites it as we read it at bed time. It's also one of the few books I am happy to re-read again and again and again. Something about that furry green Grinch and his dog Max makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
So, when Lola Pink Fabrics got Grinch fabrics in I had to have some.
The quilt top came together super fast, I had intended to make a lap quilt (but Ginge had other ideas, hence the strip of off-white along the bottom, making it big enough to use on Ginger's bed).
Long armed Chris quilted it with red snowflakes, to add to that Christmassy feeling and now we're all set for the big holiday.

Merry Grinchmas

Someone is very happy.

Merry Grinchmas

Speaking of the Grinch - have you seen this tutorial for an advent calendar? Isn't it cool?

Quilt deets -
twin/large lap size - 68" x 76"
fabrics used;
how the grinch stole christmas by Robert Kaufman
kona snow
pattern loosely based on turning twenty (but without the book, because I couldn't find it in my house, so I guessed measurements)

Monday, 28 November 2011

we interrupt today's broadcast for this important announcement...

There's a huge pre-cuts sale going on right now at Mandy's shop - just in time for stocking up on gifts for those beloved quilters in your life (like me, for example)
Jelly rolls and layer cakes only £20
Charm packs only £6

Today's regular post is back here.

happy monday mail

the best mail day

You might remember I mentioned in my Quilt Market round up that I was really excited by this new fabric company called Dear Stella? Well, I was even more excited when the friendly UPS man came with a big box full of every single piece from the Fall collections. I've got plans for a couple of the stacks already (which I won't be able to show in much detail, but I'll give sneak peeks as I go along). The greys in palladium are so silvery perfect. The yellow is not too yellow, it's soft and golden and kind of almost wheat coloured. That's my favourite, for sure. Although I have to admit, seeing them all again up close I'm struggling to find a single print that I'm not so keen on.
Anyway - Fat Quarter shop have all of these bundles in stock right now, as well as yardage and it's cyber monday so if you enter monday11 as a coupon code at checkout you get 25% off. Whoo! (coupon valid thru Thursday Dec 1st).

Friday, 25 November 2011

stock up!!!!

Martingale books are having a crazy Black Friday sale. Head to the website here and stock up for the holidays! I'll take this one please, if you want to buy me one too.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

save the date....


Like sewing? Want to meet friends? Want to hang out with like minded folks? Learn something new? Yes?

More details coming very soon! Keep your eye on the Fat Quarterly blog and mention to Santa you've got a great idea for what you'd like this Christmas!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Oh! Thank Cuteness!

Yeh, so I'm not in the US and we don't do Thanksgiving over in the motherland (that's Great Britain to those that didn't figure it out already) but the folks over at GenQ had a fun idea for this holiday and I had to join in. I actually found myself saying the other day 'oh, you really shouldn't put your Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving is over' to which the person I was talking to looked really perplexed, I'm sure it won't be long before we join in - maybe I'll cook a chicken or something this Thursday...I'm not sure I can do turkey twice in a month with Christmas coming up so fast (I really, really don't like turkey).

These little creatures are what I am most thankful for. They're the reason I do what I do. Without them I'd be working some two-bit crap job I hate. I thank the childerbeasts for being born and giving me a reason to stay home, which has led to me quilting and for doing stuff I never thought I'd be able to do.

So, you need 1,000,000 bells for a crown
(this pic is 3 years old - but the cuteness of them playing together melts my cold, hard heart)

ginger skipping stones

And for the furry babies, thank you for testing my quilts and ensuring they are always suitably covered in pet hair. Maybe I'm not so thankful for those particular traits, especially when I have to wash gift quilts a couple of times to be sure they're fluff free.

his cuteness makes me weep

kitty toes
sleepy kitty

But in all seriousness, I am so very thankful that these kids can brighten up any day by a simple look. Especially the girly one. She has the ability to make me crumble into fits of giggles with the slightest of eyebrow raises. (The one on the left may as well be mine, she isn't, but she's like my other daughter, and I am as thankful for her as I am the other 'real' kids).


Who are your thank cuteness candidates? This week is dedicated to cuteness over on the Generation Q blog. Go check it out!!!!

Also - in other not connected news. Kirsty (who is friends with my friend, Lu, so she must be nice) is having a giveaway of the newPip Lincolne book. Go over and enter (UK peeps only I think...probably Europe too. You know how these publishing things work, right?

Monday, 21 November 2011

tie me up

tie me up

An early Christmas present done and dusted.

tie me up

This quilt is going to my mother in law's best friend, who already has a lap quilt I made for her but has been pestering me for a bed size quilt for the past year.
The top was so easy to come together, I'm just finishing up a tutorial and I'll let you know when it's done. It'll take a weekend to put the top together, that's it. Nice and easy peasy.
It was totally inspired by Angela's bow tie, but I wanted something a touch bigger to fit a queen size bed.

tie me up

Deets -
Finished quilt - queen size/double bed - 82" x 94"
Fabrics used;
Peacock lane by Violet Craft for Michael Miller
Just Dandy by Josephine Kimberling for Robert Kaufman
smirk grey dot by Kyla May for Timeless Treasures

Friday, 18 November 2011

task of the day

quilt for Patch Fabrics class

Today will be spent quilting this little lap quilt, a shop sample for Patch Fabrics. It's made with a Dogwood trail jelly roll (Claire sells the fabric in the shop). It's quite a twee floral group of fabrics, but what makes it especially lovely is that Moda is donating all it's proceeds from the sale of Dogwood fabrics to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. Suddenly it's less twee and just incredibly sweetly scented, isn't it?

Anyhoo - after Christmas is out of the way I'll be teaching a class on this quilt, which is super beginner friendly and a perfect first quilt for anyone that has never tried patchwork before, or a nice no-brainer for those that actually just fancy coming along to chat and chin-wag for the day. I'll keep you posted on the date when I know for sure.

What are you up to today, or this weekend? Anything fun?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

and the winners are....

and the winners are....

So, this is how it works....the first out the hat gets first picks, then number 2 chooses, then number 3 and number 4 gets what is left (which sounds like number 4 gets an old shoe, but it's really much nicer than that)

number one pulled out the random number generator is number 81 who is - Gretchen

number 2 is number 190 who is -scissors and thread

number 3 is number 140 who is - sewcreateit/Jane

number 4 is number 21 who is - two hip hippos

thank you to everyone that entered - I'm sure I'll do another giveaway soon, it is almost Christmas after all.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

can you hear it?

It's coming. That season, the one with the baby in a stable or the lighting of candles - that time of year that we all think about what to give each other and panic about spending too much, or not giving ourselves enough time to make gifts for those we care about.

In case you missed it last year, or you bought it and then promptly forgot about it (anyone else do that? I do - I've bought so many patterns that I forget about...I'm a bit of a bimbo, it's true) here's a little reminder of the Fat Quarterly Holiday special from last year, and a glimpse at some of the projects.You can get it still, it's available here and for a teeny tiny $5 (which is about the price of a coffee but lasts a heck of a lot longer) it is the hands down winner of the most useful issue ever (I made that up, but it's darn useful, it really is). It's packed full of patterns and a round up and review of online tutorials.

Christmas Star Mug Rug

long legged ladies

Penny Pockets

'The Hood' tree skirt

Yule Yeti Pillowcase

Sunday, 13 November 2011

show and tell


zombie constellation

is a variation of this...


from this issue of Fat Quarterly....

Out Now!

using this bundle of fabrics and this for the background and was quilted by this good friend of mine. I picked it up in Houston when I went for Quilt Market and slept under it on the flight home. It's so soft and light and I absolutely love how different it looks to the original.

Quilt deets;
'Zombie Constellation'
(aka Monica+ Katy = Badass)
Fabrics - happy mochi yum yum, by Monica Solorio Snow and sketch screen in Aqua fromTimeless Treasures.
Quilted by Tia Curtis
Finished size - 66 x 76"

Saturday, 12 November 2011

sale sale sale sale sale!

Mandy over at Simply Solids has a sale on!

For 11 days from the 11th November there'll be 11% off every order of £11 or more.

I'm told she just got a delivery of Echo in and will be listing that over the weekend - so now's the time to snaffle some of that up if you like it (I do)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Fat Quarterly issue 7

Well, we're back to normal now the quilt market posts are all over (the giveaway is open until the 16th though - head to here to enter), it's about time I got back to showing you what I've been up to lately.

There's been a whole lot of secretive sewing going on in Monkey Towers,what with the big holiday coming up (yes, that's Christmas) as well as things for projects further down the line. A couple of recent projects that I can show, are these.
I've got 2 patterns in the new issue of Fat Quarterly (out on the 15th of this month) which is using the theme of Colour Combinations this time round.

First up is this dresden plate pillow that was inspired by a jug that sits in my kitchen, and matches nothing in my house, if I'm honest, I just love it. It was a christmas gift from my best friend from high school a few years back and it's sat next to my sink in the kitchen ever since.

photo 16

here it is with the jug that inspired it...

photo 15

I used fabrics from Peacock Lane by Violet Craft (MichaelMiller) and Just Dandy by Josephine Kimberling (Robert Kaufman). You can pick up both lines from M is for Make.The aqua fabric in the centre of the dresden plate is my forever favourite sketch screen by timeless treasures, in aqua. I am currently ridiculously obsessed with those fabrics, they're just interesting enough to add a bit of texture to an otherwise flat solid. Fat Quarter shop have a great range of them.

Secondly, and just about as different to the first project as you can get, is this little baby quilt, that I've named Paint Box.


It wasn't actually inspired by a paintbox, but instead a bowl of smarties Ginger was eating (I know that the US smarties are different to UK ones, so I didn't want a name that was confusing - hence Paint Box).

colour inspiration

See the resemblance? Yeh, ok, it's lacking in circles, so a paintbox would be a better inspiration, but it was the bright colours of the smarties that inspired me. I used a mix of kona and klona solids for this one, and a word of warning, despite pre-washing all the fabrics on a hot wash with colour catchers, and then washing the finished quilt on a cool wash with more colour catchers, one of the klona's bled the tiniest bit. It's not really noticeable unless you look up close, but it did bleed. That's the first time it's happened in a long time, and does remind me why I don't often use white as a background colour. (since it completely dried and I hung it in the sun for a bit it's really hardly noticeable at all now)

Issue 7 of Fat Quarterly is out on the 15th! Hope you like it!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

quilt market recap - the finale

Here we are at the end of the road. In case you missed any of the recap posts I've listed them below for you click through to quickly.

quilt market - getting there

schoolhouse sessions

the booths - 1

the booths - 2

the booths - 3

the booths - 4

the booths - 5

pull down

Lucie and I weren't leaving Houston until Monday evening, so we helped Sarah pull down her booth before we set off. Pull down is manic - everyone is so eager to get out and get out fast. It's also really sad, because once market is over and we all go home I know I won't get to see so many of the people I've spent the year looking forward to seeing. It felt a bit weird driving home from the airport on my own.

Market is mostly amazing because of this lot...

a motley crew

and this big guy. He's like my big brother - quiet, dependable, always there when I need him. I'm like his scrappy little sister - don't mess with my big brother, I'll fly at you like an angry chihuahua. He left a day earlier than the rest of us. It felt a bit flat after that, like something was missing (it was).

which school house?

I rarely go out when I'm home, I'm so not a big party girl. Give me a pot of tea and a night in front of the TV with the husbeast and childerbeasts and I'm a happy girl. Quilt Market is the one time of the year (two times? I guess....) that I'll go out and stay out late and be in bed way beyond my bedtime. Although some of the best times from this trip were when my two roomies and I woke up way too early and sat chatting for a couple of hours in bed. The first night of the show opening (Friday for Spring, Saturday for Fall) is the busiest. We had invites to 5 parties that were all at around the same time. There's a lot of running between venues to show your face before you get a chance to sit and chill out somewhere.

For those of you that asked how you get to Quilt Market, well, it's a trade show so isn't open to the general public. I get in on a Fat Quarterly media pass, so I don't do the 'regular' entry forms. You need to present credentials which is basically business cards and the like. Honestly, there are always plenty of people that go that technically shouldn't so if you really want to go, you'll find a way. I guess that's the best advice I can give.

Should we talk about free stuff?


There are a few prizes, which I'll split into 4 different bundles, so there'll be 4 prizewinners.

A FQ stack of (not out yet) Stockholm by Robin Zingone for Kaufman.

Stockholm from Robert Kaufman

6 mini charm packs of new fabrics by Moda and Robert Kaufman

little cuties

2 patterns from Thomas Knauer, a pattern from Patty Young, a summersville needlebook, drinks coasters from DryGoods Design, a little pocket pal sewing kit from Lotta Jansdotter, a pin cushion stitchery kit from Lynette Anderson all popped into a Moda Bake shop tote that I pinched from Lu and contained the snacks Moda give their designers (to keep them from passing out on the booths).

bag o' stuff

Sewing for boys - the fabulous book by Shelly and Karen published by Wiley books

sewing for boys

Leave a comment for your chance to win - spread the word!!!! (or don't if you want a better chance of winning!)

The smallprint -
the giveaway will stay open for a full week from today (until Wednesday 16th November)
Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to enter. Please make sure you leave a contact email either in your profile or in the comment itself, if I can't contact you I'll disqualify you (sorry). One entry per person.
First name picked by random number generator has the first choice of prizes, second name picked gets 2nd choice, and so on.
I can't be responsible for prizes that go missing in the post, and depending on the cost I'll try and send packages by registered mail just in case.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

quilt market - the booths (part five)

Here we at the final day of the booths. This post is all of the other booths that caught my eye, and the rest of the stuff I think you should keep your eyes peeled for. Can I also just say, I'm so glad you're not bored - I don't usually blog as regularly as this because I tend to think you'll have better things to do than to come here every day. I have better things to do than come here every day. I'd bore myself rigid if I had to listen to me drone on all the time. Luckily I've learned to tune out of my own droning.
Anyhoo - enough about me, let's get back to the good stuff.....

Such as Dear Stella.
'Who???' I hear you cry
Well, let me tell you...
At Spring Market in Salt Lake City John and I got accosted in the Timeless Treasures booth by a pretty dark haired girl who exclaimed 'oh! I've been looking for you!' and dragged us off to look at something new and exciting she was working on. That new and exciting thing was Dear Stella, and it was right at the top of my list of things I wanted to check out this Fall because what I had seen on paper in Salt Lake City was beautiful.

dear stella

I have to say, in fabric form it's just as lovely as I remembered.

dear stella

These below (Palladium) were my absolute favourites, but in all honesty, I was smitten by it all. The nautical themed collection, Anchors Away, would make such great dresses for summer.

dear stella

Right by Dear Stella was the Timeless Treasures booth, and this collection of boy robots caught my eye in particular. Mechanical Genius is inspired by Mo's 12 yr old son. Read all it on her blog here. I love this line and how it is young enough for tiny boy babies but grown up enough for techy-dads too. You can see much better pics of the fabrics if you click through to Mo's blog too.

Mo Bedell for Timeless Treasures

Pillow and Maxfield are a couple of crazy ladies. Last Fall I'd spent quite a bit of time laughing with them on their booth. This year they had a kind of boothlet, which reminded me of a changing room or something. Not quite as fancy, but the fabrics are just as fantastic. Imagine fussy cutting those big floral centres. Yum.

Pillow and Maxfield for Michael Miller


Anna Griffin

Sorry for shouting, but how cute is that print? It's Anna Griffin. I confess, I don't take any notice of the Anna Griffin booths usually, I'm not a huge fan. Not that it's not pretty stuff, it just doesn't grab me, and I have never bought a single piece of her fabric. This may change my shopping habits.

Anna Griffin/Blend

Blend is an offshoot of Anna's, a new and separate division with fabrics by other designers. There were some really nice lines. I particularly liked this one, walnut hill farm which reminded me of something Kokka might produce. (English peeps - we'll be getting Blend in the UK, Anbo are the distributors).


Not necessarily everyone's cup of tea, but something I love personally are Marcia Derse's fabrics. I adore the colours and the prints and the textured look they have, and I hope that because Malka Dubrawsky is bringing the hand dyed look to Moda, Marcia's fabrics might start to get picked up by the same people. If you don't know her fabrics, seek them out. Cathy has a few in her store.

Marcia Derse

I don't go totally ga-ga for Riley Blake, although I do know lots of people do. Fox trails is cute though. Really cute. What I do really like from Riley Blake are the blenders.

Riley Blake

Loads and loads of new lines coming from these guys in the next few months.

Riley Blake's coming soon

Riley Blake's coming soon

That's it - we've come to the end of the booths. Tomorrow I'll give you a little behind the scenes sort of thing and answer the remaining questions folks had. Oh, and tell you about the giveaway. Of course.

Monday, 7 November 2011

quilt market - the booths (part four)

So, we've done schoolhouse, moda, organics (including Kaufman) and free spirit. Where next?

Let's take a trip to Japan and check out what's going on over there.

The kokka/Seven Islands booth was packed with treats.



Echino made into the cutest dresses (I would so wear those dresses, if they only fitted me)...


Prints Charming. I'm a bit annoyed that I didn't see this at sample spree because now I'm certain it was there and I missed it, and I really like it. It's for sale now, and you can get some from here (along with echino) which is what I'm going to have to do, I think.

prints charming for kokka

I have no idea what this is, but it's cute, right?


In my top 5 favourite things of Market - Melody Miller with Ruby Star Shining. This should be shipping pretty soon. Keep your eyes on the Fat Quarterly blog over the Holiday period, there'll be some fun ideas on how to use this fabric. I think people tend to love it, but are afraid how they can make the most of it and might be put off buying any, especially as any Japanese import is a little pricier than regular quilting fabrics. Never fear, we'll see you right - you'll be overstocked with ideas soon!
If you're also a little wary of how these heavier weight canvas type fabrics work in quilting, don't worry. I used echino for one of the quilts (this is the first sneak peek of that quilt I've ever shown) in our book and it worked so well. It's heavier but I had absolutely no problems at all. I probably wouldn't advise you use very small pieces, that's all.

melody miller for kokka

The Yuwa booth always looks like this. It's a hot mess, like they got off the plane and just threw the contents of their suitcases into the booth, but it's YUWA and so it's got all sorts of treasures hiding in it. Yoshiko Jinzenji, for example. If anyone ever sees that anywhere for sale, let me know, please. I have some of her first fabric collection from a few years ago and I'm too chicken to cut into it.


Cinderberry Stitches/Natalie Lymer, for Lecien is a cute woodland inspired fabric depicting little elves and fairies. Sound too sweet? It's less sugary than the colours and description suggest - it's actually incredibly pretty and really beautifully designed. I would mix in a few polka dots to make a fun girly quilt (in fact the dots and stripes from the next booth would work a treat)

Natalie Lymer for Lecien

Sarah Fielke, also for Lecien, with St Ives. Bubble gum colours, bold, funky prints. Perfect co-ordinating stripes and dots that are stash essentials (and perfect for Natalie's fabrics above!) Sarah was also promoting her latest book, just released in the US, which is another must have.

Sarah Fielke

I'm making this quilt at the moment....

Sarah Fielke

So that's it for today, but I'll be back again tomorrow with the last of the booths!!!

I hope you're not too bored already, and I haven't overloaded you with information. We're getting closer to the prizes, giveaway soon!!!!

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