Wednesday 29 August 2012

Exciting inclusion

It is always an exciting moment when you find you are featured on not only a great blog but in the presence of greatness. 
Melanie from A Sewing Journal did this lovely round up of Seven Awesome Quilt Patterns and my Hexie Quilt Pattern was included. The fact that this quilt lives in our living room and the fact that my hubby was unable to pick which of the 7 was mine when he responded to my shrieks of delight, is neither here nor there. The fact that it is in the company of greatness that includes Amy Butler and Riley Blake and written by Melanie is what has made my day.

Large Hexies Quilt Pattern by Blueberry Park
Cherry Autumn Quilt by Art Gallery Fabrics
Sunshine Quilt by Amy Butler Design
Flight Fancies Quilt by Art Gallery Fabrics
Pinwheel Baby Quilt by Better Homes and Gardens
Chevron Lollies by Riley Blake
Supperclub Quilt by Modern Quilt Relish for Monaluna

In celebration of the pattern having such honorary status I am offering 20%off the pattern until after the weekend. Go right here if you have been meaning to purchase but as yet haven't and enter SEWINGJOURNAL at the checkout.

Sunday 26 August 2012

What's new...from my UK sponsors...

As well as each of my sponsors providing you with the fantastic new ranges of Bella by Lotta Jansdotter and Bloomsbury Gardens by Liberty Lifestyle amongst others, they all have their own individual taste and picks of what is new out there.Lucky us to have so many wonderful fabric lines hand picked for us.
Here is a review of some of my favourites available from each of them.

First up Kate from M is for Make brings us Patty Young's terrific Running Stitch fabrics. They are so zesty and zingy and will liven up any project. I'm planning on using some as the coordinating fabrics in my pencil rolls, but in the meantime have cut a little scrap for some cards. I think I will be using these in cards a lot in the future.
I don't know how long this fabric will be available in Kate's store, so you had best head over here now to stock up.

It is no secret that I am a big fan of Umbrella Prints fabrics. I fell in love with their hand screen printed designs and now just as head over heels with their organic quilting collections. 

The latest collection Elephants Love Water (such a clever title!) by the talented Amy and Carly is now available at The Village Haberdashery. Annie should be praised to the heavens for being so discerning as to step out of the box and choose something a little different. It isn't the cheapest choose, being £7/fat quarter, but being cut from a 150cm width bolt it ends up not being as pricey as you think.
Live a little...and some of these to your stash and you'll be thanking me big time. Go right here to grab a little...or a lot...

Next up Petites Odile the new chic and sophisticated collection from French General chosen by Alice at Backstitch. The pretty design is beautifully made in muted colours which would be a class act in any project as well as being perfect for dressmaking. I particularly love Claudine in Oyster. 
Head here if you fancy stocking up on something a little classy to your stash.

Last but by no means least something a little quirky. I'm not a huge fan of novelty prints but these Ric Rac Rabbits are so fun! Courtney from Seamstar always finds something fun and this is no exception. I used Bunny Friends in Burnt Orange on Teal (more turquoise) in my pencil rolls and so pleased with the result. It teams perfectly with Summersville Brushstrokes in Orange too.

If quirky fun is your thing go here to grab some. There are several great designs in various colours. You'll be spoilt for choice!

If like me you are lucky enough to be in sunnier climes enjoying a bit of R & R, what better than to be enjoying a little happier hour ordering some of these lovelies in the happy knowledge that a few pretty parcels will be waiting for your return.

Oh for the love of our modern world!

Saturday 18 August 2012

Introducing Saints & Pinners...

 Saints and Pinners is another of my lovely sponsors and another great UK online fabric store. It is run by mother and daughter-in-law team, Fran and Jo (how great it must be to get on that well with your mother-in-law and have a shared passion!)

Their website is a lovely site, very easy to navigate around and divided into interesting sections. I particularly like the "make this" section where Jo and Fran have listed projects made from fabrics they stock and navigate you to what was used and where in the shop it is.   

 You will find a lot of the usual favourites in store - they are big fans of Cloud 9 and Anna Maria Horner, amongst others, but Jo and Fran will surprise you with some more unusual finds.

One particular collection that I haven't seen anywhere else in UK is the batik prints they currently have. These wax block prints are very striking and very different from what you normally see out there.
Jo and Fran sent me some samples to have a play with and they are so lovely to use. They are very happy fabrics for one! Also the cotton is very crisp and really lovely to sew with. The fabric holds its shape well so was perfect for my pouches.

I really enjoyed sewing with these fabrics and making something that is a real departure from my usual look. I was sent Oak, above, Zigzags, below (my favourite I think - I just love that stripy blue zigzag) and hydrangea at the bottom. 
These fabrics, along with the 2 other designs in the collection are available here and I really recommend you giving them a go in your next project. Step out of your comfort zone and have a play with them. You will be rather pleased you did.

In the meantime I am doing a little giveaway with my makes here. The winner gets to choose the 3 pouches in either Oak, Zigzag or Hydrangea.
Usual story to enter...

4 ways to win...

1. Leave a comment here to say you'd love to enter!
2. Go 'Like' Saints & Pinners on Facebook and come back here and tell me you've done it.
3. Go sign up for Saints & Pinners' Newsletter (scroll down to the bottom of the page on the right) again come back here to tell me you have.
4. Go tweet about it and yup, you guessed it, come back here to tell me you have.

Good luck! you have quite a while on this one...I'll randomly pick a winner at the end of the month...August 31st.

If you can't wait that long to get your hands on some of this go check out this and S & P's other delights right now!

Thursday 16 August 2012

So that was the summer...

 Ok, I know it isn't over quite yet, but in terms of all the work I can do before September it is, which means all those things that had to get done in preparation for the silly season and haven't, actually now won't.
Which means....aaagggghhhhhh!

I was panicking before the kids broke up and apparently that was well justified as I got so little done. I would like to say I just about kept my head above water, but that would be a gross exaggeration...just about avoided drowning more like.

Despite not getting as far with Autumn/Winter prep as I would have liked, it is looking like with sheer hard work, grit and determination it will. (Do you like the air of positivity there?)
I have decided on the 2 autumn winter colour-ways I am working towards - Utility on the top right and Still Unnamed (let's call it Ice for now) on the left. Lists have been made, deadlines put onto the calendar. Crikey, I am so ahead of the game, it's frightening. (see what I'm doing with this positivity thing?)
So can I go away at the weekend and not have any sleepless nights or panics because everything is so in control? As we would say in Yorkshire...
Can I 'ecky thump!

P.S. After various suggestions Still Unnamed (thank you everyone who sent me alternative names - and still thinking that is a rather cool name - think it may have to be the name of my first fabric line...) will henceforth be known as Frozen Berries - thank you Charlottte - genius!

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Familiar colours...

It was back to the more familiar colours of yellow and grey today, with a little random orange and brown thrown in.

 Printing my triangle design in white on various coloured Konas had been on the To Do list for some time and was needed to be pushed up the pecking order with autumn/winter thoughts in mind.

 I love how the coloured fabrics have taken the white ink, altho when you compare the 2 ways below (white ink on coloured fabric or coloured ink on white fabric) I am not totally sure you can tell the difference with this design, can you?
What I think it does give me is the flexibility of colour. Paint colours are much more limiting than the huge array of choice of Kona solids, so printing in white ink does allow me to get the perfect colour. I mean who wants Tomato when you can get Tangerine? Seriously, who?

Being the impatient soul that I am I had to see if things would be any different when I made it up into products and again, I'm not totally convinced they are.

Along with the vast choice of colours with Kona, the other advantage of printing with white ink is I can print in lots of colours at once without having to wait for a screen to dry first. This has to be a big plus. 
So unless you have a huge problem with this set up, I think I will be printing with white ink for the foreseeable future.

Monday 13 August 2012

 Do you find your tastes in colour combos goes round and around?
Quite a while ago now I had a big attraction for reds and blues but then it seemed to disappear again for yellows and greys to take it's place.
But it appears to be back.
Without consciously meaning to I have recently been combining reds and blues again in various projects.

When I picked fabrics for my Siblings Together quilt, donated by my lovely sponsor M is for Make I was very much drawn to reds and blues and am in the process of completing this quilt (bottom left) and am very much enjoying surrounding myself in this combination. 
Maybe it started again with this. Then I was making some new pencil rolls and ordered this fabric from another sponsor (bottom right), and found it worked beautifully with some Summersville I had sitting on my desk (as you do).

And if that wasn't enough submersion into one of my first colour combo loves, I received a package of Water for Elephant fabrics from the talented Umbrella Prints designers (middle above) and before I knew it I was obsessing with reds and blues again and picked out the top fabrics for a range I want to produce for upcoming fairs and the like.
Who knows if my rekindled obsession will last into preparing for these fairs or not, but in the meantime I am rather enjoying glimpses of red and blue.

Do you have combos you keep coming back to again and again?

Wednesday 8 August 2012

I officially have no more babies.
I think I said this when my baby started nursery and again went she started school and again when she went from Infants to Juniors, but this is definitely it this time.
Today Ruby turned 11 and in a couple of weeks she will be starting High School
Madness I tell you. 
When on earth did the years go?

Whilst on the one hand I absolutely love seeing them grow up and turn into wonderful, fun, compassionate people, I do miss the days of cuddling them all together on my knees.
Guess I will just have to wait for the grand kids now to do that.

For those eagle-eyed amongst you when i posted the giveaway I mentioned draw day was Ruby's birthday, so if you have been waiting all day for presents to be opened, cakes to be eaten, now is the time for the long awaited result...

So, the winner of the wonderfully generous prize by my fabulous American sponsor, Brenda of Pink Castle Fabrics is number 183...

who said...

"I love this fabric thanks so much for this giveaway"
Big congrats, Eryn and if you could email me your address this fab bundle will be on its way to you.
Again, in true Oscar style, a very huge thanks to Brenda and a very huge thanks to all of you for taking the time to enter. And if you weren't lucky enough to win this time, you could always console yourself with purchasing a smidgeon of the fab collection anyway...
There will be a little break from giveaways for the next few weeks while summer holidays take their toll, but don't worry I will be back with more and some giveaways of my pieces that others are hosting that I'll point you in the direction of when they are happening.

Wednesday 1 August 2012


Madrona Road by Violet Craft is a new line for Michael Miller that is capturing everyone's attention. Seeing these pics you can see why.

It is split into 2 colour-ways - Citrus on the left and Ocean on the right, although as you can see from Elizabeth of Oh Fransson's stunning quilt below, they work beautifully all together.

 It is a wonderfully diverse collection with some small scale great blender prints as well as some feature pieces with fantastic larger scale designs. There are even a couple of text pieces too, which seem to be all the rage at the mo (says she, sounding like a grandma). I know I've recently been picking up a few and planning on doing some things with them. 

And now for the brilliant news...
My newest sponsor and first overseas, Pink Castle Fabrics are offering an entire fat quarter bundle of all 26, yup, you heard correctly 26!! fat quarters of these delicious fabrics! to one lucky reader! The even better news is that the giveaway is offered worldwide!

I 'met' Brenda a couple of years ago now on Etsy when I was doing one of my usual mad USA purchasing fests to be brought over by my aunt and purchased quite a bit of fabric from her. Brenda was a pleasure to deal with, very helpful and quick to respond and mail (as usual I'd left it almost to the day before when I knew for weeks that my aunt was coming over).

Pink Castle Fabrics is a lovely online store to navigate and is full of all the current lines you would expect. you can find exactly want you want as it is clearly sectioned, I think my favourite of which is the Stash Builder section...all those blenders in one place...perfect!

So, the giveaway...

4 ways to win...

1. Leave a comment here to say you'd love to enter!
2. Go 'Like' Pink Castle Fabrics on Facebook and come back here and tell me you've done it.
3. Go sign up for Pink Castle Fabrics' Newsletter (you really will want to be kept up to date with what's in store) again, come back here to tell me you have.
4. Go tweet about it and yup, you guessed it, come back here to tell me you have.

Good luck! you have until this time next week, Weds 8/ baby's bday ;-)

And once again thank you all for your wonderful support of my sponsors. They really are incredibly generous and I hope you are all having fun exploring what each has.