Have you ever wanted to give english paper piecing a try?
Not sure how to make a start?
Confused by the papers and the hand sewing?
Do you like this quilt?
Or maybe you'd like to progress from hexagons and onto something with more shapes?
Want to come to mine and spend a day learning the basics?
cutting and basting shapes
sewing shapes together
progressing to how to plan a quilt or larger project
Let me know!
I'm going to have a fun and informal workshop at mine (near Junction 38 of the M1 in West Yorkshire, not far from Wakefield, Huddersfield, and Leeds) on Sunday February 19th. It will be a day's workshop, from 10-3pm with lunch included as well as tea, coffee and biccies.
The price is £35 for the day, with templates, papers, fabric (you get to rummage through my scrap box and pick your own) and everything else you need to make a start included in the price. You just need to bring yourself.
Places are very limited - email me for more details - katyejones at hotmail dot com
It's also the husbeast's favourite word (mine is knickers, Miss G's is beverage. Ginger isn't bothered about favourite words yet), and so it seemed fitting his quilt should be made of flannel.
I labelled it too - with Ginger's way of saying I love you back in the days when he was tiny. Husbeast and I sign off our text messages to each other with it still. We're quite soppy really.
Although it's supposed to be the husbeast's quilt, I actually have been using it, because I get colder than he does (being whippet like and quite pathetic). He doesn't seem to mind, probably because he wudges me.
78" x 62"
Pattern loosely based on turning twenty, but measurements of pieces guessed because I couldn't for the life of me find the pattern in my studio.
Fabrics used - Anna Maria Horner flannels from LouLouthi and Folksy, backed with pieces from Innocent Crush and bound in voile.
Long arm quilted in a loose honeycomb pattern by Chris.
Have you joined the swoon-along group on flickr? Are you making progress with your swoon quilt? Only just heard about it and want in? Come on over - it's a whole heap of fun (I promise - there are discussions on how to quilt, tips for making your blocks, even a thread on dogs and quilts. We're a chatty lot.)
An incentive for joining in with the fun are the giveaway threads.
Oh yes peeps - giveaways.
This week we have a Fat Quartershop sponsored giveaway (thank you Kimberly)
A fat quarter bundle of Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott for Moda. I love this line, it's so fun and fresh and there are so many great prints. If you want to have a chance to win you need to be an active member of the swoon along group. Come on over and join in with us! You can enter the giveaway (and the flickr group) if you pop over to here. Don't leave an entry on my blog - you won't be entered!
The giveaway is open until this coming Sunday (January 29th) - but remember YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE SWOON ALONG (And don't enter here - go to the group!)
AND we hit 600 members! Isn't that crazy? So in order to celebrate I figured an extra giveaway was in order.
Camille had already offered up a bundle of her brand new, not yet out, Vintage Modern range of fabric and a couple of patterns to one lucky person. So we've got that going on as well! Yay! Speaking of Camille's pattens - have you seen the new ones? To DIE FOR. Seriously. Go check out the quilts made from them on her blog. I'm making hopscotch next - no y-seams, I love it!
Thank you for all your fantastic comments on my quandary. I think I'm going to keep going, and audition different sashing colours, and maybe cornerstones. The more I look at the blocks the more I love it. But you can bet I'll be back with another quandary when it comes to sashing!!!
I'm having a little bit of a quandary. Do I stop at four blocks, sash and add a slightly wider border than is in the pattern and start on making a more true to the pattern version of swoon using Anna Maria Horner fabrics? Or do I carry on and make this scraptastical quilt with it's full 9 blocks as intended? Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the scrappiness but will it be too much as 9 blocks? Or am I just being impatient to start on pillows for my bed?
Here's a really rough mosaic of 9 blocks. Except it's the same block repeated 9 times, because I couldn't be bothered to take more photos.
Actually, when I look at it like that I really like it. I might have just answered my own question.
Or have I?
Input welcome. You can even say you think my blocks are the ugliest things you've ever seen and I should burn them. I may disagree with you and call you a fool, but honesty (as long as it's not like super mean honesty, you know, don't be nasty to me, I'm sensitive, but I can handle kind honesty...constructive criticism...CONSTRUCTIVE though, ok?, this isn't a chance for you to say 'oh yes, your blocks are ugly and so are you and you should shut the heck up lady because you make me sick'. Please don't say anything like that.)
I joined in with the made in cherry quilt along over on Chelsea's blog. Mainly because I loved the pattern from the moment I saw it at quilt market this fall, and also because Sarah Fielke designed it, and I love her to bits. The original pattern is for an 80" square quilt, but Chelsea has resized it so you can make a 90" or a 60" if you fancied making something bigger or smaller. I'm going smaller, there are already way too many big quilts in this house. For the 60" size you need 8 fat quarters of fabric. Oh, how very handy that I'd just picked a summery selection of 8 fat quarters for a Fat Quarterly bundle in Lola Pink Fabrics' store. In fact, I'd picked the bundle just before I saw the quilt along, and I knew that they'd be perfect for this project. The girls at Lola Pink mailed them over to me and I started cutting. Then I started piecing. The quilt so far took me half a day. So it's great for a nice easy weekend project. It comes together so beautifully, and so easily. Just squares and a few triangles for the edges of the star points. Now I'll cut my background (I'm using a white klona cotton from Alice's shop) and hopefully by the end of the day this baby will be ready for quilting (myself- it's only small, I can handle this size without crying too much).
Oh look - it's ready for quilting!!! That was fast. Actually it was fast - this came together so easily. I know I said that already, but it really does.
I'm re-naming my quilt Californian Cherries - the zingy colours remind me of the sunny skies in California. Sipping a cocktail by the roof pool in some ultra hip hotel in LA. I did that once. But actually I had iced tea, not a cocktail, because I'm really not very rock n roll.
You can get your own Fat Quarterly 'Californian Cherries' bundle from here from next week (I'll let you know when it's in the shop) I think the girls are going to kit it too so you can make your own Made in Cherry quilt like this one, if you wanted to of course, I'm not even going to pretend you should make one just because I did, but you should make one because it's so fun to put together and so easy (did I mention that already?) and just so lovely!
The swoon along is going amazingly well. So many blocks popping up in flickr. I randomly picked out nine from the group pool to make a mosaic. There were so many to choose from, this mosaic took me forever. In the end I just had to click randomly and stop oohing and aahing over all the amazing work. So many different fabric combos, so many wonderful blocks. I love them all so much - it's amazing that one block can look so different. (click on the mosaic and it'll take you to the credits for the pics).
My own quilt is coming along really nicely, I'm so pleased with how it looks so far. I said I'd be back with one block this week. Well, they're pretty addictive once you start, so I made two. Oops. I also said this was my Friday project, well, I've been doing a bit a day. Just sewing a few more half square triangles, or flying geese. It's fun to do mindless chain piecing. It really is (I think so anyway). My blocks are scrappy. It actually makes my head hurt planning out where the scraps need to go so I don't end up with too many of one fabric leftover for block nine. I've decided I'd quite like to try the regular blocks too, so I might make a couple of pillows for my bed. That's if I don't go crazy making this quilt first.
You can still come and join us over in the flickr group and make your own swoon quilt. You can get the pattern either from Fat Quartershop or direct from Camille's shop. It's a download, so you can get it super fast. The group is almost at 500 members now (can you believe it? I can't!) and there's loads of helpful hints and advice going on. There's no real end date, there's no real start date - just head over and join in if you want to make a swoon quilt and do it at your own pace. I'd love to have you.
Maybe you're daunted by the size of the quilt? It is 80 inches square, so it's a pretty big undertaking quilting wise (I think I'll send mine out, although I'd like to think I'd quilt it myself, in all honesty I know I'm not patient enough. It's my birthday in March so I'm asking everyone in my family for quilting money!) Just a single block framed makes a perfect baby quilt, like this one in the pic below (by Emedoodle). I think I'd like to make a few of these. You could even make them double sided, a block on each side. One side in darks (night time) and one bright (day time). My imagination is running away with me now, possibly. But I think it'd make such a cute baby shower gift all tied up in a big bow (yes, one of my friends is pregnant and I am doing that whole 'what can I make her' thing all the time!).
What have I learned this week from making my blocks? Concentration is required. The beauty of this kind of piecing is you have to think about it. It's not tricky but it's precise and all those pieces fit in a certain way like a jigsaw. I've read and re-read the instructions a million times over. My points are a little squiffy, I could have trimmed down my sections better and made them fit, I could have used more pins and not tried to rush a little. My next block I'll try and be better. I've never managed to make perfect flying geese but for the first time ever I've come pretty darn close with these, and it's an amazing feeling. Like a personal mountain. Half square triangles I can do all day - I love them, they're my favourite type of block unit, all the trimming down and the magical way 2 squares make 4 triangles (yes, I'm easily pleased). Geese have never been fun. Maybe once all my blocks are trimmed and sashed I'll think differently, but I think I'm going to have most of them fully intact - with pointy points. First Time Ever.
Learn to say no. No swaps for a while, less committing to things I can't spend the time or enough energy on and that if I don't think immediately 'YES YES YES' and can't live without doing then I should decline, politely. It hasn't gone overly well so far, I've already made commitments to some things that I probably should have declined. But I'll make a start after this month. Then I'll say no, or at least try (I'm not very good at it).
Finish things. I have too many started projects that wouldn't take me all that long to finish. They're not doing anyone any good half sewn up in my studio, and even if the top itself isn't something I necessarily want to use myself it'll be good to have some charity or gift quilts lying around (especially when the above resolution fails and I commit to something else I have no time to do!!!) I'm aiming for at least one finish a month. Think I can do it? We'll see - I have started a set in my flickr stream to keep track of my 2012 finishes.
Believe in myself more. I'm no expert quilter, I'm not award winning - I accept that and I'm happy with it. I wish I had a little more faith in myself and didn't doubt myself so much so often. I'll try and work on that a bit. Not to the point where I think I'm all that, because that's just as bad as thinking you're not. It'd be so nice to be able to take a compliment without thinking to myself 'but this, that and the other are wrong with that quilt, I should point that out, or mention I didn't quilt it, or say that something ANYTHING is wrong with it'.
Spend more time with my sewing friends, we rarely sew - it's not about that, it's about hanging out and having a laugh and talking about stupid things. If it weren't for this lot I'd go mad. And as for the point above, I could never think I was all that with them on hand, they'd drag me back down to my rightful place quick as a flash.
Use up some of the fabrics in my stash that I've been hoarding, the precious stuff. It's not precious. It's fabric. Use it woman. Use it NOW. I do intend to make a constellation quilt (that grey star one a couple of pics up) using Anna Maria Horner Bohemian, because having that sitting around unused is just awful. It upsets me just thinking about it, it could be a quilt, it could be loved and used every day. Instead it sits on a shelf.
Learn something new. How to knit a pair of socks - or the honey cowl (beautifully modelled by baby Max if you click on that link) , or actually manage to do this dress I've got sitting around in bits. I'm scared of new things that are out of my comfort zone. I hope to conquer that a little this year. I'm also going to spring quilt market in may and to sewing summit in october - wouldn't it be great to have a dress I made to wear there?
So that's my 2012 resolutions. I don't think they're too bad. Achievable? Probably. Let's see how I get on with that!
Of all the glorious prizes on offer I think I'd like to win this bundle from Backstitch. I've been very close to buying it for a little while, but resisted. So fingers crossed, knock on wood and all that!
The winner is number 23, Martina. I'll pass your details on to Nicole, Martina and you should hear from her soon! Congratulations!
Thank you to everybody that entered and for your excitement in the e-zine. Remember, you can go and buy your own copy from the &stitches website. It's well worth a read!
2012 is my year of productivity. Yeh right. She says that every year. I want to get WIPs finished rather than sat around doing nothing. Whether that's so I can use the quilts or give them away as gifts, I'm sick of seeing half finished stuff cluttering up my studio. This quilt was started last year, and then left as just a few blocks as I got distracted (as usual). My best friend asked me to make a quilt for a friend of hers who was expecting a baby. The only stipulation was that she's not a fan of colour. Yikes. That's not my kind of deal at all. I am not a neutrals person, you only have to walk into my house to know I'm a fan of jewel tones and bold prints. I remembered these blocks and thought I could finish this up and it should be perfect. There's a little touch of colour amongst all the neutrals.
Before you think it's the not yet released Summersville - it's not, it's Lu's screenprinted fabrics from her etsy shop.
I used this as wadding. It's a fusible on both sides bamboo blend batting. It was quite tricky to find, in the end I got it from here, it arrived really fast considering it came from the US and via Amazon.
So, what did I think of fusi-boo?
For small quilts like this one, and pillows, etc it's great. You have to layer the quilt sandwich and then set the fusible stuff with a steam iron. My ironing board is a pretty decent size, and for this size quilt it worked ok but for something bigger I think it'd be tricky, if not impossible to get a flat result all over without bubbles or puckers. It worked best when I worked from the centre out, like the instructions say to do, and then when I'd fused it from the front, flipping the quilt over and doing the same on the back. Smoothing out from the centre to the edges as I went. I also popped a safety pin in each corner, just to hold the edges a little better.
Once basted the quilt was stiff. Rather like the effect with basting spray, so quilting on a regular domestic machine with the edges rolled up wasn't a problem for this size, but on a larger quilt that stiffness might be problematic. Time was against me, I had an evening to get the quilt finished with quilting and binding, so I quilted in organic lines spaced approximately 2" apart. I'd have liked to have it more densely quilted, but any more and I'd have been sat up all night binding!
The batting smelled a little bit funny, not unpleasant, but not lovely either. I guess that was the glue because once I washed it the smell was gone. After washing, the quilt was wrinkled up just perfectly (all the photos are after washing), and was a lovely drape. The weight is similar to a warm and natural cotton batting - nice and light (which is my preferred weight, I don't like a lot of loft).
I added a little label (thank you again Julie for your tutorial and for making these for me because you know I'm a dork. Love you heaps xxx) that was framed with some leftover strips, and bound with kona snow (I added one tiny square of summersville to break it up).
The baby (girl) was born this weekend. I hope she gets many years of use out of the quilt. I always feel a little nervous making quilts for people I don't really know, but fingers crossed it gets used to death and not just shoved in a closet!
Tomorrow (January 16th) Ali from VeryBerryHandmade has a huge giveaway starting with prizes from some of the best UK fabric stores.
The giveaway is called Resolved To Sew 2012. Just thought I'd let you know!
The &stitches giveaway is going on still, until tomorrow also - click here to get to that if you haven't entered already!
&stitches is a brand spanking new e-zine dedicated to handwork - embroidery, applique and the like. The first issue came out this week, and last night I spent a really enjoyable hour or so with a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits (cookies to my US friends) and wished I could embroider as beautifully as Nicole and Carina, the talent behind &stitches. I can't, but that doesn't mean I won't get out my floss and give it a go. There's a pattern by Nicole in Issue 1 that I'd particularly love to have a go at - some stitched text that would make a great hoop for my studio wall.
Inside the issue you will find original patterns for both embroidery and applique, including this trio of fishy friends by Corinne of September House...
...plus there are book reviews, interviews and really interesting features.
I bet you want to have a peek, don't you? Well, you can go and buy a copy for yourself by visiting the website here.
Or you can take your chances and enter my giveaway! You could (of course) go buy a copy for yourself, enter my giveaway as well, and send your prize copy to a friend. That would be a really lovely thing to do, plus it would win you extra friend points, which could be used later in case of an emergency.
Whatever way you do it - enter the giveaway! One person picked by the lovely Mr Random.Org will win their very own digital copy of &stitches issue 1. I'll leave the giveaway open until Monday evening (Jan 16th) UK time and announce the lucky winner on Tuesday morning.
Today my friend Justine is coming round to play. I have just finished the last block for Scrap Vomit Part Deux (I'll assemble the rows and piece a back over the weekend - yay!) and the leftovers squares (there are a heck of a lot) are going to be used in Brenda's Bust Yo Scraps quilt along. I'm only making a baby quilt size for that though, I intend to make a few baby quilts this year and have them on hand for baby shower, christening or 1st birthday gifts.
I made a button (of sorts - I know it's clunky, but I am no tech wizard). Click on the pic and you can download it from flickr and use it in your sidebar.
Tami made a button too. Again, click on it and download from flickr. Make sure you link back to the flickr group so people can find out where the fun is happening!
(note - tech wizards - if you can make a button that involves HTML shizzle and the like then please do and pop it in the group discussion. I am certainly not against a more spectacular button being produced, you know, that might be a subtle hint, or a plea for help)
Yesterday I started cutting my fabrics...
I have skinny quarter yards and a few half yards of habitat by Jay McCarroll. I completely messed up my first block's cutting by hoping for the best and not paying attention to how I could squeeze enough of the pieces out of the fabric, so (instead of a more organised look) I'm going scraptastic and cutting all my pieces now, then arranging different fabrics as I go along. I'm hoping it works, but I love the scrappy look of this block so I kind of know what I want to achieve...
Can you believe we have over 300 members already! Isn't that crazy?! I had hoped for around 40. I thought if I can play with 40 peeps then I'll be so stoked. 300 swooners!!! Wow. That is one heck of a lot of swoon action, and already thereareblocksfloodingintothepool. I'm so crazily excited to see everyone's fabric choices and blocks as we go along. It's not too late to join in - like I said before, this is not a strict quilt a long, go at your own pace, use the group to help out with any questions you have and end up with a quilt when you end up with a quilt. I will be charting my progress week by week and also post some of the issues I have (if any - ok...I've already had one, I didn't concentrate on my cutting!) and hints to help you along the way.
So, first tip of the quilt along; Cutting - before you cut your FQs measure them, if they're on the smallish or wonky side you might struggle to get all your pieces cut out. They need to be true 18 x 22" FQs.
I'll be back next week with my first block, but keep an eye on the flickr pool and discussions and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it!
Oh - and look, Camille blogged about us! She's as excited as we are and keeps checking in on the group to see what we're up to!
Go get yourself the pattern from here (it's a downloadable - yay - instant gratification!) and let's start to have a little think about what fabrics we're going to use. I think Habitat and a moda cross weave in natural. The fabrics Angela used for her bow tie quilt that I love so much.
The quilt finishes up at a pretty useful on any bed 80" square. I am told that each block takes around 2 hours to make, so is a block a week an achievable number? I think so. If you play I bet I can get some nice prizes for giveaways and contests along the way. Ooooh. Shiny prizes.
I set up a flickr group for those of you that want to join in. Please do. I don't want to be alone. (We need a button, I'll work on that...)
Kristen over at sew, mama, sew! asked me if I'd like to share my predictions for 2012. Um, yeh. Duh. Silly question.
You can check out what my crystal ball predicts and take a look back over 2011 and the highlights for me in the quilty world by clicking over to here. What are your predictions for 2012? And what stands out from 2011 for you?
pssst - also, in case you liked that giant star quilt I made the other day and fancied making something kinda similar but even more amazing...there's a quilt along happening from next week over here at Pins and Bobbins. Oops. I might have to join in. I was really peed off when Sarah didn't just give me her quilt at market. I mean, I helped her unpin it from her booth. I folded it up. It should have been mine. She calls herself a friend. I don't know. *sigh*
You can make this.....oooooh.....pretty, right? Plus there are 3 sizes, a 60" lap quilt, 80" mama quilt and a 90" papa quilt. Awwww. A family of patchwork stars.
I made a quilt a bit like this from 10" layer cake squares and added borders and stuff a year or so ago (but never took a pic because I didn't like the fabrics). Jeni made a big one, using vintage sheets cut into FQs and I was sucked into making one of my own using her wonderful tutorial. Oh I LOVE it. It was so simple, it took a day. And by cutting the half square triangles like this - from 16 FQs you end up with enough for 2 quilts, so that's even better. I am making one for a friend and one for me. Yay yay yay.
The fabrics are all Anna Maria Horner velveteens (both LouLouThi and Innocent Crush). They're a bit weird to sew. You need to make sure you have a generous seam allowance, and I also serged the seams of each row. I think on quilt 2 I'll serge all the seams (I say serge, but I mean zigzag stitch them). It frays a heap. A bit like flannels. And it's heavy, and bulky so I don't think it'd work well with anything using small bits. Never the less, it hasn't put me off using them again, because the handle is so lovely and they feel really decadent. Like I should be lying in bed with a bottle of champagne and a huge box of chocolates.
This quilt finishes up about 68" square. I think the second one (which will be for me) I'll add a border or 2 to make it extra big and to use up some of the extra bits of velveteen I have leftover. Maybe. I might not. It does look really pretty as is, I think.
I bought the fabrics from here at Fabricpalooza (on sale, still!) and here at Mira and Westie. The background is (my forever favourite) Timeless Treasures Screen in charcoal from Fat Quarter shop.