Sunday, 27 January 2019

2019 Finish Along :: Finish No 1

Oh it feels good to get my first project ticket of my 2019FAL list - a charity quilt for Project Linus.


The jelly roll of fabric was donated quite a while ago and I thought it would be ideal to try piecing on the frame.


This was the first time I have tried this technique and I used the Square Feet from Handi Quilter.  It was brilliant - so quick and easy and very satisfying!




Since moving my machine, I have a lot more space around the back and so I thought I would try pantographs again.  Basically you have a pattern at the back of the machine which you trace with a laser light.  These are called Edge 2 Edge designs.


This is a new one for me and it called Bellflower by Keryn Emmerson.  It stitched out beautifully and gave such great texture.


I have to say that I really enjoyed doing this and, although FMQ is my first love, I would definitely quilt more using pantographs and will shortly be adding it to the services I offer my customers.



The only thing I didn't think about when I decided to quilt it this way, was that you would be able to see the horizontal lines, from piecing on the frame, on the back of the quilt.  


In future that would certainly determine what patterns I would quilt on a quilt that had been pieced this way, but there are still plenty of designs that would work.

Here's hoping for another finish before too long!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Teaching and Demonstrating in 2019

Last year I became one of two Handi Quilter Educators for the UK which was wonderful.  I did some teaching for Pinhole Quilting in 2018 and found a real passion for it.  It really is a privilege to meet so many lovely quilters and share my passion with them, along with lots of information and tips to help them on their journey.  I have learnt a lot from them aswell so it certainly is a two way street.  This year I am also developing several courses that will be suitable for either longarm or domestic quilters.  


I am delighted to be able to announce my 2019 teaching schedule.  I have some great classes coming up - some working for Pinhole Quilting exclusively for longarm quilting and others for myself which focus on quilting on domestic sewing machines.


For a full Calendar of Events, for teaching, demonstrating and talks, please click here.


I am happy to travel to teach and to tailor make workshops for groups or Guilds.

A full set of Workshops and Talks is currently being developed and will soon be up here, but until then please do get in touch if you would like any more information.  To get in touch please use the box on the left hand side .....



Monday, 21 January 2019

2019FAL - Quarter 1 :: My List

Finishing things seemed to go by the wayside last year so I have decided to get some motivation back by joining in with the Finish Along again.  Just looking at my photo files, I see that I first joined this community back in 2016 and it really did get me finishing things - fingers crossed it will work again this time.

The link up closed last Friday and I very quickly photographed projects to hand and linked up via Instagram,but I thought it would be good to have  record here swell ..... for accountability!  Now this certainly doesn't represent all my WIPs and UFOs but as some are now in storage since our move I can conveniently forget them.  I was still able to find a dozen projects without looking to hard so that's what I have listed!

1.  EDITED 27/01/19 - this is now complete, to read more head over here!
A quilt for Project Linus - this is my first quilt that I have pieced on my longarm and I am using a new pantograph to quilt it

Action required: quilt and trim


2. Farm Girl Vintage - this was started way back when and still only totals 6 blocks!  This isn't a realistic finish but if I could just make some progress on this I will be happy ....

Action required:  makes LOTS of blocks, piece, quilt, bind!!


3. Tumbling Spools with white background - I couldn't decide which background to use so have started two Tumbling Spools quilts as part of a the #tumblingspoolsqal with The Crafty Nomad

Action required:  make blocks, piece, quilt, bind


4. Tumbling Spools with coal background - as above

Action required:  piece, quilt, bind


5.  Teeny tiny piecing project - this is going to be yet another rainbow project!  It was inspired by making my first block as part of the #scrapbustingsewalong with Sugar Bowl Crafts ....

Action required:  make 6 more blocks, piece, quilt and bind


6.  Teeny tiny piecing #1 - this was the first time I had sewn so small and I loved it - mini quilt or cushion cover?

Action required:  finish piecing, quilt and make into something!


 7.  My Stash Bee '16 and '17 still waiting for the binding .....

Action required:  bind and use!


8. Thistle blocks from the Fancy Forest QAL18 - which I totally fell out of love with and decided to use the blocks I had made in stand alone projects - I think this will become a table runner ....

Action: piece, quilt and bind


9.  UKTQB - I have made some inroads on getting this top pieced but then the move put paid to any more work on it - I would LOVE to get this finished this quarter!

Action required: filler blocks to be made, piece, quilt and bind


10.  Puffins wall hanging - this was started in May 18 in a workshop with Catherine Nicholls and has not been touched since ....

Action required: apply pointilism, quilt and bind


11.  Improv Quilt - this was pieced last year and has been waiting for its time to come to be quilted - I have quilting ideas in my head and it's just a case of working its way up the queue!

Action required: quilt and bind




12.  Black & White Sampler Quilt - these were test blocks from my Christmas 18 QAL last year - not sure whether to sash or not ....

Action required:  piece, quilt and bind


There you have it.  It all sounds so simple when it's typed up in black and white but that thing called life does have this way of sneaking up on you and derailing best laid plans!

Are you taking part in the Finsh Along?  What motivates you to get older projects finished or is the lure of a sparkly new project just too much?!! x

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Sewing in Company :: Oxfordshire Modern Quilt Guild

In my last post I mentioned that I hadn’t sewn for almost 3 months. That was broken last Saturday when I attended the Oxfordshire Modern Quilt Guild monthly sewing day. I have been a member since the inaugural meeting but have been a somewhat absent figure these past twelve months. Oh my, what a difference a day of sewing makes ......


In fact my husband did point out when I got home that I was happier than I had been for quite some time!!! No shame in admitting that - I know you can relate. It was a wonderful day filled with sewing of course, but also so much more. The chats - about quilting but just as regularly about families and life in general, the laughter - so much of that and, to top it all, the feeling of creating. 


Having always preferred the company of boys when I was growing up, it was a revelation when pregnant to seek the company, support and friendship from women. That’s how it felt again on Saturday.  A far cry from ante natal and post natal groups but the coming of the teenage years has been the hardest transition in or family and so to chat, to laugh and to remember that "it is just a phase” was just what I needed!!


The next few months dates are in my diary IN PEN and, bar serious illness or injury, I will be there sewing up a storm and reinforcing those face to face connections which are so valuable.  Do you sew in a group?  I would love to hear what you like most about it.


My sewing project for the day was Tumbling Spools.  I have to say I am really smitten with this little block and as soon as I got home I cut out another set of spools but with a white background.  I haven't got back to them since then but I can't wait to get both sets sewn up and quilted. I hae never made two version of a quilt at the same time but I really couldn't decided between the dark and light background.  I also have a lot of quilting ideas for this and thought that making two would be a great way showcase different quilting styles on the same quilt.

Pattern by Jo at The Crafty Nomad

The #tumblingspoolsqal is coming into its second week but you could easily catch up if you want to join in.

Friday, 11 January 2019

2019 - Here's to a Great Year!

Wow that went quick - one minute it was 27 September and the next it's January 2019!!  Happy New Year to you all and I hope that the Christmas and New Year period was a good one.

Oh how I miss my lovely spacious studio ....
Since I last posted here we have been rather busy.  The house move finally happened - in the end we had one week from exchange to completion so that was one week to pack up my studio, pack up our family home, keep 2 children and a cat settled and not go crazy in the process!

It was wonderful to see the shelves emptying and lots of bags went to a lady who makes charity quilts - there was no way it could all come with us!
It didn't seem quite so big when it was all boxed up!

Followed by work commitments, illness and Christmas it's no wonder that my blog has been somewhat neglected.  I aim to remedy that this year.  Whilst Instagram is quick and portable I miss writing here and I especially miss having a fuller record of my creative life.

The girls only went back to school this week so I have been somewhat late entering the New Year and making plans and goals.  There is going to be lots going on this year and some stuff I am SOOOO excited about.  There will be sewing and quilting as usual but also house renovations, a studio conversion, teaching and talking - more on all of that soon.  I have temporarily housed my longarm machine at my Mum's and it felt great to finally get the frame back up and be able to quilt.


I had a play with some of Jane's rulers and some FMQ inspired by this video by Sherilyn Mortensen.




Up until last Monday I hadn't sewn a stitch for almost 3 months.  It was not good.  I had itchy fingers.  My mind was making in my head which didn't leave much room for much else.  I have finally got a sewing space set up in the house, my family are very obliging when it comes to giving up rooms (not!), and today I made a start on a lovely QAL that I have signed up for.  It is the Tumbling Spools QAL hosted by Jo over at The Crafty Nomad and is a lovely leisurely way to start the year and end up with a gorgeous wall hanging.


There's still plenty of time to take part if you want to.

Here's hoping I will be back here again ...... very soon! x

Festival of Quilts :: From the other side ....

Want to know what setting up for Festival of Quilts is like?   Then head over to my recent blog post on UKQU website!