Monday, 18 August 2014

Jelly Roll Jam II quilt

The Fat Quarter Shop have a new free pattern, it's perfect for making baby quilts because you can make two from one jelly roll or even make a double sided quilt. They asked me which Jelly Roll I would like to use to make up a quilt and I chose the beautiful April Showers by Bonnie and Camille

This quilt will be given to my friend who is having a baby boy and it measures about 36 x 38". I chose to take out all the flowery prints and stick with the blenders, raindrops and umbrellas. It was a lot of fun playing with the strips and deciding which ones to use for the narrow blocks, I'm happy I went with the umbrellas and the dots.

I free motioned quilted this clamshell loop pattern using the tutorial by ElizabethMy fmq skills need work but it perfectly echoes the shapes of the raindrops and umbrellas and I adore the texture it gives the quilt. It puffed up beautifully after being washed and dried.

I used some of the jelly roll strips to make a scrappy binding and backed it with a turquoise brushed cotton fabric I had.

It will be super snuggly for the new baby and my youngest girl was testing it out before I even hand sewed the binding on!

You can get the free Jelly Roll Jam 2 pattern here. Also check out the Fat Quarter Shop's YouTube video, Kimberly has great tips for putting the quilt together!

There is currently a sale on all jelly rolls at the Fat Quarter Shop so grab yourself one and have fun making the Jelly Roll Jam 2.

Friday, 15 August 2014

My rose star quilt top

I finished my rose star quilt top...

It will need trimming along the sides and of course I will be hand quilting it. I have a quilting plan and Aurifil thread ready to go!

There's 5,467 pieces in this quilt top... ok kidding I haven't got time to count them!! But it's a lot. All the papers were cut out from printer paper, then hand basted and hand pieced with Aurifil 50wt 2600 and 2610.

All done by hand and all done by me, except for one beautiful block made by my wonderful friend Nicky - she made the one on the bottom right in the picture above and she also made me about 5 of the 'alien' connecting shapes because she's awesome :)

I haven't quite finished taking out all the papers but I'm just pulling those basting threads by hand and it comes out easily, most of the time I took them out as I made each block but some have remained from connecting them together.

There was very little thought put into this quilt. In the sense that I decided to use solid colours (orange, pink, mint, grey and beige) in the centres and I used a stack of fabrics I liked but I just put them together one by one in combinations that I liked. There is very little fussy cutting, I tried it and I love the effect but for the most part I just cut totally randomly. I didn't play around with the layout, I just started sewing them together. Then I realised you can put them in rows so that's what I did. Putting them together is much faster when you work in rows - one rose star, two alien shapes, one rose star, etc.

To finish it off I decided to have the rose stars almost floating by using kites and half hexagons to get to the point I could just use full hexagons. I was going to do more hexagon borders but honestly this quilt top is big enough as it is and I like how the rows of rose stars look like they're stacked on top of each other, kind of higgledy-piggledy.

It's random, eclectic and all mine!

The rose star tutorial is by the amazing Clare - my love of English Paper Piecing is all down to her and this brilliant pattern. This was the very first English Paper Piecing I attempted, I have finished other projects along the way but this quilt holds my first block. Is it weird that fact almost has me tearing up?! I adore this quilt top so much. I totally recommend going and visiting Clare's inspiring blog selfsewn, she also has an English Paper Piecing tutorial if you'd like to start doing some yourself.

You can see more fabulous rose star blocks and quilts in the Flickr group.

Linking up:

at Quilting Mod this week

and finish it up friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

pressure and some discounts!

I am holding my hands up and admitting that I may have taken on a little too much recently. I've had 3 commissions, two of which are done. I've had to make 3 class samples, again 2 are done. I also finished a magazine commission, have nearly finished a secret quilt that I will be sharing soon, I'm working on a couple of other secret projects for people and I'm totally behind on my two Block of the Month makes. Nicky will probably be seeing her bee block at the very end of the month because I'm under pressure to get things done ASAP - not that hers isn't important but I need to prioritise the paid stuff.

My Arizona Japanese + x quilt - I can't wait to quilt it!

*whinge, whinge* Ok I'm not complaining about being busy but I need to make a note not to take on so much when I have 3 kids at home over the holidays! I've had a lot of late nights (well I generally do anyway but now I'm panicking trying to decide what to sew first and I find deadlines exhausting!). Despite my little moan I am so pleased with what I have made and thank goodness I have sewing mojo - sometimes that leaves me when I have to get things done but right now I'm working that mojo hard!

Now here's some sponsor discounts and link to a vintage sheet giveaway...

At the Fat Quarter Shop you can get 20% off all Riley Blake Fabrics, use the code RILEY at checkout - valid until 14th August. I fancy this Shuffle Bundle and some wide yardage!

Pink Castle Fabrics are having a Giant bundle sale and you can get 30% off all precuts and bundles using code BUNDLE30 at checkout - valid until Sunday 17th August.

Also take a look at their Limited Edition Liberty Lawn Stash Box, I'm a huge fan of Liberty prints and this is a great way to get hold of 45 fat sixteenths, if they pre-sell 120 boxes then they will upgrade that to 50! You can read more about Liberty Tana Lawn on their blog. The stash boxes are the perfect way to add to or start your Liberty collection.


I'm also a fan of vintage sheets! Head over to le challenge to see Mary's vintage inspiration and find out how to win 10 vintage sheet FQs and get a 15% discount code to her shop!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 11 August 2014

and the winner is...

Congratulations you have won one of Melissa's new patterns and I've sent you an email.

If you didn't win but want to make your own Flowering Lone Star or Bursting Lone Stars then visit the Sew Bittersweet Designs Craftsy pattern store - and there's a discount if you want them both!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

What the blog?

I blog about my quilting, this is not a sewing related picture and yet I immediately knew that this picture best represents how I feel about blogging.

There's a sense of exploration; of myself, my creativity, growth, skills and possibilities.

I feel like blogging is a way of looking out into the world, framing myself in the process. Connecting with others, telling my story, sharing my sewing journey.

The light is so crucial to this picture and blogging for me has created so much light. I don't have to hark on to people who aren't interested in my sewing, I have a place to share with like minded people, I have encouragement, support and friends. I follow and read so many interesting blogs, I feel inspired every day seeing people's creations, discovering techniques and learning so much from everyone. It's led me to challenge myself, to do things I wouldn't have even considered on my own and to begin to develop my own sewing and writing style.

There's a dreamy, pensive quality to this picture too. I'm a full time mum and despite the fact I adore what I do there's a longing to fulfill another part of myself - for me quilting and blogging are something I do that's mine. I ponder, I prepare, I sew, I make, I write, I share. Those rays of light are those wonderful cables that link me to all of you!
(I knew this would end up being cheesy)

*This post was published on my friend Nat's original blog at the beginning of 2012, I came across it in my drafts and thought I would publish it here since there's been recent discussion about the end of blogs. Despite not having as much time now I have 3 kids and being sucked into Instagram, reading blogs and writing my own is still almost as important to me as actually sewing. Being part of this community truly brings me joy.

Nat suggested I could use a picture to share what blogging means to me and this one immediately came to mind. The photograph is one my husband took when my son was a toddler and I love it.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

I really do love fabric

especially when it's gorgeous fabric like the ones I am currently working with...

An English Paper Piecing project from Quilting on the Go:

A sample quilt for a class I'm teaching:

Fun small makes:

Cotton and Steel available here and here

Arizona by April Rhodes, Limited Edition available here and here - and hurry it's selling out fast!

Make sure you enter my giveaway - open until 11th August.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced