Wednesday 30 January 2013

a lightbulb moment...

 i am still a bit giddy from yesterday. 
for those of you that follow me on IG you will know what i am talking about...

the wonderful and talented Leanne Fanny of the little house martin sent me some of her amazing fabrics....and i mean amazing!
we follow each other on IG (i'm blueberryathome, Leanne is leannefanny) amongst other places and we got chatting about doing a swap of our fabrics. i was certainly up for that!
would you just look at what came in the mail yesterday!

Leanne's designs and colours are just too stunning for words.
i have always been a fan of her dotted leaf design so was delighted to have a couple of those in the bundle.

 as for flower pop...just darling and such gorgeous colours.
Leanne mixes the most stunning colours and i am determined to spend some time on doing what i started doing a couple of weeks ago and mix better colours. it makes such a difference.

you may have come across her sewing machine patch that she has made a very cute needle case kit with. i think that is due to be in the shop very soon.

so there i was, lucky me, with all this sitting on my desk. 
taxes were done so there really was nothing (imminent) stopping me from creating with them.
as soon as i opened them and pulled (in a very refrained kinda way - obviously) them out i knew exactly what i was going to do with them. I had no preconceived ideas at all and thought they would sit on my desk for several days waiting for something very special to use them for.
but no sewing commenced rather swiftly...

 i was being a little bit of a tease posting photos on IG for Leanne to guess. she had absolutely no idea and nor did anyone else, although i did like one suggestion of it being a headboard for a bed.

 in typical karen can't-possibly-stop-to-rest-eat-or-do-anything-until-it's-finished mode at about 9.45pm last night the patchwork lampshade was completed. 

 i absolutely love it.
Leanne absolutely loves it
and judging by the reaction on IG last night a load of other lovely folks do too!
i can not tell you what a pleasure it has been to get to know Leanne and to have this wonderful experience with someone so lovely.
in fact, in less than 24 hours we have set up a collaboration of working together to devise the first in a series of lampshade kits! (there is already a very exciting second one in the pipeline, but can't say any more at the moment)

these kits will be available very very soon (or to buy ready made if you don't fancy making your own) so you too can have your very own beautiful Fanny Park lampshade in your house!

Tuesday 29 January 2013

umbrellas and other quilt tops...

 is there any better sight than a pile of quilt tops?

 the only thing i can think of that is better is possibly a pile of completed quilts.

 january has seen me not only make 2 quilt tops from scratch but also finish off one from the WIP pile...big YAY!

 i jumped on the scrappy trip along bandwagon and made my first quilt top of the year.

 this was swiftly followed by making my Glimma quilt top...
and whilst the pressure of relative ease was still present business wise, i finished off my umbrella prints top.
i really love this top. 
the girls at umbrella prints are design geniuses and rank right up there with lotta jansdotter in my eyes (as does someone else who i'll tell you more about tomorrow).

i am hoping to tweak a little more time into my days to get these 3 quilted and bound before real work gets back to its crazy mayhem.
i'm not sure if i'll succeed but i think you will agree it's a damn good start to the year!

Friday 25 January 2013

my week in pictures...

what a week.
it's quite amazing what you can fit in when you have to.

first up, the week here in the uk has been hit by mega snow which meant kids have been off with snow days. 

second up, I have been avoiding the issue of tax form deadline looming which always means throwing myself into other suddenly way more important jobs.

thirdly, my poor frail father went for a fall and broke his hip at the beginning of the week which has meant lots of round trips to the hospital visiting and shuttling mum to and fro.

it's quite a wonder i have done anything more than get dressed this week, but looking back on it a fair amount of activity has actually taken place...

1. a snowy walk around the lake...
2. trying to stick to my january fitness regime, but not easy to drag myself out of my cosy bed in this cold...
3. starting to organise my new spring collection with a canvas and linen foldover bag...
4. getting through a few more blocks for my low volume scrappy trip along quilt...
5. a nice little selection of fabrics sitting on my desk at the mo waiting to be tested...
6. beautiful views all over at the start of this week...
7. getting details for some new designs...
8. dumpling pouches galore! just loving making these little pouches (courtesy of michelle patterns)
9. arm warmers made out of an old favourite jumper that simply couldn't bear to throw away.

i hope you have had a good week with not too many stressful interruptions and
have a great weekend x

Tuesday 22 January 2013

sneaky sewing...

like most ideas i have, this heart cushion came from nowhere and by the time I had finished, a progression i'm itching to try has sparked off as a consequence.

the other night i needed a quick fix sewing project...y'know the type when everyone else in the house is busy or amusing themselves and you are itching to sew and know that you can pinch an extra bit of time?

the thangles were out and being cut before i was really sure what i was doing.
not long later and the heart was forming and in no time at all it was pieced, quilted and sewn into a zippered cushion.
so gratifying!

as i said before, this has now got me thinking about a project along a similar vein and with the help of the arrival of some ordered fabric, it shouldn't be too long before this idea is realised.

 just need to make sure everyone is happy for me to ignore them for a little while again so I can sneak off and try it...

what have you managed to sneak off to do lately?

Friday 18 January 2013

an unexpected treat day...

today was supposed to be all about this...

but the fluffy white stuff got the better of us :(

i had got the printing room all ready (albeit in the very chilly cellar)...
i had made soup...
and cake.

i would much rather be screen printing with lovely peeps but the consolation prize is i have cake and a day to do what i like.
if i was conscientious i would be taking advantage of the extra day and do my taxes...

but i'm not.

i hope the snow isn't interrupting your plans and if it is you are having a treat day as a consequence. 

Thursday 17 January 2013 update...

a very quick printing session this morning to give my new colours a try out and to get it out of my system.
I would only have been thinking about them all day if I hadn't...

you know know I would.
some adjustments need making...
the one I am most pleased with, surprisingly as it isn't a colour I normally use, is the lilac. it is really soft but has enough personality to not be over powering.

 the green is okay. I would like it a tad lighter and more of a yellowy green.
as for the yellow, it is a lot brighter than I was aiming for. I must remember than colours always come out brighter on the fabric. much more white needed in the mix in this one.
it is all a big trial and error exercise.
although there is really no error as I can always make use of the fabrics...
my tester sheet is looking pretty in the process.
 UPDATING an update:

just thought i would do a little show and tell of my playing around with these new shades in my repertoire...
dumpling pouches seemed a quick and easy and fun way to try them out...
what do you reckon?

(fantastic dumpling pouch pattern courtesy of Michelle Patterns)

Wednesday 16 January 2013

wordless wednesday...almost...

   mixing colours...

   thinking of spring...

   pale and delicate...

   floral fresh...

   wonder how they will look when printed up?

Saturday 12 January 2013

a nice start to the year...

 How is 2013 working out for you so far?
Very early days to make any judgments yet I realise, but January at least is turning out to be a very enjoyable month already.

 The crazy treadmill of Christmas orders is behind me and I'm able to get on with stockist orders (lavender bags, above, getting ready to head out) at relative leisure, whilst managing a heap of other stuff at the same time.

My big thing this month is getting ready for the first of my screen printing workshops (one place left for Friday due to a cancellation if you fancy?) I am very excited about it and have been busily getting things sorted for it.

 The relative calmness of January has meant I am also getting some extra quilt making done. I have been working this week on my Glimma quilt. That has been most enjoyable, but not without it's hiccups (more about that in a mo).

 January also included a trip yesterday to Lynne's for Kitchen Quilt Guild meet up. I rarely get to go. Lynne lives a little bit too far away to get there very often. She really should move further North. Anyways...yesterday was lovely. It was great to see everyone and we had a guest appearance from Australia which was fab. Danielle is just so nice and it's always great to meet our virtual friends. The excitement of yesterday was that our Scrappy Trip Along Quilts had a meet up too!

 So the Glimma quilt...
I think I have already mentioned how much I am liking Lotta's new collection and I really really do, but I am not overly happy with how my quilt is turning out.
I order just about all the designs and colours in the collection, my favourites possibly in this little area below.

 I am also enjoying seeing the squares patterns that the blocks show when all pieced together but as a whole I am not sure it is working.
I think it is just too busy.

A few of us were talking yesterday about quilting with an entire collection and how a couple of the fabrics should be left out. I actually did leave out the jade greens, which I do love but didn't think worked well when i included the yellows and oranges.

Maybe it will all come together when it is quilted. That is often the case. I hope so because I want to love this quilt as much as I love the collection.

So 2013 is working for me on the whole. I am enjoying it. That said I am ignoring the major bane of my January calendar...taxes...if I ignore them they may go away and not be a little black cloud on my otherwise happy January...

Saturday 5 January 2013

irresistible fabric sale...

 Sales are irresistible enough...mega great value fabric sales even more so...and when combined with private courier service from the US in 36 more sleeps, this one at Pink Castle Fabrics really is way too irresistible. 
It is not for the faint hearted.

I was more than a little excited to discover Cleo by Dear Stella in the sale section. 
To be honest the release of this collection had past me by. I am not sure how that had happened. Maybe UK stockist aren't carrying it. Maybe its October release time coincided with my head day crazy Christmas time. Whatever the reason, let's just be grateful it hasn't past me by altogether and I managed to secure a little of it. I am particularly excited about Bargello in blue and sand.

I think I have made a mistake with my next selection...didn't order enough of Sewing Guide from Mama Said Sew. I know i know, but at some point I have to think of my poor Aunt and Uncle's baggage limit. besides there is still another month's worth of fabric to be tempted by.

The final purchase that looks like a great pink blender - and you never know when you need a little extra pink in your stash - is Seaweed in blossom from Sarah Jane's Out to Sea collection.

To be equally tempted by an irresistible fabric sale head over to Pink Castle Fabrics right now...I don't think there will be much left for long.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Happy New Year...

 So how was your holidays?
Did you get your WIPs finished?
Any new projects started?

 Suffice it to say I was far too distracted by external influences to finish any of my WIPs. 
Suffice it to say I was even too distracted by external influences to make the 2 new projects that I was planning.

This external influence was so strong it even pulled me away from my recent pile of Glimma which I absolutely adore.
If like me you haven't been looking after your family adequately this holidays and creeping off to sew you will probably know what I am talking about.
The project taking over IG, the Scrappy Trip Along is the most addictive quilting I have seen.

Seeing Rita's, Brenda's, Katy's was enough to make me drop everything and get blocking. Thank goodness our New Year's guests cancelled their 3 day trip. It's one thing to ignore your family but quite another to ignore your guests. That would just be rude.

It is such a great anything goes piecing quilt.
I haven't managed to do as much as I would like - apparently I'm not neglecting them as much as I could - but am probably half way through this one that is earmarked for Ruby. And in typically me mode I'm already thinking about all the combinations I want to do next - navy/grey/mushroom for Sam, red/white for Noah not to mention the wedding quilt option, friends moving house option. 
This is definitely going to be featuring heavily in 2013 both here and I'm pretty sure a lot of blogland too.
If you haven't jumped aboard yet go check out the Flickr Group Brenda set up and see all the great quilts taking shape.

I may not be starting the New Year getting my WIPs under control, but I am starting it with excitement and that's no bad thing. Is it?

Happy 2013 to one and all and wishing you many exciting quilting times xx